Saturday, December 29, 2018

whatever happened to ...?

The link on the blog page read Steve Jobs hired a career juggler to teach programming to developers.

I clicked out of curiosity, not suspecting that I'd be more familiar with the juggler than with Steve Jobs.

But it's true: It was Randy Nelson, "Alyosha" from the Flying Karamazov Brothers.

I first saw the FKB in 1977, when they were playing regularly at the Magic Cellar, a small magic club in San Francisco where my friends would hang out. They were all fans of the Karamazovs, too, and we would make group expeditions whenever they played locally for over a decade. (The full show of which the embedded flaming torch clip is part 8 is a good record of their standard stage show at that date, 1983.)

After Randy dropped out of regular appearances, I understood he'd gotten a job in the computer industry somewhere, but I never heard details or that it came about because Steve Jobs was an FKB fan. It's puzzling to me, because, being in Silicon Valley, I know a lot of people in the industry. I never met Jobs myself, but I know people who knew both him and the Karamazovs, and I don't recall any of them mentioning any of this.

So it's great to hear that distinctive voice again, even though instead of telling knockabout jokes it's discoursing seriously in an embedded clip on intelligent if rather alarming personnel practices. And to wonder how that applies to Pixar of today, for B. and I just watched their latest product, Incredibles 2, and I have to wonder. I love the characters of the Incredibles: all five are distinctive and fascinating people. But why are they embedded in such a dull and predictable plot?

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