(Wrangling with minor computer issues. Shall be back to normal soon, undoubtedly to produce a four-day spectacular on the uninteresting problems.)
Turner Classic Movies has a neat feature Friday overnights -- that is, properly speaking, Saturday morning -- called TCM Underground in which they show movies which meet only a very loose and forgiving definition of `classic', one which encompasses things like Ed Wood mind-staggering experiences. Last weekend I caught an hour or so of a movie I'd never heard of called Machine Gun McCain, and I was the more surprised never to have heard of it since you'd think with the current election decade it would have been used for a flimsily constructed YouTube video making fun of not very much, really.
I can't really say much about the quality of the film. It seems to be a heist movie, and that's a genre I really don't get into because unless it involves Sammy Maudlin I just don't care if someone makes off with all of Danny Thomas's money. Plus I was, out of respect to my father, who's deaf except for the television when I'm watching it, keeping the volume quite low and relying on the closed captioning when I wasn't worrying about other things. But it did star Peter Falk, so I saw a great number of images of Columbo frowning at things until the stock footage of gas stations blowing up comes in. I think some of these gas station explosions also blew up in the classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 experiment Laserblast.
At the closing credits they struck up ``The Ballad of Hank McCain'', with such resounding lyrics as ``No one knew better than McCain/ They're the ones who fix the game/ They're the ones with the loaded dice''. Aware that I had a rare chance to stock up on a lyric which could prove handy in case I choose to write about politics this year I went to Google to find the full ballad.
I'll grant that someone might have heard ``McCain'' as ``The King''; lyrics are often hard to decipher. But the Ballad has about one in every three lines end with ``McCain'', whereas the printed lyrics all end ``the king''. Didn't the original transcriber think it odd that a song called ``The Ballad of Hank McCain'' supposedly didn't have Hank or McCain in the song? Or that this supposed ``the king'' is matched up with words like ``game'' or ``pain'' or such that rhyme or at least have the same vowel sound as ``McCain'' but nothing near ``King''? And why is it that a mistake -- even an obvious one -- stands such a good chance of driving out correct information?
Trivia: In 1799 Daniel Boone moved across the Mississippi into Spanish Louisiana and took an oath of loyalty to the King of Spain. Source: The Fabric Of America, Andro Linklater.
Currently Reading: Challenge To Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945 - 1974, Asif A Siddiqi.