Saturday, February 05, 2005

Magpie News

Like some birds and most small children, I can be easily fascinated by shiny objects. Today when I was reading the paper I was intrigued by this. The departing White House chef says he couldn't satisfy Laura Bush (no, I didn't mean that, so stop thinking I did): "We've been trying to find a way to satisfy the first lady's stylistic requirements," Scheib said in a telephone interview, "and it has been difficult. Basically, I was not successful in my atempt."

This does sort of beg the question: what on earth does the woman require? It's too easy to say "maybe she wants everything deep fried" or "they only eat Spam(tm)" or something like that; maybe Laura Bush is a health fanatic, or only wants tofu and green onions. Scheib was noted for bringing American wines and fresh ingredients to the White House table--that doesn't sound so bad. And what does "stylistic requirements" mean? What's frustrating to me is that, unlike the Big Awfuls for which the current denizens of the White House are responsible--Iraq, the proposed gutting of Social Security, the gutting of public education funding--it's unlikely there's ever going to be a leaked memo, ten years from now, explaining what all this was about.

See what I mean? I'm easily distracted by shiny objects.


Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

Speaking of Magpie preoccupations, did you and Danny watch Paul McCartney perform at Superbowl Half Time last night? He did about five songs, including his theme to "Live and Let Die." (At least, Pamela and I agreed, he didn't do anything from Wings.)

The selections could have been worse. "Drive My Car" was a mild surprise, and he managed not to include "Let It Be" or "The Long and Winding Road." When he announced at the beginning at the last song that he wanted everyone to sing along, Pamela and I both said: "Hey Jude." (It would have been nice had he actually picked, say, "I'm Down." C'mon, folks, you know the words!)

At least he didn't bowdlerize the one or two mildly spicy lines in "Get Back." (Hopes that he would get 50,000 people to sing together about "Fish and finger pie" proved vain.) But every song was arranged =exactly= as on the recording, not a riff different. As if he wanted to recreate the musical equivalent of a wax replica of himself.

And I'm not sure whether his guitar was even plugged in. Did anyone hear a chord of what he was playing, or was it all back-up band?

5:36 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Alas, or maybe not, we did not see the Superbowl. At some point last night (after it was all over on this coast) we realized this had been Superbowl day (can you tell we're not big football fans?) and Danny said rather wistfully that he ought to have taped the halftime show.

I'm not surprised that the show was all old old standards--given that the last new song I've heard from McCartney was that dreadful, heartfelt song he wrote for 9/11, I think resting on his laurels sounds like a good idea. Reading this morning's paper, Danny's comment was that a lot of people seemed to be hung up on Paul getting old, as if it were something he oughtn't have permitted to happen: "his skin is all papery and stuff! He was the cute one, what happened?" Um...forty years?

8:04 AM  

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