The World According to Keitho

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Posts Tagged ‘JFK’

Thank you very much

Posted by keithosaunders on January 27, 2018

Who remembers the musical Scrooge from 1970 starring Albert Finney?  There’s a scene, about 2/3 of the way through, where Scrooge, visiting the his future self, views his own funeral celebration.  A cast of thousands breaks into a song called Thank You Very Much, singing, dancing, and gala-banding down a London street.  Scrooge, of course, thinks the crowd is thanking him for years of service and philanthropy, where in reality they are thanking God for ridding them of a scoundrel.

This is how I envision America to be were Trump to die in office.  It wouldn’t be a day of shock, grief, or mourning, such as when J.F.K. was assassinated.  No, this would be abject relief, if not joy.   Something tells me that Melania would be leading the parade.

 

This song was nominated for an Academy Award.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My first night in New York

Posted by keithosaunders on July 11, 2016

I arrived at JFK airports in New York City on April 10th, 1984.  I took the subway from the airport – read express A train to Manhattan –  but when it came time to change trains I discovered that the uptown IRT was out of service.  I emerged from the subway and immediately discovered the reason why:  a rain storm of biblical proportions. This was my introduction to the charm of New York weather.

I tried to hail a cab but this proved to be no easy task in midtown Manhattan during rush hour in the middle of a subway outage.  Finally I was able to share a cab with a couple of strangers and I was able to travel the mile and a half to 74th st and West End Ave in a mere 45 minutes.

My cousin, who I would be staying with until I found a place of my own, lived in the old Hotel Esplinade. I arrived, dropped my bags off and went in search of dinner. I walked a few blocks up Broadway until I came to The Pizza Joint.  There I ordered the best meatball hero I had ever tasted.  Of course this could have been me, fresh off the boat,  over-romanticizing New York.  Over the years, however, I would return to the Pizza Joint, as well as its cousin, The Burger Joint, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t make some of the best meatball heroes and burgers ever.

I returned to the Esplinade and my cousin still wasn’t home from work.  With nothing to do I sequestered myself in his bedroom and turned on his clock radio hoping to find a baseball game.  The Yankees had just finished and the Mets were off that night (Monday) so I was out of luck there.  Turning the dial I stumbled upon a Rangers/Islanders playoff game that was in overtime.  What luck!  Ten minutes later the game came to an end on an Islander goal.  All of a sudden, out of one of the adjoining bedrooms I heard this blood-curdling scream.  If I hadn’t have been listening to the game I’m sure I would have thought somebody was committing murder.  Later I would discover it was my cousin’s sullen roommate, Rothstein.

And that was my first of 9,490 nights in New York City.

Posted in baseball, life, New York City | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bono, shut up!

Posted by keithosaunders on January 20, 2011

Sargent Shriver died yesterday.  I mostly remember him as George McGovern’s vice presidential nominee in 1972.  McGovern had originally selected Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton, but when allegations of his mental instability were leaked (he had been hospitalized some years earlier) he was forced to resign from the ticket.  Shriver was a desperation choice; the McGovern campaign had already offered the vice presidency to Hubert Humphrey, Ted Kennedy, Edmund Muskie, and Walter Mondale, all of whom declined.  It was in this light that I was exposed to Sargent Shriver.

It turns out that Shriver had an illustrious career.  He married Eunice Kennedy, the sister of John Kennedy and under the JFK administration he served as the first director of the Peace Corps.  After JFK’s assassination,  Shriver became the chief architect for Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, founding several programs, most notably Head Start, VISTA, Job Corps, and the Special Olympics.

This morning I was reading the Times and there was an editorial remembering Shriver’s life.  Imagine my surprise when glancing at the byline I saw…Bono.  Couldn’t they have found anyone slightly more qualified?  I don’t need to read about Shriver from a dime-store hipster whose singing voice has all the charm of a cat in heat. 

The Irish saw the Kennedys as our own royal family out on loan to America. A million of them turned out on J.F.K.’s homecoming to see these patrician public servants who, despite their station, had no patience for the status quo. (They also loved that the Kennedys looked more WASP than any “Prod,” our familiar term for Protestant.)

So far so good — a little Irish perspective.  Not sure what it has to do with Shriver, but fine.

I remember Bobby’s rolled-up sleeves, Jack’s jutted jaw and the message — a call to action — that the world didn’t have to be the way it was. Science and faith had found a perfect rhyme.

I will now address Bono personally:

OK, first of all, shut up.  Second of all, SHUT UP!  You do not get to call John Kennedy Jack.  You were three when he died!  As a matter of fact, we’re the same age and you don’t see me writing editorials as if I used to summer with the Kennedys at the Cape.  How come I grew up in Los Angeles and hardly even remember Bobby, yet you, from all the way across the pond, have vivid recollections of his attire and mannerisms?  Remarkable. 

To sum up, Sargent Shriver did great work, and Bono has done admirable humanitarian work as well.  I wonder when the time comes who the Times will choose to write McGovern’s obit.  Hopefully not Taylor Swift. 

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The song remained the same

Posted by keithosaunders on October 29, 2010

Last night I took the family for a Thursday night dinner at a local Nepali restaurant.  It was a cute neighborhood restaurant with a friendly waitress and good, simple food.  

There was a song playing in the background that I took to be Nepali folk music and it had a catchy little refrain.  About ten minutes into our meal I began to notice that the refrain of the song had come back around.  It was then that it began to dawn on me that the song had never ended.  Of course once you notice something like this you can’t ignore it, and for me  it became the focal point of the evening.  Either this song was on some kind of loop, or it was one of the longest songs ever written —  it lasted for the duration of our stay at the restaurant. 

The song had lyrics, but since they were in Nepali I couldn’t tell whether they were repeating or if the composer’s attitude was, “Fuck it, I’ve got a lot to say, I’m writing more verses.”  I’m betting that the composer was paid by the note and is known as the Charles Dickens of song.  I used to think that Bob Dylan’s music was wordy until last night.  Now, as far as I’m concerned, he’s the king of brevity.  John Coltrane himself never took a solo this long.   

The question I have is why would you do this to your customers?  Even if you go on the assumption that most people are not as attuned to a restaurant’s background music as a musician, it still makes no sense.  After a while — and I was there for the better part of an hour — even the most tone-deaf among us are going to begin to notice that something is askew.  It was like a chinese water torture of music.  If I had to hear that song for another minute I’m sure I would have confessed to the murder of JFK.   

That melody is burned into my soul and if I live to be 105 I will never forget it.  But wouldn’t you know it, as we were leaving the restaurant the song ended and a new one began.  Needless to say I didn’t stay to hear how that one turned out.

Posted in music | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »