The Daily Dose/Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Daily Dose/July 27, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
CAPSULE BOOK REVIEW: Creation by Gore Vidal: One of the great pleasures of reading is re-reading old favorites and longtime readers of ours know this is not the first time we’ve read this wonderful book. It’s our all-time favorite and this was our fifth or sixth reading it…We can’t really remember. 

Dry, Technical Matter: Creation is a historical novel covering roughly the 6th-5th centuries BC. The protagonist is the fictional Cyrus Spitama, a Greek-Persian diplomat who goes into service for Great King Darius and, among other things, travels to India and China, where he meets, among other people, Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Confucius. 

More Dry, Technical Matter: We’ve been keeping a quote book of things we’ve read that we wanted to remember since 1988. Creation,  of course, has provided its share of quotes and this reading was no different, adding another couple of dozen or so…What’s funny is our previous reading yielded more entries than the other previous readings combined, so you might have thought we’d mined every nugget there was to mine, but that wasn’t the case…There is always something to discover re-reading old favorites…They never stop speaking to you. 

An Opposing Viewpoint: Not everyone is as thrilled with this book as we are. One review called it “meandering” and a collection of “incidents, anecdotes, artifacts and rituals”…What’s funny is this is true and what some find a fault we’ve always found contributed to an informative and entertaining book. 

Back On Message: But that misses the point of Creation, which is Vidal doing what you pay us writers to do: take a stab at the big questions, and they do not come much bigger than how did we get here???…Vidal doesn’t come any closer to answering this question than anyone else has, but his attempt is as entertaining as it is thoughtful, ultimately showing that even though assorted religions and beliefs are different, they are all basically the same, which makes an ever bigger point about us humans and our need to believe in something that is both bigger than us and that helps us overcome our fear of death. 

Final Ranking: A. We don’t toss out the top ranking too often here, but Creation deserves it. We have always thought this was as good a book as our species had produced.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody: It’s a busy day at the VSO. Today’s Diary. 

Busy day at the Veteran Service Office (VSO) today, as busy as I’ve been in a month…Corky came by, recall he had called Wednesday because those f*ckers at the VA had sent a letter advising the paperwork he had filed before I took over wasn’t signed even tho Corky said it was…Corky brought the letter in and they had sent him a blank form instead of the one that needed signing, something else that peeved Corky…Also, because Corky felt bad about bothering me, he brought me a donut…I am not allowed to take gratuities or any other form of remuneration from veterans for my services, but rather than insult Corky over this technicality, I accepted the donut, which was chocolate cake with cream filling, one hell of a selection, if you ask me. 

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

More drivel! Click on the button to read all of The Diary of a Nobody. $5.99 includes all entries, past, present, and future:

On This Date
In 1694 – The Bank of England is given its royal charter, following England’s defeat by France in a 1690 naval battle, a battle England had neither the money nor the credit to recover from. Owned by subscribers who initially invested £1.2 million, the establishment of the Bank of England, and the attendant industrial and agricultural growth, is generally recognized as contributing to making Britain and dominant world power in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Today the Bank of England is the 8th oldest bank in the world. 

In 1996 – Donovan Bailey, a Canadian who had been born in Jamaica, establishes a new world record in the 100-meters at the Atlanta Summer Olympics. His time of 9.84 seconds broke Leroy Burrell’s mark of 9.85 seconds established in 1994. With the win, Bailey became the second person to simultaneously hold the world championship, the Olympic championship and the world record. Donovan’s mark was broken in 1999 by Maurice Greene (9.79s) and is now held by Usain Bolt (9.58s). 

In 1940 – I’ll Never Smile Again by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra with Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers is at #1 on the first music chart ever issued by Billboard magazine: the National Best Selling Retail Records chart. The song spent twelve weeks at #1, a record that would be tied twice and not broken until 1950 when Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra and the Weavers spent 13 weeks at #1 with Goodnight Irene. Billboard would introduce its soul chart in 1942, the country chart in 1944 and the Hot 100 in 1958. Billboard now produces charts for a variety of styles of music and has long been recognized as the preeminent authority on American charted music. Billboard magazine was first published in Cincinnati in 1894, dedicated to billboard advertising. 

But in truth, success doesn’t demand a price. Every step forward pays a dividend.
Dr. David J Schwartz

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Major General McClellan was not immediately replaced as general-in-chief of the Union Army. Magor General Henry Halleck would take command a few months later.

Today’s Stumper
Who was the first athlete to simultaneously hold the world and Olympic championships and the world record in the men’s 100-meters? – Answer next time!

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