Saturday Odds & Sods: Get Back

Collage from Une Semaine de Bonte by Max Ernst.

The celestial switch has flipped and it’s full-tilt summer in New Orleans. We’ve also had a lot of rain but not in the classic downpour between 2 and 3 every afternoon pattern. Instead, we’ve had the sort of all day rain that makes one want to curl up in a ball. Of course, Oscar and Della Street need no such excuse, it’s what they do. It’s probably down to climate change but I’m not a meteorologist so what the hell do I know?

Today is the 45th anniversary of the arrest of the Watergate burglars. That scandal is much in the news for some peculiar reason. #sarcasm. One major difference between then and now is that many people argued that Tricky Dick was too smart to be involved in such a stupid crime. We’re not hearing that about the Current Occupant who is easily the most self-destructive and stupid president* in our history. Many think he’s already the worst ever. It’s too early to say, but he’s in a race to the bottom along with George W. Bush, Andrew Johnson, and James Buchanan

Let’s move on to a happier subject, this week’s theme song. The Beatles have tightly restricted online access to the original studio versions of their tunes. Fortunately, Get Back was performed by the Fab Four during their legendary London rooftop concert.  We also have Macca on the kinda sorta rooftop of the Ed Sullivan Theatre. I guess that’s what they mean by shouting from the rooftops.

Yeah, I know. It’s called a marquee; not be confused with les Maquis.

It’s unclear to me if Jo Jo ever got back to where he once belonged. We’ll resume our rooftop shout-a-thon after the break. Marquee my words…

The police showed up in 1969 but I somehow doubt there was any blood. There is some, however, in this Genesis tune as well as some swell guitar playing by Steve Hackett.

That concludes the rooftop portion of the Saturday post. It’s time to talk civil rights and the national spelling bee.

Spelling Civil Rights: There’s a fabulous piece by Cynthia R. Greenlee at Longreads.com about how some kids in Lynchburg, VA helped integrate the state and local spelling bee. The national bee was not explicitly segregated but the few African-Americans who competed inspired some nastiness in New Orleans, alas:

In 1908, readers of New Orleans’ largest newspaper, the Picayune, were apoplectic when a spelling delegation traveled to a National Education Association bee in Cleveland, Ohio. When the Louisiana spellers came in third behind Marie Bolden, a 13-year-old black girl, the Picayune’s pundits suggested the New Orleans competitors had been so distracted by the “dusky maid” that she was able to best them by writing out 400 words correctly and spelling another 100 orally. Before the contest, Louisiana school superintendent Warren Easton consulted with a handful of school board members. His question: What should he do if his students were faced with competing against black students in the Northern city? The reply from a school board member: “Knock the nigger out.”

Ah, the “good old days.” Glad they’re gone, at least legally. I wonder if any of their descendants are among those still sitting hillbilly shiva across from the former Jefferson Davis monument.

I hope y’all are proud of me for not making any bee puns, until now, that is:

Oh well, at least I skipped the spell puns, until now, that is:

Let’s move on to a civil rights related tweet. Yeah, they have those.

Tweet Of The Week:  Speaking of anniversaries, it’s the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virgina wherein the Supremes declared interracial marriage bans unconstitutional.

Richmond continues to strike the right balance. Long live the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Beatle Listomania: It’s time for another Vulture list extravaganza. This time Bill (Not The Ex-Stones Bassist) Wyman rates all 213 Beatles songs. Get Back is rated #105, which is flat-out wrong as far as I’m concerned, In fact, Wyman seems to have found the whole enterprise tiresome.  He has a strong animus against Paul and George calling the former trite and the latter preachy. He’s not crazy about John or Ringo either. Perhaps he’s a bitter Pete Best fan. The Best Lost Causers are the worst.

Wyman actively dislikes at least half of the Beatles catalog. It makes me wonder why he bothered with this exercise. I guess Vulture pays well. Some of his rankings are downright bizarre. The two tracks I would put at the bottom Revolution No. 9 and You Know My Name come in at #114 and #112 respectively.

A gushy fan boy list *might* have been annoying BUT not as annoying as the sour, too cool for school tone used by Wyman. Past lists about Springsteen and the Rolling Stones have been much more balanced than Wyman’s. Hate music blogging just isn’t my thing. I prefer the Other Bill Wyman:

I need some comic relief after contemplating Wyman’s screed.

Veekly Viral Video: Like many of us, Conan O’Brien watched the Sessions Session. He watched Jeff Bo very closely and decided that the peckerwood’s peckerwood has an eerie (or is that eary?) tell.

Let’s wiggle on to our next segment. This Watergate junkie needs a fix. Pronto.

Documentary Of The Week: I usually review a documentary and direct you to the appropriate venue. Shit, that sounded lawyerly. I wonder if I can blame Professor Con Law and Larry Tribe? Probably not.

Where was I? Oh yeah, I’m embedding a documentary for your viewing pleasure. I like to mix things up as well as mess with my readers. I guess that makes me a crazy mixed-up kid. This documentary aired on PBS and features clips from my main man Dick Cavett’s chat show.

Btw, Dick Cavett is not dead. Richard Nixon is; may he burn in hell.

Next up is a departure from past Saturday classics since it’s a live show not an album. But what a show.

Saturday Classic:  Aimee Mann and Squeeze’s Chris Difford were a couple for a while. That’s one reason that this unplugged fusion set came to be.  Here’s a link to the setlist and a description of the show. It’s good stuff.

That’s it for this week. There’s only one choice for the closing bat-meme: Adam West, the Bright Knight himself.

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