HENRY GIBSON, 1935-2009
Sad day for “Laugh-In” fans with the passing of Henry Gibson, who died yesterday of cancer at age 73. His real name was James Bateman, and I never knew until today that his stage name was sort of a parody of poet laureate Henrik Ibsen, hence the way HG pronounced his own name when delivering his crackpot poetry on “Laugh-In”. Based on what I read about him in the “Laugh-In” book I recently read, as well as Judy Carne’s autobiography, Henry was a super-nice guy off-screen. He also co-starred in the off-beat film Nashville in 1976, and was the voice of Wilbur the pig in the 1973 animated version of Charlotte’s Web. More recently, he had recurring roles (playing judges) on both “Sabrina The Teenage Witch” and “Boston Legal”. I was going to say that Henry was a real hoot, but that would make him “Hoot” Gibson, wouldn't it? (Sorry, that was bad) So long, Henry…
MARY TRAVERS, 1936-2009
The Reaper’s been busy again this week, as we also lost Mary of Peter, Paul & Mary yesterday at age 72, also of cancer (leukemia, to be precise), which she’d been struggling with for several years. I’m not a terribly big fan of the Folk music genre, but PP&M certainly had their moments in the ‘60s, and always seem to be a staple of PBS pledge drives. I swear, every other weekend when I tune in Channel 19 here in K.C., there’s PP&M singing “Blowin’ In The Wind”, followed by someone begging me to become a subscriber. So long, Mary…
METHINKS JIMMY’S ON TO SOMETHING…
Former Prez Jimmy Carter was quoted this week as saying much of the criticism recently directed at current Prez Barack Obama (in particular, his health care reform proposals) is racially motivated. I have no doubt Rush's ditto-heads and all the O’Reilly/Hannity sycophants out there have already set their phasers for stun on this issue, but I think there’s some substance to this. I find it interesting how all this “I want my country back” vitriol has suddenly cropped up since Obama took office, yet all the stuff these people are railing against—corruption in government, apathetic (or just plain pathetic) Congressional leaders, lack of fiscal responsibility, abuses of power, immoral behavior, erosion of Constitutional rights, etc.—has been going on for decades. Where was “I want my country back” when Cheney and Dubya were using the Constitution to line their birdcage? Or even when Clinton or the first Bush were in office? What has changed about our government since that time, other than the President’s skin color?
My best friend Tom, a staunch conservative, is trying to turn me on to some campaign douche-bag Glenn Beck has going called the "9-12 Project", a movement that is ostensibly “a place for you and other like-minded Americans looking for direction in taking back the control of our country.” You can read all about it here, if you like. One of the nine principles of this thing reads, “It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.” Funny, but that’s not what they were saying in the aftermath of 9/11 whenever anyone dared to question the Bush Administration on any issue—remember the mantra “You’re either with us, or against us”? Ain’t it amazing how the Right’s values change when there’s a new sheriff in town? These goomers all need to knock off this “I’m scared of Obama” drama queen act, too. If Dick and Doofus didn’t already scare the hell of you for the last eight years, nothing should.
SAVE MORE, LIVE BETTER…LAUGH HARDER
A co-worker brought a dandy website to my attention the other day. If you disdain the majority of Wal-Mart’s clientele as much as I do, you will get lots of mileage out of this site. Be sure to read the captions for maximum effect—some are even funnier than the photos themselves. This site leaves no doubt that there are definitely some strange rangers out there! Let’s just hope the corporate suits at Wally-World don’t get pissy and make these guys take the site down.
MAYBE THERE IS A GOD, AFTER ALL…
While channel surfing the other night around 11:00, I noted a “South Park” rerun running in place of the “Bob & Tom” show on Chicago’s WGN. A test pattern could draw more viewers than this reeky turd, and WGN apparently came to their senses and dropped B&T like a bad habit after just one year. I said it before and I’ll say it again—ain’t nothing worse than listening to a couple aging hippies constantly laughing at their own lame shtick. There’s something really warped about watching a radio show on TV, anyway…
ALL YOU NEED IS COUNTDOWNS…
While we’re still thinking about the Fab Four and just for shits and hoots, here are my Top 10 Beatle solo hits from after they broke up…
GEORGE HARRISON1) What Is Life?
2) My Sweet Lord
3) End Of The Line (Traveling Wilburys)
4) Devils Radio
7) Crackerbox Palace
8) This Song
9) When We Was Fab
10) Blow Away
1) Instant Karma!
4) #9 Dream
5) Whatever Gets You Through The Night
6) Watching The Wheels
7) Give Peace A Chance
9) Mind Games
10) Cleanup Time
1) Live And Let Die
3) Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
4) Hi Hi Hi
5) Junior’s Farm
6) Give Ireland Back To The Irish
7) Helen Wheels
8) Listen To What The Man Said
9) Take It Away
10) [tie] Let Me Roll It/Nineteen-Hundred Eighty-Five
1) It Don’t Come Easy
3) Oh My My
4) You’re Sixteen
5) (It’s All Down To) Goodnight Vienna
7) Back Off Boogaloo
8) No No Song
9) I’m The Greatest
10) Only You (And You Alone)
IT’S HARD TO BE HUMBLE
And for Cincinnati Bungholes receiver Chad “Ochocinco”, it’s damn near impossible. Seems that Ocho-Stinko is talking trash this week about taking a “Lambeau Leap” this Sunday in Green Bay if he happens to score a TD—and that’s a BIG if these days. I can only hope the Cheeseheads knock his freakin’ fat head off if he does. Hey Chad, I have a better idea—why don’t you take a flying leap instead…
BA-DE-AH-DE-AH-DE-AH, DANCIN’ IN SEPTEMBER…
The Kansas City Royals suddenly have this penchant for playing well in September. After sucking eggs for most of last season, they went 18-8 in the ninth month of ‘08. This season has yielded similar results and so far this month, they’re 9-6. Meanwhile, the Chefs haven’t won in September for a couple years, so I suggest a new strategy—let the Royals play from September to January while the Chefs play during spring and summer. K.C. will be Titletown, USA in no time flat…
I find it highly laughable that the University of Mizzou has the nerve to charge $29.95 to watch their non-conference football games against Bowling Green and Furman on Pay-Per-View TV. Hell, for another ten bucks, you can get in your car and go watch the games in person! Even better, you can save your money and watch the rerun for free on Fox Sports Net like I did last night. I could see ten bucks, maybe, if you really wanted to watch the game live on the tube, but 30 smackers is a joke.
IS IT JUST ME…
…or do all of Jennifer Aniston’s movies seem the same? She has yet another romantic comedy due out this week called Love Happens, and based on the previews, it’s a safe bet that Jen ain’t breaking any new ground here. Love her to death, but couldn’t she at least try playing something else besides some pretty boy’s and/or gay guy's love interest in her films? It ain’t like she can’t afford to take a chance—she’s well-paid—and it would be fun to see her play, for instance, a total bitch or a psycho or something. Kate Winslet, Renee Zellweger and even the grossly-overrated Julia Roberts manage to take on a variety of characters in their movies, so why can’t JA? Another observation I recently made on Jen: During the “Friends” days, didn’t she seem just a tad over-tanned for someone living in New York City in the dead of winter?
DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN
Is it just me, or do all of Michael Moore’s movies seem the same? He has yet another documentary flick due out soon called Capitalism: A Love Story, and based on the previews, it’s a safe bet that Mikey ain’t breaking any new ground here. I used to like him a lot, but all his rabble-rousing just for the sake of rabble-rousing is starting to wear a little thin on me, and I find myself questioning his credibility and substance a lot now. He tends to twist the facts in much the same way that right-wing shills like the Faux News Channel crowd do to justify his claims. I think Moore means well, but his act is getting very stale.