And now an End of the Year song that's far more traditional.
This is a charming and exceedingly low-key video that Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt made, singing "What are You Doing New Year’s Eve?" Not-shockingly, I figured that it was reasonably appropriate tonight. How low-key are the production values? At the end, Ms. Deschanel leans over to click off the camera.
On the site, she also posts the following explanation --
"I have known Joe Gordon-Levitt for going on 12 years. We first met in the summer of 2000 while doing a tiny movie called Manic, where we bonded over a mutual appreciation for Harry Nilsson and Nina Simone and I have been lucky enough to call him one of my dearest friends ever since. When we did 500 Days of Summer 8 years later, we spent every lunch hour dancing to Marvin Gaye in the hair and make up trailer; we had loads of fun. I hope to do a thousand more movies with him because he's simply the best. But in the meantime, we made a little New Year's duet for all of you! The original by Nancy Wilson. ENJOY!"
For the sake of accuracy, she's wrong about a couple of things. For starters, it is not "by" Nancy Wilson. Yes, I know she (like many singers) is referring to who recorded it, but who a song is "by" is personal bugaboo of mine. And it's especially notable here because this particular song was written by the great Broadway composer Frank Loesser (who wrote Guys & Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, among others), though it wasn't for any show or movie, just a standalone song.
She's also wrong that the original was recorded by Nancy Wilson, missing by almost two decades. The original recording was performed by Margaret Whiting in 1947. (Wilson didn't record it until 1965, though she had a big hit with it, reaching #17 on the Billboard charts.)
But those are details. The performance itself is the lovely point of it all --
Quite a year. Ta-ta.
“20/20 vision” has forever taken on new meaning.
We have a couple of end of the year songs, which couldn't have come soon enough. And start with this one that is especially appreciate, most especially it's opening five seconds -- "So Long, Dearie."
Ben Sasse (R-NE) has an excellent and long statement on Facebook that slams "Republican" charges of voter fraud, and it's appreciated. It deserves praise, and good too that he has occasionally been critical of Trump. Know, as well, that this lunacy he describes at length didn't just pop up and come from nowhere, but it's what the GOP in Congress has been building too for four years.
You can read the statement here.
Republicans in the Senate had their chance to convict Trump of impeachment, but except for Mitt Romney they all voted to give him a pass. ALL. They wouldn't even allow evidence!
For all the good moments a few GOP Senators did have -- and again, good for them, including Sasse -- the Republican members of Congress in their entirety overall enabled Trump for four years and are all complicit.
"Dad, you're driving much too fast!!!" is a good thing to say at times on a cross-country road trip, but when he's driving too fast the whole way, at a certain point those in the car have to get him to pull over so you can take the keys away.
I was one day off. I check the COVID stats every day on a website called World-o-meter. I thought we might reach 4,000 deaths on Tuesday. However, the day ended at “only” around 3,700.
Yesterday, thought, we passed 4,000 deaths today from COVID.
4,199 Americans died yesterday.
(We started the day with 346,579 deaths. It's ended up 350,778.)
On 9/11, there were 2,977 deaths. We are now topping that number almost every day during this holiday spike. And we haven't even really hit the full-blown spike.
And Trump, of course, is silent, playing golf. As President Elect Joe Biden fills in the vacuum.
The Kennedy Center Honors are usually broadcast around this time, but they've been delayed until the Spring because this year they...oh, you can figure it out.
So, to fill in the gap at least part of the way, here is the 1993 tribute to Johnny Carson. It's fairly low-key compared to most, but pretty funny. Here it is, in three parts. (The first video begins with the start of the broadcast. The tribute itself begins around the 5:20 mark.)
The other day, I posted the following on social media --
"Unlike some, I'm *NOT* "pleased" that Trump finally signed the COVID-19 emergency relief bill. I'm livid that it took him this long -- and until after Christmas putting truly desperate Americans through hell -- to do what any sane, normal human would have done immediately."
I got a reply from an old friend who later became a rabbi. (For the record, no, this is not my friend Jack Moline who I've often referred to here, and who is on our Board of Directors at Elisberg Industries.) I only mention that my friend is a rabbi, since he addresses some spiritual issues. He wrote --
"I don't know what the cutoff point is for how and when someone can be redeemed, but DJT roared past it years ago. There is absolutely nothing he can or could do to be or become a hero at this point. NOTHING."
My reply was that "This is never good when coming from a rabbi..." To which I added -- "Somewhat similarly, I almost sent a tweet yesterday about how Marley's Ghost was trying to get three ghosts to contact Trump to help redeem him, but no one wanted to do it because there was no point. But I decided not to do so because -- well, there was no point. But maybe I will, now that I've typed it here..."
Alan clarified his earlier comment, not wanting to be misunderstood --
"I should probably add that redemption at the level we're talking about here would not be offered by humankind. This, as I said and as I believe, is beyond our human capacity to achieve. Redemption, in such a case, would have to be between DJT and his Creator. And I would not want to be 'in the room where it happened.'"
Which in the end brings us to --
"Donald, have a seat. So, you know that, like, when I went to create a llama, the first one came out a giraffe. I just got the neck waaay wrong. And the first version of a mouse was the elephant. The whole size-and-nose ratio didn't work out AT ALL. Well, when it got around to mankind, I was trying to make luggage, and what happened got all messed up -- long story -- and you were the result. Now, much as I'm sure you'd like to be 'redeemed,' I know that even you can see that that's just not going to happen. It's just totally screwed up behind fixing. There's no place for a zipper, for starters. And you don't come close to meeting TSA standards. But don't worry, you're not getting sent 'downstairs,' if you know what I mean. It's not that you don't belong there, but I just don't want to make Hell even worse. So, instead, you get to go to Angola. At first, I was thinking Puerto Rico, but they've been through enough. And I figured that there was a nice symmetry having you live in what you consider a sh*thole country, though it's really quite nice. In some ways. And to show you that I *am* benevolent and loving, you get to go with a relative. That's your second cousin, they Samsonite Solyte Expandable Carry-on with Spinner Wheels. Bon voyage!"
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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