Posted: March 19, 2017 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Chuck Berry, Jimmy Breslin
I have to admit, last night when I saw a few post up on social media with images of Chuck Barry… I thought perhaps it was an anniversary of his death. (Yeah, I thought he was already dead. Isn’t that terrible?) After losing so many icons last year, this one true man who brought on the sound we all know as rock and roll, passed away yesterday at the age of 90.
Chuck Berry, wild man of rock who helped define its rebellious spirit, dies at 90 – The Washington Post
Chuck Berry, the perpetual wild man of rock music who helped define its rebellious spirit in the 1950s and was the sly poet laureate of songs about girls, cars, school and even the “any old way you choose it” vitality of the music itself, died March 18 at at his home in St. Charles County, Mo. He was 90.
St. Charles County police announced the death in a Facebook post on its Website, saying officers responded to a medical emergency at Mr. Berry’s home and administered lifesaving techniques but could not revive him. No further information was available.
“While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together,” reads Mr. Berry’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
A seminal figure in early rock music, he was all the rarer still for writing, singing and playing his own music. His songs and the boisterous performance standards he set directly influenced the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and later Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger.
Mr. Berry so embodied the American rock tradition that his recording of “Johnny B. Goode” was included on a disc launched into space on the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1977.
Chuck Berry, Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneer, Dies at 90 – The New York Times
Chuck Berry, who with his indelible guitar licks, brash self-confidence and memorable songs about cars, girls and wild dance parties did as much as anyone to define rock ’n’ roll’s potential and attitude in its early years, died on Saturday. He was 90.
This LA Times goes back to a review from a set Chuck Berry did when he was 75 years old…
How Chuck Berry managed to look and sound so good even in his later years – LA Times
Berry, on the other hand, was so full of vitality you wanted to X-ray that old Gibson guitar of his to find the flask he must have filled at the fountain of youth.
The spirit, spontaneity and energy rock’s first poet put into his hourlong set was all the more remarkable in light of decades of half-hearted performances in which he typically battled rather than meshed with unrehearsed musicians hired for him in each town.
“It must still be fun, because I don’t have to hit a lick anymore,” Berry acknowledged during an interview Thursday in his dressing room at “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” before a joint appearance that night with Richard. The implication was that fans will cheer this first-round Rock and Roll Hall of Famer no matter what he does, or doesn’t do, on stage at this point in his career.
“What keeps me going is the fact that I appreciate that response,” Berry added. “Plus I’m still learning, and that’s a big part of my life–to learn. These guitar strokes I’m learning, still learning–yes, it’s fun. Anybody would understand it’s fun.”
A look at some tributes to Berry:
The Music Community Mourns ‘Rock’s Greatest’ Chuck Berry
The news sadly broke on Saturday night that Chuck Berry — who, let’s be real, invented the idea of rock and roll — died at the age of 90 in St. Charles County, Missouri. His death is an undeniable loss to the music community as a whole, and musicians (of all genres) are letting their grief be known by posting remembrances and tributes all over social media. Crank up the “Johnny B Goode” out of respect and read all of them below.
Go to the link to read them.
The Rolling Stones Pay Tribute To Chuck Berry With Touching Notes On Social Media | The Huffington Post
Following news of Chuck Berry’s death on Saturday, plenty of fellow musicians shared touching tributes to the rock ‘n’ roll legend on social media. Among them being The Rolling Stones, who considered Berry a huge influence on their own music.
“The Rolling Stones are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry,” the band wrote in a statement on Facebook. “He was a true pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll and a massive influence on us. Chuck was not only a brilliant guitarist, singer and performer, but most importantly, he was a master craftsman as a songwriter. His songs will live forever.”
Key dates in the life of rock visionary Chuck Berry | Tampa Bay Times
I wanted to share more articles with you about Chuck Berry, but so many websites are becoming paid subscription only. It is becoming difficult to find items to post on these threads. I’d like to be able to send you to links that you will actually be able to open up and read.
In fact, just a few links on the political front:
White House Admits Trump ‘Insurance For Everybody’ Guarantee Isn’t Going To Happen | The Huffington Post
Tom Cotton: ‘Able-bodied’ Poor People Shouldn’t Qualify For ‘Welfare’ Like Medicaid | Crooks and Liars
Mulvaney: ‘The only way to get truly universal care is to throw people in jail if they don’t have it’ | TheHill
Prosecutor will not charge prison guards who ‘boiled inmate to death’ | theGrio
‘This isn’t freedom’: Chris Wallace grills Paul Ryan for plan to crush seniors with health care costs
We lost another icon, this one was a newspaper man…
Jimmy Breslin, Legendary New York City Newspaper Columnist, Dies at 88 – The New York Times
Jimmy Breslin, the New York City newspaper columnist and best-selling author who leveled the powerful and elevated the powerless for more than 50 years with brick-hard words and a jagged-glass wit, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 88, and until very recently, was still pushing somebody’s buttons with two-finger jabs at his keyboard.
His death was confirmed by his wife, Ronnie Eldridge, a prominent Democratic politician in Manhattan. Mr. Breslin had been recovering from pneumonia.
With prose that was savagely funny, deceptively simple and poorly imitated, Mr. Breslin created his own distinct rhythm in the hurly-burly music of newspapers. Here, for example, is how he described Clifton Pollard, the man who dug President John F. Kennedy’s grave, in a celebrated column from 1963 that sent legions of journalists to find their “gravedigger”:
“Pollard is forty-two. He is a slim man with a mustache who was born in Pittsburgh and served as a private in the 352nd Engineers battalion in Burma in World War II. He is an equipment operator, grade 10, which means he gets $3.01 an hour. One of the last to serve John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was the thirty-fifth President of this country, was a working man who earns $3.01 an hour and said it was an honor to dig the grave.”
Here is how, in one of the columns that won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, he focused on a single man, David Camacho, to humanize the AIDS epidemic, which was widely misunderstood at the time:
“He had two good weeks in July and then the fever returned and he was back in the hospital for half of last August. He got out again and returned to Eighth Street. The date this time doesn’t count. By now, he measured nothing around him. Week, month, day, night, summer heat, fall chill, the color of the sky, the sound of the street, clothes, music, lights, wealth dwindled in meaning.”
And here is how he described what motivated Breslin the writer: “Rage is the only quality which has kept me, or anybody I have ever studied, writing columns for newspapers.”
Poetic and profane, softhearted and unforgiving, Mr. Breslin inspired every emotion but indifference; letters from outraged readers gladdened his heart. He often went after his own, from Irish-Americans with “shopping-center faces” who had forgotten their hardscrabble roots to the Roman Catholic Church, whose sex scandals prompted him to write an angry book called “The Church That Forgot Christ,” published in 2004. It ends with a cheeky vow to start a new church that would demand more low-income housing and better posture.
Jimmy Breslin — the cigar-chomping, hard-nosed newspaperman who won the Pulitzer Prize for his Daily News’ columns championing ordinary New Yorkers — died Sunday morning. He was 88.
The cause of death was complications from pneumonia, his personal physician said.
“Jimmy Breslin was a furious, funny, outrageous and caring voice of the people who made newspaper writing into literature,” Daily News Editor-in-Chief Arthur Browne said.
Breslin’s colleagues mourned the loss of a street-smart truth teller who scoured the streets of New York, pen and paper in hand, looking for stories no one else could capture.
Los Angeles Times columnist Jack Smith once described Breslin’s writing style as being “like an Irish wind that has blown through Queens and Harlem and Mutchie’s bar. It is a pound of Hemingway and a pound of Joyce and 240 pounds of Breslin.”
Breslin was part of the wave of practitioners of what came to be known as New Journalism: a group of gifted writers that included Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion and others who reported on the social and cultural upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s in newspaper and magazine journalism that read like good fiction.
“I never thought about how to do a column,” Breslin told Marc Weingarten, author of “The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight,” a 2006 book about the New Journalism revolution. “It just came naturally, I guess. It had a point of view and it had to spring right out of the news.”
There is, Breslin added, “an immediacy that makes the column fresh. Like you were covering the eighth race at Belmont. But no one was doing it when I started. That’s why everyone thought it was new.”
Jimmy Breslin, legendary New York City columnist, dies at 88 – LA Times Photo Gallery
For an “unlettered bum,” as Mr. Breslin called himself, he left an estimable legacy of published work, including 16 books, seven of them novels, plus two anthologies of his columns.
What set him apart as a writer was the inimitable style of his journalism across the last great decades of ink-on-paper news, in the 1960s for the old New York Herald Tribune and later for the Daily News and the city pages of Long Island-based Newsday, where his final regular column appeared in 2004.
In that pre-Web era, before desk-bound bloggers saturated the opinion market, Mr. Breslin was a familiar archetype — the quintessential sidewalk-pounding, big-city columnist, loved and loathed all over town, a champion of the put-upon and a thorn to the mighty and the swell.
Breslin smokes a cigar outside the Madison Hotel in Washington in 1973. (Ellsworth Davis/The Washington Post)
He and other marquee metropolitan columnists back then, notably Mike Royko, Mr. Breslin’s counterpart in Chicago, were household names in their cities, their faces splashed in ads on the sides of buses and newspaper delivery trucks.
“Built like a Tammany ward heeler of a century ago, all belly and lopsided grin,” as People magazine put it in 1982, Mr. Breslin was a hyperliterate everyman, a barstool bard full of bluster and mirth. He covered nearly every big crisis, outrage and scandal afflicting New York in his newspaper years, from the 1964 Harlem race riot to the tragedy of 9/11, his columns at turns poignant, biting, comical and brash.
On November 26, 1963, The New York Herald Tribune published “It’s an Honor,” one of the most memorable newspaper columns of all time.
Jimmy Breslin tells the story of President John Kennedy’s funeral from the perspective of Clifton Pollard, a gravedigger at Arlington National Cemetery.
This is how Breslin’s story begins:
Please go to those various links and read the stories.
Sorry about the lateness of this post…this is an open thread.
Posted: March 15, 2017 Filed under: Free Press, Free Speech, morning reads, open thread, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Psychopaths in charge, We are so F'd, Wednesday Hump Day Cartoons | Tags: James Comey
That vintage cartoon panel sure would have made me laugh a year ago…I would have used it in one of my cartoon mash-ups, depicting the populous fleeing a GOP debate. Now I can only think how prophetic that little drawn rectangle frame could be. If I had a way, I’d be gone. Wouldn’t you?
So, soon Comey is supposed to come out and speak.
Before I get to the political cartoons, let me put a couple more tweets here:
Below is the copy of that above link, via TwitLonger:
TwitLonger — When you talk too much for Twitter
Now the cartoons.
The one thing I love about the cartoonist Pat Bagley, if you follow his twitter…he will post many comments and statements aside from his wonderful cartoons.
Here is a link to the past 10 cartoons by Pat Bagley:
That’s all, because it is 1pm…go time?
Posted: March 12, 2017 Filed under: just because, open thread | Tags: classic films
Like many of you, I try to find escape in things away from the daily…or should I say, hourly destruction of our Democracy.
out of the past (1947)
I can countless time looking at pictures on Pinterest. Which is what I was doing last night and early morning when I got the idea of working it into a thread. So…take some time and enjoy the images, that comprise of movie stills, production shots, and publicity stills of various movies. I’ve picked images that create shadows, or are silhouettes of actors, some are the bright overexposed contrast of an actor’s face against the black back of the scene.
Simone Simon in a publicity still for “Cat People”
I used to remember what all the terms and phrases of these “shots” were called back in the day. The names have become out of my grasp. Yes, I know I could look them up…but that would mean having to do more research. You know what? My brain just can’t function like it used to. I would blame it on the pain pills, depression and all that but it must be something more.
Here are a few news items to pepper this thread.
Julie Harris as Eleanor in The Haunting, 1963
This was the highlights from SNL: I didn’t watch these yet. I bring myself to after this week’s actual press conference where Spicer pointed to the two stacks of papers as a “visual aid” for explaining the difference between the Obamacare bill and the Trumpcare bill.
SNL Mocks Ivanka Trump with ‘Complicit’ Fragrance Ad | Mediaite
SNL’s Trump Has Everything Under Control During an Alien Invasion | Mediaite
SNL Assures Us We’ll Be Screwed If Aliens Invade Under Trump
As you can see from the headlines, even SNL has to expand its storyline to a more unrealistic basis. I mean, everything else they have made fun of, in terms of the ludicrous connections and outrageous way tRump is getting away with everything…all that shit is true! And still nothing is happening. The traitor is still there.
Robert Ryan, Laraine Day– The Woman on Pier 13
Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924)
Donald Trump Jr says he has ‘zero contact’ with father as he runs business | US news | The Guardian
On to the next shit business.
The Seventh Seal
GOP Rep. Steve King: Millions could lose health insurance under TrumpCare, and that’s ok – AMERICAblog News
Hospitals worry about caring for newly uninsured in GOP plan | Tampa Bay Times
WaPo: “They are poor, sick and voted for Trump. What will happen to them without Obamacare?” – Balloon Juice
Now that headline reminds me of a movie:
Watch out all of you in the New England!
Rising numbers of great white sharks headed toward Cape Cod, scientists say | Environment | The Guardian
Figure rises for second consecutive year, says Massachusetts’ top shark expert, warning of ‘public safety issue’ despite no deaths in state’s waters since 1936
Oh oh…I see a pattern here.
Can y’all believe it has been 6 years?
Six years after Fukushima, much of Japan has lost faith in nuclear power – Salon.com
Shadows in Window, 1949 (Siegfried Lauterwasser)
With all this going on, I think we may have found the answer to our problems.
Alfred Hitchcock’s “Sabotage”
We need to look back, if we are going backward in time…lets go backward in medicine.
The Fart Jars of 17th Century Europe | Mental Floss
When a mysterious illness is busy killing a significant percentage of the world’s population and medical knowledge is at a bit of a standstill, weird things can happen. Case in point: In the 1600s, some doctors recommended their patients fart in jars to help treat exposure to the bubonic plague.
Ivan The Terrible pt.1 (1945, Sergei Eisenstein)
Their very suspect logic went something like this: The Great Plague of London that devastated the city between 1665 and 1666 was believed to be a miasma, or a deadly air vapor spread through breathing in the atmosphere. Doctors felt that if a patient could somehow dilute the polluted air with something equally potent, it might reduce the chances of contracting the illness. So they advised their patients to have something foul-smelling at the ready.
Macbeth (1948, Orson Welles) / Cinematography by John L. Russell
To have some kind of putrid stench on standby, some homeowners retained a goat and let it stink up the place. Others took to the practice of farting into a jar and quickly sealing it, then would rush to inhale the stench when they suspected that they may have been exposed to the deadly germs.
Barbara Stanwyck & Brian Donlevy in The Great Man’s Lady (1942, dir. William A. Wellman)
While it’s unknown how many people were saved by such a method, it’s fair to assume that the likely answer is none. There is, however, no telling how those saved farts may have acted as a kind of methane placebo, calming the rattled nerves of those who were alarmed by the piles of dead bodies collecting in the streets.
Ricardo Cortez in production still from D.W. Griffith’s Faustian tale The Sorrows of Satan (1926)
The article ends with stating that of course this tip won’t save you from the bubonic plague…and that farts mean your digestive system is working. Perhaps we can start a campaign to send turds in a bottle to tRump?
Last two links.
Why Movies Now Look Like Colorless, Lifeless Crap
Ah..ha. I got a tie in there. Didn’t I! (Get it, turds and the headline “lifeless crap.”)
And, finally…one of the movie stills I am featuring today:
The Big Combo
C&L’s Sat Nite Chiller Theater: The Big Combo (1955) | Crooks and Liars
So give that a looksee and see y’all later.
This is an open thread.
Lot’s more film images here:
Posted: March 7, 2017 Filed under: open thread, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Wednesday Hump Day Cartoons
(Notice in the antique card above the pussy is grabbing back.)
So…have you seen the latest tweet from the Head Twit in Charge?
This is really not why it is sometimes best to stay in bed…yesterday Robert Osborne, the host of TCM passed away in his sleep.
Robert Osborne, host of Turner Classic Movies, has died – CNN.com
Robert Osborne, the film aficionado who shared his knowledge and passion for movies with millions of viewers as the longtime host of Turner Classic Movies, has died. He was 84.
Osborne has been on TCM since it made its on-air debut in April 1994.
A cause of death has not been announced.
Osborne, a Washington native, moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting and was once mentored by Lucille Ball, according to an official bio on his website
Robert Osborne, Host Of Turner Classic Movies, Dies At 84 : The Two-Way : NPR
NPR film critic Bob Mondello also highlighted Osborne’s “encyclopedic” knowledge of film history.
Osborne “grew up before the Internet made film research easy — before there was even a book keeping track of Oscar winners,” Bob told our Newscast unit. “So he spent hours at his college library scribbling notes that eventually helped him write film reference books, fill a column for The Hollywood Reporter, and host decades of Turner Classic Movies.”
According to his biography, Osborne was born in a small town in Washington state and studied journalism before he headed to Hollywood, where Lucille Ball encouraged his writing career.
He had a brief acting career — his biography mentions the pilot of The Beverly Hillbillies, and Bob Mondello notes uncredited bit parts in Psycho and Spartacus — but it was his work as a host and historian that earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He wrote the “Rambling Reporter” column in The Hollywood Reporter for more than 25 years, and wrote a series of official histories of the Academy Awards.
Osborne was the first host of Turner Classic Movies, when the network launched in 1994. He has been the face and voice of the network ever since, although he was eventually joined by two other hosts and had cut back on his duties in the last few years.
About a year ago, in an interview with Mo Rocca on CBS Sunday Morning, Osborne said he’d been training his whole life to host TCM — without imagining it would be an option. “I was preparing for my ideal job that didn’t exist,” he said.
He also told Rocca why he believed movies matter.
“I think we have to have dreams,” he said in the CBS interview. “We need a little Carmen Miranda with all her tutti frutti hats. And we need some Fred and Ginger dancing. We need Gene Kelly hanging off that lamppost. We need to be taken into a fantasy world, and not be afraid to go there occasionally.”
Robert Osborne dies at 84; genial student of films hosted Turner Classic Movies – LA Times
Robert Osborne, who displayed an encyclopedic knowledge — and love — of film history as the primary host of Turner Classic Movies, died Monday morning at age 84, said his partner of 20 years, theater director and producer David Staller.
Osborne died of natural causes in his sleep at home in New York City, Staller said.
“It’s difficult to imagine a planet without him,” Staller said. “He made the choice to call it a day, and he wants everyone to know that he’ll see them at the after party.”
More stories of Robert here:
Robert Osborne Dead: Turner Classic Movies Host Was 84 | Hollywood Reporter
Robert Osborne: a classic gentleman – latimes
TCM Host Robert Osborne Dead at 84; Survived by Same-Sex Partner | Advocate.com
Robert Osborne, Turner Classic Movies Host And Oscars Expert, Dies At 84 | The Huffington Post
Robert Osborne, Turner Classic Movies host, is dead at 84.– Via Slate
Robert Osborne Is Dead, and Classic Movie Fans Are Bereft – Via Jezebel
TCM announces plans to honor longtime host Robert Osborne – LA Times
Turner Classic Movies on Tuesday announced plans to honor longtime host Robert Osborne with a 48-hour tribute featuring a selection of long-form interviews from his 23-year tenure with the channel.
The tribute on March 18-19 will include interviews from Osborne’s interview series “Private Screenings,” including conversations with Liza Minnelli, Peter O’Toole, Debbie Reynolds and Ernest Borgnine. The network will also feature the 2013 installment of “Private Screenings” featuring Alec Baldwin interviewing Osborne.
“Robert was embraced by devoted fans who saw him as a trusted expert and friend. His calming presence, gentlemanly style, encyclopedic knowledge of film history, fervent support for film preservation and highly personal interviewing style all combined to make him a truly world-class host,” TCM general manager Jennifer Dorian said in a statement released Monday.
Here’s the full “TCM Remembers Robert Osborne” schedule (all times Eastern):
6 a.m. – “Private Screenings: Robert Osborne”
7:30 a.m. – “Private Screenings: Norman Jewison”
9 a.m. – “Robert Osborne’s 20th Anniversary Tribute”
10:15 a.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Alan Arkin”
11:30 a.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer”
12:15 p.m. – “Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli”
1:30 p.m. – “Private Screenings: Robert Osborne”
3 p.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Eva Marie Saint”
4:15 p.m. – “Robert Osborne’s 20th Anniversary Tribute”
5:30 p.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Peter O’Toole”
6:45 p.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Kim Novak”
8 p.m. – Robert Osborne introduces “Gone with the Wind” in his first-ever on-air appearance as a TCM host
8:05 p.m. – “Private Screenings: Robert Osborne”
9:30 p.m. – “Private Screenings: Debbie Reynolds”
10:30 p.m. – “Private Screenings: Betty Hutton”
11:45 p.m. – “Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli”
12:45 a.m. – “Private Screenings: Robert Osborne”
2:15 a.m. – “Private Screenings: Norman Jewison”
3:30 a.m. – “Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine:
4:45 a.m. – “Robert Osborne’s 20th Anniversary Tribute”
6 a.m. – “Private Screenings: Liza Minnnelli”
7 a.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Eva Marie Saint”
8:15 a.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Kim Novak”
9:15 a.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Peter O’Toole”
10:30 a.m. – “Private Screenings: Robert Osborne”
Noon – “Robert Osborne’s 20th Anniversary Tribute”
1 p.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Alan Arkin”
2:15 p.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer”
3 p.m. – “Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine”
4:15 p.m. – “Private Screenings: Norman Jewison”
5:30 p.m. – “Private Screenings: Robert Osborne”
7 p.m. – “Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli”
8 p.m. – “Robert Osborne’s 20th Anniversary Tribute”
9 p.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Eva Marie Saint”
10:15 p.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer”
11 p.m. – “Robert Osborne’s 20th Anniversary Tribute”
Midnight – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Peter O’Toole”
1:15 a.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Kim Novak”
2:30 a.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Alan Arkin”
3:45 a.m. – “Private Screenings: Robert Osborne”
5:15 a.m. – “Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer”
It is too sad to think of TCM without Robert…Things have been so depressing lately. I don’t know how much I can take…
Now for some comedy:
This is an open thread….
Posted: March 5, 2017 Filed under: just because
Bill Day – TRUMPIE BIRD
Trump’s ‘evidence’ for Obama wiretap claims relies on sketchy, anonymously sourced reports – The Washington Post
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
— President Trump, tweet, March 4, 2017
This weekend has got me wondering if padded cells should be quiet the rage in Washington this spring. When you look at actual Tweets from Prez tRumpelforeskin, and it seems like a skit from SNL…
Speaking of Saturday Night Live:
But during the show…
This is an open thread.