John Fogerty wrote this week’s theme song in 1969 for Creedence’s Willy and the Poor Boys album. It’s an unusual protest song in that its protagonist is a soldier lashing out at the rich kids for whom he’s fighting. Fogerty recently enjoined the Trump campaign from playing it at their rallies. They don’t get the irony: Donald Trump is precisely the sort of Fortunate Son that’s lambasted in the song.
We have three versions of Fortunate Son for your listening pleasure: the CCR original, John Fogerty live, and Fogerty live with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.
I have “It aint me. It ain’t me” stuck in my head. Let’s dislodge it with this Dylan cover by Bryan Ferry:
Now that we’ve been mellowed out by Ferry’s silken tones, lets languidly jump to the break if such a thing is possible.
We begin our second act with two tales of American extremism; the second of which portrays one of its victims.
Alt-Right Bombshell: That’s bombshell as in blond bombshell. The relentless sexism of her creepy colleagues is one reason Lauren Southern stopped associating with the Proud Boys and other denizens of wingnuttia. Daniel Lombroso has the details at the Atlantic.
QAnon Nightmare In Georgia: Kevin Van Ausdal ran for Congress in Georgia this year. His main opponent was QAnon nutjob Marjorie Greene. His attempt to slay that dragon nearly destroyed him. He told his story to the WaPo’s Stephanie McCrummen in a piece that Charlie Pierce has called, “the finest most humane piece of political journalism in years.” High praise indeed.
A quick and campy musical interlude to lighten the mood after two heavy articles:
The Trial Of The Chicago 7: I haven’t liked Aaron Sorkin’s recent work as much as Sports Night, A Few Good Men, Sports Night, or The West Wing. Working for Netflix seems to have had a positive effect on Sorkin. The Trial Of The Chicago 7 is a return to form.
The movie tells the story of the men (it’s always men with Sorkin) who staged the 1968 Democratic Convention riots in Chicago. They, of course, had a lot of help from Mayor Daley’s police force.
I’m reasonably familiar with the history of the demonstrations and the subsequent trial. Sorkin gets most of the facts right. For more on that aspect of The Trial Of The Chicago 7, get thee to Slate for their explainer.
Regardless of its historical accuracy, it’s a helluva drama full of the kind of speeches that made Aaron Sorkin famous.
The acting is fabulous, especially Jeremy Strong, Mark Rylance, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Michael Keaton, and Frank Langella as imperious Judge Julius Hoffman. Sacha Baron Cohen almost sticks the landing as Abbie Hoffman except for his erratic Masshole accent.
Here’s the trailer:
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 is streaming on Netflix obviously. I give it 3 1/2 stars, an Adrastos Grade of B+ and two hefty Chicagoan thumbs up in honor of Siskel and Ebert.
The last word of our second act goes to Graham Nash:
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Just when you thought we’d left the Chicago 7 behind; I give you Rudy’s pal Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman.
Our second pairing is Emmy winning actor Jeremy Strong as Abbie’s stoner sidekick, Jerry Rubin.
Speaking of stoners who were put on trial, here’s John Lennon’s song about John Sinclair who spent a good chunk of his life in New Orleans as a DJ at WWOZ:
We continue our look at the outlaw life in the next segment.
The Movie List: It’s genre flick time again. This time, one of the bloodiest and loudest genres, the gangster movie, I have included teevee shows because how could I exclude The Sopranos?
My Top Ten Favorite Gangster Movies
- Godfather I and II
- The Sopranos
- The Roaring Twenties
- White Heat
- Donnie Brasco
- The Untouchables (DePalma)
- Angels with Dirty Faces
- Underworld USA
I decided to keep it tight and limit the list to ten but it was a close call for the 10th slot. I went with Sam Fuller because I’ve used that image from Underworld USA so many times this year.
Saturday GIF HORSE: It’s gangster GIF time with Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro at the center of the action.
The last word of the segment goes to Stephen Stills and Manassas:
Weekly Vintage Music Video: I don’t usually feature my favorite artists in this slot. I’m bending that rule until it breaks with one of the most innovative videos of the 1980’s:
Let’s close things down with some more music. If you’re surprised, you haven’t been paying attention.
Saturday Classic: Since this has been a Fogerty-centric post, here’s his 1997 album, Blue Moon Swamp via Spotify. It’s the 2017 remastered version with two extra tracks. More John Fogerty is always a good thing:
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to John Fogerty and Bruce Springsteen. Who the hell is gonna argue with them?