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Number of posts: 40
Email address: email
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Posts by Noel Holston:
What do Lorne Michaels, Lena Dunham, Sarah Palin and Vladimir Putin have in common?
No, not megalomania. Interesting guess, but wrong. Dead wrong. Each was in fact involved with a winner of the University of Georgia’s 72nd annual George Foster Peabody Awards, either as subject or creative force. The list of 2012 programs picked for Peabody recognition on Wednesday, March 27…
The Cry Goes Up
Observe a moment of respectful silence, if you will, for a Georgia boy who made good: William Watts “Buck” Biggers, who passed away Feb. 10 at the age of 85. And let’s follow that moment with a loud, rousing sing-along of the theme from his best-known contribution to our popular culture: Underdog.
When criminals in this world appear
And break the laws that they should fear
And frighten all who see or hear
The cry goes up both far and near
For Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!
Save It For The Judges
There were no high-backed, hide-a-coach swivel chairs in sight at the Atlanta auditions last Sunday for the 4th edition of NBC’s megahit The Voice, due to debut in late March. No fancy set. No Shakira, no Blake Shelton, no Adam Levine, no Usher. Just one anonymous talent scout, a primly fashionable woman tapping notes with long fingernails on her Mac, and a line. A long, long line.
My wife, Marty Winkler – singer, songwriter, would-be national sensation – had been given a 2 p.m. check-in time…
Two quintessentially American musicians named Ray released inspired 33-rpm albums in 1962. Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is a consensus classic, an R&B giant’s “countrypolitan” crossover that smashed racial barriers as surely as Elvis Presley’s Sun sessions. Ray Stevens’ 1,837 Seconds of Humor is remembered mainly for a couple of hit singles it included, but I am here to testify that it has an audacity all its own.
Once, when asked if Ringo Starr was the best drummer in rock ’n’ roll, John Lennon quipped with characteristic, cruel impudence that his band mate “wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles.” Which of course is not true, as anyone who’s heard some of Paul McCartney’s clunky solo drum tracks can attest. What is true is that Ringo is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of rock percussionists. He hasn’t always gotten the respect he merits.
Only in Syndication
Andy Griffith played good-hearted, even-tempered men so well and so often that his occasional visits to the dark side were all the more electrifying. He actually started his movie career on the nastiest of notes, starring in Elia Kazan’s 1957 masterpiece A Face in the Crowd as Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, a drifter-turned-network TV star whose cracker-barrel homilies and jokes belie his caustic cynicism and monstrous ambition.
All the fuss surrounding History Channel’s scripted miniseries Hatfields & McCoys – first the kerfuffle over its accuracy, then the (not so surprising) big ratings — got me thinking about Pass the Biscuits Mirandy! The bloody Hatfield-McCoy has been an enduring inspiration to makers of popular entertainment. Its pop-culture legacy includes everything from an Abbot and Costello feature to a 1975 TV flick with big, bad Jack Palance, from Huckleberry Hound and Scooby Doo episodes to the game show Family Feud. History Channel’s new series may well be the best and most accurate take on the notorious rivalry, but Mirandy is surely the funniest.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
Author's Note: Not to be read while you’re eating. This time “What’s on your mind?” is not a fatuous question on Facebook, it’s a medical matter It started bugging me in April last year, and 14 months later it’s getting on my nerves. I need that like a hole in the head. A gentle tickle in the face, not bad at all, escalated as the weeks went by. Why was I getting a sore sensation from the upper lip to the right temple? It’s like the pain you feel when a bad throat infection makes it painful to swallow, except it’s in the face. I con Read on →
There are many congressional districts where Democrats have nearly zero chance of winning anytime soon. The recent victory of the disgraced Mark Sanford in a South Carolina congressional race shows how safe a Republican seat can be. The difficulty of winning these seats, paradoxically, presents an important opportunity for Democrats. In the short run, the political battle in America is over who will hold the offices where laws get made. In the long run, the battle is over shaping the public consciousness that determines to whom the people will give power. For the latter purpose, Democrats in very red districts can make an Read on →
Let's think about PRISM. The problem isn’t that someone is going to be listening to your telephone conversations or looking at your telephone records. They may well do so, no matter what the President says. Indeed, they will be because that is the nature of human curiosity. However, that is not the problem. The problem is the machine that is PRISM will be looking at every telephone call you make and every email address you send something to or receive something from. Likewise, the machine will take note of every web site you visit, and, if you have a blog or we Read on →
Last Friday, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes had the job of announcing that the Obama administration had decided to officially begin arming the Sunni Islamist insurgents attempting to overthrow the Syrian government. All that lobbying by the war party in Washington and its ‘friends in the Gulf’ is finally paying off. You would think that the problem was explaining why to a skeptical news media. Not so. Rhodes began the press conference by offering an intelligence estimate that the Syrian military had used Sarin nerve gas on a small scale to kill 100 to 150 people, thereby cro Read on →