I’ve gone on about NOLA rain in this space this summer. It was the wettest July in recorded history, and it happened without any tropical systems getting too close for comfort. That much rain can be inconvenient, but it keeps the temperatures down. That concludes this brief weather report. If I had a green screen, I’d go on longer, but we don’t have the budget for it.
Like everywhere else in the country, life has been grim in New Orleans of late. Small businesses, especially restaurants have been failing daily. It’s estimated that up to 50% of restaurants here will close for good. They need help and since the government ordered them to close, it should come from them. I am not optimistic that Moscow Mitch and his merry band of miscreants will reconsider and ride to the rescue. In the immortal words of Mel Brooks:
This week’s theme song is an ironic choice for this moment in time: ain’t no bands on the run or even on the road.
Paul McCartney wrote Band On The Run in 1973. It was the title track of Wings’ smash hit album, Band On The Run. Was that a run-on sentence? Beats the hell outta me. I’ll stick a band-aid on it just in case.
We have two versions of this Macca classic for your listening pleasure: the Wings original and a raucous cover by Foo Fighters.
Let’s run to the other side of the break. I think I hear band music in the distance.
Actually, we heard Todd Rundgren and the Jayhawks:
We begin our second act with a brief tribute to an American classic.
Requiem For Regis: It’s hard to think of another entertainment figure as beloved as Regis Philbin. He died this week at the age of 88. He was a cranky everyman whose amusing kvetching made him the ultimate old school New Yorker. They don’t make ’em like Reege anymore.
I’m posting about Regis because his New York Times obituary is a masterpiece of the form:
Heiress On The Run: Vanity Fair specializes in stories about fallen rich people. Nobody has taken a bigger fall than Ghislaine Maxwell. She fell for the first time when her sleazy publisher father, Robert died, and it was revealed that he was the con man’s con man. I’m sure President* Pennywise admired him. Role models are hard to find.
Her second fall was caused by her role as Jeffrey Epstein’s procurer and she spent a year on the lam. Maxwell frumped herself up and ended up in the Granite State where she was apprehended. Mark Seal has the details at Vanity Fair.
Del Shannon gets the last word of the segment:
Crime Story was a teevee show that aired from 1986-88. Runaway was its theme song. Hence the video above. Since Ghislaine is a criminal who ran away, it’s a perfect match.
We begin our next segment with a photograph taken in 1941:
There’s a raging dispute over whether that’s a Nazi salute or a Bellamy salute. I’ll explain what the latter is in a moment. Hint: it has nothing to do with former NBA star Walt Bellamy.
That concludes this loopy-n-hoopy digression.
When Is A Nazi Salute Not A Nazi Salute? That’s the question posed by Matt Seaton in a fascinating piece at the New York Review of Books. A biographer of Senator Burton Wheeler contacted the NYRB about the photo caption when it was used in an earlier piece about American Fascism. They told him to take it up with Getty Images. Wheeler’s biographer maintains that it’s a Bellamy salute:
The Bellamy salute is named for Francis Bellamy, a minister who, in 1892, wrote the American Pledge of Allegiance. A socialist and internationalist, he hoped that his original wording would be adopted by all nations (the words “of the United States of America” were added after “Flag” only in 1923; and “under God” was later added after “one nation,” during the Eisenhower administration, the better to ward off godless Communists). Bellamy also described the physical gesture to accompany the pledge-taking; hence the Bellamy salute.
A quick search of Getty stock for flag salutes from the first half of the twentieth century revealed plenty of images of mainly young people saluting the flag with either a conventional military salute (crooked arm, hand to the forehead) or the also-familiar hand-on-heart; only a few showed Bellamy salutes, from around the turn of the century, with the straight, outstretched arm, though also generally with the palm open, not facing downward.
This is the sort of dispute that’s unlikely to be resolved to anyone’s complete satisfaction. I found the whole thing very interesting, so I thought I’d share. Saturday Odds & Sods is all about sharing, after all.
The last word of our second act goes to Spike Jones with a song that’s the opposite of a salute:
Now I want some beer and sausages. If I drink enough beer, I’ll forget to invade Poland.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth: Mocking Matt Gaetz is more than just a pastime, it’s a passion. This paring with Ann B. Davis as Alice on The Brady Bunch is hair inspired:
Separated at birth? pic.twitter.com/2cA2a9TOkD
— Jesse Elin Browne (@effiedog) July 29, 2020
I considered stealing the joke below about Gaetz’s hairdo, but I couldn’t do that to one of my NOLA Twitter compatriots:
The Pompadouche https://t.co/IQsSO6QoPo
— The Bearded Educator (@LiteraryBeardo) July 28, 2020
Speaking of educators, it’s time for the wit and wisdom of the world’s tallest dead economist.
The Weekly Galbraith: Ken Galbraith loved biting the hand that fed him. It was probably dangerous when the paw belonged to Lyndon Johnson.
The Classic Movie List: Olivia de Havilland was one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She recently died at the age of 104. What a life, what an actress.
My Top Ten Favorite Olivia de Havilland Movies:
- The Heiress
- Adventures Of Robin Hood
- Gone With The Wind
- The Snake Pit
- The Dark Mirror
- The Strawberry Blonde
- Not As A Stranger
- It’s Love I’m After
- To Each His Own
Olivia was feisty to the end suing FX and Ryan Murphy over their portrayal of her in Feud. I, for one, wouldn’t complain if Catherine Zeta-Jones were cast to play me, other than the whole gender confusion thing. Besides, Olivia came off better than either Bette or Joan.
Saturday GIF Horse: Who among us didn’t love Colonel Potter’s shit euphemisms on MASH. Here are two of them:
That reminds me of a euphemism-free Warren Zevon tune:
Weekly Vintage Music Video: It’s another one-hit wonder.
Let’s close things down with some more music.
Saturday Classic: For some reason, I’ve played a lot of music from the 1980’s during the pandemic. Perhaps it’s because I’m a sucker for Fairlight synthesizers, which were more synthetic than any Moog I can think of.
I’m among the rare breed of Genesis fans who likes both the Gabriel and Collins eras. Why? Keyboard wizard Peter Banks was there the whole damn time.
I’ve always liked the Invisible Touch album, but it’s become an obsession of late. It’s pop-prog at its best.
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to the Spitting Images Genesis puppets: