America in Decline

Can’t our national celebration have better performances than Frankie Valli singing Grease? How the fuck did this happen? Doesn’t Michelle have Beyonce’s phone number, fer fuck’s sake?

At any rate, Happy 4th!






117 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Beyonce would just be stealing from Elvis, so what’s the point?

  2. 2
    Chyron HR says:

    Apparently someone hasn’t heard that The Four Seasons invented America.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Dude,

    Grease is an American classic. Cheesy as hell, but pure Americana.

    They shoulda gotten Manilow or Diamond.

  4. 4
    Frankie's Elderly Mom says:

    Bite me.

  5. 5
    efgoldman says:

    I didn’t see either performance, but I understand that the Beach Boys (with the Boston Pops last night) gave a really good impression of Grandpa Simpson.

  6. 6
    Anoniminous says:

    “You’re the One That I Want” has a great, old school, bass line.

  7. 7
    gbear says:

    I’d pay to see Grandpa Simpson before I’d give my money to Mike Love.

    Hopefully Frankie Valli isn’t the headliner. Maybe someone relevant will come up next.

  8. 8
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole:

    Can’t our national celebration have better performances than Frankie Valli singing Grease?

    Sooo glad I’m not watching whatever it is that you are. People always think I’m being an intellectual snob when I say that I don’t have a TV set, but it’s really the avoidance of this type of aural torture (think ad jingles and loud announcers) that motivates me.

  9. 9
    khead says:

    Who loves you pretty baby? Who’s gonna help you through the night?

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    @JGabriel: Eh, snob.

  11. 11
    gbear says:

    @JGabriel: But just try to tell us that you’ve never watched a Russian dashcam video compilation on YouTube…

  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    And Cole,

    they have John ‘ The Balls’ Williams directing the orchestra in some number. so shut yer yap about any musical complaints. It’s patriotic sap from beginning to end…and I like it that way.

  13. 13
    JGabriel says:

    efgoldman:

    I didn’t see either performance, but I understand that the Beach Boys (with the Boston Pops last night) gave a really good impression of Grandpa Simpson.

    Without Brian and Dennis, they are not really the Beach Boys anymore – they’re just Mike Love’s Wingnut Boomer Nostalgia Show.

  14. 14
    randy khan says:

    Personally, I just want them to show more of the fireworks.

    Kelli O’Hara did a nice job with 76 Trombones. It made me want to see her on Broadway.

  15. 15
    gbear says:

    @JGabriel: Carl too. Carl was kind of the heart of the band.

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:

    gbear:

    But just try to tell us that you’ve never watched a Russian dashcam video compilation on YouTube…

    I have watched and loved Russian Dashcam Video Compilations, forwarded to me by real Russians, on Youtube.

    They are sublime.

  17. 17
    bago says:

    Does it come with a bowl of pho? Because I need a good bowl of soup to finish coding the database that will properly show how much comcast sucks.

  18. 18
    JGabriel says:

    @gbear: Yes, Carl too. My bad.

  19. 19
    JerryN says:

    If you ask me, this should be part of the soundtrack for all of these televised fireworks. Of course, nobody asks me.

  20. 20
    JGabriel says:

    @rikyrah:

    They shoulda gotten Manilow …

    You are evil.

  21. 21
    barbequebob says:

    America’s greatest musical contributions to the world are Jazz, Blues, and their descendant, Rock & Roll, all of which were originated by folks much darker than either the Rat Pack Wannabee “Four Seasons”or the Beach Boys, whose best songs were uncredited re-hashed Chuck Berry riffs.

    Yes, one could do much better than those two groups, who were both anachronisms when in their prime.

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    They couldn’t schedule Dinesh D’Adouchebag? His fees are quite resonable.

  23. 23
    khead says:

    The world needs more Kermit singing Rainbow Connection.

  24. 24
    Anoniminous says:

    @JGabriel:

    Do not feed the troll.

  25. 25
    Keith P says:

    Doesn’t Michelle have Beyonce’s phone number, fer fuck’s sake?

    Solange didn’t have enough time to write some lyrics for her.

  26. 26
    gogol's wife says:

    We watched Twelve O’Clock High (TV show) on YouTube instead — an episode with Rip Torn and Bruce Dern. Rip Torn used to be handsome.

  27. 27
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @JGabriel: And now us ‘Muricans are getting in on the game.

  28. 28
    patrick II says:

    I laughed out loud and read this post to my wife — to whom I had just said the exact same thing (even mentioning Beyonce), but with a few less “fucks”.
    Frankie always had a strange voice — but watching it come out of a seventy year old man got pretty weird.

  29. 29
    gbear says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Yeah, but half the fun of the Russian videos is how their cars completely disintegrate with the slightest of taps.

  30. 30
    efgoldman says:

    @bago:

    to finish coding the database that will properly show how much comcast sucks.

    You need a database to prove Comcast sucks?
    http://consumerist.com/2014/07.....-approved/
    More links at the bottom of the page, also too.

  31. 31
    efgoldman says:

    @khead:

    The world needs more Kermit singing Rainbow Connection.

    That was my daughter/son in law’s choice for their first married dance. Always makes me tear up since.
    @Anoniminous:

    Do not feed the troll.

    What troll? JGabriel or rikyrah? They’re both reg’lars here.
    Oh, Manilow.

  32. 32
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @gbear: The cards they sell in Russia these days actually hold up pretty well-many are of European or Japanese/Korean import.

    At least the Russians are fully aware of why they need the dashcams-us ‘Muricans are slow on the uptake.

  33. 33
    JGabriel says:

    @gbear: Myself, I’m partial to the overturning trucks filled with chickens and cows.

    Also: METEOR!

  34. 34
    Michele Lynn says:

    Sorry you all feel this way-but this why we celebrate the freedom we have-for everyone to give their opinon-no matter how right or wrong! Let us remember that – USA – the land of the free and the brave-and God Bless Our Troops!!!

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    I got to see a John Williams concert at the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago. It was really fun, except for the parts where a low-flying LAPD helicopter was drowning out the music and he had to stop the orchestra until it flew away. :-p

    @barbequebob:

    Fun fact I learned from a PBS documentary: surf king Dick Dale is Lebanese-American, and he developed his guitar style from hearing Arabic music while he was growing up. Once you know that, the influences are really obvious.

  36. 36
    Heliopause says:

    Whoa, wait a minute. Beyonce is either better or more quintessentially American than Frankie Valli? Look, if you don’t like pop swill don’t just replace it with other pop swill.

    If you’re going to be a purist let’s have a performance of Rhapsody in Blue, then a 45 minute jam of Crossroads, followed by recordings (please, no garbage imitators) of Ella Fitzgerald until fireworks time. If you did all that I might even think about becoming patriotic.

  37. 37
    efgoldman says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    At least the Russians are fully aware of why they need the dashcams

    Right. To take video of meteors.

  38. 38
    burnspbesq says:

    OT: Neymar has a fracture of the third lumbar vertebra, and is out for the rest of the World Cup.

    I’m curious as to how much the Germans paid Amir for this remarkable, umm, stroke of luck.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Heliopause:

    Beyonce is either better or more quintessentially American than Frankie Valli?

    Nope, but she is younger so it wouldn’t be a 70-year-old man singing a 35-year-old song.

  40. 40
    burnspbesq says:

    @efgoldman:

    Een Amaireeka, eef you has dashcam, zee polees vill shoot out your vindshield to put eet out of komission. Zen zey beat zee sheet out of you.

  41. 41
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @burnspbesq: Huh. So he wasn’t acting.

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    For once.

  43. 43
    lamh36 says:

    Speaking of 4th of July concerts.

    My sister is right now at the Superdome, watching Prince perform at the Essence Music Festival opening night.

    Grrr….and she’s texting me pics while I’m at work…heffa. Damn sisters, who needs em anyway.

    That’s okay though, my next paycheck will be very nice with the extra money from working the holiday AND night shift differential!

  44. 44
    Jewish Steel says:

    @gbear:

    But just try to tell us that you’ve never watched a Russian dashcam video compilation on YouTube…

    That is seriously my favorite. Utter chaos.

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    If we have to have a 70-year-old guy singing at our Fourth of July celebration, can’t it be Aaron Neville?

  46. 46
    efgoldman says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I got to see a John Williams concert at the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago.

    mrs efgoldman sang at the Hollywood Bowl 30+ years ago, sort of. We were on the GreyLine tour of LA, which stopped there and let us out to walk around. She walked up on the empty stage and sang some Mozart until they kicked her off.
    I lost count of how many times we saw John Williams at Symphony Hall and on July 4. There were advantages to working at the radio station that broadcast the Pops. I participated in interviewing him a couple of times, and somewhere there’s a picture from about 30 years ago of our then four or five year old daughter sitting and talking with him at an after-concert reception.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    @burnspbesq: That really does suck. I hope he heals quickly and well but you never know with that kind of thing.

  48. 48
    lamh36 says:

    @burnspbesq: as a NOLA native, I approve this request. Now if only I had some clout!

  49. 49
    Jewish Steel says:

    @efgoldman: So, what’s he like? He seems like a pretty good guy.

  50. 50
    Mike in NC says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Last month we were in Saint Petersburg where billboards advertised Ford Fiestas for 70,000 rubles, or about $21,000 dollars US. We saw every kind of car imaginable there, from Skodas to BMWs to Range Rovers.

  51. 51
    burnspbesq says:

    This one’s for you, lamh.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT8ym1gOfCY

  52. 52
    dance around in your bones says:

    @ Raven!! Raven!!

    I am now watching the new Jimi Hendrix documentary on Netflix per your recommendation….

    I can still remember my older sister ( by 18 months) bringing home Jimi’s first album, and we played it on our weird old wood box stereo and I was so blown away – I had never before heard electric guitar played the way Jimi played it (ok, I was about 14, so give me some slack) but DAMN! did it blow my mind. I’d never heard music like that before.

    ETA: I got this recommend on another thread, so whatever, I’m watching Jimi!

  53. 53
    Gravenstone says:

    @burnspbesq: More likely he was going for a kidney bruise. But mistakes happen.

  54. 54
    Jewish Steel says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    I had never before heard electric guitar played the way Jimi played it (ok, I was about 14, so give me some slack)

    I still haven’t.

  55. 55
    Gravenstone says:

    Holy fuck, reports out that the Cubs have moved both Samardzia and Hammel to the A’s for a high level prospect. I hope like hell there are a LOT of other players coming back.

  56. 56
    efgoldman says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    So, what’s he like? He seems like a pretty good guy.

    It was more than 20 years ago, but yes, he’s very nice, soft spoken, was captivated by my kid (he has grandkids of about the same age), especially when she told him she liked the Superman music better than Star Wars.. Absolutely nothing of the diva or tyrant conductor about him – which was sometimes to his disadvantage with the Pops.

    Williams almost ended his tenure with the Pops in 1984.[28] Considered a customary practice of opinion, some players hissed while sight-reading a new Williams composition in rehearsal; Williams abruptly left the session and turned in his resignation. He initially cited mounting conflicts with his film composing schedule, but later admitted a perceived lack of discipline in and respect from the Pops’ ranks, culminating in this latest instance. After entreaties by the management and personal apologies from the musicians, Williams withdrew his resignation and continued as principal conductor for nine more years.[

    He would have had to be that way, since he worked almost entirely behind the scenes doing movie music, and didn’t really become famous until the Spielberg and Lucas collaborations. Conducting and writing for movies requires a very special kind of discipline, always subordinate to the film, which is not required in concerts.

  57. 57
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Jewish Steel: I hear ya – I guess there is a depth of blues guitarists that might qualify as ‘best’ but nobody like Jimi really shook me up in the 60’s. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but gawdamn he blew my mind. But I repeat myself.

  58. 58
    Jewish Steel says:

    @efgoldman:

    some players hissed while sight-reading a new Williams composition in rehearsal

    That’s pretty bitchy! Surely Williams’s Holstisms are good enough for pops orchestra players? I wonder what their beef was.

  59. 59
    Jewish Steel says:

    @dance around in your bones: I have a bootleg of what is considered one of his more lackluster performances (Berkeley 1970) and I guess that’s right as he only does 11 or 12 gobsmacking things on the guitar.

  60. 60
    efgoldman says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Williams’s Holstisms are good enough for pops orchestra players? I wonder what their beef was.

    Until the most recent contract negotiations, playing in the Pops season was mandatory for all except the principal players of the Boston Symphony (they’re the same orchestra). Lots of them hated it, for different reasons, an important one being dislike of the repertoire. There were also many holdovers from the Fiedler era, and the musicians mostly hated him, and while the concerts were always professional and damned near perfect, there was a loosening of discipline and professionalism, especially as Fiedler got into his declining years.

    ETA: The most recent contracts allow the players to opt out of some or all of Pops, at a concomitant reduction in pay.

  61. 61
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Jewish Steel: Do you have a copy of said recording? That you can share? If not, never mind.

    Fucking Jimi, he was one of the greatest guitarists ever, I recognized that at age 14 in ABQ, NM. Whoa! I am so unusual!

    Later I came to recognize the greatness of Robert Johnson and etc,,,,,

  62. 62
    SarahT says:

    Happy 4th to all BJers. Fireworks back on the East River this year (thanks, Mayor De Blasio !) So we could see them out the window. Sorry, Macy’s, but they weren’t nearly as spectacular as the storm here the other night: http://gothamist.com/2014/07/0.....hp#photo-2

  63. 63
    Jewish Steel says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    This is the Berkeley show: http://100greatestbootlegs.blo.....w-may.html

    And here is the LA Forum concert around the same time. Much better show!

    http://100greatestbootlegs.blo.....-1970.html

  64. 64
    amk says:

    whine. bitch. moan.

    what else you got?

  65. 65
    Jewish Steel says:

    @efgoldman: Really! I had no idea. I thought it was a different light orchestra that liked that kind of thing. The hissing totally makes sense now. Still, bad form to shit on the conductor* like that. Just take your snobbish discontent to the blogs!

    *eta conductor/composer!

  66. 66
    efgoldman says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Just take your snobbish discontent to the blogs!

    Would have been a nice trick in the mid-1980s.

  67. 67
    Andy G. says:

    I feel your pain. I had the misfortune of seeing the Four Seasons in Vegas in the 90s and sounds were coming out of Frankie Valli’s mouth that were not part of any recognizable Western scale of tonality.

  68. 68
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Jewish Steel: Ok, I’ve got it bookmarked. But my mission tonight is to make sure the golden retriever doesn’t freak out at the fireworks noise despite being medicated with Xanax.

    Wish it was me.

  69. 69
    Jewish Steel says:

    @efgoldman:

    Just take your snobbish discontent to the mimeographed newsletters!

  70. 70
    dance around in your bones says:

    OMG! I said X.anax! and now I’m in moderation. I wish I had a X,anax so I could deal with the barking dog who was already dosed with said medication in advance of the ballistic celebrations of WTF.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @amk:
    What else is there? I mean I know you aren’t new here so…..

  72. 72
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Andy G.: Frankie Valli calls the faithful to prayer.

  73. 73
    Sir Laffs-a-Lot says:

    On another note, Cole thinks “It’s A Wonderful Life” is merely a puff piece on the Banking industry.

  74. 74
    efgoldman says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    I thought it was a different light orchestra that liked that kind of thing.

    Pops+Tanglewood is how the Boston Symphony is one of the few places where the players have a year-round contract, which is very rare.
    Two nights a week, and for all the outdoor concerts including July 4, the orchestra is all contracted freelancers as the “Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.” There are enough good freelancers in Boston to make another three or four world-class orchestras.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    @dance around in your bones:
    Yes the fun is starting here as well.

    I wonder what the draw is for blowing things up/making so much stupid noise. Lack of maturity? Hearing still works and we can’t have that? Ability to piss off people by acting like pinheads? Maybe it’s just that I’ve seen much bigger bangs, done by large weapons and all this is is just a pissant reminder of that.

  76. 76
    srv says:

    @amk: there should be an official BJ cane for rapping my porch deck and telling Frankie to get off our tubes.

  77. 77
    lamh36 says:

    @burnspbesq: mahn, I’ve only been home to local NOLA since March, but I really need to get up and close with the music scene again.

    I feel like I need to be a tourist in my own city. I need to catch up on what I missed being away for so long.

    One reason why I’m soo mad I didn’t go to Essence is that it’s a great time and I missed not going the last few years.

    This time, I was hoisted by my own pitard, cause I volunteered to work tonight, even though I know I wanted to see prince.

    oh well, I’ve got to see when the Neville’s are performing somewhere again

  78. 78
    Cassidy says:

    My neighbor makes awesome ribs and I grabbed good bourbon as a “thank you for inviting us gift”. Been a good night.

  79. 79
    FlyingToaster says:

    @patrick II: WarriorGirl told me he sounds like an alien. I told her if she keeps singing the same songs for 60 years she’ll sound like an alien too.

    FlyingToaster+2 (watched “A Capitol Fourth” interspersed with Vh1’s “Philly 4th Jam” with a six-year-old, now I’m putting down a bottle of Westport Rivers’ Farmers Fizz.)

  80. 80
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Ruckus: I think people just like pretty lights in the sky.

    You remember Shock and Awe, of course. Same bloody thing,

    Maybe it goes back to to ‘the rocket’s red glare – bombs bursting in air’ and etc. Frick, I’m hearing them right now. I’m gonna focus on Jimi and his electric guitar bombs, Thank you very much!

  81. 81
    Soprano2 says:

    I don’t think Valli was singing, I think he was lip – syncing. He didn’t open his mouth enough to be singing.

  82. 82
    srv says:

    We done thrown our beers at Frankie and done broke the tube

    http://i.imgur.com/lLTlgez.jpg

  83. 83
    Bobby B. says:

    @Jewish Steel: Considered by who??? Judging by the “Jimi Plays Berkeley” video I used to have he was pretty damn fine at that time, however Janie Hendrix repackages it.

  84. 84
    NotMax says:

    Neil Sedaka’s phone must have been busy.

  85. 85
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @efgoldman: When I was young and broke, Ben Zander’s band especially was a life-saver for the impecunious. Many happy evenings spent at Memorial Hall…

    Of course up here in Portland the joke goes “What’s the Portland String Quartet?” “It’s the Portland Symphony Orchestra, on a night where’s a bad accident and a backup on the Kittery bridge.”

  86. 86
    Tommy says:

    @dance around in your bones: I didn’t know Jimi until an adult. I was in New Orleans. At this hole in the wall My foot stool is larger then the stage there. I hear this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR4MEEC5RSU

    I was what is this. The guy playing says Jimi. Are you stupid?

    This is the song I will always associate with him.

  87. 87
    mclaren says:

    Be thankful it wasn’t Bieber, Cole.

    Or the Jonas Brothers.

    Or (shudder) The Captain and Tennille.

  88. 88
    srv says:

    July 5, 2014
    Dow Tops 17,000 on Stellar Jobs Report
    By Avi Salzman

    Why am I not seeing this everywhere

    Obama Boom

  89. 89
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Ruckus:
    I wasn’t that excited about fireworks before I went to war. I’ve actively disliked them ever since.

  90. 90
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Tommy: Machine Gun is fucking awesome, no matter when you became aware of it.

    Fireworks are rockin’ right now in SoCal. Dog is panting, despite the X.anax.

  91. 91
    amk says:

    @srv: Remove the 1 and you’ll see it.

    kenyan mindtrick – make himself invisible to emmessem when good things happen.

  92. 92
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Bobby B.: YMMV, but the Forum show really is sublime. The Berkeley show is merely awesome.

  93. 93
    efgoldman says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    “It’s the Portland Symphony Orchestra, on a night where’s a bad accident and a backup on the Kittery bridge.”

    If it’s anything like the Rhode Island Philharmonic, it’s half Boston freelancers.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    Ruckus says:

    @dance around in your bones:
    Like I said, when you’ve seen/heard the real thing, not even in combat, all this is fake. It’s like ribbons for your car or going to Las Vegas or Rock Ridge. It’s carrying around a gun to impress. It’s a Harley with loud pipes. Are you impressed? I’m not, but then I’ve never been mainstream.

  96. 96
    Ruckus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    As you know I wasn’t in country so I escaped that bit of fun but feel exactly the same way. When we did live firing I had to sit on deck about 30-40 feet away from the gun wearing an OBA and having a charged fire hose in case of a hang fire. I was the guy who had to get up close and personal with a large bore weapon that was cooking off a high explosive shell in the barrel and hopefully get it cooled down before it went off, most likely taking me with it. Never had a hang fire but sitting there for hours waiting does build a certain amount of stress. Especially during rapid fire, that’s 60 rounds a minute for a 5 inch gun. It is impressive. This isn’t.

  97. 97
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Ruckus:

    Oh gawd, Ruckus – no…I am not impressed. I know it’s but a pale stand-in for the real thing, which is so awful I cannot wrap my mind around it. All I have is the images that I have seen from WWII and Vietnam (nightly on my TV screen when I was a kid)(plus friends that I knew who either went or didn’t with varying results) and AFG ( which was a place that I loved, having traveled there) and Iraq ..and it all makes me just think/realize that war is hell and no one should ever be forced to go there. I’m sorry you had to go but glad you came back,

    Gads, the fireworks are still going on. Poor dog.

  98. 98
    Anne Laurie says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    I think people just like pretty lights in the sky.

    The Japanese word for “fireworks” is hanabifire flowers.

    Always thought that captured the appeal nicely!

  99. 99
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Anne Laurie: In reading books set in Japan and China I have heard some incredible descriptions of fireworks – far more sophisticated than we see nowadays.

    My best friend’s kid is named Hana – called Hanako when she was young. She’s a fierce little flower – fabulous photographer (see her book Switcheroo) AND a DJ in Canada and whatever else she wants to do. Go, Hana!

  100. 100
    NotMax says:

    @Anne Laurie

    Best description of the Japanese I ever heard:

    Japan is an entire country on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

  101. 101
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Ruckus:
    Don’t think I’d be at all comfortable dealing with a hang fire – especially because, IIRC, the 5’/38 used fixed ammunition. If the powder charge detonated (Bad enough) then anything in the projectile would go up as well.

  102. 102
    Origuy says:

    I was in Moscow last year in March. The lady I was staying with had a little Kia, with a dashcam. I wish I’d gotten a copy of the video when she took me to the airport. Two feet of snow on the ground, the roads badly plowed, at one intersection near the airport, four lanes of traffic merged into two. Cars and trucks going every which way, driving on the unplowed sidewalk. I was freaking, not least because I was afraid I’d miss my flight.

    Someone near me bought a lot of fireworks that I can see out my window. It’s funny, they must have bought several boxes because they’ll set off a bunch all alike, then a little while later set off a different bunch all alike. It sounds like a Damascus suburb out there.

  103. 103
    Tehanu says:

    @JGabriel:
    Many years ago I saw Bette Midler’s show at the Hollywood Bowl. Halfway through she said she was going to take a little break and let her music director do a couple of his own songs because he was so talented and we were all going to love him. After the first number I turned to Hubby Dearest and uttered the immortal words, “This guy will never make it big in show business. He has no talent.” It was Barry Manilow, and I always like to point out that I was half right.

  104. 104
    Ruckus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    If you mean cartridge instead of bag powder then yes. The projectile and the charge cartridge were separate, loaded one after the other before the breach was closed. All automatic, no one in the turret if I recall correctly. Most of the ammo was high explosive with a “fuse” which was set by the loaders down below in the magazine room. There were also some other types of rounds, such as white phosphorus.
    I once had a shotgun break the stock in half on me when I fired it. Damn near lost my shoulder over that one. Figured a hang fire would either be no big deal or I’d go out in a big fucking bang. My luck though I’d have lived but without some important and useful body parts. But then we know enough people who ended up like that. How many jobs would you have walked off of if they were half as dangerous (and not just from the enemy) as the military?

  105. 105
    Suzanne says:

    Mr. Suzanne and I were going to take the kiddos to see fireworks, but we got in the car to find out that the battery was dead. And the other car’s transmission is FUBAR. So we came home, and Spawn the Younger got her first beesting. Does not appear to be allergic, so that’s good.

    If I believed in signs, I would say that this was God’s way of saying that I, working through Mario, absolutely NEED to save the Princess tonight.

    I am just not feeling patriotic or traditional today. Eff it.

  106. 106
    burnspbesq says:

    @lamh36:

    I feel like I need to be a tourist in my own city. I need to catch up on what I missed being away for so long.

    Hint: Trombone Shorty.

  107. 107
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Ruckus:

    How many jobs would you have walked off of if they were half as dangerous (and not just from the enemy) as the military?

    Worst job I had in the service was Airframes Cat Checker for my squadron when it deployed to the USS Lexington to enable our student pilots to make their traps (Aressted landings) and cat shots. It was days of sunup to sundown close calls, jet blast, minor injuries and “WTF am I doing?” The icing on the cake? At that time you had to preflight the aircraft as it taxied toward the cats. When you arrived, you knelt down beneath the port wing and gave the cat boss the thumbs up when he nodded at you. The pilot then shoved the throttle into Military (100%+ thrust) and the aircraft was launched right over your head.

    Whee!

  108. 108
    Ruckus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    Not 5/38, we had two 5/54. These are the single barrel later issue not the doubles like in WWII. I knew something didn’t sound right about your description. I believe 5/38 was manually loaded by men in the turret. That would not be a fun job. The 5/54 was automatic in the turret, the projectiles and charges were manually loaded in a rotary magazine a deck or two below the turret. I only saw it rapid fire a couple of times but that was enough to get your attention, the spent brass ejected out of the turret makes a pretty loud clang when it hits the deck. At one clang a second….

  109. 109
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Ruckus:
    You’re correct, the 5″/38 was manually loaded by the gun crew. My dad was a Chief Gunner’s Mate until he made Warrant so I was fairly familiar with the older gun.

  110. 110
    Ruckus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    I’ve seen cat shots off the America, it sure is impressive, even from a distance. Up close it has to be nuts. Now on the other hand a lifelong bucket list item that I’ll very, very likely never fulfill is a cat launch and arrested landing.

  111. 111
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    As long as they don’t play that vile Lee Greenwood crap, I can live with it.

  112. 112
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Ruckus:

    Careful what you wish for. Operational necessities caused me to be in the back seat for two traps and two cat shots. I could never decide whether the bang as you grabbed the wire and decelerated or the way our aircraft would drop a dozen or more feet after they cleared the deck on launch was the more nerve wracking.

  113. 113
    Ruckus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    I know. When I was a 7 yr old that was my obsession, to be a fighter pilot then astronaut. I grew up. A little bit. I road raced motorcycles so I’m used to adrenaline and nerve racking situations, just always thought it would be an exciting hoot. But you know bucket lists, there are always things left that don’t get fulfilled and that sound better than reality.
    That shot drop off the end is an amazing thing to watch. Really fast fighters don’t have a lot of low speed lift so they drop almost completely below deck level, just before they really get moving from full afterburner. Got to be a kick in the ass. Did know a radar/missile op second seat guy who said the shot and trap weren’t the worst part of flying in Vietnam. Getting hit three times by missiles and having to ditch near the carrier once was what got to him.

  114. 114
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Ruckus:
    That would get to anyone. Ditching in a two seater is a matter of seeing how quickly you can get out of the thing before it sinks. Fortunately, the SAR guys who work off of carriers are consummate pros.

  115. 115
    Ruckus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    Did recovery duty for the America in the med in 71 before heading off to the North Atlantic for NATO duty. Not many planes shot at in the med in the 70s.

  116. 116
    bago says:

    When I say Comcast sucks, I bring databases and code to the table. Excel makes nice charts too.

  117. 117
    gogiggs says:

    Well, I have no particular love for Grease, but I can’t see how it would be an improvement to replace it with an interchangeable pop mannequin lip-synching a song she didn’t write because she can’t actually sing it while dancing someone else’s choreography.
    They keep trying to make fetch happen and I guess it has, but I ain’t buying.

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