It’s been a long and difficult week for Americans who haven’t imbibed the MAGA Kool-Aid. I already wrote about it on Thursday and Monday so we’re going to keep this introduction snappy and mercifully brief. I wonder if the Insult Comedian would call that a double positive?
This week’s theme song is upbeat and positive in response to all the gloomy shit going on in the world. The Best Is Yet To Come was written for Tony Bennett in 1959 by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh.
We have three versions for your listening pleasure: Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Count Basie, and Chaka Khan. That’s right, Chaka Khan. She can sing anything, y’all.
This is the second time I’ve used The Best Is Yet To Come as a post title. The first was after President Obama’s re-election in 2012. It’s time for him to eschew the non-political Jimmy Carter post-presidential model, make like Harry Truman and hit the stump this fall. His party and country need him. Give ’em hell, Barack.
I’m not sure where the tree of life is right now, but I long to “pick me a plum.” I’ll figure out how to do so after the break.
I’m not quite through with our theme song. This oddball version comes from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and features the singin’ captain, Benjamin Sisko.
We begin our second act with a piece in the Failing New York Times about prankster/comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen whose new teevee show is making waves.
I’d like to thank Jason Bailey for assembling those hilarious clips in one place. I love, love, love Ali G: a character so stupid that he could be related to Donald Trump. Yo, yo, yo.
In lieu of a BLT bombing raid, it’s time for another Vulture list.
The Wire: Dr. A and I watched The Wire from the very first episode. It felt very real to us because our neighborhood had a crime problem when the show debuted. There were corner boys slinging crack across the street from us. That’s why we became neighborhood activists. We helped organize the neighbors to keep calling the cops and slowly but surely the dealers moved on. We were bad for business.
Vulture’s Jennifer Wood has rated all 60 episodes of David Simon’s masterpiece. She quite correctly states that there are no bad episodes of The Wire. We differ on season two, which I like much more than most Wire fans. Perhaps it’s Chris Bauer’s raspy voice or the Greek criminals. Whatever it is, I like it and am prepared to defend my opinion even if I have to go down to the docks to do so. Uh oh, I feel an earworm coming on.
Sitting in with the Dead was Pete Townshend, not August West or Frank Sobotka. Jerry wouldn’t have let Frank’s idiot son, Ziggy, within ten miles of a Grateful Dead show. One reason I like season two so much is that it introduced America to the word malaka.
Back to Wire listomania. I’ve revisited several of the highly ranked episodes this week. It’s hard to argue with Vulture’s top pick: the penultimate episode of season 3, Middle Ground,wherein Stringer Bell is shot down by bow tie motherfucker, Brother Mouzone, and everyone’s favorite armed robber, Omar Little.
As Stringer Bell would surely say at this point, “Get on with it, motherfuckers.”
Our next segment comes from the Failing New York Times. Again. I like the illustration and the prose as much as I hate the Yankees. Mind you, I hate the Dodgers much more but the Yankees suck the big one.
I think David Bentley Hart says it all. The last word of the segment goes to Gwen Verdon from the classic musical, Damn Yankees:
If Lola had been around in the 1990’s, she might have dropped PEDS with Sammy Sosa and Jose Canseco.
Anti-Roid Rage: It’s time to post another article from a New York based publication. This time it’s New York Magazine, which has never had a color attributed to it like the Grey Lady. The piece in question is by Will Leitch and declares the era of steroid panic over and done with.
One reason Leitch believes the backlash to the steroid era is over is that former pariah Mark McGwire’s name is being floated as the next manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. That, in turn, could lead to the long overdue Hall of Fame elections of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
I never got the PED hysteria. A bunch of players took drugs to make them play better. Athletes are always searching for an edge. More importantly, many of the drugs used by ballplayers were neither banned by baseball nor illegal when they were consumed.
Leitch has an interesting theory as to why anti-roid rage seems to have played itself out:
When you look back at the PED panic in the age of Trump, it looks more and more like one of those First World problems, the sort of national scandal you invent because there are no actual national scandals to deal with, or at least none that you want to. Not to get too heavy-handed here, but this was a country reckoning with its status as a single global superpower, keep in mind, and wanting desperately, especially after 9/11, to believe in the innocence of its own power. That infamous congressional testimony given by Sosa and McGwire and Jose Canseco and Rafael Palmeiro back in 2005 looks absolutely ridiculous now, the sort of theater indulged by a country that didn’t have the very foundation of democracy to worry about at the time.
Nailed it. Holy crap, I seem to be channeling the mantra of the bad bakers show on Netflix.
It’s time for our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth: There’s very little in SAB-land that’s new and original. I’m not the first to point out the resemblance between Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi Congressman Trey Gowdy and the Deliverance banjo kid. And I won’t be the last.
I originally compared Gowdy to Draco Malfoy in a malaka of the week post. But Trey Gowdy is butt ugly whereas Tom Felton who played Malfoy is handsome. He also never banged on about Hillary’s emails or Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.
Saturday GIF Horse: I remain in a Mel Brooks mood. Hell, I’m always in the mood to laugh, especially after this bleak week. This week we feature the man himself in Life Stinks and High Anxiety.
Let’s wrap up the festivities with some classic rock.
Saturday Classic: I was in Lake Tahoe with my family when Janis Joplin died. I heard the bad news right after seeing Elvis. I was bummed, my parents were indifferent. So it goes.
Pearl was Janis’ final studio album. It’s also her best.
That’s it for this week. Gore Vidal was one of Ali G’s “victims” who got it and played along with him. That’s why GV and his cat get the last word: