The Standells were the classic garage band. Although their only hit was about living in Boston, the band was actually from Los Angeles. They played for years — including playing themselves on an episode of The Munsters, oddly enough — but lightning struck only once, with the song Dirty Water.
The backstory about Dirty Water is interesting. The song was not written by a member of the band, but by the band’s new producer. As the band went to work on the song, it began to take shape. The band’s guitarist, Tony Valentino, contributed the irresistible opening guitar lick, the singer, Dick Dodd, did some memorable improvising (“Ah, but they’re cool people.”), and the echoey production values made it sound like the song was actually recorded in a garage. It’s hard not to like the humor of the song; you get the impression that the songwriter really loves Boston, with all of its quirks and dangers. It’s no surprise that the song is played after home victories by the Boston Red Sox and other Boston professional sports teams.
The Standells didn’t do much after Dirty Water, and broke up before the ’60s ended. During their brief existence, however, they recorded a classic.
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I read Bob’s recent post on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the United States Supreme Court and I was quite happy to see the president nominate another woman to our highest court in the land.
Bob’s post mentioned that there is diversity of race and gender on the court, but I guess I don’t feel that there is enough diversity on the court. Women make up 51% of the population of the United States, yet on the Supreme Court there have been no more than two women serving on the court at one time and currently there are seven males. That just doesn’t sit right with me and that’s one of the reasons I am supportive of the president’s nominee.
The other reason I am supportive of Elena is because of the fact that she is a single person and her sexual orientation shouldn’t be an issue as to whether or not she sits on the court. I happen to be a single person and like being single thank you very much. I have to say I have a sense of what she must feel like though.
I found this article which I think touches on what it means to be a single person in America today. The comment Elena’s mother made to their neighbor after Elena was appointed Dean of Harvard Law School particularly hit home with me because rarely does a holiday pass where my mother doesn’t make a comment like ”I would find someone and get married”.
So I hope that Ms Kagan’s personal life isn’t made to be an issue by the Republicans during the hearings and that she is quickly confirmed. If they do I think their making a big mistake.
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There will be an interesting Senate race in Ohio this year, and already it is starting to get . . . well . . . weird.
The Democratic candidate for the Senate seat is Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher, an old-line Cleveland politician who beat Jennifer Brunner, Ohio’s current Secretary of State, in a heated primary. The Republican candidate is Rob Portman, a long-time Congressman from the Cincinnati area who also served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget during part of the second term of the Bush Administration.
The weirdness began when Fisher’s son took video footage of Fisher sitting shirtless at a desk late one evening. Apparently the footage was used in some Ohio Republican Party ad that featured “suggestive music,” although I haven’t seen the ad and haven’t been able to find it on the web. The Ohio Democratic Party reacted with outrage, then produced a website and commercial featuring a bunch of bare-chested workers who say Rob Portman’s work during the Bush Administration took the shirts off their backs.
All of this seems very strange to me. I agree with a friend who questions why the Democrats would do anything to increase the name recognition of Portman, who is not well known outside the Cincinnati area. I also think, however, that the Democratic commercial really leads with its chin. Most people don’t look good in shirtless mode, and the overweight workers featured on the commercial are no exception. Frankly, they look pretty well fed for people who are supposed to be out of a job. And are they advocating protectionism? That message strikes a jarring note in the era of the Obama Administration, where the federal government has bailed out so many American industries and pumped borrowed “stimulus” money into the economy — without doing much of anything to stimulate real job growth. Are they complaining that we need to do even more to allow union workers to keep their jobs and high-value benefits?
The other point of the commercial is to criticize the budget deficits during the Bush Administration, which is odd because the Obama Administration is presiding over much larger budget deficits that stretch far into the foreseeable without and promise of reduction. Do the Democrats really want to call attention to deficit spending under the circumstances? Are they saying Lee Fisher is going to be a more hard-bitten budget-cutter than Portman?
The election is still months away, and I imagine the parties and their candidates will be experimenting with “messaging” as the election draws nearer. The “shirtless” commercial seems like a failed experiment to me. I’d appreciate it if the parties and candidates would keep their shirts on until we get closer to the election.
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