Monday, February 22, 2016

I've Never Seen Anything Like It: Trump's Blitz of Bush

Donald Trump surveyed the Republican field back in June. He correctly surmised that the only candidate who provided a real threat was Jeb Bush. Trump's strategy was to hit Bush early and hit him hard before the juggernaut that elected his father and brother could even get started. The strategy consisted of:

  1. making Jeb look weak and ineffectual.  At one point in a debate he seemed to be almost shaking with fear. Even in this day of beta-males, that's not good if you're running for leader of the free world.
  2. making a case to Republican voters that the Bush I and II years were not good years after all, including the super-daring casting of the second Iraq war as a destabilizing venture that was based on lies ("Anybody can make a mistake. But that was a beauty," Trump said in his inimitable New York way.)
  3. harping on the amount of Other People's Money Jeb was spending, amounting to $2,592 per vote vs. Trump's $87 per vote (of his own money). 
  4. making Bush appear to be a creature of lobbyists ("Listen to the lobbyists," Trump would exclaim upon being booed in a debate). 

The strategy worked monumentally. Bush barely ever crossed out of single-digits in polls or in results.  Jeb pulled out Saturday, after just the third of 50 state primaries.

I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime of watching politics.

Unless another generation of Bush politicians comes along some day, it brings a sad ending to the Bush family political legacy that started with Senator Prescott Bush in 1950.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

David Bowie: Out of Ohio

It's ironic that the late David Bowie is being celebrated as a consummate cutting-edge cosmopolitan or even the Ultimate Brit. But his style is directly attributable to a guy from Ohio: the little-known Scott Walker.

So what changed Bowie's singing style in 1965 from this:

To the more familiar Bowie we know?  It was this 1965 hit:

...pretty much.  Scott Walker. From southern Ohio.

The same guy who was on Eddie Fisher's TV show:

"He's been my idol since I was a kid," Bowie once said of Walker. David executive produced 30 Century Man, the 2006 documentary about Scott.

Here are several links discussing the huge impact of Scott Walker on Bowie's career (as often admitted by Bowie himself):

Here's even one in French:

Walker's influence on Bowie was at the very beginning but also, as Walker himself changed (Changesonescott?), at the very end, with Blackstar:

David is dead, but we still have Scott Walker with us to remember him by!  In 2015 Scott Walker composed the score for the film The Childhood of a Leader.  Scott Walker was very much a leader, influencing David Bowie who influenced scores of musicians on his own.