I had a stupid kitchen accident this week. The sink was full-ish so I decided to pour boiling water into an airborne/hand-held colander. I missed and mildly scalded my left hand. It hurt like hell for a day or so but barely qualified as a first degree burn. I did, however, feel like a first degree dumbass. It was not unlike being an honorary Trump.
I just finished reading John Farrell’s fine 2017 biography of Richard Nixon. I learned two positive things about Tricky Dick. First, he broke his arm as a young politician after slipping on the ice outside his DC area home. The break occurred because he held onto his daughter instead of bracing for the fall with his hands. Second, Nixon was a good tipper. He tipped 25% in the late Sixties when 10% when standard and 15% was a big tip. Hell has frozen over: I just said something nice about Nixon.
After last week’s sad theme songs, I decided to elevate the tone a bit. Back In The High Life Again was written by Steve Winwood and Will Jennings in 1986. It was a big hit; surely aided by James Taylor’s gorgeous harmony vocals.
We have two versions for your listening pleasure: Winwood’s chirpy original and a mournful interpretation by Warren Zevon, another wry and sardonic guy. We’re everywhere, y’all.
Now I want some Miller High Life, which is my favorite cheap beer. It’s even good enough for my beer snob/home brewer friend Greg. On that note, let’s take a swig of Miller, then jump to the break. Try not to spill any. Wasting beer is a sin.
Before shifting into high gear, we need some medicine, Winwood-style:
I hope you enjoyed that good old-fashioned medicated goo. I sure did.
We begin our second act in earnest. Not this Ernest:
That character is as dumb as any hardcore Trumper. Just give him a red hat and he’d fit right in. Yeah, I know: Jim Varney died in 2000, but Ernest P. Worrell is eternal. Why? I’ll never know.
I, of course, meant earnest with an A, but sometimes I cannot help myself. I guess I need to deploy this image after that deeply silly interlude.
Country Club White Supremacy: The Citizens’ Council fancied themselves the respectable face of segregation in Mississippi. They had a radio show from 1957-1966 on which they espoused their white-collar bigotry. The tapes are archived at Mississippi State. They’ve been preserved and transcribed by historian Stephanie Rolph and her team. Slate’s Rebecca Onion sat down for a conversation with Rolph about this treasure trove of vintage racism.
A fascinating sub-plot of this story was the Citizens’ Council’s advocacy of the breakaway British colony of Rhodesia. Prime Minister Ian Smith’s racist government was in vogue on the American right in the Sixties; even in the more respectable precincts of the conservative movement. William F. Buckley was a Rhodesia fan boy. Remember that the next time someone talks about the good old days and what a good egg Bill Buckley was.
I don’t know about you but Athenae and I have been looking forward to the return of Deadwood for years. The time is nearly nigh.
Deadwood Rides Again: Deadwood maestro David Milch has been trying to give his classic show a proper finale ever since it was cancelled in 2006. Deadwood: The Movie makes its HBO debut on May, 31. It’s a bittersweet triumph for Milch: he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The great teevee writer Matt Zoller Seitz has the details at Vulture.
Here’s the trailer:
Deadwood is fucking coming back, cocksuckers.
The buzz is that we’re staying in teevee land with our next segment. Did I say buzz? You know what that means: Killer Bees.
SNL Does Mardi Gras: By 1977, it was obvious the Saturday Night Live was a genuine comedic and cultural phenomenon. Producer Lorne Michaels decided to spread his wings and try something daring: a live prime-time broadcast from Carnival in New Orleans. Sounds like a good idea, right? What could possibly go wrong? Everything; as you’ll learn from Andrew Buss and Chris Kopcow’s marvelous piece at Vulture.
Another Vulture piece? Does that make me a turkey buzzard? How would I carrion without Vulture or without CSNY for that matter:
I realize you may be questioning my taste level after those jokes. Wise choice.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth: Baseball pioneer Jim Mutrie was one of the most successful managers of his day: winning three pennants in the 19th Century. As an old man he resembled Burt Lancaster’s character in Field Of Dreams. Who could possibly object to that comparison?
I’d love you forever if you told me I looked like Burt at any age. I don’t even resemble Giants manager/hall of fame first sacker Bill Terry. I am, however, as sarcastic as Terry.
Here’s the tweet that explains my natterings:
Separated at birth! Former Giants manager Jim Mutrie in 1939 with Bill Terry and Moonlight Graham played by Burt Lancaster in Field of Dreams. pic.twitter.com/zvRNshJLtn
— SABR Pictorial (@SABRPictorial) April 23, 2019
Yo, SABR: Mutrie died in 1938 according to Baseball Reference. Oops.
I wonder if he left his mustache to science? It was a truly magnificent specimen.
Meme Of The Week: Joe Biden baited the Insult Comedian into defending his “there were very fine people on both sides” comment about the Charlottesville mishigas. The president* went on to offer a favorable opinion of the patron saint of Lost Causers, Robert E. Lee.
An, unknown to me, internet wit responded to Trump calling Lee “one of the great generals” with this image of William Tecumseh Sherman:
When the Civil War broke out, General Sherman was the superintendent of the school that morphed into my alma mater, Louisiana State University. LSU is, of course, one of the founding members of the SEC. It’s a small fucking world after all. Geaux Tigers.
Saturday GIF Horse: I’ve been watching MASH reruns of late. It’s comfort teevee for me. Besides, who among us doesn’t enjoy seeing a hairy man flouncing about in fuzzy pink slippers?
Weekly Vintage Music Video: We’ve all had misunderstandings with people we care about. I’m having one right now so I consulted with Banks, Collins, and Rutherford to see if they had any answers to this age-old problem: there must be, there must be…
Let’s close things out with some more music.
Saturday Classic: Genesis fans are a feisty lot. Some are horrified that I like both pre and post Gabriel Genesis. They think it “must be a misunderstanding, some kind of mistake” but it’s not. I do not, however, care for Phil Collins’ solo work. I remain uncertain as to what the fuck a Sussuido is to this very day.
So was Peter Gabriel’s commercial breakthrough, which made it controversial among prog purists who preferred that he remain a cult artist. They’re nuts: it’s a great album.
That’s it for this week. Dr. A and I binge watched season 5 of Bosch last weekend. It’s another winner. That’s why Harry and Jerry get the last word.