Five for Friday: Gene Clark

Here we go again. Five songs by a great songwriter. I have been listening to Gene Clark since his days with The Byrds. He was the principle songwriter in the band. “I’ll feel a whole lot better,” “The World Turns All Around Her,” and “Eight Miles High.” Then he went solo. Here are five of my favorite. All these songs have a timelessness to them.

Full Circle by The Byrds

Fair and Tender Ladies by Gene Clark & Carla Olson

Rain Song by Gene Clark

Polly by Gene Clark

The Virgin by Gene Clark

The Best “Eh” Movie Ever

Has got to be “Strange Brew”.

For those of you who think Canadians are not funny, I have news for you. Canadians are some of the funniest people on the planet. Guess it’s all that ice and snow and long winters. They have a lot of free time and there’s nothing else to do but knit and tell polar bear jokes.

Like: How many polar bears does it take to break the ice? Just one. Once he’s swigged down a bottle of Péché Mortel Imperial Stout, he’s the life of the party.

Just look at a few of the members of the Canadian Comedy Establishment who have made the long, treacherous journey to the US: Dan Ackroyd, Jim Carey, Mike Meyers, Seth Rogen, Martin Short, Tommy Chong, Samantha Bee, Caroline Rhea and Ted Cruz. You’d think that there were no comedians left in Canada. But there are.

Just watch “Strange Brew” (1983). It has Canadians, of course. Those lovable mugs, Bob and Doug, the McKenzie Brothers, are just two. It has more beer than you could shake a polar bear at. You can’t get through a scene without tripping over an eh or a hoser. I’d say that is some pretty good reasons why this is a Canadian comedy.

By the way, just a footnote. “Strange Brew” is a remake of “Hamlet”. Bob and Doug are regular Rosencrantz and Guildensterns.

It’s my understanding that Bob and Doug had beer on set everyday for all the cast. So if the movie is a little hazy at times, you’ll know why.

So see it. If you can, see it with some Canadians. They can translate some of the Canadianisms for you.

To Chuck or Not to Chuck

Video for this post: 10 Things I Hate About Commandments

As y’all know, in the last week or so, we’ve had Holy Week, Passover and Easter. To celebrate I saw “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben Hur” fpr the umpteenth time.

I got to tell you “Ben Hur” is one heck of a sports movie. There’s javelin throwing. There’s rowing competition. There’s archery and catapulting fire from one ship to another. There’s chariot racing. Since it was the Romans that invented the Olympics, it was only right to feature these Olympic sporting events, performed by some Olympic style egos.

On top of all that, there’s Charlton Heston face. It has two emotions. Chuck Serious and Chuck Light. I mean that guy knew how to act. It near puts away Kirk Douglas’s Spartacus face, but not quite. It did give Burt Lancaster’s Elmer Gantry face some competition. It was almost like Chuck had played those roles too. Nobody could out-hero Chuck. Just check out his El Cid.

His was such a face that it just about makes you want to believe Chuck was playing God, not Moses, in “The Ten Commandment”. He sure sounded like God. How Chuck got that face to do that I will never know. Anyway Chuck sure knew a lot about God. He kept meeting him in all those movies.

In “The Agony and the Ecstasy”, he met the Pope. That was like meeting God back in the olden days. And he got to paint God’s hand. So you can pretty well assume Chuck had met God and shook the Big Guy’s Hand. He was so good at the God gig that he got promoted to Cardinal as in Cardinal Richelieu. He even did a series on the Bible as if he wrote the Good Book himself. Of course, we know he didn’t. God did that. But the way Chuck did the series, it was just like God talking to you.

So, when the NRA was looking around for someone who could speak with a voice of authority, they got Chuck. You just knew that God had given us an Eleventh Commandment when Chuck said, “Thou shalt not take away my gun.”

Now, that Chuck ain’t around no more, Hollywood sure don’t know how to make Chuck movies, and I sure miss him. I mean, they have tried with “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” Hollywood went and CGI-ed the heck out of the Moses story. Only that Red Sea parting ain’t even close to the real thing. Old Cecil B. was at the parting of the Red Sea himself. If anybody could put on a parting, it was Cecil B.

It even screwed up the Noah story. How Russell Crowe spoke those lines without laughing I will never know. Guess, if they paid me the big bucks Russ got, I would say any darn thing they wanted me too.

And with “Ben Hur: The Remake,” we got a chariot race that really wasn’t a chariot race. It was s’posed to be the Roman equivalent of the Daytona 500. Only thing, that wasn’t chariot racing. Chuck knew that.

Five for Friday: Earth Day

I have been given some thought to bringing back a musical spotlight. I listen to a lot of music by artists in a variety of genres. This includes just every music genre out there: rock, country, jazz, rhrythm & blues, folk, singer-songwriter, international. I like to share my listening choices with my friends. So, beginning with this Friday, I will be posting five pieces of music for your listening pleasure. Today’s selection is five songs in honor of Earth Day and environmentalism as reminder of our responsibility to the planet.

Calypso by John Denver

Mercy Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye

Earth Song by Michael Jackson

93 Million Miles by Jason Mraz

Blue and Green by Van Morrison



Our Mother’s Dying

Our Mother is dying.
Why aren’t we trying
To live the answer
That’ll heal her cancer?

The disease is a rout,
Her hair’s falling out;
Her colors up and gone,
Her breath almost to none,

Her blue eyes a gray,
Her smile’s slipped away,
And soon she will cease.
May the planet rest in peace.

Then we’ll say a eulogy,
Offer an apology
On that day soon to come
When her beauty’s all gone:

For her dulling colors,
Her polluted waters,
Her forests now dust,
And her air turned to rust.

Her hills won’t be green,
No robins to sing,
The whales dead and beached,
And oceans smell of stench.

Then we’ll send our request
And give it our best,
A prayer for a world
Uncluttered and spoiled.

“No thanks,” God will answer,
“You caused the cancer.
While racing for the stars,
You turned the Earth into Mars.

And tried for all its worth
To turn Mars into Earth.”
And this from God above,
“I gave you one planet to love.”