Sunday Night Open Thread

Congratulations to Sir Rod Stewart for becoming the oldest male solo artis to have a number one album in the UK. He is about to turn 75. Who had the distinction until now? Paul Simon.

Sir Rod, who is 74 years and 11 months old, has taken the accolade from American singer Paul Simon. He beat Simon by three months, the Official Charts Company said.


"You Can't Stop Me Now" is on his 2013 album "Time". It is so catchy and upbeat and I love this version from the 2013 Jimmy Kimmel concert series. A copy of the video is really hard to find online. I recorded it on TV and saved it when he appeared on Kimmel the month after its release, but I don't want to upload it and risk having my account zapped by You Tube. After a long search, I found the entire Kimmel epsiode on You Tube and the song is at 10:33 (so does the video above).

My other favorites from Rod Stewart, hands down, are Maggie May and You Wear It Well. I can remember when he and Ron Wood were with Faces, (the successor to Small Faces). Then he and Ron Wood went off to launch Humble Pie. By 1976, Ron Wood was with the Rolling Stones.

Sir Rod was pronounced cancer free not too long ago after a battle with prostate cancer. I think he's gotten better with age.

Memo to Sir Rod: May you stay Forever Young. (A duet with his daughter Ruby who has a great voice).

< The Year 2019: Where did the Joy Go?
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    Young Turks is my favorite Stewart song (none / 0) (#1)
    by McBain on Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 07:01:49 PM EST
    Ron Wood was also with Stewart in the Jeff Beck Group.  I didn't know about Humble Pie.  

    Humble Pie (none / 0) (#5)
    by jondee on Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 09:09:09 PM EST
    was Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton.

    Got to see the Richard Jewell movie a few days ago (none / 0) (#2)
    by McBain on Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 07:27:58 PM EST
    A solid, fairly straight forward, wrongfully accused story. I thought it did a pretty good job of explaining why Jewell was a suspect early on and how the investigation got messed up.  

    Other films...
    Marriage Story is more entertaining than it sounds.  Kind of a modern Kramer vs. Kramer with Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson.  

    The Report, a political film also with Adam Driver has a good second half. Driver might get a nomination for this one.  

    Three Days of the Condor (recommended by Ruffian) and
    The Parallax View (recommended by Donald) were both entertaining political/conspiracy type thrillers from the 70s.  

    Jewel bombed (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 09:04:15 PM EST
    At least partly because of the made up krap about the reporter sleeping around for her information.

    Jewell' was fourth with $5 million (the second-worst opening for an Eastwood-directed film ever)

    Clint Eastwood is the target of a concerted attack (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 09:55:14 PM EST
    from the press about the introduction of a sexual element into the story, thus smearing the reporter. But isn't that a pretty standard cinematic trope for a based-on feature? Does the movie pretend to be strictly factual, or is it advertised as a fictionalization based on a true story? The attack on the press for their credulous, non-skeptical relationship with the FBI and other "law enforcement" agencies is totally legit. What has made me uneasy is the lack of discussion, in anything I have read so far about the movie, that by focusing on their erroneous theory that Jewell did it, the FBI let the real culprit escape for over five years: Eric Rudolph, a misogynist, anti-gay, racist terrorist who went on to bomb abortion clinics and a lesbian bar in multiple southern states, killing two more victims and critically injuring a nurse. In fact, in Rudolph's crazy mind, the Olympic bombing was an anti-abortion action. Does the movie go there, or do Eastwood's right-wing politics prevent him from portraying abortion providers and LGBTQ folks as innocent victims of white "Christian" terrorism?

    At least a couple times, the film (none / 0) (#8)
    by McBain on Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 10:30:04 PM EST
    talks about how the FBI's focus on Jewell hindered their search for the real terrorist. I didn't find this to be a political movie. There's not much about Eric Rudolph. It's about the living hell a man went through who had good intentions but often tried too hard. Just like the Netflix mini series When They See Us, there are plenty of frustrating moments where a naive person is being misled by law enforcement.

    The film made it look like Jewell had only one lawyer, Watson Bryant.  I don't believe that was accurate. I believe Lin Wood and others were involved. Do you have any comments about his legal team?  Only showing Bryant made it look like a David vs. Goliath situation.

    Perhaps the best part was the strong performance by Paul Walter Hauser as Jewell.  Sam Rockwell was good as always.


    We saw "Richard Jewell" today. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 16, 2019 at 12:26:47 AM EST
    Peter G: "What has made me uneasy is the lack of discussion, in anything I have read so far about the movie, that by focusing on their erroneous theory that Jewell did it, the FBI let the real culprit escape for over five years[.]"

    In the film, Jewell's attorney Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell) pointedly admonished FBI officials for siting his client in their crosshairs to the virtual exclusion of any other suspects, telling them that they were running a serious risk of allowing the actual perpetrator to strike again somewhere else -- which, as you correctly noted, Eric Rudolph eventually did.

    Now, regarding the film's sexualized element between Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) and FBI agent Tom Shaw (John Hamm), as I see it, the primary problem here is two-fold:

    (1) The late Ms. Scruggs (who died of a drug overdose in 2001) was a real and bona fide reporter at AJC, while Shaw is a fictionalized composite character who was created by the filmmakers to represent several FBI agents.

    (2) Olivia Wilde's characterization -- or perhaps more accurately, her caricature -- of Ms. Scruggs as simultaneously ambitious, reckless and slutty struck me as appallingly sexist and further, her use of sex to score the big story was a totally unnecessary plot device.

    So, speaking for myself only, I'm rather stunned that director Clint Eastwood would allow his film plot to turn on the sexist contrivance of a real-life female reporter literally fondling a fictional FBI agent's groin in a dark and somewhat seedy bar as her means to coax a big scoop out of him. Really no small wonder why Kathy Scrugg's relatives and former AJC colleagues have taken rather vigorous offense to that disparaging portrait of her. They're absolutely right to be outraged.

    What in the hell were Eastwood and screenwriter Billy Ray thinking? I was really hoping that all the talk about this controversy was overblown but lo and behold, they actually went there. And that's too bad because by doing so, they also rendered what was otherwise a pretty good movie astonishingly retrograde in both tone and outlook. After all, it's 2019 and not 1959.

    Thus, my rating for "Richard Jewell" is only two and a half stars out of five. It has a wonderful cast and started out great, until the director and screenwriter tripped over their own misogyny.



    Clint might've been (none / 0) (#6)
    by jondee on Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 09:30:08 PM EST
    a little over-eager to emphasize how much the Fake News! media and the FBI like to gang-up on innocent men.

    The finale of Watchmen (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 09:06:57 PM EST
    Was good.  Solid.

    There is totally going to be a second season.
    There was some big hints in the 2020 coming attractions thing before the show.

    Not to mention the gigantic cliff hanger

    75 years ago today, ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 16, 2019 at 02:36:51 AM EST
    ... , a 90-minute artillery barrage from 1,600 German guns against the lightly-held American lines in the Ardennes Forest of eastern Belgium heralded a massive surprise winter offensive by the seven armored divisions and 13 infantry divisions which comprised the German 5th and 6th Panzer Groups and 7th  Army -- some 600,000 combat soldiers and 600 front-line Tiger tanks.

    By the end of the day, whole elements of five U.S. infantry divisions would effectively cease to exist, the U.S. 106th Infantry Division would be caught in a pincer movement at St. Vith, and the entire U.S. VIII Corps would be in headlong flight westward, as the German attack blew a 40 mile-wide hole in the line held by the U.S. 1st and 9th armies. German forces began pouring through the huge gap, threatening to rupture the entire Western front.

    Nine days hence on Christmas Day of 1944, German panzer divisions would be 50 miles deep into the Allied rear in an apparent drive on the Belgian port city of Antwerp. The U.S. 101st Airborne Division was besieged in Bastogne, and the other American divisions desperately trying to hold them at bay appeared to be in complete disarray. The British 2nd and Canadian 1st armies, mindful of what happened four years earlier at Dunkirk, already had contingency plans in place to withdraw from southern Holland and retreat to the Meuse River. The situation was dire.

    But on that same day, unbeknownst to the German High Command, the U.S. 3rd Army under Gen. George Patton had completed an amazing 180-degree pivot from their positions in Alsace-Lorraine in less than 96 hours. Patton immediately launched a counteroffensive against the German left flank, with the goal of relieving the U.S. 101st Division trapped at Bastogne. On Dec. 28, he entered Bastogne at the head of U.S, III Corps. While four more weeks of fierce combat remained, the German drive on Antwerp had been blunted.

    The Battle of the Ardennes (Dec. 16, 1944-January 25, 1945), more popularly remembered in U.S. history as the Battle of the Bulge, remains the single biggest battle ever waged by American forces in U.S. military history. By its conclusion, the 800,000 U.S. troops who were engaged in the Ardennes had suffered approximately 90,000 casualties, including 20,000 dead, 47,000 wounded and 23,000 missing or captured.

    It was a grievous loss over a five-week period, by any sense of measure. But what Americans on both the front lines and the home front had yet to realize at the battle's end on Jan. 25, 1945 was that the German Wehrmacht had shot its last bolt in the Ardennes, and Nazi Germany was literally teetering on the brink of an epic military collapse.

    During the ensuing 14 weeks, organized German resistance disintegrated as Allied forces quickly overran the Nazi heartland, Adolf Hitler committed suicide as Berlin fell, and the Second World War in Europe came to a shockingly abrupt end.

    As we celebrate this holiday season and ponder our country's future, let's pause for a moment and remember an earlier generation of Americans who answered the call in one of our country's darkest hours, and who overcame serious setbacks and challenges to eventually triumph over the gravest overseas threat this nation has ever faced. If they could do it, so can we.