Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log for May 16, 2020 — U2’s R&R Hall of Fame concert, the funniest TV sketch ever, and Barack Obama speaks to 2020 grads


IT’S ONLY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: Back when I wrote about rock ‘n’ roll for a living, I was sometimes able to take one or two of my sons “to work.”

As young high schoolers, Brendan and Ryan got to see Pink Floyd from the nosebleed seats at Jack Murphy/Qualcomm/San Diego stadium — but even up there, the band’s impact was powerful.

When U-2 played the same stadium, the experience was a bit different. A traffic jam made us miss the start of the show. Still, walking my sons down to 20th-row seats on the floor, next to the band’s runway proscenium — it was like landing in Oz.

I was thinking about that show as I watched the U2 Rock and Roll Hall of fame induction concert, recently posted on YouTube. Here’s a taste from the show, U2 and the Boss on “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

The entire Rock n’ Roll Hall of fame U2 concert is available here — with Bono and the lads,  Bruce Springsteen, Black Eyed Peas, and Mick Jagger — including Springsteen’s introduction and Bono’s acceptance speeches. Good stuff.

Good reads

COUNTRY CLUB REPUBLICANS:  “The Greenwich Rebellion”, by Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, May 11, 2020, As goes the wealthiest community in America, so goes the nation. In Greenwich, Republicans don’t paste Trump bumper stickers on their cars and they hold their nose when they vote, but make no mistake, he is their boy.

From the author: “The story of Trump’s rise is often told as a hostile takeover. In truth, it is something closer to a joint venture, in which members of America’s élite accepted the terms of Trumpism as the price of power. ”

WHEN THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS:      “The Warnings,” by David Quammen, The New Yorker, May 11, 2020, The U.S. had the information and it had the financing to anticipate the Coronavirus. What it lacked was the imagination (and leadership) to conceive of a deadly plague in this country.

Funny stuff

SOLID GOLD COMEDY: This skit by Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner on their groundbreaking sketch-comedy TV program, “Your Show of Shows,” has been called the funniest 11 minutes in television history. It is a spoof on a popular show at the time called “This Is Your Life” which was filled with schmaltzy reunions, heartstring tuggers, and surprising discoveries about the supposedly unsuspecting guest.

The spoof, “This Is Your Story,” from April 3, 1954, is hilarious — and a lot of it can be attributed to the actor Howard Morris as Uncle Goopy who turns his reunion with Sid Caesar’s character into utter chaos and anarchy.

There is so much going on, you won’t catch it all in one sitting — like mobster Sam Giancana in the audience, hiding his face with his hat. (Seriously, lots of background in the comments section.)

What do you think?

Good listen

UPPING THE ANI: I look forward to the daily “Letter from an American” from political history professor Heather Cox Richardson. She is the voice of authority and clarity in a messed up world.

The singer Ani DiFranco is a huge fan. So much so that she is now reading Richardson’s letters on her streaming station, Righteous Babe Radio. Three times a day — 6 p.m., 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. -(all times Central).

MORE FUNNY STUFF: Every Saturday, politicalcharge.org releases a collection of the best political cartoons from the previous week.  Their perspective: “Editorial cartoonists appear to be one of the last groups of people who speak out and say exactly what’s happening. They reveal what’s really going on behind all the pomp and circumstance in front of cameras and reporters, and entertain us along the way.”

Here is today’s batch.

Want a free sample?


BEING PRESIDENTIAL: Barack Obama today addressed graduating seniors of historically black colleges and universities today — the commence speech for the graduation ceremony they won’t experience because of the pandemic.

He actually spoke twice, this evening to high school seniors across the United States on TV channels across the spectrum. (I think Trump had to call back the U.S. Military Acadamy seniors so he could have someone to talk to …)

So here are Mr. Obama’s remarks to college grads in full, courtesy of The New York Times.

And the two-hour video of the college graduation with the president’s remarks (Obama speaks at 1:47):

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Hello? Hello? Is anyone out there? Are these logs of any use to you? Let me know in the comments below … or write to me at robertj.hawkins2012@gmail.com . 

Let me know how you are getting on, how you are passing the time — and send along ideas for stuff you think I’d like to see.

Share and share alike, I always say. — Bob Hawkins


3 thoughts on “The Log for May 16, 2020 — U2’s R&R Hall of Fame concert, the funniest TV sketch ever, and Barack Obama speaks to 2020 grads

  1. Pingback: The Log for May 16, 2020 — U2’s R&R Hall of Fame concert, the funniest TV sketch ever, and Barack Obama speaks to 2020 grads « Bound for Belize

  2. Watched Obama, because I needed to hear from someone who doesn’t disgrace the office during these awful times. I wasn’t disappointed. I hope the 2020 graduates really paid attention.
    Clinton was a disappointment, he could have used that opportunity better.

    Liked by 1 person

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