Andrea Bocelli talks Las Vegas, Celine Dion and the importance of opera

We sing the masterpiece of art that is inside us (the mirror, for a believer as I am, of the wonder of creation), we celebrate the beauty that we can grow and live every day.” — Andrea Bocelli

Great interview with Andrea Bocelli by Robin Leach in the Las Vegas Sun News:
Q+A: Andrea Bocelli talks Las Vegas, touring, Celine Dion and the importance of opera [Las Vegas Sun News; Dec. 2, 2013].

George W. Bush, the Renaissance Man

George W. Bush, the man who told Jay Leno that he named his cat Bob, “So I can remember how to spell it when I get older,” has been very busy.

Between rounds of golf, organizing and riding in 100K mountain bike rides with America’s wounded warriors, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas, and personally refurbishing health clinics in Africa, through the Bush Center’s partnership with Pink Ribbon/Red Ribbon, whose mission is to screen women, in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, for cervical and breast cancer, the 43rd President of the United States has also become an accomplished portrait painter.

President Bush charged his painting instructor, Gail Norfleet, with a task. “There’s a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find it.”

While a guest on the The Tonight Show on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, President Bush presented a portrait he had painted of Jay Leno to the late night television host.

Jay Leno portrait

Jay Leno portrait by President George W. Bush

President Bush has plans to paint portraits of 19 foreign presidents and prime ministers with whom he worked during his tenure at the White House. He has already provided the artwork for a Christmas ornament, which may be purchased through the Bush Center web site (which, incidentally, works).

Bush Center Ornament

Bush Center Ornament

See also:
As Bush Settles Into Dallas, Golf Tees and Family Time Now Trump Politics [New York Times; Nov 2, 2013]

George Bush Shows Off Painting Hobby, Shares Jay Leno Portrait [US Weekly; Nov 20, 2013]

George W. Bush Presidential Center

I Put a Spell on You, Because You’re Mine

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (1929-2000) may well have been a man born ahead of his time. His best known song, I Put A Spell On You, recorded in 1956 when he was drunk and in a blackout, sold more than a million copies. This is the perfect theme song for the second term of the Pop-Culture President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama:

I put a spell on you
’cause you’re mine

You better stop the things you do
I ain’t lyin’
No I ain’t lyin’

Screamin Barack Hussein Obama

Screamin Barack Hussein Obama

When Barack Obama first ran for President in 2008, unlike Screamin Jay Hawkins, he was a man without a record. Now, of course, he has a record. It’s an abysmal one. But for some reason, a majority of voters decided to give this man another shot. (And you gotta love the way Barack Hussein Obama pronounces the word “shot” with his Chicago accent. He was fond of electioneering on the basis that he was the One who would give everyone a “fair shot.” Unless of course you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, an investor, a Medicare recipient, a Christian, an hourly wage earner, a coal miner…. Well, maybe it’s not exactly fair, but you do get a shot if you are in certain labor unions, or if you want someone else to pay for your birth control and abortions. That’s not just me talking. No. It’s that straw man. You know. The one over there.)

Speaking of the straw man, there is another character from The Wizard of Oz who bears a striking resemblance to the leader of the Free World. It’s not just me saying it:

Apologies to Margaret Hamilton

Witch is the Real Obama?


Does this man look angry a lot? Other people have noticed. Haven’t you? And how’s this for a coincidence? The Leader of the Western World and the Wicked Witch of the West are in practically the same pose. What are the odds?

And here they go again:

Wicked Witch of the West & Leader of the Western World

Wicked Witch of the West & Leader of the Western World


I don’t know about you, but so far this week I have watched a lot less Fox News and a whole lot more reruns of The Big Bang Theory.

No one is recommending that you stay drunk and in a blackout for the next four years. But maybe listening to that great recording by Screamin Jay Hawkins will lift your spirits, if only for a couple of minutes.

Have a nice day.

Obama & Christie = Laurel & Hardy? Just Saying….

I don’t mean to trivialize a serious situation, but the images speak for themselves:

Governor Chris Christie & President Obama - Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy

Christie & Obama – Laurel & Hardy


Governor Chris Christie welcomes President Barack Obama to New Jersey to inspect the damage caused by the killer super-storm Hurricane Sandy.

Obama & Christie - Laurel & Hardy

Teamwork!

Joss Whedon, Mitt Romney and the Zombie Apocalypse

Full disclosure: I’m a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What The Godfather is to Francis Ford Coppola, the Buffy saga is to Mr. Whedon: a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. If Mr. Coppola never had another thing to say, The Godfather
trilogy would have been enough. If Mr. Whedon never brought another screenplay to fruition, he has made an indelible mark on the popular culture.

But Mr. Whedon continues to forage in fantasy. This time he has spun an apocalyptic vision starring Mitt Romney in the role of President of the United States. He envisions a world in which the restoration of personal liberty and “ungoverned corporate privilege” will result in poverty, joblessness, and the loss of a woman’s “reproductive rights.”

Romney is ready to make the deep rollbacks in health care, education, social services, reproductive rights, that will guarantee poverty, unemployment, overpopulation, disease, rioting, all crucial elements in creating a nightmare zombie wasteland. But it’s his commitment to ungoverned corporate privilege that will nose-dive this economy into true insolvency and chaos. The kind of chaos you can’t buy back. Money is only so much paper to the undead. The 1% will no longer be the very rich, it will be the very fast. Anyone can run, fight, make explosives out of household objects or especially do parkour of any kind – you’ll want to stick with them, unless they read Ayn Rand.

Mr.Whedon apparently prefers the nightmare he knows: four more years of trillion dollar deficits, 23 million unemployed or underemployed workers, $5-a-gallon gasoline, Barack Hussein Obama.

As some of us rewind and continue to enjoy the Buffy tapes, perhaps Mr. Whedon will spend the next four years learning to be a traceur. [Look it up. I did.]