Category Archives: Comedy

Saturday Odds & Sods: Wouldn’t It Be Nice

The Great Wave by Hokusai.

I’ve been having wild dreams lately. I actually dreamt about writing The Truman Myth. The opening line came to me in my sleep: “I was present at the creation of the Truman myth.”

Present At The Creation was the title of Truman’s Secretary of State and unlikely friend Dean Acheson’s memoir. It’s not quite as fanciful as Miller-McCullough Man but it comes close.

It’s been crazy hot this week. I’ve been huddling under ceiling fans with the AC roaring and I’m still sweating. Oh well, what the hell.

I realize that the featured image has become something of a cliche since it appears on tchotchkes and such. Don’t blame the Hokusai guy for that or me for using it. It fits the Beach Boys like a glove.

This week’s theme song was written by Brian Wilson, Tony Asher, and Mike Love for the Beach Boys finest album Pet Sounds. Even professional asshole Mike Love did something right from time-to-time.

We have two versions of Wouldn’t It Be Nice for your listening pleasure: the studio original, the Beach Boys at Live Aid, and Alex Chilton.

Nice was my mother’s favorite word. She used it to praise people, places, and things. She liked this nice song as well:

Now that we’ve made nice let’s jump to the break,

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Andrew, Andrew, Andrew

I’m not talking Prince Andrew, Andrew Cuomo, Andrew Yang, or even Andrew Jackson, I’m talking Andrew Giuliani. He was previously known to me as a low-level Trump aide who mostly played golf with the boss, and as the subject of a SNL sketch about Rudy’s 1994 inauguration at which the kid could not sit still. Chris Farley played Andrew Giuliani who is now 35 years old. Rudy’s spawn says he enjoyed being played by Chris Farley.

Here’s a different sketch wherein Chris Farley played young Andrew:

Why am I writing about Andrew Giuliani? He says he’s running for the GOP nomination for New York Governor against the Other Andrew with a famous father.

You gotta give young Andrew credit for making a bold statement: “I’m a politician out of the womb.”

That’s nice.

He may be running so he can pardon Rudy, Rudy, Rudy or Donald, Donald, Donald if either is convicted of a state crime. That’s a possibility now that Tish James and Cy Vance are tag teaming the Impeached Insult Comedian. Is Rudy next? Only the Shadow knows and he’s a character nobody knows any more…

New Yorkers are known to have a sense of humor. Why else would Andrew Yang be polling so well in the race for Rudy’s old job? But Governor Andrew Giuliani? The same job held by TR, Al Smith, FDR, Tom Dewey, Herbert Lehman, Nelson Rockefeller, and Mario Cuomo? Oy just oy.

The whole thing makes me miss Chris Farley. I wonder if there’s a QAnon theory that he’s really alive and living in that van down by the river.

I bet Andrew G can’t dance like Chris F.

The last word goes to Frank Zappa with a song about a famous Andrew who went by Andy. That would be paunchy Western movie sidekick Andy Devine.

FZ’s opening lines seem to apply to both Giuliani father and son: “Is there anything good inside of you. If there is, I really wanna know.”

I do too, Rudy and Andrew.

Since we’re talking fathers and sons, here’s Dweezil Zappa’s version:

 

A Plea From The Republican Party

Republican Yellow Box

Great fallings will be onto you if you uncheck the box!

Wonderful greetings. I wish upon you peace and happiness on this beautiful day.

Please allow me to make my introduction. I am Great Honorable Leader Member of Glorious Senate Mitchell McConnell and I have a great and prosperous message for you please.

Here in my country the Republican States of American (g-d be praised) we are under attack from hideous outside force called Demoncrats. They intend to prey on all the innocents unborn and otherwise with their Satanic thoughts and way of life.

Their grandmaster the most dishonorable Joseph Hussein Biden wishes to undo all progress made toward our glorious and pure rebirth by the most splendid and definitely re-elected leader Donald Trump (blessed is his name).

  • He will bring forth a day when all you earn is given to those who do no work and live only for the convenience of the corner store and a pack of six liquored malt.
  • He will cleanse the air of your job and the water of your child’s and force you to take work for which you are untrained and unwilling to train.
  • He will force upon you more of the wicked Obamacare and make it more difficult for honest insurance companies to properly and majestically disapprove drugs and procedures “doctors” say are required.
  • He will send his murderous thugs to remove from your home your legally bought and honorably paid for AR15 which you use to protect your family only and has never been used nor will ever be used to commit the crime.
  • He will use his “justice department” to expel from the Congress the many defenders of the cause such as Her Rightness Margery Taylor Green, Her Eminent Lauren Boebert, and the very sexy and not at all creepy Most Definitely Not A Predator Matt Gaetz.
  • He wishes to bring us a great tithe called Increased Corporate Tax which shall take from those with no voice in Washington and give to those who do not look or sound like you. Why is it fair to tax our Corporate brethren so much when it should be Demoncrats who should pay the tax!
  • He wants to “rebuild” infrastructure. Of what use is that? We have all the bridges we need, all the roads, all the sewers. Even our unfailing electrical gridiron works perfectly, especially in states that rarely see snow or cold weather.
  • And worst he will make the elections by which our power is flowing impossible for us to win by allowing all the many infidels who follow him to vote as they please with no chance for us to properly determine if such votes are valid and real which of course they are not.

You MUST NOT allow these things to happen.  It is only through your contributions to the cause of freedom that we are able to prevent such disaster.

Please I beg of you to take a moment and send a contribution to us so we can continue to do the great work of preserving our Republican way of life.

We have made it super easy simple for you by already checking the yellow box above so you need not uncheck it. Remember IF YOU UNCHECK THE BOX OUR LEADER WILL BE ANGRY WITH YOU! You do not want to make our leader unhappiness. If you UNCHECK this box, we will have to tell the 45th(tm) you’re a DEFECTOR and have gone over to the Demoncrats.

Hoping that is never the case please feel the free to contact me with any ideas you may have. I am always in the love of hearing from good honest Republican citizens such as yourself.

Email: senator@mcconnell.senate.gov

Phone: 202-224-2541

With all the blessings of Trump, I remain as always, your most humble

Mitch McConnell

Shapiro Out

Saturday Odds & Sods: Pennies From Heaven

Photograph by Stanley Kubrick.

I committed a faux pas the other day and accidentally published something. I planned to curate a quote from a marvelous teevee essay by MSNBC’s Laurence O’Donnell about our border issues. Instead the whole damn  thing went out raw and I pulled it after it lingered overnight. Here’s a link to the transcript. Scroll down 3/4 of the way and Bob’s your uncle. Make that Uncle Laurence. I’m neither Irish nor from Boston but I’ll claim him.

In jab talking news, Governor Edwards has opened COVID vaccinations to all Gret Steters over the age of 16. I welcome everyone to the Half Vaccinated club. On April 3rd, I will enter of the realm of the fully vaccinated. Cue sigh of relief.

Our theme song continues the flow of the week. In this case from my most recent 13th Ward Rambler column. Pennies From Heaven was written in 1936 by Arthur Johnstone and Johnny Burke. It’s been a hit more times and by more artists that you can shake a stick at. Why one would do such a thing is beyond me.

We have three versions of Pennies From Heaven for your listening pleasure: Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima & Keely Smith, and an instrumental by Stan Getz and Oscar Peterson.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Oscar Peterson? I know: repeatedly. My Oscar love will never wane. That goes for my much missed kitty as well.

Before we jump to the break, look up like the girl in the Kubrick photograph so you can dodge the pennies from heaven.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Do You Feel Like We Do

Cocktails by Archibald Motley.

The cold weather is gone for now. We haven’t run the heater for a few days. Yay. I shudder to think what our next utility bill will be, but it won’t be like the budget-busters in unregulated Texas; at least I hope not. Freedom, man.

I’m feeling cautiously optimistic on the COVID front. But some people are already getting carried away. That’s been the pattern and it’s a lethal one. I’m keeping my guard up even after I get vaccinated, which should be in the next few weeks. Let’s be careful out there.

The featured image is by Archibald Motley who was a Jazz Age modernist active during the Harlem Renaissance. The image is of well-dressed Black ladies having cocktails. I’d call them flappers but that could cause a flap, Jack…

This week’s theme song was written by Peter Frampton for his 1973 semi-solo, semi-band album Frampton’s Camel. It’s the ultimate rock hangover song.

An edited version of a live version from the monster hit album, Frampton Comes Alive later became a hit single. How’s that for a version diversion? I hope it was diverting.

We have two versions (there’s that word again) of Do You Feel Like We Do for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a 2000 live performance.

We’ll have more about Peter Frampton after the break. We might as well go now.

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He Works Hardly For the Money

NEWS REPORT:

Donald Trump has asked to be allowed to live at Mar-A-Lago permanently, claiming he is an employee and therefore eligible for an exemption prohibiting members of the club from living there fulltime. 

Lights up on the Human Resources office of the Mar-A-Lago club in Palm Beach Florida. Seated at her desk is MARLA, the HR Manager. She is reading through a file, then uses the intercom to buzz her secretary.

MARLA: June, is the next candidate for the open position still waiting?

JUNE: (over the intercom) Yes, he’s still here. I think he’s getting a little jumpy.

MARLA: OK tell him to come in, but June (sotto voce) make sure to buzz me in a few minutes, you know the drill.

JUNE: (over the intercom) Got it Ms. Marple.

DONALD TRUMP enters from the waiting room.

MARLA: Welcome, please have a seat.

DONALD: Any seat? Can I sit where I want?

MARLA: Take your pick.

DONALD looks around sees there is only one other chair, considers it, then carefully sits down.

MARLA: (looking at the file) Now Donald, may I call you Don?

DONALD: I prefer the 45th president.

MARLA: OK, Don, my name is Marla Marple and I’m head of HR here at Mar-A-Lago. I understand you are applying for a position with the club, but it doesn’t say exactly which position.

DONALD: I’ll take anything.

MARLA: (smiling wearily) Yes, well, as you may guess, many people want to work here…

DONALD: I’m totally legal. I have a birth certificate to prove I was born in the USA. Just like that Springstern song says.

MARLA: OK, that’s helpful, but I mean most people who want to work here have a specific job they are applying for. Your application just says “anything where I get to live here and you won’t send me back to New York”.

DONALD: Yes, I can’t go back there.

MARLA: And that’s because?

DONALD: Tax reasons.

MARLA: You owe back taxes?

DONALD: Suuuurrrree.

DONALD looks to see what kind of reaction that gets from MARLA. Her face is noncommittal. 

DONALD: I had some problems with my past returns, they were always getting audited, I’d show them to you but you know they are still under audit, but they are perfectly fine, nothing wrong with them, it was a perfect call…

MARLA: What call?

DONALD: Um, what?

MARLA: What call are you talking about?

DONALD: No call, nothing, fake news.

MARLA: All right then. I see here on your application you spent the last four years in Washington D.C., is that correct?

DONALD: I drained the swamp.

MARLA: So you were a plumber?

DONALD sees an in with MARLA

DONALD: I was the best plumber. The bigleyest.

MARLA: I’m sorry, you were what?

DONALD: The bigleyest. You know, better than the best.

MARLA: Oh, okay, bigleyest. Well, sure

DONALD: You know Miss Marple…

MARLA: It’s Ms. Marple.

DONALD: Whatever. Marla Marple. I used to be married to someone with a name very similar to yours.

MARLA: So you’re divorced?

DONALD: No, I’m still married. At least for the moment.

MARLA: To Marla?

DONALD: No, Melania.

MARLA: Marla sounds like Melania?

DONALD: No Melania sounds like, um, Melania. Marla is my former wife.

MARLA: Ah, a first marriage.

DONALD: No a second.

MARLA: Right, Melania is your second marriage.

DONALD: No, Melania is my third marriage.

MARLA: Who was your first marriage?

DONALD: Ivana.

MARLA: So Ivana was on first, Marla was on second, and Melania is on third. Any children?

DONALD: Ivanka.

MARLA: Is that a son or a daughter?

DONALD: A daughter of course. If it was a son it would be Donka.

MARLA: OK, any other children?

DONALD: With Ivana there was also Don Jr. and, um, the slow one. Then with Marla there was Tiffany, we named her after..

MARLA: The singer?

DONALD: No, where she was conceived. And with Melania there’s Barron.

MARLA: Your son is a baron?

DONALD leans in to MARLA

DONALD: And one day he’ll be king.

MARLA: OK, so may I ask, why did you leave your last position?

DONALD: I didn’t leave it, I’m still there, it’s still my job, I’m not a loser.

MARLA: You still have this other job?

DONALD: I won that job in a landslide, everybody knows it. A landslide! Vlad said it would be no problem, just like when I won the first time. But then they had to go and let everyone vote by mail and Vlad said just get someone to screw up the mail system but even that didn’t work so I made a few phone calls, perfect phone calls…

MARLA: Oh the phone call you mentioned earlier?

DONALD: No this was another call, but just as perfect. Except he recorded it…by the way, if I get this job I don’t have to go to Georgia, do I?

MARLA: Georgia? No, we need someone to be the night super, I can’t see us needing to send the night super to Georgia.

DONALD: Good, can’t go there right now.

MARLA: Another tax problem?

DONALD: Suuuurrrreee.

MARLA: OK, well let me explain, the night super job requires you be up late at night, you probably won’t have to do much but you need to be awake and alert throughout the night. Do you think you can handle doing that?

DONALD inhales deeply through his nose.

DONALD: Yes, I don’t think that will be a problem.

The intercom buzzes. 

JANE: (over the intercom) Ms. Marple your two o’clock is here.

MARLA: Well thank you for coming in Don. I’ve got one more applicant to see and we’ll let you know.

DONALD: Another applicant? It’s not Joe is it? I’m not losing another job to Joe.

MARLA: Actually it’s a woman applicant I’ve got next.

DONALD: Hillary!!

BLACKOUT

 

SHAPIRO out

Saturday Odds & Sods: Trick Bag

Skeletons Fighting Over A Pickled Herring by James Ensor.

This should be Carnival’s biggest weekend. I’ll miss our pre-Tucks peregrinations on Saturday and company on Thoth Sunday. Wait until next year.

The impeachment trial ate my week, so I’ll keep this short. It’s what usually happens the Saturday before Fat Tuesday in any event. So it goes.

This week’s theme song was written by NOLA’s own Earl King in 1962. It’s tricky, it’s baggy, it’s early, it’s kingy.

We have four versions of Trick Bag for your listening pleasure: the Earl King original, the Meters, Johnny Winter, and Robert Palmer.

Now that we’ve pulled some tricks out of the bag, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Watching The Wheels

Wheel by Paul Strand.

December 8, 1980 is another day “which will live in infamy.” It was the day that John Lennon was murdered. I keep meaning to mark the day here at First Draft but somehow keep missing it. This year, it was Athenae Tuesday so at least I have a good reason.

All Beatles fans who were alive and sentient 40 years ago remember where they were when they heard the news. I was a typical college kid: I was doing laundry at my parents’ house and watching Monday Night Football with my father. Howard Cosell made the announcement. I was shocked and saddened. Lou made it worse by saying, “He was probably buying drugs on the street.” My mother shushed him but my aggravation level hit 100. That’s the not terribly interesting story of where I was when John Lennon was killed.

John Lennon wrote Watching The Wheels in the year of his death for the posthumously released Double Fantasy album. He was returning home from a recording session when he was murdered. I should have told my dad that rock stars didn’t score on the street but had their drugs delivered to them in the studio.

We have three versions of this swell song for your listening pleasure: the Lennon original and covers by The Samples and Chris Cornell.

This is the second time this fall that I’ve used a wheelie tune as the Saturday post theme song. Here’s a Kiwi wheelie song before we jump to the break:

Now that we’ve been fortified by the Crowdies, let’s do it. See you on the other side.

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Album Cover Art Wednesday: Wake Up, America

In addition to being a rabble-rouser who was one of the Chicago 7, Abbie Hoffman fancied himself a standup comedian. He was pretty good as didactic political comedians go.

Wake Up, America is Hoffman’s only album. Being on the lam for six years makes it hard to perform and record your act.

The artwork is by Peter Bramley. It’s heavily influenced by R Crumb. It’s okay: Crumb got his own movie and Bramley did not. So it goes.

Here’s the whole damn album via YouTube:

My favorite Abbie Hoffman moment was when Pete Townshend kicked him off the stage at Woodstock. Pete was in the right. Hoffman interrupted the Who’s set:

I could not find video of the incident. So it goes.

Malaka Of The Week: Rudy Giuliani

Image by Michael F.

This is the artist formerly known as Mayor Combover’s second turn as malaka of the week. It’s quite an accomplishment for the Man Who Got Trump Impeached. It was made possible by Sacha Baron Cohen and his deranged alter ego Borat. He pranked the hell out of Rudy Giuliani in his latest moviefilm. And that is why Rudy Giuliani is malaka of the week.

I usually avoid literal malakatude, but it’s been a big deal this week. First, there was Jeffrey Toobin and the Zoom Dick Incident. I’m not defending him, but I like his books so I’m giving him a pass. Rudy Giuliani neither gets nor deserves a pass. On anything. Ever.

I waited to write this until Borat Subsequent Moviefilm went live on Amazon Prime. It was weird watching it in the morning, but life is weird nowadays. 2020, man.

In Borat’s return, an actress playing his daughter maneuvers Rudy into a room. The president’s* lawyer puts his hands down his pants. Then Borat bursts into the room and offers to give Rudy his “15-year-old” daughter. I put the age in quotes because the actress playing Borat’s offspring is not jailbait.

Borat tweeted a statement of support for the Man Who Got Trump Impeached:

Sacha Baron Cohen has been pranking prominent people since his Ali G days some twenty years ago. Anyone who falls for his shtick deserves whatever happens to them. In this instance, Rudy gives an entirely new meaning to the term abandoned laptop. And that is why Rudy Giuliani is malaka of the week.

George Wallace Called Him Mousey Tongue

The special Senate election in Georgia is getting nasty and weird. Doug Collins, seen above next to George Wallace, is attacking Kelly Loeffler over the Warhol that was spotted at her palatial crib:

George Wallace called him Mousey Tongue. How about you, Dougie?

Rich people have Warhols, Dougie. If your man President* Pennywise had any taste, he might own one himself. He did, however, consort with Andy and a polo pony:

I betcha thought I was making that up. It reminds me of a classic Ed Norton moment from The Honeymooners:

Polopopnies? Sounds like my ancestral region, the Peloponnesus.

My mother loved that Honeymooners routine. In fact, she added Poloponies to the name of the infamous Brutus the beagle chihuahua mix. Not my favorite dog: I caught Brutus peeing on the cover of my copy of Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison. It’s a pity that Van wasn’t there to admonish the dog who renamed that fine album Tupeelo Honey. Now I need some of this:

It’s funny to watch Collins and Loeffler try to be the Trumpiest Trumper in Trumpistan when the Impeached Insult Comedian is increasingly unpopular with other GOPers. Does that make them Throwback Trumpers?

If David Pecker still ran The Enquirer, he’d want to know. Enquiring minds and all that shit.

I don’t know about you but I’m rooting for this guy:

For some reason, Georgia has adopted the Louisiana open primary system. Who copies the Gret Stet in politics? Food, yes; politics no.

I refuse to call it a jungle primary because of connotations that George Wallace and Doug Collins would surely get.

2020, man.

The last word goes to Van Morrison:

 

Carl Reiner, R.I.P.

I grew up watching reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show with my mother. My favorite character was the pudgy punster, Buddy Sorrell played by Morey Amsterdam. My second favorite was the hilariously tyrannical boss, Alan Brady played by Carl Reiner. The world just became a little less funny after his death yesterday at the age of 98.

I learned early on that Carl Reiner was the creative force behind that classic show. My mother encouraged my Sheckiness by buying me this album for Christmas one year:

Oy, such a Christmas present. I wore it out.

Carl Reiner, of course, was nothing like Alan Brady. He was famous for being as nice as he was funny. Condolences to the Reiner family and his nonagenarian cronies Dick Van Dyke, Mel Brooks, and Norman Lear. Keep the laughter alive, y’all, keep the laughter alive.

The best tribute to Carl Reiner is to post some of his work as well as an unforgettable CBS Sunday Morning piece from when he was a mere lad of 93:

The last word goes to Carl Reiner as Alan Brady in one of the funniest sitcom episodes in teevee history, Coast To Coast Big Mouth.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Shapes Of Things

Abstraction by Rolph Scarlett.

I don’t have a helluva lot to add to what I said as the 13th Ward Rambler earlier this week. I’m still keeping my head down during the lockdown. We’ve had a few front porch visitors, which breaks the monotony and allows Paul Drake to make goo-goo eyes at company and get his nose prints all over the lower glass panes of our front door.

This week’s theme song was written by Paul Samwell-Smith, Keith Relf, and Jim McCarty in 1966 and represented a  sonic breakthrough for The Yardbirds. The tune’s Wikipedia entry is absurdly detailed and argues that Jeff Beck should have received a songwriting credit as well. It’s okay: Beck assumed de facto ownership of the song after recording it with The Jeff Beck Group on 1968’s Truth album.

We have three versions of Shapes Of Things for your listening pleasure: the Yardbirds original, the Jeff Beck Group, and David Bowie from Pin-Ups. They’re all shapely and thingy:

Now that we’ve shaped things and contemplated Jeff Beck’s guitar virtuosity, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Drift Away

The Sleeping Girl by Pablo Picasso

Summer is slowly but surely returning to New Orleans. The first two weeks of May were blissfully temperate but summer’s cauldron has begun to boil. It’s unclear if it’s a Pepper Pot but you never can tell.

We had a serious thunderstorm in the wee small hours of Friday morning. I originally planned to put PD’s big ass box out with the trash but thought better of it. I wish I could claim second sight but I’m glad I didn’t have to scoop wet cardboard off the grass.

I did not know until googling information about this week’s theme song that Mentor Williams was Paul Williams’ kid brother. It’s unclear if Paul mentored Mentor in the songwriter’s craft but the older brother never wrote a song as good as Drift Away. Mentor W wrote it in 1970 and after several misfires it became a monster hit for Dobie Gray in the summer of 1973. One couldn’t escape its refrain:

“Oh, give me the beat, boys, and free my soul.
I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away.”

We have two versions of Drift Away for your listening pleasure by Dobie Gray and my 13th Ward homies the Neville Brothers.

I know there was a hit version of the song in 2002. I refuse to post a video by anyone who spells cracker with a K. Take that, Uncle Kracker.

Let’s pay a visit to Disambiguation City with the Kinks hard rocking, Drift Away. It sounds nothing like Mentor W’s song but it’s a classic in its own right.

I hope your attention isn’t drifting away. If it is, the time is right to jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Gethsemane

Night Windows by Edward Hopper.

Richard Thompson-Edward Hopper month continues. We begin with with a weather bulletin of sorts. Y’all are used to my weather obsession by now.

We had a cold front in New Orleans this week. Nighttime lows hovered around 50 several nights in a row. That may not sound like much to people from the frozen north but by our standards that’s cold for mid-April. Some locals whined about the cold, but I like it. Some folks just like to bitch. You know who you are; piss off out of my virtual kitchen.

Every time I search for Hopper paintings online, I’m told he was an “American realist” painter. That’s what he called himself, but his work is deeply weird. The painting above reminds me of Hitchcock’s Rear Window. I’ve never thought of Hitch as a realistic filmmaker even if regular guy Jimmy Stewart starred in that flick. His character was a laid-up photographer turned peeping tom. That’s weird, not realistic.

Sunday is Greek Easter, so I decided to pick a Richard Thompson tune with religious undertones. According to Mark and other bible dudes, Gethsemane was the garden at which Jesus prayed before his betrayal and arrest. It still exists and is a tourist attraction with an elaborate web site.

Gethsemane is also the title of this week’s theme song. It was written by Richard Thompson in 2003 for The Old Kit Bag. It’s an ominous sounding song that opens with this ominous verse.

“Among the headstones you played as boys
Crypts and tombs like a roomful of toys
Just up the river from the smoke and the noise
Gethsemane.”

We have two versions of Gethsemane for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a recent solo acoustic interpretation by the songwriter.

There’s also a song from Jesus Christ Superstar called Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say.) Here’s the original cast recording with Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan in the title role.

I suspect playing Jesus Christ Superstar was nothing like working with Ritchie Blackmore. They did, however, produce some swell music:

Christ on a cracker, that rocked.

All this talk of Jesus and betrayal reminds me of this Asia tune:

Let’s flee the garden and jump to the break.

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I, Captain Bligh

Captains Bligh: Charles Laughton, Trevor Howard, Anthony Hopkins.

I’m out of the habit of posting the Impeached Insult Comedian’s tweets. He spends so much time preening, posturing, bragging, and lying on tevee that his Twitter feed feels redundant. I wish *he* were redundant in the British sense: out of work. Let’s make it so in November.

Back to President* Pennywise’s latest weird tweet. I’m not sure if he wrote it himself since there are some big words in it but it’s revealing nonetheless:

Invigorating? Too fancy for the Kaiser of Chaos who speaks and “writes” in what the late Philip Roth called “jerkish.” Or as Truman Capote said about Jack Kerouac, “it’s not writing, it’s typing.” Capote’s beatdown of the beat writer was rooted in jealousy. Like Trump, he always had to be the center of attention.

The tweet is also vague as to which version of Mutiny on the Bounty Trump prefers:

  • The 1935 Frank Lloyd-Charles Laughton-Clark Gable version?
  • The 1962 Lewis Milestone-Carol Reed-Trevor Howard-Marlon Brando version?
  • The 1984 Roger Donaldson-Anthony Hopkins-Mel Gibson version is called The Bounty but it’s about mutiny, not a candy bar. It’s even based on a different book, but a mutiny is a mutiny is a mutiny.

Trump seems to identify with Captain Bligh. He’s under the mistaken impression that Captain Bligh was the hero of the piece. That’s another figment of his fertile fantasy life. The American Film Institute named Captain Bligh the #19th most loathsome screen villain ever. Btw, the feature is interactive: another time killer for the pandemic.

I suspect most governors would be glad to be identified with the big screen Fletcher Christians except for the one on the right in the triptych below:

Fletcher Christians: Clark Gable, Marlon Brando, Mel Gibson.

Fletcher Christian was the bull goose mutineer and the hero of the first two bounteous films. The 1984 movie was more ambiguous properly befitting a movie starring anti-Semitic nut job Mel Gibson. Not that President* Pennywise and ambiguity are on speaking terms or even passing acquaintances. I’d pass on meeting him myself…

Marlon Brando over-identified with Fletcher Christian. He staged his own mutiny against original director Carol Reed. Brando denounced the maker of Odd Man Out and The Third Man as a hack unworthy of sailing on the same tall ship as the great Marlon Brando. He engineered Reed’s firing in favor of the more pliable Lewis Milestone. It was a tantrum worthy of the Kaiser of Chaos or even the original Kaiser Bill:

What’s the purpose of this post? Other than making my readers laugh? The proof is in this pudding: the Kaiser of Chaos has delusions of grandeur and fantasies of exiling Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsome to Pitcairn Island. If, that is, he had a clue as to what I’m talking about. Maybe I should make a Survivor exile island analogy instead, the president* and Mark Burnett are bosom buddies, after all. Not to be confused with Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in the sitcom of that name:

I’m terribly fond of the novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman. It was the first grown-up book I ever read. I recall devouring Mutiny on the Bounty while bedridden with some malady when I was 11 or 12 years old. I never for a second identified with Captain Bligh. Just as I’d rather walk the plank or swing from the yardarm than vote for Donald Trump.

The last word goes to Bugs Bunny in Mutiny on the Bunny:

Bugs morphed into Captain Bligh in Buccaneer Bunny:

Saturday Odds & Sods: For Shame Of Doing Wrong

New York Movie by Edward Hopper.

I’m trying something different this month. I’m pairing the artwork of Edward Hopper with the music of Richard Thompson. Each Saturday in April will feature a different EH image and RT tune. I think they work well together.

My oak pollen allergy has been bonkers this year. We’ve hit a prolonged dry patch: no rain since some time in February. We tend towards extremes in New Orleans. It either rains too much or not at all. The happy medium is unknown in our forecasting annals.

The worst thing about this allergy season during the pandemic is that it’s hard for me to go outside at all. The last time I took a walk, I had a pollen related sneezing jag, which led some fellow strollers to glare at me as if I were Typhoid Mary. So it goes.

This week’s theme song was written by Richard Thompson for the Pour Down Like Silver album. I have a soft spot for that album: it was the first RT album I ever purchased but not until 10 years after its release. I was a late RT bloomer.

We have three versions of For Shame Of Doing Wrong for your listening pleasure: the Richard and Linda studio original, a poppy version produced by Gerry Rafferty, and a cover by RT’s former Fairport band mate, Sandy Denny.

Is it shameful that I like the poppy version from Rafferty’s Folly? Hell, I like the song below too. It was inescapable in 1978:

As I hang my head for shame of doing wrong, let’s jump to the break in a shameless manner.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Time To Kill

The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins.

This week’s featured image is one of the most famous American paintings of the 19th Century. I’ve posted it to honor all the medical professionals who are fighting the good fight against COVID-19 but who wear masks and gloves unlike Dr. Gross and his cohort. Thanks, y’all.

I prefer to keep this weekly feature light but it’s hard to do in these tough times. The second act is kind of heavy, but the jokes return in our third act. Laughs are precious right now when fear is abroad in the world and our government in the hands of an evil clown, President* Pennywise. Oy just oy.

At the risk of being a pest, a reminder to support Chef’s Brigade NOLA for all the reasons set forth in this post. Thanks again, y’all.

This week’s theme song was written by Robbie Robertson in 1970 for The Band’s third album Stage Fright. It’s a joyful tune with a somewhat dark lyrical subtext.

We have two versions of Time To Kill for your listening pleasure:  the Todd Rundgren produced studio original and a live version from the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen: a 1973 festival starring The Band, The Dead, and the Allman Brothers Band.

The title certainly resonates in our era:, we all have time to kill. One of my mottos as a blogger is: When in doubt, post a Kinks song:

Now that we’ve killed time, let’s jump to the break. It won’t kill you.

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Album Cover Art Wednesday: Talks Turkey

I saw this 1962 Dick Gregory album cover and laughed mightily. That struck me as an appropriate reaction to a comedy album:

I’ll throw you a bone by posting the whole damn album in two parts:

Punishment is the Point

I wrote this shortly after Trump took office and it remains true even if no one listened: 

 FOR TRUMP means they get to bully right back. FOR TRUMP means they get to tell their liberal sister-in-law that she’s a stupid bitch. FOR TRUMP means instead of respecting a black or brown person, they get to call that person names. FOR TRUMP means they get to turn off that nagging instinct, nurtured by the churches they say mean so much to them, that maybe they should help the big scary world that’s burning down outside their windows. FOR TRUMP means they get to feel like being mad is enough.

I thought of that again reading this:

Like … hold them accountable how? Hold people who don’t like the president accountable? By … re-electing the president they don’t like? I make as many jokes as anyone about how Owned I, a Lib, am all the time by their stupid non-conspiracy conspiracies, but this is truly how performative the GOP and its hate-radio larvae are. They want to be seen to punish people for daring to disrespect Trump. They want to hold people accountable for existing in opposition to someone they like. This is their most sincerely held belief. This is it. This is, in fact, the ballgame.

Don’t just vote against whoever the Democrat puts up. Vote against that person’s supporters. Vote against everyone you don’t like. Vote against everything that annoys or inconveniences you. Vote to hold people who boo a president accountable. It’s so bone-deep and blood-simple, the rage they’ve nurtured and convinced people is some kind of principled stand. Re-elect Trump to hold the people who booed him accountable? You have got to be kidding me.

And this:

Everybody pointed out that they could have been in the hearings all along, which of course they could have been. They know that. That’s not the point. The point is to perform for their audience and goddamn, they did that really well.

We gotta stop acting like we’re gonna point out some blatant hypocrisy and they’ll be like oh, I’m so sorry, you’re right, I didn’t realize I was doing the very thing I’m accusing you of doing, how gauche of me. They don’t care. They know and they know their supporters know, and neither of them gives even one single shit about it because this is fandom, at this point, it’s cosplay, it’s a stage and all they have to do is get the laugh.

It’s why appealing to them through policy is laughable. It’s why arguing the facts is too naive to even be charming. You have to leave the venue. You have to end the discussion. You have to drown out their shouting not with facts in opposition but with your own motivating stories and stop worrying if they listen or not. The ONLY thing you can do is change the subject. The only thing you can do, in the face of someone who just wants to OWN you, is to be somewhere else.

I suggest we start with polling places.

A.