Here is your open thread for February 19, 2020.
Smokey Robinson and Bobby Rogers of the Miracles were both born on February 19, 1940 in the same hospital in Detroit. Here’s a hit of theirs written by Rogers where he joins Smokey on the lead vocals.
Short story masters Kay Boyle (1902) and Carson McCullers (1917) were born on February 19. So was novelist (and sometime Rock Bottom Remainder vocalist) Amy Tan (1952).
It’s the birthday of the late director John Frankenheimer. He made some great films, but the best thing he ever did was convince the studio to hire Angela Lansbury for The Manchurian Candidate.
Merle Oberon was born on February 19, 1911. The date of her birth is well established, but the circumstances and the location remain fuzzy. It’s a pretty wild story.
Grizzled character actor Lee Marvin was born on this day in 1924. Marvin fought in the Pacific in World War II as a Marine, but my favorite role of his is as an Army sergeant leading a young Mark Hamill across Europe in The Big Red One.It’s also the birthday of actors Jeff Daniels, Benicio Del Toro, and Justine Bateman, and of one-named pop stars Seal and Falco.
Errand-boy for billionaires Roger Goodell turns 61 today.
Today would have been Karen Silkwood’s 74th birthday if she hadn’t “died in a car crash” at the age of 28 on her way to meet with a reporter from The New York Times. It’s not conspiratorial to believe Silkwood was murdered when even the official story about her death is “we can’t really say but it was probably something really shady.”
Finally, it’s Flag Day in Turkmenistan, one of the countries that got even more repressive after it ceased being an SSR. The country’s current despot-for-life was “re-elected” in 2017 with 97.69% of the vote. The surviving members of that other 2.31% are probably in forced labor camps now.
So let’s Turkmenistan’s Flag Day by revisiting John Oliver’s fine (NSFW) introduction to that country’s horrifically embarrassing authoritarian ruler:
Talk amongst yourselves.