Music Monday: ‘Lousiana 1927’ In honor of Katrina Survivors

Way back in 1972, Randy Newman, now famous for his Toy Story music, the ’70s song, “Short People” and the ’80s song, “I Love LA” wrote a song on his Rednecks album called “Louisiana 1927.”  newman2cover

Now if you can get past the opening song Rednecks, where he basically takes Southern rednecks, and NORTHERN bigots and hypocrites to task for their racial prejudices, you’ll get to a great song about Birmingham, Alabama, a touching song about his love “Marie,” the anthem, “Mr. President Have Pity On The Working Man,”  and you’ll get to “Louisiana 1927.”

While it was more written for a rising river flood, I think it’s still appropriate for New Orleans, five years after the disaster left in the wake of Katrina.

Louisiana 1927–Randy Newman

What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangelne

Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tyrin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, “Little fat man isn’t it a shame what the river has done
To this poor crackers land.”


Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tyrin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword; Mad Men

I’ve tried to let the meanings of last week’s Mad Men, the Chrysanthemum and the Sword, sink in before writing anything about it.  And gosh there are volumes of comments already that have been made online about the show already.  So many have built the show around shame and how people do or do not deal with it.  Yes, there was a lot of it.20100823 madmen 560x375

But here are some things that really stuck with me about the show:

It’s obvious Sally Draper is seeking an audience.  The problem Don and Betty and Henry are going to find is that where they have not been able to, or have not tried to provide such, Sally Draper is going to find attention and they’re not going to like what it looks like.

I’m struggling with the disasters formed because of my divorce in 2003 in my own three girls.  I’ve never been one to claim I’m perfect, though that sentiment has constantly been projected at me.  It’s clear from watching the episode that Betty Draper is truly a nut case that she is and that because of his own haste and blindness to rush into a marriage with her, Henry Francis, is sleeping with a walking-time bomb and doesn’t have a clue.

The fact that she lied to him about how recent it’d been since she’d seen a psychiatrist, “It was years ago,” and even his reaction to her telling him it’d even happened, shows there are still many things to left for Henry to unravel about his wife.

I thought it was classic when Sally’s counselor  suggested that Betty needs to see a counselor of her own.  And her denial; frankly I’m surprised she didn’t almost get up and walk out.   No, from Betty was the presentation that all in life is good. She’s the perfect mom.  It’s her kid that’s messed up. It’s because of Don that Sally cut her hair or is playing with herself.  The world according to Betty is that she’s perfect and the only problems in the world are shared by everyone but her.

And with how Betty reacts to Sally’s cutting her hair, with the slumber party mom who clearly was wanting to see Sally doing more than she actually was, visiting her once at the bottom of the stairs, it suggests that that scene has been previously played out in Betty’s life, with her being the operative Sally.

Betty says wants Don dead.  She now has a dad/crutch of a husband there to help calm her down.  Thank God Henry doesn’t act out in response to what Betty’s doing by calling Don at work and delivering his projected-produced anger at him, or calling friends of Don’s telling them they don’t need to be his friend, either.  But I can’t decide at what level Henry is really her puppet.  I guess we’ll see as we move forward.

And the irony continues about the Francis’ continuing to live in Don Draper’s home, basically being financed by him as though they’re obviously dependent on him.  Betty tells the counselor she had to go through with the divorce so she could offer her kids stability.  Yet with Henry and the whimsical ups and downs of political life, I can assure you, there’s nothing stable of living in four-year political cycles.  And so the irony is there.  At one point last season Henry is boasting that he doesn’t want Betty to be dependent on Don for anything, but they keep mooching off of him and living off his money and his house as though it’s some sort of an entitlement.

And then there’s the hypocritical nature of Betty’s accusations.  She is so wound up about Don’s activities, she is blind to the fact that she was having  multiple affairs–the guy in the bar, Henry, even the tempting of the horse jockey–and yet she’s so quick project Don as the slut.

She says she doesn’t want to know what’s going on in Don’s life. Maybe so, maybe not.  But you have to wonder, if she’s such a super mom to her kids, why are they coming out so bassackwards?  She tells Sally if she plays anymore solo tunes on herself in public that she’ll cut her fingers off.

It’s clear that so much that is Betty Draper is a lie.  She’s so dressed up in double-looped pearls when she goes to the counselor’s office, and even at first meeting, the counselor can see right through the phony.  And if Betty were so focused on what was right for her kids, wouldn’t she have been the one to take Sally to the counselors instead of the maid?  Wouldn’t Betty have been all about what was really going on in Sally’s life?

But no.  It’s better to perpetuate the lie.  She doesn’t work.  The kids are in school.  We’ve not been going to the stables in two seasons.  You’ve got to wonder what it is Betty Draper does during the day but sit around and bask in the surroundings provided by her former husband and think about how she needs to get more out of him. And then when it comes to dealing with Don in a proper way, say like deciding Sally needs to see a counselor, he properly points out, “It sounds like you’ve already made a decision, why are you calling me?”  Why did she call Don?  Simply so later on she could twist the truth again to say, well, I did call him.  Oh yeah, she did twist the truth in telling the counselor that “I don’t think you’ll ever see him,” dismissing him as not interested in the well-being of his kids.

I’ll let all the others explain to you about all the shaming that went on in this episode.  I got a lot more about how Betty Draper is just a nutty bitch who needs to get back to a shrink, one that might actually cut through the shit of her life and try to find if there really is a person in there after all.  What I really wish is that Don had his stuff together a little better and wasn’t living in an apartment and could spend more time with his kids.   But if he didn’t work all the time, what with the mooches Henry and Betty do?

Back to School: Are you giving your kids cell phones? Talked about sexting?

It’s back to school time.  For those of you with middle school and high school kids in particular, you’re likely sending your child off to school this fall with a cell phone.  Yes, and I’m sure as the age of getting a cell phone continues to drop, there are a good number of you also sending your older elementary kids to school with one, too.

I get this completely.  My kids all have phones and are ready to go back and fill up their phone books with new names and cell numbers. How exciting!

Words of Caution

Yes, you need to remind your children that using the phone during class is a big no-no.  Mine know I’m not going to pay $10-15 in the office to get their phone back if it gets taken up.

But just as important is a frank discussion with your kids about the dangers of sexting, or sending naked or exposed pictures of themselves to others. 0082224802188 215X215

The polls all show a rising number of children are doing this on a much more regular basis than most of us would like to even think about.  The news alerts are full daily of examples of someone getting arrested or punished for doing this–including their teachers.


One thing you might consider doing is just going to a store like Walmart and getting what James Bourne would call a “burner” phone. One of those pre-paid deals for about $29.95 that you change out the sim card for with your regular account, but the phone DOESN’T HAVE A CAMERA. (The camera linked here is a little more.  I went to the local store and got the phones.)  That won’t stop the receiving of dirty photos, but it will cut down on the chances that your kids are sending them of themselves.

Of course then there’s the whole age-old conversation about respect.

And then there’s the problem with sending a photo to a temporary “Love of my life” who gets mad in a week or two, breaks up, and in spite or anger, forwards what were once the prizes of this temporarily permanent relationship now ended.  These are the photos that every boy/girl in the school receives, that wind up on the Internet, etc.

Not to mention, that in many states, sending photos of naked or exposed minors is still a minor!

So as your kids get ready to head back to school and you begin your much needed fall vacation from your kids, an ounce of prevention might just help ensure that your break from the kids is smooth sailing.

The girl from Mad Men reminded me of someone, now I know who

I liked Caity Lotz, who played Anna’s niece, Stephanie, in the  Mad Men Sunday episode called “The Good News,” actually a line delivered by Lotz.

But the more I watched, the more I thought she looked like someone familiar. Honestly, I’m not meaning this as anything other than an observation.  I like and respect both actors involved in this picture.  I like them a lot.  I just can’t help but see her and see him.

Well, I watched it again tonight and here’s what I came up with:

Just Saying Caity Lotz The BeaverCaity, I honestly am not trying to start anything.  You’re very pretty and obviously coming up on your own.  Congrats for making it to Mad Men and thanks for being a part of something so much bigger than all of us–a very accurate portrayal of real life.