Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Super Duper Tuesday

Death of the Party

Sit down and shut up, nitwit.
Today, as voters in several states go to the polls on the day some are calling Super Tuesday, I'm still grumbling about the extent to which my party, the party of Lincoln, has been overrun by blustering nativist bullies like the guy in the picture at the right.

As much as I continue to hope that Republican voters as a group will eventually snap out their Trump infatuation and get serious about beating Hillary, I'm also aware of a growing sentiment among genuine conservatives that perhaps the party is beyond salvaging.

My political lodestar isn't a politician at all.
Unlike a lot of people, I don't really think of myself as a "Republican." The party as a party means nothing to me. I'm a conservative who usually votes for Republicans because for the most part they are usually better aligned with my principles than Democrats are.

There are, in fact, quite a number of genuinely conservative politicians to admire in the ranks of the Republican party. At the moment, however, they are being completely overshadowed by asshat Donald Trump and his angry minions.

Today's voting will help to further clarify the situation. I'm trying to remain positive, and have faith in the good judgment of my fellow citizens.

That said, if Trump and his acolytes succeed in winning the nomination, I will want no part of them or of the Republican party. I have actually voted Libertarian in two presidential elections. I won't be able to do that this time, but I would be open to the idea of a new party trying to take the place of the GOP. It isn't clear that the GOP would even survive as a party institutionally if it nominates Trump, whose failure would be devastating for GOP candidates in other races.

"If you form a new party, won't you need a mascot for it?"

Yes, but an insect-eating quadruped doesn't exactly project the right image....sorry...


Topps 1969 card

On March 1, 1969 the legendary baseball player Mickey Mantle announced his retirement. Although Mantle had enjoyed a career that would see him elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, in his first year of eligibility, fans couldn't help feeling that his career was something of a disappointment, spoiled by injuries and hard living.

I was still collecting baseball cards at the time, and Mantle's announcement came too late to affect the Topps 1969 card series. Mickey's 1969 card became prized by collectors in part because it was that rare card which had a player's entire career stats on it.

Requiescat in Pace

"I'll DRIVE it out!"
Woke up this morning to the news that yet another favorite actor of mine has passed away. George Kennedy died yesterday at age 91.

Although most of the eulogies will no doubt focus on his Oscar-winning role in Cool Hand Luke,
I actually liked him better in Stanley Donen's Charade (1963) and especially as TWA Lead Mechanic Joe Patroni in Airport (1970).

At the time that movie came out, my dad was a lead mechanic at the TWA overhaul base in Kansas City. Patroni basically was my dad, and so of course Airport was one of dad's favorite films also.

When Trump Voters Were Kids

From the delightful comic strip Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller, which you should read every day, as I do (even though Wiley is a squishy liberal).

Until Next Time...

For those of us who enjoy guitar-based rock music, the 1980s did not represent a Golden Age. Most of the guitar-based bands in those days were "hairdo" bands that cared more about their looks than about their music. A couple of those acts went on to have pretty substantial careers, but for the most part they were all very forgettable for me.

The other kind of "rock" band you sometimes came across tried to blend the synthesizer-heavy sounds of '80s dance pop with more traditional rock instrumentation and motifs. I liked some of these groups much better than the "hairdo" bands, but even the best of them--Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, The Outfield, Crowded House--were no threat to my favorites from the '60s and '70s.

One of the latter groups that that burned brightly for a brief time before disappearing was Mr. Mister, who released their first album in 1984. That record barely cracked the Billboard 200 Albums chart, but 1985's Welcome to the Real World exploded. It reached No. 1 on the album chart and also produced three Top 10 singles, including two that hit No. 1.

Original 1986 45 rpm single

On March 1, 1986 "Kyrie" hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, and would hold the top spot for two weeks. It wound up as the No. 9 best-selling single of 1986.

It was the band's second straight No. 1 hit, following on the heels of "Broken Wings," which ended up the No. 5 best-selling single that same year. But the group would only have two more charting singles before their career ended
in 1988.

You can't really be considered a "one-hit wonder" if you record two No. 1 singles, and a third song that hits the Top 10. But the band had a fairly typical '80s rock band career. There were LOTS of groups like this that burned brightly for a year or two, then just disappeared.

I like this one better than most of them, and still enjoy listening to both "Kyrie" and "Broken Wings" which they pop up in one of my iTunes playlists.

Today's send-off is official music video for "Kyrie." The usual 1980s music video disclaimers apply. Enjoy...

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