Saturday Odds & Sods: Rhapsody In Blue

Night View Of Brooklyn Bridge by Joseph Stella

It’s been a tough week in New Orleans. We were lucky during the tornadic episode, but it’s left us feeling jittery. So, I’m keeping this edition on the short side.

It’s also allergy season so my eyes are watering, and my nose is running until I go back inside and drop a Benadryl. It helps but it makes me sleepy. Oh well, what the hell.

This week’s theme song was written by George Gershwin in 1924. Gershwin wanted to prove that he could write “serious music” and prove it he did.

We have two versions of Rhapsody In Blue for your listening pleasure: Leonard Bernstein conducting the NY Philharmonic and a small-ish group version conducted by Michael Tillson-Thomas featuring the piano rolls supervised by the composer himself.

Still feeling rhapsodic? I certainly am.

One more blue tune before beginning our second act in earnest:

If you’re like me, the atrocious conduct by Senate GOPers made the KBJ confirmation hearings an ordeal. They were more about the mid-terms than the Supreme Court. KBJ is one of the most qualified nominees of my lifetime and one of the nicest. I hated to see such a good person treated like a chew toy by the rabid hounds of the right. Fuck them sideways and every which way but loose.

All The Way With KBJ: As an antidote to hearing ugliness, there’s a terrific profile of Ketanji Brown Jackson by Erica L Green in last Sunday’s NYT Magazine.

Green makes clear what a good person and outstanding jurist KBJ is. It’s a good thing that she has a judicial temperament, a lesser being would have lost their shit with the committee like the “martyred” Justice Bro did. No beer for you, Brett.

Yale Law School professor Linda Greenhouse has written a swell piece about the Court KBJ knew in her time as a clerk for Justice Breyer. For the details, get thee to the Atlantic.

Like Dahlia Lithwick, I was disappointed in committee Democrats for not more vigorously defending KBJ. Oddly enough, two of the nicest members of the senate Pat Leahy and Cory Booker were her fiercest champions. I concur with Shapiro that Cory Booker is a mensch.

The last word of our second act goes to an extended version of Senator Booker’s stirring defense of KBJ:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Twitter Edition: This week a Tweet from regular reader Al Hunt with a paring of Moms Mabley and Wanda Sykes who played Moms in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Thanks, Al. I promise not to walk your legs off again the next time we meet.

The Movie List: I stumbled into an Esquire listicle of gambling movies and decided to roll the dice and post my own list.

My Top Ten Favorite Movies About Gambling

  1.    California Split
  2.    Casino
  3.    The Hustler
  4.    The Cincinnati Kid
  5.    The Sting
  6.    The Cooler
  7.    Rounders
  8.    Croupier
  9.    Hard Eight
  10.  Smart Money

I don’t care for Kenny Rogers (the singer, not the retired pitcher) so I’m skipping the obvious choice to end the segment. Instead, here’s Lady Gaga:

I was hoping she’d be wearing the meat dress, but you can’t have everything. I think Stefani Germanotta would approve if I added a song by one of her paisan:

Born On This Day is taking the week off. I’m planning to revamp the segment but don’t have time this week.

Happy Birthday to two pioneers: Speaker Pelosi and retired Justice O’Connor who was once called Sandy Baby by NFL star John Riggins.

The Best Of Johnny: This time an odd couple, baseball hall of famer Lou Brock gets the Rickles treatment.

I hope Lou didn’t listen to Mr. Warmth. He was a Dodgers fan. Say no more.

Coffin Nail Corner: This week a glamorous Ruby Stevens dba Barbara Stanwyck.

I’ll let Chris Difford sing us out of this segment:

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with the GIFs that keep on giving.

Saturday GIF Horse: This week, images from the #1 movie on the gambling list, Robert Altman’s California Split followed by more craps table action from the #2 movie, Martin Scorsese’s Casino.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason in the #3 movie on this week’s list Robert Rossen’s The Hustler.

5 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: Rhapsody In Blue

  1. It is my recollection that John Riggings’ quote was “lighten up, Sandy Baby!” Which brings to mind the fact that Rowdy Yates used the word ‘riggings ’ to describe diapers on Rawhide. Oh Clint, you bitch!

    1. You are correct, sir. I also recall that the Justice was not amused but her husband thought it was hilarious.

    1. I was surprised at how many great gambling movies there are. I had fun with that one.

  2. I have been told by someone that I held in highest regard that that clarinet lead-in to Rhapsody was just the licorice stick gettin warmed up, in the words of Al Pacino. So happs that GG was in the cheap seats that day, and shouted down from the loge, ‘leave that in!’

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