Tuesday, March 15, 2022



The best blog I ever wrote is the one that will never be read. It has been lost, something only discovered moments after clicking “SAVE,” and confirming that command to my computer with an affirmative “YES” when “asked” if saving the document was truly my intention.

My “intention” was simple: memorialize what well might have been the Rosenzweig Rosetta Stone, the document of documents, illuminating what I like to think of as a lifetime of thought-provoking articles.

What in fact happened was a futile attempt at immortalizing a monumental amount of work. Somehow, inexplicably it seemed, “save” simply did not get the job done. I thought it was well within the bounds of rationality to believe that SAVE would stand for what it says it does, yet somehow… someway… my work, (No… more than “work”)… this “benchmark”… was not…


I pressed on, inviting one techie to remotely access my PC…which he did for over 90 minutes with no success; then had another from the IT department of the Club on my Island paradise over to my home office to take yet another whack at undoing what had been done.

Too bad I had not recently threatened a treasonous act, I thought. There was no doubt in my mind that the FBI would have found that document in a matter of minutes. I all but audibly sighed at having missed my chance on January 6. Who knew? What I did know was that all but perfect blog was gone for good.

You might well ask, then, why not write it again while the idea of the whole thing is still fresh? Easier said than done. The lost forever blog was made up of notes, quotes, and other pieces of research I had been compiling for something more than a decade. All of this with an eye to someday combining it all into a homage to cinema that I would call “I Learned It At The Movies.”

The writing I might be able to re-create, even easily remember, but the loss of all that research over which I had toiled… lifting material from one document to the other, ultimately pasting it in just the right paragraph in my most perfect piece? Virtually impossible to recreate. Each “cut,” and “paste” diminished the source so that little, if anything remained of the original research material, save for the title “I Learned It At The Movies.” Didn’t matter, I thought. I had what I wanted encapsulated in this new document. That is, until I didn’t.

Sure, I could produce the list of movies that I referenced that had so influenced me over my lifetime, and I could (I suppose) share that grouping of titles here, but without that now-lost complete thesis of cross-referencing, what would be the point?

A reader of these notes might find it mildly interesting that on that list of motion pictures from which I learned so many lessons about life, love, style, the ingestion of tobacco, and the appreciation of alcohol, that less than one-third of those movies had been made after I graduated from college with the rest of the class of 1959. Also, that the list of films was heavily skewed to popular motion pictures of their time, and that many are by today’s standards politically insensitive…if not downright incorrect.

These few stats come to you not from my computer, but from notes I had scrawled on the back of the menu of one of our local take-out joints… at least those that were still readable through the stains of (you should excuse the expression) Russian dressing.

Of the movies that made the list there were only a few that were made outside the Hollywood system: one English, two French, and one Italian… (movies, not salad dressings). And, dear reader, please do not write back some scathing commentary about my excluding the work of Satyajit Ray, Akira Kurosawa, or the films Pyaasa, or Pather Panchali. I already know I lack more than a smidgen of intellectual gravitas.

For those of you who have the need to feel as if you have learned something from the time invested in pieces such as this, here goes: do not try to save a document with the same title as another document. That is the lesson I learned about the computer while trying to preserve what it was I learned at the movies.

I know it is not much, but that is all you may be fated to get when reading a blog from an octogenarian Luddite.

Barney Rosenzweig

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