Mark Morford: Budweiser is now "America" - King of undrinkable swill (SF Gate)
Budweiser is the Walmart of beer. It is the 1992 Chevy Malibu of beer. It is the canned peas, the creepy uncle, the rusted-out Camaro in the front lawn. It is the shuttered storefront abandoned dreams suffocating college debt scared-of-everything $400 away from disaster ban all the Muslims of beers. It's also lethally boring, out of touch, and happily ignored by anyone under 40 who actually completed high school and has ever once tasted a microbrew or had sex or felt joy.
In 1968, this American guitarist, composer, and comedy writer won 3 Grammys ("Best Instrumental (theme) Composition", "Best Instrumental (theme) Performance", and "Best Instrumental Orchestra Arrangement") and an Emmy for his Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy. What is his name?
Mason Douglas Williams (born August 24, 1938) is an American guitarist and composer, best known for his instrumental "Classical Gas". He is also a comedy writer, known for his writing on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, andSaturday Night Live. He is also an eclectic poet and lyricist who has published several books.
"Classical Gas" was released as a single from The Mason Williams Phonograph Record in 1968. "Classical Gas" won three Grammys that year for "Best Instrumental (theme) Composition", "Best Instrumental (theme) Performance", and "Best Instrumental Orchestra Arrangement",
It was on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour that he created and perpetuated the 1968 "Pat Paulsen for President" campaign, an elaborate political satire. Williams also helped launch the career of entertainer Steve Martin. Martin was hired by Williams as a writer on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, for which his contributions were initially paid out of Williams' own pocket. In 1968, he won an Emmy Award for his work as a comedy writer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
The 'Classical Gas Video', as it has come to be known, started
out as a student film in 1963 entitled 'God is Dog Spelled Backwards", created
by UCLA film student Dan McLaughlin, who used Beethoven's 5th Symphony as the
After seeing the film in early 1968, Mason Williams approached
McLaughlin about replacing the music by with his composition, "Classical Gas".
The revamped music video was first shown on the Summer Brothers Smothers Show,
hosted by Glen Campbell in June, 1968, and then twice more throughout the year.
John I from Hawai`i was first and correct with:
Alan J wrote:
Lois Of Oregon said:
Arrgghh, that be none other than Mason Williams, fellow Oregonian, and master of all trades! I remember hearing "Classical Gas" way back when I was a mere lass, and thinking it a grand piece of music. Sorry, I'm a Pirate today.
this is a tough one...
I wondered about Roy Clark - but don't know if he wrote for Hee Haw or just played his guitar (brilliantly)
Then I wondered about...
I know he used to be a writer for the excellent Smothers Brothers
but maybe the answer would be Tommy Smothers?
I don't know for sure...
I don't have time today to look it all up, so I guess I'll just go with
Taking a WAG here: Pat Paulson (-sen?).
Otherwise I don't know.
Mason Douglas Williams
Jim from CA, retired to ID, said:
Dale of Diamond Springs, Norspringcali replied:
Mason Williams' "Classical Gas" was the tune and "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" was the Tubular delight. Where's Pat Paulson, now that we need him? Also, did anyone else out there besides me have the hots for Leigh French?
Billy in Cypress answered:
Coincidentally today, I was copying a bunch of old music CD's to my hard drive in order to create some custom ringtones for my phone. Classical Gas by Mason Williams was among those and I did not even need to look up the answer since there was only one worthwhile piece of music and performer that fit the timeline of the clues. Since the first time I heard it on the Smothers Brothers Show, it has been one of my all time favorite pieces of instrumental music (2nd behind Pachelbel's Canon).
DJ Useo responded:
Mason Williams, I say, hoping to break my streak of wrong answers.
Mason Williams ~ Best known for his instrumental "Classical Gas" and his writing for the Smothers Brothers.
Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End
My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.
CBS opens the night with a FRESH'Big Bang Theory', followed by a FRESH'The Gawd-Awful Odd Couple', then a FRESH'Mom', followed by a FRESH'2 Broke Girls', then a FRESH'Rush Hour'.
Scheduled on a FRESHStephen Colbert are Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Jessie Mueller, and Animal Collective.
Scheduled on a FRESHJames Corden, OBE, are Mindy Kaling, Gordon Ramsay, and Transviolet.
NBC begins the night with a FRESH'Strong', followed by a FRESH'The Blacklist', then a FRESH'Game Of Silence'.
Scheduled on a FRESHJimmy Fallon are Drake, Megyn Kelly, Meghan Trainor, and Emily Wells.
Scheduled on a FRESHSeth Meyers are Rachel Maddow, Judd Apatow, Joe Pera, and Eric Kretz.
Scheduled on a FRESHCarson 'The Scab' Daly are Anna Chlumsky, Gems, and David Kwong.
ABC starts the night with a FRESH'Grey's Anatomy', followed by a FRESH'Scandal', then a FRESH'The Catch'.
Scheduled on a FRESHJimmy Kimmel are Kerry Washington, Shonda Rhimes, Rob Gronkowski, and Goo Goo Dolls.
The CW offers a FRESH'DC's Legends Of Tomorrow', followed by a FRESH'The 100'.
Faux has a FRESH'Bones', followed by a FRESH'American Girl'.
MY has 'TMZ (Not So) Live', followed by 'Hollywood Today (Not So) Live'.
A&E has 'The First 48', another 'The First 48', followed by a FRESH'60 Days In: Time Out', then a FRESH'60 Days In'.
AMC offers the movie 'Miss Congeniality', followed by the movie 'What Women Want'.
[6:00AM] TOP GEAR - SEASON 18 - Episode 5
[7:00AM] TOP GEAR - SEASON 18 - Episode 6
[8:00AM] TOP GEAR - SEASON 18 - Episode 7
[9:00AM] RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 8-Michon's
[10:00AM] RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 9-El Greco
[11:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 20-Cost of Living
[12:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 21-The Perfect Mate
[1:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 22-Imaginary Friend
[2:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 6 - EPISODE 25-Timescape
[3:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 6 - EPISODE 26-Descent (Part 1)
[4:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 1-Descent (Part 2)
[5:00PM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 2-Liaisons
[6:00PM] ORPHAN BLACK - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 4-From Instinct to Rational Control
[7:00PM] AFTER THE BLACK - SEASON 4 - Episode 4
[7:30PM] THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (2011)
[10:00PM] ORPHAN BLACK - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 5
[11:00PM] AFTER THE BLACK - SEASON 4 - Episode 5
[11:30PM] THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW - SEASON 19 - Episode 7
[12:30AM] THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (2011)
[3:00AM] ORPHAN BLACK - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 4-From Instinct to Rational Control
[4:00AM] ORPHAN BLACK - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 5-Ep 5
[5:00AM] STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 6 - EPISODE 25-Timescape (ALL TIMES EDT)
Bravo has 'Million Dollar Listing NY', another 'Million Dollar Listing NY', followed by a FRESH'Million Dollar Listing NY', 'The People's Couch', followed by a FRESH'Watch What Happens Live'.
Comedy Central has 'Futurama', another 'Futurama', 'The Comedy Central Roast Of Justin Bieber', followed by a FRESH'Inside Amy Schumer', and another 'Inside Amy Schumer'.
Scheduled on a FRESHThe Daily Show is B.J. Novak.
Scheduled on a FRESHThe Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore is Audra McDonald.
Scheduled on a FRESH@Midnight are Randy Sklar, Jason Sklar, and Jon Dore.
FX has the movie 'Fast & Furious 6', followed by a FRESH'Archer', and another 'Archer'.
History has 'Alone', followed by a FRESH'Alone: A Deeper Cut', then a FRESH'Alone', followed by a FRESH'Mountain Men', then a FRESH'Join Or Die With Craig Ferguson', followed by a FRESH'Night Class'.
[8:00AM] TREMORS 2: AFTERSHOCKS
[10:15AM] TREMORS 3: BACK TO PERFECTION
[12:45PM] TREMORS 4: THE LEGEND BEGINS
[5:00PM] JURASSIC PARK
[8:00PM] JURASSIC PARK
[11:00PM] THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK
[2:00AM] JURASSIC PARK III
[4:00AM] GAMER (ALL TIMES EDT)
[6:30AM] Love Lust-Love Lust & The Social Network
[6:45AM] Breaking and Entering
[9:30AM] Rosemary's Baby
[3:00PM] Law & Order-Refuge
[4:00PM] Law & Order-Refuge
[5:00PM] Law & Order-Justice
[6:00PM] Law & Order-Marathon
[7:00PM] Law & Order-Patsy
[8:00PM] Law & Order-Blood Money
[9:00PM] Law & Order-Sundown
[10:00PM] Law & Order-Loco Parentis
[11:00PM] Law & Order-Collision
[12:00AM] Law & Order-Mother's Milk
[1:00AM] Law & Order-Panic
[4:30AM] Breaking and Entering (ALL TIMES EDT)
SyFy has the movie 'A Nightmare On Elm Street', followed by the movie 'A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors'.
Scheduled on a FRESHConan are Ewan McGregor, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Matt Donaher.
Actress Eva Longoria arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony at the 69th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 11, 2016.
Photo by Joel Ryan
CBS News veteran Morley Safer, a "60 Minutes" correspondent for all but two of the newsmagazine's 48-year history, said Wednesday that he's retiring from television.
The network will mark the occasion with an hour-long special on Safer's career Sunday after the regular edition of "60 Minutes."
His craggy face and voice deepened by cigarettes are familiar to all who watched television's first and still most popular newsmagazine. Safer is a living link to the show's combustible glory years with founding executive Don Hewitt, correspondent Mike Wallace and humorist Andy Rooney, when "60 Minutes" was often the most-watched show on television.
Safer's first report on "60 Minutes" in 1970 was about the training of U.S. Sky Marshals. His 919th and last, a profile of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, was broadcast in March. At 84 and dealing with health issues, Safer had cut back on work in recent years and was seen in a wheelchair at fellow correspondent Bob Simon's funeral last year.
The Toronto-born Safer was the first Saigon bureau chief for CBS News, and his 1965 report on U.S. Marines burning the Vietnamese village of Cam Ne was a turning point in attitudes toward the war. He broadcast a report from inside China when it was still largely a closed society in 1967 and, as a Canadian Broadcast Corp. reporter, witnessed the building of the Berlin Wall in Germany in 1961.
Actress Angela Lansbury, who voiced the character of Mrs. Potts, poses as she arrives for the 25th anniversary celebration of "Beauty and the Beast" at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, U.S., May 9, 2016.
Photo by Mario Anzuoni
A monumental self-portrait by Jean-Michael Basquiat set a world auction record for the artist at $57.3 million Tuesday evening at a Christie's contemporary art sale.
Basquiat's self-portrait, "Untitled, 1982," portrays the young artist as a fiery, demonic figure. The canvas, which features splashes of explosive colors, has appeared in every major Basquiat retrospective. It was created just six years before Basquiat died of a drug overdose at age 27.
The sale exceeded the auction record for the artist, which previously had been $48.8 million. The painting had a pre-sale estimate of $40 million.
Other top lots included a large blue and green painting by Mark Rothko, an important work by the abstract expressionist artist Clyfford Still and a group of nine sculptures by Alexander Calder that were inspired by his visit to India in 1955.
Italy's parliament approved same-sex civil unions and gave some rights to unmarried heterosexual couples on Wednesday after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called a confidence vote to force the bill into law.
Italy is the last major Western country to legally recognize gay couples and an original draft law had to be heavily diluted due to divisions in Renzi's ruling majority.
The bill had faced stiff opposition from Catholic groups who said it went too far, while gay activists said it was too timid.
While parliament was voting, gay rights groups gathered outside with a banner reading: "This is just the beginning."
The bill, originally presented in 2013, cleared its final real hurdle earlier on Wednesday with the confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies, which passed it by 369 votes to 193. The chamber then rubber-stamped the bill with a final ballot.
Actors Robby Benson, who voiced the character of Beast, and Paige O'Hara, who voiced the character of Belle, pose at the 25th anniversary celebration of "Beauty and the Beast" at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, U.S., May 9, 2016.
Photo by Mario Anzuoni
Alberta's unusually early and large fire is just the latest of many gargantuan fires on an Earth that's grown hotter with more extreme weather.
Earlier this year, large wildfires hit spots on opposite ends of the world - Tasmania and Oklahoma-Kansas. Last year, Alaska and California pushed the U.S. to a record 10 million acres burned. Massive fires hit Siberia, Mongolia and China last year and Brazil's fire season has increased by a month over the past three decades.
"The warmer it is, the more fires we get," said Mike Flannigan, a professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta.
Last week, temperatures pushed past 90 degrees Fahrenheit (mid 30s Celsius) in Alberta, which is unusual for May in northern Canada.
Worldwide, the length of Earth's fire season increased nearly 19 percent from 1979 to 2013, according to a study by Mark Cochrane, a professor of fire ecology at South Dakota State University.
After two years of improvement, America's honeybees had another tough and deadly winter, probably because of mites, according to a new federal survey released Tuesday.
The annual survey of beekeepers showed the winter colony loss rate was 28 percent, up from 22 percent. That's about average over the past decade but higher than the 17 percent that beekeepers call acceptable.
But it is still lower than the peak rate of 36 percent nine years ago.
The figures come from a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others. It includes 5,756 beekeepers, which represent about 5 percent of the nation's 2.7 million commercial colonies. However, University of Montana bee scientist Jerry Bromenshenk questioned the reliability of the results because the survey relies on self-reporting. Based on what he heard from people, Bromenshenk suspects losses may be even bigger, especially in the East.
Perhaps even more alarming is that honeybee deaths in the summer now match winter, which traditionally had been when most bees were lost, vanEngelsdorp said.
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel, left, holds his daughter Jane as she kisses Tommy Lasorda during a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in Los Angeles.
Photo by Mark J. Terrill
Utah's first-in-the-nation requirement that fetuses receive anesthesia or painkillers before some abortions takes effect Tuesday, but doctors say it's unnecessary and impossible to comply with.
The law requires pain relief for a fetus before any abortion at 20 weeks of gestation or later, based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that stage.
Doctors say such pain relief is futile, and there is no science or medicine laying out how they're supposed to administer it.
"The pain doesn't exist, so I can't make it go away," said David Turok of the University of Utah's obstetrics and gynecology department.
The law does not apply to abortions performed to save the mother's life; abortions where the fetus has a defect that two doctors agree is lethal; or abortions where two doctors agree that giving a woman anesthesia or painkillers would risk her life or cause critical health problems.
Internet giant Google said Wednesday it will ban all ads from payday lenders, calling the industry "deceptive" and "harmful."
Google's decision could have as much or even more impact on curtailing the industry than any move by politicians, as many payday loans start with a desperate person searching online for ways to make ends meet or cover an emergency.
Effective July 13, Google will no longer allow ads for loans due within 60 days and will also ban ads for loans where the interest rate is 36 percent or higher. The industry will join Google's other banned categories of ads, such as counterfeit goods, weapons, explosives, tobacco products and hate speech.
The ban would not impact companies offering mortgages, auto loans, student loans, loans for businesses or credit cards, Google said.
A 2012 study by Pew showed the average payday borrower is in debt for five months, spending $520 in fees and interest to repeatedly borrow $375. The annual percent rate on a payday loan is 391 percent, according to Pew.
Director Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the opening ceremony and the screening of the film "Cafe Society" out of competition during the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, May 11, 2016.
Photo by Eric GUtahaillard
Germany will annul the convictions of 50,000 men for homosexuality under a Nazi-era law which remained in force after the war, and will compensate them, the government said Wednesday.
Article 175 of the penal code outlawed "sexual acts contrary to nature... be it between people of the male gender or between people and animals".
Although the article dated from 1871, it was not really enforced until the Nazis came to power and in 1935, toughened the law to carry a sentence of 10 years of forced labour. More than 42,000 men were convicted during the Third Reich, and sent to prison or concentration camps.
In 2002, the government introduced a new law which overturned their convictions, and also applied to those convicted of desertion during Nazi rule.
But that move didn't include those convicted after the war when article 175 was still in force, leading to the convictions of another 50,000 people.
A ring-tailed lemur enjoys the sunny weather as it sits on a meadow at the zoo in Cottbus, Germany on May 11, 2016. Three baby lemurs were born at the zoo over the past few weeks.
Photo by Patrick Pleul
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