What went down.

One of the things we did last weekend was go to the Titanic exhibition at the Henry Ford. It’s exactly the sort of exhibit I despise — timed entrance (NO EXCEPTIONS), gimmicky (your “boarding pass” contains an Actual Passenger Name), ultimately sort of meh. Its official name is “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit,” and unfortunately, I’m not an artifact person. I’ve been ruined by CGI and, frankly, my own imagination — nothing about a 100-year-old piece of china does it for me.

But this is a modern exhibit, which means it is “interactive,” and in this case, it meant there was a giant iceberg — presumably refreshed every night — you could put your hands on. And that was marred for Ms. Grammar and Usage Nitpicker by the legend on the wall nearby:

“Iceberg Right Ahead!”

I don’t care how loud he yelled it, those words shouldn’t be capitalized. They knew that sort of thing in 1912.

It could have been the fact the whole space was elbow-to-elbow that got on my nerves. We saw “Woman Holding a Balance” by none other than Johannes Vermeer two weeks ago at the DIA, walking right in and standing in front of it as long as we liked, occasionally stepping aside to let others peer at it.

And yes, I am Mrs. Nose-in-the-Air. Because, y’know, Vermeer and James Cameron’s mythology.

Would we have cared so much about the Titanic if it weren’t, as we’re told over and over, the height of luxury? Or was it the fact several of the richest people in the world we among those who went down, and all their money couldn’t save them? Ultimately, I just don’t care all that much. And I thought the “stand on the bow” photo-op gimmick was silly — and a gouge. The person on my boarding pass died, by the way. Kate was Madeline Astor, and lived.

So: Change of subject.

You all know how much I love a good montage scene on the TV box. There was a nice one in Sunday’s “Breaking Bad,” and here it is:

Some of the imagery may be confusing, if you’re not a BB fan, but trust me — it all works. Or maybe I just love that song. Tommy James? Shondells? You were among the good ones.

I agree with Neil Steinberg: We shouldn’t mock Romney’s religion. Believe it, don’t believe it, but keep your mouth shut. We’re supposed to be better than that.

Think I’ll watch the First Lady’s speech. Is it Hump Day already? How’d that happen?

Posted at 12:02 am in Popculch, Television |

68 responses to “What went down.”

  1. MaryRC said on September 5, 2012 at 12:45 am

    I loved that song too. I never heard the rumor that it was about crystal meth at the time, I don’t think that was started until years later (I wouldn’t have known what meth was anyway). Tommy James claimed that his inspiration for the song came from the Book of Revelation.

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  2. Dexter said on September 5, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Here’s some info from the song’s Wikipedia page.

    To me, that song carries me back to the summer of 1969, after I had gotten my notice to report to the army. My friend and I took off for Chicago, found a very cheap hotel which was really some sort of rooming house. We shared a room and the total price was $15 for a week. We scheduled the trip to be on the North Side during a long Cubs home stand; the cheapo room was very near Wrigley Field.
    We had fun, plain and simple. It was easy to pick up chicks and go make out on the Waveland Rocks on the shore. It cost exactly one dollar to get into the ballpark bleachers. I had a portable radio which I carried everywhere and “Crystal Blue Persuasion” was on the airwaves frequently. I have this soothing memory also of bopping down Lake Shore Drive , heading for The Loop to get a cheap steak dinner at Tad’s Steakhouse, keeping time by beating on the dash of my 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 to the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women”.

    Before and after the Cubs games we’d go into Ray’s Bleachers, a bar across from the center field bleacher entrance. Sometimes they would not card us and we could buy a few Old Styles.
    A guy named Mike Davis, who was also the “vice president” of the infamous Bleacher Bums that year, was constantly playing “A Boy Named Sue” on the jukebox. That was another great summer song of the last summer of my youth, 1969.

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  3. MaryRC said on September 5, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Have you seen this photo of POTUS and the girls watching the First Lady’s speech?


    When did Sasha stop being a little girl and become a teenager? Overnight, it seems.

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  4. Deborah said on September 5, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Great montage, I’m going to have to watch the BB series from the beginning. I assume the DVD boxed sets are out there. Yes?

    The Sun Times piece about mocking Mormonism is right on. I must say I have always been curious about Mormonism and have certainly been hearing more about it than ever before. I once spent a vacation in Moab, Utah where I had a recurring neck problem, so spent some time reading the book of Mormon which was in our room at the bed and breakfast.

    Loved the photo of Barry and his girls.

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  5. Suzanne said on September 5, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Stayed up too late watching the First Lady speak. She is one classy lady. I found it interesting that her father had MS just like Ann Romney,something that I had not known before, but he had to go off to work nonetheless. It was a bare mention in the speech, but I think the point was made.

    I don’t know that much about Mormonism. I read “Under the Banner of Heaven” a few years ago, which doesn’t paint a good picture of it, or at least, of the fundamentalist variety.

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  6. David C. said on September 5, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Just who exactly is mocking Romney’s religion? I know my fundigelical relatives did until Mittens won the nomination. I doubt they’ve changed their tune. They just fell in line like good Republicans do. I hang out with plenty of dyed in the wool Democrats, of both the religious and non-religious bent, and can honestly say I’ve heard nothing about Mormonism – mocking or otherwise. Mitt is such a pathetic fraud on his own and his religion has nothing to do with that. The article is little more than a long form repetition of the phrase without which political journalism in the US would grind to a halt – “but the Democrats”. As in if it was reported that Paul Ryan was lighting baby kittens on fire and throwing them at wounded veterans, the next words out of Todd’s, or Cokie’s, or Wolf’s mouths would be “but the Democrats”. Basically, I’m calling bullshit.

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  7. Mindy said on September 5, 2012 at 7:39 am

    It’s tough looking away from that clip and sifting through the comments to avoid any Breaking Bad spoilers. That’s the downside of life without cable, which isn’t offered in my corner of the world. At least there’s Netflix. Which means I have to wait forever until shows become available. I’ll never last until season 5 of Breaking Bad arrives. Never. But I said the same thing about Mad Men and The Sopranos and somehow managed to live a reasonably happy life. Fun tidbit I stumbled on somewhere: Saul Goodman = S’all good, man.

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  8. Dorothy said on September 5, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I thought the same thing, MaryRC – Sasha looks like she vaulted right past that awkward stage and became a striking beauty in a very short time! FLOTUS had me crying a little bit last night when she talked about her dad and their family life. The glowing faces of the people in the audience reflecting Michelle’s speech were also very moving. I rarely stay up that late on a night when I have to get up for work the next day, but it was worth it. Can’t wait for Thursday night’s acceptance speech. I may have to take a nap after work to make sure I have the energy reserves to stay up late twice in one week.

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  9. coozledad said on September 5, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I listened to the speech last night night. It struck me that the Obamas speak and govern with an eye to posterity. They’re demonstrably better people than their enemies, who just want one more run at the cash.
    Ann Romney’s “We love women!1!1” sounded like a drunk tri delt screaming from a motel balcony. It was pitched at moribunds like Wolf Blitzer and Joe Scar.

    Michelle was talking for your grandkids and the rhetoric textbooks.

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  10. James said on September 5, 2012 at 8:17 am

    What if we find all religion wacky, and Mormanism even more so?

    What if we took the Tabernacle tour and read the Book of Morman, then can we?

    What if we watched all the episodes of Big Love?

    You’re no fun Nancy, what with your tolerance and fairness and stuff.

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  11. James said on September 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Regarding the DNC:

    I got the impression it wasn’t so difficult to get shots of people of color, as opposed to the RNC.

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  12. coozledad said on September 5, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Romney is really stoking the “otherness” dogwhistle both directly and through his surrogates, like this bloated admin:
    Both sides don’t do this. What the Obama people do is ride your ass to knock on doors. I’ve never seen Republicans out knocking doors, likely because the evil pallid fuckers would just collapse in the sun. They get their flunkies to the polls from the pulpit.

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  13. Sue said on September 5, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I feel bad about admitting this, but I turned off Michelle Obama’s speech early on, just as she started describing her ‘date nights’ in Chicago with Barack, back in those simpler days before he was elected. I was irritated at how prepackaged it felt, slick and plastic.
    It sounds like it got better and maybe I missed some great stuff, but the start of that speech seemed falsely sincere and I felt manipulated. It was not what I was expecting.

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  14. brian stouder said on September 5, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Re RMS Titanic exhibit – I loved that thing, when it was in Columbus. They did the ticketing thing (my person became ice cold, I believe), but I don’t recall any time constraints or requirements; the display flowed along, across a large area and on different floors.

    I recall reading lots of text, as we progressed from one exhibit to the next.

    The cheesey photo-opportunity was at a mockup of the grand staircase….and as I recall, you could simply snap your own photo for free, or have them pose one with some of their period-dressed re-enactors (who themselves were interesting enough, as they held forth on this or that.

    Michelle was marvelous, and the photo of the president and his daughters just captures the whole generational thing, you know?

    I identify with President Obama and his family; they are the first first family that I feel attached to. (I recall my dad going on about how he was taken by Jack Kennedy and his wife and young children – which [to that extent] matched where he was in life, at that moment)

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  15. coozledad said on September 5, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Hologram Kennedy sure kicked that Brylcreem rabbit in the nuts. Greg Mitchell is right. We’re going to get to watch Romney lose four debates.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on September 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

    We spent way too much money on the most recent King Tut special exhibit, which didn’t have the really good stuff, but really enjoyed the Harry Potter one, which did. And the Seurat exhibit was especially good, with many of his smaller paintings that were essentially practice for Sunday in the Park with George (not its actual name, but since the Sondheim musical that’s how I think of it). There’s an exhibit opening later this week here in the Fort (St. Francis) of dresses from the 20’s and 30’s and I’m eagerly planning a visit there.

    And speaking of exciting things in the Fort: Aung San Suu Kyi will give a speech here Sept. 25. http://www.jg.net/article/20120905/LOCAL08/309059975. What an amazing woman, and how incredible that she’s coming here, among only five cities in the U.S.A.

    I stayed up too late too, watching Shelly, who was indeed marvelous.

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  17. basset said on September 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Tommy James, from Niles, Michigan… in the summer of ’69 I was running my paper routes and about to start the ninth grade.

    We went to a similar Titanic exhibit in Memphis years ago, not timed or nearly as crowded though. Restaurant here in Nashville offered a “last meal on the Titanic” dinner about the same time, would have been interesting but we never got to it.

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  18. Deborah said on September 5, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Charlie Pierce has a real good piece on Michelle’s speech http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/michelle-obama-2012-convention-speech

    Brought tears to my eyes.

    Also, regarding Vermeer, one of my favorites, I have also seen the Woman Holding a Balance in DC at the National Gallery. I know people who go on quests to see all of the Vermeers in the world, they think there are only 30something around, some of those are disputed. I have seen maybe 10 or so, in Dublin, London, Paris, New York, DC, and Berlin. My favorite is The Girl with the Red Hat, also at the National Gallery in DC, and one of the disputed.

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  19. nancy said on September 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

    May I just take a quick break here to pop in and say how much I love Dexter’s stories? He remembers everything, and throws in the sorts of little details — the price of bleacher seats, the songs on the radio — that really give them richness.

    Thanks, Dex!

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on September 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

    It seems like the Democrats are mostly taking the high road in their convention. Hope that works out for them.

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  21. Judybusy said on September 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Oh, Julie, that’s so exciting about Aung San Suu Kyi! I hope you will be able to go. She is one of the greats, in terms of how she has dealt with a truly horrific regime. The Smithosonian Magazine had a recent article on how her Buddhism has allowed her to engage without succumbing to soul-destroying anger.

    Now, why is it that I can admire her Buddhism, but have so little respect for the Mormon religion? I’ve often thought Joseph Smith must have had bipolar or a delusional disorder–many of my clients espouse similar beliefs–but somehow he was charismatic enough to create an entire new branch of Christianity. I’ll echo James at #10–I am an atheist, so most religions strike me as fantasist, Mormonism just more so. However, I absolutely agree no one should mocked–rightly critisized for hypocrisy–but not mocked for their beliefs. I also have so much respect for religious people who act out of compassion and caring. Bemused, but respectful. Thanks to the little I know about Buddhism, I can hold all that contradictory stuff in my head.

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  22. Prospero said on September 5, 2012 at 10:51 am

    It’s not mocking RMoney’s religion to bring up things like Lying for the Lord and the White Horse Prophecy. If you believe LDS believes that stuff, those are pretty scary tenets for a President of the USA to hold.

    I’d be willing to bet that what the bosun (or whoever) said was “dead ahead”, a nautical term. According to Jaime Brockett, the captain, in a state of marijuana induced inebriation looke on out at the bow of that boat and said “I’m gonna move you baby.” Much to his chagrin, the berg proved to be an immovable object, and the Titanic not so much an irresistable force.

    The way I see it, the current standings in the Presidential race are incomprehensible. Willard has promised to return to the tax-cutting and deregulation of the early Shrub days. How is it possible for anybody to ignore the incontrovertible assessment that the tax cut and deregulation policies were direct causal effects of the current economic slough of despond? Beyond belief. I thought Mrs. Obama was superb, especially the when you get through the door in America, you don’t slam it shut on the next person. That’s as good a description of the innate selfishness and greed of the GOP as can be made, in my estimation. The speech cranked my tear ducts as usually only a movie about Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo can.

    The thing I always think of when I hear Tommy James now is hearing the extended versions of Crimson and Clover and Crystal Blue Persuasion for the first times after hearing them only truncated on the radio. Great acidy distorted guitar playing, in a uniques and unmistakable style. It was astounding. An original. Actually I think I like Draggin’ the Line best. “My dog Sam eats purple flowers.” I saw the Shondells in Birmingham back way back, on a show with the Rascals, another great band.

    And the Kennedy’s did draw people in to identify with them, despite being ridiculously rich. I liked seeing the First Family like this:




    Judybusy: Buddhism is slightly older, and Joseph Smith was a criminal sociopath, with borderline personality disorder. It’s easier to admire philosophy from Siddhartha or Jesus than a money-grabbing scam like LDS, who was always one step ahead of the law. As Willard seems to be relative to the IRS.

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  23. Jakash said on September 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I definitely agree with regard to Dexter’s stories. Although the rich little detail that appealed to me was about how “It was easy to pick up chicks and go make out on the Waveland Rocks.” Hmmm…

    If you’d wanted to see the Red Sox or White Sox this year from those former $1 bleacher seats at Wrigley, the least you’d have paid was $78, face value. To cheer on the second-worst team in baseball, mind you. Unbelievable. On the plus side, that bar across from the bleachers is still there, though under different ownership from Dexter’s ’69 visit. The Old Styles may not be nearly as cheap, either, but I don’t think they cost anywhere near 78 times as much as the ones Dex quaffed.

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  24. Connie said on September 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Julie, I’ve always called it Sunday in the Park with George too. It is always my first stop on my occasional visits to the Chicago Art Institute. My second stop is right around the corner, Rembrandt’s Dutch Girl at a Half Open Door, a replica of which hung in the dining room of my childhood. I was dismayed at my last visit by the new plaque which states it may not be by Rembrandt.

    I was once the used textbook buyer at the MSU bookstore, and one of the books that was used a lot had Sunday in the Park with George on the cover. Imagine my surprise at the size of the real one when I finally saw it. It is huge!

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  25. Deborah said on September 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Oops I just realized that my link above, what I thought was a Charles Pierce piece was actually a guest blogging for him, Tom Junod. Sorry about that, it was still good.

    And Pros, the Rascals were my faves for awhile there… I ain”t gonna eat out my heart anymore… and why did they go from the Young Rascals to the Rascals?

    edit: I forgot to mention this earlier, on our way to the cook-out we went to Sunday we took the redline and got off at Addison (the Wrigley Field stop for those not familiar) there had been a game earlier and we witnessed a 300 lb guy pass out cold on Sheffield in front of one of those houses (bars) across from the field, he just fell flat backward and actually bounced. His head hit pretty hard. We heard the ambulance take him away when we were a few blocks away.

    edit edit: I agree about Dexter’s stories, love em.

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  26. alex said on September 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

    To me, a politician’s religion is irrelevant. In fact, I prefer it to be downplayed rather than exploited.

    Mitt’s Mormonism is simply part of his cultural heritage and he very well might think Joseph Smith was nuts just the same as most of my Catholic friends regard Catholicism as a cherished cultural and familial system but see the theology as the product of primitive minds.

    Shows like Nunsense and Late Nite Catechism were big hits with Catholics and non-Catholics alike because they poked fun at the religion’s contradictions and foibles. The South Park creators’ Broadway show about Mormons strikes me as similar. I haven’t seen it, but from what I’ve heard/read, it manages to make the religion warm and fuzzy and likeable while at the same time making fun of it.

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  27. Charlotte said on September 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I did my Phd at the University of Utah — most of my students were Mormon — as a former Catholic who once believed in the transubstantiation of the host, who was I to get snotty about the missing tablets or the angel Moroni? What I did find enormously problematic was the way the Mo’s took the tenets of those prosperity “gospel” people to heart, and the cynical manner in which they were perfectly happy to keep enforcing class differences among their own people. The rich Mormons up on the benches didn’t have eight kids, but the poorer Mo’s down in the valley, living in the tiny houses, sure did. The level of social surveillance was really creepy too — Mormons are actively encouraged to spy on/report on their fellows. Very East Germany 1978. Oh, and as they told us in training to teach freshman comp, “They’ll all know the term ‘patriarchy’ — but they’ll think it’s a *positive* term.” Biggest issue I had teaching Mormon kids was one of degree. It’s always hard to get the difference between summary and analysis across to kids who went to crappy US high schools, but with the Mormon kids it was a little harder — they’d been taught so explicitly to *never* question a text, that just giving them permission to analyze took a few weeks. I also had a number of women students returning to school after their youngest went to kindergarten. They’d been told their whole lives they were inferior, stupid, “just a girl” — the first time the light bulb went off, and they’d look at you with big eyes and ask “you mean, I can *do* this?” You had to be very gentle so as not to scare them off. Still makes me a little weepy.
    All in all though, they were all very nice kids, and SLC is a really pleasant place to live. But you do always get the sense that it’s like Ursula LeGuin’s “Omelas” — that there’s a kid in a box someplace, paying for it all.

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  28. beb said on September 5, 2012 at 11:32 am

    The Obamas, like the Clinton’s wanted to keep their childre out of the limelight and have been very successful at it. Basically it’s been four years (last convention) that the press has shown any pictures of them. So yeah, a lot of changes there.

    The Titantic exhibit Nancy describes at the Henry Ford Museum sounds exactly like the exhibit hosted by the (late) Detroit Science Center a couple years earlier. Only less crowded. I’m not a big artifacts kind of guy, either, but looking at some of the recovered tableware I was able to visualize finding them under two miles of water and the miracle that they could recover any of it.

    One of the best gifts I’ve given my wife was a boxed set of season one two years ago. She had just gotten hooked on the series, but with season three, so she was really glad to be able to go back and watch the start of every thing.

    Tommy James and the Shondellas… Didn’t they do some bubblegum music, like “Mona Mona” before during lovely ballads like Crystal Blue Persuasion.” Ah, the summer of sixty-nine….

    David C. has a point, who exactly, is mocking Romney’s for his religion? But then, should we let the Right get off claiming that Obama is not an American? All this Kenyan Socialist crap looking to Europe for ideas…

    Haley Barbour is in a lot of hot water for saying that “While I would love for [Chris] Christie to put a hot poker to Obama’s butt,” said Barbour of the RNC keynote speaker, “I thought he did what he was supposed to do,” but was he just using a common expression or (sinisterly) talking about branding a black man, or (disgustingly) suggesting a medieval form of execution of a homosexual?

    But getting back to Romney, when JFK was running he had to make a speech about how he would keep American values over any dictates coming from the Vatican. But what about Romney? Will he keep his religion away from running the country? Who knows because he says so little about his religion and they seem to be kind of secretive about the whole thing. And what about Paul Ryan, Opus Dei or not. Non-Catholics need to know.

    James writes, “I got the impression it wasn’t so difficult to get shots of people of color, as opposed to the RNC.” Yes, but what about shots of union people? Picking a Right to Work (someone to death) state seems like a kick in the nuts to the base of the Democratic party.

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  29. LAMary said on September 5, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Tommy James and the Shondells also did “My Baby Does the Hanky Panky,” and that song is not so good.

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  30. Bitter Scribe said on September 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

    The only time I would be concerned with a candidate’s religion is if it led him or her into magical thinking, which would be genuinely dangerous in a person with significant responsibilities. But I don’t think that’s really a liability with Romney, who is nothing if not practical-minded. (In fact, I can recall only one or two instances in politics where magical thinking actually concerned me.)

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  31. Scout said on September 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

    The most memorable part of the Titanic Exhibit for us was the old lady ahead of us who farted her way through the iceberg section. We were helpless with laughter when the next folks came through the door after the motorboat had already cruised on. They glared at us like we were the most heartless assholes ever.

    Shelley O always rocks, but last night was definitely one of her finest moments ever. The whole first family makes me proud to be a Democrat.

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  32. Prospero said on September 5, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I don’t know, Scribe, this White Horse Prophecy crapola sounds worrisome to me, Especially when you consider the GOP seems too think it has a devine right to the White House:


    In fact, the whole thing sounds like nonsense invented about Obama being somehow the Kenyan Manchurian candidate.

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  33. Sue said on September 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    beb, the Dems are embracing everything under the sun suddenly, but still pretty much ignoring organized labor. Why should they embrace labor? Where are the unions going to go instead?
    More than a third of union households in WI voted for Walker in both the Governor’s race and the subsequent recall – participation went up one percentage point in the recall, as a matter of fact. Obama stayed out of the recall, not offering any real or symbolic support. He hasn’t been around these parts for awhile, and I think that fits into the larger perception that Dems will use labor as needed but aren’t going to do anything that will piss off the anti-labor areas of their party and the country.
    Personally, I think it’s short-sighted. Labor is the only non-rightwing group able to seriously fund the PACs that are starting to dominate elections post-Citizens United. How long will that cash source hold out once the unions are destroyed (or as good as), state by state?
    Unions aren’t evolving quickly enough and Dems aren’t playing the long game on this. Nice to see Dems finally waking up on a lot of issues but sorry to see them passively participating in furthering the idea that unions don’t matter.

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  34. basset said on September 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    >>I know people who go on quests to see all of the Vermeers in the world

    I am not nearly sophisticated enough for that… but we did go on a quest to see all the pandas in US zoos, would that count at least for something? DC, San Diego, Memphis, and Atlanta if I remember correctly.

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  35. Bitter Scribe said on September 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Prospero: Meh. The Roman Catholic Church has far more money, power and influence than the Mormons ever will, but if someone suggested not voting for a Catholic candidate because his religion is suspicious, I would stop listening to that person very soon. (See the first comment in that Salon article you linked to.)

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  36. Prospero said on September 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Here’s another unintended but entirely predictable result of the idiotic PNAC-driven invasion of Iraq:


    It’s pretty clear at this point when the country will be paying for the invasion for another 15 or 20 years, that running that misguided adventure on a tab was as stupid as anything any American President ever did. It’s pretty hard to think of anything stupider, unless Milhous’ venality and paranoia count. That wasn’t stupid so much as it was psychopathic.

    The Catholic Church in the US is not rich. That’s a load of bull. No churches have more wealth than LDS and Christian Science. Vatican wealth in museums is a far cry from vast RE holdings in the USA. And the details of Willard’s church-based preparation for public life sound exactly like the conspiracy theories about Obama. And Catholic influence is waning as people leave the Church. It’s power was always in numbers not bucks.

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  37. Jolene said on September 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Tom and Lorenzo have some great pictures of Michelle last night. Not much commentary, but they approved.

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  38. coozledad said on September 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Call in the National Guard on this white trash:

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  39. Dexter said on September 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    LAMary: The song you mention, “My Baby Does the Hanky Panky” used to make me feel nauseous. Actually feel like wretching. The only other song to affect me physically in a negative way was a song by John and June Carter. The reason I hated it was because the local country station out of Fort Wayne played it at least every hour, and I was on a job where I walked around with a clipboard constantly monitoring inventory in a warehouse.
    When that song played, so loudly from at least twenty boombox radios, my brain froze up and all I could do was to stand there gritting my teeth.
    One day I just could not face the prospect of going in there and listening to every hillbilly’s radio blasting this song in unison. Now…I love the song. Life is funny like that.

    Jakash, the Waveland Rocks were those huge chunks of concrete that were dumped along the shore…I guess Waveland Rocks was a nickname , as it was somewhere near Montrose or Lawrence I believe. The rocks were plenty large enough to sprawl out on and cuddle with a sweetie. It was actually pretty goddam romantic. Ray’s Bleachers was owned by Ray Meyer. Another Ray Meyer was the long time DePaul basketball coach…this is another guy I am referring to. Ray’s set out huge bowls of onions, relish, pickles, and jars of mustard right outside the bar. You’d buy your dog inside and fix it up outside. It was a madhouse after games. Beer was forty-five cents for Old Style, fifty cents for Budweiser and Schlitz. I can’t remember anyone drinking any other brands.
    Ray passed on and the bar was purchased and re-named Murphy’s Bleachers many years ago. It is nothing at all like the old Ray’s Bleachers. Like McCuddy’s Tavern , which was across 35th Street from old Comiskey Park, the place lives on in memories now.

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  40. Sue said on September 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    This is cool:

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  41. MaryRC said on September 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I admit that I’m curious about Mitt Romney’s role in the LDS Church. Is he still a bishop? I hear different stories about this. Some of them make him sound like a very high-ranking official in the church, others make him sound more like a deacon or a steward in his local congregation.

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  42. Dexter said on September 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    jakash, this link sort of explains what I was referring to by mentioning the Waveland Rocks. I am sure the entire area is unrecognizable to my 1969 eye today, but maybe someday I’ll go poking around this area again just for the hell of it:


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  43. Prospero said on September 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    This chart records conversations with 50RNC delegates:


    Didn’t they get the word from Willard about Russia being a more dangerous potential enemy than China? A high %age of these unfortunates are deranged.

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  44. LAMary said on September 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Dexter, that song predated Crystal Blue Persuasion by a couple of years I think. I can’t be bothered to look it up. My friends and my fourteenish self had our own version of My Baby Does the Hanky Panky. There was a product that was advertised in the small ads in the back of magazines like Seventeen. It was in the days when feminine hygeine products were advertised with a photo of a woman in a ball gown on a grand stairway and the tag line, “modess…to be sure.” Anyway, sanitary napkins didn’t have adhesive strips or efficient moisture barriers then, so one wore a nasty belt thing or an item called a Santy Panty, which had a rubberized shield and metal buckles to hold that thing in place. So my friends and I used to sing: My Baby Wears a Santy Panty.

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  45. Prospero said on September 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    My brothers and I have long considered the idea of going boatwreck diving in Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan sounds like my kind of swimming experience. I do not lifeguards, because I have never come across an officious lifeguard who wasn’t an inferior swimmer to me.

    On BB, was anybody else shocked at the billious purpe shake rug at Hank and Marie’s house. Doesn’t the DEA pay decent wages? Godawmighty what an eyesore. And hasn’t Marie always seemed like a strange character. Remember when she shoplifted the sterling tiara for Skyler’s new baby. And didn’t Jesse seem pretty sure Walt was there to kill him, and that the bag of money really contained a Gustavo Fring special piece of ordnance.The copy of Leaves Grass was ingenious, although it took me some time to identify GB. And who’d have thought knucklehead Walt would pick up Walt Whitman while taking a dump?

    This is a somewhat shocking story:


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  46. Prospero said on September 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm


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  47. Jolene said on September 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    MaryRC, WaPo has published several good articles re Mitt’s role in the Mormon church by Jason Horowitz. He has served as a bishop, which is a role that, in most churches, would be called pastor or priest. In fact, someone who had served w/ him on a sort of leadership council called the bishopric used the term pastor to refer to Romney’s role in his local congregation. Subsequently, he was the stake president for the Boston area, which is more like a bishop in Catholic or (some) Protestant churches. In that role, he was responsible for multiple congregations. The Horowitz articles explain this and also provide detail re what Romney did and how he was viewed in those roles. Also useful are some of the articles that McCay Coppins has written for Buzzfeed. Coppins is a Mormon, so he brings an insider’s knowledge to his work.

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  48. alex said on September 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    My Baby Wears a Santy Panty

    ROFLMFAO. So is this what I used to hear being referred to as “dress shields” and “panty shields”?

    Dex, I vividly remember the Waveland Rocks. I used to live on Pine Grove near Waveland, then on LSD at Addison. The seawalls along the lakefront have all been rebuilt with a new, uniform concrete design that’s not as tiered as the rocks were so it does indeed look much different.

    When I was young my friends and I would go hang out on the Waveland Rocks after the park was closed, or wait there in hiding while the park was being closed. Cops would drive past and shine spotlights all over the rocks. (It reminded me of the scene in “The Sound of Music” where the Von Traps were hiding from the Nazis in a mausoleum.) Typically we would have booze and pot, two things you really weren’t allowed to have in the park even when it was open. Never got busted. Fortunately for us, we also never got into trouble with gangbangers or others frequenting the lakefront after dark and after the cops were gone. The place really did become a no-man’s land after 11 PM.

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  49. LAMary said on September 5, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Dress shields were things you put in the armpit area of a garment so you wouldn’t destroy the fabric by sweating all over it. A Santy Panty was a garment made of some synthetic stuff and the crotch area was non-porous. It was sort of rubberized I think, and there were two buckle things to attach the ends of a sanitary napkin.
    Re-thinking the Modess ads, they actually said, “Modess….because.”
    Tampax ads had girls in white shorts playing tennis and riding bicycles. No one I knew had the guts to try anything like that.

    EDIT: http://www.etsy.com/listing/60716491/1960s-beltx-santy-panty-like-new-in

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  50. Deborah said on September 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Prospero, that link about Romney’s tax records being hacked is quite shocking and disturbing. Is it for real?

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  51. kayak woman said on September 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I survived the Titanic as Mrs. James Baxter, 1st class passenger. My work team attended the Imax movie and exhibit as part of a “celebration” today. I’m not much of an artifacts person either but it was uncrowded on a Wednesday afternoon and I was able to float through the exhibit and then hightail it out the door, arriving at home an hour earlier than usual. Our entire team (25 baggy old systems analysts and software developers, etc.) posed for a photo on the “bow”. The Long Suffering Cat Herding Person (aka, boss), decided that we needed to do the photo first thing. He knew that once we got inside the exhibit, he would never be able to round us up again.

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  52. Scout said on September 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    re: the Neil Steinberg opinion piece. I read through it twice looking for links or anything citing actual examples of mocking Mormonism… other than some lawyer on Facebook. It was a “some people say” exercise in finger wagging over this idea that somebody somewhere must be doing this and oh yes, they’re certainly all Democrats, because, you know, this lawyer on Facebook and all. The whole rant looked to me like something phoned in to meet a column deadline.

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  53. MarkH said on September 5, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    LAMary, you are correct on the timing of Tommy James’ hits. Hanky Panky was his first hit, finished #19 for the entire year 1966 on the Billboard Hot 100 (I was 14, same as you). Crystal Blue was 1969, where it finished #20 for the year on BB, but was beat by Crimson and Clover which finished #6.

    Brush with greatness dept.: I actually met and interviewed Tommy James when I ran the Ohio State campus radio station (not WOSU; we were the AM dormitory rock carrier current outlet). This was in early Fall of 1974, the backside of his career. His tour brought him through Columbus for a show at the Agora. Other than the hair and oversize shades, don’t remember much about him and very little about the interview, except he was forthcoming and knew he was there to promote.

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  54. MaryRC said on September 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Jolene, thanks very much for the information.

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  55. Julie Robinson said on September 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Growing up in Sycamore, Illinois I never saw a Santy Panty, only the hateful belts. Plus, no pantyhose yet so you had to wear a garter belt or a girdle, which, for you youngsters, was pretty much like Spanx. The drama teacher made us wear dress shields in our costumes. There was only one store in town that carried them, and everyone who worked there was a 75 year old woman. Or at least it felt that way to my high school self.

    I’m too tired tonight to think about politics, but I also loved the dress.

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  56. Prospero said on September 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Lord knows, Deborah. It’s reported in what used to called an alternative paper, but the details about the secret service being involved sound right. How long till Obama directed the IRS to do it? That shit is inevitable. Oh, and the woman I got the link from is generally very reliable and realistic about shit that’s true on the net.

    Scout, Steinberg was doing his David Brooks imitation. And they’re funny as hell, but I haven’t seen a magic U-trou reference in ages. I was just trying to poin out later that the origins of LDS are incredibly fishy, the founder was a scoundrel and a crook, they believe from way back that LDS is going to save America in a Constitutional crisis, Willards’s friends and family and the church groomed him to be that savior, and then there is the entire incontrovertible fact that LDS was characterized by institutional bigotry against black people for most of its history. Pointing out stuff like that is not mocking, I think there are serious concerns. The White Horse bidness and grooming an annointed one is so clearly analogous to GOPer paranoia bour Obama, they have no reasonable expectation of avoiding people drawing attention to it.

    A few months back, some GOPers were caught trying to disseminate anti-LDS material and blame it on Democrats, but damned if I remember where that happened.

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  57. paddyo' said on September 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    All I know about “Crystal Blue Persuasion” — I mean, besides hearing it on the radio alternately the summer of my junior-to-senior year with true earworms like “In the Year 2525” and “Sugar Sugar” and “Sweet Caroline,” and pop genius like “One” and “Honky Tonk Women” and “My Cherie Amour” — is this:

    I’ve been waiting, waiting, waiting about five years now for Vince Gilligan to finally put that song on “BB.”

    So, better late than never. Totally worth it and montage-worthy to the n-th degree . . .

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  58. Linda said on September 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Coozledad @38:

    The Republicans have lost any shred of respect I ever had for them. They are in such heat to defeat Obama and Sherrod Brown that they don’t even pretend it’s a “voter fraud” issue anymore. They can’t win in a fair election, so they are stacking it hell for leather. I’ve decided I will take election day as a vacation day, and volunteer to drive folks to the polls all day.

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  59. alex said on September 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Sue, tonight is Union Night
    and the feeling’s right
    Oh yes it’s Union Night, Oh yeah

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  60. Bitter Scribe said on September 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Prospero: I admire Neil Steinberg and even worked with him briefly, long ago. Please do not insult him by comparing him to that waste of organic chemicals called David Brooks. Thank you.

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  61. Bitter Scribe said on September 5, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Deborah #50: That “we hacked Romney’s tax forms stuff” is almost certainly bullshit. The posting also demanded a million dollars from certain major newspapers because their taxes were also hacked and would be leaked. Some kids with a keyboard and nothing better to do.

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  62. Prospero said on September 5, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I wasn’t comparing Neil Steinberg to David Brooks, merely that column, which undoubtedly sounded like some Brooks channeling Rodny King crap to me. Defending RMoney’s religious preference when GOPers insist the President is a Muslim is a spit-cup full of drivel, really weak gruel.

    I read once somewhere that Tommy James woke up at sunrise in a tent at Woodstock and wrote Crystal Blue Persuasion. Who knows, but it’s a fine story.

    Clinton’s wielding machetes, Henckels and scalpels with both hands.

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  63. Kaye said on September 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Agreed Prospero, Clinton is doing a fantastic job!

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  64. del said on September 5, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Bill Clinton is a rock star! What a speech.

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  65. Minnie said on September 5, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Preach it, Bill!

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  66. Sue said on September 6, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Ok, let’s get this over with:
    Bill Clinton had sex in the oval office and lied about it.
    There. Said it. It’s going to come out as some kind of rebuttal to tonight’s speech, so might as well go with it. Yes he did, the old hound dog, and don’t you wish you had him on your side, wingers?
    And George Will over at ABC sounded like he’d been sucking on a lemon after the speech; that is one resentful man.

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  67. Dexter said on September 6, 2012 at 12:37 am

    I would never have expected any less from Bill Big Dog, but he gave us more than we could have expected. I think he spoke about 48 minutes, all of it at full intensity.
    “Double down on Trickle Down…” that one got me fist pumping at the screen. “It was arithmetic” he said , that’s how he balanced the budget with a surplus. All I want to say is if you missed it, go to any newspaper site or YouTube and click the link. President Bill Clinton just killed on that Charlotte stage last night. I was mesmerized and I watched it straight through. Bill dissected and vivisected the repuggs … I hope all American voters saw this great speech.

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  68. Dexter said on September 6, 2012 at 12:43 am


    This tune played right ahead of or behind “Crystal Blue Persuasion” on my portable radio in that hot little hotel room in Chicago most every time. I remember it playing one time when these horribly LOUD garbage trucks came through the alley at 5:00 AM…right, our room’s view was the alley…even now when I hear this tune, very infrequently now, I hear crashing metal garbage cans being smashed about.

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