She’s putting down The Flintstones; how do you put down The Flintstones?

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There’s an article in AV Club by Emily Todd VanDerWerff, who rips apart my favorite all-time cartoon.

The article, “In The Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera found a shameless rip-off that worked,” she tells of how it’s a take-off of the Honeymooners.

I guess I always knew that, but I always thought it was an homage to the Honeymooners, I mean there’s a thought in life and art that nothing is original. Everything is “stolen.”

I wrote about a book once called, “Steal Like An Artist,” where the author Austin Kleon says that there are no original ideas.

I guess I’m touchy about The Flintstones because I think that’s my favorite all time cartoon. Fred Flintstone was the first character I would draw as a child. When people are asked who their influences are, I always say Hanna-Barbera first, followed by Charles Schulz.

But my early years, I mean, like being two and three and four, was The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and Quick Draw McGraw.

My earliest childhood memory is me running around the apartment in Brooklyn naked (I was about two or three years old), my mother was running after me trying to get me into the bathtub and Huckleberry Hound was coming on the tv – the actual theme song for the show was playing! I can see this scene in my head and remember it!

The writer, VanDerWerff is probably a millennial who doesn’t get it, she probably grew up with the Cartoon network and all those other channels like Boomerang and Nickelodeon. They show cartoons all day. But we watched cartoons when they were on, not at any whim of time or day and we didn’t have 20 channels just for cartoons. So we appreciated the cartoons we had. It sounds like I trudged through snow to get to school, but you know what I’m saying.

The only thing I like is her name – VanDerWerff, because it sounds like Vander Pyl, the voice of Wilma Flintstone – Jean Vander Pyl.

By the way, I have a comic that I did which is a spoof of The Flintstones. I took it out of circulation, because I would like to publish it again, but people find it somewhere on the internet and ask to buy it for various things – business cards, invitations, things like that. I’m always surprised that every once in awhile I’ll get a random email from a stranger. It wasn’t for sale anywhere, people just out of the blue contact me and ask to purchase the rights. It started last summer. And I often wonder how many people have just taken it and used it without knowing how to reach me or that they should ask for permission. But it’s interesting that it’s usually the same comic all the time, a Flintstones comic.

The Flintstones is my favorite cartoon and always will be.

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Sticking up for printed newspapers

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A guy posted this old photo of people reading the newspapers on a subway in NYC on a Facebook page I follow. He commented on how people used to read the papers daily and mentions that he hasn’t read a paper in years. I mean years, like since the 1990s, he says.

If he felt some sort of way to post the photo, why not support the newspapers once in awhile and buy  printed copy? He makes it seem like something from the past that can’t be attained anymore, when all he has to do is go out and buy one – a fresh one, printed today with today’s news and features!

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Other people were mentioning that they hadn’t read a printed paper in years. And I don’t know why, but it really got me pissed. I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut these days so I didn’t comment or reply to any of them but I felt like telling them all off. They all sound like people of  certain age, one guy was mentioning reading the New York Journal-American for God’s sake, I think that went out in 1966, so doesn’t he feel sort of an obligation or curiosity to at least pick up a paper now and then?

I had posted this great video about the NYC newspaper strike of 1945 here in the blog awhile back; I watched it again the other day on my tv- it was so enjoyable on the big screen.

I’ve spoken before about dumping the daily newspaper, but I can’t do it. I tried going just digital, but for some reason, I need to hold it in my hands and read it that way every day, even though I’ve gotten 99% of the news and features on the internet the day or night before.

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Italy dreaming

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I have a Sunday routine – I get up early, go to the gym, get breakfast, come home and watch CBS Sunday Morning. It’s always a great way to start a Sunday, the stories are always great.

This past Sunday (today, if you are reading this when I posted it, the whole show took place in Italy. Jane Pauley was based in Florence and there were stories from all over the country. So beautiful. You can watch the whole episode here, free.

I’ve always dreamed of spending long periods of time in Italy, you know, like maybe a whole summer or so. I’m usually in a rut – a travel rut, I go to the same places over and over again – this summer will be New York City again.

Something interesting that was mentioned in Sunday’s show, and something I had heard in the past is that if you are of Italian descent and have ancestors who came to the United States from Italy, like I do, you can become a citizen of Italy – have a dual citizenship between the US and Italy. That’s amazing to me. This also gives you some sort of citizenship as part of Europe according to the program, so that’s even more amazing.

It’s sort of full circle – my grandparents came to the US for a better life and I would consider going back to Italy for a better life.

In 2011, The Jersey Shore group, yes, that group, Snookie, et al, spent time in Florence. I started watching the show back then for the scenery. No seriously.  Here’s a NY Times article on the Jersey Shore people going to Italy.

I like so many areas – Milan, Florence, Naples, it’s hard to decide. I guess I should at least plan my trip before deciding where to live, right?

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My dirty car

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I’ve gotta start washing my car. As I left my condo building the other day, our maintenance man who was watering the plants with the hose asked me if I wanted him to wash down the car because it was dirty. Then later in the day I was at the mechanic and he said that I don’t take very much care of the car. The car runs perfectly and I always have it serviced and have things repaired, I just don’t wash it. Then he offered to buy it, this is the second time in my life that a mechanic offered to buy my car. I sold one to my mechanic years ago, this one I’m not ready to part with yet.

I’m too lazy to wash the car myself, for a few bucks, someone else will do it, so why not? This guy Jerry comes to our building and washes the cars. I usually wait for him to come to the building to do someone else’s car, so when I see him, I ask him to get to my car next and it’s done right away. If I call him to come over, he takes hours to get here and I end up sitting around all day waiting for him to arrive.

The car wash I loved to go to in the past is now a condo, so that’s out.

Funny thing, when I first moved into the condo here about 16 years ago, the day I moved in, the neighbor who parks right next to me was washing his car and I noticed he was always washing his car. I guess it was therapeutic for him, he loved to wash the car.

A few months later, he said to me, “Don’t you notice how clean your car is?” I said, “Yes, why?” He said, “Because “I’ve been washing it every time I wash my own! I couldn’t stand how dirty it was!” I was shocked. I told him I thought it got clean from the rain. We don’t get much rain and I park underground, but I thought the times I was out and about driving in the rain, it washed the car.

He got insulted. I don’t think he ever washed my car again after that.

I think this is the coolest photo representing the 1930s

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I came across this photo online. It’s 1935 NYC.

I find it interesting because the guy looks so cool. I don’t normally think of the 1930s as being anything when I think of the 1930s. I don’t know why, I think Art Deco was part of that period, but when I think of the 1920s I get an image, same with the 1940s and future decades, but never the 1930s. If I do get an image of the ’30s, it’s the depression, I never think of anything this cool and calm and be a scene I’d like to be a part of. Who is he? What is he reading?

To me the 1920s, 1950s, and 1980s seem to be very similar from what I’ve read and seen in movies and on tv. They seem like prosperous times, safe times and fun times. I think of the roaring 20s as being the Happy Days 50s and my favorite decade the 1980s.

If I could, I would visit the ’20s and ’50s. And if I could, I would visit the 1980s and relive them starting on January 1, 1980 and up until December 31, 1989 and then do it all over again. I sometimes wonder what that might be like after we die. Can we do that? Can we visit various time periods and live there or witness them every day, if we want to?

Eating healthy

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I thought I was a healthy eater but guess not. I ran into a friend at Publix the other day. I found it interesting that I always see her at the same area in Publix. I run into her often and she’s always at the produce section. She told me because that’s the only area she shops in, the produce area, she doesn’t buy any prepared food, which I do. She took one look at my shopping cart and threw a fit. I had things that I thought were healthy, like a frozen dinner that was chicken and broccoli, but she told me it had too much sodium, it did – 1050 milligrams (mg) ! I don’t buy canned soup because it has 750 mg of sodium, and this “healthy meal” had over 1000 mg!

I ended up putting so much of the food I had in the cart back and after a tour around the produce section with my friend, I ended up with Kiwi, watermelon, watercress, spinach, tuna, lemons, strawberries, peppers, apples (which I hate) you know, everything green and red, nothing with sugar or salt and I felt so much better for it. I do honestly try to eat vegetarian if I can but I guess I was lax in reading all of the labels. People in the store were laughing as they watched us go around. I felt so foolish because I really do think I’m eating healthy and I guess I eat healthier than most people, but I had a lot to learn.

I almost ended up with another friend for breakfast that morning at a place we call the Dirty Deli, which serves all greasy diner food. Glad I didn’t go that day.

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But I did end up at a festival in town later in the day and I cheated. I had a cheeseburger and then as I was walking down the street I saw these great doughnuts by The Salty Donut which is this great place in Miami. They had a promotion going on – $1.00 per doughnut, which is quite cheap for them. So I had one, as you can see here.

I’ll get back on the wagon tomorrow, I have all that green and red produce I bought, so I’ll eat it, which I do love. Doughnuts and burgers in moderation.

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Me eating a tiramisu doughnut. It was only $1.00! 

Just attending a lot of art things

Sorry I haven’t posted here lately, there’s really not much going on. Just living my life.

Been to a bunch of art festivals we have during the winter here in Miami. There was one today, Saturday, a block party called the French Quarter Block Party and there were all New Orleans-themed things like a crawfish boil, beignets, jambalaya, and things like that. With live music, drinks, ice cream and all. The whole town came out. We had a few block parties this winter. I live in a small village in the Miami area.

It was lots of fun. I cover the news for my town, so I have that here in the Coconut Grove Grapevine. Along with a bunch of other art happenings I attended this winter. I interviewed a bunch of artists who participated in the arts festivals in town and also attended shows in Miami starting with the Art Basel events in December. I think I posted some of it here in the Tomversation blog. It’s also all in the Grapevine.