Saturday Odds & Sods: All Things Must Pass

Standing Bull by Elaine de Kooning.

I had a  weird dream the other night. It was the first test taking/paper writing anxiety dream I’d had in years. I suspect it was inspired by my Tucker Carlson-Ketanji Brown Jackson LSAT post. Thanks, Tucker.

The dream concluded with one of my Spank krewe mates as the teacher who told me my paper was late. He has long hair, which he usually ties back in a ponytail. In the dream he was wearing a Mamie Eisenhower-type hat:

He looked pretty good in that pie crust hat too. Mmm, pie crust.

The featured image is a painting by March 12th baby Elaine de Kooning. It’s an abstract expressionist critter with a punny title, Standing Bull. Take a seat, Willem.

This week’s theme song was written by George Harrison in 1969. He tried to get the Fab Four to record it but they were indifferent as we saw in Get Back. It ended up as the title track of George’s 1970 solo album, All Things Must Pass.

We have four versions of All Things Must Pass for your listening pleasure: the studio original, Paul McCartney at the Concert For George, Willie Nelson, and The Waterboys.

The Waterboys video isn’t of the best quality but what’s not to love about Mike Scott and Steve Wickham?

This is where I’d usually make a joke about jumping to the break but breaks are a thing of the past. Does that make me unbroken? Housebroken?

One more song from the All Things Must Pass album before we kick things into high gear:

We begin our second act in earnest with a piece about one of the greatest movies of all-time.

The Godfather At 50, Al Pacino At 81: The man who played Michael Corleone sat for an interview with the NYT’s David Itzkoff about the second movie he ever made. This is my favorite exchange:

You’re encountering people who are aware of “The Godfather” as a cultural phenomenon but haven’t actually watched it?

They’ve heard about it. You get that. “Oh, I heard — were you in that? That was a film, wasn’t it?” Yes. So was “Citizen Kane,” by the way — I was in that, too. Why not? They don’t know.

For a guy who rarely did comedy, Pacino is a very funny man.

High Society Warder: We’re watching and enjoying the HBO series The Gilded Age. It’s about the follies and foibles of the super-rich in 19th Century New York. The title is stolen from Sam Clemens and evokes memories of Gore Vidal’s 1876 because of one real-life character, Ward McAllister. Gore always called him a silly-billy. The Master was often in his cups, but rarely wrong about people.

For a time, McAllister was the arbiter of high society in Manhattan. He was something of a con man and hustler because he was never as rich as the Astors or the fictional Russells. There’s a swell piece by Slate’s Rebecca Onion about the Wardster who is played by the great Nathan Lane in The Gilded Age. Onion captures the spirit of the age and the man quite well. In the end, he was a hustler *and* a silly-billy.

Did someone say society? I feel a Utopia song coming on.

Documentary Of The Week: Since I shredded Being The Ricardos, I thought I should review a movie about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz that I like. Amy Poehler’s documentary Lucy and Desi is that movie. An alternate title could have been Funny Lady On Funny Lady, but that evokes Barbra Streisand and I’m not a fan.

Lucy and Desi has a wealth of home movies, tape recordings, as well as reminiscences by Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill. The price of her cooperation was downplaying Desi’s zipper issues. It’s okay, they were overplayed by Aaron Sorkin.

It’s hard for anyone to be as charismatic as the real Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, which is one reason the movie works so well. Sorry Nicole and Javier.

Here’s the trailer:

I give Lucy and Desi 3 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B. It’s streaming on Amazon.

The last word of our second act goes to Little Richard followed by Frank Zappa.

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Speaking of Ward McAllister, here’s the silly-billy hustler side-by-side with Nathan Lane.

Dig the exuberant facial hair on both Wards. Speaking of exuberant facial hair, George Harrison was known for his beard.

I’ve never known what kind of Wah Wah George was on about. The pedal? A crying baby? Beats the hell outta me. In any event, it’s a swell song with a helluva groove.

The Movie List: I promised some sort of presidential movie list last week. I try to keep my word. This time it was easy and fun.

I’m listing them by the actor who played them, not the character name.

My Top Ten Favorite Fictional American Presidents

  1.      Martin Sheen in The West Wing
  2.      Fredric March in Seven Days In May
  3.      Michael Douglas in The American President
  4.      Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove
  5.      Jeff Bridges in The Contender
  6.      Henry Fonda in Fail Safe
  7.      Walter Huston in Gabriel Over The White House
  8.      Geena Davis in Commander-in-Chief
  9.      Dennis Haysbert in 24
  10.    Jack Lemmon and James Garner in My Fellow Americans

There were many fine fictional Oval Ones. I started with fifteen and boiled it down to ten. I only saw a few episodes of 24 but Dennis is my peer and homey. My Fellow Americans is a slight movie but how could I pass on Lemmon and Garner?

Born On This Day: I’ve been trying to make the photo arrays larger but with limited success.  This one is set at 1599 x 498 pixels. That’s huge but it looks like a thumbnail. It has something to do with WordPress. It’s one of the few things I don’t like about the platform. So it goes.

Three of our March 12th babies are still with us: Taylor, Young, and Duckworth.  My favorite picture is Jack Kerouac and his cat. Cool daddy-O.

Here they are in no order whatsoever: James Taylor, Andrew Young, Jack Kerouac, Elaine de Kooning, and Senator Tammy Duckworth.

I’ll let JT sing us out with one of his biggest hits. It may be obvious but it’s irresistible.

The Best Of Johnny: As an actor, Kevin Pollak has specialized in playing pricks; most recently in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He’s also a helluva standup comedian. Here’s KP on duty doing impressions for Carson.

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with the GIFs that keep giving. Does that make any sense? If not, stick a bow on it and move on.

Saturday GIF Horse: These images come from a high society costume party at which people dressed like famous New York City buildings. That’s all I know but they fit The Gilded Age theme of today’s post.

All GIFs Must Pass.

One more song for the road from George’s former band mate:

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to the cast of The Gilded Age: Cynthia Nixon, Morgan Spector, Carrie Coon, Louisa Jacobson, Denee Benton, and Christine Baranski.

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