Degradation On The Chorus Line

April 22, 2020

I was feeling down about something this afternoon so I thought I would cheer myself up by watching Trump’s daily press conference.  A good laugh always makes me feel better.

Most days I can only manage about five minutes of the clown bloviating as he contorts the truth to pat himself on the back. But this afternoon I stuck with it for most an hour. What intrigued me was not the fact that Trump pours lies upon stupid lies in order to show that he is the greatest person that ever lived and has never made a misstep; we kind of expect that. He is after all, nothing but a professional huckster. No, it was the supporting cast that held my attention.

I’m not talking about Pence or Barr or Pompeo, who are as hum-drum as Trump is gaudy, yet equally evil; but rather the doctors and scientists.

I have no personal knowledge of Anthony Fauci or Robert Redfield, but their professional resumes suggest that they are men of science, well trained for the jobs they hold. But Trump makes them dance a jig in public to his off key tune. And for whatever reason, they are willing to do it. It is easy to see that they are struggling to choose their words carefully in their attempts to bridge the gap between the Scylla of Trump’s wrath and the Charybdis of professional suicide. But that sort of obvious self-censorship only makes them appear even more like trained lackeys unworthy of respect.

They are certainly sensible enough to know that Trump is only using them as props and will discard them whenever he feels they have served their purpose.  So why do they degrade themselves so publicly?  Is the lure of closeness to power really that strong?

To me, it is just sad.

Night Music: Never Let Me

April 22, 2020

A Ransom For A Bed

April 22, 2020

About ten years ago, I reported on a bed that started at $38,000 and went up to $210,000.  I thought that was pretty ridiculous. Now, there is a bed that costs almost half a million!


This is an image of Drake’s new Grand Vivendus bed from Hastens.

“The bed is entirely hand-made and it takes master craftsmen at least 600 hours to assemble and hand-stitch each mattress and trunk-inspired base at the sixth generation, family-run factory in Köping, Sweden, where Hästens beds have been constructed since 1852.”

Fans of the bed claim it helps move elite athletes from bronze medals to gold, helps CEOs increase productivity, and can help solve your back problems. The bed’s exclusive saleman says:

“What’s sleep worth to you? My clients actually tell me that their sleep is worth millions and millions of dollars because if they can get high quality sleep, they can turn that into big bucks.”

Frankly I just yawn when I hear such pitches,  But, as he will reply, there is already a waiting list for this luxury.

Banksy’s Bathroom

April 22, 2020

The most famous street artist in the world is home-bound just like the rest of us. But it hasn’t affected his creativity.


As he writes:  “My wife hates it when I work from home.”


Thanks to My Modern Met for the heads up.

Grandview 22nd April 1920

April 22, 2020

Vancouver Sun, 19200422, p.2

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings

Remembering Radio Caroline, Again

April 22, 2020

About a year ago I wrote about my memories of Radio Caroline, the first of the UK’s “pirate” radio stations from the 1960s.  I just heard that Ronan O’Rahilly — the original pirate — has died.  In his honour and memory, I am re-running my article.


*  *  *  *  *

It is 55 years ago today since Radio Caroline, the first of the British pirate radio stations began broadcasting.  It was an event and a summer I remember well.

In the previous 18 months, the British music scene had exploded, first based on the incredible success of the Beatles but then quickly followed by dozens of groups from all over the country. Unfortunately, the staid old BBC held a monopoly of British radio and so many of us listened to this new music on Radio Luxemburg which broadcast in the evenings. However, the playlists of Radio Luxemburg and BBC TV’s weekly Top of the Pops were more or less controlled by the major record labels and didn’t cover the full spectrum of pop music then available.

Ronan O’Rahilly, an Irish entrepreneur, decided to broaden the choice. He purchased an old ship, refitted it with high powered radio equipment, and parked it just outside British territorial waters. On 28th March 1964, Radio Caroline began broadcasting with a Rolling Stones song, and pirate radio — pirates because they were unlicensed — almost immediately changed the entire British cultural scene.

For the next few years, everyone I knew listened to the pirates (a number of other radio ships had joined in the fun) and no matter the laws the government tried to impose, their popularity continued to increase. By 1967, even the BBC had been completely revamped, with BBC Radio One becoming simply a copy of the pirates.

That was, indeed, the Summer of Love.

Earth Day: Our House Is On Fire

April 22, 2020

Greta Thunburg’s climate change group has issued a chilling new video highlighting the complacency of the world as our earth is being destroyed.