’20 A To Z Challenge – N

Where’s a good old insult when you really need one, especially when there are a plethora of politicians who so richly deserve one??!

The quality of leaders in the developed world has seriously deteriorated.  At its inception, Canada had Sir John A. MacDonald.  He drank like life was one long frat-boy party.  He was only slightly less racist than his contemporaries, but he knit together a handful of disparate colonies into a Dominion that became what Canada is today.

William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada’s longest serving Prime Minister.  He did it in two stretches.  He got voted out, then later got voted back in, from the end of the ‘30s to the end of the ‘40s.  He got us out of the Great Depression, though World War II, and put Canada – and the UK – back on its feet.

He was a Mama’s boy who frequented psychics and séances.  He thought that the Parliament Buildings were haunted.  More recently, two MPs were conversing near the elevator.  Neither had pushed the button, but down it came.  When the door opened, and there was no-one inside, one looked in and said, “Good day, Mister King.”

It all began to go bad with Pierre Trudeau.  He had – not one, but two – sons born on Christmas Day, so he always thought that he was one better than God.  Already famous for his Salmon Arm Salute, https://archonsden.wordpress.com/2020/05/11/20-a-to-z-challenge-c/ he violated protocol and photo-bombed Queen Elizabeth herself, by pirouetting behind her like a drunken – or gay – ballet dancer, at an official photo session.  Richard Nixon described him as “an asshole.”  His response was that he had been called worse things, by better men.  I’m sure that’s true – lots of them.

The Excited States has had the Emancipation Proclamation, Honest Abe Lincoln.  There was, We have nothing to fear but fear itself, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and The Buck stops here, Harry S Truman.  The middle ‘S’ is not an initial, but an entire name, honoring two grandfathers with ‘S’ names.  He once told a group of high-society garden club ladies, that the White House roses grew so well because his gardeners added lots of manure.  One of the snootier women complained to his wife about his use of the vulgar word manure.  Bess replied that it had taken her 20 years, just to get him to use that word.

It is hard for a Canadian to judge where and when America began slipping off the rails.  It might have been with I am not a crook Nixon.  I think that it was somewhere between the two Bushes – Sr. and Jr. – although Burning Bush Senior’s declaration that Atheists should not be allowed to be citizens or patriots, indicates that the rot had already set in.  Slick Willy Clinton’s presidency could have been a skit written by the Three Stooges.

This brings us to Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump, and (finally) the theme for this N post.  Even Bugs Bunny https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14KTu4i27j8 agrees that each of them is a

NINCOMPOOP

A fool or simpleton
From Latin: non compos mentis – not of sound mind; mentally incapable of managing one’s affairs.

Trudeau-Lite is such a nincompoop that even Trump doesn’t bother to call him an asshole.  Trump is not fit to manage his own affairs, much less the nation’s.  He believes conspiracy theories, thinks that we should drink drain cleaner to combat COVID, and has gone bankrupt more times than George W. Mission Accomplished Bush – and that’s a low bar.

Both these two – and others – are victims of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect#:~:text=In%20the%20field%20of%20psychology%2C%20the%20Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger%20effect,of%20people%20to%20recognize%20their%20lack%20of%20ability.  They are so dumb that they don’t realize how dumb they are.  Leaders used to be LEADERS – socially, politically, morally, intellectually, culturally.  Now, doofuses like this are Cult Leaders – a Cult of Personality.  They don’t so much get elected by the voters; they just win the most likes in a Twitter-storm, or a Facebook octagon match.

I would like to say that we deserve better, but if WE, as nations, vote these clowns into the positions of Chief Executive Nincompoop, we deserve the governments we get, and (collectively) we are the nincompoops.  Think carefully – I’ll settle for just think – before you vote.   👿

It All Comes Down To The Music

Rock group

The son commented the other day that he was doing some research about The Drowning Pool.

“Oh, I liked that book. I read several of Ross MacDonald’s books when I was young. They were gritty, like Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer. I also liked the 1975 movie with Paul Newman, and his wife/actress, Joanne Woodward….”

No, no, he says! I’m talking about a rock group.

Well, of course you are! It all comes down to names for musical groups. (I’d write ‘rock groups’, but there hasn’t been any real ROCK, since about ’85.) Names for groups are like internet domain names. There’s more looking for them, than are available. To get one, especially the one you want, can be difficult – and expensive.

That may explain groups like Finger Eleven, (Is that the one you use to communicate with other drivers?) and Maroon Five. (I can still hear Bugs Bunny cackling, “What a maroon.”, and here’s five of them)

Once upon a time, there was a band called Bush. They went nowhere fast, then quietly disbanded. Many years later, another group of musical young men who had never heard of the original Bush, named their band that. Soon they got a cease and desist order. For over a year they had to operate as Bush-X, till somebody’s palm got greased, or their ego salved.

I suspect the same type of thing is happening with a band named X-Ambassadors, whose tune ‘Renegade’, is being used by Chrysler Motors to promote their Jeep. The band may have to pay Chrysler for promotional consideration, because the commercial has made them nationally famous, and their song is all over every radio station.

Bands are named just about everything you can imagine – and, I imagine, things you can’t imagine. Whenever I check a tag on my WordPress Reader, to ‘see what others are writing’, every one of my usual tags leads to a band. There’s a band called Knives. There’s a band called Sword. There’s also a small city in Ireland called Sword. There’s a band called Handguns. There’s a band called Archon. There’s a band called Kings.

When I was a teenager, there was a group of five young men from the next town over. They had all been friends since before kindergarten. They were all children of merchants, lawyers and real estate agents who could afford to pay for music lessons and new, decent-quality instruments. They studied music, and they practiced, first alone, then together. They garage band-ed for almost ten years.

They would never have made the big time back then, although, nowadays, Justin Bieber proves that anything’s possible. They were good enough to play Thursday nights during the high school summers, at a dance hall on the waterfront in Sauble Beach. They also played Friday and Saturday nights at a smaller dance hall on the Port Elgin beach. It didn’t hurt that the rhythm guitar player’s dad owned it.

Five of my known associates decided that, if the other guys could do it, they could too. Three of them had never taken a lesson. Two of them had never picked up an instrument. Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, trumpet (?), violin (?) and drums – this was before ELO or Chicago. The only song they performed that sounded barely acceptable, was Surfin’ Bird. Check out the original on YouTube.

They practiced/jammed a couple of hours a week for six months. The town paid them ten bucks a head to perform at a summer teen dance in the arena – and they never got another paying gig.

When visions of sugarplums were still dancing through their heads, it was realized that the group would need a name. None of them was creative enough, or egotistical enough to come up with one, so groupies like me were asked for suggestions.

I asked my father, who was just barely into the entertainment industry. Having come through the Big Band Era, he suggested The Kingsmen, or The Coachmen. These weren’t sufficiently ‘with it’ for the swingin’ early ‘60s. The next-town band called themselves “The Comets”, bright, brilliant, showy, unusual, memorable.

Plagiarizing the scientific theme, I never did ask which one of ‘my’ group of geniuses decided to name the band “The Atoms”, tiny, invisible, insignificant, and more common than grass. We’re all lucky that they put their thick glasses, repaired with tape, back on, oiled up their slide rules, and were never heard again.

What are some of the groups, ‘unusually’ named or not, that you    listen(ed) to?