Author Archives: Peter Adrastos Athas

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Curse Of Drink

This week’s entry is not pulp fiction per se. It’s a 1904 temperance propaganda novel based on an “ethical melodrama.” I am not making this up.

That lurid image screams out for a musical last word. It goes to The Kinks with a song about the demon you know what.

Who Hired The Hitman?

I usually hate Congressional hearings. The members talk too much. Most of them have no idea how to pose or frame a question. The first day of the House Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee hearings was different: solemn, dignified, and focused.

Speaker Pelosi should thank feckless House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy for boycotting the committee. There are no wingnuts determined to speak over others and put on a show for the cameras. The committee is small: only 9 members. The two Republicans are willing to face the scorn of their idiot leader who denounced them as Pelosi Republicans. Nobody cares what KMac thinks. He maneuvered himself into oblivion last week.

The four police officers who testified were great witnesses and deserve a shout-out: Aquillo Gonnell, Michael Fanone, Daniel Hodges, and Harry Dunn. They epitomize the sort of people who *should* be in law enforcement. During the Dipshit Insurrection, they protected and served. As Adam Kinzinger said, “You guys won. You guys held.”

They were all impressive, but Capitol copper Harry Dunn stood out: both literally and figuratively. Dunn is a big dude. He’s 6’7″ and built like an old school NBA power forward such as the late Wes Unseld who played his entire career for the Baltimore/Capitol/Washington Bullets.

Officer Dunn was denounced before the hearing by that entitled little shit Tucker Carlson as “an angry left-wing activist.”

Harry Dunn *is* angry and with good reason:

Dunn, a 13-year-veteran of the force, testified that as rioters were nearing the a room directly off the House floor, they shouted about having been invited by Trump to “stop the steal” — prevent the congressional affirmation of Joe Biden’s victory. He said those rioters said “nobody voted” for Biden.

“I’m a law enforcement officer, and I do my best to keep politics out of my job, but in this circumstance, I responded: ‘Well, I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?'” said Dunn, who is Black. “That prompted a torrent of racial epithets. One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled: ‘Did you hear that, guys? This n—– voted for Joe Biden.’ Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people, joined in screaming, ‘Booo, f—— n—–.’

“No one had ever, ever called me a n—– while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer,” Dunn continued, adding that after the riot he heard from other Black officers who faced racial abuse from the mob. “One officer told me he had never, in his 40 years of life, had been called a n—– to his face, and that streak ended on January 6th. Yet another Black officer later told me he had been confronted by insurrectionists in the Capitol who told him to ‘put your gun down, and we’ll show you what kind of n—– you really are.'”

The Trump mob showed what kind of cowards they are. There’s safety in numbers. None of them would have dared to abuse Harry Dunn one-on-one.

The sub-text of the hearing was ingratitude. The ingratitude of Republican lawmakers whose lives were saved by the cops who risked their own lives to protect them. The Trumpers are lionizing Ashli Babbitt and calling her fellow rioters political prisoners. I know what to call them: Terrorists.

Congressional loons Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, and Louis Gohmert Piles (hereinafter the Four Gs) showed what they were made of yesterday. They staged a “protest” outside the Justice Department. They demanded the release of insurrectionists who they claim are political prisoners. So the QAnon Shaman is the new Andrey Sakharov? Who knew?

It was a disgusting display of cosplay courage: they were run off by a guy with a whistle. I am not making this up. Here’s the proof:

One more note, make that Tweet, about the freak show surrounding yesterday’s hearing:

Holy Cosplay Tough Guy, Batman.

Back to the main event: the hearing.

The officers made it clear that they want those behind the insurrection held accountable. It was Harry Dunn who inspired the post title: “If a hitman is hired, and he kills somebody, the hitman goes to the jail. But not only does the hitman go to jail, but the person who hired him does.”

We all know who he’s talking about: former President* Pennywise. He’s incapable of planning anything but capable of inciting a riot. That’s what he did on Twelfth Night, 2021.

The last word is inspired by the Four Gs DOJ Mishigas and the guy who made them look ridiculous:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Pink Moon

Nick Drake was a shooting star who brightened the musical horizon for a few years before his tragic death in 1974 at the age of 26.

Pink Moon was released two years before Drake died and was his final album. The album cover is by neo-surrealist artist Michael Trevithick.

Here’s the gatefold:

Here’s the whole damn album:

The Truman Myth

I was present at the creation of the Truman myth. It came in response to Watergate. The straightforward 33rd president was seen as an antidote to the slippery and crooked Richard Nixon.

The Truman myth began in earnest after the man’s death on the day after Christmas in 1972. The bible, as it were, of the myth was published the next year: Plain Speaking by Merle Miller. This oral biography grew out of a failed teevee project. The interview tapes had more or less sat in a closet for a decade before hitting the best seller list and staying there for months on end.

My mother liked to give me books for my birthday. Plain Speaking was my birthday book in 1973. It was enormously entertaining, so I devoured it. Even then I understood that Merle Miller’s Harry Truman was an embellished version of the real man.

I come from a long line of storytellers. My father’s business colleagues insisted that he was scrupulously honest. I believed them but I also knew he liked to embellish his stories to make them funnier and more interesting. I recognized the same traits in Merle Miller’s Harry Truman.

Plain Speaking Harry Truman was the hero of every story, especially in his dealings with enemies such as Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He was an erudite auto-didactic expert on world history and geography. He was loyal to a fault to the man who made his political career, Kansas City political boss and convicted felon, Tom Pendergast. Truman’s defensive refrain about Boss Pendergast was, “He never asked me to do a dishonest thing.”

It was hard not to be entertained by the sassy and feisty former president as he cussed out his enemies. His favorite word to describe Gen. MacArthur and others was counterfeit. Teenage me knew that nobody was *that* courageous in the face of their opponents. Merle Miller’s Harry Truman always sounded like the stuff we say to ourselves *after* an argument. You know, I shoulda said this that or the other.

The Truman myth went on the road with James Whitmore’s one-man show Give ‘Em Hell, Harry. I saw it and liked it. Like Plain Speaking it was enormously entertaining and provided the role of a lifetime for a journeyman actor such as Whitmore. The stories were embellished, but that’s entertainment.

The Truman myth was set in stone in 1992 by David McCullough’s Pulitzer prize-winning biography, Truman. McCullough is one of our finest non-fiction writers and he buffed and shined the Truman myth until it sparkled. He did comment on some of the less savory aspects of his subject’s political career, but they were outweighed by tales of the mythic Truman. What’s not to love about the story of the 1948 campaign? It’s when Truman became the patron saint of underdogs.

I know that there are many other Truman books, but Miller and McCullough are the mythmakers. One could even call the mythic Truman Miller-McCullough Man.

Now that I’ve taken some of the shine off the Truman myth, on balance I think he was a good president. He accomplished some major things such as the Marshall Plan and made a start on treating black folks as full citizens. He just wasn’t David McCullough or Merle Miller’s Harry Truman. He was a mere mortal.

That brings me to the reason for this post. Law professor and Lawyers, Guns, and Money blogger Paul Campos has published a bombshell piece in New York Magazine: The Truman Show.

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Quote Of The Day: Boris Johnson’s Hair

Boris Johnson governing style is getting Trumpier and Trumpier by the day. He mishandled the pandemic, made the Brexit mess even messier, and allows headlines to change his mind on a daily basis. There’s never a plan, he just wings it. Sound familiar?

Unlike Trump, Johnson won an election fair and square but he’s pissing away that advantage as I write this.

One thing that Boris has always had in common with the Kaiser of Chaos is weird and silly hair.

Here’s ace Guardian satirist Marina Hyde latest salvo about the prime ministerial hairdo:

Johnson’s hair, always ridiculous, now seems to have reached animal rescue stage. The PM resembles one of those old English sheepdogs that charities put on sad-music fundraising adverts, with a voice saying: “When Boris came to us, his coat was so matted he was effectively blind … ” Or maybe he’s the star of an 80-minute Netflix movie in which the sheepdog somehow becomes president, and we end up learning a lot – if not about politics or ourselves, then definitely about the Netflix commissioning process.

Boris spends much of his time feuding with former aides. His former right hand man, Dominic Cummings, is now a sworn enemy of the man he made PM.

Cummings’ testimony before a parliamentary committee two months ago was a laugh riot:

Dominic Cummings has laid bare the “surreal” chaos in Downing Street in March last year as the government grappled with the Covid pandemic, portraying the prime minister as obsessed with the media and making constant U-turns, “like a shopping trolley smashing from one side of the aisle to the other”.

During an extraordinary evidence session to MPs at Westminster on Wednesday, Boris Johnson’s former chief aide targeted the prime minister for personal criticism, accusing him of being “unfit for the job”.

He claimed that Johnson regretted the first lockdown and held out against imposing later restrictions, despite the advice of many people inside Downing Street, and that overall, “tens of thousands of people died who didn’t need to die”.

Cummings told MPs the prime minister had repeatedly said in respect of the first lockdown, “I should have been the mayor of Jaws and kept the beaches open,” and confirmed reports that in October, Johnson said he would see “bodies pile high” rather than order a third lockdown.

Imagine wanting to be like Mayor Vaughn in Jaws who thwarted the efforts of Chief Brody to protect the town from sharks. Does Boris realize that Murray Hamilton who played the Jaws mayor was cuckolded by Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate? Playing the movie analogy game is tricky.

Dominic Cummings is a professional asshole, but I wish more of Trump’s former aides would feud with him publicly. They prefer to be quoted without attribution like John Kelly. Better a brave asshole than a cowardly one

The last word goes to Split Enz with a song about sharks, not hair:

SMV: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Live At Fenway Park

Here’s  52 minutes of magic from 2014:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Hamburger Midnight

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.

Dr. A is more disciplined that I am. She’d been on a rather stringent diet until she came home craving a burger but not at midnight. We ordered delivery from Shake Shack in the broad daylight. I’m not sure if the Nighthawks are eating hamburgers but I wouldn’t be surprised.

This week’s theme song was written by Lowell George and Roy Estrada in 1970 for Little Feat’s eponymous debut album. It’s a long-time favorite of mine; one that I used to request when I saw the band live. They ignored my pleas. And I wrote such a lovely tribute to Paul Barrerre in 2019. Oh well, what the hell.

We have three versions of Hamburger Midnight for your listening pleasure: the studio original, a 1973 live version, and a 2014 live version with guest vocalist Vince Herman.

Little Feat’s first single was Hamburger Midnight/Strawberry Flats. Here’s the B-Side:

Now that I’ve made you flat-out peckish, let’s jump to the break.

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Crazy He Calls Me

Last week I featured a “guy song,” this one is for and by the ladies with an exceptional exception. Crazy He Calls Me, however, was written in 1949 by two men, Carl Sigman and Bob Russell.

The song quite rightly is associated with the great Billie Holiday who was the first artist to record it. That’s where we begin our musical journey.

Here’s the aforementioned exceptional exception. What was it with Nat and sweaters? The man lived in LA. I guess he was trying to Crosby-fy his image; either that or he got cold easily.

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Malaka Of The Week: Beth Mizell

The Gret Stet lege made history this week, holding the first ever veto override special session. Both houses are required to override with a 2/3 vote. The session was a flop: the lege did not override any of Gov. Edwards’ vetoes. It was a great relief because of two measures: a “freedom, man” concealed carry bill and a ban on transgender folks in school sports. The sponsor of the latter bill was State Senator Beth Mizell. And that is why she is malaka of the week.

I have a confession: I don’t follow the doings at the state lege as closely as a pundit should. They do some crazy shit, and I don’t want my blood pressure to spike. I did, however, follow the Veto Session. That would have made a good pseudonym for Vito Spatafore when he was outed and fled to New Hampshire in the final season of The Sopranos.

Back to the Gret Stet lege.

Mizell is a Republican who hails from Franklinton. It’s a small town in rural Washington Parish. Even though it’s only 70 miles away from New Orleans, it might as well be a thousand miles. Some call those folks rednecks, I prefer the term peckerwoods. It’s more evocative.

Mizell was the original sponsor of the hateful and unnecessary anti-trans bill. The senate overrode Gov. Edwards’ veto, but the house did not. I guess they had a fleeting moment of sanity.

Mizell claimed that transgender folks in sports was the most important issue for the people of the Gret Stet of Louisiana. I have my doubts that these claims are true:

“If you have not heard the voices of the large majority of people in this state by emails, by phone calls, by personal visits, there’s no words I can give you,”

I have a word for this: malakatude. Bigotry is another word that comes to mind.

It remains weird to live in such a blue city in such a red state. The lege is full of people who hate New Orleans. One reason they hate us is our diversity and tolerance of those who are different. Sounds pretty darn Christian to me but bible thumpers like Malaka Mizell don’t see it that way. It’s what happens when you live on a steady diet of red meat…

Mizell is term-limited and will leave the senate on January 8, 2024. I have no idea if she plans to run for another office. It’s one of those things that I don’t care about.

Mizell has promised to push her despicable bill in the next legislative session. That means we’ll have to fight this stupid battle all over again thanks to Mizell’s malakatude.

I’m not sure if Mizell is praying in the featured image or if she’s hanging her head in shame. I hope it’s the latter: she and her cohort have much to be ashamed of. And that is why Louisiana State Senator Beth Mizell is malaka of the week.

The last word goes to Dwight Yoakam:

Friday Catblogging: Eyes Wide Open

I’m not sure if Claire Trevor was vexed when Dr. A snapped this picture but it’s a distinct possibility.

First Draft KMacpalooza: The Grand Finale

This tweet I sent this morning was a bit premature:

I thought that after that and Michael F’s brilliant and punny press post, we’d exhausted the subject. I was wrong. It’s still KMac day at First Draft.

The brain-dead response of the MSM to Pelosi’s power play has been hilarious as pointed out by Never Trumper Tim Miller:

How dare Speaker Pelosi not allow Gym Jordan to wreck the investigation? KMac selected him to turn it into a shit show. Pelosi refused to play along.

The MSM was confused by Nancy Smash’s power move so much so that KMac walked into her trap by withdrawing from the Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee. That perfects their fuck-up in refusing to participate in a 1/6 Commission over which they’d have veto power over subpoenas. Now they have no representation, influence, or power. They won’t be on teevee when the hearings air either. It was a stupid move by a stupid man. Thanks, KMac.

Cassandra discussed Liz Cheney. I’d like to expand on her thoughts by quoting People Magazine quoting I Alone Can Wreck Fix It.

When hundreds of angry Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 after being incited by the president, Rep. Liz Cheney was inside with other members of congress, including Rep. Jim Jordan.

Jordan — who had supported Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen — offered to help Cheney out of the aisle.

She wasn’t having it, according to a new book.

“That fucking guy Jim Jordan. That son of a bitch,” Cheney told Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley on the phone, detailing the siege, according to I Alone Can Fix It, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

“While these maniacs are going through the place, I’m standing in the aisle and he said, ‘We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you,’ ” recalled Cheney, then the House of Representatives’ No. 3 Republican, per the book. “I smacked his hand away and told him, ‘Get away from me. You fucking did this.’ ”

I undeleted the expletives. We still have a fuck quota at First Draft even without Athenae and Jude. Fuck, yeah.

One thing I respect about the Cheneys is that they’re good haters and even better grudge holders. Liz Cheney’s hate for that fucking guy Gym Jordan runs deep.

The main reason I’m wrapping up KMacpalooza is this:

“We will run our own investigation,” McCarthy said at a news conference, calling Pelosi a “lame duck speaker” and accusing her of an “egregious abuse of power” and of “destroying the institution.”

That was KMac’s OJ Simpson moment. Remember when the Juice got loose and claimed that he’d investigate the murders? That never happened. Instead he wrote a book called If I Did It.

KMac’s book could be titled How I Tried To Kill Democracy.

I eagerly await a subpoena landing on KMac’s desk.

The last word goes to The Kinks. Just imagine Gym Jordan singing Dave’s part and Liz Cheney singing Ray’s.

 

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Picture Snatcher

I thought I’d seen all of Jimmy Cagney’s movies. I saw Picture Snatcher for the first time recently on TCM. It’s not one of his better films but the poster is to die for. Smile for the Cagney Cam.

The Daily Grind In #TFC

New Orleans has never been an easy place to live. That’s why I long ago dubbed it #TFC: This Fucking City. We have great local food and culture, but city government is from hunger. Our problems never seem to go away but instead morph into something else.

You’ve all heard about Katrina and the Federal Flood but in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, it was hard to live here because of crack cocaine fueled crime and blatant police corruption. The two elements collided tragically in the Len Davis case. Davis was an NOPD officer whose side hustle was as a drug kingpin. Nice work if you can get it. Davis was brought down after orchestrating a hit on an informant, Kim Groves.

1995 was the year New Orleans experienced an epic flood the likes of which used to only accompany tropical systems. At the time, we viewed it as a once-in-a-lifetime freak event. I’m nostalgic for those innocent days.

The summer of 2021 has been free of tropical systems thus far in New Orleans. It’s been, however, among the wettest on record. I’m not just talking about our classic weather summer pattern of rain every afternoon. I’m talking about torrential rain that floods the streets and seeps into houses and businesses. It happens far too often for comfort.

It’s gotten to the point that we don’t go anywhere without checking the weather. We lost a car in a flood a few years back and would prefer to avoid a repeat performance. Being this weather-aware is a grind, the daily grind referred to in the post title. #TFC

It’s obvious that climate change is the culprit in the rise of flood-level rainfall. It’s a global, not a local phenomenon. It’s happening in places you don’t think of as flood prone such as Germany.

Hopefully, federal funds are on the way to help us with our water-based infrastructure problems. Then we’ll have to worry about the city government’s propensity to piss money away and do sloppy construction work. A good example is what happened to FEMA money earmarked to renovate the Municipal Auditorium. See my last Bayou Brief column.

Some public works programs have backfired in #TFC. The French Quarter is high ground and rarely experienced street flooding until some street work was done in the 2010’s; at least I think that’s why it floods nowadays. It’s hard to get a straight answer out of City Hall. #TFC

We’re experiencing a new wave of COVID cases. The Delta variant is striking hard. The local vaccination rate is a bit north of 60% but the statewide rate is dismal. Plus we have drive-in tourists from hot spots such as Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. I did a meme thing about that earlier this year:

I’m expecting that that the city will go back to the future with some sensible mitigation measures such as mask requirements. The Cantrell administration has been surprisingly competent on COVID related issues. That’s gotten them into trouble with those who value money over human life. We have those too in #TFC.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not an Apocalypse NO post.  I love New Orleans and more likely than not will die here. I prefer that that happen later rather than sooner. Get jabbed, mask up and stop spiking the ball, y’all. This is some serious shit.

Knowing that there’s no perfect place to live, I have a healthy love-hate relationship with #TFC. I appreciate its plusses and cope with its minuses. I even think the daily grind will eventually be less onerous; at least I hope so.

The last word goes to honorary New Orleanians Little Feat:

 

Things I Don’t Care About

The MSM are experiencing Trump withdrawal. Cable news ratings and internet clicks are down. They’re flailing, searching for drama where none exists. This week has been a prime example. Here are three things that are getting play that I don’t care about.

Billionaires In Space: Who cares about Jeff Bezos’ and Richard Branson’s brief and expensive foray into space tourism? Neither flight lasted as long as Alan Shepard’s 15-minute Mercury 7 flight. All they proved is that if you have enough money, you can spend your way into space. Yawn.

I agree with Senator Professor Warren’s pre-flight take:

“He’s laughing at every person in America who actually paid taxes,” Warren said. “Jeff Bezos’ trip to outer space is being financed by all the rest of the US taxpayers who paid their taxes so that Jeff Bezos didn’t have to.”

She added: “Jeff Bezos kept all of his money and uses it on a space ticket. Uh-uh.”

The only tantalizing question is whether Jeff Bezos has billionaire hair envy. Richard Branson has a full head of hair, Bezos does not. All he has is a cowboy hat that doesn’t fit. I guess he thinks he’s one of these guys:

Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner had the right stuff. Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos merely have the green stuff.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Drama: The MSM remains so addicted to the GOP narrative that they’ve forgotten who is driving the train in the Senate. Democrats show signs of breaking up with the Rob Portmans of the world and folding traditional infrastructure spending into the larger bill and passing it via reconciliation. That’s always been plan B, a point that’s lost on the media. Backup plans are boring.

Wingnuts Get Jabbed: Suddenly, the folks at Fox News are urging people to get jabbed like they all are. The MSM is in a tizzy wondering why this happened. Here’s why: the stock market cratered on Monday because of fears that the Delta variant is out of control. It’s a sign of greed, not enlightenment.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise hews to the Fox News line. The Metry mediocrity announced that he got vaccinated after resisting it like other wingnut dummies in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Thanks, Steve?

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

The last word goes to The Byrds:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Fool For The City

If you attended a rock concert in the 1970’s, chances are you saw Foghat. I saw them 3 or 4 times as a supporting act. They were always fun as is the cover of their 1975 album, Fool For The City.

The guy on the cover is drummer Roger Earl. A drummer joke that writes itself.

Here’s the whole damn album. Rock on, y’all.

Book Review: Forget The Alamo

You’re not seeing double: I did write a Saturday Odds & Sods segment about Forget The Alamo. I’m doubling down and reviewing this terrific tome by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford; hereinafter BTS, not to be confused with BLT or BTO. They do, however, take care of business.

To some degree Forget The Alamo answers this question: what did the authors do during their COVID lockdown? They used the time productively by grinding away on this book. They knew it would be controversial and it is: the Alamoheads are up in arms over this latest revisionist history. The Alamo myth is important to Texans and Walt Disney, John Wayne, and Lyndon Johnson brought it to the whole damn country.

If they were more self-aware, the Alamoheads would agree with this quote from John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance:

I put the quote over a picture of the Alamo as an extra twist of the Bowie knife. Everything the Alamoheads believe about what happened in 1836 is a legend. It’s the Texas creation myth that BTS call the Heroic Anglo Narrative.

BTS do an excellent job deflating the Alamo myth. The Texian rebellion against Mexico was not about freedom but about slavery. Mexico had abolished slavery and wanted it gone from the province. Anyone surprised? Everything was about slavery before the War of the Rebellion settled the issue of human bondage but not of white supremacy. It’s still with us like a pernicious tumor that defies eradication.

Tejanos have long viewed the Alamo as a symbol of white supremacy. Their voices are finally being heard despite attempts by Texas Republicans to mute or gag them. Anyone surprised? The Texas GOP is on the wrong and most extreme side of every issue. That goes for their own history as illustrated by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick ordering the state museum to cancel a panel discussion of Forget The Alamo. I guess he forgot he was against cancel culture.

I referred to Forget The Alamo as revisionist history earlier. That’s not exactly so. It’s historiography, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particulars from the authentic materials, and the synthesis of particulars into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods

Historiography is my jam. I love the clash of ideas, facts, and myths. While I’m on the subject I have some historiographic recommendations: Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum and John Wayne’s America by Garry Wills.

Wills has made a career out of historiography. I wish BTS had relied on Wills’ take on John Wayne’s 1960 cinematic ode to the Alamo myth, which he coupled with the Cold War. Who knew that Santa Ana was a proto-Commie? I always thought he was a shameless opportunist whose redeeming characteristic was loathing slavery.

BTS do an excellent job of explaining the Alamo myth before demolishing it with a flurry of facts and satire. BTS are funny; another reason Forget The Alamo rocks.

It turns out that Genesis drummer turned pop star Phil Collins is a fanatical Alamohead and collector of Alamo artifacts. He’s also an easy mark for unscrupulous dealers peddling spurious objects including Jim Bowie’s “own” Bowie Knife, which appears to date from the 1970’s, not the 1830’s. Collins maintains that it’s genuine after spending $1.5 million on the knife. That makes Collins a walking drummer joke.

As you may have noticed, I loved Forget The Alamo, I give it an Adrastos Grade of A and 4 stars.

The last word goes to Phil Collins with a video that may explain why he’s such an easy mark for Alamo grifters.

The Idiot Bastard Son

Consider this a sequel to my Tacky Even For Tucker post. I posited the notion of Two Tuckers: Bowtie Tucker and Necktie Tucker. I stand by that post but should have added another Zappa last word.

Like Bowtie Daddy, The Idiot Bastard Son came from We’re Only In It For The Money; an album that influences me as a satirist to this day. It’s not a Zappa period piece, it’s even more relevant in 2021. Dig this opening stanza:

The idiot bastard son
The father’s a Nazi in congress today
The mother’s a hooker somewhere in L.A.

There are many idiot bastard sons running loose in 2021 and several Nazis in Congress. Oy just oy.

The preceding was an elaborate ruse to post some music.

We begin with the original:

Here’s a live version with Napoleon Murphy Brock on lead vocals:

The great French fiddler Jean-Luc Ponty was mentored by Zappa and recorded an album of the latter’s songs as well spending some time in the Mothers:

Finally, the weirdest version of all by Sting. That’s right, Sting. Go figure.

Tacky Even For Tucker

I have a theory about Tucker Carlson. He’s always been a snotty, preppy right-winger but he wasn’t always evil. In fact, he used to have liberal friends such as Rachel Maddow. That began to change about a decade ago and accelerated when he took Bill-O’s evening slot on Fox News. Some blame Trump, I blame the necktie. That’s right, the necktie.

Carlson used to be known for his cheerful bowties and preppy button-down shirts. He’s moved on to regular shirts and neckties. He’s still fond of stripes only on his neck, not on his torso. Did I just contemplate the Mothertucker’s torso? Apologies for crossing that line.

Nobody wants to contemplate Tucker’s torso except to comment on his pocket square, which seems to be the same in the necktie era. He looked happier during the bowtie era. In the necktie era, he’s angry as if he’s ready to take his tie off and lynch somebody. Strike that. Tucker Carlson fights with his mouth.

Do I buy my own Tucker Carlson fashion theory? Hell to the no but it was fun writing it. Sometimes bloggers just wanna have fun.

In addition to anger, Necktie Tucker specializes in lies: the bigger the better. In his 2018 book, Ship Of Fools, the Mothertucker told an easily refuted lie about his first grade teacher of all people:

He attended the elite La Jolla Country Day School, where a woman entered his life whom he grew to detest. It was his first-grade teacher, whom he referred to in his book as Mrs. Raymond. He caricatured her as “a parody of earth-mother liberalism” who “wore long Indian-print skirts. . . . She had little interest in conventional academic topics, like reading and penmanship.” He recalled her sobbing theatrically at her desk, saying, “The world is so unfair! You don’t know that yet. But you’ll find out!”

Carlson said he just wanted liberals to “stop blubbering and teach us to read. . . . Mrs. Raymond never did teach us; my father had to hire a tutor to get me through phonics.” Thus, Carlson says, he began his sojourn as a conservative thinker, questioning the liberals who he said were all around him, exemplified by his first-grade teacher.

Which is all rather shocking to Marianna Raymond, 77, who remembers Carlson as “very precious and very, very polite and sweet,” and said she had no idea, until contacted recently by a Washington Post reporter, that her former student had ridiculed her as a key to understanding him.

Raymond said in an interview that she never sobbed at her desk, didn’t wear an Indian skirt and didn’t advocate her political views. She said that not only did she teach Carlson reading at La Jolla Country Day School — with a student body that was “very affluent and White” — but that she also was then hired to tutor him at his home.

“Oh my God,” she said, when informed of Carlson’s attack against her. “That is the most embellished, crazy thing I ever heard.”

Embellished and crazy. That fits Necktie Tucker like a tailor-made shirt with French cuffs. I wonder if he has the Swanson Frozen Food logo on any of his cufflinks. Bowtie Tucker had a sense of humor, so it’s possible…

I don’t know about you, but I had no idea what the political views of any of my grade school teachers were. I remember them as nice ladies who taught me how to read, write, and multiply. The only criticism I have of any of them is of my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Fredrick. I think it was third-grade and that she was a one-E Fredrick but I’m not sure of either.

She taught us cursive writing and gave out pens to the kids whose handwriting was neat. I was the last in my class to get a pen. If I were Necktie Tucker, I’d blame my cynicism and snarkiness on this incident and cursive the day it happened.

In reality, she was right: my handwriting has always been terrible. One of my law professors told me that my penmanship was so bad I should have gone to medical school. I hate the sight of blood so that was never an option.

Back to Tacky Tucker. Lying about the Dipshit Insurrection and Dr. Fauci is bad enough but who the hell lies about their first-grade teacher? As far as I know, Bowtie Tucker never did but Necktie Tucker is a lying sack of shit. He should return to the bowtie before it’s too late.

The last word goes to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention:

Ryne Hancock: The Tool Is There

Ryne is frustrated with people who will not get vaccinated. His ire is targeted at Louisiana but it applies to the rest of the South. There’s a resurgence of COVID and there’s a simple solution. Get jabbed.

-Adrastos

The Tool Is There by Ryne Hancock

“The ones that cry most are usually the reason for the tears.”

That was something my friend Dee said to me on Twitter on Friday when I said the same people that were mad about no tailgates and parades in Louisiana are now angry about Coronavirus cases going up in the state, something that, as opposed to last year, is preventable with the availability of the vaccine.

If you took away Orleans and Jefferson parishes, only one other parish out of the 64 in this state has over 50% of its residents fully vaccinated, which would be West Feliciana, which I believe is the first rural-like parish to crack that threshold.

And while that’s good news, attached to the fact half of the adult population in the state has at least one dose of that sweet vaccine, it doesn’t change the fact that this state, despite everything our governor and health officials, are being jackasses about not getting the vaccine.

That’s right, I used the term “jackass”, because as opposed to January where everyone was wary about getting the vaccine, myself included, there should be no excuse whatsoever for anyone to get the vaccine now.

If you’re not getting the vaccine now, you’re not only putting your own health in jeopardy, but your family and your friends. You’re going to be the main one angry that you can’t go to football games and tailgates. You’re going to be the main one calling John Bel a snowflake because he decided to bring back restrictions (which I’m not a fan of, but whatever works) because to you he trampled on your personal freedoms.

“No one’s going to make me get a vaccine,” you say.

When in actuality, when you had to go to school you had to get your mumps, measles, and rubella shots.

That’s why you don’t hear about mumps, rubella, and measles, or even polio, which hasn’t been relevant or in the conversation since DePaul basketball was nationally relevant.

Because we have tools that eradicated those diseases, a tool that is available to everyone, my generation doesn’t have to worry about polio or being in an iron lung.

But those same people that had to get those types of shots when they were kids are now skeptic of a vaccine that has been peer reviewed, researched, and gone through trial runs. They’re quicker to listen to the person at the barbershop who believes that the vaccine is another Tuskegee Experiment than a person with actual medical qualifications.

If you ask me, their listening to the jackasses at the barbershops tells me one thing and one thing only.

They’re choosing death.

SMV: Nina Simone Live At Ronnie Scott’s

Here’s the legendary Nina Simone live in London in 1985: