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A friend in need

The last person Sunni interviewed for Sunni’s Salon at Endervidualism was Mike Gogulski. Although Mike and I have never met in the flesh, I regard him as a good friend. I greatly admire his courage and principles.

I have believed avoiding cops to be a good policy for many years. Mike’s story brings home that such a policy seems to always hold, no matter which state gang controls the geographic area you currently occupy. Mike recently had a horrific encounter with Slovakian police. You can find his account at his blog here.

I downloaded Mike’s account for safe keeping and also to republish those downloadable versions here. I hope the more of us who do so, the safer Mike will be. Here are those downloadable accounts in PDF, MS Word 2003 and HTML.

As Benjamin Franklin has been credited with saying at the signing of the Declaration of Independence: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Growing Ranks Of Nouveau Poor Facing Discrimination From Old Poor

As Americans rush to join the Nouveau Poor, panelists debate the claim that the newly poor are incapable of integrating with long established poor…

The Government Can

Who can take your money,
with a twinkle in their eye;
take it all away
and give it to some other guy?
The government. The government can.

Harve Presnell 1933 - 2009 R.I.P.

I enjoyed much of Michael Jackson’s music, but with all the coverage of his passing I didn’t notice the passing of another performer whose work I have admired since I was a teenager.

Harve Presnell had a great voice and fine presence on stage and screen. He also appeared in several of my favorite musicals. In comparison to the 30s, 40s and 50s; the 60s and 70s didn’t seem to produce as many great musicals. One can claim The Music Man qualifies, which though it was written by Meredith Wilson, still seems to celebrate the same sort of themes as earlier R&H musicals from the 40s and 50s. The same applies to R&H’s The Sound of Music. I recommend both highly, but even though both came out in the 60s, they seem to fit better in the 50s or earlier.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown came out later than Music Man, and earlier than The Sound of Music. Even though a Western, it seemed to fit more in the 60s than either of the others. Harve Presnell sang the male lead, opposite Debbie Reynolds in the title role. I thought he was perfectly suited to that role. His voice gave the movie more class and matched the mountains he mined. Movie musicals were waning, at least in comparison to earlier, and arguably later; but Presnell and Reynolds fought the trend.

Another Meredith Wilson musical, Paint Your Wagon, touched 60s themes perhaps better than any other musical of the time. Like Unsinkable Molly, it too came with a Western setting. Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Jean Seberg and Ray Walston gave wonderful performances, but none of them were really singers. Harve Presnell was. This piece from Paint Your Wagon shows that.

My advice: seize the time to watch more musicals. If you like Westerns or Musicals in general, then especially start with these two Western Musicals. I recommend Paint Your Wagon first. It not only had Meredith Wilson’s influence, but also Alan Jay Lerner and Paddy Chayefsky. Lerner contributed to many other classics of musical theater, e.g. My Fair Lady and Brigadoon. Chayefsky wrote for stage and screen creating such masterpieces as The Americanization of Emily and Network . Quite a list of credits for one movie musical, but I think it still lives up to them.

Happy Independence Day

Steppenwolf’s “Monster” — Lyrics.

Literal Videos — going viral ?

“Ever wish songs just sang what was happening in the music video?”

Many excellent songs with great music and lyrics often have music videos which don’t seem to fit the songs at all, and also get strange.

Bonnie Tyler had a huge hit with “Total Eclipse of the Heart” which was written by Jim Steinman (one of my favorite song writers).

Although Steinman gets credited with storyboards for the music video, the action in the video rarely seems to match the lyrics. However, in the literal version it matches the changed lyrics.

For comparison here’s a link to the original video.

It was 20 years ago today . . .

No, not “Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play” . . . not quite . . .

Catchy tune

“Musical op-ed piece written and performed by John Forster and Tom Chapin”

Dom DeLuise, R.I.P.

Dom had many, many great comic roles. I favor examples from Blazing Saddles for anyone who had a role in it. Even though his part was small, he did his usual great job.

Remembering May 4th, 1970

I remember the Kent State killings very well. I was just the right age for the military draft but had gotten lucky with a 1Y classification (at least until they eliminated that, and then I lucked out with a high lottery number). Of the people my age which I knew well enough to talk with about the Kent State events, most suspected what the clip below shows.