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Archive for November 5th, 2012

by M. Roca

The Big Lebowski is a great example of the power of cinema to transcend its original medium into the wider realm of pop culture and cult fandom. If you ever happen to walk down Thompson Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, you could bump into a store wholly dedicated to the Coen brothers late 90s film. Stocked with paraphernalia and merchandise devoted to the comedy, The Little Lebowski Shop offers a glimpse of the movie’s continuously enduring popularity over time. Once inside, a visitor is thrust into the Dude’s world, and you can get the T-shirt to prove it!! Keeping one’s johnson from deliberately peeing on the store’s rug would seem insurmountable. Along with the (now) 10 years of beautiful tradition that the Lebowski fests (held all over the country and beyond since 2002) offer enthusiasts and bowlers alike, you can plainly see how Lebowski’s legacy has quickly become a far-reaching cultural phenomenon.

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Utility pole downed after tree fell causing a transformer explosion near neighboring Cliffside Park High School, where Melanie and Sammy attend.

One of many uprooted trees near our home blocking roads.

by Sam Juliano

The devastation is real, and the heartbreaking photos and personal stories have painted a bleak picture.  The New Jersey shore, and sections of Staten Island, Long Island and Brooklyn were decimated, and the human loss and financial damage has diminished every other aspect of life, typically bringing on questions about mortality and perspective.  Here in Fairview, New Jersey (just minutes west of the Hudson River and Manhattan) the town is still beset with power outages, with about 50% still in the dark. (update: On Sunday night at the posting of this MMD, the town is about 85% back)  My 82 year-old father remains without heat (he was restored this morning) as the temperatures plummeted to the 30’s, and I finally convinced him to spend a weekend night in Lucille’s School, which is the only one in town that has power until Friday.   I waited almost three hours to fill my car gas tank, and witnessed tempers flaring and line cheaters all over the place.  It even took a half hour waiting on a line for a cup of coffee.  The domino effect has impacted every aspect of one’s daily routine, and the storm’s aftermath is really all everyone has been thinking about.  This sad reality won’t be disappearing anytime soon.  The only silver lining for many of us in this northern New Jersey community is that we didn’t get anywhere near the amount of rain that was expected, and as a result our basements were bone dry.  This scenario was much different last year when the Halloween snowstorm caused power outages that ultimately flooded basements, my own included.  Manhattan movie theaters have been closed, though lower Manhattan has slowly been getting power back.  The classic movie mecca, the Film Forum has been closed all week, though Broadway theaters have been moving back into action.  But putting things into proper perspective, it almost seems like a guilty focus to think too hard on it, as so many have so much more on their plate at this time.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my dear friends and close blogging associates for the e mails of concern and support.  The overwhelming majority of those associated with the comedy countdown have sent me personal e mails during and after the storm, and I extend my heartfelt appreciation.  The compassion and concern sent my way has been extraordinary.  The first photo taken near our high school is captured on a video that boggles the mind.  I have it up as the first comment of this thread.  This is right alongside the high school I attended, and the one my two oldest kids presently are students at. (more…)

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