Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beware

Shakespearean

One of the most memorable moments in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar occurs in Act One, Scene 2, where a soothsayer warns Caesar to "beware the Ides of March." Caesar being Caesar, he dismisses the warning. And at the beginning of Act Three Caesar mocks the same soothsayer while on his way to the Senate, where of course the soothsayer's warning is proven to be accurate.

Ciarán Hinds as Caesar in HBO's Rome
The story of Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C. has been dramatized many times since Shakespeare's day, of course.

My favorite recent incarnation of the story was HBO's series Rome, which aired from 2005 to 2007.


I own the series on DVD, and periodically I will binge-watch it. It never gets old.

The parallels between the rise of Caesar and the rise of asshat Donald Trump are numerous. I am hopeful that the results of today's primary elections in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina will help to prevent Trump's becoming the GOP presidential nominee, but the party's cockeyed primary rules have been enabling a minority candidate to try pass himself off as the peoples' choice (with the active collaboration of the media).

"Trump really does see himself as a modern Caesar, doesn't he?"

He absolutely does...no one's will matters but his own, and he gives no sense at all that he understands our constitutional system...playing to the mob, just as Caesar did...



Post-Season Play



So, as it turned out the UC Irvine Anteaters were not selected for the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), either. That tournament snubbed the Anteaters, the Big West Conference co-champions, in favor of Long Beach State, who finished third in the conference and lost twice to the Anteaters during the regular season.

UC Irvine chose to accept a bid to play in the tournament sponsored by CollegeInsider.com,
and even at that got little respect, being assigned
to open the tournament on the road against North Dakota.


You can drive yourself nuts trying to figure out why these selection committees do what they do. Certainly the committee for the NCAA Tournament made some odd choices again this year. But I suppose in the end it is better to still be playing than not, so...

"You know it was you talking about them that jinxed them, right?"

I knew you were going to say that...



Everybody's a Critic



From the droll comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.



Until Next Time...

Just as there was yesterday, there was an obvious pick for this section today...

The Ides of March began as conventional four-piece rock combo, but by the end of 1969 they had added a brass section. At that time, bands like Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago, and Chase were doing well combining brass instruments with traditional rock arrangements. I liked that sort of thing, but The Ides of March turned out to be a one-hit wonder.

Original 1970 45 rpm single
That one hit was "Vehicle." Released in the spring of 1970, as my junior year of high school was winding down, it peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart on May 23.

It isn't a bad song, really, but it simply doesn't hold up to the best of the other brass-centric bands of the time. And the group certainly never had another single remotely as popular. They were done as a working band by 1973. They made a comeback in the '90s as a "retro" act, and they still function in that capacity these days.

Today's send-off is the original stereo 45 single. Enjoy...


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