Some call it fake fall, I call it a tease. Whatever you call it, the weather has been mild and temperate all week. I’m not going to say more about it because I don’t want to jinx it.
The city of New Orleans is entering Phase 3.1. They’re loosening more pandemic-related restrictions since we did not have a major post Labor Day spike. I thought we would, but I was wrong. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last. Punditting is risky business. I’m still not going inside bars or restaurants but I’m hoping more of them will be able to survive. Let my people go-cup. You’ll have to read 2020 Fatigue at Bayou Brief to get the reference.
Stephen Stills wrote this week’s theme song in 1966. It’s the protest song’s protest song. It was originally written about clashes between hippies and cops on the Sunset Strip, but it’s become a universal protest song. It’s still relevant in 2020.
We have four versions of For What It’s Worth for your listening pleasure: the Buffalo Springfield original; CSN live with Tom Petty; Keb Mo, and Billy Porter with Stephen Stills from this year’s DNC.
Now that battle lines have been drawn, let’s jump to the break.
We begin our second act with a song that serves as an introduction to our first segment:
False Prophet: The Atlantic continues to be on fire. This time it’s the man with the Dickensian name, McKay Coppins. We learn what President* Pennywise really thinks of his evangelical supporters. Hint: he holds them in as high esteem as he does the “losers and suckers” who wear our country’s uniform. The $750 Man can go fuck himself.
American bible bangers are accustomed to grifters and flim-flam men conning them. They’re gullible and forgiving. It goes with the pious territory.
Remember this jerk from the Gret Stet of Louisiana?
Remember these creeps as portrayed by SNL’s Jan Hooks and Phil Hartman?
Evangelicals are used to being ripped-off. Why they take it is beyond me.
One religious group that the Trump campaign is keenly fixated on this year is Mormons. In 2016, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rejected the Republican ticket in unprecedented numbers. To win them over in 2020, the campaign has made Donald Trump Jr. its envoy, sending him to campaign in Utah and other Mormon-heavy states. The president’s son has cultivated relationships with high-profile conservatives in the faith. Earlier this year, he invoked Mormon pioneers in a call with reporters to describe his father’s “innovative spirit.”
In fact, according to two senior Utah Republicans with knowledge of the situation, Don Jr. has been so savvy in courting Latter-day Saints—expressing interest in the Church’s history, reading from the Book of Mormon—that he’s left some influential Republicans in the state with the impression that he may want to convert. (A spokesman for Don Jr. did not respond to a request for comment.)
Donny Junior? An LDS-ER? The guy who was arrested during Carnival in 2001 for public intoxication? That’s almost as funny as his father’s $70,000 hairdo.
The relationship between Trump and Evangelical Christian leaders is strictly transactional. All they seem to care about is abortion and feathering their own nests. Trump pays lip service to their views and appoints extremist judges like Amy Coney Barrett. Does anyone really think that rapey jerks like Trump or Justice Bro really give a flying fuck about abortion? It’s all transactional.
The last word of the segment goes to Genesis:
Dig those crazy wigs Phil, Mike, and Tony wore in the video. Almost as funny as the sight of an Impeached Insult Comedian with a dead nutria pelt atop his head.
I’ve never understood conspiracy buffs. I know people who see conspiracies everywhere. Most conspiracy theorists are on the far left or far right of the political spectrum. One of the weirdest conspiratorial concoctions of all is QAnon.
Q Is For Q-reep Thanks to President* Pennywise’s refusal to repudiate anyone who says anything “very nice” about him, the QAnon Q-reeps have infiltrated the GOP. It’s a pathetic replay of the GOP and the Birchers in the Sixties.
Until recently, it was a mystery as to who created the Q world view. Slate’s Aaron Mak is among those hot on the trail of Q’s origin story. He provides an excellent distillation of QAnon’s crazy world view:
QAnon is a dizzying conspiracy theory positing that there is a vast network of satanic elites within the upper echelons of the Democratic Party, Hollywood, and the “deep state” who run international child sex-trafficking rings and are working to bring down Donald Trump. Some of them also supposedly engage in cannibalism in an attempt to attain immortality. Adherents of the theory believe that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the Dalai Lama, and Ellen DeGeneres are major figures perpetrating the conspiracy. Trump, as the story goes, was enlisted by military generals to run for president in 2016 and bring down the pedophilic cabal. Q claims to be a top government intelligence official who is trying to expose the plot against Trump. The QAnon mythology continues to become more intricate and expansive and includes plot points like the JFK assassination, UFOs, and 9/11. Not all followers believe in every aspect of the theory, though most of them adhere to the central claim that a pedophile syndicate controls the world’s major institutions.
The followers of Q make Trump’s evangelical supporters look like normies.
The last word of the segment goes to Paul Kantner and Grace Slick with the only song about cannibalism I can think of off the top of my head:
Where are the bodies for dinner? A question for the ages.
I don’t know about you but the QAnon Q-reeps drive me crazy:
Now that I’ve mocked the people behind the nutty Pedophile Pizza Parlor thing, let’s pay tribute to an artist who may have painted a billboard for the movie from which FYC took its name:
Lost Art, Lost Artist: One reason I stick with the Gray Lady are the obits. Sometimes they pull someone interesting out of relative obscurity. That happened last month with a tribute to Vasilis Dimiitriou who died at the age of 84.
I’ll let Timeschick Liz Alderman tell you who he was:
Vasilis Dimitriou, an artist who sought to keep the venerable art of the painted Hollywood billboard from fading away, creating more than 8,000 works for Greek theaters that virtually chronicled the history of movies since World War II, died on Sept. 6 in Athens. He was 84 and one of the last surviving movie billboard painters in Europe.
The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said Konstantinos Giannopoulos, a family spokesman and a third-generation owner of the Athinaion Cinemas, which displayed Mr. Dimitriou’s billboards, reaching more than 40 feet long, for 40 years.
Mr. Dimitriou, a self-taught painter from a poor family that survived the Nazi invasion and Greece’s military junta, began immortalizing legends of the silver screen at age 15. For more than six decades he painted one to two billboards a week, inspired by studio handouts featuring stars ranging, over time, from Gary Cooper to Leonardo DiCaprio.
He also survived the Greek economic collapse last decade. My people are tough bastards.
The best way to honor an artist is to show their work. Here’s the man himself with his billboard for The Wolf Of Wall Street:
I have fond memories of attending outdoor movies in the summertime in Athens. Air conditioning was rare back then and it was hot. Mercifully, Athenian heat is dry so one can be outside without turning into a giant sweatball. I recall drinking beer and watching Raiders Of The Lost Ark with a Greek audience. My countrymen booed every time a Nazi came onscreen. I bet the Kaiser of Chaos would not. Fuck you, Donald.
Speaking of wolves, the last word of our second act goes to Trevor Rabin:
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I have the Showtime movie The Comey Rule on my DVR. It’s pretty good but I find it heavy going so I’m watching it in bits and pieces. One of the best bits of casting is Holly Hunter as Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
Two Georgia peaches together at last. Was that fuzzy like a peach? Beats the hell outta me. After that fakakta debate, I don’t give a pit…
The Classic Movie List: I’ve never liked The Sound Of Music. My mother made me sit through it as a kid, but I’ve long since forgiven her. I was gobsmacked to learn later in life that director Robert Wise got his start with Orson Welles and Val Lewton. Prior to West Side Story, Wise specialized in gritty dramas and film noirs. Go figure.
My Top Ten Favorite Robert Wise Movies:
- Born To Kill
- Odds Against Tomorrow
- The Curse Of The Cat People
- The Sand Pebbles
- The Set-Up
- The Day The Earth Stood Still
- The Body Snatcher
- The Captive City
- Executive Suite
- The Haunting
There are a whole lotta THES in them there titles; a grand total of 8. Even the movie whose title shall not be spoken has a the in the title.
I might as well extend the the talk by posting this:
Saturday GIF Horse: Dr. A and I are late to the HBO show Succession. We binged watched it recently and loved it. The Roys make every other family look normal with the possible exception of the Trumps.
Here’s a Roy rogue’s gallery of GIFs:
There are a gazillion Succesion GIFs, but I didn’t succeed in finding one wherein Conner Roy freaks out and says, “THE BUTTER’S TOO COLD.”
Weekly Vintage Music Video: I’m unclear what K.D. Lang’s position on butter temperature is but in the immortal words of Linda Richman, this song is “like butter.”
Saturday Classic: Reggae demigod Toots Hibbert died last month at the age of 77. Here’s a 1975 concert video featuring Toots and the Maytals in all their glory:
What’s not to love about reggae at Winterland in San Francisco? It was my home away from home in my wayward youth.
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to the only Q I listen to: John de Lancie.