It’s been a good news, silly news week in New Orleans. I’m a good news first person: with the help of Governor Edwards, Mayor LaToya Cantrell has secured millions in tourism money to help fix our aging infrastructure. Here’s what I mean by aging infrastructure:
In silly local news, the Krewe of Nyx is planning a summer parade. Just what we needed: a sweaty-n-steamy faux Carnival parade. This is why I call them the krewe of mediocre themes and bad ideas. The only good thing is that they won’t be sweat-rolling on the traditional parade route near Adrastos World HQ. It’s a terrible idea: the allure of Carnival is enhanced by its seasonality. This is like eating oysters in a month without an R. Shorter Adrastos: Nix on Nyx.
Motown May continues with this week’s theme song. Stevie Wonder wrote You Haven’t Done Nothin’ in 1974 in response to the news of the day: Watergate. That’s right, it’s about Nixon. I’ve used it before but never as an Odds & Sods theme song. Since we’re in a slow-motion constitutional crisis, it works. Just think of Trump instead of Tricky Dick.
We have two versions for your listening pleasure: Stevie’s original and a 2018 cover by Roger Daltrey.
Now that we’ve trashed talked Tricky-n-Trumpy, let’s jump to the break.
I’ve had a Stevie Wonder song of the same vintage in my head all week. Time to expel this benign earworm:
We begin our second act with an obligatory two-fer: a political segment that comes from Vulture. I can’t seem to kick my Vulture habit, y’all. Besides, kicking a vulture could be dangerous and I’m not that big of a turkey; at least I hope not
Dan Is Rather Vexed: The former CBS anchor sat for a wide-ranging interview with Vulture’s Joseph Adalain. Dan the Man rarely minces words and he didn’t this time either. Here are Dan’s thoughts about my girl, Rachel:
You’re a regular guest on Rachel Maddow’s show. I sometimes see some media reporters and pundits making comparisons with the prime-time anchors on Fox News, that they’re all partisans. What’s your take?
This is false equivalency. By any reasonable analysis, Fox News is something new in the American experience. This is a straight-out propaganda outlet for the president who’s in the White House. And it’s as close as we’ve ever had to an authoritarian regime’s propaganda voice. I’m talking specifically about their prime time. To try to strike any equivalency between Maddow and that is frankly not worth discussing. Maddow’s opening 25- or 30-minute beginning — the combination of research and really good writing — is good journalism. Now, does it have a point of view? Yes, it has a point of view. But again, I don’t think there’s any equivalency between what Maddow does at nine o’clock Eastern Time and what Fox does between 7 and 11 p.m.
There’s Trump bashing aplenty in this excellent interview. Make sure you read the whole thing. It’s rather fine.
Our next two segments are movie related. The first one involves a crime that Paulie Walnuts might have described as a “rape of da cultcha.”
The Angels Wanna Steal My Ruby Slippers: On freedom of the press day, I bought a bargain basement digital subscription to the Bezos Post, so it’s only fitting that I link to a fascinating piece in the WaPo Magazine. It’s true crime meets movie buffery at its best: The Case Of The Stolen Ruby Slippers. Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson has the slippery details.
You didn’t think I’d end the segment without the obvious musical interlude, did you?
Who among us doesn’t enjoy hate watching bad movies? One of my all-time teevee fave raves, MST3K, is based on riffing on shite movies, after all.
Michael Musto On The Joys Of Bad Movies: In a charming piece for Longreads.com, the former Village Voicer reveals the roots of his love for terrible movies:
I grew up in the ’60s with good/bad movies in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn because the nearby Walker Theater was where subpar films regularly came to crash land. It was very rare that they had an Oscar-caliber movie there, and I had to wonder if the place was a front or some kind of tax write-off, though that didn’t stop me in the least from being a regular customer. I pantingly lined up for the dire attractions like Boom! (an overheated Tennessee Williams drama with Liz Taylor in an eye-popping headdress and Noel Coward as “the witch of Capri”), Secret Ceremony (Liz again, this time as a prostitute who fancies herself the mother of broken waif Mia Farrow), and De Sade(Keir Dullea as the celebrated sadist, with lots of slow-motion flogging that I didn’t quite understand at age 13, though I felt very adult taking it in). I was well aware that these were not works of prestige, having read the savage newspaper reviews, but there was no denying that I loved them! For a mere dollar admission, I sat there (usually alone) and found joy in the exotic settings, the over the top acting, and the glitzy accessories. “Bad” became “good” to me because, even if I occasionally felt the urge to question the inanity of these films, they took me out of the ennui of my adolescence while also educating me about the power of escapism and star quality. I was not bored.
I wonder who Musto’s favorite MST3K bot is? Tom Servo would be my guess. Mine is Crow as voiced by either Trace Beaulieu or Bill Corbett. I refuse to choose between those two brilliant bots. Does that make me bot and sold? A pun so bad that I’ll apologize for it. There’s a first time for everything, y’all.
Speaking of Crow and Servo, does anyone remember the time they were gay marriage pioneers?
I think they’re both dude bots but I’ve never inspected them up close and personal if you catch my bot drift.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth: It’s time for two Hoosier peas in a pod, MSM darling Pete Buttigieg and Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens:
Not only are they fellow Hoosiers, one is a former small college basketball coach, the other is a small college city Mayor. Only one of them is qualified for a big job and it ain’t the guy with whom I share a first name, it’s the guy who’s filling the shoes of Red Auerbach, Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, and KC Jones. Hell, dealing with Kyrie Irving is almost as bad as dealing with dudebros on the tweeter tube.
Saturday GIF Horse: The greatest defensive shortstop of my lifetime was Cardinals Hall of Famer, Ozzie Smith. He also did a mean backflip.
Now that we’ve flipped over baseball’s Wizard of Oz, it’s MTV time.
Weekly Vintage Music Video: I had completely forgotten about this swell video from Todd and Utopia. The song itself is unforgettable.
Let’s close things out by bringing some funk to the proceedings.
Saturday Classic: I’ve been working on a Louisiana Tunes listicle for the Bayou Brief. Hence this great 1974 album, which was recorded at the Meters’ funky peak. What’s not to love about an album produced by the late great Allen Toussaint?
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to the Dragon Queen and an errant Starbucks cup. Did they think it was Battlestar Galactica or some such shit?