Thursday, October 24, 2013

The entertaining Civil War, 20th Century Fox style.

In this post: More clients from hell, Civil War entertainment.

Holy crap. My clients, again.

Another one sent me a frantic email this morning: “I see our website has been removed. Did we miss something? Do we owe you money? I don’t understand what’s happening!”

So I write back and tell her yes, your website is offline, and yes, you owe me money. I’ve been sending you emails SINCE THE FIRST WEEK OF SEPTEMBER to alert you to your fourth quarter web hosting payment that was due on October 1. I unpublished your website on the 15th for nonpayment and you now owe me a shitload of dough, including a $20 late payment fee and a $50 labor charge to relaunch your site. YOU ARE SUCH A DAMN PEST. PLEASE GO AWAY, STOP ANNOYING ME AND LET ME RETIRE ALREADY!

Maybe those weren’t my exact words, but they’re really close.

Hey, watched any Shirley Temple movies lately? Sam and I saw The Littlest Rebel (1935) a couple of days ago, a seriously adorable film featuring unforgettable dance numbers with Shirley at age six and Bill “Bojangles”  Robinson. Unfortunately, 20th Century Fox treated the Civil War with typical 1930s Hollywood “bogus dignity” where the slaves were concerned, having little Virgie Cary (played by Shirley) show her affection for the “darkies” by treating them like pets or children. One slave in particular — played by an African-American actor named Sleep n’ Eat, believe it or not — was so stupid I’m surprised he knew how to exhale.
Aside from the obvious problems with race relations, though, Shirley was a brilliant little bundle of talent who held her own with a damn good bunch of professionals. Others in the cast included John Boles and Karen Morley as her parents and Jack Holt as a Yankee officer who’s so crazy about her that he almost tries to lose the war.
The plot? Virgie’s daddy (John Boles as Captain Herbert Cary) joins the Confederate army as a scout when the Civil War breaks out. Nasty old Yankee soldiers keep ransacking the plantation to look for him, but Shirley and the slaves always save the day by hiding him and helping him get away. One of the aforementioned nasty Yankees is Colonel Morrison (played by Jack Holt), who ends up so smitten with Virgie that he lets Captain Cary escape by giving him a Yankee uniform so he can sneak her through enemy lines to live with relatives in Richmond. Holy crap, right? When everybody ends up in a military prison Virgie and her favorite slave, Uncle Billy (played by Bill Robinson), tap dance their way to Washington, D.C., to plead their case with Abraham Lincoln.

Seriously, people ... who couldn’t love a movie like THIS?

It’s almost time for dinner, but before I inject insulin and shlep myself into the kitchen I want to offer one final news flash: I just ordered myself three bottles of SweetLeaf Berry drops from Amazon at an excellent price! They usually sell for $9.99 each but I bought three tonight for only $22.97. SweetLeaf is a sugar-free product made from liquid Stevia, and a few drops can add intense flavor to water, soda, ice tea or soy milk. My favorites are Berry, Apricot Nectar and Vanilla.
Thank you for dropping in. I’m going to make a couple of chili burgers now and watch the “Project Runway” reunion special and “Project Runway All-Stars.” You can come over and join me if you want to, but I’m NOT promising to feed you, okay?

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