Thursday, June 5, 2008

Blast From The Past: Frank Mills, Pat Paulsen

After a string of strongly political postings, I like to lighten up a bit.I like to maintain threads of affinity that transcend political differences. Family, Jewish identity , even fondness of the English language create bonds beyond nationality and political ties. This is why I oppose politically motivated boycotts except in the most extreme circumstances. A feeling of common humanity that comes from shared pursuits can create an atmosphere where dialogue on "hot button" issues is more likely.
I was thinking about my favourite Canadian musical groups such as Leonard Cohen, The Fugs, Joni Mitchell and Vilain Pingouin. Frank Mills came to mind. He is most famous for "Music Box Dancer", which was a major hit in 1979. Someone actually put together a tribute to their cat with both "Music Box Dancer" and "Peter Piper" as a musical backdrop for some amazing cat photos. I have in my old age developed a fondness for cats. We have a cat that has adopted us and made a home in our back yard. It's nice to see life in forms other than human. I am putting up the You Tube link as well as the video so you can if you wish log into you tube and offer your condolences to the cat owner who posted the video.

Another memory from back in the late '60's is Pat Paulsen. (1927-1997) He was a satirical candidate for president who used to elicit laughter with a deadpan delivery of his social observations . He got his start on the Smother's Brothers Comedy hour and eventually actually ran for President a few times, garnering publicity and protest votes. The video at the bottom of this posting is a piece where Paulsen tells his life story. I am also including some Paulsen quotations for which he is fondly remembered.

All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian."

"Why should we tell kidnappers, murderers, and embezzlers their rights? If they don't know their rights, they shouldn't be in the business."

"A good many people feel that our present draft laws are unjust. These people are called soldiers."

When originally "denying" he was running, borrowing from General William Sherman in 1884: "I will not run if nominated, and if elected I will not serve."

Presidential Campaign Slogan: "I've upped my standards. Now, up yours."

Presidential Campaign Slogan: "If elected, I will win."

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself...and of course the boogieman."

"I am neither left wing nor right wing. I am middle-of-the-bird."

"Marijuana should be licensed and kept out of the hands of teenagers. It's too good for them."

When asked if he believed in the Right to bear arms: "No, I believe in the right to arm bears."

On network censorship: "I feel proud to be living in a country where people are not afraid to laugh at themselves and where political satire is tolerated by the government, if not the television network."

On network censorship: "Censorship does not interfere with the constitutional rights of every American to sit alone in a dark room in the nude and cuss. There are realistic taboos, especially regarding political comments. Our leaders were not elected to be tittered at. For example, we're allowed to say Ronald Reagan is a lousy actor, but we're not allowed to say he's a lousy governor-which is ridiculous. We know he's a good actor. And we're not allowed to make fun of President 'Johnston'. But if we praise him, who would believe it?"

On his political affiliation: "I belong to the Straight Talking American Government Party, or STAG Party for short."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for remembering Pat. You can visit him at

Noma Paulsen