Your Ob't Savant has been cast as the moderator in a parody of the McLaughlan Report for Ortega Mexican foods, debating the loss of the American Family, which is ironically brought together by . . . Mexican food. Let us, however, not bite the hand that feeds us and pray as a nation that it gets on the air in 30-second and 15-second primetime versions and interrupts your Soaps every afternoon for at least a year!



(From The Book of World-famous Music) For decades now, a debate has raged around Francis Scott Key's "Star Spangled Banner," as to why such a complicated and militaristic song should be our "natural" anthem. Yet the idea of replacing it with "God Bless America" or "Steamboat Bill" has been met with a patriotic fervor bordering on hysteria.

The song was apparently popularized in 1814 being performed repeatedly on stage by a Mr. Hardinge of Philadelphia's traveling Warren & Ward Chesnut Street Company, "fully appreciated to continued applause," which played Washington D.C. and Baltimore out of the dreary Old Drury Theatre.

Ironically, Key set his patriotic lyrics (in the Key of Me?) to the melody of a popular English drinking song by John Stafford Smith (c. 1777), later used as the setting for about 85 patriotic American poems published from 1790 to 1820 and becoming most familiar to early Americans as the anthem of the anti-war Federalist Party, "Adams and Liberty."

Thus, today, our National Anthem is sung to the tune of an anti-war song based on a bar ditty in honor of the licentious followers of an ancient Greek philosopher who believed in drunkedness and debauchery.

For those of you still awake, here are the original lyrics of the wittily titled "Anacreontic Song." And-a-one. . .

To Anacreon in Heav'n, where he sat in full glee,
A few sons of harmony sent a petition,
That he them inspire and patron would be,
When this answer arrived from the jolly old Grecian:
"Boys, fiddle and flute, no longer be mute;
I'll lend you my name and inspire you to boot!
And besides I'll instruct you like me, to entwine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine!"

Ye sons of Anacreon, then join hand in hand,
Preserve unanimity, friendship and love.
Tis yours to support what's so happily planned,
You've the sanction of gods and the fiat of Jove!
While thus we agree, our toast let it be,
May our blood flourish happy, united and free!
And long may the sons of Anacreon entwine,
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine!



And if that isn't enough, already, I learned the other day from my pal and smarty-pants know-it-all, Paul Willson, that F. Scott Fitzgerald's full name was really Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. Put that in your pitchpipe and blow it.



And in keeping with the hysterical tone of this week's posting, from "The Doubter's Companion" by John Raulston Saul (author of "Voltaire's Bastards") comes the story of why we refer to our political leanings as "Right" or "Left."

In October 1789, Louis le Roi was being held captive in the Tuilleries Palace where the only place the hastily elected Assembly could convene was the arena-shaped palace stables. So, a semi-circular seating plan was devised to accommodate the hundreds of representatives.

"It naturally followed that those who hated each other the most sat as far away from each other as possible, to the extreme right and left of the podium. Thus the needs of horses helped to create our idea of irreconcilable political differences."

All right!



I awoke to TODAY today, to overhear cutie Katie Cowlick chatting with supermodel slash actress slash director slash producer Elizabeth Wayne Hurley -- about the fallout from that thing that "went down" on Hollywood Boulevard.

She says that she and Huge Grant only go back to England five days a year but sue the scandal sheets every Thursday. When they win (which she says they always do), they force then to write "big, fat checks to the Great Ape Escape" whose apparent mission is to "rescue chimps from Spanish beaches who are, you know, sort of abused by photographers."

Or maybe it was all just a dream. . .



New Baywatch Babe Traci Bingham interviewed on the new/old show "Excess Hollywood" stated "It means so much being the first black on ‘Baywatch.’It makes it more realistic."

The mind bagels. With cream cheese.



In an L.A.Times feature called "Guest Workout," by Candace A. Wedlan, Russian figure skater Oksana Baiul spoke of her dietary habits: "...all the time with my friends I'm making only Russian food but borsht -- you have to have a talent to make that. My grandmother said to me, ‘You know, you can skate. Don't try to make borsht because you're supposed to make only what you can make the best. Just skate.’" Later, Oksana offered a recipe for Russian chicken and rice, "It's so good. I'm taking the chicken and putting flour and I'm putting egg and I'm putting oil and then just heating. Dessert? I don't really like sweets, but here in America I love cheesecake."

So do we all! And under the sexy picture that accompanies the article is the caption: "When I want I'm eating. When I don't want I'm not eating."

Words to skate by.



Submitted by the brilliant Vanna Bonta, author of "Flight" (Check out her website!) from an article in Forbes magazine.

I kind of quote: "Nike has a television commercial for hiking shoes that was shot in Kenya using Samburu tribesmen. The camera closes in on the one tribesman who speaks in native Maa and the Nike slogan "Just do it" appears on the screen.

"Lee Cronk, an anthropologist at the University of Cincinnati, says the Kenyan is really saying, ‘I don't want these. Give me big shoes.’

"Nike's Elizabeth Dolan's response?

"‘We thought nobody in America would know what he said.’"


Too Busy To Write More, I remain --

Your Observant Servant, Philip the P.


Published 9/28/96


© 1996/2002 by Phil Proctor