The Underground Railroad by Hale Woodruff, 1942.
Another week, another mural as the featured image. Hale Woodruff is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice. If you don’t recognize Trump’s Frederick Douglass quote, I have failed as a blogger.
It has been a Krewe of Spank-centric week at Adrastos World HQ. We’ve been helping with the float, buying costume bits, and even went to a pizza-n-shirt-iron-on party. Bet you’ve never done that. We also drank beer. Bet you’ve done that.
This week’s theme song was selected with our politically chaotic moment in mind. I am mindful of the fact that Trouble In Mind was written in 1924 by jazz pianist Richard Jones. It has been recorded oodles of time by oodles of artists. I have selected worthy versions by Big Bill Broonzy, Nina Simone, and the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the post only without the dirt or the band. That’s right, this post will be unbroken…
Emmett Till: Every social movement requires a spark. For the Civil Rights movement, the spark was provided by the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955. In fact, Jesse Jackson describes a conversation with Rosa Parks that confirms the importance of Emmett Till:
“I asked Miss Rosa Parks [in 1988] why didn’t she go to the back of the bus, given the threat that she could be hurt, pushed off the bus, and run over, because three other ladies did get up. She said she thought about going to the back of the bus. But then she thought about Emmett Till and she couldn’t do it.”
There’s a new book about the murder of Emmett Till wherein author Timothy Tyson got the woman who was allegedly the target of unwanted attention by Till to admit that nothing much really happened. Vanity Fair’s Sheila Weller has the details.
It’s abundantly clear that the Current Occupant has no knowledge of the Civil Rights movement or how important it is to many of us. It didn’t involve him directly so it’s off his radar screen. I suspect Trump and his dreadful, racist daddy regarded the movement as a nuisance. It made it harder for them to discriminate against black folks in their apartment buildings in the outer boroughs, after all. So it goes.
We go from the crime that inspired the Civil Rights movement to a look at how Hollywood is taking on the Insult Comedian.
The New Culture War: We tend to think of Pats Buchanan and Robertson when we think about the culture war. Buchanan’s 1992 GOP convention speech scared the living shit out of middle-American and was a factor in Poppy Bush’s defeat. Thanks, Pat.
The culture war used to be a right-wing thing. It no longer is. The Guardian’s Stuart Jeffries takes a look at how Hollywood and others on the left are standing up to the Insult Comedian. My favorite bit involves the divine Julia Louis-Dreyfus:
At last Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild awards in Hollywood, barely anyone who got to the stage failed to denounce Donald Trump’s immigrant ban. Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for instance, accepting her award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series with her portrayal of a (with all due respect) venal and useless president, said: “I am the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France, and I am an American patriot … I love this country. I am horrified by its blemishes. This immigrant ban is a blemish, and it is un-American.”
Her speech came from the heart and was clearly not written by Selina Meyer’s staff. They would have found a way to fuck it up and elect Hugh Laurie President…
There’s already a backlash over comments like Julia’s and Meryl Streep’s but, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. The rank hypocrisy on the right about celebrities in politics is breathtaking. The GOP elected an actor President, sent Gopher from The Love Boat and Sonny Bono to Congress, and now they complain about free speech from Julia and Meryl. As the Cowardly Lion would surely say, DA NOIVE. I fed Siri that sentence and she had a nervous breakdown. It was most amusing.
Speaking of the culture wars, our next segment takes a look at cursing. Hmm, I wonder if we still have a fuck quota at First Draft.
Fucking Around: There’s a motherfucking good review at the New York Review of Books by Joan Acocella of two bloody buggery bollocky books about swearing. You should read the fucker. Fuckin’ A.
Speaking of people who got fucked over, here’s a look back at Grateful Dead’s 1970 arrest in New Orleans. They did not return to the Crescent City until 1988.
Busted Down On Bourbon Street: The Grateful Dead were “set up like a bowling pin” in New Orleans on January 31, 1970. The city fathers were terrified that hippies would overrun the city and interfere with their drinking. They simply could not have that.
There’s a fun look back at Live For Live Music.com. I can say fun because nothing much came of the bust except for semi-lurid headlines and this mug shot of a certain lead guitar player:
Notice that Jerry had the good sense to smile, not glower in his mugshot. Never let the bastards see you sweat.
I obviously have to post a version of Truckin’ at this juncture. This is a good ‘un complete with tight musicianship and sloppy vocals, both trademarks of the good old Grateful Dead:
Let’s move on to a sporadic Odds & Sods feature:
Separated At Birth? I added a question mark because I’m not 100% sure this works but it cracked me up when I saw it on the Tweeter Tube.
Instead of being leery of the idea, Leary responded without so much as a leer:
Just imagine it: Denis Leary in The Bowling Green Massacre. He really needs to wear Kellyanne Liar’s inauguration day outfit:
Let’s move from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Saturday Classic: I posted the Queen of Soul earlier, it’s time to listen to the King of Soul, Otis Redding. Note that the album begins with Ole Man Trouble. It has nothing to do with the Insult Comedian but we do have more than our share of trouble right now.
That’s it for this week. We’ll be back with more hijinks and shenanigans next week. Who better to have the last word than three Jokers? Heath, Jack, and Cesar beat the hell out of the joker in the White House. Figuratively, not literally.