The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Ramona's picture

    FRIDAY FOLLIES: Huntsman's debut dud, New Bank Heist Health Care Plan, Pop-up Pianos, and Barbie killed Bratz

    Rachel Maddow, dear-heart, I'm begging you--never, ever do beat poetry at the bongo drum AGAIN!  Gawd!  That was painful! I'm telling you, it was excruciating!  I love you truly but that was just gawdawful.  Really.

    So if you were watching Rachel and you managed to get past the dimmed lights and the bongo and the terrible, horrible attempt at...whatever the hell that was, you might have seen what it was leading up to, which was a hilarious account of the disastrous roll-out day for newly announced GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.  Oy, they shoulda stood in bed.  The lot of 'em.  Video here, but Rachel recaps it nicely like this:

    “Getting the name of your candidate wrong, getting the state wrong where you launched your campaign in getting your address wrong, getting your phone number wrong, not getting the cameras pointed at the Statue of Liberty, and then the generator dies 12 minutes before the announcement, and then as soon as the whole thing is over and it time for whatever this guy’s name is to go to his next campaign event in New Hampshire, when it comes time to get all the press, all those dozens of press get them on board the plane to go with whatever his name is to go to New Hampshire for his first big campaign event. What happens? They try to accidentally board the press corps on to a plane that is not going to New Hampshire, but is instead going to Saudi Arabia.”

    Okay, a lot of it wasn't Huntsman's fault (though that bizarre motorcycle ad might have been) and a lot of it was kind of nitpicky, but I laughed my head off as it went on and on...and on (the video is almost 19 minutes long!), and it's Friday, so there it is.

    The first Barbie commercialFound this, the very first Barbie commercial at Paddy and Laffy's "The Political Carnival" and it took me back--not to my day but to my daughters'.  Oh, yes.  Fun but fraught with dangerous girl-to-woman signals, those Mad Men babes.  But Barbies were like peaches and cream compared to Bratz, the black-booted hussy dolls my granddaughter went nuts over.  (Their first commercial is here.) Interesting to note that Mattel won the battle over competition and forced Bratz out in order to keep Barbie strong.  I thought competition was a good thing for capitalists.  But then there is that whole values thing going on...

     This next story is funny and sad and poignant and ripe for movie-making if only George Carlin were still alive (or if Woody Allen hadn't done something similar in "Take the Money and Run").

     James Verone, age 59, robbed a Gastonia, NC bank using a demand note requesting only a dollar, apparently the lowest amount needed in order to get free housing and medical care in the local hoosegow.  Verone said he is hoping for a three-year sentence so he can ride it out until Social Security kicks in and he can go live at the beach.  He said he's never done a dishonest thing in his life before this. 

    I could launch into a screed on the need for universal health care in this country and what the lack of same drives even the most honest men to do, but I'm picturing James Verone sitting on the floor of the bank holding a stolen dollar bill in his hand waiting for the police to arrive and take him away to safety.  A man at the end of his rope. With a plan. An absurd, ridiculous plan  And then I'm picturing millions of people at the end of their ropes, each demanding one dollar from banks all across the country and waiting for the police to come and take them away.  And from there I'm remembering honest black citizens breaking the law by sitting at all-white lunch counters or refusing to get to the back of the bus and I have to marvel at the purity of James Verone's plan.  He might well be this century's Rosa Parks.

    A Moment Sublime:  Pop-up pianos in New York City (video).  Sing for Hope, a non-profit arts project, has set up 88 artist-decorated pianos in public places all over NYC and made them available to anyone who feels the need to tickle the ivories.  Artists include Izaac Mizrahi, Diane Von Furstenburg, Kate Spade, B.D. Wong, and others whose names New Yorkers will surely know.  They're asking people who have visited to come back to the website and tell their stories.  What a great project.  Wish I could be there to see some of them. (It runs through July 2.  Hope it doesn't rain...)


    Cartoon of the Week:

    R.J Matson - St. Louis Post Dispatch

    *(Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices.)


    The dollar robber reminds me of the French surrealist play "Ubu In Chains."  Ubu, the tyrant King of Poland, and all of his courtiers, get really angry that they have to work all of the time, dealining with the demands of the people and whatnot, while the prisoners live in the high life in jail, eating free food and living rent free.  So the royals storm out of the palace, invade the prison, kick out all of the criminals and lock themselves in.  They're undone when a counter revolution drives them out of the prisons and back to the palaces.

    And then there's the Michigan school superintendent who saw prisoners being treated better than students and offered to turn his schools into prisons

    Wow.  You know, theatre of the absurd used to just comment on the larger aspects of the human condition.  Now it reads like news.

    Okay, here it is.  (You knew it was coming..,.)

    All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
    William Shakespeare

    BTW, actor Peter Falk died yesterday - he was 83. I recall seeing him in Luv and The Princess Bride, but his signature role had to be Lt Columbo. Even though the plot hardly ever varied, people loved watching Columbo nail the wealthy and arrogant.

    Yes.  Like that.  Great camerawork, too.  Thanks.

    Oh, rats.  I didn't see that yesterday.  I loved him in Princess Bride and as Columbo but in his earlier days he was a fine actor, in the company of Cassavetes and Rowlands and Ben Gazzara.  They made several movies together and he was outstanding.  I hope he'll be remembered for those performances, too.

    He'll be missed.

    I'm glad Barbie kicks Bratz butt!  Those little dolls with the giant foreheads always creeped me out.

    My favorite folly of the week is the baby whisperer.  The man's got skillz.


    Yeah, I was glad to see those Bratz gone, too. My granddaughter outgrew them, thank goodness, so it's no big deal anymore. But I loved Obama the baby whisperer, too, and I can't believe I forgot to include it in my Follies. Thanks for adding it!

    i did a blog on a movie about Naples during WWII.

    In one clip there was a sign installed by the fascist government warning the public that it was against the law to break the law in order to procure three meals and a cot. hahahah

    I mean if one did that what would be the punishment? Jail? haha

    Latest Comments