November rambling #2: Book two of the trilogy

Albany by Roger Whitaker

1941 Dr Seuss cartoon illustrating the U.S. stance denying Jews safe haven from the Nazis.
1941 Dr. Seuss cartoon illustrating the U.S. stance denying Jews safe haven from the Nazis.

From The Weekly Sift, November 21, 2016:

Like most people I know, I’ve been suffering occasional attacks of rage or depression. But it’s also oddly energizing sometimes. If you ever had fantasies of being a hero, well, gear up; the villains are taking the field. It feels like we’re in a trilogy, somewhere around the end of Book Two. Ancient evils have jumped out of history books and grainy newsreels, and are appearing on live TV. Their words and ideas are coming out of the mouths of our neighbors.

Who thought we’d have to deal with this in our lifetimes?

For some while now, everything that you can think to do about the situation is going to seem hopelessly inadequate. But it’s important that you do it anyway. That’s how it is at the end of Book Two.

You’re a hobbit with all of Mordor in front of you, or an Ewok facing a galactic empire. The idea that you’re going to turn things around is laughable. And a lot of the stuff that people think to do will come to nothing, just like it seems. But some of it won’t, and if anybody can say for sure which is which, I haven’t met them yet.

So anyway, today I plan to type a bunch of words onto a screen. It’s what I can think to do. You think that seems hopelessly inadequate? Tell me about it.

[I do SO relate!]

Also from the Weekly Sift: The Trump Administration: What I’m watching for and Should I Have White Pride?

Donald Trump and the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, explained

Farewell, America

Trump summons a monster he can’t control – “White supremacists are acting as if they’ve hit the swastika sweepstakes.” cf Why I Left White Nationalism

“Sore winner” syndrome: Why are Donald Trump’s supporters still so angry?

Through a Looking Glass, Darkly

Donald Trump — the Boy King

America first, Trump second

Donald Trump: Anyone who burns American flag should be jailed or lose citizenship

Welcome to the Trump kleptocracy, plus kakistocracy

Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President

More Weekly Sift, especially the section on corruption

An ethical double standard for Trump — and the GOP?

Professor predicts impeachment

Mike Pence’s top seven most homophobic moments (out of many)

79-Year-Old Trump Supporter Arrested for Allegedly Vandalizing Children’s Mural

Confederate States of America currency?

Rapp On This: As a Matter of Fact, the Sky Is Falling

TV News and Its Long Dark Night of the Soul, though, finally, The Associated Press has defined ‘alt-right’

djt-bway

Atlético Nacional, the Colombian team, asks that its opponent, Chapecoense of Brazil, be awarded the Copa Sudamericana soccer tournament title, after the plane crash which killed nearly all of Chapecoense’s players and coaches

The Kind of Christian I Refuse To Be

Aboard an overloaded ship carrying more than 500 refugees, a young woman becomes an unlikely hero

That disruption at a performance of Hamilton

The Bubble – SNL

They may well be sincere in what they say but they may just be buttering you up

Fidel Castro dead at 90;

Florence Henderson passed away – I never saw a single episode of the Brady Bunch during its original run but caught it in syndication occasionally. She played Florence Henderson at least a couple of times in later shows, but my favorite role of hers was as the wife in Amish Paradise by Weird Al.

The GREAT character Fritz Weaver died at the age of 90. Some know him for a few appearances in the original Twilight Zone, but he had a massive body of work

I know I liked Harris on Barney Miller because I didn’t often see the black intellectual on TV – RIP, Ron Glass

American comedy vs. British comedy

Internet Wading – Looking and listening

An interesting blog on family photo copyrights

Why can’t you go out and buy cashews in the shell?

Two Point Conversion Chart (football)

8 Memorable Comics Screw-Ups

Now I Know: The Spaceship Graveyard and A Def Vacation

“Hipster” nativity scene for the holidays

The Strange History of Microfilm, Which Will Be With Us for Centuries

Accidentally Closing Browser Window With 23 Tabs Open Presents Rare Chance At New Life

Music

Beethoven’s 7th

Tchaikovsky’s “fantasy overture” Romeo and Juliet

100 Days, 100 Nights – Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Albany songs, plus Albany by Roger Whitaker, lyrics here

Elvis at the Wheel

Spirit of the ’60s albums

LOVER COME BACK TO ME – The Peanuts

The Leonard Cohen song that saved Roger Ebert’s life

A Temptations musical?

 

Sherwood, Betty and Rob

Amish Paradise, a parody of Coolio’s Gangsta Paradise, which in turn was a remake of Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise.

The great thing about Sherwood Schwartz, who died earlier this month, is not just that he created two popular TV shows. He also wrote or co-wrote their iconic themes.

I never, not once, did I see The Brady Bunch, during its initial run. But I knew exactly what it was about, just by watching the theme. It was the story about two widowed people, each with three kids, each the same gender as the parent, who, along with the housekeeper, became a blended family.

The theme to Gilligan’s Island, a show I admit to watching in my callow youth, also let us know the entire plot, though it changed somewhat from the first season to subsequent ones.

The show was name-checked several times by Weird Al Yankovic and others. From Al’s Couch Potato, “…And there’s “Gilligan” and “SpongeBob”, plus there’s “MacGyver”…” Stop Draggin’ My Car Around, a takeoff of the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song, also namechecks the show.

But Isle Thing, a parody of Tone Loc’s Wild Thing, is all about “watchin’ that Gilligan’s Isle thing”. And Amish Paradise, a parody of Coolio’s Gangsta Paradise, which in turn was a remake of Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise, appropriates a whole section of the closing theme:
No phone, no lights, no motor cars,
not a single luxury.
Like Robinson Crusoe,
it’s primitive as can be.

In live shows and on radio shows, Weird Al has been known to do other Gilligan takeoffs.

Others have taken different music and attached it to the theme, none more notably than Little Roger and the Goosebumps merging the lyrics to the music of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin to create Stairway to Gilligan’s Island.
***

I always thought that Betty Ford, the former dancer Betty Bloomer, was cool. She dealt with her private difficulties, from her breast cancer surgery to her pain medication addiction, in a very public way, helping countless people, women, and men. Not to mention her forthright comments about equal rights, sexuality, and abortion, not always in lockstep with her husband, even when he was President.

The long-time lead singer for The Grass Roots named Rob Grill died this month. Reportedly he was listening to a recording of Let’s Live for Today when he passed away.

Ken Levine on Amy Winehouse.