Author Archives: Cmsciabarra

Holy Cow! Yanks Clinch AL Wild Card Spot!

I’m shocked. Shocked. The Yanks and Tampa Bay were 0-0 in the bottom of the ninth and Aaron Judge drove in his 98th RBI, as Tyler Wade scored. Yanks win, 1-0.

Fine pitching and clutch defense (like Gio Urshela holding onto a catch that sent him tumbling into the Toronto dugout) gave the Yanks their 92nd win of the year and sends them into an AL Wild Card spot. I’ll take it!

(And they may have swept the Red Sox in their last stint at Fenway Park, but they got a one-game playoff in Fenway on Tuesday. Oy…)

Ten Creepy! Scary! Shocking! LOL! Horror Film Moments: “The Omen” (II)

The second installment in my “cinematic moments” series, “Ten Creepy! Scary! Shocking! LOL! Horror Film Moments” is from the original (and best) 1976 version of “The Omen,” which, like “The Exorcist” before it, featured a stellar cast and fine screenplay. And, also, like “The Exorcist,” it features many creepy, shocking scenes. I’m posting one of those today, though it was really hard to pick just one. It’s when American diplomat Robert Thorn (played by Gregory Peck) returns home to check his son Damien’s scalp for the mark of the Antichrist in the form of a 666 birthmark. The tension leading up to his discovery and what happens when the housekeeper, Mrs. Blaylock (played by Billie Whitelaw), attacks him, is palpable, to say the least.

“The Omen” — Be careful what you look for!

Ten Creepy! Scary! Shocking! LOL! Horror Film Moments: “The Exorcist” (I)

It’s the first of October! And on the last day of this month, it’s Halloween! As a follow-up to my June 2021 “cinematic moments” series, “Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes“, I’m beginning today a new installment that I call: “Ten Creepy! Scary! Shocking! LOL! Horror Film Moments.”

I’ll post these throughout the month, ending on Halloween, of course.

Ah! What exactly is a horror film? Well, here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

A horror film is one that seeks to elicit fear or disgust in its audience for entertainment purposes. Horror films additionally aim to evoke viewers’ nightmaresrevulsions and terror of the unknown or the macabre. Initially inspired by literature from authors such as Edgar Allan PoeBram Stoker, and Mary Shelley, horror has existed as a film genre for more than a century. Horror may also overlap with the fantasysupernatural fiction, and thriller genres.


Not a bad working description. All I can say is that I’ve been fascinated by the genre since childhood, and growing up, there was nothing like being in a crowded movie theater with a bunch of people screaming in shock or breaking out in nervous laughter after a particularly disturbing scene had wreaked havoc on screen! I consumed all the “monster magazines” I could lay my hands on and regularly watched everything from Zackerly to Chiller Theatre [YouTube links] on WPIX (Channel 11) in New York City.

But nothing on WPIX could have prepared me for what I saw in 1973 at the age of 13 when “The Exorcist” premiered. Today, some folks might laugh at this particular scene, the first in our series of ten creepy, scary, shocking film moments, but nobody was laughing in the theater that day when I saw this unfold on the screen. It scared the bejesus out of me (no pun intended). Even looking back, I can say that few horror films capture the terror of this movie, which, in its psychological and visual exploration of the battle between good and evil, the sacred and the profane, still packs a powerful punch.

Song of the Day #1887

Song of the Day: Diana Ross and the Supremes Medley [YouTube link] ends our 2021 Summer Music Festival (Dance Medley Edition) with a trip to Classic Motown. The Autumnal Equinox arrives in the Northern Hemisphere at 3:21 p.m. (ET) today. So we’re going way back to this classic Motown group as this festival concludes. This medley includes such hits as “Stop! In the Name of Love“, “Back in My Arms Again“, “Come See About Me“, “Love is Like an Itching in My Heart“, “Where Did Our Love Go?“, and “Baby Love“. Till next summer … keep on dancin‘ [YouTube link to a “spotlight” on Diana Ross, produced by Bobby “DJ” Guttadaro, among those DJs to whom I dedicated this year’s Summer Music Festival].

Taking out the Trash on Social Media

At one point, only a couple of months ago, I was nearing 5000 Facebook “friends”, whom I was adding throughout the years without giving much thought to it. But the increasing toxicity over the last few years has been palpable. It led me to “trim” my FB “friend” list by over 4000 people.* I’ve even invited some folks to unfriend me if they didn’t like what I had to say, and lo and behold, my wish was granted! THANK GOODNESS! I have had it with the toxicity and the nastiness in social media. I’ve seen it up close and personal for all too many years. Life is too short.

Taking out the trash …

___
* And for the record, I still have over 940 FB “friends”. We don’t all agree! But there is a difference between having a disagreement and being disagreeable. (Actually, it’s now below 940… so clearly, the approach is working!)

But more importantly, it’s not just about taking toxicity out of the airspace; at root, it’s about self-care, indeed. Nobody should have to devote one moment of their time to something that is as corrosive as that kind of interaction. It erodes us and it diminishes us. All the more reason to take the intiative and do what’s right for yourself.

Happy Anniversary, Bro and Wan!

Just wanted to give a shout-out to my brother, Carl Barry and my sister-in-law, Joanne Barry—they are children of the stage, after all, as wonderful jazz musicians—for a Happy Anniversary. Yes, I call my brother “Bro” and my sister-in-law “Wan”, and it’s their $#-th wedding anniversary, and I would have put up this as a “Song of the Day”, except I did so on this date back in 2005! “Do you remember the 21st night of September?” I sure do! Many more happy and healthy returns, with much love, always!

September” also happens to be one of my all-time favorite Earth, Wind & Fire hits, with a wonderful lead vocal by the late, great Maurice White. Below is the group performing the song, but also check out an all-star performance of it at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors [YouTube link].

Facebook: Trust, but Verify!

Earlier today, I was invited by Facebook to complete a process of authentication that would secure my profile with a “verified badge,” such that people who read my posts on my Timeline can trust that the words come from me! A check mark now appears to the right of my name on my profile page and to the right of my name anywhere that I make a comment. Hovering over that check mark, you’ll see that “Facebook confirmed that this is the authentic profile for this public figure.” Public figure! Wow!

As Facebook explains:

The verified badge appears next to a Facebook Page or profile. It means Facebook has confirmed that the Page or profile is the authentic presence of the public figure or global brand it represents. We don’t use the verified badge to endorse or recognize public figures or brands. The verified badge is a tool to help people find public figures and brands’ real Pages and profiles. If a Page or profile has the verified badge, we’ve confirmed that it represents who it says it does. If the badge isn’t there, it may not be the real Page or profile. Posts, stories and other content from verified Pages and profiles aren’t verified by Facebook.

So rest assured, my Facebook account is not a sock account (or, more properly, a “sock puppet account“), and my page represents an “authentic,” “unique,” “complete,” and “notable” profile. Given all that’s happened on Facebook over the last few years, I don’t know if this is a plus or a minus. But there aren’t many other folks who would want to “own” the dialectical libertarian “brand” I represent. I knew who I was before this verification process. I know who I am today. And, now, apparently, so do you!

smh 🙂

Song of the Day #1886

Song of the Day: 1987 Disconet Top Tune Medley [YouTube link], mixed by Tuta Aquino and Dennis Muyet, was one of two medleys that Disconet produced that year, the last annual “Top Tune” medley offered by the subscription service. This particular one includes such hits as “I Want Your Sex“, “Looking for a New Love“, “Silent Morning“, “Catch Me (I’m Falling)“, “Fascinated“, “No Lies“, and a sizzling dash of “The Pleasure Principle” (by Janet Jackson).

WTC Remembrance: Tribute in Light Continues …

This week I published my essay, “Twenty Years Later: Remembrance and Rebirth“, which marks the twentieth anniversary, today, of the events of September 11, 2001.

In 2012, I published photos I had taken on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy, including the one below. The Tribute in Light has always been a poignant reminder of what happened on that date, “two beams, symbolic of Twin Towers, that have shown up every September 11th. In cloud cover, it appears like … a ghostly glow beamed upward toward the heavens from what was once called Ground Zero, a dual-apparition of the Twin Towers of memory, powered by the nearly 3,000 souls who lost their lives on that horrific day.”

The Tribute in Light continues tonight, to mark the twentieth anniversary. If you’re in or near NYC, it’s worth a look …


The World Trade Center Site:  A Tribute in Light.  At Night, 9-11-11.

And this year (courtesy of EarthCam):

September 11, 2021

Never forget. ❤