Greetings from the Big Freezy home of the arctic blast and low water pressure. Everyone is dripping their faucets to avoid frozen or burst pipes. It’s not expected to snow as in 1895 but it’s fucking cold this Christmas Eve.
We’re in day two of a four day hard freeze. It’s the only time having a slab house is a good thing in New Orleans. Adrastos World HQ is raised to ameliorate the summer heat. We have a lot more of that than hard freezes. So it goes.
That’s all about the Christmas Eve Freeze. Doubtless, Bette Davis would be unsympathetic. She was an ice person, after all.
It’s the final full-blown Saturday Odds & Sods post of the year hence the theme song. It’s a traditional song, so I considered taking credit for it but decided not to go George Santos on your asses. Besides, who would believe that a confirmed agnostic had written a song about the birth of Jesus. I’m a wise acre, not a wise man…
We have three versions of Last Month Of The Year for your listening pleasure: the Staple Singers, Chris Isaak, and Norah Jones.
Did I mention it was freezing cold? Our house isn’t made of steel, but I dig this song by my countryman anyway:
We begin our second act with a piece by the writer-producer of the FX series Fargo, Noah Hawley. I hope he’s not related to Running Man Josh:
It’s High Noon In America is the name of Hawley’s piece in The Atlantic. Hawley reflects on the state of American culture in what we all hope will be the post-Trump era. The title is his, not mine but classic movie imagery works for me.
Hawley’s thesis is that we’re returning to days of the Old West. I hope not: those were dirty, bloody, and stinky times. Too messy for my taste.
Speaking of the Old West, this Grateful Dead song is about a card shark who comes to a bad end at the hands of his nephew:
Yeah, I know. The song was written by John Phillips, but the Dead took ownership long ago. If I feel stiff and achy, I sing this line to myself: “Three days in the saddle, you know my body hurts.”
Not that I spend much time in the saddle. I’d be a rotten cowpoke.
Let’s move on to our next segment, which features a beloved movie star and the crazy cretins who loathe him.
Tom Hanks & The QCreeps: Who among us doesn’t love Tom Hanks? The QAnon crazies, that’s who. This is news to me, but you know my motto: You learn something new every day.
Winkie? Is that his real name? It makes me think of another old movie:
Directed by John Ford, no less.
The last word of our second act goes to Blind Willie McTell. As far as I know it’s not about the Kipling story.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I have no idea why I have Billie Jean King on my mind, but I do. Emma Stone played her in Battle Of The Sexes, which was about the King-Bobby Riggs mishigas.
The Movie List: I just realized that I’d never done a Brian DePalma list before. He’s one of my favorite film directors as well as a major character. It’s time to rectify that omission.
The Brian DePalma Dozen
- Blow Out
- The Untouchables
- Dressed To Kill
- Casualties Of War
- Raising Cain
- Carlito’s Way
- Body Double
- The Black Dahlia
Sorry action movie fans, Mission Impossible didn’t make the list. It’s a good flick but I prefer the director’s more weirdly personal movies.
DePalma also dabbled in directing music videos during MTV’s heyday. I think you’ll know this one.
Best Of Letterman: This week’s clip could be called When Dave Met Sparky Schulz.
It’s a pity that Toon Dave didn’t wear sneakers like Real Dave did on his NBC show. The change in footwear was one of Dave’s concessions to mainstream tastes. I don’t recall if he ever wore these on Late Night:
All this shoe talk has me tuckered out. Let’s move on.
Saturday GIF Horse: Writing about Fred MacMurray the other day made me think of Bogie’s witness stand meltdown in The Caine Mutiny.
Queeg is a helluva character name but imagine having that as your last name? It’s almost as bad as having Humphrey as your first name.
TCM Remembers: Every year the good people at TCM assemble an in-memoriam piece. In 2022, it was hazardous to be a character actor as the likes of Paul Sorvino and Clu Gulager passed on.
Anyone else remember when Clu was on Project Greenlight because his wack-a-doo son John won the Affleck-Damon contest? That was a wild reality teevee ride, y’all.
But Clu Gulager will always be one of The Killers to me:
Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.
Saturday Closer: Last Sunday, I called Brian Setzer the Bing Crosby of his generation. Brian digs Glenn Miller so much that he adapted In The Mood for his Dig That Crazy Christmas album. Dig it, man.
That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Brian DePalma on the set of Scarface.