Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wit's End

Nitwits on Parade

Those of us who still have a little faith in our political system are struggling a bit nowadays. It is getting harder and harder to defend the notion that anyone of legal age should be permitted to vote.

"Thanks for the sweet gig, suckers!"
The current occupant of the White House has been elected President twice.

His signature legislative achievement to date is collapsing, as predicted by opponents at the time it was rammed through over massive public opposition.

His strategy for combating domestic Islamic terrorism is to further restrict the right of Americans to protect themselves.

And have I mentioned that his management of the U.S. economy has been historically awful?

"My honesty doesn't matter, only my uterus matters."

The leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination is a scandal-plagued 68-year-old harpy who has never accomplished a damned thing in her political life, and who lies as easily and often as the rest of us breathe.
"You say 'fascism' like that's a bad thing."

The leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination is a narcissistic 69-year-old blowhard whose most recent pronouncement is that as president he would ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

"People say that Canada is a pleasant place to live."

I'm looking into it, believe me...

Christmas Movies and TV Shows

One of the mixed blessings this time of year is all of the motion pictures and episodes of television programs with Christmas themes. I call it a "mixed" blessing because almost all of those productions miss the point of the Christmas season altogether, and many of them offer messages that are antithetical to the true spirit of Christmas. There are some exceptions, of course, and for the next few days I'll be mentioning some of my favorites in this space.

Original 1951 "one sheet" poster
The first Christmas movie I have any memory of seeing on TV is the 1951
Bob Hope comedy The Lemon Drop Kid.

Based on a Damon Runyon short story,
the film is a typical Hope vehicle. He plays
a fast-talking ne'er-do-well whose money-making schemes never pan out.

After a preposterous sequence of events, Hope's character finally discovers the Christmas spirit, and a happy ending ensues. Silly as the material is, Hope's performance elevates it. Of course, I have always had a soft spot for smart-alecks (in many ways Hope was a real-life Bugs Bunny).

The movie is mostly remembered nowadays for introducing the classic song "Silver Bells" (which was written for the film) into the repertoire of Christmas favorites.

Our President Seems Confused

From the pen of Lisa Benson, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.


Just a quick reminder that you miss out on some cool content if you don't click on at least some of the live links in these posts. Comments are also most welcome. Agree or disagree, I would love to hear from you!

Until Next Time...

While the motion picture The Lemon Drop Kid was still in production in late 1950, Bob Hope's good friend Bing Crosby recorded a version of the film's song "Silver Bells" as a duet with Carol Richards, a singer whose career was launched when she won a talent contest sponsored by Hope.

The recording unexpectedly became a hit (eventually reaching No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart), and the film's producers had Hope and his co-star Marilyn Maxwell shoot a new, more elaborate production of the song prior to the film's release
in March 1951. You can watch that performance here.

The song quickly became a staple for recording artists in almost every genre, and it remains one of the most beloved secular Christmas songs to this day. Personally, the memories it evokes of Christmas seasons of my childhood (Council Bluffs) and my adolescence (Kansas City) are very dear to me. Nothing beats "Christmastime in the city," especially if you're still a kid at heart.

Today's send-off is the Crosby/Richards duet, still as charming as ever. Enjoy...

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