The Lydster: when your heroes have feet of clay

You DON’T know the people you see on TV or listen to on the radio.

Our family has developed a ritual of turning on CBS News This Morning to watch the 7 a.m. “eye-opener.” The morning of Tuesday, November 21, the Daughter noticed that Charlie Rose, co-anchor of the program wasn’t on, which wasn’t that odd.

What WAS unusual was the fact that in that segment of “your world in 90 seconds,” Charlie Rose DID appear. He had been suspended by CBS News the night before over sexual misconduct, as reported in the Washington Post, part of a string of men caught up recently. A reporter laid out the case, and then the other co-hosts, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King, forcefully showed their disdain and shock.

And while she hadn’t said anything at the time, I could see the Daughter was confused and disappointed. I’ll admit I was, and that went for my wife as well. What I didn’t know at the time was that, a couple years prior, she’d written some report for school about the now-75-year-old anchor and contributor on 60 Minutes.

It’s that weird thing about how you begin to feel about people when you metaphorically let them into your home. You get a sense that you know a person. Heck, Norah and especially Gayle had expressed shock at the allegations, and they worked with the man for five years.

The initial allegations concerned his show put together by his production company, and airing on PBS and Bloomburg, prior to 2011. By the time he was fired, less than a day later, the accusations also included more recent events, including at CBS.

Of course, you DON’T know the people you see on TV or listen to on the radio. What I thought I knew about O.J. Simpson and especially Bill Cosby made their falls from grace much more difficult to comprehend.

We all discover that our heroes sometimes have feet of clay, and that’s an uncomfortable part of the learning process. It sucks, no matter at what age it happens.

All I want for Christmas this year

There’s nothing that will fit on Santa’s sleigh

My wife asked me for my Christmas wish list. I want the new Hess toy truck, and…

I was stumped. I didn’t have a book I wanted that would sit on my “I really need to read that” pile. There’s always music but I don’t always listen to what I have already.

Unfortunately, what I REALLY want is a country that believes in encouraging people to cast their ballots and one person, one vote, rather than restricting the franchise and gerrymandering their districts.

I want a country that values our natural resources, rather than ignoring climate change and despoiling the earth for profit. “You shall not pollute the land in which you live, ” as it says in Numbers.

I want a country that doesn’t elect known sexual predators to high office.

I want a country that welcomes the immigrant and appreciate the strength that diversity brings to the country, rather than promoting bigotry and divisiveness. “Do not mistreat foreigners who are living in your land.” (Leviticus 19:33)

I want a country that provides a living wage and a secure safety net, with access to resources for those who need it, rather than tax breaks for those with private planes. “If you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon.” (Isaiah 58:10)

I want a country that believes in transparency of government, not backroom dealings with lobbyists.

I want a country that works for peace, not goads others into war. “Let there be peace on earth,” and all that.

You get the idea.

And the really annoying thing about my Christmas wish list is that there is not anything that will fit on Santa’s sleigh.

Even worse, in order for me to be able to get the presents I want, I, and a whole slew of other folks will have to work, to fight to make it happen.

What kind of presents are these anyway? They are the presents that require us to be present.

Ugh, activism. OK, then, let’s see how close I can get to matching up with my wishlist.

But I still want the Hess truck.

Merry Christmas.

Y is for the year 2018 (ABCW)

Mars will make its closest approach to Earth since 2003.

2017 was so …interesting that I’m actually looking forward to 2018. The number, of course is not prime, obviously divisible by 2, but 1009 IS a prime number.

This coming February 9th through 25th, the Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This will be very interesting for a couple reasons: the ongoing belligerence between the United States and North Korea which we HOPE doesn’t lead to all-out war; and Russia being banned from the Games because of a doping scandal, though some of their athletes may compete under the Olympic flag.

On April 4–15, the Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Seventy countries will compete in athletics, badminton, boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball (for women), rugby sevens, squash, swimming, weightlifting and more. Sounds exciting, and less controversial.

The FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be held in Russia, mostly west of the Urals, June 14 – July 15. Unfortunately, the US did not make the cut.

On June 24, Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive. RADICAL!

Mars will make its closest approach to Earth since 2003 on July 27.

In the United States, about a third of the 100 US Senators (upper house) and all 435 members are up for reelection in November. There’s no secret that incumbents do quite well generally. Still, the changing political terrain has CNN dubbing 2018 the year of women; I’ve heard that before, but next year, it MAY actually come true.

Ericsson has identified 10 Hot Consumer Trends for the upcoming year, among them, Your body is the user interface and Augmented hearing.

Pinterest has also weighed in with The top trends to try in 2018. For instance, Food: Healthy meets tasty. Good to know.

Inc has sought 22 Predictions for 2018. Some of them seem to contradict each other. “The artificial intelligence (AI) hype bubble will burst.” “Artificial intelligence (AI) will drive smart video meetings.”

Hope your 2018 is grand.

For ABC Wednesday

Music throwback Christmas all over again

Here’s a great thing about when someone puts labels on posts on the Blogger platform: you can access Jaquandor’s Daily Dose of Christmas, not just for this year, but for several years back. You’re welcome.

A couple new tracks from this year:

Indigo Christmas -Theresa Olin, written by Linda Bonney Olin

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – MonaLisa Twins

Away in a Manger – Pentatonix

You Ain’t Gettin’ S#!t (For Xmas) – Emily “Boo Boo” Miller

Some random older cuts I’ve come across:

Christmas Rappin’- Kurtis Blow, 1979

The Christians and The Pagans – Dar Williams

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love, from her recurring appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman

We Need A Little Christmas – Angela Lansbury, from the Broadway musical MAME

Winter Song – Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson

Chrissy The Christmas Mouse – Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor

The 12 Gifts of Christmas – Allan Sherman

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

A Shadows of Knight mashup of a Christmas carol and a Dave Brubeck hit

Shepherd’s Hey by Percy Grainger, which I have on some holiday record or other

Plus: Coverville 1197: The 2017 Christmas Cover Show

Finally, some tunes I tend to play every year:

Every Valley – Handel’s Messiah, A Soulful Celebration; it was such a great surprise

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole; my late mom was a huge fan of Nat

White Christmas – the Drifters; not just the song but this particular animation I love

Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi, from a Charlie Brown Christmas

The Coventry Carol – Alison Moyet, from the very first A Very Special Christmas album in 1987

Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty, from the second A Very Special Christmas album in 1992; I can’t believe he’s gone

Winter Snow – Booker T. and the MG’S (at 2:30) – Silver Bells is OK, but Winter Snow, which I first head on that first Stax-Volt box set, really gets to me

What Christmas Means To Me – Stevie Wonder; there are quite a few Motown Christmas albums and this is my favorite cut, the last song on the Someday at Christmas album from 1967

The Bells of Christmas -Julie Andrews; the version I have on vinyl skips the unnecessary instrumentation from about 1:08 to 2:02, which appeared on an album from Firestone tires in the 1960s. Oh, here it is at 17:05

I never voted for Jimmy Carter

It wasn’t that I disliked Jimmy Carter, or thought he was terrible.

Chris wondered:
You voted third party? What made Jimmy Carter unattractive?

Hey, I was young and foolish and headstrong. In 1976, I wanted to vote for Eugene McCarthy in the Democratic presidential primary. Remember him, the guy who challenged President Lyndon Johnson in the 1968 New Hampshire primary and received 43% of the vote, which prompted LBJ not to seek reelection?

But the Carter forces in New York State got Clean Gene knocked off the ballot. I had no idea how or why at the time, but I now wonder if it was because, as the Wikipedia states, he had quit the Democratic party. In any case, that anti-democratic behavior really ticked me off.

In the race between President Gerald Ford and the peanut farmer from Georgia, I opted to vote for McCarthy; I don’t think he was on the ballot in my state, though he was in about 2/3s of the others, so I wrote him in.

I rather liked Jimmy Carter as President early on. He was saying enough of the right things for me, especially when he talked about conserving energy. Sitting in the White House wearing a sweater, he called the energy crisis the Moral Equivalent Of War. But it wasn’t what the country, already feeling down after Watergate and Vietnam, wanted to hear; his plan was ridiculed as MEOW.

Still, it was the Iran hostage crisis that began on November 4, 1979, that did him in. Maybe not immediately. But as the news networks started delaying their late-night programming in favor of 15 minutes of news from Tehran – DAY 42, DAY 108, DAY 159 – it made him appear weak, and the failed rescue mission even more so.

When Senator Edward Kennedy and California governor Jerry Brown challenged him in the primaries, this just codified that feeling that Jimmy Carter was ineffectual. I worried about Teddy running, fearing that if he had won, he would die in office, like Presidents elected in years ending with zero, going back to 1840, and the fact that all of his brothers (Joe, Jack, Bobby) had died violently. Despite that, and despite Chappaquiddick, I’m pretty sure I voted for him.

Of course, a battered Carter prevailed at the Democratic convention and faced the Republican, Ronald Reagan, who I disliked intensely from when he was governor of California. He was also challenged by Congressman John Anderson of Illinois. But I didn’t vote for ANY of them.

I figured that if I were going to throw away my vote, I had to REALLY toss it. I had read the 1971 book The Closing Circle by Barry Commoner, where he “suggested that the American economy should be restructured to conform to the unbending laws of ecology.” I voted for him – he was on the ballot in New York – and he came in fifth nationally, behind the Libertarian.

So it wasn’t that I disliked Jimmy Carter, or thought he was terrible. It was that he didn’t excite me, inspire me. I also figured that if Reagan were to get elected, the Democratic Congress would keep him in check. HA!

Of course, in hindsight James Earl Carter wasn’t THAT bad a President. And he is is, by far, the best ex-President ever.