Monday, June 5, 2017
WHEN KNIGHTHOOD WAS IN FLOWER.
This week PBS is running a documentary called The Lost Inaugural Gala, an entertainment event set in Washington, D.C. on January 19, 1961, the night before John F. Kennedy's inauguration. The entire event was organized and made possible by Frank Sinatra, an ardent fan of JFK. What Frank didn't count on was a major snowstorm making arrivals difficult and rehearsal times impossible. Despite that, the program was a huge success, boasting the biggest names in entertainment at the time: Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Jimmy Durante, Ethel Merman, and too many others to list. If you haven't seen the program, try to catch it on repeats. But I warn you, it is as depressing as it is fantastic. Why? Because you're sure to contrast the Camelot couple of the time, the young, handsome, and brilliant JFK and his gorgeous and accomplished wife Jackie with today's vulgar parvenu president and his tenuous trophy wife. You're sure to covet a time of great confidence and achievement with today's constant sense of insecurity and conflict. Kennedy would surround himself with the best and the brightest. Trump surrounds himself with the most amoral and malleable. How is it possible that we have lost so much grace and style and purpose and integrity and morality and respect in less than 60 years?