The weather has been wild and wacky in New Orleans. It was 80 degrees last weekend, then it plummeted to a day time high of 50 a mere two days later. It’s like being an extra in The Pit and The Pendulum. I have no idea what that means but it sounds good.
We had some car trouble this week. We convinced ourselves we might have major electrical issues. It turned out the car needed a new battery. Whew. Dr. A has named the new used car Hildy, after Rosalind Russell’s character in His Girl Friday. Neither Cary Grant nor Ralph Bellamy were consulted.
Am I allowed to brag? I promise not to go all Insult Comedian on your asses. The response to my Neelyisms: Translating Louisiana’s Junior Senator piece has been very favorable indeed. Thanks, y’all. I hope it will further one of my quirkier causes: getting people to stop calling him by his real name instead of my nickname for him. Repeat after me: In politics, there’s only one John Kennedy, and his middle initial was F, not N. Just call him Neely.
This week’s theme song was written by Bob Dylan for his great 1975 album Blood on the Tracks. Tangled Up In Blue is one of my favorite Dylan tunes. It’s an almost foolproof song, which is why it has been covered so many times.
We have three versions for your listening pleasure: Dylan’s original, a 2017 cover by Joan Osborne, and a live version by the Jerry Garcia Band.
Now that we’re all tangled up, let’s jump to the break. I hope I can find my blue ripcord.
A quick note about the featured image. In addition to painting Large Blue Horses, Franz Marc was a member of the German Expressionist school of painters known as Der Blaue Reiter. That’s Blue Rider in ‘Merican. There’s that color again.
Since we’re all feeling a bit blue, here’s another song with the color in the title. Talk about a weak pretext to post some Smithereens:
We begin our second act in earnest with a story that combines science and comedy.
The Science Of The Man In The White Suit: I love the Ealing Studio comedies that were made between 1947-1957. The Man In The White Suit starred Alec Guinness and is the subject of a cool piece by Andrew Maynard at Slate:
The Man in the White Suit was released in 1951 and is, remarkably, a movie about stain-resistant pants. But more than this, it’s a movie about the pitfalls of blinkered science and socially unaware innovation. And while it is not a movie about nanotechnology per se, it is remarkably prescient in how it foreshadows the complex social and economic dynamics around nanotechnology, and advanced materials more generally.
That’s some pretty high brow shit. I’ll let y’all sort it out yourselves. All I know about nanotechnology, I learned from MST3K:
The 100 Greatest Screenwriters: The great William Goldman died last month at the age of 86. One of his Oscar-winning scripts was for All The Presidents Men. Mark Felt never said “follow the money.” That was pure Goldman. He also created the catch phrase “Is it safe?” for Marathon Man.
Not long after Goldman died, I stumbled into a 2017 Vulture list of the 100 greatest screenwriters of all-time. Goldman came in at #6. It’s hard to argue with the top pick, Billy Wilder. But I think Preston Sturges should be rated higher than # 17 and John Huston is way too low at #46. I gotta stick up for the man who shares my birthday. Vulture, you have a Huston problem.
As you know, I love these lists and this is a pretty darn good one even if they have amateur boxer John Huston punching below his weight.
Documentary Of The Week: Netflix’s Longshot is a tightly constructed 40 minute true crime/wrong man documentary. It posed a grave moral test for me: I had to root for a Dodger fan and admit that a Dodger executive is a good egg. Speaking of eggheads, noted bald guy Larry David appears in Longshot. To learn why, you’ll have to see for yourself.
No more spoilers. Here’s the trailer:
Longshot is streaming on Netflix. I give it 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+.
Don’t worry, I still refuse to bleed Dodger blue. There’s that color again.
The Weekly GV: There’s been a lot of talk this week about the decline and fall of the GOP. Here’s what the Master had to say about it to a British interviewer in 2009:
“You think of the Republican Party as a party, like the British Conservative Party – well it isn’t. I don’t say that the British Conservative Party is much better, I’m only saying the Republican Party is a mindset. They love war. They love money. They’re out to hang on through all the connections that they have, through their various operatives.”
That’s just as true today as it was then. Truer, actually.
I wrote one of my weirder posts yesterday. The dream that will live in infamy inspired the next segment as well.
Saturday GIF Horse: I was pleasantly surprised to learn how many From Here To Eternity animated GIFs there are. Sometimes the internet is a swell place.
This image has so much smoke that it nearly made me cough:
Fatso Judson: sadistic jailer and barroom pianist. Dig the crazy Hawaiian shirts, y’all.
It’s time to introduce a new regular feature.
Vintage Music Video Of The Week: I’m old enough to remember when MTV showed music videos instead of shitty reality shows. This feature pays tribute to the videos that made MTV famous before they spent too much time on The Jersey Shore. What the Puck is a Snooki anyway? I cannot believe I just made a Real World joke. How low the mighty have sunk.
Our first vintage video is Avalon by Roxy Music. Bryan Ferry was big on white coats in 1982. I think he thought he was Rick in Casablanca.
We’ll always have Paris as well as Andy Mackay on sax. Play it again, Sam.
Bryan Ferry has covered As Time Goes By but without the white jacket. That was so Eighties:
Let’s close things out by setting the dial on the musical wayback machine to 1968.
Saturday Classic: Sailor is the best record the Steve Miller Band ever made. It was the last album Boz Scaggs appeared on before lido shuffling off to Seventies superstardom.
It’s a swell record with two standout tracks: Living in the USA written by Steve Miller and the album closer Dime-a-Dance Romance, which was written by Boz Scaggs.
In the immortal words of Steve Miller, “Somebody get me a Cheeseburger.”
That’s it for this week. Poppypalooza is over but I thought we’d extend it a bit with this week’s closing meme. It’s a picture of the 41st president with the Sultan of Swat: Babe Ruth. Bush was the captain of the Yale baseball team, which was coached by the Bambino’s old Red Sox teammate Smokey Joe Wood. Bush-n-Babe get the last word: