This and that

by chuckofish

There has been a lot of head-scratching and wink-winking over the fact that Bob Dylan is featured in the February/March issue of AARP. But Bob does not consider himself too cool for AARP. He is 73 after all.


In this interview he talks a lot about his new album of standards from the American Songbook (“Shadows in the Night”), many popularized by Frank Sinatra.

These songs are songs of great virtue. That’s what they are. People’s lives today are filled with vice and the trappings of it. Ambition, greed and selfishness all have to do with vice. Sooner or later, you have to see through it or you don’t survive. We don’t see the people that vice destroys. We just see the glamour of it — everywhere we look, from billboard signs to movies, to newspapers, to magazines. We see the destruction of human life. These songs are anything but that.

Bob speaks the Truth. He has a lot to say, including this about Billy Graham:

When I was growing up,  Billy Graham was very popular. He was the greatest preacher and evangelist of my time — that guy could save souls and did. I went to two or three of his rallies in the ’50s or ’60s. This guy was like rock ’n’ roll personified — volatile, explosive. He had the hair, the tone, the elocution — when he spoke, he brought the storm down. Clouds parted. Souls got saved, sometimes 30- or 40,000 of them. If you ever went to a Billy Graham rally back then, you were changed forever. There’s never been a preacher like him. He could fill football stadiums before anybody. He could fill Giants Stadium more than even the Giants football team. Seems like a long time ago. Long before Mick Jagger sang his first note or Bruce strapped on his first guitar — that’s some of the part of rock ’n’ roll that I retained. I had to. I saw Billy Graham in the flesh and heard him loud and clear.

You can read the interview here.

And here’s a tidbit from the Let’s-Not-Mince-Words Dept.:

“One might wish that the leadership of the Episcopal Church would come to grips with reality.  The people of the Diocese of South Carolina voted by an overwhelming majority to leave the Episcopal Church.  Any church bureaucracy that would try to force its will on a Diocese where the majority of people have said they no longer want to be affiliated is manifestly evil.  They are just trying to suck the life out of the Diocese of South Carolina (and the other dioceses they are suing) by bleeding them dry through lawsuits.  (That’s just my opinion, of course. But this kind of continued pernicious evil from the Episcopal Church’s leadership has been going on long enough that it just makes you wonder what it will take to finally drive a stake through the vampire’s heart.)”

–Rev. Robert S. Munday, former President and Dean of Nashotah House

He’s talking about the bruhaha in South Carolina where part of the Episcopal Church has broken off and joined the Anglican Church. The problem comes down to money and who owns church property. Read the whole thing here.

The other night I watched A Tale of Two Cities (1935) which I had DVR’d from TCM. I was really impressed. This movie is 80 years old, after all, and you might think it would be a tad dated/stilted. But it really isn’t and Ronald Colman is superb.


He was nominated for an Oscar three times, but not for this movie! He is so engaging and sympathetic as the doomed Sydney Carton, who, you will recall, switches places with the husband of the woman he loves and goes to the guillotine in a final act of selfless sacrifice. I nearly wept. Really. (If the music had been better, I would have.) All the supporting players are marvelous as well: Reginald Owen, Basil Rathbone (excellent as the Marquis St. Evremonde), H.B. Warner, Blanche Yurka (Madame De Farge), Edna May Oliver (wonderful as Miss Pross), and Isabell Jewell as the little seamstress.

Well, anyway, if you are ever looking for something to watch, remember this one. You’ll be glad you did. By the way, TCM is showing Academy Award-winning or nominated movies all month in their “31 Days of Oscar.” I check every morning before work and set my DVR accordingly.

And, hey, just a reminder…

peanutsHappy Thursday!