The weather has been crazy in New Orleans. It’s mostly been cold but heated up for a few days followed by another cold front. The cold front was heralded by wind and rain but the answer, my friend, was not blowing in the wind. I have no idea what that means but I’ve been criticized for a lack of Dylan content.
Carnival season is heating up, but I remain indifferent. The Omicron wave peaked and dropped off here, but I remain leery of crowds. I may pay the odd float visit to friends who are riding in various parades, but I won’t be entertaining or grubbing for throws. Wait until next year.
This week’s equine theme song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for the Rolling Stones 1971 album, Sticky Fingers. You know, the one with the zipper on the original Andy Warhol album cover. I should zip it and move on.
We have four versions of Wild Horses for your listening pleasure: the studio original, the Stones live followed by the Flying Burrito Brothers and Garbage.
It’s time to saddle up like Tex Ritter and jump to the break.
I’m still horsing around:
That concludes the “songs from my wayward youth” portion of the post. We begin our second act in earnest with a dispatch from Toronto.
Noise In The Hood: Canadian writer Steven Marche entered the American conversation with his recent book, The Next Civil War. The so-called Freedom Convoy made a brief appearance in his Toronto neighborhood. Oh oh, Canada.
Get thee to the Atlantic for the details.
The last word of the segment goes to Los Lobos:
Wallowing In Watergate: Longtime readers know that Watergate was my formative political experience. Ain’t nothing I like more than wallowing in Watergate. Insert your favorite bucolic animal image. I don’t do cornpone shtick. I leave that to John Neely Kennedy.
There’s a swell Watergate piece in New York Magazine’s Intelligencer section by Garrett M. Graff. He reminds us that Woodstein weren’t the only ones walking the Watergate beat. He also posits that Tricky Dick might have gotten away with Watergate if not for stories run by other news organizations. I concur.
This song isn’t about Watergate but it name checks Nixon:
You were expecting Ohio? Too obvious.
Documentary Of The Week: I have a fondness for guys named Oscar. Few are as swell as my late cat or Oscar Peterson, but Oscar Micheaux came close. He was a pioneering Black indy filmmaker who was active from 1919-1948. This Oscar was also a hustler: while booking his own movies, he raised funds for the next one.
As a Black writer-director, Micheaux worked outside the Hollywood system. I’ve seen 4 or 5 of his films and the silents work better than the talkies but Oscar Micheaux persevered in the face of daunting odds.
There’s a fine documentary about the director that just debuted on TCM, Oscar Micheaux: The Superhero Of Black Filmmaking. Say what? He was from Metropolis, Ill and they have a statue of Superman in town. Micheaux was much more impressive than a fictional white dude in tights.
It’s a good documentary with many interesting talking heads but none of them knew the director. That’s a pity but it’s not surprising: he died in 1951.
Here’s the trailer:
Please forgive the subtitles. It was the only trailer I could find on the YouTube.
I give Oscar Micheaux: The Superhero Of Black Filmmaking 3 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B.
The last word of our first act goes to Curtis Mayfield. Why Superfly? It’s a super song and Curtis Mayfield persevered after he was confined to a wheelchair, that’s why.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: There’s a 5-part Watergate mini-series coming soon to HBO: The White House Plumbers. It features Woody Harrelson as E Howard Hunt and Justin Theroux as G Gordon Liddy.
Holy sunburn, Woody. Hunt was a pasty white guy. Spies aren’t into tanning.
The Movie List: This week we have a crossover from the Born On This Day feature. It’s the 92nd anniversary of director John Frankenheimer’s birth. He died in 2002. Happy something or other, sir.
My Top Ten Favorite John Frankenheimer Movies
- Seven Days In May
- The Manchurian Candidate
- The Train
- Grand Prix
- Birdman Of Alcatraz
- The Fixer
- The Young Savages
- French Connection II
I was introduced to Seven Days In May by a high school English teacher, Mr. Titus. I had a blast writing an essay about that Frankenheimer classic. What’s not to love about this cast: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, and Edmond O’Brien.
Born On This Day: The February 19th babies are ready to strut their stuff; at least the 2 living ones are. I think Copernicus needs his rest…
Here’s this week’s photo array: Pioneering astronomer Nicolas Copernicus, movie star Merle Oberon, director John Frankenheimer, novelist Amy Tan, and Smokey Robinson who needs no introduction but gets one anyway.
The last word of the segment goes to the last guy in the photo array:
Tweet Of The Week: It goes to me with a tweet about my cat’s exploits. It could be called the Bird & the Butthead.
A bird got in the house this morning. Claire Trevor went bonkers. She was exiled to a locked room so we could shoo the bird out the door. Sorry for crushing your dreams, CT. All cats want to kill a bird like Oscar and Della did many years ago. Their dream, my bloody nightmare,
— Shecky (@Adrastosno) February 16, 2022
Oscar and Della’s bird got in the house while Dr A and I were out. We came home to find two cats who didn’t want to eat. How suspicious is that? I later found a bird beak and trace elements of blood. I felt positively Poirot-ish. I feel a sudden craving for Belgian waffles…
I’ve decided to retire the Saturday Classic as a closing segment. It feels played out. Instead, we’ll feature a GIF Horse at the end. GIFs are the gift that keeps giving, after all.
Saturday GIF Horse: It’s Tricky Dick with a modern twist.
Nuts, hot nuts, you get them from the Tricky Man or Doug Clark:
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to that dynamic duo Burt-n-Kirk in John Frankenheimer’s Seven Days In May.