May 7, 2008 - April 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
The Trans-Racial, Trans-American,
Trans-Human Candidate. Cool
DONE AND DONE
I don't know how CountryPunk
knew the race was over before the first votes were reported, but he
did. Now I have two tasks. One, to acknowledge that Obama will be the
nominee of the Democratic Party, and two, to renounce any possibility
of my support for John McCain.
America wants to reap the whirlwind. So be it. You want an angry young
man for president? Have him. Just be aware that the best way to judge a
man is to know his wife. Michelle Obama is no Jackie Kennedy. She's a
good looking woman to be sure, but she's also a bitter, whining
harridan who probably makes her husband as miserable as he will make
us. I cringe at the thought of her being the hostess of state dinners.
But we survived Rosalynn Carter and we'll survive the pissed-off,
victimized Princetonian, too.
Now for McCain. My fleeting hope was that he was actually a politician.
He isn't. He's just an arrogant asshole. His decision to speak to La
-- in clear defiance of the conservative base of his party,
which believes in the rule of law and disdains race-based extortion --
is both unconscionable and incredibly stupid.
It's the last part that's so dismaying. Politicians routinely do
unconscionable things. But they normally do them to satisfy the people
who have worked and sacrificed and gone the extra mile to get them
elected. John McCain is yet another of the new breed of western
Americans who are willing to betray their country for the sake of
Spanish architecture, Mexican food, and cheap gardeners. Only it's not
that cheap. It's that the braggart of the Straight Talk Express is
actually in the pocket of all the special interests who are willing to
to keep the flow
of illegal low-cost labor flowing into the United States, law and
cultural integrity be damned.
Forget the hero of the Hanoi Hilton. The John McCain of 2008 is
corrupt. So corrupt that his debts to the illegal immigration promoters
outweigh even his desire to be president of the United States. That's a
big fucking debt.
We're all on our own now. Do whatever you want. The United States is
lost. Run a third-party ticket for Ron Paul. Run a fourth-party ticket
for Mike Huckabee. Stay at home and give Obama the biggest
congressional majority any president ever had. The Democrats will have
their day now.
And I have just stopped caring. Go to hell. All of you. Pretend that
the Islamists don't want to kill you. Maybe they'll relent and give
your wife and daughters an anesthetic before they cut off their
clitorises. Pretend that Iran doesn't really plan to nuke Israel. Just
remember to act surprised when it happens and Obama initiates a new
round of talks to deal with the implications. Pretend that the Iraq War
is nothing but a drain on American resources and explore the cornucopia
of consequences when we abandon them for the tenth time in twenty years.
I. DON'T. CARE.
Me? I love Obama. He's so coolly eloquent. Isn't that the height of
statecraft? Sure it is.
Whatever. I don't know anything. I thought the Republican Party would
have the balls to defend their own president, who accomplished an
absolute goddam miracle -- preventing another major domestic terrorist
attack for more than seven years. But no. They don't even want to
appear on the same podium with him. Fuck them. They don't deserve
anybody's vote. Give the damn Democrats every single seat in the House
and Senate and then see how quickly you want to throw them
out of office. HINT: When they
decide all your paychecks should go directly to them first, so they can
decide how much you're not allowed to spend on Big Macs, spinner
wheels, rodeo tickets, smokes, hookers, tattoos, cheesy lingerie,
Southern Comfort, ten-gauge ammunition, and RVs. That'll settle your
hash. Oh. Excuse me. No, it won't. You'll happily trade all that for
Thanks a lot, John McCain. There's more than one kind of traitor.
There's the kind who talks when he shouldn't. And there's the kind who
sells out the whole damn country because he's too smug and rich to
remember what his country is even about.
And thanks, Obama. We need you. In a strange, fucked up way, we need
you. We really do. Let's just hope the lesson you're there to teach us
doesn't kill us. It probably won't. But not because you won't be
Have at it, weed.
clear that CountryPunk
and, obviously, TruePunk
overreacted to last night's election results. As to their gratuitous
slamming of McCain, I can only assure you that I have sent them both
stern emails reminding them of the unfailing admiration we have always
had here for the Republican presidential nominee:
to the Ground
Is Always Right
the Dark Matter?
Surge McCain Doesn't Support
Republicans Left in the Race
Is a State of Mind
Reacts Angrily to NYT
Well, there's more, but you can see that we've been in the bag for
McCain from the very beginning. Sort of like Hugh Hewitt and Dean
Barnett were for Mitt Romney. But that doesn't mean we're incapable of
being objective. We love the guy to death, but we can still speak from
a certain distance. Just like Hugh and Dean said they could.
It's all going to be okay, people. Truly. It's absolutely not the case that
Mr. McCain is some kind of loose cannon, egomaniacal, rude, arrogant,
just-plain-nasty closet liberal control freak who thinks government
should be limited except when people behave in ways he doesn't approve
of. That's not who he is at all. He would absolutely talk to Rush
Limbaugh if he didn't already know that Limbaugh is a treacherous,
uneducated, and largely malicious distraction from the, well, sanctity
of the ongoing dialogue
between the American people and the mainstream press, which has always
been so supportive of patriots like, uh John McCain.
I know from some of your emails that you're concerned I might be
withdrawing my declaration of support for the Arizona senator's bid for the
presidency. Not a chance. I understand the objections. CountryPunk has
a parochial view. TruePunk is just crazy. But we all always knew that.
Why would anyone think it's reasonable to expect a Republican nominee
to subscribe to all Republican positions? Isn't it enough to be vaguely
pro-life? Why can't a Republican kinda sorta believe in Global Warming
and the need to pulverize the entire global economic system to make it
one percent cooler? Who wouldn't want to turn the American southwest
over to an ethnic minority that would rather be Spanish than Indian if
it means laying a more persuasive legal claim to lucrative lands
developed by Anglos? And is it really so bad to have spent seven years
sniping at a president who dared to undertake an attack on enemies
who'd been bombing us for a decade before he took office? Of course
not. That's just understandable maverickousness, common in Washington
as a head cold.
I really want to be clear about this. Especially now that we know Obama
will be the Democratic nominee. How should I put it? I want to be
precise. Here's my best attempt:
WE CAN'T ELECT
Does that clarify matters for you?
I thought it would.
see. It's all been a Broadway number. Are we having fun yet?
No, we're not going to keep talking about Hillary and Obama.
YouTube Wednesday is about distractions, not current events. Although
we couldn't resist this one, which will be ancient history by tomorrow,
so we have
to do it today.
That's it. Done with the candidates. Honest. For example, how could one
get more high-toned and above it all than promoting some Physics Phun?
Oh. You prefer no-toned and below it all? We got that covered too.
Okay. That was kind of ucky. We admit it. Makes us want to take a bath.
You know. Get really clean. That's what the "Devil's Pool" is all
about. If you're evil enough, you can paddle around inches away from
the tallest waterfall in the world. InstaPunk contributors spend every
single day of summer there every year.
Too sinister? For good people, maybe. That's probably why our genius
environmentalists are fully prepared to ban water altogether.
They might even get away with it. Unless Bengal cats find out about it.
You don't know about Bengals? Get with it, folks. Most of the cats
you're seeing these days in cat food commercials are Bengals. They're,
uh, intensely interactive with every environment. Camera show-offs too. And kind of scary. Like seven
They won't let us embed this one. But
have to see it. Here.
some reason, they just don't care about heights. When
they fall, they don't even land on their feet. That would be caring.
Actually, you can keep YouTube Wednesday going indefinitely if you just
follow the Bengals
Now, isn't that better than all the political harping and carping
getting everywhere else today? You know it is. Bengals make lots of
speeches. But they absolutely never make any promises and they never
ask for your vote. They pretty much do whatever they want to. Follow
their example as long as you can. You've got till maybe January or
February to squeeze it all in.
Couldn't resist. One more. It's kind of like peanuts. Hard to stop.
But we're GOING to stop. Right now.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
it's at least more poetic than the "light at the end of the tunnel"
. Led by Rush Limbaugh and other inveterate optimists,
Republicans are starting to believe they might actually win the 2008
presidential election. The increasingly dirty infighting between the
Clinton and Obama campaigns reminds them of 1968, when the Dems ripped
their own party apart at the Chicago convention and couldn't heal the
divide in time to beat Richard Nixon. Perversely, the extreme left wing
of the Democrat Party is bolstering the analogy by promising to
"Recreate '68" at the 2008 Denver convention.
But sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel really is
an oncoming train. That's very
probably the case this time. It's a terrible year to be a Republican,
"maverick" or not. What the Republicans should remember about 1968 is
just how close the Democrats came to winning -- even though they were
the incumbent party of the White House and both houses of Congress, who
had presided over an incredibly unpopular war, huge budget
deficits, escalating inflation, and an ugly generational confrontation
that seemed at times on the verge of armed civil war. Yet the FDR
coalition of big government petitioners and identity panderers fell only a
couple hundred thousand votes short of electing a sitting Vice
President who was inextricably linked to every policy that had
engendered such national chaos. The lesson to remember? Republicans aren't
Democrats. If they fail to
make or keep popular promises, they get fired. Think Ford and Bush 41.
When Democrats fail to perform (always) -- and even when they spend
months sawing at each others' throats -- they can still unify a lot of
voting blocs on a single Tuesday in November.
The Democrats will come back together by November, regardless of how
intramurally bellicose they sound right now. And it's highly likely
that they will defeat McCain in the general election. But not for the
reasons most of the pundits are citing. The analogy year, if you must
have one, is 1976. The candidate who is closest to Obama in recent
American history is Jimmy Carter, a total outsider who capitalized on
the nationwide -- and utter -- disgust with the entire Washington, DC,
establishment to seek the presidency based on nothing but vague
promises that we could trust him to make everything better. So we
elected the first engineer president since Herbert Hoover, with
remarkably similar results.
Call it what you will. Denial. Flight from reality. Romantic fantasy.
It all amounts to the same thing, an election that is decided on almost
deliberately superficial terms. Carter had that impossibly wide and
friendly smile. Nobody noticed the hard little eyes of a martinet
micro-manager. Obama has his rhetorical style, so empty that it's
majestically weightless in the heights it attains. Nobody wants to
notice the Carterlike solitude of the man within, a remoteness we
confuse with greatness, the untouchability we'd all feel in retrospect
for the persons of Lincoln and Washington. And JFK. Which is who so
many Americans want him to be. So desperately that they're willing to
make up all the points of similarity out of whole cloth. Never mind
that he hasn't the wit, the indescribable common touch, the gift for
self-deprecating humor, or the steely inner confidence to surround
himself with better brains than his own. We want another JFK -- the one
of our myths and imaginings -- and we're sick to death of DC
mediocrities and the messiness of the world and the complications of
being the most powerful nation on earth when all we really want is a
pleasant weekend with no one bugging us. For a change.
And there's another thing. We're completely spoiled. Since Ronald
Reagan somehow solved the unsolvable economic woes of the
Johnson-Nixon-Ford-Carter years, we've had a quarter century of very
nearly unbroken prosperity, punctuated by the merest handful of mild
recessions. All politics aside, the difference between the Clinton
economy and the Bush economy has been mostly the media coverage. But
now we've had our first real oil shock since Carter, and we're not
going to stand for it, dammit. Make it stop. All the youthful voters
everyone's so happy to have join the electorate have never known real
privation of any kind. Why are they so energized? They're bored with
the mundane dreariness of prosperity as usual. Bored
. They have the most dangerous
form of nostalgia -- ignorant yearning for a glamorous time they've
heard about but never experienced. They think they'd have been heroes
of the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War protests, the unofficial
coup by rock and roll that's fueled all their hero worship of dead and
decaying rock stars. They want to have that glorious feeling of being
excited. About something. Anything.
That's what McCain is competing with. Despite his energy, he's an old
man. His time has passed. The stars are aligned for one of America's
periodic irrational outbursts, the election of a president whose only
real qualification is that he's different from the norm. And that would
be Obama. All hail the comforting illusion.
Conservatives have carped a lot about McCain as the Republican nominee.
Threatened to stay home because it would be better to have all the
liberal foolishness enacted by (and blamed on) a Democrat than a renegade liberal
Republican. Fine. All I'll point out is that when the November tantrum
occurs and the Republicans are crushed in Congress and the presidential
election, where will you stand on the blame game then? Would you be
happier to have the slaughter blamed on a genuine conservative (if you
could actually find one) or a truculent old bastard who split with his own
party faithful on at least three of their top ten issues? What candidate
would better enable the Republicans to rediscover their core identity, principles, and balls as a party when Carter, er, Obama, comes up for reelection in
2012? Conversely, what candidate offers us a better chance in 2008 to
prevent the election of another Jimmy Carter? Is there something better
than a cantankerous old real-world survivor to run against a chimera? You
To answer these questions honestly, though, you'd have to admit that
Republicans really are staring at catastrophic defeat in the fall,
barring some miracle nobody could reasonably foresee. Can you do that?
Monday, May 05, 2008
Passing of the
Pat Buchanan forgets. They will miss us. And remember us.
. Good old Pat Buchanan, so beloved by cro-magnon
conservatives, has suddenly tumbled to the alarm raised long ago by
Mark Steyn's America Alone
. In a column
Way Our World Ends
," Pat says:
An Augusta, Ga., group, The National
Policy Institute, has meshed the figures on fertility rates with the
continents and races on Planet Earth -- to visualize what the world
will look like in 2060.
In 1950, whites were 28 percent of world population and Africans 9
percent, a ratio of three-to-one. In 2060, the ratio will remain the
same. But the colors will be reversed. People of African ancestry will
be 25 percent of the world's population. People of European descent
will have fallen to 9.8 percent.
More arresting is that the white population is shrinking not only in
relative but in real terms. Two hundred million white people, one in
every six on earth -- a number equal to the entire population of
France, Britain, Holland and Germany -- will vanish by 2060.
The Caucasian race is going the way of the Mohicans.
Arabic peoples, 94 million at the birth of Israel in 1948, outnumbered
seven to one by Europeans, will rise to 743 million in 2060, a tenfold
increase, and will be 75 percent of the white population.
Fleshing out the NPI picture is the U.N. population survey of mid-2007
that points to the 21st century disappearance of Western Man.
By 2050, a fourth of all the people of Eastern Europe will have
vanished. Ukraine will lose one-third of its population. Russia, 150
million at the breakup of the Soviet Union, 142 million today, will be
down to 108 million. Such losses dwarf what Hitler and Stalin together
did to these countries.
Geez. Pat seems disturbed all of a sudden. The Aryans are going away.
What does it all mean? I admit I haven't read Steyn's response to
Buchanan, so I'm probably risking a repeat of his points, but I'll
chance it anyway. Because the meaning is incredibly important, and it's
something all you damn imbecile Paulistas (and you know who you are)
should pay attention to along with the cro-magnon Republicans.
What it means is this: Thank God for
the British Empire and the aggressive American interventionism of the
. That's right. In the scenario being described
by Buchanan, the only chance the world has to avoid a thousand-year
dark age is whatever the newly ascendant populations can remember and
imitate of what they learned from their experience of western
colonialism and imperialism. For example, India has a shot at holding
together as a society and an economy in this scenario because of the
Raj, which embedded law very deeply into their culture. So might
some of the middle eastern
muslims -- if they can prevent their homegrown religion from requiring
them to behead each other into bedouin medievalism.
The disappearance of Europeans and their American descendants will
threaten a lot of things: Christianity's openness to science and its
ongoing contribution to individual consciousness and personal
responsibility, the liberal political tradition of republics and
democracies, the systems of capitalist economics, and the concept of
art as a cultural force independent of politics and religion, endowed
with a mission to criticize both. If any of these traditions survive,
which is debatable, it will be because the survivors remember and honor
what they learned from those who have departed, regardless of how
traumatically they learned it.
Without the survival of these traditions, the world will be plunged
into unutterable chaos and violence. Nuclear weapons will be used until
there are no more weapons. Tribes will turn upon one another,
totalitarian systems will devour and exterminate the tribes who
undermine order, and the population figures will change dramatically
again, but always lower. And there will be no more Jews to push
science, law, business, art, and entertainment forward. The slippery
slope will be an accelerating backward slide into irreparable misery.
So. Pat. Now that you understand the "new population bomb," do you
still think it would have been best for America to sit smugly at home
while the dark side of European intellectualism essayed its first
attempted suicide of full human consciousness? Or was it perhaps better
somehow that before we sailed to the Grey Havens we did as much as we
could for a full century to share our vision of a world in which all
men and women could be free to pursue happiness as they conceived it?
I don't like the thought of my own traditions and ancestry passing away
from the earth. But I do believe we made a contribution. It will be up
to the survivors to determine whether that contribution was a footnote
or a legacy. I'm also glad that we made a worldwide effort to achieve
Pat? He's probably grimly hoping for the former. It's called vengeance.
Something a son of Nixon (i.e., elves bred down to orcs) would know more about than anybody else.
I'll be thinking other thoughts during the final recessional hymn.
Elbereth, Gilthoniel, silivren penna
it in the "Live, damn you! LIVE!" voice, not the "Spriiing Breeaak!"
CINCO DE MAYO!
It used to be the most cynically patronizing holiday on the American
calendar. Now it's like another St. Patrick's Day, only without all the
class and solemn dignity of March 17 to get in the way of the drinking.
I'm not the first to notice this: If things are so bad in your country
that you have to look for work in a different
country, you might want to temper that expatriated national pride a
Unless you want to argue that America took all the parts of Mexico with
good jobs. That economic success is primarily a function of geography
rather than society. That's too dumb to state outright, but if you only
allude to it, never getting more specific than a hinted-at accusation
that America took something from Mexcio, you're in business. You'll
know you've gotten away with it when your audience at the reconquista
rally gives you the
slow, thoughtful "how true" nods.
So cynical, Brizoni. And so out of the blue. For heaven's sake, why?
Clearly, I'm not in the Cinco de Mayo spirit. The phone card/money
wiring kiosk (which I like because everyone in there is honest enough
to not even pretend to care about speaking English) was out of giant
Virgin Mary tapestries. How am I supposed to celebrate this High Holy
Day without one? And I just found out Corona beer isn't even Mexican.
Did you know that? It's bottled in Minnesota or Whitesylvania or
thereabouts. Weak. Who wants American
worms wriggling around in their booze? And they have this new variety
called "Corona Extra"? Extra what? "Extra" lack of melanin at the
brewery? "Extra" Lawrence Welk played over the intercom?
I'm just feeling, like, disillusioned with the whole enterprise, man.
Maybe my own celebratory setbacks are why I'm all existential about
today. Independence sounds fine and good for any country, so I guess
I'm happy for Mexico. But... you know... I hesitate to even think it...
look what they've done with it. They've made kind of a... you know... a
corrupt little cesspool of misery for themselves down there, haven't
they? I don't see what there is to celebrate.
I guess it makes sense that their Independence Day has only the vaguest
lip-service to freedom and all the other important nation stuff. In
its place, you get ranchero music (known by the state of California to
cause birth defects and reproductive harm) loud enough to blow out the
part of the brain that feels shame at being from Mexico.
Sorry. I'm just cranky. Which of course means there no truth to be
found in any of this slander. Enjoy your cerveza, esse! Arriba! Santa Anna! Cesar
Looks like my last column from the road got lost in the, um,
mail. It's a thermodynamic miracle of wrong guess after wrong guess.
Each of them was shown to be exactly wrong, mere days after I wrote.
You'll see it tomorrow.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Hometown Nomination for Once
Mark, The Voice of Philadelphia for more than 50 years.
TO THE PAST
. The criteria for Philadelphia's Liberty Medal
The Liberty Medal is awarded annually
by the National Constitution Center to men and women of courage and
conviction who have strived to secure the blessings of liberty to
people the world over.
Yeah, they gave it to Nelson Mandela once. But last year they gave it
to Bono. They've also given it to Sandra Day O'Connor and Kofi Annan.
There seems to be some latitude here, some give and take in what
constitutes courage, conviction, and the blessings of liberty. Which is
as it should be. Sandra Day O'Connor never stood in front of a tank.
Kofi Annan never served a day as a political prisoner and has probably
eaten in more four-star restaurants over the years than Frank Sinatra.
Which brings me to my point. Why can't the Liberty Medal be granted,
for once, to an actual Philadelphian who has performed a huge service
blessings of liberty to the city where constitutionally guaranteed
liberty began in the first place?
It's a truism
of art and writing and music that "before you can be universal, you
must be local."
I'd be willing to bet there are thousands if not millions of people
like me, who grew up listening with their parents to "Friday with
Frank" and "Sunday with Sinatra," hosted by Sid Mark
(and now WPHT
Philadelphia (and syndicated to other stations throughout the country). What
did we learn? That there was a special poignancy to the lives of the
World War II generation, which garnered Tom Brokaw waves of acclaim
when he acknowledged it belatedly, but which we children of that
generation learned firsthand by hearing Sid Mark respond week after
week to Sinatra classics with an impeccable sense of how every song
sounded when it was released and what chord it touched in its audience.
The Brokaws somehow seem to forget that the Greatest Generation also
came home after the war and rebuilt the world even though they were in
all probability suffering from what is today called
My dad was. He endured nightmares for years. But Friday night was a
ritual. We gathered in the den and turned on the FM radio. It was Sid
Mark time. The songs Sid played spanned 20 years, from the pre-war
Tommy Dorsey era to the beginnings of the Rat Pack and beyond. It was a
time machine that helped us youngsters learn what our parents had been
through. Both my parents adopted, at one time or another, the pose that
Sinatra wasn't even the best
Big Band singer, despite all the screaming bobby-soxers. I heard both
my parents seriously argue that Dick Haymes
better vocalist than Sinatra and that Sinatra's career should
have ended after this disastrous recording
of Ol' Man River
But it was Friday night, and Sid was playing the songs, and my sister
and I were little and full of questions -- besides being intoxicated by
the sound of Sinatra -- and so this family time also became a history
lesson. My prejudiced father hauled out his Count Basie, Duke
Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Teddy Wilson, and Coleman Hawkins LPs to
prove to us that Sid Mark's description of America as one vast Sinatra
audience was incorrect. The very first time I fell in love was at the
age of six when I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing "The Man I Love," and the
very first time I knew there was a racial divide in my country was when
my Dad showed me the Ella/Gershwin album cover -- Ella was not white,
slim, or gorgeous the way women who can sing like that automatically
are to little boys who have beautiful blonde mothers. "Forget the
picture," my dad said. "Just listen to the way she sings. That's music.
Sinatra is an ugly little guy. And you like him
I did. Me and how many countless others who learned about him from Sid
Mark. More than my parents did. In fact. my first rebellion was
realizing that Sinatra was better than Dick Haymes and every other Big
Band singer. I realized that he was singing my own parents' lives, the
parts they couldn't admit, the pain and wistfulness and sorrow they
could never acknowledge, along with the upbeat determination that kept
them going, and dancing, even when they must have wondered what the
hell was going on. It was as if the real appeal of Sinatra to adults
was a secret -- they pretended he wasn't an arterial necessity; he was
and because he was connected to every successful jazz musician,
composer, and arranger, he was safe. When he let loose with his "three
o'clock in the morning," "when I was seventeen," or "strangers in the
night" bits, the parents mixed another cocktail and fell silent.
Truth is, what I learned from Sid Mark and his Sinatra shows was that
my parents and their generation had real and incredibly deep passions
in their lives. That was the knowledge that enabled me to bridge the
Generation Gap of the sixties. I understood that mine wasn't the first
generation to have been powerfully motivated and transformed by music.
A tenuous bridge was constructed which survives to this day. Yeah, my
dad couldn't get the heroin jazz, or the rock and roll, or even the
bee-bop. But long after the war that forced and anguished his
character, he HAD to listen to the one man who ensured continuity and
whose genius phrasing somehow contained an entire generation of
Without Sid Mark, my parents would have been a blank to me, the way so
many parents are a blank to their kids today. Thanks to Sid, there were
moments in my childhood when I felt at a cellular level what it was to
be my parents when they were young, in danger, and fighting like hell
for their lives. I'm absolutely damn sure I'm not alone in that.
Is this a service which helps to "secure the blessings of liberty"?
then there was "Watertown
Which only Sid ever promoted and proved to
me that Sinatra AND Sid were eternal. Sid Mark is a national
I think that. But then I'm not a Philadelphia politician.
audio file has been Sid Mark's close to every Sinatra broadcast for 50
years. It's burned into my soul.
My Catholic friends who confidently expect me to confess the one true
faith at the last second had better bring this recording with them to my
Last night, one of the public television channels ran a 1966 show
called "Sinatra: A man and His Music (Pt I)." It was a time
machine moment. Sinatra in a recording studio with Gordon Jenkins and
his band. He stood at the studio microphone, introduced the songs to
the audience and then -- without a cut -- delivered a perfect
performance of standards like "Fly Me to the Moon." It made me remember
something I'd left out of the original post, which was about Sid Mark
more than Sinatra. But, again thanks to Sid, I followed up an
opportunity many years after my youth to see Sinatra perform at an
open-air concert in Cincinnati, Ohio. I convinced my wife to attend,
telling her that it was a chance to see a living legend, even if -- as
would obviously be the case -- he was far too old at nearly 70 to be
able to sing anymore. But he still could
sing. And he did. He had the entire audience, from octogenarians to
teenagers, in the palm of his hand. Thank you for that, too, Sid Mark.
Which leads me to the real reason for this update. Daniel Rubin, a
talented Philadelphia columnist, linked
at at Philly.com
where he does an entertaining blog called Blinq
checked back today and found a real gem of a comment, one that should
tell you more about Sid and Frank and Philly than I could in a dozen
posts. I just have to share it with you. This is who we are in this
neck of the woods:
I had known F Sinatra and when he had
appeared at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, N.J. I would hang out
backstage with Pat Henry, his opening act and this one night I seen
this tall gentleman standing outside of Sinatra's dressing room for a
short time and asked if he was waiting to see Sinatra and he answered
yes. I knocked on Sinatra's dressing room door and he put out his hand
to say please don't but it was too late and Jilly Rizzo, his best
friend opened the door and a friend of mine also. I told Jilly that Sid
Mark was here and immediately Jilly said Sidney what are you doing out
here come in. As he closed the door I seen Sinatra come forward and
said Sidney what are you doing outside and gave him a big hug and a
kiss. That I believe was in 1972 and from that night Sidney and I
became very good friends. I would say we refer to each other as
brothers and I am extremely proud of that. The reason I tell this story
is to demonstrate what an admirable gentleman Sidney is. His wife Judy
and his children are all wonderful and respect all. This man does not
want to make a nusiance of himself and never pushes himself forward
almost to the point that he appears shy, however, if the situation
arises he can account for himself respectfully. A genuine gentleman
loved by all his peers and listeners alike. It would be wonderful if he
were to be the recipicant of the "Liberty Medal". Knowing this man who
had served his country in the Armed Forces and born in Camden, N.J.,
and a hard working man all his life in addition to being a great
humanitarian I beleive makes him a fine candidate for this prestigious
award. I am confidant that there would no one more deserving as
throught the years he has made millions enjoy the beautiful sequenced
of songs he has programmed, not to mention his voice. God Bless you
Sidney and all concerned and also to you Mr. Rubin for having suggested
this talented man be recognized.
Posted by BROTHER BEAR
Don't you just absolutely love it? Well, I do, anyway. And here's the
larger point. I wasn't kidding.
Brother Bear, Philadelphians, and New Jersey folk (Frank was from
Hoboken, let's not forget), put the
. I was absolutely serious in nominating Sid Mark for
the Liberty Medal. Generate some cards and letters to Mayor Mike
Nutter, whose address and other contact information is here
. Sid Mark for the Liberty Medal.
Please. Even if you're not from Philadelphia. Pretend. (This is a city
that always votes over 100 percent of its registered Democrats. They'll
Welcome to all you fans of Michael Smerconish, who has linked to this
post from his website at WPHT in Philly. Thanks, Michael. There's a
special treat available for listeners of Sid Mark's Sinatra shows. At Steynonline.com
, the "columnist to
the world" has been honoring the tenth anniversary of Sinatra's passing
by writing in-depth accounts
of the writing and recording of the greatest Sinatra standards. If you
really love the music you won't want to miss a word. Thanks for
stopping by. And much greater thanks if you follow through by
contacting the Mayor with a Sid Mark nomination.
Friday, May 02, 2008
A Friday Folly
I found this via Jonah
at NRO, who got it from 'Debby, the Odd Link Gal,' who
found it here
The thumbnail description is this:
"Food Fight is an abridged history of American-centric war, from World
War II to present day, told through the foods of the countries in
conflict. Watch as traditional comestibles slug it out for world
domination in this chronologically re-enacted smorgasbord of aggression."
The site also contains a complete synopsis and spoilers. Decide for
yourselves if you want to experience with or without a full briefing.
I think it's fun to just watch it and guess what's going on. But that's
me. And, yeah, I know, a couple parts are in dubious taste, but it's
Friday. Lighten up.