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One More Night | blog.deanland.com

One More Night

ONE MORE NIGHT

...just one more night to go. This is the seventh night of Hanukkah. One more night to go. In many households this means the BIG DEAL presents come after the lighting of the candles tomorrow evening. Eight days of gift-giving (it would be much less comercial if this holiday was celebrated in August), capped off by the big, final night! In Orthodox Jewish households it is an even bigger event, as it falls on the beginning of Shabbas (aka The Sabbath). And in my strange circumstance of time bending according to the way things are, it will be the night (or maybe the day, if I do it on Saturday) of wrapping the presents for my kids. All sorts of goodies --some funny, some dear, some desired, some just plain silly-- that they will receive in just a few more days when I see them for our annual holiday season visit.

I keep hearing this song somewhere in the back of my head, as though a radio was playing in another room. Phil Collins, singing One More Night.


ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG

Strom Thurmond's retirement will help achieve this, at least in the Senate. Noted racist and long-time South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond turned 100 today. Is that a Billy Joel song I hear, instead of Happy Birthday To You? Or maybe it is just a tired version of Dixie, the tune some consider the South's version of a National Anthem.
Thurmond ran for President against Truman in 1948, on the Dixiecrat ticket, in opposition to Trumanís Civil Rights leanings. Not racist enough for old Strom, who ran on a ticket promoting segregation, and statesí rights (a euphemism for White Power). One of his final acts in this, his swan-song term in the Senate, has been to sponsor the appointment of a racist, "states' rights-type" judge to the US Court of Appeals.

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Old Strom is a regular cut-up, as you will see in this press release in which he offers conjecture that freedom of religion in prisons or the armed forces would result in jailhouse bible burnings, and our members of the armed services, our soldiers, smoking peyote. Gee, sound quite similar to what a lot of our boys were doing in Viet Nam. That military engagement was supported by old Strom, big time.

There persists the urban legend that Thurmond fathered a child with a black woman. That child (born in 1925, thus now an adult of a certain age), Essie Mae Washington, has been supported by Thurmond all her years. Much research, some of it even scholarly, points to the truthfulness of this legend. Many consider it one of those never admitted/always understood to be true, facts about a politician.

With the retirement of Thrumond, and his neighbor from North Carolina, Jesse Helms, the Old South apparently will not be rising again anytime soon.


Roone Arledge Dies at Age 71

We move from discussion of a backwards thinker to memories of a forward-thinking media visionary. Roone Arledge died today, at the age of 71. This is the man who had the chutzpah and vision to make ABC the leader in Sports Television, the man who created ABC's 20:20, Nightline, and numerous other achievements.

He will most likely best be known for creating ABC Monday Night Football, and for having the foresight to purchase network broadcast rights to the Olympics. These are everyday elements of the social fabric of our lives, part of the very essence of our media/pop culture.

The obituary for Arledge appearing in the New York Times is a well-researched, excellent discussion of his career.

Arledge had been ill with Cancer for some time, and it is clear that Bill Carter, Chief Television Correspondent for the Times, put much time and effort into the preparation of this obit. I often take the Times to task for being so yuppie-gentry-chic. This time, however, kudos go to the Times for strong background prep-work, and a top job of both reporting the death as well as offering insight into Arledge's brilliant career, and his life in general.

Arledge will be missed, but it is a truism that every time one watches a sporting event on TV, the influence of Roone Arledge is still with us, in spades.