It snowed yesterday in the surrounding parishes but not in New Orleans. We just had sleet and gloomy skies. Baton Rouge and rural Tangiapahoa Parish had sustained snowfall. Here’s a message from Mike the Tiger:
The New Orleans media had a snow boner all day long. It was all they talked about. All the teevee people got gussied up in their anoraks and boots. They looked like models in the LL Bean catalog. My favorite snow boner moment came on the WWL morning news:
Repeat after me: snow boner.
The featured image is a venerable postcard showing the 700 block of Canal Street after snowfall in 1895. The last time it snowed in the city was 2008, everyone took pictures of the streetcar in the snow as you can see from this tweet from my friend Katy:
She’s from Minnesota. Say no more.
Repeat after me: snow boner.
This week’s theme song is a “tribute” to the weather. I hate the snow, especially when it falls in a place without any snow removal equipment. I am not an ice person. I do not have a snow boner either.
Cold Rain and Snow is a traditional folk song best known as a staple of the Grateful Dead’s live shows. We have two versions for your amusement. First, the Dead at the 1980 Halloween show emceed by Al Franken and Tom Davis. Sigh. Second, a bluegrass rendition by Del McCoury using an alternate title. I like it with Cold better since I am, in fact, cold right now. I still do not have a snow boner.
Boy howdy. Yeah, boy as the bluegrass types are wont to say.
It’s time to jump to the break. If you have one, be careful not to trip over your snow boner. I should apologize for, uh, beating that joke to death but I won’t. Go ahead and jump.
No more snow boner jokes. I promise. We begin our second act with a bit of shameless self-promotion.
Swept Away: The Non-Legacy of Dollar Bill Jefferson is my latest column for the Bayou Brief. I had a lot of fun writing it and revisiting one of my favorite nicknames: Rene Gill Pratfall who was a dim associate of the 9-term Congressman. To learn who she is, you have to click on this link.
As lagniappe, here’s that column’s featured image, which is a 2006 attack flyer:
Let’s move on to a rather weird segment. Of course, I’m a rather weird guy. Apparently, I’m a morbid motherfucker.
Oddball Obits: Ever since I wrote about the documentary Obit in this space I’ve been obsessed with the,uh, obits in the failing New York Times. This week’s sample involves two people who made a brief appearance on center stage, and then vanished into the ether or, in the former Romanian monarch’s case, exile.
As far as I know, there aren’t any movies about King Michael, but the 1989 flick Scandal is about Christine Keeler and krewe. It’s a helluva movie featuring the artist then known as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer as Keeler. The Kilmer was known creep Val Kilmer and Ms. Whalley dumped the nasty blighter in 1996.
FYI, the Profumo scandal toppled the MacMillan government, which eventually led to the great social reforms of the 1964-1970 Labour Government.
Speaking of oddball obits, here’s one for a teevee show. Yup.
Longmire R.I.P. Dr. A and I have been hardcore fans of this show since it debuted on A&E in 2012. We even signed some fakakta petition when it was cancelled by that cable network but before it was picked up by Netflix. Yup.
Longmire’s sixth and final season debuted recently on Netflix and we went on a bender. Yup. No spoilers from me but it features one of the best stand-alone episodes in series history. Yup. Sheriff Walt Longmire says yup a lot. Yup.
I think of Longmire as a neo-noir Western police procedural. The characters are complex and contradictory just like real people. That’s refreshing in this era of comic book movies and cartoon villain presidents*. Yup.
I particularly enjoyed the villains confronted by laconic Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) and feisty deputy Vic Moretti (Katee Starbuck Sackhoff.) From plutocrat Barlow Connally (Gerald McRaney) to former rez cop/drug kingpin Malachi Strand (Graham Greene) to the most complex villain of all Jacob Nighthorse (A Martinez) who’s sort of the Huey Long of the Cheyenne tribe: part do-gooder, part criminal. They’re complex villains worthy of this complex nuanced show. Yup.
Have I forgotten to mention Lou Diamond Philips as Henry Standing Bear? Oh, I just did. He’s terrific in the role. Yup.
I’m considering re-watching the whole show on Netflix at some point to refresh my memory. One thing I’m certain of is that the show handles Native American issues with more insight that any fictional depiction I can think of. Yup.
I give Longmire 3 1/2 stars. An Adrastos Grade of B+ and an exuberant Ebertian thumbs up. Yup.
It’s time to talk holiday flicks, y’all.
Christmas Movies: I wrote a post three years ago about Christmas movies. I decided to repeat the list because it’s so cold that I have brain freeze, which means my little gray cells aren’t firing on all cylinders. It’s self-quotation time:
It’s A Wonderful Life: Along with Gone With The Wind, this is either a great bad movie or a bad great movie. I can never decide which but one thing I can decide on is this: Mr. Potter is my favorite character. His pure nastiness and bile leavens the Capracorn. My favorite line is when George Bailey bids Potter Merry Christmas and the old bastard replies “And Happy New Year to you, IN JAIL.” It’s such a good line that I almost broke down and used an exclamation point but the urge passed. I have standards, after all. Low ones, but standards nonetheless.
Christmas In Connecticut: It’s a farce in Christmas film drag featuring Barbara Stanwyck trying to con her publisher Sydney Greenstreet. What’s not to love about a film that includes SZ Sakall in the cast? There’s apparently a remake of this 1942 classic, which I’ve never seen. I hate remakes, especially when the justification is that the original is in black and white.
Bad Santa: I laugh like a demented hyena every time I see this bit of holiday nastiness. It’s the Christmas movie for people who hate the holiday as well as merry misanthropes everywhere. I occasionally threaten to name our next cat Thurman Merman after the dweeby kid in this flick. I just made that up but I should start doing so.
A Christmas Story: What’s not to love about this 1983 movie featuring a leg lamp? Its director went on to make the Porky’s movies; talk about downward mobility. Sheesh.
Nightmare Before Christmas/Polar Express: Two swell animated opuses that I chose to slot together for some reason. Actually, I’m trying to stretch the list by doing this conjoined entry of which the Tattler twins would surely approve…
Elf: Inspired silliness from Jon Favreau and Will Ferrell. It’s totally goofy and totally charming unlike the somber elves in those pesky Peter Jackson movies…
The Bishop’s Wife: I don’t usually like schmaltzy things, but I adore Cary Grant and David Niven and this stars both of them. They’re also in Gunga Din together but that’s not much of a holiday flick now is it?
The Man Who Came To Dinner: Now that I’ve gone all candy floss on you, it’s time for a cookie with a dash of Tabasco in it. The 1942 version of this Kauffman and Hart classic features Bette Davis and Cole Porter’s BFF, Monty Woolley, in the title role. It’s a tour de farce by the bearded former academic. And I’m neither pulling your leg nor your beard about that.
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians: The MST3K version slays me every time I see it. It’s such a seasonal favorite that both Riff Trax and Cinematic Titanic have revisited it or is that re-riffed?
Love Actually/The Holiday: These are two of Dr A favorites. I prefer The Holiday because of the marvelous performance by Eli Wallach as a curmudgeonly old screenwriter. Love Actually is a film with many fine moments but it doesn’t quite hold together for me. Dr A, however, loves it and I love her, so there you have it. I do love the fact that the kid who plays Liam Neeson’s son is in Game Of Thrones. Every time he pops up I call him Love Actually kid. That’s worth something, innit?
I still have not seen Bad Santa 2. I’d have to be really intoxicated to do so and I’m not sure there’s enough whiskey in the world for that.
Speaking of lowbrow humor.
Saturday GIF Horse: Shemp is the underrated stooge. He was tough enough to stand up to Moe but craven enough to cower before this weird critter below.
I *think* it’s a kangaroo but I’m not an expert on marsupials. I do, however, love saying the word.
The kangaroo head reminds me of one of the weirdest presents anyone gave my parents. My father’s Greek-Greek cousin, John, was a sinister right-wing sort. He had something to do with the Greek security forces during the Junta era. We never asked what he did during those years and he never told us. Hush, hush’ strictly confidential.
Cousin John was a conspiratorial sort. He gave me a book once. He assured me that it was “banned in America.” It was the Warren commission report. I told him it was a government publication and he told me I was naive. He was a proto-Alex Jones.
Cousin John and his wife came to California for an extended visit; way too extended for my mom’s taste. They may have stayed too long but they brought a present. It was a corkscrew with a kangaroo paw handle. I am not making this up. My animal-loving mother was horrified. I made the mistake of joking “at least it wasn’t some commies’ hand.” Mom was not amused.
That concludes this marsupial hop down memory lane, let’s close this post out with some music.
Saturday Classic: Workingman’s Dead was the first Dead record I ever heard. It remains a favorite because of the caliber of the songwriting. It remains one of the Dead’s best studio albums. Yup.
A final note on the Dead. The current incarnation/bastard offspring, Dead and Company, with Bob, Mickey, Bill, and John Mayer was supposed to play New Orleans the other night. Mayer needed an emergency appendectomy so it was canceled.
I considered going until I saw that the top tickets went for $600 and nose bleed seats weren’t cheap as chips either. I still have sticker shock. I hope Jerry’s ghost haunts them or, at the very least, smears Cherry Garcia all over them. Mmm, Ben and Jerry’s.
That’s all for this week. The last word goes to the Season-3 cast of Longmire. Yup.
I still do not have a snow boner. Yup.