Re: Reagan's Bind

Stan Taylor e-mails the lyrics of the Austin Lounge Lizards' song "The Ballad of Ronald Reagan," which includes the following verse:

He's our gun-running president
He's slippery as a squid
He's stupid if he didn't know,
Dishonest if he did

Yep, that's Reagan's Bind. If there was a third option, nobody's figured out yet what it was.

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Today's pixels. Eric Umansky has a blog. How long has this been going on?

* * *

Here's an article on Wilmington, Del.'s, "Bethel Villa Apartments." I point this out only to mention that this name is redundant in three languages.

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"I wish i could do more, and I wish I thought my actions had a larger effect than they likely do, but the smallness of the effect is not a reason not to do it."

Carla wrote that in comments recently and I thought it was too cool not to repeat it. I feel like that all the time.

* * *

So I'm walking back from State Street just now and there's a van for D.J.'s Chim Chimney Sweeps parked at the light. I blow the driver a kiss, 'cause that's lucky too, and he gives me a dirty look. And it wasn't a "yeah, yeah, we get that all the time" dirty look.

I just think that if you're going to work for a company called "Chim Chimney Sweeps" then you oughta know the song.

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  • Jeremy Osner

    Calvin Trillin has a riff on American haute cuisine restaurants in which he refers to the archetypal American fancy restaurant as La Casa de la Maison House.

  • none

    I like all these wrong americanizations, they talk about “The La Paloma” in Maltese Falcon. And I like when they go ahead and order the neon sign with the wrong spelling, there used to be a “Neptene Video” when 42nd St. was still porno; and in Spanish Harlem there was a neon that said “Continentalt Cuisine.” Maybe they had Steak with au jus sauce. “Susse Chalet” in Boston also has a neon. They are all like from Lolita.

  • julia

    He’s our fun-loving president, the star of the show,
    he’ll balance the budget in a million years or so…
    but nothing holds a candle to Jesus Loves Me (but he can’t stand you)
    …I’m going to heaven, boys, when I die
    ‘Cause I’ve crossed every “t” and I’ve dotted every “i’
    My preacher tell me that I’m God’s kind of guy; that’s why
    Jesus loves me–but you’re gonna fry
    God loves all his children, by gum
    That don’t mean he won’t incinerate some
    Can’t you feel those hot flames licking you
    Woo woo woo
    I’m raising my kids in a righteous way
    So don’t be sending your kids over to my house to play
    Yours’ll grow up stoned, left-leaning, and gay; I know
    Jesus told me on the phone today
    Jesus loves me, this I know
    And he told me where you’re gonna go
    There’s lots of room for your kind down below
    Whoa whoa whoa…
    or the ultimate wise old lush at the bar song, Old Blevins (know when to folk ’em indeed)
    I could tell he had some wisdom to impart
    Some story that was etched and burned and stamped upon his heart
    Then his eyes began to glisten, ’cause he could see that I would listen
    We sat there at the bar ’til nearly three
    And this is what Old Blevins said to me
    He said “Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    In Tijuana, blah blah blah, back in 1963
    Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    You should have been there blah blah blah”
    Is what Old Blevins said to me
    I sat there and I listened to his words
    As they flapped around my head like little birds
    Had he gone plumb ’round the bend, or could I just not comprehend
    His lips were writing lines I could not read
    When suddenly, it all came clear to me
    As he said “Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    Them crazy hippies blah blah blah blah no effect on me
    Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    The Great Depression blah blah blah”
    And he would not leave me be
    Old Blevins was still talking when I seized my chance to flee
    Back home she’s never known I’m not the fool I used to be
    But I know that a man and a woman’s lives were somehow changed
    By a loathsome toothless geezer, incoherent and deranged
    And my memories of that evening fuel an inner mounting fear
    That I might become Old Blevins anywhere that they sell beer
    And I’ll say “Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    I don’t remember blah blah blah blah blah blah
    Mistakes were made
    Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    How ’bout them Cowboys? blah blah blah”
    Lik Old Blevins used to say

  • BFDiehl

    I point this out only to mention that this name is redundant in three languages

  • Tom Scudder

    A modern equivalent of Torpenhow hill?
    Torpenhow Hill – This place in Cumbria in the UK may be a quadruple etymological redundancy. Tor and how can be traced to Old English forms of hill, and penn may be linked to the Celtic word for hill. If this is true, the name means hill hill hill hill. However, linguists and etymologists generally argue that at least one of the elements of this name has a different root.
    From this page.

  • carla

    Thanks for the shout-out, fred; I send links to your stuff to people all the time, and it’s always well-received. When I sent the two-part thing about Christian entertainment, my friend emailed back, “That was great–where do you find this stuff!?” btw, Torpenhow Hill would’ve made me spit tea if I hadn’t just swallowed. And Calvin Trillin rocks.

  • JRoth

    Wait, but doesn’t Bethel mean Place of God? Surely that’s a shade different from “apartment.”