Happy Thursday, WFNYers. The Browns didn’t lose this week, the Indians keep sailing the Seven Seas of Mediocrity for what may well be the rest of eternity, losing in an excruciating 16 innings on Wednesday after mustering three runs on 14 hits, and the Cavaliers continue to enjoy their vacatio- err, as-of-yet uncontested playoff run. WFNY has had some great Cavs content this week including Craig’s plea to believe in this iteration of the Cavaliers; Joe’s defense of the Cavs’ fourth quarter D; and my salute to coach Tyronn Lue’s status as a bad m—– f—–. I especially enjoyed writing the Lue post, it’s relatively PG (as far as blog posts about bad m-fers go), plus it has some lovely Pulp Fiction-themed artwork from Scott. Wouldn’t Lue look superb with Jheri curls?
— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNYScott) May 10, 2016
Captain America: Civil War hit theaters last week, and Deadpool was released on Blu-Ray this week. I’m sure that’s exciting for many people, and I’ve no doubt they’re both fine movies. But I have a mild case of Comic Book Movie Fatigue, so I want to talk about a movie that’s nearly 75 years old.
I watch the movie Casablanca every so often to change things up from the sensory overload/intravenous content I’ve become accustomed to. Released in 1942, it’s widely considered one of the best American films ever made, but unlike other films that old (like Citizen Kane), I think Casablanca is easily accessible, maybe even for generations too impatient to watch an entire Vine.
Casablanca is about an American expatriate in charge of a saloon in (you guessed it) Casablanca, Morocco, at the start of World War II, when the Germans were asserting control over what was still French-administered territory. Rick, the saloon owner (Humphrey Bogart), sees his former fling from Paris walk into his bar one night, conjuring up painful memories and complicating Rick’s life quite a bit, in no small part because his former love (Ilsa, played by Ingrid Bergman) is married to a concentration camp escapee and internationally known leader of “the Resistance.” As long as seeing skyscrapers get squashed by natural disasters/robots/aliens isn’t your key criteria, Casablanca has a little bit of something for everyone: romance; some dark, moody pre-noir lighting and cinematography; ridiculous accents; an international fugitive; suspense and danger; betrayal; some musical numbers; a plot-twist ending; gratuitous smoking, drinking, and gambling; quick, snappy dialogue layering an element of wit and humor over the whole thing; and Nazis.
Lastly, it may have the best collection of one-liners this side of Anchorman. Here are some of my favorites:
Those aren’t even the movie’s most famous quotes. Anyway, if you’re looking for something with heart whose star is someone other than CGI, give Casablanca a shot. It’s clever but not pretentious, inspirational without being preachy, and tender without being mawkish. Plus, it reminds us that most of life’s critical moments happen in saloons. Here’s a short clip.
Your Calvin and Hobbes strip of the day. The motto of cable news and ESPN’s pre-evening programming.
And now for the random ’90s song of the day. Radiohead released a new album this week. Andrew talked about it earlier this week, and I suspect this won’t be the last you can read of it on this website, so I’ll (try to) be brief. The album is A Moon Shaped Pool, for those readers who spent the first half of this week on Pluto. I think it’s a special album. I didn’t much like The King of Limbs (Radiohead’s last full-length album effort from 2011), but I view this album as a return to form of sorts: it’s like Kid A got knocked up by Jonny Greenwood’s There Will Be Blood score. While I don’t necessarily think there’s anything revolutionary going on in A Moon Shaped Pool, it’s shockingly listenable and probably the band’s most lucid, cohesive effort since 1997’s OK Computer.
The album seems to journey from the paranoia of the “low-flying panic attack” on “Burn the Witch,” through a spiritual reawakening (from “Desert Island Disk”: “Waking, waking up from shutdown / From a thousand years of sleep / Yeah you, you know what I mean”), and finally to the more serene anxiety of “True Love Waits” (“I’ll drown my beliefs / To have you in peace”). The paranoia is still there, but it comfortably coexists with confidence and, dare I say, optimism. Though the violent rockist in me will always best identify with The Bends version of Radiohead, they’re probably at their best when you can put on headphones with the lights off and let the music wash over you (think “Everything in Its Right Place”), and A Moon Shaped Pool is perfect for that.
So, the random ’90s song of the day is a Radiohead track, right? A nice throwback to Pablo Honey, perhaps? No. The R90sSotD is a fickle wench — she gives us what we need, not what we want. And what we need is Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.” It’s a good (if annoying) tune from a solid ’90s album (Jagged Little Pill), but with any luck you haven’t heard this song in several years, and if you listen now you won’t need to for several more. It will be stuck in your head for several weeks. You’re welcome.
There are rumors that the song was inspired by Morissette’s relationship with David Coulier, aka “the uncle who was not John Stamos or Bob Saget on Full House.” Coulier sure doesn’t seem like he’s hot enough to inspire the flood of crazy this song is overflowing with,1 but Hey, we can’t all look like Uncle Jesse.
And I’m here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It’s not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know