Trebek Follow-up

            Some of you have expressed surprise, and others disparagement, that I’m not a fan of Alex Trebek. A few years ago I had occasion to spend an entire evening in his company. I found him to be a pompous ass. I will admit, though, that he’s the best-dressed man on TV.

 Great Ad Tag Line

            I may have mused about this before, but there’s a current radio ad here in Toronto with a tag line that I think is right up there with the iconic “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” and “Where’s the meat?” It’s weight-loss-guru Harvey Brooker’s, “If you could do it alone you would have done it already.”

            Applies to a lot of other things, too, doesn’t it?

 Speaking of Ads

            It’s hard to imagine a more annoying TV ad than the one that Nike used during the World Junior Hockey Tournament, the one with a fast-talking woman spouting about 55 seconds of absolute gibberish. After hearing it twice I muted the damn thing every time it came on.

             And speaking of annoying, if there’s a more annoying pitchman than Canadian Tire’s “Gary,” I haven’t seen him. Come to think of it, Canadian Tire has a decades-old history of employing the most annoying pitchmen on TV.

 Notes To The Broadcast Media

            Please stop using the misleading term “revenue tools;” the correct term is “taxes.” And, please stop misusing the word “amount,” as in the “amount of immigrants.” You’d never say the “number of sugar” would you? Well, perhaps some of you would. Also, there’s no such thing as “a savings.”

             While I’m at it, I may as well express my despair at the number of on-air people who start almost every sentence with the phrase “I mean,” and then go on to include a bunch of “likes” and “you knows.”

 The World’s Most-Butchered Song

            Sixteen-year-old Jackie Evancho’s magnificent rendition of The Star Spangled Banner at President Trump’s inauguration reminded me that the American national anthem is the world’s most-butchered song.

            I’ve long wondered why so many singers apparently can’t resist the temptation to mess with its melody. It’s been suggested that, as artists, in order to express their own talents they have the right to improvise. Well, not only do they not have such a right, I’ve never heard an improvisation that’s an improvement on British composer John Stafford Smith’s original late 18th century tune.  In 1814, Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer and amateur poet, after watching a naval engagement in Baltimore during the war of 1812, wrote the lyrics as a poem. The British melody and American poem were later combined to become The Star Spangled Banner. Any artist thinking about messing with the melody should first listen to Evancho’s rendition.

             Quite apart from those who deliberately mess with the melody, we’ve all witnessed performers mess up the words, sometimes hilariously. It should be remembered messing up the melody is usually deliberate, whereas messing up the words is just plain embarrassing.

             I’ve had a few professional entertainers tell me that they dread singing national anthems more than any other engagement.

             If Jackie Evancho’s name sounds familiar but you’re having trouble placing her, she’s the kid who blew away audiences on America’s Got Talent back when she was ten years old.

             While on the subject of national anthems, it’s long past time to abandon their singing prior to every sporting event; except, of course, important international tournaments in which participants are actually representing their countries. The performance of anthems at sporting events, which began with baseball back in the late 1800s, has simply become trite.

 Regarding Trump

            I’ve been asked by a number of people why I haven’t written about Trump. Well, it’s kind of like wondering whether to buy the latest electronic device: should I wait for what’s next? Also, I’m not sure there’s anything that hasn’t been said.

             However, I do have a prediction. I don’t think he’ll serve his full four-year term. I agree with those who say there’s a possibility that he will be impeached or assassinated (the latter less likely in my view), but I think the greatest probability is that he’ll become so frustrated with his inability to achieve what he wants to that he’ll resign, probably just before the mid-tern elections in 2018.