I had the great pleasure and privilege to see Harold Prince's
stripped-down version of Candide on Broadway in 1974 and still
appreciate its crispness, but I just love the original version of this song.
• I think I made the right choice to skip the debate and go see Loudon Wainwright III last night. He opened with "Double Lifetime" and "Heaven," which set the tone -- death and jokes! Wainwright seems to have repurposed some of his material from his Surviving Twin thing about fathers and sons -- in fact he not only prefaced some of his songs with bits from his father's Life magazine columns, he even performed one of those columns as a comic monologue. I wanted more songs but it made an interesting point of comparision: LWII's stuff is pretty good for magazine work; it's well-crafted and has the old-fashioned, better sort of middle-class attitude toward the big issues -- that is, a becoming gratitude for one's privilege, and respect for the mysteries of love and death and the inadequacy of privilege before them. It strikes me that his son picked up some of that, and though he likes to be more irreverent and playful that's still his grounding. Which may really be the reason he never got to be a big star -- not because of the "novelty-store garlic gum" bitter surprise lyrics I blamed when I wrote about him years ago, but because his truths are literally old home truths, a hard sell to a pop music audience (unless of course you lie about the truths). Concert highlights: A song for his upcoming Alaskan family boondoggle called "Meet the Wainwrights" ("Rufus used to be a tit man/Now he checks out pecs at the gym"), and a really good "Be Careful, There's a Baby in the House," a song that sounds pretty mature considering it debuted in 1971.
• Tell you why else I think I made the right call: I saw the video clip where Donald Trump excuses calling women "fat pigs" on the grounds that "this country" doesn't have time for "political correctness," and I have to say he exceeds even my satirical gifts. I also see that the mainstream National Review conservatives, who were pissed when Trump began hogging attention, are starting to love him for it. A month ago Jonah Goldberg was calling Trump a fraud -- now he says, "[Trump] makes the debates entertaining and his competitors look more serious and responsible -- what’s so bad about that?" which suggests that they could have gotten the same effect with the Iron Sheik, who I understand has a higher Q rating. Jim Geraghty crows that Trump "killed with that 'Only Rosie O’Donnell' line" (in re women as fat pigs); he's slightly more protective of Megyn Kelly, which is perhaps just his way of showing that there's no principle of chivalry at stake, he just like fat jokes about lib chicks. I wonder what election this is meant to win? These guys already had date rapists and gamergaters locked up. On the plus side, Ben Carson mentioned Alinsky, thereby alerting whatever normal people may have been watching to this weird conservative secret handshake, which ought to help them decide how seriously to take the Republican Party as presently constituted.
"[Megyn Kelly] gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions," Trump said in a CNN interview. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever"...How will the Trumpenproletariat react? Let's see what Breitbart.com commenters have to say about it:
The more toffee-nosed cons protest: National Review's Charles C.W. Cooke sputters, "Trump has no attractive qualities at all. He's not a conservative, he's not a good politician, he's not eloquent, he has no experience." Which seems a harsh thing to say about his party's front-runner.