Jan 01

Let Despair Be the First Celebrity Death of 2017

Isidorus of SevilleDoes the fact that a bunch of people died, that the 2016 campaign was particularly awful and hopeless, and that nearly half of those who were eligible actually voted make you despair? Well stop. That’s what they want. Don’t go over the Rainbow Bridge just yet. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 26

How I Lived To Be 47


Doubtless the superannuated raisin you see before you fills you with a sense of wonder and a grave respect for both the lost majesty and, yes, the abominations of the ancient world. But you may also wonder if you, too, can achieve such an age and, to do so, what compromises must you make, what obstacles must you overcome, and what tomes must you study to unlock this terrifying state of grace and elegance I embody every goddamn day. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 28

50 Years Ago Tonight: A Killer Lineup, Plus the Beatles, at Dodger Stadium

Paul McCartney, one of the world’s finest bass players, played on second base at Dodger Stadium 50 years ago tonight, in what would be the Beatles’ penultimate concert (I don’t count that thing on the roof, as John Lennon himself called it an “audition”). It was the second-to-last show of a 14-city tour in a year that saw fewer ticket sales due to Lennon’s “Bigger than Jesus” remark that March, and the trip that would make the band give up touring altogether.

But there were four other groups on the bill that night in the shiny, 4-year-old stadium, leased to the Beatles while the Dodgers were away in San Francisco, and each has a fascinating story. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 22

Thanks, Don Bailey

My ninth-grade Latin teacher, Don Bailey, introduced me to limericks AND the word natator. I might be making this up, but I think when he asked the swimming coach where the natatorium was, the coach, confused, said, “No, it’s Not A ‘torium,’ it’s a swimming pool.”

Aug 16

The Morris Day After


Aug 10

Hell Is Second Amendment People


Aug 06

Larry Vaughn 2016

VAUGHN2016Because “All That Jaws” is a rock opera for the people, it tries to stay apolitical. But this election is simply too important to ignore a problem until it swims up and bites us on the ass. Head over to “All That Jaws” for its studied and thoughtful endorsement of Mayor Larry Vaughn.

Jul 30

What’s A Few Sharks Between Bombs?

USS Indianapolis-all-that-jaws
They were all drinking a lot of apricot brandy that night, so maybe Quint can be forgiven, but the Captain of the Orca claimed to have been on the doomed U.S.S. Indianapolis when it was attacked by a Japanese sub, sending nearly 1200 men into the water to be menaced by sharks. The date he gave was June 29, 1945.

He was off by a month. Today, July 30, marks the anniversary of the wreck of the Indianapolis, steaming to the Philippines from Guam after delivering Little Boy, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The bomb delivery mission was so secret, Quint says (and he’s right), that “no distress signal had been sent.” So after dropping off Little Boy on the 40 sq. mi. Marianas island of Tinian, the Indianapolis and her crew of 1196 turned right around, stopped at Guam, and on its way to join the U.S.S. Idaho in the Leyte Gulf to mount the planned invasion of Japan, it was torpedoed. About 900 men were eaten by sharks in a literal bloodbath that lasted four days.

There is no such “Indianapolis Speech” in Peter Benchley’s novel, but a team of writers and rewriters, not the least of whom was Robert Shaw himself—a produced playwright— gave the movie’s Quint a reason to hate sharks, and to “never put on a lifejacket again.”

The true and tragic story of the U.S.S. Indianapolis is told in the book “In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors,” which proves that the sad story of the ship did not end that summer of 1945. I highly recommend it as a piece of WWII history and a sad tale of adventure and politics.

Not only that, but you can now share this informative and toe-tapping video of “Show Me the Way To Indianapolis” from “All That Jaws.”

Jul 26

“I Believe in America.”

motherlandWith not-too-unbelievable allegations that the Wikileaks data dump of DNC emails showing an institutional bias for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders was orchestrated by a pro-Trump Vladimir Putin (who would benefit from a destabilized Democratic party and—allegedly—was impatient that the party was not destabilizing its own damn self fast enough), I feel sorry for Donald Trump. His whole life he has talked about being self-made and beholden to no one, and now he’s supposed to be this Putin puppet? It must grate on him, and there’s no one to attack about it.

Let’s say a prayer for Donald Trump and hope he weathers this latest outrage against his honor and character.

Jul 11

Star Trek 237

Next: The Search for Dick Hallorann

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