It’s a solemn day in New Orleans: Dr. John’s memorial service and second line are later today. There was already an informal, impromptu second line but this is the real deal. Rest in peace, Mac. We’ll miss you.
The news has been relentlessly bleak of late, which is why I’ve turned my attention to the New Orleans Pelicans success in the recent NBA draft. Zion Williamson seems to be a real game changer. While I’m uncertain if he’ll be the next LeBron James, he may be the next Charles Barkley. We needed some good news after the way Anthony Davis pouted his way out of town. New Pels honcho, David Griffin, took the Lakers to the cleaners in trading away AD and seems to have drafted and traded wisely. This pre-draft tweet sums things up quite well:
Here’s hoping the Zion era doesn’t end like the Baron Davis, Chris Paul or Anthony Davis eras. That concludes the inside New Orleans basketball portion of the Saturday post.
I’m “I remember when Rod Stewart was a respected artist and critics darling” years old. This week’s theme song was the title track of Stewart’s 1971 commercial breakthrough album. Every Picture Tells A Story was written by Rod Stewart and Ron Wood. It’s the opening track of one of the best albums of the 1970’s. Unfortunately, Rod the Mod threw it all way artistically when he moved to Los Angeles and released the shitty “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and other horrendous hits. I hope I didn’t give anyone an earworm.
We have two versions for your listening pleasure: the original and a live medley of Too Bad and Every Picture Tells A Story. The Faces are the backing band in both instances and, as always, they rock hard.
Now that you’ve got the picture, let’s hop into one of those prop planes and fly to the break. I’m reluctant to say jump because I don’t want to bail out on y’all.
Before getting down to the Odds & Sods nitty gritty, here’s another swell Rod Stewart hit:
We begin our second act in earnest with an examination of Veeps who became president.
Accidental Presidents: Tech guy and former State Department official Jared Cohen has written a book about the politicians who went, to paraphrase John Adams, from being nothing to everything. Adams, of course, served 2 terms as Veep before becoming the nation’s first one-and-done Chief Executive.
Cohen takes a close look at the accidental presidents who served before the passage of the 25th Amendment. I’ve included Jerry Ford in my ranking below because I was fond of the man. Plus, Betty was a rock star FLOTUS. They were real people despite being Republicans. What would Chevy Chase have done without President Ford?
Here’s how I rate the accidental presidents:
- Lyndon Johnson
- Teddy Roosevelt
- Harry Truman
- Gerald Ford
- Calvin Coolidge
- Chester Arthur
- Selina Meyer
- John Tyler
- Millard Fillmore
- Andrew Johnson
Yeah, I know Selina is fictional but she was still a better accidental president than those assholes at the bottom of the list. Andrew Johnson falls somewhere between 43 and 45 on the list of Oval Ones; as one of his more recent competitors for worst president ever might say he was a “total disaster.” Believe me.
The last word of the segment goes to Little Walter. This Willie Dixon tune is about currency but what’s not to love about a song about “dem dead presidents”?
In lieu of the obligatory Vulture piece, we have a second article from New York Magazine about a con man and some gullible college kids.
Brooklyn Svengali is what I call a creep named Larry Ray. He got out of jail, stayed in his daughter’s Sarah Lawrence dorm room, and gained an eerie hold over some of her friends and classmates.
This shit heel was a man who screwed over everyone he ever met including his former friend ex-NYPD chief Bernie Kerik. Kerik’s path to prison began with his association with Larry Ray. Ezra Marcus and James D. Walsh have the details in their outstanding cover story in New York Magazine.
The authors have also written a piece on how they reported the piece. It’s well worth a gander or a goose for that matter. Honk, honk, honk.
Let’s move from Larry Ray’s cult of personality to one of the weirdest men to have ever played in the NBA.
Documentary Of The Week: Ron Artest changed his named to Meta World Peace in 2010 but nobody who knows him well calls him that in the Showtime documentary, Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story.
Artest was an odd duck when he was an active player: alternately gentle and soft-spoken or brash and scary. He turns out to have been bi-polar but declined to treat his malady for many years after the diagnosis.
In recent years, Artest has become the poster child for mental health issues. He finally underwent treatment and is perhaps the only NBA player to have ever thanked his shrink upon winning a championship with the Lakers in 2010.
Even though Artest is one of the producers, Quiet Storm is a warts and all profile. They go into detail about Artest’s suspension for essentially causing a riot during a game between his Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. It was not one of the NBA’s finer moments.
Here’s the trailer:
Quiet Storm is playing on Showtime On Demand. I give it 3 stars and an Adrastos grade of B. It’s no Hoop Dreams, but I’m sure Siskel and Ebert would have given it a thumbs up.
The last word of our second act goes to Bruce Hornsby with a song containing some serious basketball imagery. FYI, Hornsby’s son, Keith, played college hoops at LSU.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth: I seem to be obsessed with accidental presidents. This week’s SAB features Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin and Millard Fillmore, the last Whig president. The Current Occupant has merely flipped his wig.
I hope y’all are proud of me for not making a Mallard Fillmore joke. I’m trying not to quack up.
Let’s visit the Tweeter Tube.
Tweet Of The Week: Scott Fitzgerald famously said: “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” That’s particularly true of rich people in New Orleans. Below we have a tweet by Loyola historian Justin Nystrom with a response from some internet smart ass.
Momus, Comus, and Rex are all old line Carnival krewes and they’re as snooty as fuck or is that shit? There were many on my twitter feed who thought terlet flushing was a good use of Chardonnay. I’m a whiskey and beer guy so I’m agnostic on that point.
Justin later pointed out that Bacchus was a fairer point of reference. It’s true that Pip and Owen Brennan were among the founders of that krewe. But ragging on Momus, Comus, and Rex is funnier. A satirist has gotta do what a satirist has gotta do:
Saturday GIF Horse: Since I alluded to Svengali earlier, here’s an animated GIF from the 1931 movie starring John Barrymore as Sven, by golly, and Marian Marsh as Trilby.
Now that the Trilby is gone, let’s watch a pre-MTV video.
Weekly Vintage Music Video: This animated video for 1979’s Accidents Will Happen was something of a landmark. It certainly aided and abetted the career of Declan MacManus, which was manifestly a good thing.
Let’s end this week’s festivities with some music from Our Mac.
Saturday Classic: I’d never heard Dr. John’s 1989 live tribute to Professor Longhair before. Not surprisingly, it’s awesome. Join me on this voyage of discovery or some such shit. It may help you get over being desitively traumaticalized by Mac’s passing.
That’s it for this week. The glorious Gloria Vanderbilt died last Monday at the age of 96. She gets the last word with this image from one of her designer jeans photo shoots.