Saturday Odds & Sods: Games Without Frontiers

Two Builders Playing Chess by Jacob Lawrence

Every Tuesday or Wednesday for the past month, we’ve had severe weather warnings. It’s as if Taco Tuesday has become Tornado Tuesday. Oy just oy.

This week, we had torrential rain in the overnight hours but no tornadic activity. This sort of weather still dances on my last nerve even when it’s not as bad as feared. It’s hard to sleep when there’s a light show outside.

It’s Easter weekend. American attempts to secularize this particular religious holiday crack me up. The Easter bunny instead of the crucified Christ? Holy pagan fertility symbol, Batman.

I was raised Greek Orthodox. Orthodox Easter is next Sunday but I might as well celebrate tomorrow. I’m not sure what I’m celebrating but who among us doesn’t like holidays?

Peter Gabriel month continues with another song from PG III/Melt. We have two versions of Games Without Frontiers: the video followed by the German language version. That’s right, PG recorded a German version of PGIII/Melt. Do German fans call the album Schmelzen?

I don’t know about you but I’m not tired of playing games. You shouldn’t be surprised: I mess with my readers all the time. It’s part of my charm.

We have gamey songs from Jewel as well as Santana with Tina Turner.

I bet you never thought I’d post a song by Jewel. Me neither but that’s a gem of a song and I like to keep youse off balance. Call it gamesmanship without frontiers…

We begin our second act in earnest by taking a trip to the Philippines. My father served there at the end of World War II and came away with a love of the Filipino people. Their food rocks too.

Misremembering The Marcos Era: I’m old enough to remember the repression, corruption, and downright villainy of the Marcos regime. The People Power Revolution was one of the biggest news stories of 1986. It drove Ferdinand Marcos into exile and exposed his wife Imelda’s shoe fetish. I am not making this up.

There’s a fabulous and disturbing article in the WaPo about how the Marcos’ have distorted and twisted Filipino history in their latest attempt to return to power. The Marcos machine has used social media, especially Tik Tok, to its advantage. Ferdinand and Imelda’s son, Ferdinand Junior aka Bongbong is the front-runner in the upcoming presidential election.

President Bongbong? Oy just oy.

For the details on this unwelcome comeback, get thee to the WaPo.

I’m uncertain if Frank Zappa had a shoe fetish but he wrote two swell shoe songs:

Oregon is one of America’s most beautiful states. It’s also one of the most mispronounced. It’s NOT Ore-GON. Got it? Let’s move on.

Kristoff’s Oregon Flop: I was never a fan of Nicholas Kristoff’s NYT column. His prose style is pompous, pretentious, and many other P-words.

Kristoff has denied having a “white savior” complex but I’m not buying it because he thought he could save his home state of Oregon by running for Governor.

Kristoff grew up in the Beaver State but hadn’t lived there in decades. He knew he did not meet the residency requirement, so he challenged it in court. He lost.

New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi paid Kristoff a visit and wrote about his failed campaign. Click here to read her story.

The last word of our second act goes to two country music legends: Dolly Parton followed by Loretta Lynn with Jack White.

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth: This week’s pairing features two fine actors known for their tough guy roles: James Nesbitt and Titus Welliver.

It’s easy to imagine Nesbitt playing Harry Bosch or Welliver playing Tommy Murphy.

FYI, we just watched James Nesbitt in an exceptional teevee series, Bloodlands. He plays Tom Brannick a Belfast police detective with a troubled past that’s tied to The Troubles. Titus would have been good in the part too. Oh welliver, what the helliver.

The Movie List: This week, one of the greatest screen actors of them all, Alec Guinness. My geekier readers will be disappointed that Star Wars didn’t make the list but Guinness made so many fine films that it would land somewhere in the top fifteen, not ten. Sorry, Obi-Wan.

My Top Ten Favorite Alec Guinness Movies

  1.       The Bridge On The River Kwai
  2.       Great Expectations
  3.       Lawrence Of Arabia
  4.      The Lavender Hill Mob
  5.      Tunes Of Glory
  6.      Kind Hearts and Coronets
  7.      The Ladykillers
  8.      Little Dorit
  9.      Our Man In Havana
  10.     Smiley’s People

I shuffled the top three around quite a bit. They’re all great David Lean films. The Bridge On The River Kwai came up out on top because it had the juiciest part for Guinness.

Celebrity Ad Corner: I had hoped to find an Alec Guinness ad for the ale of the same name but none exists. I guess Sir Alec was too classy to do a booze ad. Elliot Gould, however, was not.

Did marriage to Barbra Streisand drive him to drink? Beats the hell outta me but it lasted 8 years, which is pretty long for a union that Gould likened to a “bath of lava.” I am not making this up.

The Best Of Johnny: Here’s a full Tonight Show monologue from April 6, 1986. I tried to find some Imelda Marcos shoe jokes to no avail. This will have to do.

Tweet Of The Week: I came upon this Tweet via TPM. What’s not to love about a Kittysaurus?


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

Saturday GIF Horse: Alec Guinness won an Oscar for his performance as Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge On The River Kwai. This is the moment in which he realizes he’s made a terrible mistake.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to Imelda Marcos and her shoe closet. Proof positive that I am not making this up.

One thought on “Saturday Odds & Sods: Games Without Frontiers

  1. A fine entry in Odds & Sods collection. A correction: as far as I know, Guiness does not make an ale – they are known for their stout. And the Elliott Gould/Jim Beam ad was filler, not a joke I don’t get? Thanks, amigo. Enjoyed as always.

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