Saturday Odds & Sods: On The Silent Wings Of Freedom

Photograph by Stanley Kubrick.

A bird got into our house while I was taking a jab nap. Claire Trevor was determined to get the poor wee house sparrow. I tried grabbling CT to close her in somewhere to no avail. I yelled at the cat to keep her away from the open door as the bird hopped from ceiling fan to ceiling fan. It finally flew out the front door. That’s as adventurous as it gets at Adrastos World HQ these days.

Mother-in-Law #1 is 99-years-old and in bad shape at her assisted living joint in Baton Rouge. The good news is that we’ve been able to visit her twice including yesterday. Her body is failing but her mind is still sharp. I’m not sure how long she’ll last but it’s a relief to be able to visit after not having seen her for 14 months because of the pandemic.

I’m voting later today in the special election called to fill Cedric Richmond’s congressional seat. I’m as underwhelmed by the choices on offer as I was by Cedric. The leading candidates are two hacks from New Orleans and a young firebrand from Baton Rouge. Since I do not want to be represented in Congress by someone from Red Stick, I’m voting for the hack I’m acquainted with, State Senator and former City Councilman Troy Carter. I loathe the other hack whose name shall not cross my lips.

This week’s theme song was written by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire for Yes’ 1978 album, Tormato. Yes are known for their great album covers. This is not one of them. The music is still pretty darn good.

We have two versions of On The Silent Wings Of Freedom for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a 2006 live instrumental version.

Follow the flying fingers of Chris Squire and jump to the break. No finger jokes this week. Pinky swear.

This week’s featured image comes from Stanley Kubrick’s days as a photographer for Look Magazine. Who among us doesn’t like acrobats and yelling men in fedoras? It’s the circus, baby.

Here are two tunes about the circus coming to town:

That’s two from Tormato. Oh well, what the hell.

I saw the Tormato tour. Yes played in the round. It was swell even if it made me somewhat dizzy.

We begin our second act in earnest with a piece about the movies. Anyone shocked? I would hope not.

The Heist Movie Listicle: I have a particular fondness for heist movies. They’re typically a cut above your basic action flick. Vulture’s Will Leitch and Tim Grierson have compiled a list of the 25 best caper films.

It’s a cut above the typical Vulture list as it’s not fixated on recent fare. Spoiler alert: Number-1 is Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing. That ranking made me want to don a fedora and yell at some acrobats.

I would, however, have ranked Baby Driver higher than number-25:

The Kitty Detectives: The place, South London. The crime: missing, mutilated and/or murdered felines. Who ya gonna call? The Kitty Detectives.

There’s a fabulous piece at the Atavist Magazine by Phil Hoad about the intrepid people of SNARL: South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty. They embarked on a campaign to solve these horrific crimes.

My cats past and present are eternally grateful to them, especially our own kitty detective, the late, great Paul Drake seen paired here with his human counterpart:

The last word of our second act goes to Pete Townshend:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the teevee mini-series of John Dean’s Blind Ambition. I recall liking it. The book is excellent.

Here’s Rip Torn as Nixon surrounded by a John Dean sammich of the man himself and the guy who played him, Martin Sheen.

That was of course long before Sheen was promoted to president. I wish I had a joke for that but I’m just west winging it….

The Movie List: This week’s list guy was just nominated for an Oscar for a movie I haven’t seen. I’m not big on papal movies but I am big on Anthony Hopkins movies.

My Top Ten Favorite Anthony Hopkins Movies

  1.   The Silence Of The Lambs
  2.   Howards End
  3.   Magic
  4.   The Remains Of The Day
  5.   Shadowlands
  6.  The Efficiency Expert
  7.   The Lion In Winter
  8.  The Human Stain
  9.  QB VII
  10.  The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case

A few notes about the list. The Lion In Winter is ranked so low because the young Sir Anthony was a supporting royal. The last two are teevee mini-series and the first times Hopkins made an impression on me. His performance as Lindbergh baby kidnapper Bruno Richard Hauptmann was something to behold. I don’t know what that means, but I said it anyway.

We move on to a brand spanking new feature. The segment header should be self-explanatory. If it’s not, have another cup of coffee.

TCM Clip Of The Week: Last week, I wrote about TCM’s Reframed Classics and its host, Jacqueline Stewart. Here’s a short she made about racist stereotypes in the movies.

Saturday GIF Horse: Speaking of classic moments, this one occurred on All In The Family when Sammy met Archie.

That GIF begs for an outro song:

It’s a pity that Sammy never cut that song. I guess it wasn’t perky enough. Sly sounds like he was on downers when the vocal was recorded. He probably was. So it goes.

Family Affair *was* covered by Steve Winwood who’s almost as perky as Sammy:

Random Weekly Earworm: This is an odd one but this is Odds & Sods, so it fits. Just substitute VACCINATED for GRADUATED and pretend it’s still John Hiatt month.

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Classic: I mentioned attending Yes’ Tormato tour. Here’s an excellent audio-only bootleg of one of the shows they did at the Oakland Coliseum Arena. I went to both shows but I was young and big rock concerts weren’t impossibly expensive.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Jon Anderson and Chris Squire:

6 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: On The Silent Wings Of Freedom

  1. Somewhere out there is a petition to have John Hiatt, a former postal carrier, memorialized on a U.S. postage stamp.

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