Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Old and New


On May 3, 1469 Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy.
To suggest that he led a consequential life would be an understatement.

Niccolò Machiavelli, by Santi di Tito

Although it wasn't formally published until years after his death, his political tract The Prince was widely read (and quite controversial) from the time in first appeared in 1513.

Part of the work's popularity and influence was due to its being written in Italian rather than Latin. Scholars believe Machiavelli decided on this approach due to the popularity of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy,
also written in the vernacular.

Regardless of what one may think about Machiavelli's intentions, it is inarguable that
his treatise has provided a rationale for the kind of amoral, utilitarian political philosophy which still dominates political systems around the world.

"Scruples are for LOSERS!"

Is there a better embodiment of Machiavelli's philosophy of deception and unscrupulous behavior as a methodology for achieving and maintaining power than asshat Donald Trump? One could argue that his entire run for the presidency is a field experiment attempting to validate Machiavelli's theories.

The "Iron Lady"

Not every politician is soul-less Machiavellian, of course. From time to time we are reminded that it is possible for someone to succeed in politics while behaving honorably and standing for worthwhile principles.

On May 3, 1979 Margaret Thatcher became the first (and, so far, the only) female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Mrs. Thatcher held that post for more than 11 years, serving her constituents with dignity and moral resolve.

"Any politicians on the current scene who have her moral courage, do you think?"

As a matter of fact...

Good Eatin'

It's no secret that on many occasions I am not in the mood to make my own dinner, so it's always nice to find a new dining option to add to my list. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit is a national chain that recently opened a location in the Lake Manawa shopping area a few minutes from my apartment. I have known it was there for awhile, but last night was my first visit.

A fine repast
Their menu consists of reasonably typical items for a barbecue joint, with a few unique wrinkles (the baked potato casserole I tried last night, for instance).

The heart of any good barbecue restaurant is the meat, of course, and this place delivered the goods. The pulled pork I had was tender, juicy, and infused with a nice amount of hickory smoke.

I will definitely make a return trip...

"Another barbecue restaurant, seriously? Boring."

If you had teeth, I'd tell you to bite your tongue...

Rose Red Update

I'm having a lot of fun playing with all the technological gadgetry Rose Red has in her new incarnation.

Yesterday I successfully connected my Moto X phone and my iPod Touch using the built-in Bluetooth functionality, which is very cool.

Laugh Riot

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

Until Next Time...

One of the enduring myths in the performing arts is the notion of the "overnight sensation," the performer who explodes into the public awareness seemingly out of nowhere. The reality, of course, is that these actors, singers, and musicians have usually been toiling away in obscurity for years before finding a way to break through (and of course most performers never do break through).

English rock singer Robert Palmer is a good case in point. When Palmer released his eighth solo album in 1985, he had never had a Top 10 hit as a solo artist in either the United States or the U.K. Riptide changed that, on both sides of the Atlantic.

The first two singles from the album barely made a ripple on the charts, but with "Addicted To Love" Palmer finally had his breakthrough hit after more than a decade of relative obscurity.

Original 1986 45 rpm single

On May 3, 1986 "Addicted to Love" hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, the first chart-topper in Palmer's long career, either in the U.S. or in his native England.

As you might expect, in short order it became his signature song.

Boosted by the hit single, Riptide gave Palmer his only Top 10 album, and it also received two platinum certifications from RIAA.

Today's send-off is the official music video released in support of the song, which became an iconic hit in its own right (and was also spoofed quite a bit at the time). Yes it is goofy, and yes it is one of the videos I have in mind when I say "80s music video disclaimers apply," but 31 years ago this song was inescapable, and there is something to be said for that. Enjoy...

No comments:

Post a Comment