News of the Week: New Indiana Jones, Old Computers, and The Most Interesting Man in the World

This week, Bob Sassone approaches Indiana Jones with trepidation, Windows 95 with frustration, Richard Simmons with concern, and National Oatmeal Cookie Day with an appetite.

An Indina Jones-style hat, keys, and a whip.

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Indiana Jones Has Fallen and He Can’t Get Up

Did you know that Harrison Ford is only a year younger than Bernie Sanders? Keep that in mind when you imagine him in another Indiana Jones film (Ford, not Bernie Sanders). A fifth film in the series was announced this week, with both Ford and director Steven Spielberg ready to give it another go. It will be released in 2019, when Ford will be 77. If he’s not the guy cracking the whip and jumping from jeeps, maybe there will be a younger guy, and Ford can be to him what Sean Connery was to Ford in the third movie (though I’m sure a lot of fans don’t want that younger guy to be Shia LaBeouf).

Of course, Twitter had fun with the announcement and came up with some possible titles for the movie, including Indiana Jones and the Keys He Left Somewhere, Indiana Jones and the Golden Corral Dinner at 4:30, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Prunes. But this is probably my favorite:

 

Teens vs. Windows 95

Not to sound old, but … kids these days.

This video from The Fine Brothers — part of a series where they show kids and teens old technology — has a group of teens that are shown an old desktop computer running Windows 95. Their reactions are what you might expect, everything from commenting on how old the system looks to how hard it is to find the power button.

It was amusing, but then I thought … wait a second.

I don’t know why something is automatically “unknown” to someone simply based on age. I can understand someone younger hating something because it’s different from what they’re used to, but it would be great if they were flexible and curious enough to understand what the tech is and what era it comes from. I mean, look at some of the reactions they have:

“If you go somewhere and they don’t have Wi-Fi, that’s the worst thing that can ever happen to you.”

“Everything looks so dull and ancient.”

“I have no clue what year this is from, but I feel like this is from before I was born.”

“Windows 95 … as in 1995?”

“It’s prehistoric!”

Sure, maybe they haven’t used the system before, but to be this confused? I think it’s part of the attitude that younger people have today — and excuse me if I go into full-on old-crank mode for a moment — where they don’t know about or care about anything that happened before they were born. It reminds me of what happened a few years ago on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking. Teens and young adults commented at the time, after watching the movie Titanic, that they didn’t know it was based on a real event! How is it possible for someone 16 or 18 or 21 years old not to know that, no matter what era they were born in? To people of a certain age now, Full House is old and retro, and they wouldn’t know Lyndon Johnson or Abbott and Costello or All in the Family if you mentioned them. Black-and-white movies make them antsy and bored, and anything that was used before they were born is automatically “worse.”

And I don’t think that teens have been like this in every era. I mean, when I was 18 years old, in 1983, I knew who The Andrews Sisters were, even if they were popular 40 years before.

Thankfully, one kid says, “Those who know technology should know something beyond the current. They need to know part of the past.” That makes me feel a little better. But if these kids actually think a desktop computer running Windows 95 is ancient, their heads would explode if they saw the first Mac or a rotary phone attached to a wall.

Is Richard Simmons OK?

Richard Simmons
Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Health and fitness guru Richard Simmons hasn’t been in the limelight lately, and that might be a problem.

The New York Daily News published a rather startling investigative report about Simmons, saying he could be trapped in his own home and held hostage by his maid and other people who work for him. The article even interviews close friends of Simmons who have been denied contact with him and who are worried about his health and safety.

In a phone interview on Monday, Simmons told Today that he was fine and not being held hostage. Now, you might think, sure, that’s exactly what someone being held hostage would say! But maybe we should take his word for it and just leave him alone?

Of course, this very same phone interview concerns those friends even more because they say he doesn’t seem like himself and that something’s going on.

But if there is something going on, don’t worry: It’s Donald Trump to the rescue!

Where No Interesting Man Has Gone Before

I don’t usually write about beer commercials, but when I do, it’s often about the Most Interesting Man in the World ads that Dos Equis has been running the past several years. All that is about to change, though, because the company has decided to end the series of commercials and move in a different direction. The MIMITW, played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith, is going out in a spectacular way in one final ad in which he blasts off into outer space:

Goldsmith, by the way, did a lot more than the Dos Equis ads. He’s been an actor in TV and movies since the early 1960s, sometimes billed as Jonathan Lippe.

It’s the 75th Anniversary of TV Game Shows!

Bob Barker with a pie and a oversized stick of dynamite.
Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18592298

I’m the biggest fan of the game show channel BUZZR — if you can fall in love with a TV network, I’m in love with this one — but recently I’ve become a little disappointed with them. More on that in a minute.

2016 marks the 75th anniversary of the television game show. The first game show on broadcast television, which debuted in 1941, was Truth or Consequences, which aired on WNBT on July 1. (Another show, Spelling Bee, aired in 1938, but not on commercial TV.) One of the ways that BUZZR is celebrating is by creating this 2016 BUZZR Bracket, where they pit 16 of the greatest game show hosts against each other in a March Madness–type contest. It kicks off on March 22, and the final will be held April 3.

I was going to say how this was such a great, fun idea — and it is! — but then I noticed something. One of the greatest game show hosts in the history of television isn’t even in the mix! John Daly, the fantastic host of What’s My Line? for 17 years, is missing (as are To Tell The Truth host Bud Collyer and I’ve Got A Secret’s Garry Moore). How does that happen, especially when your channel runs these older shows and they’re a major part of your schedule? Yet they find space in the bracket for Joe Garagiola?!? This needs to be fixed before the contest starts! (For the record, my finalists would be Daly and Bill Cullen.)

Speaking of those three shows, I really hope BUZZR starts running different episodes. They’re stuck on the same single seasons of the shows that they’ve been running for months and months, and while they’re entertaining, I’ve seen each one approximately 27 times. I hope they actually own later seasons and start running them soon.

Today is National Oatmeal Cookie Day

January was National Oatmeal Month, and back then, I pointed you to Norman Rockwell’s Oatmeal Cookie recipe. And now here’s National Oatmeal Cookie Day, so I’ll point you to some more recipes, including these cherry oatmeal cookies, these oatmeal cream cookies, and these black and white oatmeal cookies I made several years ago that everyone seemed to like.

You can also make these apple oatmeal squares. They aren’t technically cookies, but I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Spring begins (March 20)

Take a look at some of the great springtime covers The Saturday Evening Post has had over the years.

Alcatraz closes (March 21, 1963)

It was a military prison during the Civil War and became a federal penitentiary in 1934. It’s no longer a prison, but you can take a tour.

“Who Shot J.R.?” episode of Dallas airs (March 21, 1980)

Season-ending cliffhangers are common now, but back in 1980, they were a rare thing. This episode, titled “A House Divided,” shocked viewers and had them guessing all summer long. Fans had to wait until November to find out who the culprit was!

Louis L’Amour born (March 22, 1908)

The author, known as “America’s Storyteller” for his many western novels and stories, was born in Jamestown, North Dakota.

Patrick Henry’s “Liberty or Death” speech (March 23, 1775)

Here’s the full text of Henry’s famous speech.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City (March 25, 1911)

A dropped match caused the deaths of 146 workers at the Manhattan clothing company. The disaster led to new work-safety laws and labor laws.

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Comments

  1. Knowing (today’s) Disney, they’ll probably want to do yet another Indiana Jones film with Ford in 2026 when he’s 84, too. Apparently he doesn’t think he has enough money by now.

    As far as Shia LaBeouf goes, perhaps fate can arrange it so the next time Ford crashes a private plane on a golf course, LaBeouf will be in the right place at the right time to really be transformed.

    On the ‘Teens vs. Windows 95’ I hope you meant you could understand someone younger finding the old technology “curious” but not “hating” it. I agree with you that previous generations of teens did know a lot more about the past, and were open to different time periods.

    I related to ‘Paper Moon’ at 16 in 1973 which took place in 1934. Love the Little Rascals, Three Stooges, Marx Brothers and more. I’ve known most of my life a huge percentage of what I loved best was before my time, and had NO problem with it.

    These kids have been ruined by technology to the point that all they care about is right now, right now, right now. They can’t see that “right now” is, and has been, a time of nothingness for well over 20 years; just a long, never-ending, generic “present”. They have no perspective.

    Movies, music, clothes, hairstyles, cars (4-door sedans, SUV’s, trucks etc.) have been mind-numbingly similar all their lives, year to year to year. They’re on tech overload with over-stimulation saturation 24/7 that never lets up. Furthermore they seem to like/thrive the toxicity of what they’re living in; a world of extremes, no common sense, civility, and mass shootings as normal.

    For one class I had in high school, we had to write a movie review (got an A+) of our insights into the film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?” (1966) a one-of-a-kind black and white film that had the class riveted to it over the 3 days we watched what LIFE magazine called ‘Liz in a Shocker!’ for good reason.

    17 year olds now wouldn’t have the patience or maturity to watch a minute of it, even if their grade depended on it! Beyond the black & white horror of it, you actually had to pay attention to the subtleties of the actors’ expressions and mannerisms in addition to what was being said. Yeah, baby!

    No CGI/pyro-technic crutches every few seconds. No. They’d be running out of the classroom to the bathroom even if they were wearing Depends! So let them have their “technology”. They’re no generation to be jealous of, geez.

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