Just a Perfect Day: Lou Reed, Bouncers and President Taft

Oct 28, 2013

Via WikiMedia Commons

"We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars," says a character in an Oscar Wilde play. That pretty well sums up Lou Reed. We're both honored and saddened to tackle him as our first topic as we experiment with putting more immediacy into our Monday show. We decided to let the weekend tell us what our topics were. 

I might open with a few quick thoughts on the World Series. One of the reasons we're pulled into sports is the thing that couldn't happen, the rule you didn't know about, the buried possibility that could break your heart.

All of which sounds like a Lou Reed lyric. The death of rock's most saturnine -- but nonetheless beloved -- icon is the focus of our first frame. And we are honored to have Jim DeRogatis, pretty much the go-to guy at a moment like this. 

The hardest thing about this segment was picking the songs. Reedophiles wound up suggesting about 50 to me. And you never know who will turn out to have been a fan. There's a guy whose name rhymes with Plantoskee who turned out to be very interested in this segment. 

In our second segment today, we'll look at the Saturday morning (as in 3 a.m.) club shootings in New Haven and some of the legislative reforms that will be proposed to reduce club violence in general. (One quarter of New Haven's homicides this year were club -related.)

Official Presidential portrait of William Howard Taft by Anders Zorn via WikiMedia

In our final segment: the weight problems of William Howard Taft.

 "...he went on a low-fat, low-calorie diet. He avoided snacks. He kept a careful diary of what he ate and weighed himself daily. He hired a personal trainer and rode a horse for exercise. And he wrote his doctor, Nathaniel E. Yorke-Davies, with updates on his progress, often twice a week."

New scholarship about Taft looks at his relationship with his doctors and the way his approach to weight loss closely parallels what people do today. Taft, our only truly corpulent president, was kind of a pioneer in the medical research about obesity that would follow him decades later. 

We're going to end the show with an email about the passing of my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Grof. And with this Lou Reed compilation featuring Bono, Dr. John, Elton John, Tom Jones and Pavarotti. (It would be cool if you could i.d. some of the others and put them in the comments.)