I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster all week. I was on top of the world, ma, with Doug Jones’ win and then on the bottom with Pat DiNizio’s passing. I prefer to be somewhere between those two extremes: it’s exhausting y’all.
They shot a Dixie Beer commercial in my neighborhood yesterday. I hate film crews. There’s always some officious twerp with a clipboard yelling at people. I had to deal with clipboard guys in my past life as a Jackson Square business owner. I learned that if you gave them an inch they’d take a country mile even if you were in the city.
One time a clipboard guy wanted to plug into my shop electricity. No way: the wiring in the Upper Pontalba was dodgy and one could blow a fuse merely by plugging a space heater in the wrong outlet. When in doubt, demand compensation. That usually runs them off but on one memorable occasion they bribed me. It’s the Louisiana way, y’all.
FYI, Dixie Beer was purchased recently by local plutocrats/Saints owners/GOP donors Tom and Gayle Benson. Every time old Tom farts, the local media wets itself. I yawn in disinterest myself although the family fight over his empire was quite entertaining.
We’re staying in New Jersey this week with our featured image and theme song. The featured image is a painting by Reginald Marsh who grew up in Jersey and the theme song comes from the Smithereens. Anyone shocked by the latter? I thought not.
I hope that y’all don’t get the blues before and after the break because it’s time to jump. Skip the Dixie Beer: it’s swill.
We begin our second act with a brief visit to Your President* Speaks country. You might need some paper towels to clean up the mess.
Tweet Of The Week: I was otherwise engaged and didn’t get a chance to comment on the Trump tweet that set the internets ablaze.
In a word: disgusting. Unfortunately, the Insult Comedian has so coarsened the political dialogue that we’re not longer shocked when the president* calls a United States senator a whore. Not shocked but appalled nonetheless.
This tweet shows that Trump is a rank amateur. By going after Gillibrand, he has elevated someone not well-known nationally to his level; political level, that is. Oval Ones with political savvy rarely mentioned the names of their adversaries. Both FDR and Reagan thought it was free advertising for their foes. Trump inadvertently enhanced Gillibrand’s stature from wannabe to contender. Thanks, Trumpy.
I am relieved, however, that Trump didn’t comment as to whether he thinks the Senator is hot enough to hit on. You know he wanted to.
Baseball Catfishing: I’m not talking about former Athletics/Yankees pitcher Jim Catfish Hunter, but I might as well post this picture of him sitting on Satchel Paige’s lap:
The baseball catfish in question is a chick wannabe baseball writer who posed as a dude for 8 years. There are many gullible people out there, the imposter spoke on the phone to several of her victims. Pro tip: if a man’s voice is too high, he may be a she. Lindsey Adler has the details at Deadspin.
There was a catfish controversy on NOLA twitter last year. I don’t give a rat’s ass about most twitter craziness but I got caught up in this one. Why? I had met the alleged catfish and told the guy who was the Inspector Javert of the catfish mishigas that she existed. He issued vague, meaningless, and profane threats. I yawned, then invited him to a block party.
Repeat after me: nothing that happens on twitter matters.
Documentary Of The Week: Watergate is our national cautionary tale and WaPo editor Ben Bradlee was one of the heroes of that scandal. You’ve seen Jason Robards as Bradlee in All The President’s Men and will see Tom Hanks as the feisty, profane editor in the upcoming Spielberg film, The Post. The real Ben is more interesting and charismatic than the reel Bradlee. As he himself would put it, he was “one lucky son of a bitch.”
The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee is based on the late editor’s 1995 memoir, A Good Life. Bradlee “narrates” the film. Presumably, they used the tome on tape he recorded when the book was released. It’s an effective technique that brings the subject to life.
The documentary focuses on Bradlee’s friendship with JFK, the Pentagon Papers, and Watergate. I would have been interested to hear more about what happened when Post owner Phil Graham went bonkers and had to be ousted as publisher, which led to Kay Graham’s rise and Bradlee’s eventual move from Newsweek to the WaPo. It’s a fascinating story largely forgotten in the 21st Century. Oh well, you can always read David Halberstam’s account in The Powers That Be. It’s hard to beat the Master, after all.
The talking heads are pretty darn good even though we’re subjected to Tom Brokaw and Bob Woodward’s weird accent. Actually, Woodward is informative: he just talks funny. The best talking heads are Davids Remnick and Maraniss who were swept away as young reporters by the charismatic Bradlee.
Here’s the trailer:
The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee can be seen on all HBO platforms. I give it 3 stars, an Adrastos grade of B, and a Siskelian thumbs up.
It’s time for our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth: I spend way too much time looking for SAB images but sometimes I hit pay dirt. This is one of those times. Ladies and gentleman, Elton John and the late former Attorney General, Janet Reno.
The picture is a bit blurry but it’s spot on. It’s also given me an earworm. Remember Elton’s monster hit Jannie and the Jets or is that Jannie and the Bets?
You say Bennie, I say Jannie. Instead of calling the whole thing off, let’s play an old Van Morrison tune:
I never thought of Janet Reno as sweet but she was a major character. No surprise: she was a Florida native and they grow them weird down there, especially in Miami.
Let’s move on to another irregular weekly feature.
Saturday GIF Horse: I wrote about Christmas movies last week in this space. Here’s a GIF from one of the most famous yuletide flicks of all-time, It’s A Wonderful Life. It features my hero, Mr. Potter, dressing down that pesky pipsqueak George Bailey.
Speaking of holiday related stuff.
Saturday Classic: I’m not a big fan of rock Christmas albums with the exception of Brian Setzer, Jethro Tull, the Smithereens, and this week’s selection. Chris Isaak Christmas includes songs that the rock crooner wrote himself; one of which Christmas on TV is laced with It’s A Wonderful Life references. It’s a great tune even if it’s insufficiently pro-Potter.
That’s it for this week. Is that really Ed McMahon with the Smithereens? You are correct, sir. HIYO.