The first week of July is when it really heats up in New Orleans. The air is thick and smacks you upside the head when you venture outside. The pace of life slows to a crawl and Oscar and Della can be found sprawled out on our wood floors hoping to cool themselves. Nice work if you can get it.
Later today, I’m going to the silliest annual event in New Orleans. It’s a non-violent running of the bulls thingamabob. The “bulls” are roller girls wielding soft paddles. I do not run. Dr. A and I hang out with our friend Cait and the child army of darkness whilst her husband Dave runs. We all sweat. It’s minosas and donuts for me, y’all. Perhaps I should take a Spank paddle to liven things up:
This week’s theme song is inspired by our Boschian theme. You may have noticed that Hieronymus Bosch’s prot0-surrealist The Garden of Earthly Delights is the featured image. There will be more Bosching about later but I will never head to the mountains and drink Busch beer. You say Busch, I say Bosch. Let’s call the whole thing off. Stop me before I quote Ira Gershwin again.
Back to the theme song. It comes from XTC’s Oranges and Lemons album whose cover was featured of a Wednesday in 2014. That feature was sidelined this week but will return next Wednesay: bad scout’s honor. Welcome to the garden of earthly delights, y’all.
I have another Boschy song for your listening pleasure. It was written and recorded by that self-described “awful little man,” Graham Parker.
Now that we’ve listened to some late-Eighties alternative rock, you deserve a break today. OMG, I sound like Ronald Fucking McDonald. That simply will not do.
I mentioned roller derby at the top of the post. Here’s an undeservedly obscure song from the short-lived Bay Area band Copperhead. They featured the razor-sharp guitar stylings of the great John Cippolina.
We begin our second act with a look at the Amazon teevee show that’s the reason for all the Boschiness in this post.
Bosch: I’ve been meaning to watch the Amazon cop show Bosch for quite some time. I’ve read a couple of the Michael Connelly books so I was prepared to like it. I wasn’t prepared to binge watch three seasons in a short period of time but it’s compulsively watchable.
Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch is an irascible LAPD homicide detective. Veteran character actor Titus Welliver plays Harry as an crusty iconoclast with a sardonic wit. In short, he’s a modern day Philip Marlowe. It’s easy to imagine Bogie as Harry. I have a new rule for teevee dramas: if it stars a character actor whose work I admire, check it out. Like Iain Glen in Jack Taylor, Welliver can carry a show as the lead. One might even call his performance Swelliver…
One reason Bosch is so good is that the man who wrote the novels, Michael Connelly, is involved in the show. Another reason is the presence of producer Eric Overmyer of The Wire and Treme. It’s why there are so many players from The Wire; most notably Lance Reddick and Jamie Hector. Before I saw Bosch, Hector was best known to me as the ruthless Baltimore drug kingpin Marlo Stansfield. He plays Harry’s partner Jerry Edgar aka J. Edgar who is a dapper, likable detective. From now on, he’ll be Jerry to me.
If you haven’t watched Bosch yet, here’s the season 1 trailer:
I have a weakness for hardboiled crime fiction set in Los Angeles. Bosch is one of the better recent examples. I give it 3 1/2 stars, an Adrastos grade of B+ and an Ebertian thumbs up. Up what? We’ll never know.
Speaking of character actors who have transitioned into starring roles, there’s a swell article about Michael K. Williams in the NYT. I’ll let their icon thing serve as the segment header because it has a good picture of his handsome-ugly face.
He’s also Chalky White and Leonard Pine to me. If you haven’t seen Hap and Leonard yet, do yourself a favor and watch the first season on Netflix. Ain’t nobody give a line reading like Mike Williams. I’m suddenly craving Honey Nut Cheerios…
Enquiring Minds Are Trumpers: I’ve long been fascinated with tabloid newspapers. It’s hard to avoid the National Enquirer since it’s near every supermarket check-out line in the country. The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin-of all people-has written an interesting profile of the dick who currently runs the Enquirer, David Pecker.
David Pecker’s name really should be Dick but it’s not. Pecker is in the pocket of Donald Trump, which is why the president* has never called the Enquirer fake news. It’s also why the paper has never gone after the softest (literally) tabloid target to ever “serve” as Oval One.
The Enquirer is defined by its predatory spirit—its dedication to revealing that celebrities, far from leading ideal lives, endure the same plagues of disease, weight gain, and family dysfunction that afflict everyone else. For much of the tabloid’s history, it has specialized in investigations into the foibles of public personalities, including politicians. In 1987, the Enquirer published a photograph of Senator Gary Hart with his mistress Donna Rice, in front of a boat called the Monkey Business, which doomed Hart’s Presidential candidacy. Two decades later, the magazine broke the news that John Edwards had fathered a child out of wedlock during his Presidential race. When Donald Trump decided to run for President, some people at the Enquirer assumed that the magazine would apply the same scrutiny to the candidate’s colorful personal history. “We used to go after newsmakers no matter what side they were on,” a former Enquirer staffer told me. “And Trump is a guy who is running for President with a closet full of baggage. He’s the ultimate target-rich environment. The Enquirer had a golden opportunity, and they completely looked the other way.”
Throughout the 2016 Presidential race, the Enquirer embraced Trump with sycophantic fervor. The magazine made its first political endorsement ever, of Trump, last spring. Cover headlines promised, “donald trump’s revenge on hillary & her puppets” and “top secret plan inside: how trump will win debate!” The publication trashed Trump’s rivals, running a dubious cover story on Ted Cruz that described him as a philanderer and another highly questionable piece that linked Cruz’s father to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
There’s a scary detail in the Pecker profile: he wants to take over Time Inc’s magazines. I suspect he’s most interested in People but imagine the Pecker imprint on Time. Henry Luce weeps.
I wonder if Pecker has seen the 1998 John Waters movie Pecker? It’s a good ‘un.
Now that we’ve picked a pack of pickled Peckers, let’s move on to the next segment. Sorry for the pickled peckers thing. I should have made a woodpecker joke instead.
Tabloid Cover Of The Week: Since the Insult Comedian met with Putin yesterday, here’s an Enquirer cover from January, 23:
Notice how none of this shit has happened. A pro-Trump rag lie? Imagine that.
Speaking of mouthy Northeastern Republicans who ran for President in 2016.
On The Beach With Governor Asshole: Chris Christie has always been an angry, acerbic public figure. Now he’s a washed up angry, acerbic public figure. He’s out of fat fucks to give. His decision to take his asshole family to a closed public beach last weekend was the subject of much ridicule and many memes.
I’m late to this party but there are two classic movie related memes that I have to share.
It’s surprisingly polite for Gov. Asshole to avert his eyes whilst Deborah and Burt make out in the surf. I’m sure the Insult Comedian would hit on Kerr and tell Lancaster he’s a LOSER.
Saturday Classic: I’ve had Warren Zevon on my mind since suggesting Mr. Bad Example as Trump’s theme song. I haven’t heard back from the White House on that. I guess they’re too busy “swindling the bald” to get back to me.
Excitable Boy was WZ’s third studio album. It was his commercial break-through and features his first radio hit Werewolves Of London as well as the bouncy title track about murder and mayhem. It’s a WINNER.
That’s for this week. Since I had Bosch on my mind, I’m giving Harry and Jerry the closing bat-meme. It’s a Welliver deserved honor; please don’t Hector me for that pun.