Category Archives: Commentary

Patrick McGoohan Explains The Meaning Of The Prisoner, A TV Cult Classic

A Rare Television Interview With Patrick McGoohan

McGoohan Answers Many Questions About One Of The Most Enigmatic and Brilliant Shows In The History Of Television – The Prisoner

(l-r) Angelo Muscat, Patrick McGoohan Leo McKern in The Prisoner

Yes, Patrick McGoohan has been dead for nine years. But this long format television interview with Warner Troyer originally broadcast in Canada circa 1977 has rarely been seen.

If you are a fan of the The Prisoner, this interview will be a revelation. McGoohan was the creator, writer and star, and details the making and the meaning of The Prisoner.

During the interview McGoohan admits The Prisoner was intended for a very small audience- intelligent people. It was meant to provoke and have people question its meaning. The show succeeded.

50 years later, The Prisoner has as much cultural relevance today as it did when it was first broadcast in 1967. It is still debated and analyzed and considered as being WAY ahead of its time. Many of McGoohan’s concerns about mankind are currently and unfortunately playing out.

WARNING -SPOILERS AHEAD –  DO NOT WATCH if you have never seen The Prisoner and intend on watching it. I’ve summarized the plot of the series below. If you have seen The Prisoner and have always wondered what is the meaning of it all, Patrick McGoohan answers many of those questions.

Breaking it down to its most simplistic level, The Prisoner’s basic plot involves a government intelligence agent (played by McGoohan) who has resigned his position for reasons unknown. In short order, when he returns to his home he is gassed unconscious . He is then taken by persons unknown to a strange place that he awakens in called The Village. Continue reading

10 Baby Names That Will Not Be Making A Comeback

Ten Boys Baby Names That Are Permanently Out Of Fashion And Will Never be Used Again

Actor Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge

Baby names go in and out of vogue. Some cycle through long and short terms of popularity. Other names are popular for a few years and then fade into oblivion. At the end of the article see the ten most popular male and female names given in 1880, 1950 and 2017.

One of my close relatives was named Adolph. Unless you are a big admirer of the Third Reich, most parents would avoid naming their child after the Führer. Yet there are people who do name their children Adolf or Adolph.

For every Benjamin, Lucas and Jacob (2017 popular names according to the Social Security Administration), there will be “unique” names such as Jaxx, Reign and Ledger.

While many parents want to give their child a unique name, most don’t want a really weird or antiquated name.

Here are ten male names that will not be making a comeback in the 21st century.

  1. Ebenezer – You could call him Eb for short, but no one is beating down the doors to start naming their children after Dickens’ miserly character Scrooge.

 

  1. Preserved – Some verbs can be used as a name, but Preserved? Yes, Preserved was a 19th century name. Preserved Fish mentioned in the famous Hone Diary, was a merchant who lived from 1766-1846.

 

  1. Telemachus – A somewhat unusual name even for the 19th century. But there were people with this name in the United States.  Greek mythology not withstanding, a name that is completely unused today and for the foreseeable future.

 

  1. Grover – Maybe you are a huge fan of the show Sesame Street or the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, Grover Cleveland. If not, it is highly doubtful that anyone will be naming their child Grover in this century.

 

  1. Egbert – A name guaranteed to incite endless name-calling, bullying and ass kicking once enrolled in school. To be avoided at all costs.

Continue reading

10 Modern Era Single Season Pitching Records That Will Never Be Broken

Ten Post-1901 Pitching Records That Will Never Be Broken

Jack Chesbro with the Boston Red Sox in 1909.

They say, “never say never.”

Records are meant to be broken.

But there are some pitching records that will probably never be broken and others that certainly will never be broken. We’re looking at records from the modern era only – post 1901.

Here they are:

10. Johnny Vander Meer 2 consecutive complete game no-hitters (1938)

Johnny Vander Meer had the good fortune to be the only pitcher to ever throw back to back no-hitters on June 11 and June 15, 1938 for the Cincinnati Reds.

It is now rare for a pitcher to throw a shutout, or even a complete game. In an era of relief specialization, analytics and match-ups, no-hitter’s are becoming a thing of the past. As of May 2018 there have been 297 no-hitters thrown in the past 117 years. 10 of those no-hitters were a team effort, thrown by two or more pitchers in the game. In 2015 there were seven no-hitters thrown. In 2016 and 2017 a total of just two no-hitters were thrown.

The notion that anyone will ever again throw two no-hitters in a row is a longshot. Three no-hitters in a row? No way.

9. Rube Marquard 19 consecutive wins (1912)

New York Giants starting pitcher Rube Marquard strung together 19 straight wins to begin the 1912 season. Long winning streaks by starting pitchers are uncommon nowadays. They’re yanked from games earlier than ever and no longer control the outcome in close games because they’ve hit their pitch count limits.  Can a modern day pitcher win 20 games in a row? If it were to happen, it would be a miracle.

8. Roy Face .947 Winning Percentage (1959)

How do you get a .947 winning percentage? You lose only one game and win 18. Pirates pitcher Roy Face achieved that lofty winning percentage all in relief. Face did not start one game. It is conceivable a pitcher could have a better winning percentage. It is also conceivable we will one day have world peace.

7. Nolan Ryan 383 strikeouts (1973)

Nolan Ryan was a strikeout machine. In 27 big league seasons Ryan mowed down 5,714 hitters primarily using his blazing speed.  If a pitcher struck out more than 383 batters in a season as Ryan did for the 1973 California Angels, it would mean striking out an average of about 1.5 batters per inning based on a 256 inning season.

In 2017 only ten pitchers threw 200 or more innings. Boston’s Chris Sale led all major leaguers with only 214.1 innings pitched.  Sale also struck out a stupendous 308 batters.

Since starting pitchers are pitching less innings than ever before, it seems highly improbable that any pitcher will ever strike out more than 383 batters in a season.

6. Ed Walsh 467 innings pitched (1908)

Talking about innings thrown this number is just insane, but White Sox Hall-of Famer Ed Walsh threw 467 innings in 1908. You read that right four hundred sixty seven. It’s probably a good thing they did not have pitch counts in 1908. This record is definitely safe.

5. Jack Chesbro 51 games started (1904)

This is one of three single season pitching records that Jack Chesbro of the New York Highlanders set in 1904 and will never be broken.

Pitchers don’t even start 35 games in a season anymore. With six man rotations coming into existence, it seems likely that we’re heading towards pitchers starting no more than 30 games per season. The last pitcher to come close to breaking Chesbro’s record was Chicago White Sox knuckleballer Wilbur Wood who started 49 games in 1972. Continue reading

Searching Here In Allentown- At The Book & Paper Show With Postcards, Antique Advertising & A Real Black Bear

Things You Will Find At The Allentown Book & Paper Show

On a cloudless Saturday at eight forty in the morning, a line of about 200 eager men and women snaked its way around Agricultural Hall at the Allentown Fairgrounds in Allentown, PA.

They were anxiously awaiting the April 21 opening of the two day Allentown Book and Paper Show, an all encompassing smorgasbord of anything and everything collectible that has a relationship to paper.

On  the show floor a few minutes before 9:00 am,, show promoter Sean Klutinoty announced to the 170 dealers over the public address system, that the anxious crowd would soon be admitted. This was the cue for the dealers to return to their tables. They had set up their stalls the day before but quite a few dealers were scurrying about making some last minute purchases from one  another.

Searching through hundreds of thousands of postcards

At nine sharp, customers started filing in. Like bees who fly precise routes to pollinate flowers, the mad dash began for people to get to their favorite dealer. For those who do not have a special dealer to go to, there is a rush to visit each booth methodically row by row.

Each patron is searching for something particular and they ask dealers if they possess whatever special item they seek, before the competition, real or imagined, swoops in and beats them to it.

Another aisle of postcard row

If it made of paper and you cannot find it in Allentown that is the exception.

Unlike a book show where you have books and some ephemera, at a paper show there is literally no limit on what antiquity or modern collectible you may find. Continue reading

You Can’t Do This Anymore – Kids And Toy Guns

Something You Won’t See Anymore. What Happened To Kids Playing With Toy Guns?

Boy, has America changed In 67 years.

In 1951 a Cleveland Plain Dealer photographer captured young Rickey Harbold of Cleveland, OH pointing his toy gun out of the car window.

If your child were to do this today, the adult driving the car would probably be arrested or possibly shot at by the police. Continue reading

Led Zeppelin’s “Carouselambra” Played Live & The Story Behind The Song

Led Zeppelin Never Performed Carouselambra Live

If They Had, It Probably Wouldn’t Have Sounded As Good As Randy Jackson Of Zebra’s Acoustic Solo Version

Led Zeppelin never got to perform Carouselambra live. It’s a ten minute thirty four second synthesizer driven opus.

This version of Carouselambra performed by Zebra’s Randy Jackson is absolutely spectacular.

Carouselambra is one of the radio’s least played Led Zeppelin songs. Maybe it is because of the length of the song or maybe it is the mix which is not up to the usual Led Zeppelin standards. Whatever the reason, besides its enigmatic and haunting lyrics, Carouselambra has some very strong points.

Randy Jackson (lead singer and guitarist of Zebra) not only does the song justice, but turns in an amazing solo performance. Remember, this song was originally recorded with swirling keyboards, guitars, bass and drums. (At end of our story is the original Zeppelin recording.)

The Story of Carouselambra

After the sudden death of Robert Plant’s five-year-old son Karac from a virus in 1977, touring came to an immediate halt and the band went on hiatus. Robert Plant distanced himself from his band mates.

After a long period of self-introspection, Plant decided he was ready to make music again. In December 1978, Led Zeppelin convened to make their final studio album, In Through The Out Door. Three weeks of recording time in Stockholm’s Polar Studios, owned by members of ABBA, were mainly consumed by bassist John Paul Jones and singer Robert Plant. The pair, who had never been the closest of friends, spent a lot of time together and ended up writing almost all of the music and lyrics for the album.

John Paul Jones told Zeppelin biographer Barney Hoskyns, “The band was splitting between people who could turn up at recording sessions on time and people who couldn’t,” Continue reading

Natural Beauty In Green-Wood Cemetery

Photographs Of Green-Wood Cemetery & Nature

Late autumn at Green-Wood Cemetery

Besides the tombstones, monuments and mausoleums in Green-Wood Cemetery there is an abundance of natural beauty.

These photographs were taken over the past few years. (click on any to enlarge.)Many of the plantings near the old monuments and obelisks are carefully cultivated.

Other bucolic views have developed naturally over 170 years.

William Williams elaborate Celtic cross is behind these flowers.

A lonely winter scene in which Stephen Whitney’s large mausoleum dominates the top of the hill.

Two roads converge here and a tree canopy forms a natural tunnel.

When the trees are in bloom, it is an amazing sight.

Many of the roadways are lined with trees like this.

A setting fit for eternity. Continue reading

Yankee Managery Aarony Booney Has A Namey Problemy

Aaron Boone Apparently Has A New Nickname for Every Yankee & It Ends With a “Y”

One of the worst innovations in baseball telecasts has been the managers interview in the dugout during the game.

Without fail the meaningless banter yields no insight and distracts viewers from the game itself.

Listening to new Yankee manager Aaron Boone during spring training, has been especially annoying. In about eight interviews I’ve heard with Skipper Boone, nearly every Yankee has been renamed by placing a “Y” sound at the end of their first or last name. Not being in the Yankees clubhouse I cannot be certain that the Yankees don”t rechristen themselves as Boone has done, but I somehow doubt it.

So during the MLB, YES or ESPN broadcast interviews this spring, Boone sounds more like a schoolboy, than a major league manager.

When Boone is referring to Aaron Judge, he is “Judgey.” Brett Gardner has become “Gardy.” Aroldis Chapman is “Chappy.” Greg Bird is “Birdy.”  Aaron Hicks has become “Hicksy.” Chad Green is “Greeny.”

Jordan Montgomery is now the British expeditionary leader of WWII, “Monty.” Like our 40th president Ronald Torryes is “Ronnie.” Chasen Shreve is “Shrevey” which sounds like something akin to a short pervert. Jacoby Ellsbury who could have remained Jacoby or Ellsbury, is not a cow, but must represent Borden milk, as he has become “Elsie.”. Continue reading

Players Who Could Wallop A Baseball & Rarely Struck Out

Sluggers With Discriminating Eyes

Players With 25 or More Home Runs In A Season & Fewer Strikeouts Than Home Runs

Johnny Mize hit the most home runs in a season, having more homers (51) than strikeouts (42)

As baseball commentators rave about all the power hitters with their prodigious home run numbers, few broadcasters and writers will allude to the obscene strikeout totals put up by these same power hitters.

Not that most players are capable of hitting a lot of home runs and avoiding striking out, but the great players of the past could.

This list from baseball-reference.com shows the top 37 players with more home runs than strikeouts in a season. Any number in bold means the player led the league in that category.

Rk Player HR SO Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Johnny Mize 51 42 1947 34 NYG 154 664 586 137 177 26 2 138 74 .302 .384 .614 .998 *3
2 Ted Kluszewski 49 35 1954 29 CIN 149 659 573 104 187 28 3 141 78 .326 .407 .642 1.049 *3
3 Lou Gehrig 49 46 1936 33 NYY 155 719 579 167 205 37 7 152 130 .354 .478 .696 1.174 *3
4 Lou Gehrig 49 31 1934 31 NYY 154 690 579 128 210 40 6 165 109 .363 .465 .706 1.172 *3/6
5 Ted Kluszewski 47 40 1955 30 CIN 153 686 612 116 192 25 0 113 66 .314 .382 .585 .967 *3
6 Joe DiMaggio 46 37 1937 22 NYY 151 692 621 151 215 35 15 167 64 .346 .412 .673 1.085 *8
7 Barry Bonds 45 41 2004 39 SFG 147 617 373 129 135 27 3 101 232 .362 .609 .812 1.422 *7/D
8 Mel Ott 42 38 1929 20 NYG 150 674 545 138 179 37 2 151 113 .328 .449 .635 1.084 *9/4
9 Ted Kluszewski 40 34 1953 28 CIN 149 629 570 97 180 25 0 108 55 .316 .380 .570 .950 *3
10 Johnny Mize 40 37 1948 35 NYG 152 658 560 110 162 26 4 125 94 .289 .395 .564 .959 *3
11 Joe DiMaggio 39 30 1948 33 NYY 153 669 594 110 190 26 11 155 67 .320 .396 .598 .994 *8
12 Stan Musial 39 34 1948 27 STL 155 694 611 135 230 46 18 131 79 .376 .450 .702 1.152 987/3
13 Ken Williams 39 31 1922 32 SLB 153 678 585 128 194 34 11 155 74 .332 .413 .627 1.040 *78
14 Ted Williams 37 27 1941 22 BOS 143 606 456 135 185 33 3 120 147 .406 .553 .735 1.287 *7/9
15 Andy Pafko 36 32 1950 29 CHC 146 595 514 95 156 24 8 92 69 .304 .397 .591 .989 *8/9
16 Willard Marshall 36 30 1947 26 NYG 155 656 587 102 171 19 6 107 67 .291 .366 .528 .894 *9
17 Al Simmons 36 34 1930 28 PHA 138 611 554 152 211 41 16 165 39 .381 .423 .708 1.130 *7/8
18 Ted Kluszewski 35 31 1956 31 CIN 138 574 517 91 156 14 1 102 49 .302 .362 .536 .898 *3
19 Joe DiMaggio 32 21 1938 23 NYY 145 660 599 129 194 32 13 140 59 .324 .386 .581 .967 *8
20 Lefty O’Doul 32 19 1929 32 PHI 154 731 638 152 254 35 6 122 76 .398 .465 .622 1.087 *79
21 Joe DiMaggio 31 30 1940 25 NYY 132 572 508 93 179 28 9 133 61 .352 .425 .626 1.051 *8
22 Yogi Berra 30 29 1956 31 NYY 140 597 521 93 155 29 2 105 65 .298 .378 .534 .911 *2/7
23 Yogi Berra 30 24 1952 27 NYY 142 605 534 97 146 17 1 98 66 .273 .358 .478 .835 *2
24 Joe DiMaggio 30 13 1941 26 NYY 139 621 541 122 193 43 11 125 76 .357 .440 .643 1.083 *8
25 Joe DiMaggio 30 20 1939 24 NYY 120 524 462 108 176 32 6 126 52 .381 .448 .671 1.119 *8
26 Bill Dickey 29 22 1937 30 NYY 140 608 530 87 176 35 2 133 73 .332 .417 .570 .987 *2
27 Ted Williams 28 24 1955 36 BOS 98 417 320 77 114 21 3 83 91 .356 .496 .703 1.200 *7
28 Yogi Berra 28 12 1950 25 NYY 151 656 597 116 192 30 6 124 55 .322 .383 .533 .915 *2
29 Ted Williams 28 21 1950 31 BOS 89 416 334 82 106 24 1 97 82 .317 .452 .647 1.099 *7
30 Tommy Holmes 28 9 1945 28 BSN 154 713 636 125 224 47 6 117 70 .352 .420 .577 .997 *97/8
31 Bill Terry 28 23 1932 33 NYG 154 677 643 124 225 42 11 117 32 .350 .382 .580 .962 *3
32 Yogi Berra 27 20 1955 30 NYY 147 615 541 84 147 20 3 108 60 .272 .349 .470 .819 *2
33 Yogi Berra 27 20 1951 26 NYY 141 594 547 92 161 19 4 88 44 .294 .350 .492 .842 *2
34 Bill Dickey 27 22 1938 31 NYY 132 532 454 84 142 27 4 115 75 .313 .412 .568 .981 *2
35 Johnny Mize 25 24 1950 37 NYY 90 305 274 43 76 12 0 72 29 .277 .351 .595 .946 *3
36 Joe DiMaggio 25 24 1946 31 NYY 132 567 503 81 146 20 8 95 59 .290 .367 .511 .878 *8/7
37 Ken Williams 25 14 1925 35 SLB 102 462 411 83 136 31 5 105 37 .331 .390 .613 1.003 *7

It’s a rarity today to find players with a great batting eye and good power like, Joey Votto. Continue reading

How To Choose A Mistress – In The “Politically Incorrect” 1960s

A 1960s Magazine Article on How To Choose A Mistress

In the article, “The Art of Selecting a Mistress” it is pointed out right at the beginning, “Love has nothing to do with it says this expert. You pick her like a car – for performance.”

Here is the quiz you are supposed to take before reading the article:

  1. The perfect mistress is:
    17 years of age (a)
    21 years of age (b)
    26 years of age (c)
    40 Years of age (d)
    75 years of age (e)
  2. The perfect mistress is (a) married (b) single (c) divorced
  3.  The perfect mistress is (a) in love with you (b) fond of you (c) crazy about herself
  4. The perfect mistress is (a) a working girl (b) well fixed (c) a working girl who needs a protector
  5. The perfect mistress is (a) intelligent (b) stupid (c) indifferent
  6. The perfect mistress is (a) owner of her own car (b) prefers cabs (c) likes men with expensive cars

A great number of topics written about in the 1960s would almost certainly be considered politically incorrect today. For many people, Selecting a Mistress from Monsieur Magazine by Mel Bennett would fall into that P.I. class.

Monsieur was a nudie titillation magazine published from 1957 through the mid- 1960s which  was several notches below Playboy in literary quality. Monsieur’s typical articles such as “Manhattan – Island of Sex Starved Men”, “Women Love To Be Unfaithful”, “Girl-Pinching Goes International” and “Making a Dame on A Plane” was not meant to attract many female readers.

 

While the answers to the quiz are on page 71 of Monsieur, unfortunately we can’t provide them.

The article image is from the New York Historical Society. As the Historical Society points out about this donated collection: “While not your standard scholarly fare, the Harvey Rosen and El Borracho Collection provides valuable insights into the supper club scene in New York as well as the decidedly un-feminist perception of women that characterized this era.”