Chin up, everyone!
“Annie” opened in the gloom of the Carter Presidency and the Watergate hangover, and it’s hit ballad, “Tomorrow,” sung by a relentlessly optimistic orphan with her scruffy dog at her side, , became a sensation until everyone got sick of it.
Unlike so many child phenoms, there was a bright tomorrow for the original Annie, Andrea McArdle, the 12-year-old with the freakish belt. She never made the leap to movies, but she has had a steller stage career that’s still going strong, aided by the fact that puberty was good to her, and her voice mellowed without losing its clarion strength.
After “Annie,” McArdlehad starring roles on Broadway in “Starlight Express,” “Les Miz,” “State Fair,” and as Belle in “Beauty and The Beast.” For the last 20 years she’s continuously starred in regional production and tours, national and international, of such shows as “Cabaret,””Gypsy” (as Mama Rose), “Mame” and “Hello Dolly,” and several times in “Annie,” though now, in middle age, she plays the little girl-hating comic villain, Miss Hannigan (third photo, first row).
But she can belt out “Tomorrow”…as should we all.
1. Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck update:
- Apparently the memo has gone out to the mainstream media that highlighting the George Floyd Freakout/Black Lives Matter mob’s anti-America rampage isn’t helping the cause of getting rid of President Trump. Thus it’s back to fear-mongering about the pandemic. Sunday’s Times was filled with giant, scary maps with big red blotches, and the headline was “Virus Inundates Texas, Fed by Abiding Mistrust of Government Orders.” The only non-editorial content in that headline is “Texas.” Further down on page one, another headline about a story that literally has nothing to do with the virus begins, “As Virus Rages…”
In contrast, there was no mention of how protesters danced on the American flag and chanted “America was never great!” during D.C.’s Fourth of July celebration, or how D.C.’s BLM flack mayor Muriel Bowser allowed the mob to block traffic returning to Virginia after the fireworks.
- When I saw this story last night, I predicted that it would receive far more publicity than the death of a relatively little known 41-year-old Broadway actor normally would warrant. The reason is that Nick Codero died from a series horrific complications after being infected–a series of strokes, heart failure, lung failure, the necessary amputation of his leg.
The severity of his reaction without having any underlying conditions is obviously an anomaly, but I see on my Facebook feed that friends are already hyping it to argue that America should remain in lockdown until everyone is living on the dole and wearing rags.
- It’s not going to work now. People are right not to trust “government orders,” since the states and cities have abused their power with arbitrary restrictions and inconsistent enforcement, made fatal miscalculations (like Gov. Cuomo’s dumping of infected seniors in nursing homes), and the waffling CDC, including Dr. Fauci, has no credibility at all. (Rand Paul’s criticism of Fauci in the Senate hearing last week was fair and appropriate.) Major League Baseball, having committed to the season starting this month, is noting infections among players, getting them quarantined, and moving forward, in contrast to the NBA cancelling its season after a couple of infections in the Spring.
Good. Play Ball!
- An article authored by an immunologist and published in the Swiss magazine Weltwoche (World Week) on June 10th begins,
I feel it is time to criticise some of the main and completely wrong public statements about this virus. Firstly, it was wrong to claim that this virus was novel. Secondly, It was even more wrong to claim that the population would not already have some immunity against this virus. Thirdly, it was the crowning of stupidity to claim that someone could have Covid-19 without any symptoms at all or even to pass the disease along without showing any symptoms whatsoever.
- Why anyone would trust health professionals after they endorsed mass protesting after the death of George Floyd to show their wonderful wokeness is a mystery. I’ll know I’ll never trust them again.
2. Speaking of baseball, I’ll be speaking about baseball in a two-hour Zoom presentation for the Smithsonian Associates on July 20, on baseball and the American culture. It’s only $35 for non-members—no, I do not get a cut, just an honorarium—and you can sign up here. I just updated the promo text, which will soon read in part,
After being delayed and jeopardized by the coronavirus, the 2020 Major league Baseball season is finally beginning on July 23, and it couldn’t arrive at a better time. This is the perfect program to help you get ready for it, and for fans and non-fans alike to appreciate more than ever before the sport that has profoundly affected every aspect of American life.
It’s going to be a weird kind of season for sure, with only 60 games and some unique rules, but as the sport has shown so many times since it took root in the 19th century, baseball has the power to bring Americans together …as it did during the Great Depression, as it did during the Second World War (even though it meant using players like Pete Gray, the one armed outfielder). Baseball has been at the center of American society’s battle with corruption, the drug culture (when a pitcher threw a no-hitter on LSD) labor relations, and law. Most significantly of all, baseball played a leading role in the integration of American society, thanks to a heroic athlete, Jackie Robinson, who knew he would only be successful if he were not merely good but great. More recently, a scandal involving technology-based sign stealing focused the national debate about complex ethical and legal issues that reach far beyond baseball.
Baseball has been a catalyst for less weighty developments in the culture too, for no sport has had as strong an influence on our legends, folklore, mores and entertainment than the National Pastime. It inspired one of our most familiar songs and its greatest comedy routine. It dominates the field of inspiring sports movies; and has added metaphors and expressions to our language that have become part of the American creed. Baseball has given us icons, heroes, villains, and eccentrics, a U.S. Senator and the TV star of “The Rifleman.” Most of all, it has given us stories, shocking, funny, inspiring, and tragic, and we guarantee you haven’t heard all of the best ones.