It’s been a tough week in the Big Uneasy and everywhere else on planet for that matter. The good news is that Governor John Bel Edwards excels in a crisis. He’s a West Point graduate and he’s brought some military calm to the pandemic. Mayor Cantrell bowed to the inevitable and issued a stay home order for residents of Orleans Parish. She’s doing all the right things but remains verbose in doing them. Every time I see her on teevee, my inner speechwriter dies a little.
This week’s theme song was composed by Yes for 1974’s Relayer album. The lyrics are by Jon Anderson. It was inspired by Tolstoy’s War and Peace and has four movements:
The song describe a battle, with a prelude, a charge, a moment of victory, and a peace. “It’s not to explain war or denounce it really,” Anderson said. “It’s an emotional description with the slight feeling at the end of, ‘Do we have to go through this forever?”
We have two versions of The Gates Of Delirium for your listening pleasure. The studio original and a 2001 live version with a dadgum Dutch orchestra:
Now that we’re all a bit delirious, here’s a song from Neko Case, KD Lang, and Laura Veirs:
Since we’re at the gates of a delirious new era, let’s jump to the break and see what’s on the other side.
We begin our second act with some words of wisdom from my friend Clancy DuBos.
The Kindness Of Strangers: This tweet sums up Clancy’s tone rather well:
Clancy DuBos: Louisiana knows how to handle disasters — Lord knows we've had plenty of practice. Let’s remember the most important lesson of those past events by doing all we can for one another. That’s what instills the priceless gift of hope. https://t.co/w10WEAq7LP
— Gambit (@The_Gambit) March 19, 2020
I met Clancy after Katrina and the Federal Flood. I’d been reading him and watching his teevee punditry since I arrived in New Orleans. I was flattered to learn that he was one of my readers. He was fascinated by the phenomenon of the OG NOLA bloggers and we became friends. He’s always treated me as an equal even though he’s the dean of New Orleans political punditry and I’m a guy who tells jokes on the internet. Thanks, buddy.
We also should remember what got us through the darkest days after Katrina: the importance of a helping hand, a kind word, and personal sacrifices — not just for those we know, but also for strangers. The kindness of strangers may be the best tonic of all.
The Strange and Dangerous World of America’s Big Cat People: I’ve never understood why ordinary people have exotic pets. A guy in my neighborhood used to have a Cerval. I don’t know what happened to the big cat but I’m glad it’s nowhere near me. On a lighter note, one of my neighbors misheard the breed of the wild cat and said, “There’s a cervix loose? How is that possible?” It takes all kinds.
I prefer Tigers who wear purple and gold myself.
Longreads.com day at First Draft continues.
25 Movies and the Magazine Stories That Inspired Them: I’m a fan of good listicles and this is an exceptional one. It was compiled by Catherine Cusick and hits many recent movie adaptation high points. It also links to the stories in question and will provide hours of entertainment for our self-isolating readers. Check it out.
I just gave myself an earworm; at least it’s a benign one as well as the last word of our second act.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth: This is the first time I’ve repeated a pairing. It’s in honor of the great Joe Posnanski’s Baseball 100 series at The Athletic. I was particularly taken with his piece about Grover Cleveland Alexander. Here’s the pitcher with director David Lynch:
Speaking of great movie directors:
The Classic Movie List: John Huston and I share a birthday. I originally compiled this list on our shared BD in 2017 but I listed the movies in chronological order. Woe is me, bop. It’s time to rectify that error.
My Top Ten Favorite John Huston Movies:
- Maltese Falcon
- The Treasure Of Sierra Madre
- Key Largo
- The Man Who Would Be King
- Prizzi’s Honor
- The African Queen
- Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison
- Fat City
- The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
- Wise Blood
Ready for some Hustonian lagniappe? Of course, you are. His best performance as an actor was in Chinatown. The best performance by an actor playing a character based on John Huston: Clint Eastwood in White Hunter, Black Heart.
It’s poster montage time:
Saturday GIF Horse: Penguin GIFs are in vogue right now. Here’s one featuring African Penguins in the wild:
The last word of the segment goes to Frank Zappa and the Mothers:
Let’s take a trip to Tennessee and pay our respects to one of our finest singers, Rosanne Cash.
Vintage Music Video: A train song by an artist named Cash? Imagine that.
Rosanne’s ex-husband, Rodney Crowell, is one of my favorite artists. Here’s a lagniappe video featuring them when they both had big country singer hair:
Let’s close things out with some more music.
Saturday Classic: Here’s another live set from the KSAN archives featuring guitar wizard Robin Trower and his original power trio.
That’s it for this week. You didn’t think I was done milking the Vic Schiro/Beatles connection, did you?