GIRLFRIEND OF THE WHIRLING DERVISH – Marilyn Armstrong

I always thought this goofy song was made up for a Looney Tunes cartoon. I vaguely remembered it as Daffy Duck, but it turned to be Porky Pig. Moreover, it’s a real song, written by Johnny Mercer et al. It has been performed by a variety of artists, including Bette Midler.

Why did this come up? Well, we were watching baseball and some dumb commentator referred to a player as “The Whirling Dervish.” And I started humming “She was the girlfriend of the whirling dervish …” and then, I simply had to find that cartoon.

After which, I had to find the song and the lyrics. It is still — even not as a cartoon — a silly song.



The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish

Song by Bette Midler

Lyrics:

One fine day, I chanced to stray
On a little side street in old Bombay
And met a sentimental oriental
She saw me and I saw she
Had a manner too bold and much too free
Her eyes were positively detrimental
When I asked about this gay coquette
I discovered much to my regret

She’s the girl friend of the whirling dervish
She’s the sweetest one he’s found
But ev’ry night, in the mellow moonlight
When he’s out dervishing with all his might
She gives him the run-around
All the boy friends of the whirling dervish
Are his best friends to his face
But there’s no doubt, when he isn’t about

They all come hurrying to take her out
She leads him a dizzy pace
He dreams of a Hindu honeymoon
He doesn’t dream that ev’ry night when he goes out
To make an honest rupee
She steps out to make a lotta whoopee
Oh, the love song of the whirling dervish
Has a sweet and tender sound

But will he burn if he ever should learn
That while he’s doing her a real good turn
She gives him the runaround
She’s got a nervish, throwin’ him a curvish
Which, of course, he doesn’t deservish
Poor old whirling dervish!


Songwriters: Johnny Mercer / Al Dubin / Harry Warren

The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish lyrics
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc


So I decided to do it as a post. Because it’s silly and totally pointless and it makes me laugh.

These days, a laugh is about the only thing that really makes me feel better. It’s also the only thing that keeps me sane.

MYSTICAL, MAGICAL SOCKS – Marilyn Armstrong

Two years ago, I order 30 pairs of socks in all different colors and patterns. I realized, finally, that I was down to a bare two or three pairs and I wasn’t even sure they were real pairs, but they were at least more or less the same color.

Around the same time, I also bought a lot of underwear on the theory that we wouldn’t have to do laundry nearly as often if I didn’t run out of underwear. Oh, and I refilled Garry’s sock and underwear collection too.

socks without partners cartoon

Yesterday, Garry did laundry. My 30 pairs of socks have shrunk to about half a dozen pairs. I swear to you not only am I careful to keep pairs together, but Garry is passionate about matching them up. And keeping them clean.

Which isn’t always easy because I wear them as slippers and have been known to go outside in socks … not always my best choice.

socks-lost-in-the-dryer

Nonetheless, I realized no matter how much I didn’t want to face the crisis, I had to buy more socks. I found socks on Amazon — 12 pairs for $14.00 and they are all exactly the same. Because I know. We all know.

Socks vanish. No matter how careful you are. No matter how hard you try to keep track of them, over time, attrition will chew at the edges until you have no more than a few days worth of socks in your drawer. You will search that drawer.

Socks-lost-in-space

“Who took my socks?” you cry, but no answer will come to you. They are gone through the black hole in the universe (via your clothes dryer) into which all the single socks are eventually drawn. The mythical land or planet where a single sock can live forever. They are looking down on us and laughing. Because we persist in looking for them. Foolish humans.

Socks-come-back

Garry, despite my assurances that there is nothing more he can do, that socks will go missing regardless, is sure I’m accusing him of sock-knapping. He does not yet understand. There is nothing anyone can do. There are greater forces at work here than mere humans can control.

So this time, I’m ordering 12 identical pairs. As each sock disappears, I can wear it with another lonely sock. Variety is not the spice of life when discussing socks.

EFFERVESCENT INGREDIENTS – Marilyn Armstrong

I should be peppy and lively. I should be able to find the ingredients to get the laundry done, to go take a few pictures. Something.

I’m too beat up to find anything remotely effervescent in me right now. It has been a grueling few months. Not always in a bad way, but still exhausting and the crazy humid heat has not helped. I also suspect that my tolerance for extremes of weather is diminishing with the years because I’m far less energetic now than I was even a few months ago.

The combination of personal crises, national calamities, climate change, and a general sense that everything I worked for and cared about is being undone in such a short time, my head is spinning. The best part of the summer has been our winning baseball team. You know life has gotten awfully rough when you cling to sports as the only positive thing happening in your world.

I sense that I am not alone in feeling this way, either.

I read a piece on Facebook the other day where some Millennial was pointing out that we — the Boomer Generation — should stop blaming them and start accepting responsibility for handing them such a crappy world.

It suddenly crossed my mind that the world into which I was born was not exactly perfection, either. These kids have no idea how it was to grow up in a world where jobs were listed under Male and Female only … and if you weren’t white, there were no jobs listed at all. To live in a world where the only birth control was “not doing it” or a condom — and you couldn’t even buy a condom if you were under 18.

The voting age was 21, but the drinking age was 18. Great combination, wasn’t it?

The rivers and air were horribly polluted. We invented Earth Day, got the Civil Rights Bill passed. Cleaned up the air. You know the air over New York and Los Angeles used to be orange? Not just at sunset but all the time from the massive amounts of pollution. The river which runs through our Valley was one of the most polluted rivers in North America. We cleaned it up, along with the Hudson, Boston Harbor, and many other places.

We didn’t do all this because the earth was a perfect place, but because we saw how bad it was becoming and fought to fix it. I don’t blame Millennials for feeling they got the short end of some stick, but that stick has been pretty damned short for a really long time. Before I was born and for that matter before my mother was born too.

Garry grew up in a Jim Crow world. I grew up in a world where most of the people “like me” had been butchered or gassed to death. I had friends die of putrid abortions performed with a wire hanger. You really don’t need to tell me that we left you an evil world. It wasn’t wonderful when we got it, either.

Pogo – Walt Kelly – 1971

Welcome to the real world. There’s been more than enough evil in the human world for a very long time. Whoever you are, whatever generation you come from, it’s time you stopped whining about whose fault it is or was. 

It doesn’t matter who caused what. Get your act together, put your shoulder to the wheel, and start pushing to make it a better place. The big bad boomer bunch did that. I’m terribly sorry it has come unglued so quickly and I don’t feel really happy watching all the things I worked for fall apart. It is shocking, horrifying, and deeply depressing.  But on the other hand, I didn’t vote for that asshole.

Regardless, I’m too old to go out and fix it. I would if I could, but me and my generation — we’ve done our part. Our effervescence is gone. The ingredients you need to fix this bad old world are yours now.

Get up and do something. Vote. Run for office. Get a decent education. Learn some history.

It doesn’t matter who made it this way. It has been working on becoming this way for hundreds of years and if you don’t get yourselves moving, it will simply get worse and your children will blame it on you.

Except you know what? If you don’t start to work on making it better, your kids’ worlds will be a whole lot worse than yours.

Are you registered to vote? Will you vote?

FOWC with Fandango — Ingredients
RDP #71: EFFERVESCENT

POLITICAL CARTOONS OF THE WEEK – Marilyn Armstrong

I collect them. Whenever I see a really good one, I save it for the next time I need something funny where humor is hard to find. This week, I haven’t done anything that warrants political cartoons, but these are all so good, I figured — why not?

Have a laugh. Show them to someone and make them laugh, too.

EXPECTATIONS AND THE LACK THEREOF – Marilyn Armstrong

Everything is weird.

The weather is weird. The government is even weirder. Maybe our government is the weirdest of all. Between one thing and another, I feel like I’m living on a different planet. I have no idea what to expect — in the most literal sense. If rain is predicted, I don’t know if it will actually rain. It might be cloudy and then again, the sun might shine. If they tell me it’s going to cool down, it might be swelteringly hot.

Or not.

Yeah, whatever. At least we got the hell out of 2018. – The New Yorker

Maybe I am living on a different planet. Maybe the reason I don’t know what to expect in these surreal circumstances is that I’m still expecting stuff.  I expect the news to be true and weather maps to actually show real weather. It’s as if the weather is lying too.

The president lies. He says the media lies. I know the media is not lying, but apparently, the climate is lying.

How can the weather lie?

Is that what climate change is about? That we have no idea what to expect and the maps don’t mean what they seem to mean. It’s all a jumble.

Nothing means what it should mean and I think my next move is to stop expecting. Anything. Give up all expectations. Whatever happens, happens.

That’s downright zen of me, isn’t it?

EVERYONE IS A LIAR EXCEPT DONALD TRUMP – Garry Armstrong

“The media always lies,” she said and I cringed.

Then, I got angry. Why do people believe a president who has never told the truth about anything while failing to believe the fact-based truth?

I’m not talking about “ultimate” truth or the meaning of life or faith. I’m talking about things that can be proven with evidence, science. Stuff caught on tape. Printed, heard, overheard, and to which testimony has been given.

I really hate it when I hear that cliché – “The media doesn’t tell the truth. They always lie.”

It demeans all the passion and belief I put into more than 40-years as a working reporter. Moreover, it demeans the careers of so many others who give their lives in pursuit of the truth. Many, literally died in pursuit of the truth.

Photo: USA Today

I am not romanticizing my career. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve gotten it wrong. It happens when you’re covering multiple stories a day, 5 to 7 days a week. With deadlines breathing down your neck.

I always tried to clarify mistakes by accepting my culpability up front and being clear with viewers. There were many days when I hated what I had to do. Usually, it was in pursuit of a truth which would be ugly, demanding, tedious — and require a good deal of soul-searching. The truth isn’t simple, or black and white. Despite what you usually see on television or in movies about reporters, there aren’t many clear “wins.”

The old days

Often, we’re lambasted for telling the truth by the same folks who call us liars. Jack Nicholson’s “You can’t handle the truth” line should be crayoned on the skulls of those who insist the media always lies. Those critics are the same pilgrims who gobble up the crap proffered by the current White House Tenant who wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him.

Truth is a foreign language to him. I suspect he actually believes the nonsense he spouts. To make a lie “sound true,” you first have to convince yourself it is true. If you do this for enough years, eventually you don’t even remember what the truth used to be.

I fervently wish that the people who belittle media and law enforcement spend some time, real-time — like 24/7 — on the streets. The real streets, not their cozy neighborhood. They might discover that life without the public relations filters is a different place.

They might see our world in three dimensions and begin to look for reality instead of accepting whatever propaganda or other gobbledygook is being dumped in their biased, insulated worlds. Maybe some of them would even consider (gasp) reading something.

Finally, I’m proud of what I did for a living. For 40 plus years, I fought to tell the truth.

It was a privilege.

THE ARRANGEMENT – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Arrangement


This is one of “those words” which means so many things on so many levels it is hard to know exactly where to start.

Most typically, in my world, it is “common parlance” for a couple whose marriage isn’t going well, but who would prefer to avoid a divorce. Often, it is because they are also in business or share other important interests and a divorce would distract the world from whatever else they do.

Rich people have an arrangement. Poor people simply can’t afford the divorce.

I always thought that Bill and Hillary had an arrangement, that they agreed to continue working and living together and the deal was that they remain discreet, not humiliate one another, and keep their eyes on the importance of the work they were doing. I think Bill screwed that up and Hillary never forgave him for that.

I suspect this is the situation with many high-powered political couples. I can’t prove it, but I would be surprised to discover I’m wrong.

An arrangement isn’t inherently a bad thing. Often, the work a couple does together is more important than whether or not one or both of them is entirely faithful to the formal marriage bond. There are also couples who never bought into monogamy, so their marriage was an arrangement from the beginning.

But arrangement means other things. Spying is an arrangement. Treason is an arrangement. Most forms of corruption are an arrangement and often, an extremely complex arrangement involving many people across a vast network. It is why when such an arrangement starts to crumble, it is a shock to see exactly how many people were involved, either at the fat or short end of the deal.

Last night on Colbert (with Jake Tapper as the guest), there was much talk of “why” so many Republicans are still trying to “sell” Trump. Regardless, barring an actual putsch in our government, DJT is OUT by 2024, if he doesn’t die of hardened arteries first.

CNN’s Jake Tapper pointed out presumably these same people intend to have a career after 45 is gone. How do they expect anyone to have any faith in them?

My answer? The money. Follow the money. Trump has been laundering Russian money for a long time and there’s a lot of money involved. He is not the only one who has been “on the take.” Maybe they think if they steal enough money, they can buy faith? They’ve done it before, after all.

I’m willing to bet that many of these other Republicans have gotten their portion of the dirty money. They aren’t protecting Trump. They are trying to protect themselves, too.

I hope we get to hear every last detail of the story.

Washington is a carefully arranged town. How much money have they stolen? How much of it has been used to turn our country into a place I don’t even recognize?