SO MUCH FOR ALL THAT “PRO-LIFE” CRAP, HUH?
Abortion doctor George Tiller was murdered in Wichita (in his own church, no less) by a self-appointed anti-abortion zealot who decided all for himself that this was “justifiable homicide”. I’ve already made my feelings well-known about this issue here and have no desire to get into this whole fray again—just like the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, it’s something that will never be solved in our lifetimes. But, I do have to ask: aren’t these the same people who accuse abortion doctors of “playing God”? Predictably, anti-abortion organizations in Kansas like Operation Rescue, as well as former KS Attorney General Phill Kline (who went after Tiller like a pit bull on steroids), all issued statements condemning what happened yesterday, but I’m not buying it—you can bet your ass they’re all high-fiving each other (or in Kline's case, patting himself on the backside) today. And just like on “MASH” when Hawkeye removed the healthy appendix of the over-zealous Colonel to keep him off the front lines to ostensibly prevent more casualties, they’re kidding themselves if they think this is going to change anything. Talk about damning your own cause…
ARE YOU NOW, OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN…
Conservatives like Newt Gingrich, Rush Lamebaugh, et al, are calling Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a racist for the quote, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” which she made in 2001. Poor choice of words, perhaps, but as a white male, I’m not personally offended by it. I don’t even know yet whether or not this woman would make a suitable Supreme Court justice, but what I’d like all these Sotomayor bashers to tell me is why they didn’t deem her to be a racist eight years ago when she made that remark in the first place. Naturally, only now that it’s politically-convenient for Newt, Rush and all the other sour grapes-laden conservatives is the woman officially a bigot, right?
I CALLED IT
"Leave it to our wonderful mass media—TV news in particular—and public officials to create mass hysteria and paranoia about this swine flu thing coming out of Mexico. Call me cynical all you want, but I see this as nothing but media-generated panic over nothing...Mark my words, this’ll all be forgotten in a week or two."—B. Holland, April 29, 2009
Are ya hearing much about this in the news this week? Didn’t think so. Okay, it took a bit more than a week or two, and yes, there have been some Swine Flu-related fatalities in the past month in the U.S., but no more so than what just plain regular flu causes. You can all take your masks off now…
END OF AN ERA? MEH…
Not sure about y’all, but I was pretty nonplussed about Jay Leno’s final “Tonight Show” on Friday. I don’t dislike Leno—his “Headlines” bits always cracked me up, at least—but I’m not quite as moved by his departure as I was when Johnny Carson stepped aside in 1992 after almost 30 years. This might be in part because he’s not really going away like Carson did, since there are plans for another Leno show in prime-time. When Johnny left, it was almost like a death in the family. With Leno passing the torch to Conan O’Brien, it’s more like, “Ehhh, whatever…”
Producer Phil Spector is now the O.J. Simpson of Rock ‘N’ Roll—only difference is O.J. got away with murder—as he was sentenced to 19-years-to-life (which is essentially the rest of his life anyway, since he’s 69) for the 2003 murder of singer/actress Lana Clarkson. It astounds me that such a brilliant musical mind could be so demented, but evidently PS had quite a violent streak in him when he drank, which no doubt led to him shooting this woman. I’m also surprised that pacifists like John Lennon and George Harrison worked so closely with Spector back in the ‘70s, but then again, Phil’s rage may not have manifested itself in front of them. What a pathetic end for a man who produced some of the greatest Top 40 hits in history, esp. his work with the Righteous Brothers—“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”, “For Once In My Life” and “(You’re My) Soul And Inspiration” are absolute KILLER recordings—the Ronettes, Ike & Tina Turner and many others.
CLASSIC MISHEARD LYRIC #115
“Got Me Under Pressure”—Z.Z. TOP (1983) “She’s about all I can handle…it’s too much for my brain.” For some reason, I thought Rev. Billy G was singing something like “She’s about all a commando…”
HOP ABOARD THE WAY-BACK MACHINE
For those of you who are into Old-School baseball cards, I highly recommend the two new card blog whose links I've added at the right. The 1972 Topps blog is particularly impressive, as its author is going through one-by-one and doing a write-up on each card in the set (all 787 of 'em), providing interesting stories on the players (even the wanna-be's and never-were's) and analysis of the images and graphics as well. In addition, the guy throws in some neat little sidebar stories about news, pop culture, music and sports that happened in the year of "Sanford & Son", Watergate, "Maude", Munich and "American Pie". It's a work in progress, as he's only up to card #102 so far, but great fun and great memories if you were into card collecting in the '70s like I was.
I can trace the beginnings of my baseball card collection to the 1972 Topps set, when Mom bought me two packs when I was 7 going on 8. The first card I ever saw out of the pack was the late pitcher Steve Mingori of the Indians (later of the Royals) and my first Royals card was former first baseman Bob Oliver. I always thought the 1971 thru 1974 Topps sets were the coolest because of the colors, graphics and photography—and even the amateur-ish air-brushing on the player's caps to erase the team logos of players who had been traded. Seeing these cards again takes me back to a simpler time...
NEVER FEAR, SMITH IS HERE?!?
Here’s another case of separated at birth for you to ponder. I was watching ‘70s cop drama “The Rookies” on DVD the other day, and late actor Percy Rodrigues appeared in an episode as a hard-assed police officer. The face and deep voice were familiar, but I had to Google him to refresh my memory. When I did, I couldn’t help but notice in his mugshot how PR could’ve almost passed for late actor Jonathan Harris—aka “Lost In Space” antagonist Dr. Zachary Smith—with an afro!
Rodrigues played the snooty brother of Fred’s rich, kindhearted girlfriend on the ill-advised TV sequel series “Sanford” in 1980-81, and had guest shots in numerous TV shows throughout his career, including "Star Trek", "Mission: Impossible" and "Good Times", et al. Oddly enough, both he and Harris each appeared in different episodes of the original “Sanford & Son”.
OHHH, THE PAIN!
No doubt, Dr. Smith would've uttered his other famous catchphrase if he had to endure William Shatner's interpretation of Elton John's "Rocket Man" during the Sci-Fi Awards telecast in 1977, and for once, the doctor wouldn't be faking! This thing makes his versions of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Lucy In The Sky" seem almost tolerable in comparison. What I can't fathom is how lyricist Bernie Taupin actually endorsed having his own work slaughtered like this. Of course, anything that screams out this loudly to be lampooned couldn't possibly escape the clutches of the "Family Guy" crew. Go, Stewie, go!