The weird weather continues in New Orleans. I’ve compared it to a yo-yo or a rollercoaster in the past. This week’s analogy is a pendulum only with fog. Fog is the only constant. January skies are on the gloomy side: gray, overcast, and depressing. If only it were overcast in August when it’s blazing hot. So it goes.
We’re in throes of preparing for Krewe du Vieux. It’s early this year: February 8th, a mere 3 weeks away. This strikes me as a good time to link to last year’s Bayou Brief piece, Confessions Of A Krewe du Vieux Member.
This week’s theme song was written by Dave Wakeling for the Beat’s 1982 album, Special Beat Service. It, in fact, has a beat and you can dance to it. Uh oh, I’ve morphed into Dick Clark in my dotage. What’s next? A gig hosting a game show?
We have two versions of Save It For Later for your listening pleasure. The original studio version by the English Beat (the Beat to me) and a live version by Pete Townshend.
Before jumping to the break, another song with save in the title:
All that saving made me feel like Mariano Rivera. OMG, a Yankee reference. I’m going to hell but on the way, let’s jump to the break.
Before beginning our second act in earnest, another song called Save Me:
Don’t worry, I don’t have a messiah complex. Neither a savior nor a saver be. I’m not sure what that means but it scans. I like to scan.
The Demagogue’s Daughter: Donald Trump’s right-wing populist stump style has been frequently compared to George Wallace. Unlike Trump, Wallace rose from the white working class. Like Trump, Wallace was a charlatan. In his case, he turned to racist demagoguery as a path to electoral success and power after losing his first attempt to become Governor of Alabama. In 1982, he ran for a final term as Governor as a reformed sinner. It was sincere, not an act. The white supremacist firebrand shtick was the act, but the damage was done.
There’s a brilliant piece by Frye Gaillard at The Bitter Southerner about Wallace’s daughter, Peggy. She’s devoted much of her life to dealing with the divisive legacy of the father she loved but whose demagoguery she deplored.
In her telling, George Wallace was a gifted politician who left a legacy of racism and rage, and knew that he had done it, and desperately, urgently sought to make amends. This is a daughter’s portrait of a man who led three public lives, who fashioned, in a sense, three political careers. Ambition practiced with decency defined two of those – the first and the last. But the one in the middle, the one history remembers, stoked the fires of division and hate. And through it all there was the specter of pain.
Let’s end the segment on a positive note with two songs about Peggy Wallace Kennedy’s home state; one of which cites her father.
Let’s move from the fog of history to the fog of war. I told you I had fog on my mind.
The Best War Movies Ever Made: Rumor has it that I love Vulture’s lists. I’m the one who started that rumor so it must be true. This time around it’s a list of the 50 best war movies ever made. I don’t agree with all of it but as someone who has compiled lists for the Bayou Brief, I respect the effort as well as the end result. Keith Phipps has the details
Lists, huh, yeah. What are they good for? Absolutely nothing. There I go confusing my readers again. I should be repentant but I’m not.
Let’s close out our second act with a medley of War and No More Trouble. I didn’t want to leave you bummed out.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth- Casting Edition: Hollywood likes making movies about presidents. The greatest Democratic president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, has been a favorite subject:
Btw, Edward Herrmann also played FDR in a fine teevee adaptation of Joseph Lash’s book, Eleanor and Franklin.
It’s time to take a road trip with FDR and Ry Cooder:
Classic Movie List: I never understood why Glenn Ford became a movie star. He was blah and bland. Anytime I see Ford in a movie, I always wish that Bill Holden had been cast instead. He was always good and never blah and bland.
My Top Ten Favorite William Holden Movies:
- Sunset Boulevard
- Bride On the River Kwai
- The Wild Bunch
- Stalag 17
- Executive Suite
- Born Yesterday
Ronald Reagan was best man at one of Bill Holden’s weddings. As Reagan came to political prominence Holden, an ardent liberal, said something like this: “Ronnie for best man. Ronnie for best friend. Ronnie for president? No way.” If only America had listened to Holden.
Saturday GIF Horse: I can’t let go of LSU’s national championship. Here are Coach O and his Tigers during an earlier contest this year. Looks like they just scored.
I have forgiven them for going to the White House. I’m not gonna let the Impeached Insult Comedian harsh my buzz. As Joe E. Brown said at the end of Some Like It Hot:
Weekly Vintage Music Video: The Beat were obliged to call themselves the English Beat in the US&A because there was a rival, and lesser, band of that same name. I think of them as the only Beat. Here’s another one of their videos.
Let’s close things out with an album by one of the best jazz singers of all. There’s fog involved and it’s on the velvety side.
Saturday Classic: My Kind Of Music is a swell 1961 album by the Velvet Fog, which is one of the greatest nicknames in music history.
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to Gloria Swanson and William Holden in the number one movie on the Holden list, Sunset Boulevard.