Saturday, December 5, 2015

"Spectacular Ineptitude"/ We Are the Champions

The New York Times ran a front-page editorial today* for the first time since June 1920, when the paper lamented the nomination of Warren G. Harding as the presidential candidate. [via]

Harding, whose infamy rests on what US News & World Report called "spectacular ineptitude", said of himself: "I am not fit for this office and should never have been here."

Despite having a cute dog ^ (Laddie) and writing steamy love letters to his mistress, Harding did such a bad job as president (Teapot Dome, etc.), historians often rank him among the worst US Presidents.

So, the NYT editorial was right in 1920. 

And today?

I have no doubt.

Here's a bit from today's editorial,
 “End the Gun Epidemic in America”: 
It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. 
America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday. They distract us with arguments about the word terrorism. Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism.
OK, and to balance that awfulness. . . 

 Tales from the Thrift

I cashiered at the Thrift Store this afternoon.  I was happy to be there, but I'm getting over a little cold, so I was kind of tired and droopy.

She who cashiers controls the CD player, and I soon felt even more tired listening to the lame Christmas music I had to choose from, so  I rummaged through the CDs on sale and put on Queen: Greatest Hits.
I wasn't sure other people would like it, but I knew it would lift my energy, which I needed.

Immediately, a little girl in a tutu, about eight years old, started to sing along with the first song,
"We will, we will rock you!"

Then one of my coworkers who was putting out jewelry in the display case near the cash register started to sing along, and someone in the check-out line commented how sad it was that Freddie Mercury is dead.

"Oh, I'm glad you all like this too," I said. "I was worried I shouldn't have put Queen on."

"Oh, you should always put on Queen," she said.

I looked around at the busy store, and inspired by the Spirit of Christmas past, present, and future (or those old Judy Garland Mickey Rooney films), just as that famous crescendo was coming up, I said,
"Let's all sing along, like in the movies!"
and by god, everyone burst into the chorus,
We are the champions, my friends.

This ranks high in my "best moment ever" list.

I played the CD over and over all afternoon, 
and over and over customers of all ages and types commented on how much they loved it.

I [foolishly] had not realized Queen was so widely and well loved, even now.
And why not?
^ "This photo was taken in Mercury's flat, around the time the band was first coming together, circa 1970. 
"You can see the shyness. In those days, he hadn't found himself yet. Roger [Taylor, Queen's drummer,] often said he used to sing like a young lamb. It's quite nice to see that quiet side of him."
* Thanks to Orange Crate Art for alerting me.


Zhoen said...

Documentary, Queen - The Days of our Lives.

Sang a couple of schoolhouse rock songs with a pre op nurse yesterday. Nearby patient vastly amused.

Fresca said...

Reports of mass singing!

Bink said...

Love the sing-a-long thrift store! Did Queen every do any Christmas covers? Hmmm...worth checking into.