Michael Jackson vs. the Eagles, Round 36
I hear from a very reliable source that pop music is better than ever. I don’t happen to agree, but then again I’m an old fogey who is set in his ways when it comes to music, and would rather listen to my kitchen faucet drip all night than listen to something by Kanye West. (Note to self: get kitchen faucet fixed.)
There are a lot of people like that, and apparently they’re all buying Eagles and Michael Jackson albums. They’ve been battling for decades. Some years the Eagles’ Greatest Hits (1971-1975) is the number-one-selling album of all time, and other years Jackson’s Thriller is in the top spot. It just so happens that this week Don Henley and company can brag a little bit, though I’m not sure if it’s fair that a greatest hits album goes up against one specific album in an artist’s catalogue. Then again, maybe it’s impressive that one album can challenge a popular band’s greatest hits album. The Eagles 1976 album has sold 38 million copies, while Jackson’s 1982 album has sold 33 million (counting both album sales and online). Elaine’s boyfriend Brett must own several copies of that Eagles album.
Sure, the Eagles are No. 1 right now, but maybe Jackson will come out on top eventually. You know … in the long run.
The Computer That Changed Everything
I remember getting into an argument with a friend of mine in 1997 — actually, a friend of a friend — about the fate and future of Apple. He thought the company was about to go out of business, and I thought they would one day be successful again.
Admittedly, the company went through some really bad times in the ’90s, and it’s not like I had any psychic visions of the iPod or the iPhone (I’d have a bigger bank account if that were the case). But I did know that Apple made great things and that their customers were loyal. I knew they’d be back in a big way eventually.
Apple became the first trillion-dollar company a couple of weeks ago, and it really started with a computer I loved, the iMac (I owned the Bondi Blue one). It’s currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, and I wish Apple still made it, hockey puck mouse and all. It was retro and futuristic, nostalgic and forward-looking, all at the same time.
It’s amazing how the computer influenced not just the computer industry, but pop culture too. Other tech companies started to copy certain features (or lack thereof) of the iMac, and everybody started to release products with rainbow colors. That even continues to this day.
Walmart Honors Shopping Cart Lady
We all have our pet peeves: the little things in life that annoy us. Some of us can’t stand people who drive too slowly, and some of us hate it when people chew their food loudly or cough into their hand. I happen to believe that people who don’t return their shopping carts to the carriage corrals are on par with murderers and arsonists.
Honestly, is there anything lazier? You can’t take 10 seconds to place your cart into the corral after you’ve loaded your groceries into your car? Every time I go to the supermarket, I see random carts all over the place, blocking parking spaces and lanes. I’ve even seen people bring their carts to the side of the carriage corral and leave it there because they’re too damn lazy to bring it a few more feet around to the corral’s opening. It drives me crazy.
So a round of applause to 70-year-old grandmother Sue Johnson of West Virginia, honored by Walmart recently for returning her cart to the corral during a massive rain and wind storm. She got free grocery pickup for a year and a trophy shaped like — you guessed it — a shopping cart.
Think of Sue the next time you don’t return your cart when it’s 70 degrees and sunny.
The Cookie Cage
Score one for PETA.
In 2016, the animal rights organization wrote a letter to Mondelez International, the owner of Nabisco, to get them to update the front of their animal cracker boxes so the animals are out of their cages. Seems like the company actually listened. The new boxes recently made their debut.
Sure, we can be happy that the animal cookies (come on, they’re more cookie than cracker) are now free from their cages, but you know that five minutes later that lion sank his teeth into the giraffe’s neck.
Hold the Mayo
Those damn millennials. They’re responsible for the destruction of everything. They’re destroying the cereal industry because they don’t want to clean their bowls; they don’t go to the movies because they’d rather binge-watch something on Netflix; and they shun going on dinner dates for some reason. They even hate napkins! How are they wiping their faces after they eat their avocado toast and kale salads? With their sleeves?
You can now add mayo to the list of things young people don’t bother with. Yes, they’re mayo-haters, which means they’re missing out on creamy potato salad and tuna fish sandwiches the way tuna fish sandwiches are supposed to be made. One of the reasons is because they don’t like the texture and they think it’s too disgusting to eat. They do know they’re not supposed to eat mayo like ice cream, right?
I hate this story for the simple reason it has introduced me to the phrase “identity condiments.” I had never heard of that concept before and I’m sorry I know what it is now. Soon colleges are going to have to set up safe spaces for students who don’t want to deal with ketchup they don’t agree with.
By the way, can we stop blaming millennials for everything? Not that they don’t deserve a lot of the blame for RUINING EVERYTHING, but we have to direct our ire at the correct age group. Everyone seems to put any “young” person into the millennial category. People in their teens or 20 aren’t millennials! They’re … well, whatever generation comes after that. I have trouble keeping track of all of the different names. Generation Y? Generation Z? As a Gen-Xer, I prefer to call them “the generation who will never know what it’s like not to own a smartphone.”
RIP Barbara Harris, Kofi Annan, Don Cherry, and Miriam Nelson
Barbara Harris was an acclaimed Broadway actress who also appeared in such movies as Nashville, Family Plot, Peggy Sue Got Married, Grosse Pointe Blank, and Who is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She died last week at the age of 83.
Kofi Annan was a former secretary general of the United Nations and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He died Saturday at the age of 80.
Don Cherry was not only a top amateur golfer, he was also a popular singer in the 1950s. That’s him singing “Band of Gold” in the very first scene of Mad Men. Cherry actually died in April, but his death is just now being reported. He was 94.
Miriam Nelson was a dancer and choreographer who not only worked with such people as Judy Garland, Cole Porter, and Doris Day, she also worked on many Academy Award telecasts, worked as a choreographer at Disneyland, and even helped put together several Super Bowl halftime shows. She died last week at the age of 98.
This Week in History
Hawaii Becomes 50th State (August 21, 1959)
As if this summer’s eruption of the Kīlauea volcano wasn’t enough destruction from nature, the islands are now being hit by Hurricane Lane, which reached Category 4 status this week.
“Please Mr. Postman,” First Motown No. 1, Released (August 21, 1961)
The Marvelettes song was later covered by several other bands, including the Beatles and the Carpenters.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Drink of Water (August 22, 1914)
The kid on this Frank X. Leyendecker cover should really put those papers down before he drinks from the fountain.
Quote of the Week
“I might not rate her as the single greatest female vocalist of the rock era — Kelly Clarkson and Linda Ronstadt come to mind as more versatile across more genres and more varied in their emotional resonances …”
—an actual sentence written by Dan McLaughlin in his National Review obituary for Aretha Franklin.
National Waffle Day
You ever think of a food and suddenly realize you haven’t eaten it in years? That’s how I felt when I found out today is National Waffle Day. I’m not really a waffle guy and haven’t eaten them in probably 15 or 20 years. If I am going to eat something in that family, it would be pancakes or French toast. But if you like them, here’s a recipe from Curtis Stone for Whole Wheat Waffles with Strawberry-Maple Syrup. Seems like too much work for me. I’d probably just buy a box of Eggo.
Don’t get me wrong. Homemade waffles are good! They’re just not “Kelly Clarkson good.”
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
National Toilet Paper Day (August 26)
I don’t even want to know how you’re going to celebrate it.