Friday

On the CD player right now: the soundtrack for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” That Yo-Yo Ma and composer Tan Dun did great jobs.

Entertainment Weekly this week – with Boston Red Sox’s Johnny Damon, Red Sox fan Jimmy Fallon, and actress Drew Barrymore on the cover (to promote Fallon and Barrymore’s upcoming Red Sox/comedic romance movie). Cool article on the FOX show “House,” wherein it is more than conceded that the show thanks “American Idol” (its neighbor in the 8pm time slot) for helping with great ratings. Personally, I’m just glad that a show I’ve enjoyed since its season premiere isn’t getting cancelled (that doesn’t happen too often, I might add). For nostalgia’s sake, check out my original posting on “House.”

ABC’s Ted Koppel is leaving “Nightline” and the network at the end of the year. First Tom Brokaw, then Bill Moyers, then Dan Rather, and now Koppel.

The passing of Fred Korematsu, as reported by the NY Times’ Richard Goldstein. Interesting point:

Mr. Korematsu, a native of Oakland, Calif., and one of four sons of Japanese-born parents, was jailed on May 30, 1942, in San Leandro, having refused to join family members who had reported to a nearby racetrack that was being used as a temporary detention center.

Mr. Korematsu had undergone plastic surgery in an effort to disguise his Asian features and had altered his draft registration card, listing his name as Clyde Sarah and his background as Spanish-Hawaiian. He hoped that with his altered appearance and identity he could avoid ostracism when he married his girlfriend, who had an Italian background.

A few days after his arrest, Mr. Korematsu was visited in jail by a California official of the American Civil Liberties Union who was seeking a test case against internment. Mr. Korematsu agreed to sue.

“I didn’t feel guilty because I didn’t do anything wrong,” he told The New York Times four decades later. “Every day in school, we said the pledge to the flag, ‘with liberty and justice for all,’ and I believed all that. I was an American citizen, and I had as many rights as anyone else.”

I had no idea about the plastic surgery. Racial discrimination can be such damning stuff, I say. Korematsu will be remembered as quite an American.

Associated Press reports on the passing of Frank Purdue, the Chicken man:

Perdue was one of the first CEOs to pitch his own product on television in 1971, turning on the down-home charm as he delivered his famous line, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.”

Perdue remained the company’s public face for the next two decades, helping build an empire….

Perdue, whose prominent nose, small dark eyes, thin lips and high-pitched voice gave him the impression of a chicken, said he was initially uncertain about whether to take to the airwaves. He said a New York ad man persuaded him to run his own commercials, but also gave Perdue a warning.

“He said, ‘If you do this, you’re going to have some heartaches from it. You’re going to have people yelling at you or maybe screaming at you or criticizing you, but I think it’s the best way to sell a superior chicken, which I think you have,”’ Perdue said in a 1991 interview with The Associated Press.

“It was quite a shock to my nervous system because I’d never been in a school play or anything and I’m basically reticent about speaking in public,” said Perdue, who ultimately did 156 different ads….

When I was a kid growing up, it was Frank Perdue or that Orville Redenbacher (old guy, bow tie, hawking his popcorn) on the tv. These days, Frank Perdue’s son, Jim, is doing the commercials, yucking it up with the chickens. Or an animated version of Redenbacher. Or “Wendy’s” just putting up a photo clip of its late CEO Dave Thomas. Just ain’t the same.

Tonight, Pope John Paul II is inevitably in people’s thoughts.

Man, time’s a changing.

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