Monday, March 16, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 03/15/20: Draft Day, ZZ Top Documentary, D.I. Frost is Flawed

1. Today was draft day in the two fantasy baseball leagues I joined last year. Last year, I wasn't around for the draft and the ESPN computers picked my two teams. I spent this afternoon in the Vizio room, on the computer, watching as other guys quickly made their picks (we had ninety seconds for each pick) and did my best to plan for what I'd do when my turn came. It was a mildly nerve-wracking experience and stimulating at the same time. I'm really happy I participated. I don't know if my teams will be any good. I don't know if Major League Baseball will have a season -- or when it will start if there is one -- but I'm ready to put my teams to the test and see how things pan out.

2. Soon after the draft, I poured myself a piping hot mug of hot chocolate spiked with dark rum and brandy and thoroughly enjoyed a Netflix documentary entitled, ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas. I enjoyed learning about the band's five decades together, how they got started, how they evolved, and how they played themselves into fame. The movie made me think about a former brother-in-law who, back in 1974-77 was always listening to music I wasn't very aware of -- Genesis, Mott the Hoople, and others and he was very excited about ZZ Top's album, Tres Hombres.

I enjoyed learning about the 1976-77 ZZ Top Worldwide Texas Tour. It had a similar traveling carnival or traveling circus vibe to Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue from the previous year -- but this comparison wasn't made in That Little Ol' Band. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the interviews with the three band members, Dusty Hill, Frank Beard, and Billy F Gibbons. Each of them is self-aware, musically sophisticated, grateful for their success, insightful, and articulate. It was not only fun to hear them talk about their earliest days as a band and the evolution of ZZ Top, but to come to understand better their drive to stretch, experiment, explore new territory in their music, and never let themselves be pigeon-holed.

I didn't want this movie to end. I could have listened to Dusty Hill, Frank Beard, and Billy F Gibbons talk about the blues, rock n roll, their love of Texas, the music they make, and their musical longevity for hours.

3. The documentary ended and I wasn't quite ready to retire. I decided I needed to be in the company of Detective Inspector Jack Frost for a ninety minute plus episode of A Touch of Frost. Tonight's case focused on a young junkie who'd been beaten to death in a public toilet in Denton. It explored the havoc the young man had wreaked on his family and the town and the attitudes of law enforcement and the medical forensic doctor as to whether it was worth the effort to try to get to the bottom of the death of a young man living on the edges of society.

D.I. Jack Frost had no doubt that this murder was worth investigating. In this, his moral and ethical standards were stellar. But, the episode also developed a subplot in which D.I. Jack Frost's behavior was selfish and not at all admirable. D.I. Frost is a widower. While his wife was alive, Frost was sleeping with Eileen, his lover. In this episode, Frost goes to Eileen's flat to visit her, after a lengthy absence, and Eileen exposes Jack Frost as being a superb detective but, in his private life, a louse. Their interactions in this espisode didn't end with this visit, but I will leave it at that. (They do not, by the way, resume their affair.)

For the record, this was Episode 3 of Season 2 of A Touch of Frost entitled "Nothing to Hide". It's available on video online. I watched it on BritBox.

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