Saturday Odds & Sods: Burning Down The House

Fire At Gronland, Oslo by Edvard Munch.

We’re in for an extended cold snap in New Orleans. I prefer my winter weather snappy. What can ya do?

I’ve been feeling fiery and feisty of late hence this week’s theme song. Besides, it’s fucking cold, so a little fire isn’t a bad thing. Just ask Edvard Munch. Why you’d ask a dead Norwegian artist is beyond me.

I bet it’s fucking cold in Gronland right now. The mere thought makes me gron out loud. I should apologize for that Nordic groaner, but I stand by my puns.

FYI, the Gronland in question is a neighborhood in Oslo, not the country the Impeached Insult Comedian wanted to buy. I wrote a 2019 post about the Greenland gambit that included a variation on the Drop Dead headline meme I used on Thursday:

WHAM. He was a Fjord, not a Lincoln. BAM.

This week’s theme song was written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, and Tina Weymouth for Talking Heads 1983 album Speaking In Tongues. The album was the band’s commercial breakthrough. They went from a weird cult band to weird stars. Anything involving David Byrne is weird.

We have three versions of Burning Down The House for your listening pleasure: the Talking Heads original, Tom Jones with The Cardigans, and Bonnie Raitt.

Now that we’re feeling all fiery and shit, let’s jump to the break.

Two more burning songs before we dive into our second act.

We begin out second act in earnest with some show biz history.

Oy Such A Museum: There’s a burning controversy at the new Academy museum in Los Angeles. There’s agita over the omission of some of the pioneers of the movie industry or as one of the donors asked Where Are The Jews?

The Academy is so intent on appearing woke and relevant that they’ve neglected the film industry’s history for years. I stopped watching the Oscar Cast because they relegated the special Oscars to a fucking banquet. Some of the best moments in Oscar Cast history involved the career awards to Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck, Kirk Douglas, and Charlie Chaplin, especially Chaplin after 20 years in exile:

I realize that some of the founders of the industry were horny assholes, but how can you have a movie museum without Jack Warner, Adolph Zukor, Sam Goldwyn, Louis B Mayer, and Carl Lammele? The latter was a sweetheart; everyone called him Uncle Carl. Sure, there was nepotism at Universal but Carl was nicer than your average mogul.

Enough kvetching. The last word of the segment goes to an English guy or is that goy?

Let’s take a trip to Balmer and investigate the state of the Murder Police.

Watching The David Simon Detectives: There’s a swell piece at by legal eagle Laura Bazelon that poses this question: Did David Simon Glorify Baltimore Detectives?

To some extent the answer is yes but said glorification led to two of the greatest dramas in teevee history, Homicide: Life On The Street and The Wire.

Even if some of the stuff about the Bunk is bunk, I stand by Simon’s shows.

I haven’t checked his twitter feed to see his reaction to the Bazelon piece He’ll be fine. Simon’s a fiery and feisty bastard who can take a punch.

I introduced David Simon at Rising Tide 6.  As lagniappe, here’s the video of his keynote speech and my intro:

That’s the last word of our second act. Notice how I dodged the Elvis Costello bullet?

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Here are Cicely Tyson as Coretta Scott King and Paul Winfield as MLK in the 1978 teevee mini-series King:

While we’re on the subject of the Civil Rights movement there’s a swell list of 25 movies compiled by Peter Dreier at TPM Cafe.

Born On This Day: The oddball combinations keep on coming.

Russian fraudster Grigori Rasputin, Actor John Hurt as Caligula, Sam Cooke who needs no introduction, Opera diva Rosa Ponselle, and Indy film director Jim Jarmusch.

The last word on behalf of the January 22 babies goes to Sam Cooke:

Movie List: I was stupidly thrilled to be followed on Twitter by James Garner’s daughter Gigi the other day. In part, her feed is a tribute to her late father and Jim Garner is one of my favorite actors. He always made it look easy and he was always good.

Given Jim Garner’s love of the herb, I’m using Spike Lee’s word for film, joint. That way I can lead off with a certain beloved and brilliant teevee show.

My Top Ten Favorite James Garner Joints:

  1.    The Rockford Files
  2.    The Great Escape
  3.    The Americanization of Emily
  4.    Victor Victoria
  5.    Space Cowboys
  6.    Streets Of Laredo
  7.    Support Your Local Sheriff
  8.    Grand Prix
  9.    Murphy’s Romance
  10.    Move Over Darling

I haven’t seen as much of Garner’s other hit teevee series Maverick, so it just missed the cut. It would have made a top fifteen list, but brevity is the soul of something or other.

Saturday GIF Horse: There are oodles of GIFs featuring Leo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. It’s time to give Robert Redford his Gatsby due:

So what if he’s not toasting. He’s Robert Fucking Redford.

Tweets Of The Week: Here’s James Garner arriving at the March On Washington. Note Charlton Heston. This was probably the last liberal event that big slab of ham attended.

One more, Jim Garner with MLK:

Media Oops Of The Week: The Who are playing Jazz Fest this year. They headlined local teevee station WWL’s story on the Fest. Some smart ass pointed out the mistake:

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

Saturday Classic: I’m in the mood for some country music. And when I think country music, I think Dwight Yoakam.

Population Me is an underrated classic. Better still, it’s brief and brevity is the soul of something or other. Uh oh, I’m repeating myself. Oh well, what the hell.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to Julie Andrews and Jim Garner in The Americanization Of Emily.

3 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: Burning Down The House

  1. I adore James Garner. My son’s uncle, the late James Tiffin Patterson, who was one of the directors for “The Sopranos”, as well as many other productions, worked on “The Rockford Files” & had many wonderful stories about Garner. One of them was that Garner loved cocaine & that if he didn’t have his “work package”, then there was no work until it showed up. Another one was that on his birthday, there was a large mirror with “JIM” written out in thick white lines across the smooth surface … those were the days!

    I’ll watch anything with James Garner in it. He’s one of those dudes … he makes it look easy.

    1. David Chase was the show runner on Rockford for several seasons. He loved working with Garner and learned a lot from him.

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