We haven’t had any tornadic activity in the New Orleans area for several weeks. Instead, we’re having a semi-drought, which is making me miserable because there’s been no rain to wash away the oak pollen. The worst of my allergy season usually ends in late March. Whatever happened to the whole April showers, May flowers thing?
Peter Gabriel month concludes with this week’s theme song. It was written in 1972 by everyone in Genesis but the lyrics are mostly by PG. It’s a seven-part suite that’s the centerpiece of the Foxtrot album. It remains one of the most loved songs of Genesis’ Gabriel era.
We have two versions of Supper’s Ready for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a 1974 live version with Peter Gabriel in all his costumed glory.
I don’t know about you but I’m still feeling peckish. Here’s Nancy Wilson with an Irving Berlin song. And you thought Berlinpalooza was history:
I’m full, so I’ll decline ZZ Top’s offer of a teevee dinner:
If only they’d offered me some Texas BBQ.
We begin our second act in earnest with a piece about the fog of Russian history.
Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues, Russia Style: Putin isn’t the first Russian leader to be provincial and paranoid. He’s a piker next to Stalin who spent his entire political career fearful of capitalist encirclement. It’s why the Soviet Union not only restored the Russian Empire but grew it. Stalin was hungry for Hungary, so he swallowed that former Habsburg possession whole.
There’s a swell article by Tufts historian Gregory Carleton at TPM Cafe with a title that says it all, How The Image Of A Besieged And Victimized Russia Came To Be So Ingrained In The Country’s Psyche.
Besieged & Victimized will be the name of my next band. We’ll break up immediately in a spasm of paranoia. I’ll blame the drummer.
The last word of the segment goes to The Kinks:
The Muswell Hillbilly pub cover is appropriate for a segment in which Stalin’s name was dropped. The man was a serious drinker: along with mass murder, getting people drunk was his jam. That’s why I call vodka, Russian death juice.
Hate Will Not Win: A speech by State Senator Mallory McMorrow (D-Michigan) went viral recently. She went after some culture warriors who had accused her of “grooming” children. That’s the new buzz word among the casual character assassins on the right.
Here are Mallory’s McFighting words:
Senator McMorrow sat for an interview with New York Magazine’s Sarah Jones. Here’s the money quote:
“I figured if I’m going down, I’m going down swinging, because there are people who depend on us to fight for them.”
The last word of the segment goes to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with a song that made the TPHB Dozen:
After compiling a Glenn Close top ten list, I embarked upon a third rewatching of one of the greatest teevee shows of all-time, The Shield.
The Shield At 20: It debuted in 2002 and became a landmark series. It was simultaneously violent, gritty, and funny. Great characters make for great television and The Shield was full of them. Vic Mackey was the anti-hero’s anti-hero. In real life, my countryman Michael Chiklis is a sweetheart but as Vic, he’s a cop killing detective with a soft spot for children.
The writing was always first rate, and the staff had the good sense to make CCH Pounder as Claudette Wyms the moral counterpoint to Vic Mackey. Only a badass like Claudette could bring Vic down but it took seven seasons.
Entertainment Weekly talked to the people who made The Shield great in this 20th anniversary oral history. I learned a lot about the show from the EW piece. I was pleased to learn how well the cast and crew got along. They were a team. It was them against the world.
The last word of our second act goes to Roy Orbison:
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I’ve only seen the first episode of The Offer thus far. It’s the new mini-series about the making of The Godfather. The standout performance is by Matthew Goode as producer Robert Evans. Goode is good, yea, verily.
Robert Evans was a fascinating man. His memoir The Kid Stays In The Picture was made into a pretty darn good HBO documentary. Evans narrated the movie sounding like a film noir tough guy. No surprise coming from the man who produced Chinatown.
Matthew Goode is best-known for Downtown Abbey and The Good Wife. His name has given me an earworm:
Go, Matthew B. Goode.
The Movie List: Shirley MacLaine turned 88 on April 24. Hence this listicle within this article.
My Top Ten Favorite Shirley MacLaine Movies
- The Apartment
- Terms Of Endearment
- Being There
- Two Mules For Sister Sara
- Irma La Douce
- The Turning Point
- Some Came Running
- The Trouble With Harry
- The Children’s Hour
- Two For The Seesaw
The Best Of Johnny: Peter Falk was a funny guy. He could even keep up with Johnny Carson. Falk made this 1972 appearance on a break from shooting Columbo. Who among us doesn’t love Columbo?
Here’s the speech Johnny tries to get Peter to talk about:
Tweet Of The Week: It comes from The Recount and features Gret Stet Senator John Neely Kennedy making no sense whatsoever:
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) mocks Twitter executives as "wokers" and the “crank wing of the Democratic Party”:
“Easy to recognize, most of them eat food only fit for rabbits. They almost always enter a swimming pool by the stairs.” pic.twitter.com/Yo15HkGQdC
— The Recount (@therecount) April 28, 2022
Say what? This is the worst Neelyism ever.
Saturday GIF Horse: Dr, A and I are watching Star Trek: Picard. The second season is excellent even if Jean-Luc is looking his age.
In this week’s installment, Patrick Stewart grooves. Groove, Patrick, groove.
It’s time to close down this virtual honky tonk with a reboot of a former feature.
Weekly Vintage Video: Seeing Patrick Stewart shake it so, reminded me of this classic video by The Cars.
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to the cast of The Shield at a ten-year reunion party: Jay Karnes, CCH Pounder, David Rees Snell, Michael Jace, Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, Kenny Johnson, Paula Garces, Catherine Dent, and Benito Martinez.