The Spigot: Goodbye to Kitty Wells and hello to death spiral ice cream
The bodies keep piling up. William Asher was hardly a household name, but his résumé is a picture of American pop culture in one of its brightest eras. Asher produced and directed The Patty Duke Show and Bewitched, and he directed episodes of I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, Gidget, Alice, and The Dukes of Hazzard, plus obscure but fondly remembered (by some of us) flops like The Paul Lynde Show and The Bad News Bears TV series.
He also made a bunch of Frankie Avalon–Annette Funicello beach movies for American International Pictures, and as an authority on these matters, we can confidently state that Asher’s efforts (How to Stuff a Wild Bikini among them) always had more zip than the rest. His 1982 horror film Night Warning, starring the great Susan Tyrell—who died last month—is another small gem that needs to be rediscovered.
It’s also goodbye to Kitty Wells, whose 1952 country hit “Honky Tonk Angels” is described in her New York Times obituary as a “protofeminist anthem”. It’s nice that the Grey Lady still gets it right once in a while. “Honky Tonk Angels” was such an unstoppable force that the Grand Ole Opry had to reverse its ban on the song while the dumb crackers who ran the Nashville music industry finally realized that women could sing too.
In her own modest way, the very classy Ms. Wells helped chip away at the barrier between the '50s and the '60s. It’d be easy to leave it at that and get lost in reverie at this point, but sinister forces are busier than ever reversing all those gains we've made, and the Spigot never sleeps (really, it takes about five melatonins to put us down).
In this hair-raising clip, author Richard Duncan calmly describes the evaporating membrane between you, me, and the New Depression. It’s pretty raw for CNBC. Their job is to put you to sleep, or at least deliver the end-of-the-world news in a digestible and calorie-free form of electronic soma that you can forget about 30 seconds later. Yet here they are talking about the “debt deflation death spiral”, and no, that’s not some new flavour that Ben & Jerry’s is rolling out for the Big Collapse. Although now that I think of it…
You can follow Adrian Mack's contribution to the lobotomizing techno-nightmare known as Twitter at @AdrianMacked.