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Monday, July 24, 2017

Malls And Online Shopping

The new issue of Time magazine ran an article about Malls and listed the shocking numbers of mall closures and that another quarter of those still existing could go out of buisness in the next five years. That’s not just stores that are inside the mall, that’s the entire mall complex! One figure it listed was that between 2010-2013, mall visits declined 50% due to online shopping. Now, I buy stuff online, but it’s only because the local stores no longer carry the items I’m buying. They used to carry everything I needed, but not any longer. I think this is one of the reasons why people are turning to online shopping. But, what the article and everybody else doesn’t seem to be taking into consideration is this: When I shop online, practically everything is mailed to me through the United States Postal Service - the post office. As we have seen in this day and age, no business is guaranteed to last forever and many fine businesses have closed in the last 10 years or so - Circuit City, Borders, Waldenbooks, Sir Beef, Hughes Electronics, New York Life Insurance & Trust Company, Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, Western Auto, Service Merchandise, Kinney Shoes, Thom McAn Store, Revco, Rexall Drugs, On Cue, Woolworth’s, Heilig-Meyers, A.J. Bayless grocery strores, Builder’s Square, Coast to Coast Hardware, Blockbuster Music, Sam Goody, Tower Records and literally hundreds of more businesses! I was so shocked to find out about some of these that I just had to stop looking. Many of those stores are ones I used to shop at and now they’re gone! Where will all this lead us as a collective?

The point I started to make above was that the U.S. Post Office is just another business and as we have seen, nothing is guaranteed to last forever. I have predicted for several years now that the government seems intent on destroying the post office. Why else would they give up the multimillion dollar market of stamp collecting and switch to only stick-on stamps? As stamp collectors know, stick-on stamps don’t last. After a few years, the glue seeps through the front of the stamp, making them un-collectable. And just a couple years back, the government got out of the market big-time of mailing people’s Social Security checks, Army disability checks, etcetera, and went to direct deposit. It’s like they are morphing into an entity that no longer requires the post office. Why would they be setting themselves up to be post office-free? Could it be, that like me, they know the post office can’t and won’t last forever?

What are you going to do when you can’t buy what you want at a local store and you have to resort to buying it online, only to find that it can’t be mailed to you? Where are you going to get the things you need to live on then? That’s why I say support your local stores now before it’s too late.

The picture is of the University Mall, located at Carbondale, Illinois. I took it on September 3rd, 2016, with my Minolta X-370s and Kodak Portra 160 film.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Eleventh Annual Ten Commandments Post

     For my annual post this year, I thought I'd speak about the sources used for where the story of The Ten Commandments actually derives.  It is an exciting tale, full of drama and conflict, and spans the entire life of Moses.  I'd be willing to bet that the first time a lot of us heard about the story of Moses was most likely in Sunday School.  In the credits of The Ten Commandments, it does mention the "Holy Scriptures."  But, to fill in parts of Moses' life that aren't mentioned in The Bible, the script writers studied several other modern and ancient texts for this information.
     The final shooting script was written by Aeneas MacKenzie, Jesse L. Lasky, Jr., Jack Gariss and Fredric M. Frank.  To put the story together, information was also used from the books Prince Of Egypt, by Dorothy Clarke Wilson; Pillar Of Fire, by Joseph Holt Ingraham and On Eagle's Wings, by Arthur Eustace Southon.  The book Prince Of Egypt, published in 1949 not too long before Cecil B. DeMille's movie,  was also used for an animated movie about Moses, but only the title of the book was employed, and it was released to theaters back in 1998 under the title The Prince Of EgyptPillar Of Fire was published in 1859, while On Eagle's Wings was first printed in 1939.
     The film's researcher, Henry Noerdlinger, also consulted such ancient texts as the Midrash Rabbah, Life Of Moses by Philo and various writings of Josephus and Eusebius.  Philo lived during the time Jesus walked the earth, from approximately 25 B.C. to 50 A.D., so he may have had texts to work with that are no longer extant.  Cecil B. DeMille mentions this during the prologue to The Ten Commandments.  Josephus lived from 37 A.D. to circa 100 A.D., while Eusebius was around during a later period of approximately 260 - 340 A.D.
     So the story of The Ten Commandments comes from many and varied sources, but it was all brought together for the big screen under the directorship of Cecil B. DeMille.  The Ten Commandments was the highest grossing film of 1956, and allowing for inflation, as of 2017, is the 7th highest grossing film of all time.  The film has been broadcast on television since 1973 by the ABC network, and that is where in earlier years I got to see it every year at Easter.  But my first viewing of it was at the theater on a big, silver screen located in Safford, Arizona back in 1966, when it was given a 10-year re-release.  Having seen this film probably at least 50 times, I highly recommend it!  Be sure to catch it on it's annual showing on television!