The Mr. Nice Guy Show Blog

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My thoughts on what's goin' on in the world,

just like years ago on the radio.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003


Exactly six years ago yesterday, Laura Nyro died.

For me and maybe even millions of others, she was the greatest composer of 20th century pop music. Her work was the soundtrack of my youth and the lyrics and melodies still brighten days. (Try Eli, First, Walk).

She drew from rock, jazz, R&B, pop, country, gospel, Broadway - every musical genre in a nation she knew very little of - and worked absolute magic. Barbra Streisand and the Fifth Dimension had hits with many of her songs, but Laura put the heart and soul behind them.

I can't even say or write too much about her or I start weeping.

I can show you the exact spot on Delaware Street in Tonawanda where I was when I heard the news. I was devastated. Just like her mother, she died at age 49 of cervical cancer.

She was 10 years older than I am. I never met her. She was temperamental and quirky, had a dreadful Bronx accent you could cut with a knife, and probably ruined her career prematurely with drugs,

but I loved her.
She was a genius.

"I look at you and see the passion eyes of May."


Monday, April 07, 2003

More on War

Sometimes, Andy Rooney is a very annoying guy. This is not one of those times. Nice work.

Also, an absolutely brilliant essay from George McGovern. [Alternate link].

"I'm sick and tired of old men dreaming up wars
in which young men do the dying."


Sunday, April 06, 2003

Your Fly is Open

The other day, Air Canada went to bankruptcy court and filed for protection from creditors. It was a shock to some. Many regard it as the best airline flying. Those Canadians are soooo nice.

Except for the customer service supervisor at Air Canada I spoke with in July of '01. She was a witch, a beast, an idiot. I had a problem with a fare that was really my fault, but I wanted her to be nice and help me...because most people don't ask for help, because she had plenty of seats available, because then and for years before, the airline was struggling.

She wouldn't help.
I concluded the testy discussion by telling her I was aware of the company's financial woes and hoped she soon ended up working a cash register at Wal-Mart. I hope I was right.

The whole airline industry is in trouble. 9/11 hurt them and the war's making it worse. But they've all been hurtin' for a long time. Customers are treated like dirt, herded around like cattle, with rarely any two people on the same flight paying the same fare.

Remember the Northworst Airlines pilot who kept a planeload of people waiting for hours because he had an urge for McDonald's? Or the other $200K+ per year geniuses heading to work drunk to fly planeloads of people??

The industry wanted to be de-regulated. They didn't want anyone to tell them what to do. Just like their sinister cousins in broadcasting, they told the government "We don't need regulations, because competition will keep us squeaky clean.

It hasn't worked.

Canadian airlines are probably not as loosely regulated. Canada isn't afraid to make tough rules. Caring about the neighbours isn't something Canadians are ashamed of or enraged by, like most selfish Americans. Still, Air Canada seems to have had plenty of rope to hang itself.

These arrogant airline jerks need to be so tightly regulated by the government that fares are fair, that people are treated like people. So tightly that airline execs have to contact Washington before they even take a wizz.

Just desserts. They brought it all on themselves.
Good riddance.