GIVE TIL IT HURTS!

New meme

Spent all damned evening working this one up to my satisfaction, but I think you meme-lover miscreants in the CF Lifer ranks will agree it was worth the effort.

Still haven’t figured out how to do a stroke-outline on text in that damned Gimp software, but oh well. Layer and/or object alignment is another Gimp mystery that gives me hissy fits, although tonight I DID figure out how to do straight (kinda-sorta-somewhat) lines via the “shift” key after some bootless mucking about with the “path” tool, there being no “line” or “custom shapes” tool available therein. No way to nudge objects a pixel or two at a time with the arrow keys either, or if there is I haven’t managed to find it yet.

All in all, what can I say. I feel like I’m slowly but surely getting better with the Gimp; I’m grateful the Gimp is there, mind, and the price is certainly right, but I am and likely ever shall remain a Photoshop guy in my coal-black heart. Back when I was working at the magazines we had to use Illustrator to do front covers and suchlike, with interior page-layouts assembled using InDesign, which I actually liked a lot better than Quark anyhoo. Still, for designing the ads (my main job) I sneaked back over to P-shop every time I could get by with it, rather than endure another agonizing, interminable slog through Illy. P-shop is what I cut my graphic-design teeth on many years ago: it’s what I’m used to, I understand and am entirely comfortable with it, and I’m far too old a dog to be learning much in the way of new tricks now, alas.

DISCLAIMER: Shrub’s half-assed moose-tache was not my doing; that and the odd halo were already in place when I scooped the image off Luxxle, so I refuse to shoulder any of the blame for it. I just DL’d the image, cropped/scaled it a little to fit the space, and pasted it in without further undue fuss. The other two sloppily-drawn nutdusters, on Tricky Dick and Ronnie the Great, I admit my guilt freely. No need to adorn Pedo Peter with a ’stache, since the Hellfire-and-brimstone backdrop and Too Old Jaux’s angry gesticulating make the point well enough already, I felt.

Any fellow Persons Of Blogge out there who are given to running these pitchers-with-funny-words thingamajiggers—Pete, I’m looking at you, buddy—may feel free to run the above creation to your heart’s content with my blessing and humble thanks. I credited myself at the bottom right, as you can see, so don’t feel obligated to go to any such trouble your own self.

Heh. Alzhitler. I’ll say it again: I slay me. A-HENH!

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Solidarnosc

Fake News work stoppage.

The Babylon Bee Writers Stand In Solidarity With Our Fellow Fake News Writers Going On Strike At The Washington Post
It has come to our attention that the delightfully witty satirists of The Washington Post are going on strike this week. We here at The Babylon Bee stand in solidarity with our fellow comedians and join them in demanding fair wages. The writers at WP work hard to bring us their daring and uproarious brand of comedy every day, and they deserve compensation for their work.

Where else can we find comedic gems like “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48” or “Does that Jason Aldean song go on a playlist? Or a watchlist?” Where else can we find stories on race, gender, and foreign policy so consistently hilarious that they brighten our days and keep us hungrily coming back for more again and again?

Not to mention this classic howler:

Stop it, WaPo hacks, you’re killing me over here. Making me kinda hungry, too.

Update! Thought I was joking about that last one, did ya? ’Fraid not.

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Moar Christmas tunage

Man, can these kids sing or WHAT?!?

Although I picked this up from that Irish Christmas music channel I mentioned last week, strictly speaking the absolutely gorgeous Pie Jesu isn’t actually a Christmas song.

“Pie Jesu” (/ˈpiː.eɪ ˈjeɪ.zuː, -suː/ PEE-ay-YAY-zu; original Latin: “Pie Iesu” /ˈpi.e ˈje.su/) is a text from the final couplet of the hymn “Dies irae”, and is often included in musical settings of the Requiem Mass as a motet. The phrase means “pious Jesus” in the vocative.

The settings of the Requiem Mass by Luigi Cherubini, Antonin Dvořák, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Duruflé, John Rutter, Karl Jenkins, Kim André Arnesen and Fredrik Sixten include a “Pie Jesu” as an independent movement. Decidedly, the best known is the “Pie Jesu” from Fauré’s Requiem. Camille Saint-Saëns, who died in 1921, said of Fauré’s “Pie Jesu”: “Just as Mozart’s is the only ‘Ave verum corpus’, this is the only ‘Pie Jesu’.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s setting of “Pie Jesu” in his Requiem (1985) has also become well known and has been widely recorded, including by Sarah Brightman, Charlotte Church, Jackie Evancho, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Ylvis, Marie Osmond, Anna Netrebko, and others. Performed by Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles-Kingston, it was a certified Silver hit in the UK in 1985.

The mood set by the above achingly-beautiful Angelis performance of Lloyd-Webber’s version is as placid and soul-soothing as Christmas morn itself, making it close enough to Christmas music to do for me. Translation from the Latin:

Pious Jesus,
Who takes away the sins of the world,
Give them rest.

Lamb of God,
Who takes away the sins of the world,
Give them rest,
Everlasting
Rest.

If there really are “choirs of angels” waiting to sing us to our Heavenly rest, this HAS to be exactly what they sound like.

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Product: ENDORSED

With all my heart and soul.

Saw that this morning, and I haven’t stopped laughing since. Having broken the bank and gone without eating a cpl-three days last month to buy my musically-gifted daughter a 70s-vintage King Tempo trumpet off of eBay, to be specific:

Nickel plated, with raw-brass tuning slides and valve caps for contrast, in A-1 shape for its age—a bit of corrosion at the grab-points from skin oils and/or sweat, along with some very minor scratches and scuffs, as one must expect with anything this old. The case is in slightly worse shape, alas; as you can see from the pic, the felt has separated from the shell up by the grab handle. But no worries: my friend Greg is generously donating his like-new, barely used Benge case to make up for it.

I played a King myself during my band career and for many years after (a 601, if I remember right), and my poor horn was one hell of a lot more battered and beat-up by the time I parted with it than this fine instrument is. Hey, the great Harry James was a King man throughout his illustrious career—what better endorsement could one possibly want?

So you can bet your sweet bippy my young ‘un will be getting herself a BrassTache from dear old dad this Christmas to adorn and enliven her noble old King. She inherited the same silly, juvenile sense of humor her old man has, so I know she’s gonna love it all to pieces. And laugh herself sick over it, like papa did.

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On laying hose

So you think you want to be a fireman, eh kid?

The hose that runs from the fire hydrant to the fire truck is called supply line. Most supply line is 3 inches or more in diameter, and in Central Florida, it’s usually 5 inches. (Orlando uses 4 inch, but that is because they typically have fire hydrants that are close together).

First, a bit of engineering.

The reason for this is hydrodynamics and friction loss. The average water main pressure is about 65 psi. At 1,000 gallons per minute, a 3 inch hose loses 80 pounds of pressure every 100 feet of hose length due to friction between the moving water and the hose itself, while a 4 inch diameter hose loses 20 pounds of pressure, and a 5 inch hose loses only 8 pounds. That means, if you want longer hose lays with high flow, the larger the diameter of your supply line, the better.

There is a lot of math involved in being the driver of a fire engine. You need to be able to calculate your friction losses in your head, rapidly, and remember that the lives of the guys in the burning building depend on you getting it correct. When you are flowing 2,000 gallons per minute through half a dozen different hose lines at 2 in the morning at a burning strip mall isn’t the time to realize that you are math deficient.

5 inch supply line has what is called a “sexless coupling” meaning that there is no male or female end, the couplings are interchangeable (butbutbut WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER 872+ GENDERS?!?—M). This allows you to start laying from either the fire to the hydrant, called a reverse lay, or from the hydrant to the fire, called a forward lay. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but we won’t talk about that in this post.

My fire truck carried 1200 feet of 5 inch diameter supply line. That means with standard hydrant pressure, I could get a bit more than 800 gallons per minute into my engine without having to put another fire engine at the hydrant to boost pressure.

A whole bunch more fascinating stuff regarding what-all you need to know but almost certainly don’t when it comes to how fires are fought nowadays is included in this must-read post from Divemedic. Even if you never cared anything about being a fireman when you grew up—I didn’t, I admit, nor about being a cowboy, although being an astronaut did sound pretty cool—this stuff is just too good to miss out on reading, and you shouldn’t. There’s a video too, just for additional incentive to go check it out.

Back when I was working at the H-D shop, my boss Goose wanted desperately to be a fireman, but after failing the dummy-drag test three times he finally had to give it up as a lost cause. Goose practiced and strength-trained for months and months—and being a former USMC F4 mechanic, you know he wasn’t lacking in either intelligence or iron-willed determination—but in the end he’s a small, slight fella and those damned dummies are damned heavy. In fact, I think the dummy actually outweighed him by about twenty-thirty pounds.

At any rate, from hearing Goose talk about it, I probably know more than the average bear about what it takes to be a fireman, but even so DM still covers things I never heard about before.

Can’t get enough of that Donald Trump stuff

Wayne Root submits an increasingly pertinent question.

How Did Trump Become Superman, Batman, Elvis & the Beatles Rolled into One?
Trump isn’t just winning big in America…he’s spreading!

A Trump clone (Javier Milei) was just elected as President of Argentina. A Trump clone (Geert Wilders) was just elected as the leader of Netherlands. A Trump clone (Conor McGregor) is the new nationalist hero of Ireland, defending the Irish people from foreign invasion- and he may also become the next Prime Minister.

A Trump clone was even elected Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina this week- the first Republican elected since 1877.

You’ve heard the song, “I’m turning Japanese, I really think so.” Well, the new hit single is “The whole world is turning Trump, I really think so.” Everywhere in America and all over the world, Trump is spreading.

Did you see President Trump entering the arena for UFC two weeks ago? It was one of the most amazing, exhilarating sports entrances ever. 20,000 fans went insane screaming for Trump. It was like the Beatles arriving in America in 1964.

Did you see President Trump entering the football stadium last Saturday for the South Carolina-Clemson college football game? When Trump walked into the stadium the crowd was even more hysterical than the UFC crowd. It was like they were witnessing Elvis return from the dead. 80,000 fans went wild for Trump- screaming his name and chanting “USA, USA, USA.” It was literally one of the most exciting scenes in sports history.

Keep in mind this wasn’t a political convention. These weren’t Republicans. This was a mainstream football game. And the audience was mostly college students. No politician in U.S. history has ever elicited a reaction like this.

Trump is no longer a man. He is a superhero to a vast swath of America.

Polls confirm that something special is happening. Trump is beating Biden in virtually every poll at Real Clear Politics. Trump is winning in every battleground state. Trump is winning among youth. Trump is leading among minority men. And if Trump is winning the popular vote, that means he’s winning an electoral landslide.

This is happening while Trump is under four federal and state indictments, facing 91 felony counts, and over 700 years in prison.

Trump is doing the best in polls in history. In all the years since he came down the escalator in 2015, Trump has rarely led in polls, anywhere.

Trump voters are always under-counted in polls. That’s why Trump was always trailing Hillary in 2016. Yet Trump won. Trump was always trailing Biden throughout 2019 and 2020- nationally and in most battleground states. Yet Trump added 12 million new votes. He got the most votes of any sitting president in history.

We all know Trump won the 2020 election. Democrats had to rig and cheat with fake mail-in ballots in six key battleground states to overcome huge Trump leads on Election Night that would have given Trump an electoral landslide.

But now for the first time in history, Trump is winning in every poll.

How dramatically have things changed? Trump was just endorsed by a co-Founder of BLM.

How did Trump go from supposedly “unpopular” “washed up” and “the GOP’s past” to superhero, Superman, Batman, Elvis and the Beatles rolled into one, while under nonstop criminal indictment? The answers are simple…

Follows, a rundown of those answers, which are indeed simple enough. But in the end, they all boil down to just one:

Thank you, Democrats. You built this Trump superhero.

Heh. Credit the DC Swamp malefactors and their Woke Corporate Amerika Inc criminal co-conspirators with an assist, but…pretty much, yeppers. You just know that’s gotta smart a bit, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of assholes if you ask me.

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RAYCISS!

Go, little black (and red) face boy, go!


I’m with the esteemed Mr Woods myself, all the way, and with Mr Majesty as well. Another perfect response:


In-fargin’-DEED. Sadly, the shitlibs can no more recognize irony than their own hypocrisy, and are as bereft of a sense of shame as they are of a sense of humor, of humility, or of decency. Remarkable, innit, how these self-proclaimed enlightened, evolved Superior Beings are in truth deficient in so very many ways.

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George Thoroughlygood

The Delaware Destroyer rocks out on one of my personal faves, a cover of rock ‘n’ roll icon Bo Diddley’s original tune.

Back in the day, Diddley was always jokingly known in the BPs band-van as Squiggly Diggley. Hey, when you’re tired, smelly, hungover as hell, and still have another six to eight hours of driving before you make it to that night’s venue, pretty much everything begins to seem funny, aiight?

The George Thorogood backstory is an interesting one.

Thorogood began his career as a solo acoustic performer in the style of Robert Johnson and Elmore James after being inspired in 1970 by a John P. Hammond concert. In 1973, he formed a band, the Delaware Destroyers, with high school friend and drummer Jeff Simon. With additional players, the Delaware Destroyers developed its sound, a mixture of Chicago blues and rock and roll. The band’s first shows were in the Rathskeller bar at the University of Delaware and at Deer Park Tavern, both in Newark, Delaware. Eventually, the band’s name was shortened to the Destroyers. During this time, Thorogood supplemented his income by working as a roadie for Hound Dog Taylor.

Thorogood’s demo Better Than the Rest was recorded in 1974, but was not released until 1979. His major recording debut came with the album George Thorogood and the Destroyers, which was released in 1977. In 1978, Thorogood released his next album with the Destroyers titled Move It on Over, which included a remake of Hank Williams’s “Move It on Over”. He followed those recordings in 1979 with “Please Set a Date” and a reworking of the Bo Diddley song “Who Do You Love”, both released in 1979. The band’s early success contributed to the rise of folk label Rounder Records.

During the late 1970s, Thorogood and his band were based in Boston. He was friends with Jimmy Thackery of the Washington, D.C.-based blues band, The Nighthawks. While touring in the 1970s, the Destroyers and the Nighthawks were playing shows in Georgetown at venues across the street from each other. The Destroyers were engaged at the Cellar Door and the Nighthawks at Desperados. At midnight, while both bands played Elmore James’s “Madison Blues” in the same key, Thorogood and Thackery left their clubs, met in the middle of M Street, exchanged guitar cords and went on to play with the opposite band in the other club. The connection with the Nighthawks was extended further when Nighthawks bass player Jan Zukowski supported Thorogood’s set with Bo Diddley and Albert Collins at the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 13, 1985.

Thorogood gained his first mainstream exposure as a support act for the Rolling Stones during their 1981 U.S. tour. He was also the featured musical guest on Saturday Night Live (Season 8, Episode 2) on the October 2, 1982, broadcast. During this time, Thorogood and the Destroyers became known for their rigorous touring schedule, including the “50/50” tour in 1981, on which the band toured all 50 US states in 50 days. After two shows in Boulder, Colorado, Thorogood and his band flew to Hawaii for one show and then performed a show in Alaska the following night. The next day, Thorogood and his band met his roadies in Washington and continued the one-show-per-state tour. In addition, he played Washington, D.C., on the same day that he performed a show in Maryland, thereby playing 51 shows in 50 days.

With his contract with Rounder Records expiring, Thorogood signed with EMI America Records and, in 1982, released the single “Bad to the Bone” and an album of the same name that went gold. The song became the band’s most well-known song through appearances on MTV and use in films, television and commercials. Thorogood and his band went on to have two more gold studio albums in the 1980s, Maverick and Born to Be Bad. The former features Thorogood’s only Billboard Hot 100 hit, a remake of Johnny Otis’s “Willie and the Hand Jive”, and his concert staple “I Drink Alone”.

 Breakthrough hit or no, I’d be a-okay if I never heard “Bad to The Bone” again for the rest of my life. That said, I still like most of the rest of George’s recorded output just fine, thanks. Legend has it that the Stones, Mick or Keef one, ran across Thorogood gigging in some small gin-joint or other and were impressed enough to offer him the support-act slot on the above-mentioned 1981 tour on the spot, after which it was off and running for the toothy slide-player from the Small-Wonder State. Good for him, I say; the man has damned sure paid his dues, as the old bluesmen used to say, and gained his fame, fortune, and success the old-fashioned way: he earned it.

Update! Not Thorogood, but have yourselves a bonus tune anyway. Heard it on the car radio earlier; I’d just about forgotten how much I always liked it.

Burton Cummings, the guy who wrote this one, absolutely rips some boogie-woogie pi-anny on the original recorded version, although it seems just a mite understated here. What the hey, though, this one’s live, and it’s still damned good if you ask me.

T’was the night before Christmas

And thru the White House
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a louse

An Alt Christmas Carol
The White House, Christmas Eve, 2023. Imagine the painfully lugubrious scene….

“Joe Biden” rattles around in the upstairs “residence” like a BB in a packing crate. Nobody is around besides a few secret service agents, so still at their posts they might as well be statuary. The Big Guy is all alone. His spouse, Dr. Jill, had enough of pretend caretaking quite a while ago, and flew off to Oprah’s place in Santa Barbara for counseling and commiseration. Hunter is Gawd-knows-where doing Gawd-knows-what.

“JB” shuffles out of the residence kitchen, where he just demolished a half gallon of Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream® ice cream, against his doctor’s orders. His gall bladder writhes in revolt, sending a distress signal up the vagus nerve to the shriveled hypothalamus in his brain. A jumbled fugue of emotions — rage, fear, sexual arousal — quickens his step as he navigates by dead reckoning to the executive bedroom where he hurries to bed and falls into leaden slumber — only to be awakened by a cacophony of ringing bells. His eyelids roll open like shades in the windows of a skid row hotel room. Plangent moaning resounds as a mist emerges through the bedroom door and resolves into a mysterious figure garbed in the raiment of the Ku Klux Klan.

“Joe Biden” shrinks under the luxury Boll & Branch signature duvet— acquired when the agriculture minister of Ukraine slipped him an envelope stuffed with 100 hryvnia notes. The spirit wails something that resembles the old Confederate anthem Eatin’ Goober Peas.

“Who are you spirit?” the quaking president asks.

“Why, I am your old pard from the Senate,” the ghost of Robert Byrd declares, removing the pointed hood to reveal his leonine head of hair and scowling face. “Why have you thrown our sacred borders wide open, suh? I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels.”

“Y-y-you don’t uh-uh-understand,” “JB” says, his childhood stutter returning. “They are muh-muh-migrants from oppression and vuh-vuh-very fine people.”

“Fine people, my ass,” the former Senator from West Virginia cries and clears the dust of the sepulcher from his throat. “I will send three spirits to you this night as a review of what has been and what shall become, so beware….” And with that the spirit returns to mist and slips back out through the keyhole…

“Joe Biden” is shocked from slumber again as an attractive blond female ghost floats through the bedroom window.

“Don’t I know you?” he asks.

“Cad! That is the very line you used to pick me up on spring break in Nassau, 1966,” says “JB’s” first wife, Neilia Hunter. “Shall I show you the meretricious spectacle you made of our family after that truck driver on Limestone Road ended my life and your little daughter’s too!”

“No-o-o-o-o,” the president moans, but is magically transported to the Wilmington Hospital room where his banged-up boys, Beau and Hunter, are recovering from their injuries. A TV crew is present as “JB” emotes for the camera, a cruel victim of fate, he blubbers, who will yet conquer his grief and go on to forty years of electoral victories and the sedulous gathering of tribute from “donors” far and wide to soften the blow of his loss. The room dims…

Read on for the other spirit visitations: second being the martyred Saint George of Fentanyl, complete with Neegrow dialect deftly translated from the original ghetto-ese, representing the Ghost Of Christmas Present; Christmas Yet To Come I’ll leave unnamed so as not to spoil the surprise for ya, but take my word for it, t’is a consummation devoutly to be wished. Kunstler uncorks his by no means inconsiderable writerly chops and lets ‘em really soar in this one, and it’s a joy and a wonder to behold.

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Christmas moozik

Borepatch tells us that A) Allison Krause is a national treasure, as is the peerless Yo Yo Ma, and B) this song is, and I quote, “magical.” He is perfectly correct, on all counts.

As it happens, I heard this one over the weekend on the classical music station as I was trying to come up with a reason to drag myself out of bed; it stopped me dead in my tracks, I was helpless to do anything but just lie there and take it in. The haunting melody of this rendition of the traditional Irish carol (VERY Irish, t’is; an orchestral version is here, if you’re interested in comparing and contrasting) may seem a bit, um, mournful for Christmas, which usually brings to mind more merry, celebratory, light-hearted music for most of us.

But no matter; this song is simply gorgeous, the performances stellar, and the arrangement is nothing short of spectacular, a piece of near-divine musical inspiration. Well done to all involved, and thanks to Borepatch for the reminder.

Update! Any overgrown kid out there like meself who just can’t get enough of that Christmas-y stuff is hereby advised to check out a fine, fine live365 stream I’ve had running pretty much continually since I came across it over the weekend: ChristmasFM Classical. After three days, there’ve been precious few duds so far—if any, even, a point which I am not entirely prepared to concede.

Ironically enough in light of the subject matter of another of tonight’s posts, it appears from ChristmasFM’s own website that the station just happens to be based guess where.

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Denominational cues ‘n’ clues

The handiest, most concise guide for the Christianity-curious you’ll ever find.

It can be so confusing, trying to figure out which of the 437 Christian denominations you want to join. In fact, scientists believe there are almost as many denominations as there are genders. That’s a lot of different ways to do church!

Luckily, we’re here to help you sort through them all. Here are the pros and cons of each of the major Christian denominations:

Baptist

Pro: Potlucks

Con: Diabetes

Presbyterian

Pro: Majestic old hymns that cause your soul to rejoice in God’s glory

Con: You are not allowed to move a single muscle while rejoicing in God’s glory

Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church

Pro: Positive, uplifting messages

Con: Hell

Eastern Orthodox

Pro: Full, robust beards

Con: The women have them too

Charismatic

Pro: Hit your step goal 20 minutes into service

Con: Non-zero chance of getting knocked over by the pastor and/or bitten by a snake

Anglican

Pro: Can have a beer & cigar with your priest

Con: Decent chance your priest is a drag queen

United Methodist Church

Pro: Cool logo on church building

Con: Rainbow flag on church building

Unitarian

Pro: You can do whatever you want and there’s no God or hell

Con: Oh no! They’re wrong and now you’re in hell

Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to confirm whether the outlet from whence this excerpt was gleaned is a satire site or not, so you’ll just have to judge for yourselves.

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True Hollywood stories

Sex, drugs, and rock and roll during the making of the Blues Brothers movie. Even more great behind-the-scenes tales than is usual in the movie biz, which is justly famous for them, with this long 2013 article, to wit:

One night at three, while filming on a deserted lot in Harvey, Illinois, Belushi disappears. He does this sometimes. On a hunch, Aykroyd follows a grassy path until he spies a house with a light on.

“Uh, we’re shooting a film over here,” Aykroyd tells the homeowner. “We’re looking for one of our actors.”

“Oh, you mean Belushi?” the man replies. “He came in here an hour ago and raided my fridge. He’s asleep on my couch.”

Only Belushi could pull this off. “America’s Guest,” Aykroyd calls him.

“John,” Aykroyd says, awakening Belushi, “we have to go back to work.”

Belushi nods and rises. They walk back to the set as if nothing happened.

Well, in Belushi World, nothing much had. Another:

Filming finishes in Los Angeles, in and around the Universal lot, where Aykroyd again takes up residence. John and Judy rent a house in Coldwater Canyon. “By the time we got to Los Angeles,” Aykroyd says, “[the shoot] was a well-oiled machine.”

By comparison, anyway. Production goes more or less on schedule, and Los Angeles injects its energy: parties at the Playboy Mansion, nights with De Niro and Nicholson.

Belushi summons periods of sobriety. By now he has met Smokey Wendell, a kind of bodyguard/anti-drug enforcer for Joe Walsh, a guitarist for the Eagles. “If I don’t do something now,” Belushi tells Wendell, “I’m going to be dead in a year or two.”

Belushi is on his best behavior while in the presence of the movie’s other musical stars: Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Cab Calloway. They, too, are in fine form. Even Charles, the crankiest of the bunch, laughs and laughs, usually while retelling the same dirty joke. The Blues Brothers presents a real opportunity for all of them, since all but Charles are in commercial ruts.

Not that this changes any of them. Marini, one of the horn players, spots Franklin taking a cigarette break. He approaches sheepishly, saying, “I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your work.” Franklin turns, glancing at the number on Marini’s football jersey. “Sixty-nine, huh?” she says, and turns away.

One day Aykroyd and Belushi raid the wardrobe department. Tanen happens to be in Wasserman’s office when Wasserman takes a call notifying him that two of Universal’s biggest stars, dressed as Nazi SS officers, have driven off the lot and onto the freeway. Tanen finds this hilarious. Wasserman does not.

Behind the scenes, it’s a different story. Daniel and Weiss are spent. And now they’re confronting the movie’s climactic concert scene. The finale requires Belushi and Aykroyd to do cartwheels, dance steps—the whole deal. It requires hundreds of extras. It requires the Hollywood Palladium.

Daniel gets a call from Weiss. “You better get down here,” Weiss says. When Daniel arrives, Weiss explains. A kid had ridden past Belushi on a skateboard. Belushi asked to ride the board. Belushi fell off the board.

Daniel finds the star clutching his knee and in serious pain. “This was bad,” Daniel recalls. “We had to deal with it in the most effective and emergency-like way. And there was one person who was wired into the Los Angeles medical community better than anyone else.” Wasserman. “I was one of the last people he wanted to hear from,” Daniel says. “The only thing he wanted to hear from me was ‘We’re done.’ ”

Wasserman calls the top orthopedist in town. “It’s Thanksgiving weekend,” the doctor points out. “I’m on my way to Palm Springs.”

“Not yet,” Wasserman replies.

Thirty minutes later, the orthopedist wraps and injects Belushi, who then grits his way through the finale.

End of story.

Or not.

It’s not; still tons more fascinating, entertaining inside dope left here, of which you should read the all.

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A refreshing change of pace

The Monday Kunstler marks a milestone of sorts.

In normal times we anticipate the splendid gluttony of the American Thanksgiving, the fellowship of family and friends, with gratitude and remembrance of overcoming ordeals past. This year, though, we are a bit preoccupied with ordeals to come, and that nip in the November air conjures rumors of approaching hardship and cruelties we have no idea how we might overcome. These are not normal times.

What was normal, anyway? The second half of the twentieth century in Western Civ, the cornucopia of post-war America, paychecks that covered the house, the car, assured square meals, and quite a bit left over for Disneyworld, a place at the lake with a speedboat, and four seats at the ballpark. Normal was keeping a lid on discontent in foreign lands and containing our wicked obverse enemy, the Soviet communists. Normal was mom and dad together under one roof, expecting strangers to behave decently, order outside the home. Normal was thinking all that would last forever.

I idealize a bit. But many of you will recognize at least some of that being present in your lives for a while, at least. And you might agree that it all started breaking badly in the new century, clearly marked by the attacks of nine-eleven. What followed that wondrous enormity was the amazing and nauseating transfiguration of our country into the opposite of the old normal: broad financial desperation, broken families, strangers bent on homicide and mayhem, official tyranny of all kinds, immersive lying, failed institutions, foolish wars, nothing and no one to believe in, and the creeping suspicion that mysterious evil forces are running it all.

Somehow, we have managed to become our old enemy, the Soviets. The sprawling bureaucracy I call the blob has a blank check to control everything we do, to usurp our individual economic decisions, intrude on our very bodies, snatch us from our homes or lock us up in them, and force us to shut-up about all that. Unlike the Soviets, though, our blob is unable to suppress vile civil misbehavior, murder, rape, looting, car-jacking, robbery at the bottom and fraud, bribery, money laundering, insider trading, cyber-Ponzis, and racketeering, at the top. The law is a new wilderness of iniquity. Show me the man and I’ll find a crime to pin on him, Stalin’s KGB chief liked to say. Merrick Garland seems to like that method, too.

The oddest feature of this upheaval is that the revolutionary youth in the streets and on the campuses are on the side of tyranny — as long as they are allowed to do some of the tyrannizing. The mobs and the blob officials mutually reinforce each other. The governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, did everything possible to protect Antifa while they destroyed the city of Portland. Mayor Muriel Bowser had Washington DC’s streets painted boldly to celebrate Black Lives Matter, after they torched the church across the street from the White House, occupied by the wicked Trump. Lately, the Ivy Leaguers stupidly shout for intifada and the allahu akbar of beheading — the innate sadism of Wokery on display for all to see. These mobs got tacit official permission to do their mob thing — except for the crowd that FBI blob agents turned into a mob on January 6, 2021. Permission denied! Instead, the people who “paraded” in the US Capitol got systematically hunted down by Christopher Wray. Can those luckless souls now serving years-long jail sentences possibly feel thankful for being born in the USA?

Read the rest and rejoice, for this time out Jim omits any mention of VOTING HARDERER AT THEM!!!© in the closing ‘graphs, and It. Is. Good.

4
1

Credit where due

Ken Layne always runs such great memes, I must say; in fact, I’ve swiped a good many of the tremendous backlog currently clogging my hard drive from his excellent establishment, and am grateful indeed for the opportunity. Just now I glommed a particularly good ‘un I’m gonna to dedicate to responsible adult and placental mammal Diogenes Sarcastica, who I am pleased and privileged to consider a blog-pal, just because I’m confident she’ll get a chuckle out of it when it runs here tomorrow evening.

As I like to tell myself I am, Miz DS is a weirdo in all the very best ways, which is why I figger she’ll pick up on it. No, I ain’t gonna say which meme it is, that would spoil the whole thing for everybody. Y’all will just have to figure that out for yourselves.

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