BASIC BIITTNER : Adios, Amigos

Monday, August 13, 2018

I wrote my first “Basic Biittner” column over a dozen years ago, and today I present my final column.

As of August 24, 2018, I will no longer be a Chronicle Times employee, as I am retiring from the active work force. I know, some of you think that happened a long time ago, or perhaps you may even feel that I never really JOINED the active work force ... Anyway, the point is, I’m leaving the newspaper business.

But before I go ...

I do have one more thing I ‘d like to get off my chest ...

A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away?), theaters used to show newsreels before the feature film, so theatergoers could catch up on the latest (well, two or three weeks ago anyway) news, in living black-and-white footage. When television became commonplace, however, theatergoers could get the news every day - and in a much more timely manner - right in their homes.

Theaters then often ran cartoons prior to the movie, but those, too, became a thing of the past, as the same cartoons were often available on home tv.

Trailers, or Coming Attractions, however, have remained a staple of pre-movie viewing at the theater - sometimes even an overwhelming number of previews, to the point where one might say to himself, “All right already! Show me the movie I came to see!”

If any of you have watched a film in a movie theater lately, however, you may have noticed a disturbing new trend as the cinema, once an escape from home entertainment, is being infiltrated with previews of television shows and - egad - commercials!

One particular commercial, which I found mildly amusing the first time I saw it several years ago on tv, is a Skittles commercial where a young man who has contracted “Skittles Pox” tries to reassure a young lady whose face has also broken out that he doesn’t think the disease is contagious. A cute idea originally, but after seeing it hundreds of times on my home tv screen, I really don’t need to see it again on the large movie screen every time I go to the movies.

This is just one of the products being peddled on the big screen now, and along with previews of television series, being at the theater is “just like being at home.”

If I had wanted to be home, I would have stayed home, not traveled out of town and forked over money, only to see something I could have seen iat no cost n my living room.

I realize that this is a relatively minor thing about which to complain, but one thing that hasn’t changed in my 12 years of doing this column - It continues to be tough to come up with an idea for a column.

I certainly won’t miss the challenge of coming up with fresh ideas for columns, but I will miss you readers. Thanks for letting me “bend your ear” all these years.

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