Category Archives: Sports

The Debrisville Post Ida Stank Blues

The 700 block of Valence St.

It’s been 15 days since Hurricane Ida slammed into Southeast Louisiana, but it remains the focus of my attention; such as it is. I’m still tired, fatigued, and exhausted. The storm is much less serious for New Orleans than Katrina, but I’m sixteen years older. It’s less clear if I’m wiser for the extra years and pounds. So it goes.

My focus has been hyper local since Ida struck.  I haven’t been following the national political news as closely as usual. I know that the MSM is still wrong about Afghanistan and that Joe Manchin is still an attention whore and drama queen. I’ll get back up to snuff soon enough but I haven’t missed pondering the posturing of the Sinematic senator or the Turtle’s machinations.

Many of us had to throw food away because of the epic loss of power. That, in turn, resulted in the Debrisville Post Ida Stank. Whether or not your trash has been collected or not, the stench is there. It’s giving us Katrina veterans flashbacks to the stinky fridges that dotted our cityscape in 2005 such as this one:

Cajun Tomb, 2005.

This Zappa song says it all:

In addition to the stank of ’05, the spirit of ’05 is alive and well. My do-gooder friend Carolyn is busy helping people. Not bad for a former teevee news reporter whose Twitter handle is @NewsCarolyn. She recently bought a house in St. Bernard Parish aka Da Parish. I’ve been trying to get her to change her handle to @YatCarolyn to no avail. If you’re wondering what a Yat is click here.

One thing that’s entirely different from 2005 is the presence of social media. I used Twitter as a club with which to beat the local utility, Entergy. They’re the cartoon villain of this crisis. I enlisted the help of councilmembers Joe Giarusso and Jay Banks in my dispute with Entergy over their sloppy work in my hood. Thanks, gentlemen.

The featured image is the before picture of the 700 block of Valence Street, here’s an after picture:

It looks better now but I wanted to stick it to Entergy.

The drowned city of 2005 was a man-made event, which is why we call it the Federal Flood. Hurricane Ida was a wind-driven event that’s an example of Mother Nature at her bitchiest. New Orleans is fairly hard hit BUT the epicenter was in St. John, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes.

A reminder that First Draft is supporting the Bayou Fund in its effort to help the people of Terrebonne Parish. Click here if you too believe that Our Fate Is Your Fate

The people of Southeast Louisiana got a break from our grim current reality by watching our beloved New Orleans Saints obliterate the Green Bay Packers 38-3. Sorry Athenae. Scout, and Doc.

Jeopardy host wannabe Aaron Rodgers played an abysmal game. He looked rustier than the Entergy towers that fell during Ida. I had a bit of fun at his expense after he threw some interceptions:

No love for the second tweet? People have already forgotten Mike Richards pulling a Dick Cheney and selecting himself as Alex Trebek’s successor. The malakatude, it burns.

Speaking of Jeopardy and Da Parish this quote comes from a 2017 post entitled First Draft Potpourri For $400, Alex:

Many New Orleans eateries used to carry an item called the “wop salad.” I took the pulse of my community and found only one place in the metro area that still calls it that. It’s Rocky and Carlo’s in Chalmette. It’s in St. Bernard Parish which once had a councilman named Joey DiFatta. That’s apropos of nothing but I miss him. It’s doubtful that the Chalmatians feel the same way.

I realize that quote is of marginal relevance, but this is a potpourri post in malodorous drag. I usually loathe the smell of potpourri, but it beats the hell out of the Debrisville Post Ida Stank. Ugh just ugh.

Since I mentioned Valence Street and the bayou, the last word goes to my former 13th Ward homies, the Neville Brothers:

Just What I Needed

It had been a quiet hurricane season thus far in South Louisiana. That seems to have ended today. It’s still too early to tell as the hurricane hunters will be flying into the system this afternoon. That’s when the cone of uncertainty will replace the spaghetti models. It’s just what I needed. Oy just oy.

This is the one time of the year that I’m less hard on the New Orleans freak out set. The 16th Katrinaversary looms on Sunday so trigger isn’t just Roy Rogers’ horse right now.

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Does that GIF qualify as a wakeup call? Maybe so.

I usually loathe colorized images but Trigger stepping out on Roy was irresistible. I hope Dale Evans didn’t mind…

No media bashing from me today. Michael F has taken care of that. What’s not to love about his Liberty Valence inspired title?

In New Orleans pandemic news, the mayor’s crackdown has borne fruit. More and more people are getting vaccinated because of the mandate. The Saints are down with it too. They had a fake home game that required either vaxx proof or a recent PCR test. I approve as I did of Jameis Winston’s performance in the fake game. It looks as if he’ll be the Saints QB. Hopefully, he’ll live down the idea that he has a million-dollar arm and five-dollar head. Stay tuned.

I’d like to hit a few high points in the news Odds & Sods style.

Get Kraken: US District Judge Linda Parker brought the hammer down on Sidney Powell and her pack of lying Trumper lawyers.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker for the Eastern District of Michigan referred the team of lawyers — who sought to overturn the election in courts through a series bogus claims — for suspension or disbarment while granting requests for sanctions.

Parker also ordered the “Kraken” team — which included Trump-aligned lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood — to pay for legal fees for the city of Detroit and state of Michigan, and referred them for “at least twelve (12) hours of continuing legal education in the subjects of pleading standards (at least six hours total) and election law (at least six hours total).”

Parker wrote in the ruling that the “Kraken” lawyers had tried to create a “haze of confusion, commotion, and chaos” around the election.

“And this case was never about fraud — it was about undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so,” Parker wrote.

Judge Parker is my new hero. These are cracking sanctions given to the Kraken shysters. Their various state bar associations will be forced to have disbarment hearings after a referral from a federal judge. This is some serious shit.

It’s time to get cracking on another segment but first a word from Nick Lowe:

They don’t call him the Jesus of Cool for nothing, y’all.

Tantrum Of The Day: It goes to the Impeached Insult Comedian who flipped out over subpoenas issued by the House Dipshit Insurrection Committee. Here’s another Garbage Pail Kid for your kollection:

I guess that was the North Korea edition.

Herschel Herschel Herschel: Herschel Walker remains the greatest player in Georgia Bulldog football history. But he hasn’t lived in the Peach State for decades. His wife is under investigation for voter fraud but Herschel is still running for Raphael Warnock’s senate seat.

Not only is Herschel running as a Black Republican, he’s running as the blackest sort of Republican: a Trumper. He used to work for the Kaiser of Chaos before the USFL was fired:

It will be interesting to see how Herschel’s GOP opponents handle what could be called his Eve-Sybil issue:

The book, “Breaking Free,” … explores his diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder, once known as multiple personality disorder, a condition he said he developed to combat the bullying he faced as an overweight child with a speech disorder.

Since then, however, reports have documented the violent threats he leveled in 2005 against his ex-wife, Cindy Grossman, which led to a judge granting her a protective order. She has said she felt “there was somebody there that was evil” when he threatened her.

Finally, I’ve long pronounced Walker’s first name with a Jersey accent as in Hoy-shell, Hoy-shell, Hoy-shell. He did play for the New Jersey Generals, after all.

The post title refers to the possible approach of possible Hurricane Ida. I had an Aunt Ida on my mother’s side. I didn’t know her well. My only memory of her is that she worked for Marlin Perkins the Wild Kingdom guy.

Beware of the Idas of August.

The last word goes to the Cars performing Just What I Needed at Live Aid:

 

Quote Of The Day: Ron Rivera Edition

I’ve been off sports since the pandemic began. I’ve found that I can easily live without them. To be blunt, I’m worn out by all the stories about money, money, money. My favorite sport was baseball, but I find it impossible to identify with players who make $20 million plus per year. It’s taken much of the fun out of sports for me. The LSU football sexual assault cover-up story didn’t help matters either. I’ve gone from Go, Tigers to No, Tigers because of that.

My dormant sports interest was piqued recently by a fabulous profile of Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera. I didn’t know much about Rivera previously, but was under the impression he was one of the good guys in his profession. Albert Breer’s Sports Illustrated piece confirms that.

Rivera was terribly ill with a virulent form of skin cancer last year. He had to struggle to get the right treatment. That opened his eyes to the ugly reality of our current health care system: even an insured well-known NFL coach had to fight to receive the proper treatment.

Rivera’s illness has turned him into an advocate for COVID awareness and vaccination. He finds it frustrating that players who can easily obtain help are turning it down and referring to it as a “private and personal” matter.

That brings me to the quotable Ron Rivera:

“I had a player come to me when we first got back and we’re getting ready to go to camp,” Rivera said. “He came to me, and he had a big smile and said, Hey coach, just got my second vaccine. I said, Right on. He said, Had to, mama, new baby, got to, coach, gotta be careful for others. I said, That’s great, plus with that variant … He looked at me and said, What variant? I said, You know, the new delta variant, you know about that?

The player in question had no idea. Rivera asked if the player watches the news. The player said no, and raised his phone to say, “I get all my information from here.” Which, right there in the moment, Rivera recognized as the problem.

“Gen Z is relying on this,” said Rivera, now holding up his phone. “And you got some, quite frankly, fucking assholes, that are putting a bunch of misinformation out there, leading people to die. That’s frustrating to me, that these people are allowed to have a platform. And then, one specific news agency, every time they have someone on, I’m not a doctor, but the vaccines don’t work. Or, I’m not an epidemiologist, but vaccines are going to give you a third nipple and make you sterile. Come on. That, to me? That should not be allowed.”

The sports world needs more people like Ron Rivera. He’s shown remarkable growth for a man in his late Fifties. Now that he’s found his voice, I hope he keeps speaking out.

I do, however, have one suggestion for Coach Rivera. Y’all need a new nickname: the Washington Football Team just doesn’t cut the mustard. They’ve supposedly narrowed the list down to three. It’s time to pick. My personal favorite, the Solons, is not on the preliminary list. But anything is better than Redskins or Football Team with the possible exception of Armada. Singular nicknames suck.

I guess I still care a little about sports, after all.

The last word goes to Fountains of Wayne:

 

Malaka Of The Week: Kirk Cousins

I’m pandering to my Packers fan friends with the featured image. It’s Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins being sacked by Green Bay’s Kenny Clark. That happened in 2019. In 2021, Kirk Cousins is busy sacking himself over the COVID vaccines. And that is why Kirk Cousins is malaka of the week.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that many NFL players are anti-vaxxers. White pro footballers skew right politically. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the burlier Dipshit Insurrectionists played football in their younger days.

That brings me to Vikings QB Kirk Cousins who was recently on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list. He’s practicing again and has proposed a preposterous personal solution to the pandemic:

Ain’t nothing personal and private about the pandemic: 615,000 and counting Americans have died of COVID. That’s as public as it gets.

It turns out that the Vikings have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the NFL. It’s no surprise when their QB refuses to get jabbed. The QB is supposed to be a leader instead of following the anti-vaxx crowd.

In contrast to the team from the frozen North, my New Orleans Saints have one of the highest vaccination rates in the NFL according to GM Mickey Loomis:

The Saints entire coaching and front office staff has received a COVID vaccine, and they were one of the first NFL teams to reach the 85% vaccination rate among its roster. Loomis said the roster “will be well over 90%” vaccinated and he expressed hope the entire roster would be vaccinated at some point. The Saints are one of 14 NFL clubs to pass 90% vaccination rate, according to a recent NFL Network report. By hitting the 85% vaccination threshold, the Saints are allowed to loosen some of the COVID restrictions that were put in place last season.

This is no surprise. Head Coach Sean Payton had COVID last year and has been outspoken in support of getting jabbed. He doesn’t consider it a “personal and private” choice. It’s a matter of public health.

The “personal and private” line is becoming the “thoughts and prayers” of the pandemic. Instead of building some sort of plexiglass structure, it would be easier to get jabbed unless, that is, Kirk Cousins wants to be the Typhoid Mary of the NFL. That would give an entirely new meaning to the term Kissing Cousins. And that is why Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is malaka of the week.

I wonder if the former Redskins QB has considered encasing himself in a bubble. It’s as impractical as a plexiglass box but has the virtue of allowing me to give Paul Simon the last word.

Creepy Cuomo

I woke up this morning in a charitable mood and changed the post title. The original title was Creepy Crespi Cuomo. Frank Crespi is the guy on the left. He played 2B for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1938-1942. He was only a regular for one season: the war ate the rest of his career. The 1930’s were a time described by Bill James in his Historical Baseball Abstract as when “nicknames got nasty.”

There’s no indication that Frank Crespi was called Creepy because he was a groper. It seems to have been an alliterative play on words. Creepy Crespi is the one I felt charitable towards since he seems to have been an okay fella. As to Andrew Cuomo, he can go grope himself.

The first post title that came to mind was: Careful What You Wish For. It was Creepy Cuomo’s idea for New York AG Letita James’ office to investigate his misconduct. Since she had been a Cuomo supporter, she farmed it out to some independent lawyers.

The report was expected to land like a hand grenade, instead it exploded like an H-Bomb. It was that bad, y’all.

The good people at New York Magazine provided an excellent summary of the report. I was among those who was struck by this new revelation:

Trooper No. 1

Was the allegation previously known? No.
Did Trooper No. 1 work for the state? Yes.
Summary of Trooper No. 1’s allegations: Trooper No. 1 says that after Cuomo encountered her during an event on the Triborough Bridge in 2017, he arranged to have her join his Protective Services Unit, though she did not meet the qualifications. She says that after she was assigned to his personal protective unit, he sexually harassed her multiple times. She says that during one incident he ran his hand across her lower stomach while she held a door open for him, and that during another he ran a finger down her back and said “Hey you” in an elevator.

Hey you, you’re an entitled asshole.

Creepy Cuomo even wanted this state trooper to wear a dress: the better to leer at her. I don’t wear frocks, but I would imagine that it would be hard to pack heat in a skirt. She was there to protect and serve, not to protect and service Creepy Cuomo.

Creepy Cuomo’s first defense was to release a video in which he said he was creepy with everyone:

It’s not generational and cultural, it’s creepy.

Creepy Cuomo has been in tight spots before. He’s survived them all. He’s used to being hated and feared, so that doesn’t bother him. This time the reaction is best described as disgusted. His few remaining allies have either turned against him or are hiding under the bed with his idiot kid brother, Fredo. I mean Chris. It’s time to repost my favorite Chris Cuomo image:

Creepy Cuomo considers himself to be a master deal maker. Now that he’s likely facing impeachment, he’ll want to cut a deal with the lege. His hopes of topping his father’s three terms have been dashed and he doesn’t want to be impeached and convicted.

Team Creepy is likely to propose a deal that will include prosecutors and the AG’s office. As those of us who watch Billions know, the state AG has limited prosecutorial powers. It’s unclear if prosecutors in Albany and Manhattan will go along with any deal that involves ruling out criminal charges against Creepy Cuomo. It’s what he’ll want. Stay tuned.

Another pressing question is whether Creepy Cuomo’s dog Captain will forgive him:

I’m sure the pooch will forgive him if he gives him treats and promotes him to Admiral.

Back to the post title. I changed it because I didn’t want to offend any of Frank Crespi’s relatives. His baseball career was short, but he played on a team that went 106-48 and beat the Yankees in the World Series. What’s not to love about that?

I kept the featured image because I spent way too much time on it. Time is money even when you work for free.

I gave myself an earworm while working on this post. It’s the Beach Boys song Funky Pretty, which fittingly was co-written by rock creep Mike Love: I’ll leave his cousin Brian Wilson out of it. I find myself singing Creepy Cuomo, Creepy Crespi in lieu of “funky pretty, pretty funky.” It’s weird but it works.

The last word goes to the Beach Boys:

Cancel My Wake Up Call

Woman turning off alarm

I’ve been back at work the past couple of weeks which necessitated using something I haven’t had to use in a year and a half — my alarm clock.  Of course in this day and age an “alarm clock” is really the clock app on my phone even though I have a bedside clock with an alarm that would do the job just as well, but hey I paid a lot of money for this phone and I’m gonna get the most use out of it I can.

A lot of my work occurs at hours that for many people they’d be asking “There’s one of those in the morning?” 3AM wakeups are not uncommon. Don’t feel bad for me, I don’t have to do it every morning unlike my father who had to get up at that hour every weekday for years so he could put a roof over our heads and food on the table and send you three kids to those fancy schools…

Wow, sorry about that, I was suddenly possessed by my father’s spirit. Might explain why I also had a sudden urge to yell to the wife (Cruella) to get me a soda and a pretzel. Yeah he was like that and my mother went along with it because that’s how they were both raised. He yelled, she did what he wanted, and everything was fine with the world. And it wasn’t just my mother he did this with. His kids, his employees, even his friends all got the same treatment.

It was called “having a forceful personality” and it was seen as an emblem of American success.

As a child I thought that was the way things were supposed to be. A man needed to brutishly barge his way through life to get what he wanted for him and his. But as I grew older I began to realize this wasn’t a great example of how to go through life. I began to disregard many of his tirades about anything from work to schooling to what play the football team should run next (option pass to the tight end was his go to favorite). This of course led to sometimes long periods of sulking on his part. What’s the point of having kids if they don’t listen to you?

I do want to make it clear that he was extremely liberal…for his times. While he was totally behind the Civil Rights movement (he saw Blacks and Jews as similarly oppressed people), women’s rights or gay rights were too far a stretch for him, at least in my formative years. He did believe, and he showed it in his own businesses, that if a woman did the job of a man and did it just as well then she should be paid the same, but at the same time women should really be homemakers. Homosexuality wasn’t something that people should be jailed for, it was something for the psychiatrist’s couch.  These were the prevailing liberal views of the Sixties and early Seventies.

Over time, and I’d like to think that my rejection of many of his views helped him along, his opinions changed. An outsider would call it evolving. I would call it growing up. It’s something we as humans do every day, cradle to grave.

Which brings me to wokeness and cancel culture.

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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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Simone Biles All American

Simone Biles

Just in case you have been living under a rock the past week, Simone Biles, preeminent women’s gymnast, considered by many the gymnastics GOAT (that’s Greatest Of All Time) withdrew from the 2020(1) Olympic competition because of mental health issues.

Like everything else these days, it quickly became a political issue. Liberals cheered her decision as a matter of personal sacrifice in the face of truly difficult circumstances. Conservatives jeered her as unpatriotic and unwilling to do whatever is necessary for the USA to chant “USA USA USA”.

Unwilling to do whatever is necessary for the USA to win. Of course all you conservatives are also vaccinated because that’s doing whatever is necessary for the USA to win against COVID.

But I digress.

I think Simone Biles is doing what a lot of Americans are doing coming out of this pandemic. She spent a good amount of time the last year and a half with nothing else to do but ponder what she wanted out of life. And she came to the conclusion that the mental strain of being the GOAT wasn’t worth it. Just like an awful lot of people around this country are coming to the conclusion that working for minimum wage in a job they hate is not quite a fulfilling life. For Biles, all those commercial endorsements have cushioned the financial strain she will perhaps take for her decision. For the rest of us, the government cheese (as the wife, Cruella, calls it) has given a small lifeline allowing many to ponder their life choices.

And what exactly is wrong with that?

For possibly the first time in their lives many Americans have taken this mandatory time-out to really THINK about their lives. So many of us just try to get through the day, make enough money to keep ourselves in food, clothing, and shelter (with a little WiFi thrown in). Suddenly there was nothing but time to delve into our own psyches, to ask ourselves just what do I want out of life.

I think that’s terrific.

But conservative media isn’t buying that. It’s people taking advantage of a free handout they cry. Cause you know, conservatives never get free handouts. Well we won’t count corporate welfare. Or a tax system that allows them to pay little if any taxes. Or a gerrymandered voting system that allows the minority of voters to block the will of the majority. Oh and shall we talk about Tucker Carlson?

Sorry, I digressed again.

What they’re really worried about is having to give up some of that money they so carefully horde in order to get people to work for them. Nothing gets a rich conservative to shout SOCIALISM faster than having to take a ten cent a share dip in earnings in order to properly compensate the people actually doing the work.

So Simone Biles says she’s had enough of it and conservatives go nuts and say she’s just a quitter. Hmm, a young black woman “couldn’t hack it” according to them. This will make it so much easier to pass on the African-American female candidate interviewing for a job. “Look, if Simone Biles can just up and quit, what’s to say this woman won’t do the same thing”. And you know that is the thought going through a lot of hiring managers heads right now.

If, dear reader, you happen to be a young black woman trying to advance in the world of business, and even if you are not, know this: Simone Biles has a kind of courage and fortitude those hiring managers will never have.  You don’t want to work at a company that would have them in that position because that company is going to fail. Work for someone who will be willing to take your life experience and use it for the betterment of all. Show them you are the hero of your own story.

Just like Simone Biles, All American.

If only we had had a chance to hear more of what would come from his own personal time out.

Shapiro Out

Taking A Schott At Trump

Here we go again. The Kaiser of Chaos is back in the news for all the wrong reasons. It’s the only way he makes news, after all.

The Guardian scored an early copy of a book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender. The source of the story is obviously John Kelly who is willing to tell the truth about his former boss privately but never publicly.

Here we go again:

On a visit to Europe to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, Donald Trump insisted to his then chief of staff, John Kelly: “Well, Hitler did a lot of good things.”

<SNIP>

But Bender says unnamed sources reported that Kelly “told the president that he was wrong, but Trump was undeterred”, emphasizing German economic recovery under Hitler during the 1930s.

“Kelly pushed back again,” Bender writes, “and argued that the German people would have been better off poor than subjected to the Nazi genocide.”

Bender adds that Kelly told Trump that even if his claim about the German economy under the Nazis after 1933 were true, “you cannot ever say anything supportive of Adolf Hitler. You just can’t.”

Unnamed sources? Only Kelly and Trump were in that room. I understand Bender not wanting to burn his sources, but John Kelly is a coward. I don’t usually say that about generals, but I’ll say it again: John Kelly is a coward. He’s retired from the military so he can speak freely about the Kaiser of Chaos. The same goes for General Mattis. At least he doesn’t leak stories, so he’s not quite as bad as Kelly but he’s guilty of the same moral cowardice.

The incident took place on the same European trip that Pennywise made the infamous suckers and losers remark. John Kelly heard all of this hateful shit but remains silent in public.

Repeat after me: John Kelly is a coward.

Here we go again. Nobody is surprised when Trump says something nice about Nazis. He’s done it before, and he’ll do it again.  It’s probably something Donald heard his father Fred say. Before World War II, Hitler was popular among conservative German Americans because he “fixed” the German economy. Money is all that matters to Trumps past present and future.

That brings me to the post title and featured image. The minute I heard about Trump’s remarks, I thought of former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. She’s been out of baseball since 1999 and dead since 2004, but she made some unforgettable comments about Hitler in 1996:

“Everything you read, when he [Hitler] came in he was good,” the Reds owner said in an interview aired by ESPN last night. “They built tremendous highways and got all the factories going. He went nuts, he went berserk. I think his own generals tried to kill him, didn’t they? Everybody knows he was good at the beginning but he just went too far.”

Oy just oy.

Like Donald Trump, Marge Schott was German American.

Like Donald Trump, Marge Schott only cared about money.

Unlike Donald Trump, Marge Schott loved dogs, St. Bernards in particular. It was her redeeming characteristic. Donald Trump has none.

I have no doubt that Marge Schott would be an ardent Trumper if she were still alive. Praising Hitler wasn’t her only racist outburst. She called two of her star players Eric Davis and Dave Parker “million dollar n*****s.”

Schott wasn’t crazy about Jews or Asians either. I could go on and on, but I won’t.

Marge Schott was suspended by Major League Baseball several times for her bigoted comments and eventually run out of the game. I suspect contemporary “conservatives” would claim that she was a victim of cancel culture. Her wounds like those of the Impeached Insult Comedian were self-inflicted but the worst thing she could do was ruin a ball club, not a country.

About the featured image. I somehow missed the 2017 Stern cover and the Politico story about it when it ran in the wake of the Charlottesville mishigas. I remember the Sports Illustrated cover of Schott who was a heavy smoker as well as a bigot and poor excuse for a human being.

About the title. In addition to Schott and Trump, I kicked around several ideas. Then I thought of the old song Taking A Chance On Love, which begins with “Here I go again.”

Somehow Taking A Chance On Love became Taking A Schott At Trump.

It’s an odd inspiration for this punny post title but I’m an odd guy. Ironically, the song debuted in a musical about Black folks, Cabin In The Sky. I shudder to think what Donald and Marge would say about that.

Here I go again, the last word goes to Ella Fitzgerald:

Fuck Yeah, Carl Nassib

The fuck yeah post used to be a First Draft staple. Athenae and I used it to note progress on the LBGTQ front. It’s been three years since the last fuck yeah post. There wasn’t much to celebrate during the Trump era unless you were a hater and homophobe.

I’m glad to report progress on the sports ball front. Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders Defensive End Carl Nassib has come out of the closet. He’s the first active NFL player to admit that he’s gay. The MSM is falling back on the “openly gay” thing, but it’s a tired cliché that should be retired post-haste, make that post-Nassib.

I’m pleased to report that the reaction to Nassib’s announcement from the NFL and his fellow players has largely been positive.

The last word goes to Bryan Ferry with a Bob Dylan song:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone

The Long Line Of Texas. Near Dallas by Dorothea Lange.

It’s Juneteenth. It marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned that they’d been freed two years earlier. It’s been a Texas holiday for decades and just became a federal holiday over the objection of 14 Republican congresscritters.

The featured image is a photograph by Dorothea Lange when she worked for the WPA documenting the ravages of the Great Depression. The number at the top is its Library of Congress reference number. I’m not quite sure that I get the title, but the picture was taken in Texas.

This week’s theme song was written in 1969 by Glenn Martin and Dave Kirby. I’ve always associated it with Doug Sahm, but it was first recorded by Charlie Pride.

We have three versions of Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone for your listening pleasure: Charlie Pride, Doug Sahm, and the Texas Tornados.

Since I mentioned Galveston, let’s run this Glen Campbell-Jim Webb song up the flagpole and see who salutes:

Now that we’re done saluting, let’s jump to the break.

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A Postcard From Their Cheating Hearts

Medina Spirit

Nothing wrong here, everything’s good. Pee test? Well he gets a case of shy kidneys…

Cheating seems to be in vogue this spring.

As you might have heard, in a post race drug test the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit, tested positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone and if you know what that is and why it’s illegal than you probably hang around horseracing tracks a hell of a lot more than I do. All I know about horseracing is to bet the longshots on a muddy track.

To be clear, betamethasone is basically horse Advil. It alleviates pain in joints and it’s actually legal to administer it, but it has to be out of the horse’s system within two weeks of a race. That’s a stipulation Medina Spirits’ trainer, Bob Baffert, should be familiar with since Medina Spirit is the fifth horse of his in one year to have failed a post race drug test.

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist,” Baffert said.

Which is always the precursor to any new conspiracy theory.

“I know everybody is not out to get me, but there’s definitely something wrong. Why is it happening to me? You know, there’s problems in racing, but it’s not Bob Baffert.”

Yeah Bob, but if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem. And Churchill Downs, home of the Derby, has decided Bob Baffert is part of the problem. They have suspended Baffert from the track which means the man who has trained more Kentucky Derby winners can not have a horse in any race there let alone the Derby.

What did Bob do? He went on OANN and said he was a victim of cancel culture. No you’re not Bob. You cheated, got caught, and now are being punished as you should be.

Look, cheating in sports is a time honored tradition. The line you will hear in any locker room is “if you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin'”. Mostly that’s put away when you reach the pinnacle moment of any particular sport. Most Americans can’t name their local track but they can tell you when the Kentucky Derby is run. It’s the pinnacle for horseracing. You’re not supposed to cheat. It would be like a team using an elaborate system of surveillance and signals to spy on their World Series opponents so they could relay to their batters what the next pitch was.

Oops.

Meanwhile in New Hampshire a different angle on cheating is playing out. At Dartmouth’s prestigious Geisel Medical School allegations of cheating on internet based exams have thrown the campus into turmoil. It seems 38 students were supposedly caught using the campus software Canvas, which has all the course work on it,  while taking tests. 21 cases were dismissed because their professor admitted he told them his was an open book test. However the other 17 students were punished anywhere from having to take the class over to being expelled from the school. In many cases students plead guilty only because they were told that to plead innocent would expose them to the most severe punishment.

Here’s where the gray area begins to emerge. It seems that the evidence of cheating was that the Canvas software pings in to the central computer whenever the software is running, leaving a record of who was active and at what time. That’s even if it’s not actually being used but rather just running in the background. Or on a second device. A second device the university demanded students have access to as a backup during the test.

Stop right there for a moment. How many programs are currently running on your phone or your tablet or any other device you might have lying around that’s not the one you’re reading this on? And how many of those programs can you name?

Now you understand the problem.

Most of these students had Canvas running on that second device because it’s ALWAYS running. In essence Canvas is a medical library available 24/7 to any student. The whole advantage of it is that it’s always there. Why turn it off, especially on a secondary device that you’re not taking the test on?

Oh and one other thing. Dartmouth failed to say to the test takers “make sure you are logged out of Canvas on all your devices before beginning the test”. As a matter of fact they never told students that Canvas had time, date, and location monitoring abilities built into it.

Oops.

But in the grand tradition of Ivy League Schools Dartmouth has made a decision and the decision stands. Now who is cheating? Especially when some of the punishments were having to retake an entire year of school over again. At a cost of $70,000 for another year of school.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Something To Talk About

Cocktails by Archibald Motley.

We’ve had some unseasonably cool weather this week in New Orleans. It’s been a relief after last week’s constant rain. We’ve even had some sun, which was initially disorienting but I’m down with it.

It’s special election run-off day in the Louisiana-Second. An ugly and mendacious campaign was waged by the runner-up in the primary, State Senator Karen Carter Peterson. She wants a promotion after a disastrous tenure as state party chair and missing 85% of state senate votes last year. Talk about failing upward.  I also happen to think that comparing another Democrat to Donald Trump is punching below the belt. I look forward to voting against her and for Troy Carter.

This week’s theme song was written in 1990 by Canadian singer-songwriter Shirley Elkhard and recorded by Bonnie Raitt for her 1991 album, Luck Of The Draw. It was a big hit for the Bonster. It was later used in the Julia Roberts-Dennis Quaid movie of the same title in 1995.

We have two versions of Something To Talk About for your listening pleasure: the Bonnie Raitt original and a 2016 version by Blood Sweat & Tears frontman David Clayton Thomas.

Was that bloody, sweaty, and teary enough for you lot? While we’re still wet, let’s jump to the break.

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Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Oligarchy Definition

OK class, use it in a sentence.

It’s been a bad week for oligarchs.

From the 48 hour birth, life, and death of the European Super League in soccer to the pullback of Russian troops from the border with Ukraine, the fat cats have been taking a bit of a pounding, most of it at the hands of the so called little guys.

If you still can’t quite understand the entire Super League fiasco don’t worry. I follow European soccer pretty closely and I am hard pressed to come up with a rational for the absurd circus the Dirty Dozen have put us through. The no longer failing New York Times has a good play by play of how this all came to be.

Suffice it to say, twelve of the fourteen richest teams in Europe decided they wanted to create their own league to play in, one that they would have total control of and which ultimately would have destroyed the delicate pyramid that feeds and nurtures the other hundreds of teams in dozens of national leagues. Fans, the people who actually pay to go to or watch games on TV, revolted. It was quickly established that even the most ardent of fans would abandon lifelong allegiance to one of the twelve in favor of continued allegiance to their national leagues. Television networks, the ones who would be paying the largest portion of the tab for the Super League, started muttering “what if they have a league and no one watches”.

And just like that, poof, it’s gone.

The birth and demise of the Super League is being laid squarely at the feet of the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United as well as being the guys who sign Tom Brady’s checks, Stan Kroenke owner of Arsenal, the LA Rams, the Denver Nuggets, and the Colorado Avalanche, and John Henry, owner of Liverpool FC as well as the Bahstin Red Sox. The line being put out is it’s all American hubris, coming in and thinking they can make this into the NFL. They’re taking the fall, but this whole plan stinks of Russian and Arab oligarchic slight of hand.

That’s how oligarchs work. They quietly pull all the strings so that if something goes wrong they can walk away with clean hands. That’s what’s happening in this case, Americans are taking the fall while the Russian oligarch owner of Chelsea FC and the Emirati prince owner of Manchester City get to say “I know nothing!“.

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Fritz Mondale, R.I.P.

Then Senator Walter Mondale throws out the first pitch at a Minnesota Twins game.

I was lucky enough to meet Walter Mondale in between national elections sometime in the early 1980’s. It was at some sort of Congressional function. I can’t remember if it was on or off the Hill, but I made a beeline for him and introduced myself.

Me:  Nice to meet you, Mr. Vice President.

WM: Former Vice President.

Me:  Mr. Mondale then…

WM: … just call me Fritz.

I did and I still do,

I knew that he loved the Minnesota Twins, so I mentioned meeting Jim (Mudcat) Grant who was one of the stars of the 1965 team that lost to Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers in the World Series.

WM: Great nickname. Great guy. Did you know that he was a heckuva singer and had a nightclub act called Mudcat and the Kittens?

Me:   I did not know that.

I lied to one of the most honest men in American public life because I didn’t want to slow his roll. I also skipped my stock line about the 1980 election: “I voted for Mondale for Vice President.”

Much to my surprise, we chatted for about ten minutes. He liked talking to young people. Believe or not I used to be young.

Fritz Mondale died yesterday at the age of 93. He was a modest man from a humble background who never forgot his roots or his commitment to the poor, minorities, and the elderly.

Mondale should be remembered for revolutionizing the Vice Presidency, not for his blow-out loss to Ronald Reagan. But that led to one of my favorite Fritz Mondale stories:

He liked telling that story. He said it kept him humble.

He conducted his 1984 presidential campaign with dignity and honor. He lost but he was true to himself and his beliefs. He also made history by picking Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate. It took 36 years for a woman to be elected Veep. The current Vice President Kamala Harris was among the last to speak with her predecessor. Fortuna’s Wheel keeps spinning.

I chuckled when I read that Mondale was selected by Carter because of his Washington experience. That’s only partially accurate: Carter was mistrusted by the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and organized labor. Fritz Mondale was their guy.

Fritz Mondale and his mentor and fellow Minnesotan Hubert Humphrey had many things in common. Mondale was appointed to fill HHH’s senate seat when the latter became Veep. Humphrey urged him to accept the Vice Presidency despite Hubert’s appalling treatment by Lyndon Johnson. They were both Democratic nominees for president and both lost. More importantly, they were good and decent people who helped steer the Democratic party “out of the shadow of states’ rights and …. into the bright sunshine of human rights” in Humphrey’s memorable phrase.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar won Twitter last night after her mentor’s passing:

Fritz Mondale lived a long and glorious life. Instead of mourning his death, we should celebrate his life and legacy as a heckuva nice guy and the greatest Vice President in American history. Along with Hubert Humphrey, he was the best president we never had.

The last word goes to Mudcat Grant at a memorial service for his teammate, Harmon Killebrew:

Saturday Odds & Sods: A Hard Day’s Night

My second jab side effects were worse than the first but only lasted for 3 days then vanished. It was weird to walk like a drunk when  stone cold sober, which is why I spent most of my time on the couch.

When did the furniture people start calling a couch a sofa? I can go either way, but sofa potato isn’t as evocative as couch potato. I wonder which one the man who couldn’t spell potatoes, J Danforth Quayle, uses. Ah, the small mysteries of life.

I’m still watching bits and bobs of the Chauvin trial. My dislike for defense lawyer, Eric Nelson grows daily. If I were devising a drinking game for the trial every time he says “right” “correct” “agree” you take a shot. A surefire way to get shit faced drunk, right?

Despite the album cover featured image, it’s Saturday, not Wednesday. I didn’t mean to confuse anyone; that was a lie, I take great joy in sowing confusion across the land instead of either sleeping like a log or working like a dog.

This week’s theme song was written by Lennon and McCartney in 1964 for the movie of the same title. It has always been one of my favorite Beatles tunes. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

We have four versions of A Hard Day’s Night for your listening pleasure: the Fab Four, Perez Prado, the Smithereens, and Miss Peggy Lee.

Peggy Lee? Yes, Norma Engstrom herself. Paul McCartney was a big fan and gave her a song to record after seeing her perform in London in 1974.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Since that’s my favorite Beatley quote, here’s the song it comes from; in German too.

Ja, ja, ja.

Let’s jump to the break. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

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More Hick Schtick From John Neely Kennedy

The junior Senator from the Gret Stet of Louisiana is the man I love to hate. I considered two Sue Grafton inspired titles for this post, P Is For Phony or H Is For Hypocrite, before settling on this one. It would take a crack detective such as Kinsey Milhone to locate Neely’s integrity, after all.

Neely loves to go on teevee and denounce the liberals; one of whom he used to be. That was before he lowered his political IQ and became a Fox News favorite. He did it again the other day but first some background snark about Neely’s hick schtick.

As Treasurer of the Gret Stet of Louisiana for seventeen years, Neely was a publicity hound, but his brand was as a skinflint guarding the public coffers against both Democrats and Republicans, not the rabid wingnut of today. He was every bit as hard on Bobby Jindal as on his Democratic predecessor, Kathleen Blanco. Of course, he was a Democrat until 2007.

Neely didn’t start hicking up his accent and speaking style until he changed parties. Before then, he was not ashamed of being well-educated and articulate. The dumbing down began in his second run for the US Senate in 2008 against incumbent Mary Landrieu who had also served as Gret Stet Treasurer.

Neely perfected his hick schtick in his successful run for the Senate in 2016. Having secured the prize he’d spent his entire life chasing, he became one of the loudest Trump sycophants and enablers in a Republican party full of them. I wrote a long piece for Bayou Brief in 2018 about what I called his Neelyisms: the cornpone “wisdom” he dispenses on the boob tube.

The Neelyisms stopped being funny when he started using them to defend retrograde, racist, and downright stupid policies. After the slaughter in Boulder, Colorado he said that what America needed was idiot control, not gun control. He’s not really an idiot, he just plays one on teevee.

Neely popped up on Fox News the other day and deployed his cornpone “wisdom” against Major League Baseball for relocating the All Star Game from Atlanta to Denver:

Forget Mars. We need to search for intelligent life in the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office. I have never seen anything like this. Commissioner Manfred has a fiduciary responsibility to Major League Baseball. His job is to do the very best that he can not to suck. He has failed at that. Think about what he’s done. Major League Baseball is losing popularity to football and other sports. His job is to grow it. So what is the first thing he does? He decides to get involved in national politics and alienate hundreds of millions of Americans who actually like the Georgia bill and think that it is an honest effort for election security.

The commissioner hasn’t explained why he thinks these hundreds of millions of Americans who support the Georgia effort are a bunch of racists. He hasn’t bothered to explain why he thinks the bill is racist. The only excuse I can think is he made all of these decisions after his morning beer. I have never seen anything like it. It costs $150 to attend a major league baseball game in some cities. Is this going to encourage people to go? I just don’t think so.

This has nothing to do with Jackie Robinson. It has nothing to do with race.

It has everything to do with race, Senator. In fact, Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia, but his family fled Jim Crow and moved to California in search of a better life.

Republicans are afraid that they’re losing their grip on power in Georgia, so that state’s lege passed an atrocious bill that overwhelmingly effects black voters who are overwhelmingly Democratic. It might as well be called the Beat Raphael Warnock Bill.  One would think that logic would reach a man who was an adjunct professor at LSU law school for 14 years, but he’s only interested in the next election. His election.

Neely is also fond of mocking diversity and claiming that racism is not systematic. Our old pal Deep Blog saw the faux idiot on Faux News the other day and got a bellyful of his pseudo ignorant spiel. He sent me a screen shot of Vanderbilt University’s yearbook from 1973. John Neely Kennedy is second from the right on the top row:

The observant among you have surely noticed that, except for two Asian dudes, everyone on this page is of one race. It explains a lot about John Neely Kennedy. He not only mocks diversity, he’s uncomfortable with it. Imagine that.

Presumably, Vanderbilt is considerably more diverse in 2021 than it was in Neely’s day, which was a mere 9 years after that pricey private school was fully desegregated. In the Seventies, Black Commodores were still rare on the University’s Nashville campus unless some students owned records by the band then fronted by Lionel Richie.

John Neely Kennedy is a cornpone con man who thinks diversity is for suckers. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, Neely talks loudly and carries a hick schtick. I look forward to voting against him in 2022.

Since Neely is so fond of guns, the last word goes to The Commodores with the title track of their debut album:

A Postcard From The Cheap Seats

 

 

Sheet Music for Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Did you know this is actually a woman singing about how she prefers baseball to men? Gives new meaning to “one, two, three strikes you’re out”.

 

In honor of the new Major League Baseball season having begun I thought I’d take my first shot at making a listicle. It melds two of my great passions in life, music and baseball. The Ten Best Songs About Baseball according to Shapiro his ownself. The song referenced above is not eligible as it stands in a category by itself. It oughta be the national anthem.

10) The D-O-D-G-E-R-S Song

A perfect meeting of song, style, and performer. Danny Kaye specialized in the “patter” song and here he turns a Giants-Dodgers game into what has to be one of the wildest finishes in baseball history. I also love this song for the fact that even though he’s a fan of the team he can make fun of the players, the manager, and even the owner. Oh and he has respect for their heated rivals. I on the other hand do not which is why this is no higher than number ten.

9) Willie, Mickey, And The Duke (Talking Baseball)

I hated this song when it first came out, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to understand and admire it’s subtle way of connecting childhood hero worship with nostalgia for a simpler time — like when the only thing you had to debate was who was the best centerfielder (Willie, obviously). Points to Terry Cashman also for being willing to parody himself on The Simpsons.

8) Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?

We head into a stretch of songs about individual players, Homeric odes to heroic larger than life legends. And there is no legend larger than that of the first African American to play in the majors. You can hear the pride in the singer’s voice. And if you will notice, all the other players mentioned in the song are African-Americans. On the one hand a subtle nod to them, on the other a reminder that back then you couldn’t mention white and black players together, even in a song.

7) Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio

Paul Simon would later on ask where he’d gone, but here Joe DiMaggio is front and center, letting everyone know it’s time for him to go to work. He’s celebrated in swing fashion, full brass, girl singer, somewhat strange envious chorus from the band. Yeah, I’d want him on our side, what’s your problem?

6) Say Hey

One of the only baseball songs that celebrates someone for his ability to play defense. Excite with offense, but win with defense said some sports figure once upon a time. That dialogue opening sounds just like arguments I’ve had with friends in the stands. If only Adrastos and I had had the ability to call over Rennie Stennett and tell him not to sign with the Giants. Also listen to the music; it’s at that moment when big band is giving way to R&B and this song shows it (even on the 45 sleeve — look for it in the video). By the way when they say never meet your heroes I’d say yeah unless it’s Willie Mays cause he’s everything you would have thought he’d be.

5) The Ballad Of Bill Lee

Bill Lee was a pitcher, famously for the Boston Red Sox. He’ll never be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but he’s number one with a bullet in the Sports Characters Hall of Fame. He would say things like “I think about the cosmic snowball theory. A few million years from now the sun will burn out and lose its gravitational pull. The earth will turn into a giant snowball and be hurled through space. When that happens it won’t matter if I got this guy out”. Who else but Warren Zevon could pay proper tribute to the Spaceman, as Lee was known. “And sometimes I say things I shouldn’t”. It’ll be emblazoned on Lee’s tombstone. Maybe it should be on Warren’s as well.

4) Hola America!

Musicians often have a lot of time to kill and some of them kill that time at the old ballyard. I could fill this list just with songs from The Baseball Project, an Indie rock supergroup. Consisting of  Peter BuckMike MillsScott McCaugheySteve Wynn and Linda Pitmon the band has produced three albums (Frozen Ropes and Dyin’ Quails, High and Tight, and 3rd) and songs that look at the current game from a unique rock fan/baseball fan angle. I mean you have to be an indie rocker to write songs about Lenny Dykstra (“From Nails to Thumbtacks”), Bernie Williams (“Monument Park”), or the second most famous game Dock Ellis ever pitched (“The Day Dock Went Hunting Heads”). This song, about Cuban defector Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez and his amazing story of fleeing from Cuba on a rickety raft to pitching in the World Series less than a year later, shows them at their best.

3) A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request

Wanna know what it means to be a fan? Just listen to this song by one of America’s criminally lesser known great songwriters. When I go, just scatter my ashes at the Big Ballyard at 3rd and Townsend when the prevailing 30mph wind is blowing the right way so I end up in McCovey Cove, one last splash hit.

2) Glory Days

Those who know me are probably saying “what, he didn’t make this number one? He’s such a Springsteen fan”. Well I plead guilty to that but there is another song that’s just a smidgen better. This song is about the other side of fame. It even answers his own question “Is a dream a lie that don’t come true or is it something worse?”. It takes guts to keep going. It also takes guts to have your current wife appear in a video your soon to be next wife is also in. Now THAT’S being the Boss.

1) Centerfield

From the stadium style clapping at the opening to the use of a stadium organ, through the admonishment to be born again because there’s new grass on the field to the plea to just be allowed to play the game John Fogerty took all those hours listening to Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons doing Giant games (“You can tell it good-bye”) and turned it into an anthem to not only the game, but to the love of the game. Player, fan, doesn’t matter, there is no line between the two. We’re all just looking for a moment in the sun.

SPECIAL MENTION:

It’s not really about baseball. It’s about sex. Which is just like baseball. Incremental small advances leading to a huge climax. In the course of a game, a season, a career. Often ending with the suicide squeeze. And if you’re lucky the Scooter does the play by play for the whole shebang.

Shapiro Out

Saturday Odds & Sods: Day After Day

La Décalcomanie by Rene Magritte

I’m getting vaccinated this afternoon at the Morial Convention Center. I’m a bit nervous and uncertain as to which vaccine I’ll be getting. I’m fine with any of them. The one-shot J&J variant has considerable appeal because I hate needles. Here’s hoping I get jabbed by someone with a light touch. Just don’t give me a smiley faced Band-Aid. I hope that’s not too much to ask. Enough jab jabber.

It’s pollen season in New Orleans. The mighty oaks are spewing forth their yellow poison (to me) and my eyes are red and runny. If I were a Republican, I’d turn this into a culture war grievance but I’m not so I won’t.

This week’s theme song was written in 1971 by Pete Ham for Badfinger’s Straight Up album. It was a smash hit across the globe hitting number 4 on the Billboard charts in the US&A. The song was produced by George Harrison and featured George on slide guitar and Leon Russell on piano.

We begin with the Badfinger original:

I had no idea that the second version existed until I checked out Second Hand Songs. Ladies and gentlemen, Bradyfinger:

The Brady Bunch kids cut two albums of then contemporary hit songs. It’s weird to hear a chirpy version of Pete Ham’s mournful song. If it weren’t so damn funny, I’d give it the finger, then eat a Butterfinger. Candy is the cure for many of the ills of society including Bradyfinger.

Speaking of fingers:

It’s time to cut out (cut off?) the finger jokes and jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Mean To Me

My Brother Imitating Scherzo by Andre Kertesz

The cold weather is back but it’s not as bad as last month’s hard freeze. As I watch things unfold in Jackson, MS, I realize how lucky New Orleans was. Our water infrastructure is just as ancient and with a more prolonged freeze it could have been us. We dodged a bullet this time. Our luck is bound to run out at some point. Our pipes are old, old, old.

I posted a version of Mean To Me when I wrote about Neera Tanden before her nomination was pulled. I stand by what I wrote then, but I should have added that, in some ways, she was a surrogate for those on the far left and right who hate Hillary Clinton.

As far as Joe Manchin is concerned, I’m beginning to think he likes being the key vote in the Senate and was flexing his muscles on the Tanden nomination. I guess Tanden had a blind date with the Man of La Manchin, not destiny. So it goes.

Neil Finn wrote this week’s theme song in 1986 for Crowded House’s eponymous debut album. It’s the first track on the record and is a frequent set opener when the band plays live.

We have two versions of Mean To Me for your listening pleasure: the original promo video and a 1988 live version.

It’s time for a visit to disambiguation city with a 1929 song of the same title. We have a double dose of Ella Fitzgerald. First with the Nelson Riddle orchestra followed by a more intimate recording with Oscar Peterson:

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Oscar Peterson? That goes for Ella Fitzgerald as well.

On that upbeat note, let’s jump to the break. And I mean it this time.

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