Around the Block – This and That

Commentary…with a little News with a Twist

This – Pence & the 25th Amendment; That – Evita Trump


A friend emailed me yesterday saying, “I consider myself to be a somewhat rational person, but listening to Pence’s non-stop babbling and “fearless leader” bullshit on Meet the Press this morning literally brought me tears. 

My reply:

You watched? My TV automatically changes to any channel that the Three Stooges are on when Pence appears. And when Trump is on, the TV switches to a Marx Brothers’ movie, preferably “The Cocoanuts,” “Monkey Business,” or “At the Circus,” as those three most aptly describe our current situation.

Seriously, the only thing Pence is good for is invoking the 25th Amendment. And he won’t do that.

But imagine if he did:

“Thank you, Mr. President, for your incredible leadership during this and every other crisis you’ve either created or amplified. Words are not enough for me to express my sincere, heartfelt, wholehearted, profound, deep, genuine, unfeigned (wait, forget unfeigned…you don’t know what that means), unaffected, true, honest, bona fide (oops, there I go again), earnest, cordial, fervent, ardent and most importantly, devout appreciation of your astonishing, amazing, astounding, staggering, breathtaking, awe-inspiring, remarkable, phenomenal, mind-boggling power and command. You are truly a one of a kind and perhaps, the greatest president in the history of these United States. I would say more, but it’s getting very difficult to say anything when my head is stuck so firmly up your “tuchas” (using a word that your son-in-law would know). And, talking about your son-in-law, if I may, my leader, I cannot even begin to tell you how I appreciate his leadership of everything the administration has to do. His knowledge of science, world affairs, business, manufacturing, constitutional matters, I could go on, knows no bounds.

“Having said that, Mr. President, if you don’t mind, I think it might be good for you to take a little time-out, you know the kind of time-out like you tell little Barron to take when he dares to talk. Perhaps rest a bit and spend all your time on your reelection campaign and watching Fox. So with that in mind, I wanted to tell you that I’m thinking of invoking the 25th Amendment. I know you have no idea what the 25th Amendment is; the only Amendment you’ve ever talk about is the 2nd Amendment. But if I do invoke it, and it will only be temporarily, you’ll be able to take your own time-out, I’ll become president, and then after you’ve rested, had some time to read — oh, Mr. President, you know that last one was little “Pence humor,” got to smile once in a while, right? — you’ll come back just in time to beat the bejesus out of “Sleepy Joe.”

“Wait, what’s that you said, Mr. President? ‘You’re fired!’ C’mon, Mr. President, my fearless leader, my idol, my beloved hero, my man of the hour, my paladin (sugar, I can’t help myself) all of that about the 25th Amendment was a joke. I guess you didn’t see the grin on my face because it was, well you know where it was. Kidding, only kidding.

THAT: EVITA TRUMP (and I don’t mean Ivanka)

I took a walk today. My music of choice for the walk was Evita, the wonderful, breakthrough musical written by Andrew Lloyd Weber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics).

One of the differences between listening to music at home and when walking, particularly music from the theater, is that for the most part music listening at home is background to other activities; typically you’re doing other things while listening.

But when you’re walking, hearing the music and, importantly, the lyrics through the isolation of your headphones or ear buds, allows for an additional level of concentration.

And, with that added level of concentration, I stopped in my tracks when I got to the song from Evita called, “A New Argentina,” a song I’d listened to dozens of times before.

Here is an excerpt:

A new Argentina, the chains of the masses untied
A new Argentina, the voice of the people
Cannot be, and must not be denied

How annoying that they have to fight elections for their cause
The inconvenience, having to get a majority
If normal methods of persuasion fail to win them applause
There are other ways of establishing authority

Let’s parse those lyrics and place them into what is happening here and now, in real life.

“How annoying that they have to fight elections for their cause.” (“they” being Trumpsters)

“The inconvenience, having to get a majority if normal methods of persuasion fail to win them applause.”

“There are other ways of establishing authority.”

Yes, I literally stopped in my tracks.

Evita is fiction. Eva Peron, Juan Peron were not. Donald Trump is not.

Chilling! Or am I just an over-the-top alarmist?

Let me finish with this.

Elena Roger as Evita

The version of Evita I was listening to on my walk was the 2006 revival starring Elena Roger as Evita. Roger, in my opinion is the greatest Evita. No, she doesn’t have the elegance of Elaine Page, the original London Evita; nor the power and affectations of Patti LuPone, the first Broadway Evita; nor the personality of Madonna, the film Evita. But what Elena Roger, who is actually and finally Argentinian, brought to this Evita was the empathy, the Argentinian bones, that no one before had. And, at 32 when she recorded this version, Roger is closer to Eva Peron’s actual age than anyone who previously played the role. Quoting another song, “Eva Beware of the City,” Roger finally made true the lyrics “You are a woman, Not even a woman, not very much more than a child.”


Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

7 thoughts on “Around the Block – This and That

  1. Horse feathers is probably more apt, as well as the automatic retort to virtually anything coming out of Trump/Pence’s mouth, or from their minions.


      1. Don’t you hate when autocorrect comes up with a word that has absolutely nothing to do with they word you mistyped?

        So many Marx Bros. movies fit, so little space. But you’re right, Horse Feathers/Horsefeathers works.


  2. Here’s something of interest: The climax of the film )Horse Feathers), which ESPN listed as first in its “top 11 scenes in football movie history…” As it was #1, this is not particularly relevant, but do you know why ESPN picked 11 scenes? Had they just watched “This is Spinal Tap” when they made the list?


  3. Thanks Ted, this was very interesting and I had a moment like this today reading the Adventures of Narnia to Callum and Keona. There are some passages in it that describe exactly what is happening today. Aslan, the Lion King is telling the children that life will be fine in their world for a time but there will come up tyrents who will cause devestation, evil will abound. Sad



    1. It is interesting, indeed, how fiction and reality have merged. In this case, an unfortunate merge.

      We certainly have our tyrant in Trump, as the writers had their Perons, their Inspector Javerts and others. But if there’s any solace, in each of those cases, the bad guys were done away with. We need to ensure that in our case, with Trump, we do whatever needs to be done to remove him and his elected enablers. ¡Viva la Revolución! (politically, of course).


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