The spirit of Dizneylandrieu is still alive and well here in New Orleans as you’ll learn from one of the entries below. Not only that but summer has arrived with a vengeance. I don’t believe in sky gods or celestial overlords, but I am convinced that someone flicks a switch and it becomes summer in my city. This year the switch was flipped on Wednesday June 4, which is somewhat later than usual. I guess that whole non-existent climate change thing has its upside. El Nino is a popular dude in these parts, less so on the West Coast but it could end the drought so…
This week’s theme song implanted itself in my head by way of the new NBC drama Aquarius. It’s more like a gritty FX or HBO show than network fare. Plus, it’s being rolled out in its entirety On Demand as well as on broadcast, which shows the impact Netflix is having on the teevee universe. I’m convinced that Aquarius was pitched as follows: Philip Marlowe meets Charlie Manson. It’s particularly fun to watch David Duchovny cast against type as a hardass and hawkish LAPD detective.
Back to Everybody’s Been Burned. It was written by David Crosby and originally recorded when he was a member of one of my all-time favorite bands, the Byrds:
FWIW, I have an old friend who’s a dead ringer for Crosby who, in turn, is a dead ringer for Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion.
More obscure references after the break.
Jaws At 40: I’m ancient enough to recall when the summer movie season was rather dull and desultory. Hollywood was convinced that people would rather be at the beach or being all outdoorsy and shit. That all changed in 1975 when Jaws scared people *off* the beaches and into the movie theatres. The modern summer action popcorn blockbuster movie was born.
Jaws, of course, is so much more than a popcorn movie. It’s a Hitchcockian suspense thriller complete with a Bernard Hermannesque score by John Williams. The best thing that ever happened to Steven Spielberg was the mechanical shark NOT working. Not seeing the shark made it much scarier.
The Observer’s Mark Kermode takes a fond look back at Jaws on the 40th anniversary of its release.
I cannot resist giving Split Enz the last word of this segment. SHARK ATTACK:
BB King’s Funeral: Speaking of weird and eerie, the BB King saga has taken several strange turns since the great man’s passing. There are dark mutterings by his chirren that he was poisoned. The oddest thing I learned from Thomas Lake’s story in the Guardian is that the man with 15 kids was infertile. It’s a pity Tennessee Williams isn’t around to write about that angle as well as the greed and avarice of the King kids. Of course, Dickens got there first with Martin Chuzzlewit. Btw, if you’ve never seen the BBC version of that Dickensian classic with Tom Wilkinson as the odious Mr. Peksniff, it’s must see teevee.
BB’s warring tribe did respect his funeral instructions, which were based on this Blind Lemon Jefferson song that he recorded for his final studio album:
Joe Conason On Sidney Blumenthal: There was a big flap recently over emails exchanged by Hillary Clinton and her old friend and former White House staffer, Sidney Blumenthal. Republicans enjoy portraying Blumenthal as a combination of Svengali and Rasputin, only with better hygine than the latter.
The real Blumenthal is a partisan Clinton supporter who recognized the lynch mob mentality of the Republicans and MSM before most people did in the 1990’s. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Joe Conason’s defense of his friend Sid Blumenthal was published by Politico. Tiger Beat On The Potomac somehow screwed up and was fair to one of its own cartoon villains.
Conason followed up the story at his own joint, the National Memo, and linked to the Atlantic’s James Fallows’ take on the coverage of the so-called Clintonian Prince of Darkness.
The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions: The Proposed New Orleans Slave Ship Museum- This is, of course, the segment that had me pondering Dizneylandrieu once again. I’ve been meaning to post about this controversy for quite some time. I had a title and everything BUT I don’t think I can do as good of a job of it as Nordette Adams who blogs as Verite Parlant. She’s true to her pen name: she speaks the truth. Read her first post on the subject and come back.
I completely agree with Ms. Parlante (I love her nom de blog so much that I’m going to use it for the rest of the post.) While a National Slave Ship Museum is a perfectly fine idea, it should be done with dignity, restraint,and solemnity more like the National Holocaust Museum than your basic modern interactive museum. The notion of a replica slave ship cruising the river is in a word: obscene.
I don’t personally have a problem with the interactive features of the World War II museum since it also celebrates our victory on both the battlefield and homefront. Ain’t nothing to celebrate when it comes to slavery other than its demise.
Verite Parlant’s post and petition led to some crawfishing by the organizers and claims that the cruise ship aspect of the plan did not exist. In her second post on the topic, she exposed their claims as, in a word, bullshit.
Here’s hoping that the ridiculous ship notion is permanently eradicated from the proposal on the grounds of egregious malakatude. Dizneylandrieu has no place in a museum documenting one of humanity’s greatest crimes against itself. Verite Parlant truly speaks the truth.
Now that I’ve heckled the well-meaning but wrong-headed museum organizers, here’s another nautical tune from Split Enz:
Dave Weigel: I’ve been a big fan of Dave’s political blogging/writing/reporting for years. He’s also a fellow prog-rock enthusiast, which is something he has in common with Tommy T and me.
Dave’s work is particularly strong on the follies of the Teahadist right. He was easier to find at Slate but who can blame him for moving to Bloomberg Politics? I have a hunch that former Mayor Warbucks pays better than Slate. Here’s a link to Dave’s stuff there.
Saturday Standards: We’re back to the classics this week and what could be more classic than Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald? Ella and Louis is the first of three splendid albums from two of the best, and most influential, vocalists ever. The album features the equally awesome Oscar Peterson on piano, so what’s not to like?