There’s an environmental component to my righteous indignation this week. It’s fucking hot even for New Orleans. There’s a high keeping tropical stuff away from us but that puts us in the high Nineties. Oy just oy.
On to more pleasant things.
Ray Davies wrote this week’s theme song in 1965. It was one of the earliest Kinks hits.
We have three versions of Tired of Waiting For You for your listening pleasure: the Kinks original, a 1994 live version, and a brilliant cover by Dwight Yoakam in which he transforms it into something that would fit in on the Friday Cocktail Hour.
I assume that you’re not too tired to hear this swell tune by Dwight and Deanna Carter:
It’s time to escape Hopper’s chair car by jumping to the break.
I hope I didn’t keep y’all waiting too long. Hope we’re still friends:
We begin our second act with a piece about a machine that was originally called the Ginger. The way things turned out, they should have kept the original name, it might have fixed what aled it…
The Hype That Failed: Many people, including Steve Jobs, thought that the Segway was the wave of the future. Instead, it turned out to be a rolling joke. Dan Kois had a peripheral involvement in the hype when he was a young literary agent. He tells the story of the hype that failed at Slate.
Gossip Maven: Cindy Adams is the last of the old school New York gossip columnists. One of my favorite writers, Olivia Nuzzi paid her a visit and wrote about it. Here’s the money quote:
This is reporting of the kitten heel rather than the shoe leather — proudly transactional, rarely transparent, tailored not for the public interest but for private grievance or professional maneuvering or petty warfare. Adams has a term for the distinct manner in which she communicates: “I write smartmouth,” she said. “I write like a city person. My English is perfect, but I don’t write that way. I write the way a New Yorker sounds.” New York’s city editor, Christopher Bonanos, assessed the Adams style this way: “She’s the last known survivor of the art she practices, and the last person on the island who speaks the language of a lost population — that rat-a-tat thing of Walter Winchell and Leonard Lyons — and she’s got to write it down to pass it on.”
Start spreading the news:
Let’s take a trip down under to Melbourne and talk about my new favorite teevee show.
Jack Irish is an outstanding Australian teevee series that started with two movies in 2012 and one in 2014. They just wrapped up a third and final series this June. I already miss Jack and the gang.
We’ve all seen Guy Pearce in Priscilla, LA Confidential, Memento, The Hurt Locker, Mildred Pierce, and Mare Of Easttown, but Jack Irish is the role he was born to play. Jack is a once successful criminal defense lawyer who after the murder of his wife lives by his wits. And drinks. A lot.
Sometimes Jack is a kinda sorta private eye, other times he’s a race track tout, and sometimes he’s a lawyer. He goes through many changes over the course of nine years, but one thing is constant: the show is entertaining, original, and funny.
Here’s the trailer for the first movie, Bad Debts:
Jack Irish defies description, but I’ll try. It’s as if The Rockford Files was written by Carl Hiaasen in consultation with Lawrence Block and Dick Francis. It’s weird, dark, and thrilling.
Jack Irish is not just Guy Pearce’s vehicle. It has an ensemble cast of assorted oddballs and weirdos, which confirms my opinion that Melbourne and New Orleans have much in common.
Jack Irish even has a Cheers aspect as some of the action takes place at the rundown King of Prussia Pub. The regular barflies are a bunch of geezers who supply a steady flow of humorous commentary.
Jack has a series of beautiful and brilliant love interests over the course of the series. But he has a hard time committing because he blames himself for his wife’s death. The most noteworthy of these leading ladies is Marta Dusseldorp as silky-voiced journalist Linda Hillier. It’s too late for a screen name: she’s big star on Australian teevee.
Jack Irish can be found on Acorn TV, which is one of my Amazon Prime add-ons. Be sure to watch the movies first before the series. I give it 4 stars and an Adrastos Grade of A.
The last word of our second act goes to Guy Pearce. Yes, he’s a singer-songwriter as well.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I have a friend who is obsessed with The Doors movie starring Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. The last I’d heard he’d seen it over twenty times. That’s more than I’ve seen The Maltese Falcon, White Heat, Citizen Kane, or Sunset Boulevard. Such dedication is admirable if a bit weird.
Here are Val and Jim rocking out:
Let’s conclude this segment with my favorite Doors song.
The Movie List: I watched King Rat for the first time when Dr. A was out of town. I’d heard how good it was, but I was blown away. It even had a gay subtext: James Fox’s character was clearly in love with George Segal’s character. Of course, everyone was in love with George back then. RIP.
King Rat inspired this list. What’s not to love about a movie with George Segal and John Mills?
My Top Ten Favorite World War II POW Movies
- Bridge On The River Kwai
- The Great Escape
- King Rat
- Three Came Home
- Hart’s War
- Stalag 17
- Von Ryan’s Express
- 36 Hours
Three Came Home is actually about a women’s prison camp in Asia but it’s a helluva flick. Claudette Colbert. Say no more.
Saturday GIF Horse: We’re not through with Guy Pierce as Jack Irish yet. This GIF is mesmerizing in its extreme awkwardness.
Talking Sopranos Moment: Steve Schrippa is a big man but not as big as Bobby Bacala. In this clip, he shows Michael Imperioli the fat suit he wore in season 3 of The Sopranos.
In other Sopranos-related news, David Chase’s long awaited prequel will be released on October 1. I’m really jazzed about Vera Famigia as Livia Soprano.
Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.
Saturday Classic: Paul Cotton of Poco died recently at the age of 78. I’m posting one of the band’s finest albums as a tribute.
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to Jack Irish, Linda, and the gang at the pub.