Tip of the Day: What To Do Before Bed Every Night

by Eubie on September 18, 2013

One of the greatest actors you’ve probably never heard of is a Jewish kid from what is now the Ukraine (back then the Austro-Hungarian Empire) named Paul Muni. Believe it or not, he was the original Tony Montana way back in the early 1930s in the first ‘Rise-and-Fall-of-the-Bad-Man’ pre-code film Scarface (currently re-envisioned and on display on television in HUB favorite Breaking Bad). So Paul played Scarface–back then he was ‘Tony’ Camonte, which sounds kinda like ‘Montana’–but in that same year (1932) he also starred as James Allen. Who, you say? Jim Allen, we double-down… a prison escapee made good (in the spirit of Les Mis‘s Jean Valjean) in the iconic I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. Great movie, great actor, all-around ‘great, great, great!’ Muni and the film were both up for the titular category Oscar (both lost), and even more than 80 years later, themes from the film’s timeless story resonate–for example, Jim is a war veteran suffering from PTSD, pre-defined PTSD, and gets into trouble because of it. We’ll let you rent the movie on your own–which you are very likely to find at the local library for free!–but we bring it up in relation to today’s tip because of the movie’s most famous scene: cinema’s very best use of the fade-to-black finish. Briefly, Jim the war veteran comes home from WWI and doesn’t cope well with life in peacetime so he wanders inadvertently into crime, winds up on a Southern chain gang at a time when that meant something, escapes, finds success only to lose it to the machinations of a cruel and vindictive wife, escapes again and in the finale meets with the love of his life (no, not his wife!) to bid farewell as he retreats into the darkness, forever away from the World-of-the-Daytime and into the World-of-the-Night. His girl, Helen, wants to help and so she repeatedly asks what she can do and how she can be of service. To which Jim repeatedly declines all her entreaties. As he literally backs away into the darkness, she asks him one last question after he again refuses to take her money: “How do you live?” From the inky blackness comes Jim’s reply: “I steal.” Roll credits.

Well, we steal, too, and today’s tip is stolen from some site that goes by the name Open Forum, so we feel that theft was probably a part of its business model. Anyway, today’s tip is to prep for tomorrow’s workday right before bed the night before… that is, if you’re one of those go-getting go-getters climbing the whatever-ladder-you’re-climbing ladder to capital ‘S’ Success! (Yeah, yeah, we sure did a lot of intro to get to such a mamby-bamby tip, but don’t you think that was kind of the point, eh? Tricky are we, said us in our best Yoda impression.)

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