Archive for October, 2008

Barack Obama and The West Wing

To this day one of my favorite TV shows is the West Wing. I think it was one of the most (if not the most) well written shows that I can recall and the fact that it was so popular in America gave me hope that the real “silent majority” in America were really, deep down, socially conscious. Yesterday the New York Times published an article paralleling the campaigns of Obama and McCain to those of the fictional Matthew Santos and Arnold Vinick in the last two seasons of the West Wing.

I won’t repeat the article here, it is worth reading. But I will say again that the fact that a show about a very liberal white house could get as popular as it did IS I believe testament to where Americans really are in their political thinking. Finally after eight years of failed conservative policy we are on the brink of finally bringing a liberal administration to the white house which will work to put our nation back on the right track. And if you are not sure, just take a look at this column from the Telegraph in London.

And since I am talking about the West Wing I had to add this little thing. The last episode of the 2nd Season contains what I think was the greatest moment in dramatic television. The you tube is below, but I want to set the stage for it for those who did not watch the show. President Bartlett is in his third year of his first term in office and was contemplating not running for re-election. He suffers from MS and that was kept from the public. In the midst of all of this and the tribulations of being president, his secretary, Mrs. Landingham purchased her first car ever and while she was driving it for the first time, she was killed by a drunk driver hitting her car. She was probably one of the two most important people in his life and he knew her since he was a boy.

The scene below is right after her funeral at the National Cathedral.

Here is the translation of the latin:

Gratias tibi ago, domine
Thank you, Lord.

Haec credam a deo pio, a deo justo, a deo scito?
Am I to believe these things from a righteous God, a just God, a wise God?

Cruciatus in crucem
To Hell with your punishments

uus in terra servus, nuntius fui; officium perfeci
I was your servant, your messenger on the earth, I did my duty.

Cruciatus in crucem (with a dismissive wave of the hand) eas in crucem
The Hell with your punishments! And to Hell with you! (literally, “may you go to a cross”)

Song of the day

Life on Mars continues to wow me every time I watch it. And it is not only because of the music (although that is a major part). The writing and acting are excellent. What happens when a good cop schooled in modern 21st Century policing techniques finds himself in 1973? Tune in to find out!

This week’s songs:

Mother and Child Reunion by Paul Simon

Rock and Roll by The Velvet Underground

Bang a Gong (Get it On) by T. Rex

Lucky Lady by the Jones Brothers
I cannot find this!

20th Century Man by the Kinks

Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress by The Hollies

Long Promised Road by The Beach Boys

Song of the day

After two episodes of Life On Mars I am definitely loving the show. The music is still a major draw. Here is a rundown on the amazing 70’s soundtrack from the last episode (who knows, I may make this a weekly thing)


All the Way From Memphis by Mott the Hoople

Get Down by Gilbert O’Sullivan

I am a Rock by Simon and Garfunkel

The episode also features Life on Mars by David Bowie, and I included that in a past song of the day.

Song of the day special

No favorite Lyric Friday today.

I have spoken about my horrible habit of watching too much TV in the past, but I need to write about one of the best shows I have seen in a long while. Last night, I watched the new show Life on Mars. This is actually a show based on a BBC show from 2006 (I mean can Hollywood come up with a good concept on their own anymore?) The show is about a Detective in the NYPD who runs his division in lower Manhattan. While on a case he gets hit by a car and wakes up 35 years in the past, in 1973.

I won’t go into more details than that, as to not give anything away. The reason, though, I want to bring this up here is the great used of music in this show. I believe I wrote about the show swingtown earlier in the summer. That show, which also takes place in the 70s, had a wonderful soundtrack, but in that show, the music was just hit songs from the 70s that “happened” to be playing on the radio in the scene, and had not real connection to the show.

In Live on Mars, the music seems to be an integral part of the show. The producers seem to have worked hard to make sure that the music was actually playing in 1973 and not later, and to find music to fit what is going on in the action. Again, I will not give any of that away, but here is a list of the 70s songs used in the show together with some youtube videos.

Life On Mars? by David Bowie (an incredible early music video!)

Signs by Five Man Electric Band

Baba ‘O Riley by The Who

Little Willie by Sweet

Out Of Time by The Rolling Stones

How bad can a TV show be with all of these great songs?

One more month

One month from tomorrow Americans will go to the polls and choose our next president. I have not made any secret of the fact that I support Barack Obama. Here are three videos about Obama and the Jewish Community.


Song of the day

Yesterday, October 5, marks the 46th anniversary of the release of The Beatles first single, Love Me Do. The song was written a few years earlier by Paul and later, John added the middle eight, as was common in their songwriting partnership. The record established The Beatles as a hit band, with the single moving very quickly to number 17 on the UK charts. Two years later it would reach number one in the US.

So In honor of this auspicious occasion, today’s song is Love Me Do.


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