Normally, I wait to do a lunchtime news chum until I can find three or more articles I can tie together with a theme. But today I’ve got a bunch of groupatwos (h/t Kenneth Kay) for your enjoyment:
- From the “Living in the Past” Department: Two interesting articles about people living in the past. In the first, a Florissant MO pharmacist still comes to work and opens his pharmacy every day, even thought the building was declared unsafe for occupancy and the business license was lost years ago. A sad story really of a man who can’t give up his past. Then there’s the man that has embraced Elvis, moving from Tokyo to Okinawa to Gardena, where he operates a 1950s memorabilia shop.
- From the “Change the Impression of the Past” Department: This department has two stories about trying to change the impact of the past. In the first, automakers are trying to revitalize the image of the minivan in order to increase sales. Basically, they are trying to turn it into the cool car to own. In the second article, some folks are trying to improve New York apartments by evicting the auras of the past tenant’s problems.
- From the “Jews in the News” Department: Two stories about Jewish issues in the news. In the first, we have the age old problem of the agunah: in traditional Judaism, only a man can give a divorce, and some men are obstinant. This story concerns a NY man who obtained a civil divorce, but doesn’t like the custody decision and thus is withholding the religious divorce from his wife. In our second story, Jewish runners are protesting the Chicago marathon, which will occur the day after Yom Kippur, creating a problem for those that fast on YK. This prevents runners from “carbing-up” before the marathon.
- From the “Gotcha” Department: Did you buy anything online this year, and not get charged sales tax? Gotcha. You may owe your state the sales tax directly, as this article discussed with respect to California. I’ll trust you to be honest and report it. Our second article is a demonstration of why one securely wipes computers before donating them: “Abandoned Computer Leads to Child Pronography Arrest”. I’m not claiming that any of my readers has this type of material on their computers, but the risk of undeleted material would apply equally well to Quicken data files and letters to banks and such that might be on your machine.
- From the “Upcoming Theatre” Department: Two interesting reports on interesting summer theatre in Los Angeles. In the first, the Pasadena Playhouse has announced their second production of 2011: Debbie Allen is directing and choreographing the new musical “Twist – An American Musical”. This is supposedly an Americanization of Oliver Twist. Per the announcement, the musical “tells the story of a young orphan boy born of a courageous white mother and an incredibly talented black father who navigates the colorful and sometimes rough waters of street life and racial indifference in his quest to find his family and to find love.” It features a book by Tony Award nominee William F. Brown (The Wiz), music and lyrics by Grammy Award winner Tena Clark (Natalie Cole’s “Still Unforgettable”) and music by Gary Prim (songwriter for Dionne Warwick and CeCe Winans). This telegraphs that this will be a musical aimed at the African-American audience that Sheldon has successfully cultivated for the Playhouse; I have yet to decide whether it is intriguing enough to ticket. Another show of interest is “Jerry Springer: The Opera”, which is coming to the Chance Theatre in Anaheim Hills this summer. A totally odd subject for an opera, but… it is really a satirical stage musical, inspired by the infamous television personality (and former mayor of Cincinnati) whose lowbrow, syndicated talk show deals with topics including adultery, love triangles, pornography, incest, racism and offbeat fetishisms. It supposedly features several musical dance sequences, including a chorus of chanting Klansmen. This sounds like it might be worth the drive to Anaheim.