THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH:

All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.



Thursday, December 19, 2013

‘THANK YOU VERY MUCH, LAGUNITAS!’ (Or, ‘PRODUCT REVIEWS: 2013 CHRISTMAS EDITION - SCROOGE SUCKS’)


.
It was in December, probably 1988. I was at work in one of the offices of UCLA’s Parking Department, when two of my best friends there, Lonnie and The Countess, broke out in song. They began singing...

Thank you very much, thank you very much!
That’s the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me...

When the singing finally came to an end, I asked them, “Where did you hear that song?” Their mouths hung open for a minute or two and they looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.

And then at once they both shouted (as if I were hard of hearing because of the lobsters)... SCROOGE!”

And that’s how I first learned there was a 1970 movie musical called ‘SCROOGE’, based on Dickens’ famous ‘A Christmas Carol’. Yes, ‘SCROOGE’ is a musical.
.
.
How good is this movie? Well, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and ‘Scrooge’ are both on my Top Ten Favorite Movies list. No, NO, NO! I do not mean ‘Top Ten Favorite Christmas Movies’ list. I mean Top Ten list PERIOD!

In fact, I’m not sure which of those Christmas movies I love most. It pretty much depends upon which one I’m watching at the moment.

The other night Brother Nappy and I watched ‘Scrooge’ again and at the conclusion I asked him, “Which is better, ‘Scrooge’ or ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’?” He answered: “It’s a tie”.

‘SCROOGE’ stars Albert Finney and was filmed in England with an all Great Britain cast. For those who know anything at all about acting, that means the acting is way, Way, WAY better’n what you will find in most American movies!

The direction is fantabulous, the sets are spectacular, the cinematography is delicious, and the music is so addictive it should be considered a controlled substance. For such an old movie, even the special effects are still pretty good.

Two of my all-time favorite quotations come from the movie ‘SCROOGE’:

Mankind should be our business, but we seldom attend to it.
~ Jacob Marley

There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish; the thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember, …time is short, and suddenly you're not there anymore.
~ The Ghost Of Christmas Present

I have only one negative remark to make about ‘SCROOGE’: There is one song in the score sung by Tiny Tim, ‘The Beautiful Day’, that is so high-pitched, so stepped-on-a-cat’s-tail awful that I fast-forward through it every time. In fact, Nappy and I now consider fast-forwarding through Tiny Tim’s song to be a Christmas tradition.

There’s a part in ‘SCROOGE’ where - in anticipation of the second ghost’s appearance, and temporarily feeling bold and brave – Ebenezer yells out, “I’m ready for you!”

Well, last year, just as Tiny Tim’s dreadful song was about to be sung, I raised the DVD gizmo, my finger on the fast-forward button, and I yelled out, “I’m ready for you, Tiny Tim!” Nappy and I both laughed. Yeah, you can make a “Christmas tradition” out of just about anything.

If you’re having trouble finding “The Christmas Spirit” this year, then you needs to watch ‘SCROOGE’.

Below is a scene from the movie when The Ghost Of Christmas Future shows Ebenezer Scrooge a Christmas where everyone is happy. What Scrooge doesn’t realize is that his death has released the people from their monetary debt to him, and so his demise is the cause for all the joy. [Click the URL LINK to see the scene better at YouTube. Then click on back here ‘cause I ain’t done wid ya yet.]

SCROOGE 1970 Version
Song - "Thank You Very Much"



If you’re now planning to watch ‘SCROOGE’, you may want “a glass of cheer” to drink with the movie, right?

Some of you may recall the BLIND BEER TASTE TESTS that Brother Nappy and I conducted early last year. The final four brews standing were Lagunitas ‘Little Sumpin’ Ale’, Four Peaks ‘Hop Knot’, ‘Odell Red Ale’, and ‘Big Sky I.P.A.’ In Test #17, ‘Little Sumpin’ Ale’ scored 36 points – the most ever – and beat ‘Hop Knot’ by a single point. Just prior to that, ‘Big Sky IPA’ had beaten ‘Odell Red Ale’ 34 to 33.

So Lagunitas ‘Little Sumpin’ Ale’ faced off against ‘Big Sky IPA’ for the championship and the winner was ‘BIG SKY I.P.A.’ (out of Montana) which tied the record for most points ever scored, winning 36 to 33.
.
The night before last, Nappy and I conducted another ‘BLIND BEER TASTE TEST’, putting the (seasonal) challenger LagunitasSUCKS up against the champion, BIG SKY IPA. Ordinarily, I would not allow a challenger to face the champion without first proving itself by beating lesser beers, but ‘SUCKS’ had achieved near “legendary” status after I’d had it so many times at ‘The Main Ingredient’ ale house and café in Phoenix.

Well, the Battle was exactly what one would expect when two big dogs have it out! Both beers scored tons of points (as any great beer would) and this “Battle Of Titans” was one for the record book (literally). ‘Big Sky IPA’ again scored a whopping 36 points in the 2-round ‘Blind Beer Taste Test’. It went like this...

BIG SKY BREWING CO., ‘BIG SKY IPA
Nappy:
Round 1 = A-. Round 2 = A-
Stephen:
Round 1 = A-. Round 2 = A-
Total =  36 points

LAGUNITAS BREWING CO., ‘Lagunitas SUCKS
Nappy:
Round 1 = A. Round 2 = A
Stephen:
Round 1 = A. Round 2 = A-
Total = 39 points

Yes, ‘Lagunitas SUCKS’ toppled the champion - the first beer ever to beat ‘Big Sky IPA’ in one of our collective taste testing endeavors. And ‘SUCKS’ also set a new record, an all-time high point total of 39 in the process of besting ‘Big Sky’ by not one, not two, but by three points!

Afterwards, Nappy said, “Well, if ‘Big Sky’ had to lose, I’m glad it was a Lagunitas beer that beat him, because I like Lagunitas Brewing Company”. I felt the same way.

Meet the new champion:
.
.
We intend to give ‘Big Sky IPA’ a rematch against ‘Sucks’ in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned here.

Also, in the next couple of days I will publish my last blog bit before Christmas – my very favorite version of the great song O HOLY NIGHT - so please be watching for that as well.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
.

8 comments:

  1. ‘SCROOGE’ stars Albert Finney and was filmed in England with an all Great Britain cast. For those who know anything at all about acting, that means the acting is way, Way, WAY better’n what you will find in most American movies!

    Excuse me, are you saying that Sir Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Sylvester "Ehhhh" Stallone are NOT of the same acting caliber as Albert Finney and Alec Guinness? I think a little gem called Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot begs to differ.

    There is one song in the score sung by Tiny Tim, ‘The Beautiful Day’, that is so high-pitched, so stepped-on-a-cat’s-tail awful that I fast-forward through it every time.

    It took me a moment to realize you were talking about the movie character and not Herbert Khaury aka "Tip-Toe Through the Tulips" Tiny Tim, of which that description could pretty much describe him as well.

    So I actually haven't seen this movie. Put this on my list of movies to see before Christmas. I also (which is probably the cardinal sin of movies) never seen It's A Wonderful Life. I know, I know, what kind of awful human being am I? I'm not even opposed, I just never got around to seeing it.

    Also, I'm not surprised that Sucks beat Big Sky, but that's just my own taste preference. I eagerly await my own Hop Knot vs Sucks battle, and come to think of it, I may just throw Big Sky in there. Why the hell not? May score higher than I thought it did.

    Hoping your CHRISTmas Contraband finds you well and possibly inebriated. MacCATver got your Christmas card yesterday night, and she appreciates it so much that she somehow managed to hang it on the fridge like the crafty, no-thumbed animal that she is.

    ~6B (If I get any more Bs I'm going to be reliving high school)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SIX-PACK ~

      Really? Wow! That's pretty impressive. My parents would have killed to have a son getting six Bs. I always felt I'd accomplished something monumental when my report card contained six Cs.

      But then what the hell did the adults expect when they built a high school about three blocks from the beach?

      Hmmm... Let's see now... should I spend the next hour in class? Or should I walk ten minutes West, to the beach? That's a tough math question!

      >>... Excuse me, are you saying that Sir Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Sylvester "Ehhhh" Stallone are NOT of the same acting caliber as Albert Finney and Alec Guinness?

      Is that a TRICK question?
      Wait! Let me dig out my calculator.

      >>... It took me a moment to realize you were talking about the movie character and not Herbert Khaury aka "Tip-Toe Through the Tulips" Tiny Tim, of which that description could pretty much describe him as well.

      Careful, careful! I am a Tiny Tim (Herbert Khaury) fan. No joking! And you are on the verge of being stripped of a B, General! (In fact, if the 'BOTB' lasts long enough, you may find Tiny Tim making an appearance in one of my Battles. No joking!)

      >>... I also (which is probably the cardinal sin of movies) never seen It's A Wonderful Life. I know, I know, what kind of awful human being am I?

      Well, my deepest suspicion has now been confirmed. Like Barack Obama, you must be a communist! I wanna see your birth certificate, Bryan!

      >>... I may just throw Big Sky in there. Why the hell not? May score higher than I thought it did.

      It takes a Blind Beer Taste Test to reveal the fact that 'Big Sky' is far better than most beer fans think.

      I would say, use it against others you like first (don't start with 'Sucks') and be surprised how it actually beats other beers that you presently THINK are better than 'Big Sky'. After you have established that the underdog is really a true champion, then you can try it against 'Sucks'.

      And, by the way, I realize now that I was less than half as appreciative as I should have been. So let me add...

      thank you, thank you, thank you
      thank you, thank you, thank you and...

      thank you!

      I tried the CO. Native last night, and it might well have been the best lager I've ever had.

      I won't crack anything else during my 4-day work week, but 'Hoppy Boy' and I are going to meet each other on Christmas Eve. Merry CHRISTmas to me!

      >>... MacCATver got your Christmas card yesterday night...

      It wasn't my first design idea, but I had to go with Plan "B" when I couldn't locate the photo I really wanted to use (an oil painting of Canta Slaus I made when I was really young).

      I'm surprised MacCATver didn't somehow turn that card into a 5-thousand light Christmas display that turns into a roast beef sandwich and a bottle of 'SUCKS' at midnight. She must be losing her touch.

      ~ Stephen

      Delete
  2. I can't believe that I haven't seen this movie either. Am I living under a rock???? Don't answer that.

    Anyway, I will add it to my Must Watch list and brake for Tiny Tim. Hahahaha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A good decision, ROBIN.

      There are only two things I ever brake for:
      Tiny Tim and Pink Elephants.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  3. Don't feel too bad, Robin. I don't think I've seen this version of "Scrooge" either, and I've been around (ahem) a few years longer than you have.

    I HAVE seen the version called "Scrooged", though, and it has some real laugh-out-loud moments in it. Kind of a campy version.

    A very Merry Christmas to you, Mr. McC. I'll seeya next year, but I will try to stop by sometime to see which version of "O Holy Night" you post. That's one of my favorite songs. Not Christmas songs... songs, period. (Kinda like you and the movies.) Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SUSAN ~
      A Merry CHRISTmas to you, too!

      I've never seen 'Scrooged'.
      I may have to put that on my NetFlix list.

      I would love for you to return for 'O Holy Night'. This particular version can give me goosebumps. (Although my guess is that you may have heard it before.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  4. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for posting this and reminding me about this movie. I love it, although I admit I didn't know it existed until you recommended it a year or two ago. I hope there is still time to get a copy and watch it one more time before Christmas.

    As for the Lagunitas and Sucks, No thank you very much. I'm glad you're enjoying it so much, but make mine or very nice wine or a G & T (Bombay please!) Ha,ha,ha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FAE ~
      I probably should have posted this blog bit a week ago, but I am further behind on EVERYTHING this Christmas than I have ever been before.

      Well, certainly G&T and wine are also fine.
      'Bombay', however? Usually a little too pricey for my economic neighborhood. I generally ask for the 'ACME' gin when I wants gin. And I ask for the 'Thunderbird' when I wants a fine wine.

      But to each the spirit of their choosing (and price range), eh?

      And now... it's off to work I go!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete

--> NOTE: COMMENT MODERATION IS ACTIVATED. <--
All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted and responded to as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.