OH, THE JOY! OH, THE JOY!

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” –Aldous Huxley

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I consider myself to be both a lover of ‘adult’ music and a pretty fair writer, but I’ve never felt capable of being an authoritative writer about music. For example, when I listen to music that moves me, I’m at a loss for words to express why it does so — case in point, the joy of re-experiencing this clip which I’d posted once before (OH, THE JOY! on 7/21/15):

I’ve played this clip several times, and it draws me in every time. Why? Is it the power of the music, the build-up of the way it’s staged, my identification with the gathering crowd, especially the children, reacting like they can’t resist the allure of beckoning Christmas or birthday presents? Beats me.

Speaking of Christmas and birthdays, Dec. 16 is the birthday not only of ODE TO JOY composer LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, but of another composer (as well as playwright, singer, actor, etc.) whose sophisticated songs are always like Christmas presents to my ears, NOEL COWARD. Here, from the 1933 Academy Award-winning best picture CAVALCADE, is one of my favorite Noel Coward songs:

But wait — there’s more! What’s more, I saved it more or less as the best(?) for last. I refer to none other than YOSEMITE SAM, who made his entrance into the world in STAGE DOOR CARTOON on Dec. 16, 1944. So, without further ado, I present for your listening pleasure, my man Sam performing a looney tune which is, without question, the most magnum opus of merry melodies since Ode To Joy (eat your heart out, Ludwig):

So, if you were born tomorrow (Dec. 16) and haven’t yet joined your birthday brothers in pursuing musical fame and fortune, I hope you will take note and give it a shot.

That’s all, folks!

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WHO KNEW?

Who knew that….

JACK LEMMON COULD SING?

BRIGITTE BARDOT COULD DANCE?

RONALD REAGAN COULD ACT? Really.

DONALD TRUMP COULD LIE? Well, only whenever he talks or tweets. And, in his defense (as the aforementioned Jack Lemmon discovered),

 

KISS HER IN THE KISSER AND MAKE UP

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can. –Cary Grant

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August 25 is KISS AND MAKE UP DAY. In the Cary Grant spirit of occupying myself as best I can, I thought I’d present an assemblage of good old-fashioned “kiss and make up” goodies (the idea being, if you don’t love my premise, you can kiss my assortment). Let’s start with Cary’s take on make-up, which (as you can see) I’m not making up:

Well, apparently Cary never did make up with that gal, because here he is two years later, singing another love song to another gal:

It seems that Cary would rather play the field than kiss and make up. Let us therefore pick a dilly of a ditty less playboy-like in character:

So much for the guys. I give the last word to the gals (they usually have it anyway):

Kiss and make up — but too much makeup has ruined many a kiss. –Mae West

Kiss & make up. Maybe making out for a few minutes would help us figure things out. –Katie Anderson

In trying to get our own way, we should remember that kisses are sweeter than whine. –Ann Nonymous

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BUCKS

Money is the root of all evil.

Some people–especially the biblically grounded–say the above admonition dates back to the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Kardashians….specifically, Timothy (Kardashian). But said name (“Tim” for short) was changed to “Kim” early on because Tim wasn’t Tiny for long (plus, “Tim” was obviously an inappropriate name for someone of her gender). Or maybe “Kimothy” was misspelled “Timothy” on the birth certificate, and the error went unnoticed until the day they had to furnish proof she wasn’t an illegal alien. Whatever.

But if we can’t believe the bible, what then? For the record, my sources have uncovered this more likely origin for MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL, first recorded by The Andrews Sisters and sung on the 1940s Blue (radio) Network (other researchers put their money on the Green Network, but that’s a source of a different color):

I must admit the song isn’t nitpickingly accurate. The correct admonition is The love of money is the root of all evil. This does put a whole different spin on the sin, the point being that you can screw who you will for wealth, and, so long as you don’t love it–so long as you can say, “Up yours!”, your affairs are strictly money business.

And so we come to the point in the proceedings where, having run out of my own pearls of profundity to pad the post, I turn to what others have to say (and sing) on the subject:

Business is the art of extracting money from another man’s pocket without resorting to violence. –Max Amsterdam

It’s money. I remember it from when I was single. –Billy Crystal

A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money. –Everett Dirksen, former U.S. Senator

It may be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, but it’s easy for him to get on the church board of trustees. –Evan Esar

Women prefer men who have something tender about them — especially the legal kind. –Kay Ingram

A fool and his money are soon elected. –Will Rogers

Cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money. –Robin Williams

And with that, the buck stops here.

WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE

When misfortune comes, take it like a man–blame it on your wife. –Evan Esar

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Many of us suffer an unanticipated misfortune at some point in our lives. It could be the missed fortune of being left out of the will of a rich cousin you loved like a brother (until the ungrateful s.o.b. left every cent he had to his actual brother)….or it could be distress under duress, like your mistress taking egress, leaving you in a mess, no less, with your wife. Or, if you are a wife, perhaps you got wind of, not only the mistress on the side, but the ‘steady at the ready’ and the ‘wench on the bench’ (otherwise known as having too many loins in the fire). Yes, friends, misfortune is an ill wind which blows no good…

Now, far be it from mistermuse to blame his misfortunes on his wife. As a matter of tact, if it weren’t for my wife, I don’t know what I would do (or is it, wouldn’t do?). Yes, friends, mistermuse has been a sappily married man for 49 years, 10 months, and 13 days now, and I can honestly say it doesn’t seem like a day over 49 years, 10 months, and 12 days.

That said, game on. Let’s see what other men have had to say on the subject:

Wives are people who feel that they don’t dance enough. –Groucho Marx

How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who treats her as if she were a perfectly natural being? –Oscar Wilde

If Presidents can’t do it to their wives, they do it to their countries. –Mel Brooks

No matter how happily married a woman may be, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes she were not. –H. L. Mencken

My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher. –Socrates

Some wives are like fishermen: they think the best ones got away. –Evan Esar

I’ve had bad luck with both my wives. The first one left me and the second one didn’t. –Patrick Murray

A man placed an ad in the classifieds: “Wife wanted.” Next day he received over a hundred replies: “You can have mine.” –Anonymous

NOTE: The last quote is absolutely NOT mine!

THE WAY WE WEREN’T

The trouble with turning memories into memoirs is that when one is finished, a sneaky feeling comes along: “Things never were that way, anyway.” –Jean Negulesco (1900-93), Academy Award-winning movie director

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I’ve just finished reading Jean Negulesco’s memoir (coincidentally, he died 25 years ago today) titled THINGS I DID AND THINGS I THINK I DID. The above quote is from that book–as is his reflection on having raised, with his wife, two adopted daughters from war-torn, post-WWII Germany:

And so it starts, and so it ends. And we see ourselves in them. There is no sense in telling them, “When I was your age….” We never were their age. 

“We never were their age.” And so it is with us. We’ve never been ‘inside’ them–even our own children. When all is said and done, we’re lucky if we know ourselves–now, then or in-between–which is not to say that, along the way, we were not open to wanting whatever knowledge romance promised….

They say “You can’t go home again”–even if your old haunts still exist, your past and its ghosts stay with you, not with where you were….not so? So, where do we go?

Now, I’m as nostalgic as the next old geezer, but as my past recedes further into the past, I look at old photos, see the images of faces and places I knew, and there’s no avoiding the sense that the road between THINGS I DID AND THINGS I WISH I DID leads to a place where the sun sets before we get there.

Sooner or later, it’s all over but the doubting. It’s the place where (to paraphrase a phrase) OLD GHOSTS NEVER DIE, they….just….fade….a w a y

Still….

BLANK

Normally, when I write a post, I think about what I want to say — the body of the post — and at some point during this labor of love (after considerable cogitation), a title is born. With my last post, the title came first and I then had to work to shape the body (after considerable consternation) in language of the what-have-I-gotten-myself-into kind. Believe me, friends — it’s a pain in the brain to be boxed in by a title, so with this post, I decided to leave the title BLANK. I feel better already.

But, now that I have a blank canvas, one would think I should be able to paint a word picture; yet it’s like I can’t see the blog for the fog. Have I become color blind?

So it’s just the time of day, a mere matter of mind over time. Tomorrow the fog will clear and this will seem like a black and white dream….

And you know what they say about a clear day….