Pour yourself another round of BCB After Dark, the late-night hangout for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Like every other night, bring your own beverage.
BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music and movies. Maybe something else if you need to get something off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and in to the afternoon.
I really wish ESPN was televising KBO again this summer. That would be perfect to talk about here.
Last time I asked if you think that MLB should experiment with moving the mound back two feet. The “yes” vote won with 43% of the vote, but there’s a caveat there. Another 35% thought that it was a bad idea with the other 23% saying it’s worth a try but it’s not likely to work. (That was my version of a “meh” vote.)
Next up is our look at jazz and movies. As always, if you want to just skip down to the baseball question at the bottom, be my guest. You’re not going to hurt my feelings.
Today’s jazz performer is vocalist/pianist Blossom Dearie, who is someone that many of you are very familiar with and may not even know it. If you were a kid in the seventies or eighties, you most likely are familiar with Dearie’s work through such hits as “Figure Eight” and “Unpack Your Adjectives” in the Schoolhouse Rock series of educational videos. I personally think that “Figure Eight” is best vocal performance in that series that was such a massive part of my childhood. (Anyone from Gen X can recite the preamble to the Constitution, but only if they sing it.)
But Dearie was actually a well-known jazz performer, known for her “child-like” and airy voice that would float over her piano playing. Her voice was so distinctive that her piano playing was often overlooked, which is a shame since she was a very talented pianist as well.
Here’s Blossom Dearie on French TV in 1965. This video is good because it highlights both her voice and her piano skills.
I don’t have a movie video today, but I do have one movie question to ask and that you can all discuss in the comments. What are some movies with great casts that nonetheless were terrible? I ask this because I watched a film on the Criterion Channel over the weekend entitled “Duel at Diablo.” I decided to watch it because it had James Garner, Sidney Poitier, Bibi Andersson and Dennis Weaver in it and thought “With that cast, that’s probably good.” It wasn’t.
The movie came with a warning about racist depictions of black and Native American peoples. That pretty much comes with the territory of any Western made in the classic era of the Hollywood Western, from Stagecoach in 1939 to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969, and a whole lot of them made since then.
I only wish the racism was the worst part of the film. Garner pretty much just scowls and glares through the picture as a man looking to avenge the death of his Apache wife. (Whom we never learn anything about.) Poitier isn’t given much to work with, although he does take charge of the party later in the film and coordinates the traveling party’s defenses. The all-white cavalry and settlers seem to have no problem with taking orders from a black man, which may be the most unrealistic thing in the movie. Poitier is fine with what he has to work with, which isn’t much.
Andersson and her Swedish accent are totally miscast as a frontier woman who’d been kidnapped and lived with the Apache for years. Only Weaver sticks out as a totally despicable human being.
The battle scene between the Apache and the traveling party is well-choreographed and is probably the best part of the film, assuming you can look past the fact that the Apache are bloodthirsty savages. (The film does pay lip-service to the idea that maybe the Apache aren’t the ones in the wrong, but still . . .) There are also some spectacular scenes of southern Utah. But those positive points are not worth sitting through the rest of the film for.
So the question I have for you is there some movie you watched because of the quality of the cast and it turned out to be bad?
So now our baseball question. We all have teams we love (the Cubs!) and teams we love to hate. There is no doubt that the Cubs number one rival is the St. Louis Cardinals, a rivalry that is up there with the Yankees/Red Sox and the Dodgers/Giants for the best rivalries in the game. The rivalry between the cities of Chicago and St. Louis go back at least 150 years when the two towns competed to be the primary economic and social hub of what was then the American West. The White Stockings and the Browns hated each other in the 1880s and the Cubs and the Cardinals hate each other today.
But that doesn’t mean that the Cardinals are the number one team for you to want to beat. For me, I grew up in Wisconsin and was constantly teased for being a Cubs fan. That’s why I generally feel better when the Cubs beat the Brewers than I do when they beat the Cards. (The 1982 World Series was not fun—although it the outcome did give me some schadenfreude at school the next day.)
Maybe you have a White Sox fan brother who makes you hate the Pale Hose more than the Cardinals. Or maybe you grew up in Indiana around a bunch of Reds fans. Perhaps you’ve never gotten over 1969 and still hate the Mets for that. Or you’re holding a grudge against the Padres for 1984 or the Marlins for 2003.
So which team gives you the most pleasure to see the Cubs beat?
Which team do I most enjoy seeing the Cubs beat?
This poll is closed
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Well see you again Wednesday night/Thursday morning.