Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s Monday, October 4, 2022, and it’s a lovely subtropical autumn day here in Lithia. It’s not too hot outside, it’s sunny, and there’s a nice breeze. In fact, if I can somehow muster some enthusiasm, I might even put on my shoes – I am already dressed and not in my PJs – and venture out, even if it’s for a few minutes. Right now, I’m not feeling that enthusiasm, but maybe later, depending on my mood.
An Unremarkable Sunday Night (What Else is New?)
Last night I did nothing of consequence. I took a break from playing Regiments, and I fell asleep watching 1951’s When Worlds Collide, one of the two movies included in my recently acquired Paramount Presents: The War of the Worlds (1953) and When Worlds Collide (1951) Limited Edition George Pal double feature set. Maybe I should have started watching the movie, which is only 82 minutes long, early in the evening, or perhaps I should not have consumed a bottle of Seagram’s Escapes Jamaican Me Happy. Oh, well. I own the Blu-ray, so it’s not like I can’t try watching it again, right?
My Blu-ray Collection Expands (What is Else is New? Redux)
And speaking of Blu-rays, another one of my pre-orders from Amazon is due to arrive tomorrow: Ken Burns’ newest documentary for PBS, The U.S. and the Holocaust.
Now, this three-part documentary aired recently on TV, and I might have watched it on the family room television set, which is the only one that is connected to Spectrum Cable and is the easiest conduit to WEDU, the Tampa Bay area PBS station. Why I did not is a mystery, since the Caregiver is hardly ever home now that she has a new love interest and therefore does not even watch The Bachelor, America’s Got Talent, or, the Force help me, nonstop viewing of shows about home renovation and house flipping on HGTV.
Even taking into account that S., The Caregiver’s youngest adult kid, likes to come home after her shift at a local Target store and watch Disney+ programming through the Roku gadget on the family room TV, she doesn’t monopolize that set the way that the Caregiver used to. Maybe I could have watched at least one episode of the “limited series” co-directed by Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein, but I made a conscious – if somewhat inexplicable – reason to wait till The U.S. and the Holocaust made its way to home media.
The ”street date” for The U.S. and the Holocaust is tomorrow, so Amazon will ship it to Lithia either late this afternoon or tonight, more likely than not from Amazon’s warehouse in Davenport.
For those of you who have not seen The U.S. and the Holocaust, here is how PBS describes Ken Burns’ latest investigation of modern American history:
The U.S. and the Holocaust is a three-part series that tells the story of how the American people grappled with one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the twentieth century, and how this struggle tested the ideals of our democracy. By examining events leading up to and during the Holocaust with fresh eyes, this film dispels the competing myths that Americans either were ignorant of what was happening to Jews in Europe, or that they merely looked on with callous indifference. The truth is much more nuanced and complicated, and the challenges that the American people confronted raise questions that remain essential to our society today: What is America’s role as a land of immigrants? What are the responsibilities of a nation to intervene in humanitarian crises? What should our leaders and the press do to shape public opinion? What can individuals do when governments fail to act?
And Finally, a New Star Wars Collectible Joins the Fold
On Wednesday, I also expect to be receiving another Star Wars The Black Series six-inch scale figure from this year’s new Hasbro offerings. This one will come in a regular Star Wars The Black Series package instead of the super-cool “Kenner” 1970s-style cardbacks because the character in question, Cantina Band leader Figrin D’an, did not have a Kenner action figure made in his likeness when the Ohio-based toymaker produced the original Star Wars line of figures, vehicles, and “action playsets” between 1978 and 1985.
While I did not make promises – either public or private – that I would not buy any more Star Wars The Black Series action figures in 2022 after my purchase of George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise), I had hoped to not come across one that I would not be able to resist getting. After all, I could use the money that I spend on the figures on other stuff, such as the occasional pizza or delivered meal from Outback Steakhouse, and it’s not like I can magically enlarge my room so I could add more Ikea shelves to place my collectibles, books, movies, and CDs on.
However, since I never acquired any figures of the seven-member (and all-Bith) cantina band seen in Star Wars (1977), Star Wars The Black Series Figrin D’an proved to be impossible to resist since the only other collectible I had with any representation of the Modal Nodes (besides the movie and the original soundtrack album) was Kenner’s 1979 Creature Cantina Action Playset, which came with a cardboard backdrop that bore an illustration of the band playing on stage while alien patrons looked on.
My mom and I tried to store that playset in a cardboard box in the attic at our home in East Wind Lake Village, but rodents got into the box and chewed up many cardboard items, including the Sandcrawler backdrop for my Land of the Jawas action playset. Result, I ended up not just without an intact Creature Cantina Action Playset (which was one of the hardest sets to find back then), but I also ended without any Star Wars figure-related representation of Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, (aka the “Cantina Band”), period.
I think Hasbro sells all the Modal Nodes, but I can only afford/find space for just one, so I decided to get the band leader/kloo horn player, Figrin D’an. Again, I admit that it was a purely impulsive purchase, but I don’t have a sex life, don’t go out to the movies – or anywhere, really – and I lead an extremely dull life here, so I get my bits of happiness wherever I can.
Anyway, I’ll be receiving my new figure on Wednesday, so I’m looking forward to that.
Well, it is now early afternoon, so I will close this post here and get on with – ha ha – the rest of my day. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
 One of the best things about PBS is that, at least when it comes to Ken Burns’ documentaries, its PBS Distribution division produces Blu-rays (and, presumably, DVDs) ahead of the broadcast premiere dattes and releases the home media versions almost simultaneously with the airing of the second or third episode of the documentary in question. Of all the recent (2014-2022) docs Burns and his Florentine Films team have made for PBS, I have all except for Country Music, which is probably one of the few topics that Burns has covered since his monumental The Civil War was broadcast in 1990 that I have little to no interest in.
(Re Country Music: Am I missing out on a great documentary? Probably, but Citizen Kane is also supposedly a great movie, and I simply can’t imagine sitting through it. And, as I’ve discovered from my recent attempt to get every Steven Spielberg-directed feature film on Blu-ray, not only is it an expensive project, but you also end up getting stuff you don’t really enjoy [I’m looking at you, Hook!] just for the sake of being a “completist.” If someone watches Country Music and gives me a compelling argument as to why I should get it, I’ll listen. Right now, though…it’s a “pass” from me.)