Monday, June 20, 2016

For the Good Times

Narrative is Everything

"Seriously, progressives, I can't even..."

How desperate is the Obama administration to deny that radical Islamism played a central role in the nightclub shooting in Orlando last week?

So desperate that the transcripts of the shooter's 911 calls released today by the FBI have been redacted, with all references to Islam and ISIS omitted.

It is not clear to me what the Obama administration hopes to accomplish with this sort of censorship, since the shooter's uncensored comments have already been widely reported.

But the tale being spun by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, among others, is that the censorship is intended to avoid "re-victimizing" those killed in the nightclub, whatever that means. Of course, the real motive seems clear to most people: the government is trying to obscure the role of radical Islamism in the atrocity.

Why? Because the preferred progressive narrative is that the shooting occurred due to Christian homophobia and the NRA. Of course...

Cruise Update

Today my best friend Skip and his wife Elaine will be spending the day in the port city of Bordeaux, France. I suspect wine might be involved at some point...


Yesterday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium my beloved Kansas City Royals wound up winning the series against the visiting Detroit Tigers three games to one after a tense 2-1 victory in 13 innings on Father's Day.

Royals starter Chris Young had his best start of the season, allowing only three hits in his six complete innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts.

One of the three hits was a solo home run in the third inning, the only blemish on a fine performance.

The bullpen turned in seven innings of shutout work, with RHP Chien-Ming Wang getting the win after getting the final two outs in the top of the 12th and holding the Tigers scoreless in the 13th.

3B Cheslor Cuthbert delivered the game-winning hit, a bases-loaded single with one out that scored pinch-runner Lorenzo Cain. The Royals have now won three series in a row, and their 25-8 record at home is the best in the major leagues.

"So you're going to be in a good mood today?"

Well, the Royals are off today for travel to New York for a quick two-game series against the Mets that starts tomorrow, and days without ballgames are never my favorite, but yeah, I'm feeling reasonably good...


Original 1975 "one sheet" poster
On June 20, 1975 Steven Spielberg's Jaws opened in theaters nationwide, becoming an instant cultural phenomenon and one of the highest-grossing films in Hollywood history.

I actually saw the film by accident, not long before its official opening. I attended a "Special Sneak Preview" at the Plaza Theater in Kansas City one night on a whim, and had no idea what film they'd be showing.
In those days, it was not unusual for theaters to hold such screenings without giving the audience any hints about what they were going to see.

I knew there was going to be a film version of Peter Benchley's best-selling novel (which I had read, along with most of America), but when the lights went down I had no idea of what was coming. Within moments, the famous opening removed all doubt, and my curiosity won out over my fear.

Trust me when I tell you, watching that movie on a TV in your living room just isn't the same experience...

"So, did you scream?"

I did not...I did, however, have the ever-loving crap scared out of me several of the three or four scariest movies I've ever watched in a theater...

Sounds a Lot Like the Trump Campaign

From the comic strip Dilbert, by Scott Adams, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On June 20, 1924 Chester Burton Atkins was born in Luttrell, Tennessee. Known by his nickname "Chet," he would enjoy a legendary career as a musician, songwriter, and record producer. He was one of the artists responsible for the development of what came to be called the Nashville Sound, which dramatically expanded the popularity of country music in the United States.

A testament to his versatility and influence is that he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Chet won 14 Grammy Awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

For someone like me who was interested in guitar-based blues and blues-rock, Atkins's music wasn't exactly my favorite thing, but his guitar-playing was superb, and in his career he worked with many of the artists who inspired me, including Les Paul and Mark Knopfler (recording duet albums with both of them).

Not long after I graduated from high school Chet released his album For the Good Times, which featured everything from the Kris Kristofferson title track to movie themes and even opera. I was introduced to the record by a guitar-playing friend. Chet's playing is truly jaw-dropping stuff.

The album included Chet's instrumental cover version of Anne Murray's hit "Snowbird." His rendition won the Grammy Award for Best Country Music Instrumental in 1972.

Today's send-off is a 1978 live performance of "Snowbird," which features Chet playing one of his signature Gretsch guitars. Enjoy...

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