Wednesday

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Peterson Observations

I’m enjoying John Peterson’s Pop Goes the Culture. It’s great non-fiction light reading . . . a perfect “bathroom book,” though I haven’t much defiled it that way.

Herewith, a few samples:

In his chapter about the wrestler Gorgeous George, Peterson reminds readers that the blonde hunk of vanity referred to himself as “The Human Orchid.” That slayed me. I think I’ll start using it around the house to refer to myself.

Writing about Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, one of my favorite albums of all time: “If you’ve heard the album, you know that it’s unique. The audience reactions, loud and raucous as Cash had promised, have a reality about them that is at once funny and sad and entirely different from what you hear from the crowds in other live concert recordings.”

“We are the wealthiest people in the history of the world, and the inane ways in which we splash our wealth around will provoke laughter or tears, but surely no applause.” Example: Jenny Craig offered Monica Lewinsky $1 million for shedding 50 pounds. That works out to $20,000 a pound.

Banal, but nonetheless startling, fact of the day: “Eighty-five percent of shoppers turn to the right after entering a store.”

Thoughtful quote of the day: “God cannot be found in noise and restlessness.” Mother Teresa

Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain (31-6 in 1968) would drink 28 Pepsis a day.

“Jimmy Durante regularly attended Mass and wore four religious medals on a necklace. . . [Following his death, after] thousands of personal interviews with Jimmy’s family, friends, and fellow performers, no reporter or biographer ever found a single derogatory word about him.”

On my favorite TV show of all time: “Seinfeld is an expose of trash. It exposes the spiritually empty lives typical of all too many of our singles-in-the-city. These are T.S. Eliot’s hollow men, heads filled with straw, and ready to whimper to the end. As such the show is brilliant. And funny.”