Saturday Odds & Sods: Alone At Midnight

Automat by Edward Hopper

The big story in New Orleans is the trial of District Attorney Jason Williams on federal tax fraud charges. The case has been hanging over Williams for several years. He’s been an okay DA thus far, but I declined to vote for him since he was under indictment. He won anyway. His fate will be decided by a jury of his peers. How appropriate is that?

Pat DiNizio wrote this week’s theme song for the Smithereens 1986 debut album, Especially For You. It was a struggle: according to Pat, it took him three years to write the song. It was worth it.

We have two versions of Alone At Midnight for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a 1988 live version.

I usually publish Saturday Odds & Sods at midnight for our night owl readers. One more midnight song before we move on. It’s an obvious one but not the obvious version.

Wasn’t that special?

That’s foreshadowing for this week’s Sunday Dozen featuring John Fogerty. It lands at midnight Sunday.

We begin our second act with a serious subject that’s much in the news since the Dobbs disaster.

The History Of Abortion In America: There’s an epic piece by Tamara Dean in The Guardian that reveals the truth of abortion in 19th Century America. It was fairly commonplace early on; the bans came later and largely for practical reasons: to protect women from unsafe abortions. The 21st Century bans are impractical and have nothing whatsoever to do with women’s health.

Along the same lines is a WaPo piece about abortion and founding fathers Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and Patrick Henry. It’s a nifty piece of historical detective work by Sarah Hougen Poggi and Cynthia A. Kierner. Thanks, y’all.

Divorce In The Gilded Age: We’ve all heard about quickie divorces in Reno, Nevada. They was the centerpiece of the great Claire Boothe Luce-George Cukor film The Women. In the early 20th Century, the place to go to get unhitched was Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

There’s a fascinating piece in Slate by April White about the divorce of socialite Flora Bigelow Dodge. While in Sioux Falls, she stayed at a place with a weird name, The Cataract House Hotel. I am not making this up and neither is April White.

 The last word of our second act goes to country chanteuse Tammy Wynette:

 We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I’m usually lazy with this feature and steal images. I couldn’t find one for this pairing of Gary Gilmore and Tommy Lee Jones in Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song, so I had to do it myself.

It was the part that made Tommy Lee Jones an unlikely star. It was also when I began my feeble attempts to imitate Tommy Lee’s clipped speech patterns. It’s a toughie.

The Movie List: After last week, I’ve decided to make this list a dozen from now on even if it’s not Sunday. Oh well, what the hell.

The Tommy Lee Jones Dozen

  1.    Lonesome Dove
  2.    The Fugitive
  3.    No Country For Old Men
  4.    The Executioner’s Song
  5.    Men In Black
  6.    Space Cowboys
  7.    Coal Miner’s Daughter
  8.    The Missing
  9.    In The Valley Of Elah
  10.    Blue Sky
  11.   Stormy Monday
  12.   The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada (also directed)

There will be more Tommy Lee Jones content tomorrow afternoon in a Story Time post. Another day, another teaser.

The last word of the segment goes to TLJ’s fellow Texan, Steve Miller:

Enough with the Texas content. Let’s go North to Canada. Remember not to bogart the poutine. Mmm, poutine.

Best Of SCTV: Merv Griffin used to be famous for more than being the creator of quiz shows such as Jeopardy and Wheel Of Fortune. He hosted his own chatty talk show for many years. SCTV’s Rick Moranis did a killer impression of Merv. Here it is:

I forgot to remind you that Merv graduated from my alma mater, San Mateo High School. Us Bearcats have to stick together with the exception of Peter Thiel. He can go fuck himself.

Saturday GIF Horse: Ready for more Tommy Lee Jones content? Good. You have no choice.

Let’s close down this virtual juke box with some more music.

Weekly Vintage Video: I had forgotten that Weird Al Yankovic did a Star Wars based American Pie parody until I saw the documentary I reviewed on Thursday. Here’s the Weird Al video in all its goofy glory:

That’s all for this week. The last word is a picture of the real Doolittle and Loretta Lynn with the actors who played them in Coal Miner’s Daughter, Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones: