Saturday Odds & Sods: Pennies From Heaven

Photograph by Stanley Kubrick.

I committed a faux pas the other day and accidentally published something. I planned to curate a quote from a marvelous teevee essay by MSNBC’s Laurence O’Donnell about our border issues. Instead the whole damn  thing went out raw and I pulled it after it lingered overnight. Here’s a link to the transcript. Scroll down 3/4 of the way and Bob’s your uncle. Make that Uncle Laurence. I’m neither Irish nor from Boston but I’ll claim him.

In jab talking news, Governor Edwards has opened COVID vaccinations to all Gret Steters over the age of 16. I welcome everyone to the Half Vaccinated club. On April 3rd, I will enter of the realm of the fully vaccinated. Cue sigh of relief.

Our theme song continues the flow of the week. In this case from my most recent 13th Ward Rambler column. Pennies From Heaven was written in 1936 by Arthur Johnstone and Johnny Burke. It’s been a hit more times and by more artists that you can shake a stick at. Why one would do such a thing is beyond me.

We have three versions of Pennies From Heaven for your listening pleasure: Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima & Keely Smith, and an instrumental by Stan Getz and Oscar Peterson.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Oscar Peterson? I know: repeatedly. My Oscar love will never wane. That goes for my much missed kitty as well.

Before we jump to the break, look up like the girl in the Kubrick photograph so you can dodge the pennies from heaven.

We have two heavenly songs before we move on:

We begin our second act with a moving article by a reporter who wishes he could free his mother from the clutches of QAnon.

Deprogramming Mama: In this marvelous piece Buzzfeed’s Albert Samaha tells us how he lost his devoutly Catholic mother to the Q creeps. Condolences, man.

Samaha has been unable to break QAnon’s hold on his mama, but I used the word deprogramming so I can do some cult related storytelling in our next segment.

Story Time With Adrastos: In the early 1980’s my first wife and I lived in a swell apartment on Bush Street in San Francisco. We were across the street from St. Francis Hospital. There was another less salubrious neighbor: the Unification Church had a pad for its members a few doors down. We were forever being invited over for mac-and-cheese by the Moonies.

I love me some mac-and-cheese but why not Korean food? I know: mac-and-cheese is comfort food and they wanted us to be comfortable before snatching our souls. We never accepted the invitation.

On the next block there was small grocery store called the Owl Market. It was run by a gruff Korean guy who hated the Moonies as much as I did. That’s why he stopped grunting and began conversing with me.

One night I was in the Owl Market when we saw a Moonie snatched by deprogrammers. I turned to the proprietor, whose name I’ve forgotten, and said, “One less Moonie to invite me over for mac-and-cheese.”

He nodded, grunted, and said, “Try it with kimchi sometime. Makes it fit for a Korean.”

I’m not sure exactly how far the Moonie crib was from us. It might have been Two Doors Down:

Memphians In The Meantime: There’s a great piece in Vanity Fair by Abigail Tracy about some filthy rich Memphians who hopped a private jet and attended the 1/6 “Stop The Steal” rally. They *claim* not to have stormed the Capitol along with the rabble.

One thing I learned in Tracy’s piece is that Memphis has its own minor league version of Carnival. It used to be called the Cotton Carnival, but they wisely dropped that name years ago. They should have been as wise on 1/6/2021.

We conclude our second act with three Memphis songs. The last one is a cover by The Faces of a Chuck Berry song, but it’s better than Berry. No raspberries, please.

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I haven’t seen the Hulu series Mrs. America in which the divine Cate Blanchett plays the demonic Phyllis Schlafly but here they are anyway:

I have a crush on Cate and wanted to crush Phyllis every time I saw her on teevee. Ugh, just ugh.

The Movie List: It was strictly a coincidence that Cassandra, Shapiro, and I all had Stanley Kubrick on our minds this week.

My Top Ten Favorite Stanley Kubrick Movies

  1.  Dr. Strangelove
  2.  The Killing
  3.  Paths Of Glory
  4.  Clockwork Orange
  5.  Spartacus
  6.  Lolita
  7.  The Shining
  8.  Full Metal Jacket
  9.  2001: A Space Odyssey
  10.  Barry Lyndon

Kubrick was not a prolific filmmaker, so the last two movies made the list even though I admire them more than I like them. 2001 *was* a groundbreaking movie but it hasn’t aged as well as the first 8. So it goes.

Animated GIF Horse: Keeping Up Appearances is one of the funniest teevee shows ever. Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth Bucket slays me just by answering the phone. I even call a neighbor I dislike the Yat Hyacinth because she’s always talking at me. Mercifully, she’s never sung at me.

I’m #3 because my man Emmett is in the clip. He’s the chap who dreads Hyacinth singing at him. Who wouldn’t?

That’s Bouquet, not Bucket.

TCM Clip Of The Week: The video header has the sequence wrong; Jacqueline, Ben, Alicia, Dave, and Eddie discuss them in this order: The Searchers, Swing Time, Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

Mickey Rooney’s performance in Breakfast At Tiffany’s is not only racist, it’s aggressively bad. It’s as hammy as Charlton Heston at his worst. Ugh, just ugh.

While we’re video clipping, let’s pay a return visit to Michael Imperioli and Steve Schrippa.

Talking Sopranos Moment: Al Sapienza played Mikey Palmice who was Junior Soprano’s right-hand man in the early days of The Sopranos. He tells the story of how he was cast on the show because of Jason Alexander and Seinfeld.

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

Saturday Classic: Aimee Mann’s I’m With Stupid was one of the best albums of the 1990’s. Enjoy.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Peter Sellers and Stanley Kubrick.

5 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: Pennies From Heaven

  1. Apologies up front if this is a repeated or a well-known reference, but yes: Oscar Peterson. If you are not already familiar with it, check out the short chat of Mr. Peterson with Count Basie, discussing Art Tatum (apparently from BBC in 1976 or 1980?). It’s a (far too) short fav of mine and everyone is smart enough to find it with their own search of YouTube with the masters’ names.
    Heck, even if you are familiar with it, watch it again.

  2. It’s as hammy as Charlton Heston at his worst.
    What a competition. I hate The Ten Commandments, and love A Touch Of Evil, for all its problems.

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