New Orleans dodged a wet and windy bullet earlier this week. Hurricane Sally dumped two feet of rain in some areas on the Florida-Alabama border. I don’t guilty for being relieved. If I were Poseidon, I’d send all tropical systems out to sea. I do, however, feel bad for folks in the affected areas. They got slammed by that evil bitch Sally. Blow ill wind, blow.
I had put this feature to bed and tucked it in when I learned of Justice Ginsburg’s death. I wish everyone would dial their predictions back. It’s unclear what impact RBG’s death will have on the election. I also wish that those who admire Justice Ginsburg would show more respect for her passing, especially since it’s Rosh Hashanah. There was, however, a moment of unintentional levity when the crowd outside the Supreme Court started singing Amazing Grace. It’s a Christian hymn, y’all. I’ll have more on Ginsburg’s passing on Monday.
In some ways, this week’s theme song matches the featured image. Three Musicians = Crosby, Stills & Nash. Graham Nash wrote Wasted On The Way for CSN’s 1982 Daylight Again album. Eagle Timothy B. Schmitt added harmony vocals making that Four Musicians. So much for the Picasso analogy. Oh well, it was imperfect to begin with.
We have two versions of Wasted On The Way for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a live version without Timothy B. Schmitt. Go, Team Picasso.
Stills’ intro to the live version is poignant. I rarely do poignant but sometimes the mood strikes me.
Before we jump to the break, a Neil Young song from the Buffalo Springfield days:
Holy Wall Of Sound-style production, Batman.
Time to take the plunge. See you on the other side.
Let’s waste some more time before diving into our second act with full force:
We begin our second act with a media master class.
Here We Go Again: As a Carter speechwriter turned journalist, James Fallows has been on both sides of the political divide. But he deplores both-siderism and horseracery in political punditry. He believes such coverage helped elect President* Pennywise. They seem to not have learned that Trump is not a normal pol and cannot be treated as such. He’s a monster and must be covered as such. Hell, Bob Woodward gets it and he’s the quintessential establishmentarian.
Fallows has the details at The Atlantic as well as some tips for how the MSM should cover Trump. I hope they listen but fear they won’t.
We stay in the world of journalism with our next segment.
Shit Stirring With Ben Smith: Former Buzzfeed editor turned NYT media columnist Ben Smith is a born contrarian. He’s a colorful character who’s an odd fit at the Gray Lady. He’s a born troublemaker and shit stirrer.
New York Magazine’s Clare Malone has written an excellent profile of Smith, a man with a dull name and a colorful past, present, and future.
There’s one word that sums Smith up:
Make that double trouble:
There was a swell article circulating among my social media cronies that made me feel older than the hills and twice as decrepit.
Monday Night Football At 50: Other than the odd World Series game, sports on prime time teevee was a rarity in 1970. That all changed when ABC’s Roone Arledge started ABC’s Monday Night Football. Arledge was one of the few sports types who understood that many women enjoyed sports ball too. That’s still a radical notion in some quarters.
Another Arledge innovation was the three-man booth. The original team was straight man Keith Jackson (later replaced by Frank Gifford) mouthy lightning rod, Howard Cosell, and lovable former Cowboys QB Don Meredith. They had chemistry to burn. One might even say they were a Dandy team:
Dandy Don was, of course, Meredith’s nickname. It suited it him fine and dandy.
The preceding was a build-up to a link to the Sports Illustrated cover story by Mark Bechtel.
The last word of our second act goes to Dandy Don Meredith and Willie Nelson
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: We all know what Honest Abe looked like. He’s on the penny and five-dollar bill, after all. I preferred him without the beard, but they were fashionable in his day. In 2020, they are again. Now we have beard oil salesmen instead of snake oil salesman.
Here are four actors who played Lincoln: Walter Huston, Henry Fonda, Raymond Massey, and Daniel Day Lewis.
The best movie of the four above was John Ford’s Young Lincoln in which Henry Fonda gave the performance of a lifetime. I reviewed Spielberg’s Lincoln at First Draft in 2012. I gave it thumbs up.
We’re changing segments, not subjects. It’s movie Listomania time.
My Top Ten Favorite Actors Who Played Abraham Lincoln:
- Henry Fonda
- Sam Waterston
- Gregory Peck
- Daniel Day Lewis
- Walter Huston
- Jason Robards
- Hal Holbrook
- Raymond Massey
- Lance Henricksen
- Kris Kristofferson
I skipped Benjamin Walker who played Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter because the movie was too ridiculous even for me. I do, however, approve of vampire hunting.
Let’s move on to some stills from The Rockford Files.
Weird Images Of The Week: I’m still merrily working my way through The Complete Rockford Files. In a season 3 episode, Just Another Polish Wedding, Team Rockford teamed up Louis Gossett Jr. as smooth-talking private eye, Marcus Hayes with Isaac Hayes as Gandy Fitch. Gandy was a prison frenemy of Jim (I was pardoned) Rockford’s. He called our Jimmy, Rockfish.
In the episode, Gossett and Hayes were looking for an accordion player and went to a club he used to perform at, The Crystal Palace in Covina, Ca. It turned out to be a Nazi bar. Hilarity ensued.
If those guys are still alive, they’re all Trumpers.
After all the swastikas, we need a palate cleanser: one of the many great songs Isaac Hayes wrote with David Porter.
We pay a visit to Noir Alley in our next segment. I hope Eddie Muller doesn’t mind my stealing his TCM show’s title. I only steal from the best.
Saturday GIF Horse: In between watching Claire Trevor movies, I watched Double Indemnity for the umpteenth time last weekend. Here are two GIFs from that fine film.
I always dug that grocery store as a meeting place. Holy Canned Goods, Batman.
Weekly Vintage Videos: We have two Fleetwood Mac videos from their ultra-glossy 1982 album Mirage. The first is a song written by Christine McVie, the second a Stevie Nicks tune.
Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.
Saturday Classic: In 1980, Talking Heads teamed up with producer Brian Eno and produced a classic, Remain In Light. Most of us had never heard anything quite like it before. That’s why it’s a classic.
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to Mary Tyler Moore and Sam Waterston as Mary and Abe in Gore Vidal’s Lincoln.