Defending my Movies . . . . .

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I was thinking the other day about movies.  I seldom go to the theater but I watch movies often at home, many of them on Netflix.  Amazing that we can do so.  I remember when going to the movies was a big deal.  We saved cash for this purpose, as kids, and before going to the theater we went to Woolworth’s for a sack of chocolate stars.  We bought the ticket for a few nickels and were shown to our seats by a uniformed usher with a flashlight.

When the movie was funny I laughed non-stop, and when the movie I was sad  I cried.  I often took the memories of the story home with me and lived it for a while until I had to admit it wasn’t mine.  Even the chocolate stars could not stay with me.  What I couldn’t eat  melted in the little sack in my lap.

Just when I’m thinking it’s hard to find a good movie anymore, I run across one.  It might be one I’d never heard of.  It might have meaning for me now that it couldn’t have had years ago.  It’s fun to explore.  English movies have great plots and gorgeous scenery.  TV serials that I never saw are on Netflix now, and I can watch the chapters as I please . . maybe two or three at a time.

I wondered the other day what I would say is my favorite movie, and I chose one made in 1991, written by and starring Albert Brooks.  It also starred Meryl Streep, although she’s not the one I would have chosen for the role.  I decided I would like to watch this movie again, but I couldn’t find it on Netflix and I doubt it is in Red Box at the store.  So I went to eBay and found lots of copies for sale, and was able to purchase a new one which, including postage, cost me less than going to a theater.  How amazing that we have so many opportunities within a minute’s reach.

I am going to have a theater party some evening . . or some Sunday afternoon . . and then ask my friends to share their thoughts.  Better a movie that makes us think than a movie that leaves us with fear, ugly memories of murder, explosions,, wars, drugs, etc.  Oh . . and every silly story that could ever be dreamed up about a wedding!

Smoothing feelings in rough waters . . . . .

Doris and pirateClick to enlarge picture.

Remember a story I told you recently about the pirate who stole my billfold in Italy?  Well, it’s happened again, but on a larger scale.

I always thought of pirates as blustery one-eyed fellows in knickers with beards  and big hats, who tie you up and then steal your treasure.  But now I find I’m dealing with an entire band of pirates . . who are all invisible.

I’ve found that one leaped onto my boat recently. Let me tell you how I discovered he’s here, lurking, perhaps stealing only a little at a time.

From time to time I go online to the sites that sell my book Playing Life by Ear, just to see how things are going. Maybe another person has written a review.

On the Amazon page I see my ad and, yes, there is my tenth review, five stars still holding up. Then I scroll down and here is another ad for my book, with the same picture and my name, but instead of the $16.95 price it lists the price as $30.00. What?

And just below that in “other offerings” I see you can buy the book (used) from hkstrength for the price of $460.80. Or you can buy it from lifebook1221 (new) for the price of $576.

I’m wanting to call these guys up on deck so I can punch ‘em in the face and then send them overboard, down the chute. But, wait. This is not my ship. I’m just renting it from Amazon and they don’t care what goes on here.

I put out a call to see if other pirates have commandeered my treasure onto their boats, and I find the ocean full of them. They are offering my book for various prices or, in most cases, are offering free downloads. They have fancy names, or simple ones like readmybooksfreeonline.com.

I spend a few hours digesting this information and then researching online, where I find that other authors are in the same boat and have come to realize there is not much they can do about it. And their anger has worn off when their reason told them:

1.  Pirate sites offering their book for sale are often scamming to steal credit card information.  They have not stolen the real treasure, just the cover.

2.  Pirate sites that offer stolen books for free, then draw the reader into another plan with a hefty monthly fee.  Only idiots jump onto that boat

3.  People who go online looking for free e-books were not going to buy your book anyway.

4.  Even bought from a pirate in a back alley, your book may reach another reader and perhaps touch his life.

And, in my case, it is an easy choice. The reader will choose my authentic softcover book for the price of $16.95 or the e-book at $3.95 anyday . . instead of a used book for the price of $460.80.  I’ve got the real bargain.