It’s been a long, hot week in New Orleans. We were under a boil water advisory for 38 hours last weekend. Most people get a bit hysterical when that happens but I’m married to a scientist. We don’t drink the water but bathe and brush our teeth per usual. It was over 90 degrees and there ain’t no way I’m not bathing, especially when the advisory is described as precautionary. Holy double negative, Batman. The heat makes me cranky, what can I tell ya? I am, however, clean…
We have a busy social calendar this weekend so I’m going to keep this short. Hey, you in the bleachers, stop laughing. I know I’ve said it before but I mean it this time.
I had another theme song planned for this week but it would have obliged me to discuss a story that brought out the worst in folks on social media, so I pulled the plug. I chose Richard Thompson’s From Galway To Graceland because of the first segment after the break. The connection is somewhat tenuous but life is like a tennis match: all serve and volley. And it’s given me tenuous elbow…
More uncharacteristic brevity after the break. I mean it, y’all.
I apologize for that horrid pun on tennis. Here’s a better variation: Tenuous anyone?
Graceland Too: There’s a genuinely bizarre story in the Guardian by Brandon Harris about an old white dude named Paul McLeod who had a homespun-n-unofficial Elvis Presley museum in Holly Springs, MS. He died 2 days after he was cleared of murdering his handyman who was a young black man named after Dwight David Eisenhower. It’s a helluva Southern Gothic yarn and even if it doesn’t go from Galway to Graceland, it’s still a good read. I guess it’s time to meet with the King like the chick in the RT song:
There are a lot of weird true crime stories out there and it doesn’t get much odder than our next segment.
The Illusionist: Al Seckel was a collector of illusions and rare books as well as a con man and skillful liar. I’ve always found fakers and imposters fascinating, and Seckel is one for the record books. Mark Oppenheimer has the story at Tablet Magazine. I wonder if Seckel knows this song:
Newman’s Own Family Feud: Paul Newman was one of my all-time favorite movie stars. He personified cool on the big screen and generosity in real life. Newman wasn’t just one of those liberals who talk about helping people, he did it via his Newman’s Own products.
Since Paul’s death, the new management of his foundation has been dicking the Newman family around, and may have even messed with his will. Not cool. Mark Seal has the story at Vanity Fare. Uh oh, I’m repeating myself. Perhaps I’ve spent too much time out in the rain or something:
Jeff Greenfield On Birtherism & Nativism: As the veteran pundit points out, Donald Trump did not invent political nativism, he’s merely the latest in a long line of xenophobes. It’s one reason Pat Buchanan likes Trump. That, in and of itself, should be enough to disqualify Trump from the Presidency as does his participation in the fake feuds of pro wrestling. Do we really want someone who shaved Vince McMahon’s head as our next Oval One? Hell, Jesse Ventura is more qualified even if he’s nuts as were the voters of Minnesota when they elected him Governor. Of course, now he’d just be another garden variety wackadoodle Governor.
I swore not to do any politics today. I just couldn’t help wading into the Trumpian fever swamp. I have, however, kept it under 750 words; short by Saturday post standards.
We’ll end on a more elevated note with some classic jazz chanteusery.
Saturday Standards: I just realized I hadn’t posted any Billie Holiday in this slot. Time to change that. Lady Sings the Blues was released at the same time as her memoir of the same name. The book was ghosted. The LP was not.
Lady Day’s voice is a bit raspy, but still expressive. It includes two of her signature tunes: Trav’lin’ Light and Strange Fruit. It’s one of Billie’s last sessions with a big band. Good stuff: