Monday, December 31, 2018

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

In the beginning


Zweihundert Jahre Mohrs Stille Nacht

This is the 200th anniversary of a well-known Christmas song, Joseph Mohr's "Stille Nacht," set to music by Franz Gruber.  A Catholic priest, he was assistant at Laufen, on the Salza, near Salzburg in Austria.

Most of us have heard it in a various English translation.  But today, as we celebrate the Birth of the Saviour, let's enjoy the original German "Stille Nacht" as our Christmas gift.

1. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.
Holder Knab' im lockigen Haar,
|: Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh! :|

2. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
|: Jesus in deiner Geburt! :|

3. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn,
|: Jesum in Menschengestalt! :|

4. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Wo sich heut alle Macht
Väterlicher Liebe ergoß,
Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß
|: Jesus die Völker der Welt! :|

5. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Lange schon uns bedacht,
Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
|: Aller Welt Schonung verhieß! :|

6. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
|: "Jesus der Retter ist da!" :|

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 25: Wishing you a...


An ad not for Coke, which produced the product, but Vendo, which made the machine that kept the product cold. What a wonderful, vivid ad, and a great way to bring this series to an end. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did - don't worry, this just scratches the surface of what's out there, and there's no reason we can't do this again next year. And a Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 24, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 24: The big night


Doesn't this ad perfectly capture the anticipation of Christmas Eve? I used to get so excited on Christmas Eve I'd get almost physically ill. It's strange, I know, but that's what happens when you're a kid.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 22: Say it with aluminum


At first I thought this said, "Hunting Season," which I'm sure is what they wanted to play off of.  I know I have problems with Disney, but that would have been going too far...

Friday, December 21, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 21: In the "St. Nick" of time


The way things are going in this country, I'm more confident about Rolex always being there than Christmas.

I only wish I was kidding.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 20: How sweet it is!


Aren't these colors great? Sharp and vivid, especially against the black backdrop. Perfect for those Christmas parties.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 19: Have an RC and a smile?


You mean Coke isn't the only soft drink at Christmas?  But if Barbara Stanwyck says to drink RC Cola, who am I to disagree?

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 18: Full steam ahead!


Now this is a contemporary ad that gets it right. It's from the 2013 Lionel Christmas catalog, but it has all the hallmarks of ads from 50 or more years ago: the vivid colors, the wonderful detail (note the reflection of the engine on the polished surface of the table), the cookies and milk under the tree, and Santa himself looking with loving care upon the gift he's about to leave some lucky child. The gift of a train itself evokes so many memories of Christmases past - yes, this is an ad that presses all the buttons. Makes me wish Santa was bringing me one this year.

Monday, December 17, 2018

"Christmas" music controversies: They aren't Christmas songs!

Recent controversies over the song “Baby, It's Cold Outside” being banned from radio stations in the “Me Too” movement that successfully conquered this country with another Pelosi Administration where she runs the nation and the “men are bad” mentality runs amok reminded me of the real problem in today's music for Christmas.

“Baby, It's Cold Outside” is a 1944 song by Frank Loesser for year-end parties in Los Angeles as a duet with his wife.  His daughter noted it was the song of the family, and gave licencing rights to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for usage in the 1949 film Neptune's Daughter, where it is used twice in duets, once between Esther Williams, a legendary swimmer whose career was destroyed by World War II when the Tokyo Olympics were initially moved to Helsinki but later cancelled by the war (the United States was not in battle at the time), and Ricardo Montalbán (an actor whose career was well-known;  I remember him as Mr. Rourke and we may remember the old Chrysler Corporation commercials regarding “Corinthian Leather”), and then by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton, which the roles were reversed.

The song won an Academy Award for Best Song in a movie for the 1950 Oscars.

And in a similar vain, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which we've referenced in the past after learning a minister exposed the truth of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer censoring the song against Hugh Martin's request, was used for Meet Me in St. Louis, a 1944 film inspired by the eponymous book that was based around a year in the life of a family towards the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (now retroactively recognised as Expo 1904 by the Bureau of International Expositions).  In its usage, a family was concerned as the father planned to move to New York for his job, leaving St. Louis just before the exposition.  In a scene on Christmas Eve, Esther (Judy Garland) sings it to encourage her sister Tootie, played by Margaret O'Brien.

Add to that numerous songs such as “Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman,” which were designed as television specials that can only work in the Northern Hemisphere, it has now spread to fad songs from Mariah Carey (see 2004 column, “Sing We Joyously Noel” for reference) and Kathryn Hudson (please see the 2008 “Cultural Rot: MTV Video Music Awards” for historical reference) that it seems have been overplayed and are not even Christmas tunes.  Note too the trend in the Grinch and other characters, none of which even observe the moment we celebrate on 25 December.  There are plenty of Grinches, Rockette wannabes, and others, but if you try to find the Baby in a Manger, it is long lost and unable to be found.

These songs, as I've learned over time, are not anywhere near Christmas when you're sitting in a bed of Part I with Händel's Messiah with the annual singalong coming Monday, Bach's Christmas Oratorio (which took place a few weeks ago with Dr. LaRoche as soprano, I skipped it because she was added as a last-minute substitution for an event 150 miles away), and numerous Christmas sacred masterpieces (Es Ist Ein Ros) that I have learned as a singer and also one who has gained an appreciation of sacred standards (“Still, Still, Still” and “Gesu Bambino”), along with the real “What Child Is This?” and “Stille Nacht,”  that are polar opposites to what is being pushed as “Christmas” tunes.  Even churches today have bastardised church Christmas music to the point churches buying a Warner Music kids musical that replaced studying the Bible on Sunday morning were inspired by a dirty movie and dirty song, and the evening service was the adult choir singing with the karaoke machine the latest tunes off the radio that were not Christmas but instead regular songs performed by the fad Life Enhancement Centres in Australia (Hillsong) and Redding, Californina (Bethel) known for their heresies.

What gives?  Has this world of “real Christmas and the Christ Child” given way to overt commercialism where the real material is being covered up, while we glorify every winter song?  When I think of it, these winter songs are appropriate to sing in Australia during June, July, and August.  Why no discussion of that?

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 17: It doesn't add up


Whatever else you do, do not get this as a Christmas gift. For anyone. This is not a good idea. I don't know many people who appreciate a scale at any time of the year, let alone Christmas, and though I have one myself, I promise you I will not be looking at it between now and the end of the year. Whoever greenlighted this ad should not be allowed anywhere near Sales and Marketing in the future.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 16: Santa and a smile


Just as the cartoonist Thomas Nast first came up with the modern concept of Santa Claus, Haddon Sundblom's iconic paintings of the Coke Santa have really become the face of Santa today. I never fail to smile at these; they're so warm, capturing the awe and wonder of childhood Christmases, that we'll look at several of them in the next ten days. In this one, the boy presumably wonders if it's naughty behavior to raid the icebox of people you don't know.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 15: Just under the surface


I really like the midcentury graphics of this 1959 ad; I have memories of this kind of illustration from the tail end of its run, in the early '60s, before things got more psychedelic. But still - underwear for Christmas? As someone once said, this is what you get when you don't believe in Santa.

Friday, December 14, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 14: What a ham!


So when did ham become the Christmas standard? We eat turkey on Christmas, but so many people seem to opt for this instead. Looking back at old movies and television shows, you hear people talk about turkey and goose, but not ham. And yet this ad shows that it was always part of the tradition.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

25 Days of Advent, Day 13: By the bag or by the box


Just like Whitman's Samplers, Brach's chocolate is one of the classic Christmas gifts. You can see the pleasure Santa has in bringing them, although he looks so pleased, I'd open the box and count to make sure they're all there before I let Santa leave...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Looking for the perfect gift? Why not "The Electronic Mirror"!

Still hunting for that perfect gift? Or, like the people on the Black Friday commercials, are you thinking about a little treat for yourself? It's not too late - allow me to suggest my book, The Electronic Mirror: What Classic TV Tells Us About Who We Were and Who We Are (and Everything In-Between)

The Electronic Mirror looks at how classic TV acts as a time capsule, telling us how life used to be, and in many cases how things got the way they are today. Not only does it feature many of your favorite shows and stars, it also places them in context, explaining their meaning and significance. As Carol Ford (Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography) says, "You won't watch TV the same way again!"  Best of all, you'll have fun along the way. If you like It's About TV!, you'll love The Electronic Mirror. And at $12.95 (plus shipping, unless you're a Prime member) it won't break the bank.

The link above takes you to the Amazon link, but The Electronic Mirror is also available at Barnes & Noble.com, as well as many other online retailers. And if you really want to make it a special gift, how about a signed copy? After you've placed your order, just send me an email (the address is on the sidebar) with your address, telling me who it's for and how you'd like it signed, and I'll send you a bookplate that you can insert in your copy. Don't be shy; I won't bite!

I'm very proud of The Electronic Mirror, and I'm confident you and your favorite classic TV fan will enjoy this trip through television history. Order now, in time for your gift-giving!

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 12: not even training wheels!


This picture tells so many stories. It's a crisp, clear Christmas morning, and the lucky recipient of this bicycle is so excited he can't wait to get it outside, even in the snow. His friends have gathered around to check it out; perhaps some of them have gotten bikes as well. In the background the parents, happy to have pleased their son, proud that he takes a step into the next stage of his life. As I say, a great story.

Monday, December 10, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 10: Playing to type


One of my favorite scenes in A Christmas Story comes at the very beginning, when the kids are pressed up against the store windows, looking in awe at the new toys. Somehow, I doubt a typewriter would have inspired the same awe, but who knows?

Sunday, December 9, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 9: Plymouth rocks!


There's just something very, very inviting about this ad. Perhaps it's the vividness of the colors, the red rug in the entryway, the wreath hanging on the front door and the red decorations hanging down from the walls. Maybe it's the arms laden with gifts on what probably is Christmas Eve. The holly inserted in various parts of the frame. Whatever, it's a wonderful tableau - so much better than the car ads you see at Christmastime nowadays, when it's all about doing something for yourself, rather than allowing the car to be a reminder of the joy you can bring to others.

Friday, December 7, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 7: Faster than a speeding sleigh


Yes, in the days before Federal Express, having a gift or letter delivered via Air Mail was a big deal - when you got a package with the distinctive striping pattern around the edges, especially at Christmastime, it was special. So is FedEx, but not in the same way.>

Thursday, December 6, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 6: Wrap it up


I don't know about you, but my first thought was that a Christmas gift made from Reynolds Wrap would have been made sometime in first or second grade. Now I can see they might be talking about something else.

The tinsel-type trees are always great, particularly now that they're made from something other than aluminum. You can't put lights on it. But then, that's what the color wheel was for.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 5: Do you have Prince Albert in a can?


Then you'd better let him out! (Accompanied by the sound of adolescent chortling.)

Seriously - I love the colorfulness of this ad, but it's not something you're likely to see today, is it? And did you notice, a different product for mister and missus? Because you don't see many women smoking a pipe, I'd guess.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 4: You like him, he likes you


I've never been a big fan of 7Up, but there's something tremendously evocative about this ad. Between the vividness of the colors, the clear night sky, and the smoke swirling lazily up from the snow-covered chimneys, you can almost feel the crispness in the clear cold air. Even having lived in the South for a few years, this is still how Christmas should feel to me.

I'm confused about one thing, though - I always thought Coca-Cola was Santa's favorite soft drink!

Monday, December 3, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 3: When Christmas meant sacrifice


Christmas during the war years was somber; with most families having loved ones in the line of fire overseas, not having many presents under the tree was the least thing to be concerned about. (By the way, don't you think her pose was supposed to bring to mind the famous Betty Grable pinup?) Nevertheless, one of the things that I think has been missing during the "War on Terror" has been this sense of shared sacrifice; it's hard to appreciate the gravity of the situation when the response to the enemy is not a call to sacrifice, that we're all in this fight together, but instead urging us to buy more, to show that the terrorists can't bring our economy down. There's something very wrong about that...

Sunday, December 2, 2018

25 Days of Ad-Vent, Day 2: Throwing some light on the subject


I don't much care for GE products nowadays; I think they're overpriced and not as good as the competition, and I don't have a lot of time for the company itself. But when it comes to Christmas, I still have warm feelings, thanks to ads like this.  General Electric was, of course, the initial sponsor of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and used the animated special's characters in their seasonal ads. They also made the Lighted Ice lights, which probably give me the warmest nostalgic feeling. Perhaps I'll have an ad for them up later.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

25 Days of Ad-vent, 2018

Once again this year, we're doing "The 25 Days of Ad-vent," looking back at vintage Christmas ads that show us an America that bring back warm, wonderful memories of Christmases past, from an America that perhaps isn't as innocent as it was back then. But for a few minutes, let's allow ourselves to take a vacation in the past!


Hey, kid, you'll shoot your eye out!

Seriously, you have to like this - a remnant of America's pioneer spirit - the idea that children should be comfortable with the feel of a gun in their hands. Not a bad sentiment for today, if I do say so myself.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Flashback Friday: You have to draw the line somewhere


Originally published September 12, 2014
NFL Cracks Down on Domestic Violence; Affirms Nightclub Brawls, Strip Joint Shootings and Other Random Violence Still OK 

Flashback Friday: The problem with corporate suits

In these days of corporate ownership, the Commissioner has become of particular importance to the hustler. Corporate ownership brings company men, company policy, and company cards with little holes in them. Corporate ownership, in short, brings committee-think, and with ComThink comes the banishment, discouragement, and attrition of colorful characters. The hustler is dependent upon colorful characters, because color is what is salable. Corporations don’t want to be regulated. They don’t want a Commissioner with any powers … The hustler needs a Commissioner who will throw his weight against the stuffiness, the routine, the deadly boredom of the executive suite. He needs a Commissioner who will help baseball, in spite of itself."

- Bill Veeck, The Hustler's Handbook, as quoted by Charles Pierce.  

Notice how easily you can substitute so many different things for "Commissioner [of baseball]" -  just about anything that the suits of Corporate America touch, in fact.  Capitalism is a great model for economic diversity and success, but as Whittaker Chambers once pointed out, it's an ideology the same as Communism and Socialism, and if it lacks a moral foundation, it's no better than they are.

Originally published July 1, 2014

Friday, November 23, 2018

Flashback Friday - On owning your soul

Until you guys own your own souls you don't own mine.  Until you guys can be trusted every time and always, in all times and conditions, to seek the truth out and find it and let the chips fall where they may - until that time comes, I have the right to listen to my conscience, and protect my client the best way I can.  Until I'm sure you won't do him more harm than you'll do the truth good.  Or until I'm hauled before somebody who can make me talk.

- Raymond Chandler, The High Window

Originally published September 15, 2014

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

For me, Thanksgiving has always been a special time of the year, something more than just the beginning of the Christmas season. Thanksgiving often gets short shrift; by tomorrow, any sign of the holiday will have disappeared, covered by snowmen and Santa and all the trappings of the Yuletide. And as much as I love Christmas, I'm in no hurry to see today fade to the background.

This blog has been around for many years now, and it's even given birth to a larger, more successful website about television, but I still keep it alive, because there's a need for all of us here to have a chance to express themselves from time to time. Increasingly, I've relied on others to carry the burden here: David, Bobby, Steve, Drew. We'll have a period of a month or so here as the year begins to wind down when I'll be writing regularly again, but for the most part if you're looking for me, it's best to check out It's About TV! first.

But on this day I'm back here to take a moment, on behalf of all of us here at In Other Words, to thank you for your years of reading, and for having given me a chance to change my life by discovering things I never would have otherwise, both here and at It's About TV, by taking a chance on thinking that someone might be interested in what I write. For that, I have much to be thankful, and so it is my wish for you all that you have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Opera Wednesday: Deseret, by Leonard Kastle

Back in 2017 (and at the TV blog), I mentioned Deseret, the made-for-TV opera by Leonard Kastle, which aired on NBC in 1960, and has seldom been performed since. The opera tells the story of a woman who, against her will, finds herself engaged to marry Brigham Young, the leader of the Latter-day Saints. Deseret received mixed reviews on it's premiere; even so, I wish it would pop up somewhere. One of my complaints about the rash of new operas in the last couple of decades is that we ought to be paying more attention to the underperformed operas of the past, rather than spending money on new ones that may only be performed once or twice themselves. (It also says something about the days when operas were seen, at least occasionally, on broadcast TV, but that's a discussion for the TV blog).

I'm told that a video copy of Deseret exists at the Paley Center in New York, but I was quite pleased to discover, quite by accident, an audio recording of the opera as it was broadcast back then on NBC. Check it out sometime, if you're so inclined.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Classic Sports Thursday: In Memoriam, David Gene Pearson

We just received word that Spartanburg NASCAR legend David Gene Pearson has died at 83 Monday.   The 1976 Daytona 500 winner is one of seven drivers to have been recognised as a winner of all four majors.

Here was that 1976 Daytona 500 finish where he defeated Richard Petty by over one lap (under NASCAR rules, Petty's last lap did not count because the crew pushed the car to the finish line).


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Opera Wednesday: Don Giovanni, by W.A. Mozart

From Mozart's magnificent* opera Don Giovanni, here's the great Ferruccio Furlanetto as the Don's sidekick Leporello, reciting the names from the Don's little black book (which isn't so little).  It's "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" – "My dear lady, this is the catalogue". The performance is at the Metropolitan Opera; the conductor is James Levine

*Magnificent except for the ensemble ending, that is. I've always complained that after someone is dragged down to Hell, anything that follows is an anti-climax. Up to the early 20th Century, this scene was almost always omitted (the opera was written in 1787) - I don't know why producers think it needs to be done today. Oh well.

Paying $30 for the final episode of a season?

In college, we had a group of friends that went to the student centre and organised pay-per-view watch parties for fake fights (aka "Professional Wrestling").  I learned from them that professional wrestling was a femme genre of television, the daytime serial drama, for a male audience, in effect each week's episode was a continuing story as we see with the five-day-a-week dramas that appear in the afternoon aimed at women (and it's proven that way;  Pop TV reairs all Sony dramas in the prime-time access hour).  As I researched the importance of pay-per-view in the fake fighting industry, whether it was WWE, New Japan, AAA, or Sinclair's Ring of Honor, which is the current squabble as Fox affiliates in many markets -- including mine -- air Ring of Honor, as it is owned and operated by the station, I learned that a wrestling pay-per-view is designed as a tie-up to end numerous storylines or keep extending them into another season.  In essence, they are season finales and a new season starts with the first episode after the pay-per-view event.

With that fact, I wondered what would happen if network television shows such as the NCIS franchise had a similar angle.  At the end of the 22 to 25 episode season, the season finale is aired not on network television but on pay-per-view at a cost of $30 for the final episode.  What might viewers think if those season finales, which may be double episodes, are pay-per-view shows after the other 21 to 24 episodes aired on network television?

That is how professional wrestling "seasons" are organised.  While Royal Rumble is a "season finale" for one season, it starts a story arc that will run to two seasons (No Escape* and WrestleMania).  Viewers pay for the pay-per-view that ends the first "season" and again for the end of the second "season" in this story arc.  Just imagine if Dallas had "Who Shot J.R.?" as a pay-per-view and then the opening of the next season on network television began the investigation, and the next pay-per-view episode determined who was the shooter.  That is exactly how professional wrestling works.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Television prophetic?

As I drove up US 378 to the area near the start line of Saturday's half-marathon that ended in complete disaster (disqualified at the sixth mile), I saw a sign promoting a play by a local theater company in the area.

Angrily after the disqualification I had thought of suicide and hearing "Suicide is Painless" in my head afterwards came (see "The Pain of Losing" for references). That theater sign was the problem.  And that's because of that sign from the theatre promoting a play based on a 1970 movie and later a television show that even to this day is known for its ratings shares that are higher than any Super Bowl could ever have. What show was it?


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Opera Wednesday: Duke Bluebeard's Castle, by Bela Bartok

I've often been critical of contemporary opera, frequently with good reason, but there are some masterpieces out there from the 20th Century - some of my favorite operas were written post-1900.

Here's one of them, for instance: the controversial, often brutal but frequently magnificent Duke Bluebeard's Castle, written in 1911 by Béla Bartók, and filmed here for West German television by Michael Powell.  The Metropolitan Opera did a stunning adaptation of Bluebeard's Castle a few years ago, one that turned me into a beleiver, but Powell's production, rich in symbolism, is every bit its equal.  Don't be afraid to give it a try!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Let's all sing some Pumpkin Carols!

I don't know; perhaps if you're of a certain age - my age, for example - you'll recognize this. I came across this typewritten sheet (which alone may tell you how old it is) in the archives of Thomas Jefferson University, from 1967. It would have been about that year that I first saw this, when I was in grade school.

Nowadays we'd use the term viral, as in "This went viral," but back then things like this were just copied and shared, until more or less everyone everywhere had them. So it's quite possible that this song sheet of Halloween "Pumpkin Carols" is the exact same sheet that we had in school in Minneapolis; and if not the same, then very much like what we had.

Pumpkin Carols, of course, come from the Peanuts cartoon It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and, like A Charlie Brown Christmas, it was popular right away. Hallmark came out with a book of Pumpkin Carols, which I suspect is where this came from, again back in the day where plagiarism wasn't that serious if you didn't profit by it. Anyway, here are some that I remember quite well - do they seem familiar to you? If so, you might want to click on that link above and look at all of them - and maybe get together tonight with your friends and sing some. I'll be looking out the window, waiting for the Carolers to come.


Opera Wednesday

This week the Church celebrates two of the year's greatest feasts: on November 1, All Saints; and on November 2 All Souls. All Souls in particular is a poignant commemoration, as we pause to remember friends, relatives, loved ones; those deceased souls who have no feast day of their own, no moment in which they are remembered by all, but as one philosopher put it, those "known only to God." It's a perfect occasion to meditate on Verdi's Requiem, which although not an opera, is often categorized in the operatic canon because of its length and style. Here is the beginning - the Kyrie, containing some of the most lovely music Verdi ever composed. It's performed by the Vienna Symphony and the Friends of Music Choral Society of Vienna, and conducted by Herbert von Karajan.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

1968, here we come?

As you may recall if you read my interview with Joseph Benti over at the TV site, 1968 was a pretty bad year. I've long had a fascination with '68, and a frustration with it as well. I don't go much for the music or the clothing or the hair; I don't care for the drugs or the sex or the Haight Asbury lifestyles of the times. It is, however, an intensely interesting time historically; the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy; the civil rights and antiwar riots sweeping the country; the chaos of the Democratic Convention in Chicago, the comeback of Nixon in Miami, the cliffhanger election night.

As we see our world seem to collapse before our very eyes, you hear 1968 brought up a lot in comparison. Patrick Buchanan, who was there in 1968 working on the Nixon campaign, asks the question: is it worse today than it was in 1968? The answer may surprise you; read it and see what you think. And if we're not there yet, is it where we're headed?


Wish I'd written that...

Life is hard. It's even harder when you're stupid."

- Attributed to John Wayne, but actually from George V. Higgins in The Friends of Eddie Coyle. It just sounds like something The Duke would have said.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Flashback Friday: The perversion lobby is out of control (social media attacks)

Writing this column days after being slapped with a social media suspension for saying the truth of the Kardashian-poisoned Bruce Jenner's appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight refusing to answer Mr. Carlson's question has allowed me to see the true form of “Bay Area Values” being imposed by elites on anyone who opposes their feelings.

During the episode of the Fox News program, Mr. Jenner (I refuse to use his Daytime Serial Drama for Men* gimmick) said he could not find any advantage of having men who claim to be women participating in women's sporting events, despite the contrary to incidents in New Zealand with weightlifting (man claiming to be a woman won national title), a mixed martial arts incident (man seriously injured woman in a woman's mixed martial arts event), and the previously mentioned incident we posted here regarding a lawsuit against CrossFit where the organisation's counsel sent a letter .

*In college, a few friends would get together and watch The Monday Night Wars every Monday night at the student union;  I had no idea of its popularity, but I learned they had called it a “soap for men”. A few times there was a pay-per-view  As we have referenced here in the past, the last “soap” went off the air in 2010, when the last daytime drama produced by a soap company ended.  These shows are daytime serial dramas, and “professional wrestling” would be called a male daytime serial drama, a derivative of these afternoon serial dramas being aimed at a feminine crowd.

The first I had heard of such stupidity was a 2002 movie filmed in Metrolina*, “Juwanna Mann,” where a man in a professional basketball league tries out in a women's league. Now we have seen the elimination of gender verification tests, and what standards are there next to be removed?

*Metrolina denotes a sixteen-county area around Charlotte.

In contrast to Mr. Jenner's spin doctors on Mr. Carlson's show, we must remember this:  Mr. Jenner was born with an X and Y chromosome, and the anatomy of a male of the human race. Notwithstanding hormone therapy or even surgery, he still has an X and a Y chromosome.  Sir, as the CrossFit letter to the competitor who sued to be in a women's division states evidently, he still has a genetic makeup that confers both physical and physiological advantage over women. No “sex reassignment surgery” will change any discussion. That's the genetic advantage CrossFit's attorney notes, Mr. Jenner and many supporting the perversion movement refuse to understand in order to advance an agenda.

Of course, the perversion movement takes advantage of elite cities and judges out of touch with an entire country to force their way when it was rejected, sticking their tongues out in front of everyone, and working to demolish any organisation (especially churches, Fox News, anyone with a Biblical worldview) that refuses to submit to their agenda. It is why Ted Cruz called out the Stonewall Values (which he referenced that drew the ire of New York City newspapers) being pushed at everyone else's expense. And after I answered Mr. Jenner by saying he is a male, and referenced that men should not be in women's events, I was reported probably by a perversion lobbyist and banned from social media for saying the truth.

Is there any truth left when the sexual perversion and humanist lobbies can dictate what can be said in society today?  Why is referencing CrossFit's letter to a male who claims to be a female wrong?  Why is saying the truth of Mr. Jenner wrong?  Why can a tiny group of crybabies impose their way as a CCCP Dictatorship?  I do not submit to these perversion lobbyists.  Why do we have to make their kayfabe be mandated as a “gospel” when the anatomical truth is banned?

Originally published April 27, 2017

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Stupid is as stupid does

Earlier this month I posted a brief quote, usually (but incorrectly) attributed to John Wayne, that "Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."

Let us now welcome to the world of the stupid the Kimberly-Clark company (stupid number 1), which has caved to a social media campaign (stupid number 2) to rid the world of the sexist term "Mansize," as in "Mansize Kleenex."  I don't know that Kleenex, mansize or not, ever harmed anyone unless it was used to stuff the mouth of a kidnap victim, and even then it would take a lot of mansize to accomplish the deed.

I try not to be stupid, though, or any more stupid than I normally have, so I'll let Joe Bob Briggs do the heavy lifting on this critique.

Classic Sports Thursday: Literature class in a sports broadcast!

Going back to literature class!

In this well-known 2017 clip at the Watkins Glen 355 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event, MRN's Mike Bagley (on loan to NBC for selected races) made what many race fans called the call of the year, and NBC had fun with it in their notes the next week.  But in analysing the call, we learned Mr. Bagley had referenced one of the greatest authors in literature and his work.  Can you spot the literary reference in this call?  Those who appreciate reading classics that the modern Left wants removed from schools will see it.

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