There’s the Barney Frank documentary premiering at 9pm this Friday on Showtime — COMPARED TO WHAT: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank. How far we’ve come. If you don’t get Showtime, stream it for free as part of a free trial? (Full disclosure: I helped a little to get this made. And that photo of Barney and the fawn? Taken in my back yard. The deer clearly has no idea who Barney is.)
There’s A SINNER IN MECCA that you can now buy or rent on iTunes. It’s not a load of laughs, but 11 of the 13 Rotten Tomato critics give it a thumbs up. (Full disclosure: I helped a little to get this made.)
There’s the BENGHAZI HEARING Thursday (the eighth Republican investigation of this tragic event, designed, in the words of almost-House-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, to erode Hillary’s poll numbers) that you can watch live on C-SPAN. (Full disclosure: though enthusiastically neutral among all our fine Democratic candidates, I agree with Bernie.)
And there’s STEVE JOBS, which you can see today at a theater near you, and which I absolutely loved. The acting is great; the dialog is unmistakably Aaron Sorkin; and the story — well, depending on our ages, we’ve lived through part, much, or all of it.
Again: how far we’ve come.
I am 10 years old. I am clueless, but have been taken with four classmates to some after-school workshop where we are told we will that day make our own computers. We are each given a little piece of peg board, some wire, switches, flashlight bulbs, a battery, and a shared soldering gun. It was explained that if we did it right, we could make a computer that would add 2 + 2. And I think I succeeded with mine, sort of — without in any way grasping the larger point.
Now, no longer 10 but still largely clueless, I am at Monday’s 10:30 am showing of STEVE JOBS as my iWatch discreetly vibrates. A glance at my wrist reveals a message from Apple! (I am not making this up.) My iPhone 6S Plus has been delivered.
Can you imagine my grandmother living through the transition from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles and airplanes? To radio, to car radios, to television? To antibiotics and . . . air conditioning?
Well, eight years ago there were no smart phones, and thus no apps, and thus no modern (post-modern?) life as we know it.
Eight years. And it’s only speeding up.
I remember getting a “review copy” of the $2,500 Mac because there was a chance I would write about it or help adapt my DOS-based “Managing Your Money” software to run on it. (Friday, I got an email that began: “I’ve been using MYM on the Mac since 1989 and continue to do so, even though the last OS it would run under was 10.4.11, about 10 years ago. I have to continue to buy used computers to run it on and for spares.”)
I remember meeting Steve Jobs late one night in the lobby of the building whose elevator we would share once he moved in. (He never did, but spent three years renovating it and actually footed the bill for to upgrade that elevator so it would run more quietly.) We chatted briefly about the building, Apple, and my software.
That minute or two was the sum total of our entire lifelong contact — but what an impact he has had on the way I live. All for the good. Loved the movie. What a time to be alive.