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Filtering by Tag: Washington Post

Trump's "A Salute to America" is just a lame reboot of 1970's "Honor America Day."

Chris Klimek

A dollar well spent.

A dollar well spent.

I’ve bought an embarrassing number of weird old records over the last several years, some of them priced considerably higher than the $1 I dropped on Proudly They Came… to Honor America. The double LP was a memento from "Honor America Day," a 1970 Independence Day observance organized by President Nixon's inaugural committee chair.

I'd never heard of that event until I found this record, but when I read up on it, mostly in Kevin J. Kruse's 2015 book One Nation Under God, it struck me as similar in intention to the self-aggrandizing “Salute to America” that President Trump has announced for this Thursday, but far less dire and militaristic. I wrote about all this for the Washington Post. .

WaPo Book Review: One Lucky Bastard: Tales from Tinseltown

Chris Klimek

"Passion without pressure" is how Roger Moore describes the kissing technique he says in his (second) memoir that Lana Turner taught him in 1956, a century or so before he replaced Sean Connery as 007. Gross. This poor girl. Gross.

"Passion without pressure" is how Roger Moore describes the kissing technique he says in his (second) memoir that Lana Turner taught him in 1956, a century or so before he replaced Sean Connery as 007. Gross. This poor girl. Gross.

Roger Moore was 45 when he made his first debut as James Bond ­ -- older than Sean Connery, who’d played the role in five films before he got fed up and abdicated, then was coaxed back and quit a second time – and approximately 110 by the last the last of his seven appearances as 007 12 years later. On the DVD extras for Live and Let Die, his 1973 debut as the superspy he and no one else refers to as “Jimmy” Bond, Moore tellingly bemoans the “30 minutes of daily swimming” he endured to develop the not-particularly-athletic physique he displays in the movie. In the three Bonds he made in the 80s, he rarely looked hale enough to survive a tryst with one of his decades-younger leading ladies, much less a dustup with punch-pulling henchpersons like Tee Hee or Jaws or May Day.

Such was the strength of the Bond brand: Audiences would buy that this guy, who looked and acted like the world’s most condescending game show host, was an elite assassin, as long as he looked good in a tuxedo. Which just happened to be Moore’s primary, not to say only, skill.


To his credit, Moore was aware of his limitations in the part, and in general. This ingrained self-deprecation is present even in the title of his new, low-impact memoir, One Lucky Bastard (which I review in Sunday's Washington Post), wherein Mr. I Hate Swimming, sorry, that’s Sir I Hate Swimming, now, allows that current Bond Daniel Craig -- the most chiseled man to play the part, in concordance with our unforgiving expectations of 21st-century action heroes, but also the best actor, too -- “ looks as though he could actually kill, whereas I just hugged or bored them to death.”

One thing I loved about writing this review is that it meant my best gal Rachel Manteuffel and I were both trying to get references to cunnilingus through the Post's Standards & Practices Dept. at the same time. You'll have to wait another week to read her story, but see to it that you do. It's funny and insightful and honest, like everything she writes, and very, very sexy.

WaPo book review: Easy Street (The Hard Way)

Chris Klimek

My review of Ron Perlman's autobiography Easy Street (The Hard Way) is in the Arts/Style section of this Sunday's Washington Post. But you can read it now

Perlman's frequent deployment of the phrase, "Any muthafucka but this muthafucka!" really endeared him to me. I've always liked him as an actor, though. I watched Beauty and the Beast when I was a kid because I had a crush on Linda Hamilton stemming from The Terminator, of course.

WaPo book review: Without Frontiers: The Life and Music of Peter Gabriel

Chris Klimek

I was pleased when Ron Charles, the Washington Post's book critic and one the Style section's very best writers, reached out to ask if I'd like to review a trio of upcoming auto/biographies -- that's two autobios, one bio -- by artists. The first of those, in RE: Daryl Easlea's new biography of prog-rock provocateur-turned-adult-rock-minimalist Peter Gabriel, is the Sunday Arts section and online now.

Writing it last weekend inspired me to play some Gabriel albums for the first time in many, many years. Easlea repeats the conventional wisdom about how Gabriel's last album to have any notable chart impact, 1992's Us, was the denser, more difficult follow-up to his five-million-selling So. I loved Us when I was in high school, which gives you a hint what kind of 16-year-old I was. Most of it still sounds good to me.

The Little St. Nick Lowe, or (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Boughs of Holly?

Chris Klimek

Nick Lowe tells me he "was sort of snobby" initially when his label approached him about doing a Christmas album.

My interest in Christmas music could not be called casual, and I've long admired the songwriting of Nick Lowe, the onetime Jesus of Cool. So his first -- and probably last, but who can say? -- holiday album, Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family, is pitched squarely at me. I talked to him about it for Sunday's Washington Post. 

It's my first Post byline in a good while. Nice to be back.

My Life as a Getty Image

Chris Klimek

I wish I'd taken my socks off before the photographer got there.

I wish I'd taken my socks off before the photographer got there.

Great Scott! I like attention as much as anybody but I do wish that one of the roughly 170 pieces I wrote for the Washington Post between 2006 and 2012 had generated a response like this photo did when it ran on the Post site yesterday. Here I am in uniform (though the cargo shots are not exactly regulation, as has been observed) as Neptune, Roman god of the sea, one-eighth of a clue in the 2013 Post Hunt.

"Earth" was the answer to the riddle the eight of us embodied. The 12,000-plus (says the Post) participants who showed up were instructed, via a sandwich-board sign, to FIND WHAT'S MISSING. A lovely girl from the Post's investigations team named Amy was dressed at the sun, in bright yellow shorts and a top, along with clown-sized yellow sunglasses, and seated in a plastic chair near the western boundary of Pershing Park. One at a time, the rest of us walked -- or stumbled over our diving flippers -- into the crowd to do an "orbit" around her.

Mercury - A fellow dressed as a thermometer, with a giant red sphere suspended via lots of tape over his crotch. I kept thinking of the codpieces worn by Alex and his droogs in A Clockwork Orange.

Venus - My dear pal Liz, wrapped in a sheet, arms tucked inside her T-shirt to approximate the Venus de Milo. Which Liz, with her sense of serene entitlement, already does anyway. Which means we probably didn't need to cover her face with toxic white paint to sell the illusion, but I'm glad I got to do that nonetheless.

Mars - Roman god of war, as indicated by his plastic helmet, chest-plate and sword.

Jupiter - My buddy Derek, wearing a pink yarmulke and brown trousers, and exclaiming "Oy vey!" with a decidedly un-semitic fervor each time he missed a (pretend) golf shot with his (real) putter. A Jew-putter, do you see?

Look, you: The guys who wrote this puzzle, Dave Barry, Tom Schroder and Gene Weingarten, have at least three Pulizers among them. What do you want me to say? Derek also MacGuyvered together the box-top and tree-branch trident I carry in the photo after the prop promised by Post Hunt organizers failed to materialize.

Saturn - My friend Alexis, who blew both hips out hula-hooping around the square all afternoon to depict the rings of Saturn. She'll never walk again. The Washington Post Company thanks her for her efforts and reminds her she is an independent contractor.

Uranus - Annie Mueller, long-suffering housemate of my friend Rachel, who roped all of us into this, wearing a gigantic, strap-on butt with backpack straps.

Neptune - Hi! My Getty image is now available in a variety of sizes, formats and licensing options.

Prices start at Really?! and go as high as You Must Be Fucking Kidding Me. I am entitled to a royalty of 0.00% of all sales, so please give generously. My eyes are up here, by the way. Jerk.

There Is No Dignified Way to say "Christmas Unicorn": Sufjan Stevens at the 9:30 Club

Chris Klimek

My review of Sufjan Stevens' "Christmess Sing-a-Long" -- or to use its full, formal designation, the Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice -- at the 9:30 Club Saturday night appears  in today's Washington Post.

I'm a big admirer of Stevens' giddy, reverent, odd Christmas EPs, installments 6-10 of which have just been released in the Silver & Gold boxed set. I tried to talk to him for my yulemix essay that ran in the paper yesterday. I've used some of his songs on the mix every year. Alas, his label told me he isn't giving interviews. Humbug.

Twelve Songs of Christmas

Chris Klimek

I was asked to provide a sidebar for my Washington Post essay (in today's Sunday Style insert, with Helen Mirren on the cover, which actually came out Friday) about making my annual yulemix. We didn't have room for my brief rationales for choosing the Twelve Songs of Christmas that I did, so I'm posting it here. Bow your heads and tremble before the Twelve Songs of Christmas!

(Not the twelve songs, as if there could be such a thing. Merely a dozen yule-sides that ring my Christmas bell, presented chronologically.)

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