Just time for a couple of brief, sobering observations from a long walk through downtown Manhattan today on my way to an event. First, the bank branch thing. For several years before the financial crisis broke out, I noticed a curious proliferation of bank branches - it seemed like whenever a storefront was vacant in my neighborhood, particularly a big expensive one, the odds were a bank branch would move in. In retrospect, this should have been a warning sign. I mean, can someone explain to me what exactly the point of a bank branch is these days (aside from the ATM area)? The only things I can think of that most people use them for are opening and closing accounts, or applying for loans. Therefore, considering the number of times the average person does this in a lifetime, by my calculations Manhattan should need a total of about 17. Now, I don't know if this is a warning sign, but walking around today I again noticed several spanking new or under-construction bank branches moving into now-plentiful empty storefronts.
Another thing I happened to notice on my walk was a huge billboard of a scantily clad Megan Fox advertising something that escapes me. I'm not really familiar with her, but I understand she's the new Angelina Jolie, only younger and better looking. Looking her up on the ultimate authority (Wikipedia), I see she is in fact only 23. The sobering thing is that from examples such as Madonna it's apparently now possible for actors and actresses with access to the best of cosmetic surgery and bioactive substances of dubious origin to maintain a more-or-less youthful appearance well into their fifties. When you consider the likely advances in biotech, nanotech, etc., this is likely to be extended to the sixties or seventies before too long. So, does this mean we'll be looking at billboards of Megan Fox for the next 40 or 50 years? And won't that get kind of boring?
Finally, to show the scandalous actresses of today how it's done, here's the campy yet disturbing final scene from Dishonored, mentioned Mar. 9: Third collaboration between Marlene Deitrich and Joseph von Sternberg falls short of The Blue Angel and Morocco, but is nevertheless suspenseful and strikingly photographed; Dietrich plays the alluring X27, a spy sentenced to death for allowing an enemy officer to escape. However, while Miss Dietrich is remarkably effective as a movie personality, it becomes clear she's "lacking in technical finish as an actress"; main weakness is apparent inability to end a sentence with anything other than a question mark.