“History has many cunning passages” : remembering the remarkable spring of 2009 on January 20, 2017

Posted: January 20th, 2017 | No Comments »

. Bird n Diz at Birdland in New York, 1951 — Charlie Parker (alto sax), left, and Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), right, alleged founding partners of bebop jazz — still the hardest kind of jazz to play properly, according to Charlie Parker’s old colleague, Red Rodney.

What can be said on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the Unites States of America? Our view is not much at all.

If we had to pick a quick quotation, we’d go with the passionate cultural conservative T.S. Eliot, who was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and went on to become “the greatest French poet in the English language” in London, England : “History has many cunning passages.” Beyond this, we have two further gestures :

(1) For some time now a piece by our Citizen X from May 2009 has been finishing close to the top of our daily list of visits to more popular postings — “Save the last dance for Manmohan Singh .. democracy in India pulls off a surprise in Obama’s early days.”

Much of the traffic involved  is, we believe, malevolent and spam-oriented. But this piece has been finishing close to the top of our daily numbers for so long now that at least some of its popularity must be authentic.

Accordingly our Dominic Berry has just today quickly knocked together a slightly revised version of the original Citizen X posting (far too long, but you can skip the four appendices) — which we’ve, as it were, re-posted with the following note at the end :

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (second from left) wearing dark glasses, arrives with members of his new cabinet for swearing in ceremonies at Government House in Ottawa, July 6, 1968. (Doug Ball/CP).

Second  (and as yet only slightly revised) edition, Friday, January 20, 2017. On the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of  the democracy in America that took such a very big step forward during the no-drama presidency of  Barack Hussein Obama, 2009–17. In the firm conviction that something as big in history as the past eight years in the USA can never really be erased or reversed. Especially when the former president concludes his regime with a 60% approval rating from the American people, via the lying pollsters who did manage to get the Hillary Clinton popular vote victory in the 2016 US election right.

(2) We’ve also been especially impressed by several related news items from the past several days :

* “President-elect Donald Trump will enter the White House Friday with most national security positions still vacant, after a disorganized transition that has stunned and disheartened career government officials.” (From the far-from-left-wing Foreign Policy magazine daily online “Situation Report,” Thursday, January 19, 2017.)

Marshall McLuhan (r) with Woody Allen in Annie Hall, 1977.

* “‘Learning Curve’ as Rick Perry Pursues a Job He Initially Misunderstood,” by Coral Davenport and David E. Sanger in the New York Times, Wednesday, January 18, 2017. See also : “Trump offered Rick Perry a job neither one of them understood” one day later at MSNBC.

* “Scum of the earth lowlife packs a bag for Trump’s inauguration,” by Steve Lopez in the  Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, January 18, 2017. This is both the most intellectually impressive and entertaining lying media piece we’ve come across on the Trump inauguration. (Eg : “So stop bawling, California. We are out of step, thank God, because civil rights, human rights and environmental protection are civic virtues in the Golden State, and we’re going to build a kale-powered bullet train through almond and walnut orchards, come hell or high water … The wall will get built, and we’re still not paying for it … That’s the Trump plan in this new era of magical thinking, details to come … You’re damn right I’m going to Washington … I’ll report back soon on whether I think we should give more thought to secession.”)

Our thanks to the wonderful WWF Bear’s excellent photographer. And congrats to all the brave consenting adults who immersed themselves in Lake Ontario for the future of the planet on March 12, 2015, at Balmy Beach in Toronto. The lake is cold enough in August.

* “President-elect pays out $25-million Trump University settlement,” by Kristina Davis in the Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, January 18, 2017.  (Which nicely begins with : “Three days before his presidential inauguration, Donald Trump paid out $25 million in compliance with the settlement reached in three Trump University lawsuits.”)

Finally, this past Tuesday, October 2, 2016 our editor in chief opined :“as long as there is no real chance of his actually winning, the political career of Donald Trump may finally be more interesting than even he thinks.” On the day of Mr. Trump’s inauguration we have asked Dr. White what he thinks now. And he just said that he plans to visit the overwhelmingly most populous US state of California this spring, to see if it actually has seceded from the union yet!

Was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s biggest success in 2016 the seduction of right-wing hockey icon Don Cherry?

Posted: January 14th, 2017 | No Comments »

Father and son in Peterborough, Ontario, May 1989.

Up here in the northern woods the imminent departure of Barack Obama and accession of Donald Trump in Washington has focused attention on our own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — summarized by Mark Bonokoski of the Postmedia Network several days ago as the “eldest son of Canada’s Philosopher King.”

This time last year Justin Trudeau’s new Liberal government was just settling into office, after it took a clear majority of seats in the Canadian House of Commons (184 out of 338 or 54.44%), with a mere 39.47% of the cross-Canada popular vote, in the October 19, 2015 general election.

Less than a month later, on November 7, 2015, I posted my own initial reaction to the Trudeau II government, in “On the new era in Canada. Alexandre Trudeau, Mélanie Joly, Harjit Sajjan, and Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould.”

I’m told it is still attracting some new visitors in January 2017 — perhaps, cynics have suggested, because it includes the F-word in its final sentence. It also includes comparatively rare allusions to the prime minister’s younger brother, who now lives in his father’s legendary art deco house on Avenue des Pins in Montreal (aka Maison Ernest-Cormier).

For most of 2016 both Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government in Ottawa managed to do very well in opinion polls — and considerably better than the party’s not quite 40% popular vote in the October 19, 2015 election. Yet as the year concluded all this began to moderate.

Pierre Trudeau’s legendary art deco house on Avenue des Pins in Montreal, now the home of Alexandre Trudeau and family.

On December 15, eg, pollster Angus Reid reported : “Is the Honeymoon ending? Trudeau’s declining job approval in Ontario drives ten-point national slide.”

As the pollster explained, even with this 10-point slide in December 2016 : “More than half of all Canadians (55%) still approve of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s job performance.” (Though it no doubt is interesting enough as well that the number was 65% in September 2016.)

Similarly, a Forum Research poll conducted early in December 2016 showed that “the Liberals dropped from 51 per cent a month ago to 42 per cent nationally.” (Though, again, 42% is still somewhat better than the share of the cross-country popular vote they won in the 2015 election.)

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Our quiet northern agenda for 2017 — 150th anniversary of the 1867 confederation in Canada

Posted: January 8th, 2017 | No Comments »

Emperor Meiji moves from Kyoto to Tokyo 1868, as imagined by Le Monde Illustre.

In the United Kingdom and the United States 2017 will be the year we start to find out just how crazy Brexit and Donald Trump are really going to be. We make no predictions. But we are trying to pretend we’re mentally (and financially) prepared for almost anything. L’histoire a beaucoup de passages astucieux.

Meanwhile, we will be focusing on our own backyard  — up here in what the conclusion to Harold Innis’s 1930 Canadian history classic perhaps somewhat over-exuberantly called “the northern half of North America.” (Or what we have more recently alluded to as “the most northerly part of North America entirely covered by ice 20,000 years ago, now known as Canada.”)

One excuse is that July 1, 2017 will mark the 150th anniversary of the present Canadian confederation of 1867 — in the wake of the American Civil War, and just before the ironically christened Meiji Restoration in Japan.

Toronto Street Railway snowbound — by W.N. Langton in the Canadian Illustrated News, 12 February 1881.

(We agree as well that it is not quite right to call this date the 150th birthday of Canada. Modern Canada is both much older and younger. “Canada” itself is an aboriginal or indigenous word. And as the editor of the admired first volume of the Historical Atlas of Canada explained in the late 1980s, research since the Second World War “has tended to confirm Harold Innis’s general insights … As Innis maintained, the pattern of Canada has been taking shape for almost 500 years … .” And then it is also true that, as noted elsewhere, “Canada today is a much younger country than even many Canadians imagine. There was no such legal status as a ‘Canadian citizen’ until after the Second World War. The first Canadian Citizenship Act took effect on January 1, 1947” — a mere 70 years ago in 2017!)

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Looking back on the fourth quarter of the fateful year 2016

Posted: December 30th, 2016 | No Comments »

Campfire 1916 by Tom Thomson

As noted in our review of the first quarter of this fateful year, back some two weeks ago : “The short story about 2016 in the English-speaking global village is just Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump in the USA.”

Brexit was the big surprise of the second quarter. The electoral college victory of Donald Trump was the big surprise of the fourth quarter.

(While Hillary Clinton took more of the popular vote, by a quite dramatic 2.8 million votes — and the “Cook Political Report has shown that just three counties, representing 77,759 voters in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, determined the outcome of the election” practically.)

We offered our immediate assessment of the Trump surprise in : “Northern lights on US election VI : trying to be positive about democracy in America 2016, as it happens,” Nov 8, by Citizen X ; and “What happened? … without rigged system of the electoral college Trump wouldn’t have won,” Nov 9, by Randall White.

Back in October the same pair of contributors had offered what would later seem relevant reporting with : “This isn’t the first time Donald Trump has pretended to run for President etc …,” Oct 4, by Randall White ; and “Northern lights on US election IV : history will not be kind to FBI’s last-minute Orwellian intervention in 2016,” Oct 31, by Citizen X.

(This last piece began : “FBI Director James Comey’s last-minute intervention in the 2016 US election — regarding certain freshly discovered ‘emails of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin that were found on a device seized during an unrelated sexting investigation of Anthony Weiner’ — has cast a dark Orwellian shadow over democracy in America in the early 21st century.”)

Meanwhile, we had tried to remember that, whatever happened among the “Yankees to the south of us” (who “must south of us remain”), we still had our own exotic public life in the rising new “free and democratic society” in Canada. And late in October we posted “Maybe new Advisory Board for Senate Appointments in Canada should experiment with selection by lottery too,” Oct 28, by Randall White.

A full month later we counterweights editors ourselves noted : “As much as we want to escape the long arm of Donald Trump in the US (and other) mainstream media during the last lame-duck weeks of 2016, we keep bumping into it all, like it or not.”We expanded briefly on this thought in “Reaction to Justin Trudeau’s Fidel farewell just one early sign of new age of Trump .. well, sort of .. maybe?,” Nov 28, by Counterweights Editors.

This brings us to the current final month in the fateful year 2016. And we will end both this exercise and the soon-to-be old year of 2016 with a further two contributions from the same pair of fourth-quarter contributors noted above.

The first is “Private night thoughts inspired by Stephen Marche on the Obama years, in the Los Angeles Review of Books,” Dec 7, by Randall White.

Early Snow 1916 by Tom Thomson.

The second is “Belatedly discovering Zadie Smith .. and Olbermann’s back : 2016 holiday gifts from the world wide web,” Dec 20, by Citizen X. (And the wise and wily X ended here with a quotation from the culture writer Marta Bausells : “This year needed Zadie Smith. 2016 was crying out for her particular clarity …” Whatever, we’re glad X discovered her for us at last.)

So a very happy new year / bonne année, whoever you are and wherever you may be. And here’s to all of us, in a year when virtually no one remotely sensible seems to be even just pretending to know just what may or may not happen — especially in the United Kingdom and the United States. (And many other places in today’s global village too, including the most northerly part of North America entirely covered by ice 20,000 years ago, now known as Canada).

Top 10 counterweights articles from the third quarter of the fateful year 2016

Posted: December 29th, 2016 | No Comments »

The third quarter of any year is mostly the summer, with a week and a half of autumn at the end. In any case, 2016 is almost over and without further adieu here are the top 10 counterweights articles for the third quarter of this fateful year, as selected by our own central committee :

* Meditations in time of almost civil war .. US election, Dallas shootings, and summer in a northern city 2016. Jul 8, by L. Frank Bunting.

* If Bird’s bebop finally did become the new pop music it just might sound like Allison Au and Tara Kannangara. Jul 15, by Citizen X. (“On the evening of 14 July 2016 a 19 tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people and injuring 434.” Our article on Bird’s bebop here was prefaced with “CW EDITORS NOTE :  Nos cœurs et les esprits vont vers les gens du premier pays de mère européenne du Canada, à la suite de l’attaque terroriste épouvantable à Nice hier — un jour que tous ceux qui aiment la liberté et la démocratie dans le monde d’aujourd’hui célèbrent, épaule contre épaule avec le peuple de France.”)

* And now for something not completely different : blaming it on Rio for the 2016 Olympics. Aug 3, by L. Frank Bunting. (Mr. Bunting noted :  “Does anyone really think the US presidential campaign of Donald Trump is the only weird thing going on in the global village right now ? Whatever else, the start of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this coming Friday will confirm that this is a bizarre year across the planet”).

* Mel Hurtig and (very) early second thoughts about where the new Trudeau government is taking Canada ?? Aug 8, by Counterweights Editors.

* Do Hillary’s current poll numbers mean she’ll win ? Remember : NDP leading in Canada on August 27, 2015! Aug 14, by Randall White.

“Portrait Of An Urban Princess” — Ms Vedelago in London.

* August in Ganatsekwyagon : “On the dangerous flood / Of history that … / … Held one moment, burns the hand.” Aug 19 by Counterweights Editors. (This piece was illustrated with photos from Elvira Vedelago — who we bumped into when we searched the W.H. Auden first line ‘August for the people and their favourite islands’ on Google Images. As Ms Vedelago explains : ‘I’m a 24 year old [now 26 in fact] SW London blogger just expressing my personal style to the world … I’m half Nigerian and half Italian but currently living in UK.’ She would later remind us of Zadie Smith! Except in the Vedelago case it’s SW not NW London. And last month Ms Vedelago and her boyfriend visited one of her two ancestral lands in Nigeria.)

* How important was Rob Ford’s brother in latest Ontario byelection? Sep 4, by Randall White.

* Northern lights on US election II : What if Conrad Black is right and Donald Trump actually wins ???? Sep 7, by Citizen X.

New Year’s Eve in Toronto.

* Is the old British dominion in Canada still half-alive (sort of) .. as well as historically interesting? Sep 15, by Counterweights Editors. (This linked to another chapter of Randall White’s current Canadian republican book project, and ended with : “And then Dr. White and his business manager wandered off to buy more fresh corn — traditional crop of the ancient Wendat/Huron nation due north —  on the last unseasonably warm day of summer 2016.” Now Dr. White tells us his New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to make much more progress on his sketch of the historical roots to today’s Canadian democracy, buoyed by the 2016 year-end poll showing that “Majority of Canadians say ties to monarchy should be cut when Queen dies.”)

* Australia asylum seekers face a refugee policy to condemn, not replicate, despite what PM says. Sep 24, by Greg Barns. (We were especially pleased to hear from Greg Barns and Anna Talbot in Melbourne — in a piece which began with “This past Tuesday Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, stood in front of world leaders and claimed his government’s refugee policy was the best in the world. But many people in Australia will tell you that Mr Turnbull’s boasting was misplaced.”)

Our final quick review of the 2016 fourth quarter will be posted tomorrow, as we all get ready for a happy new year’s eve the day after that!

Ho ho ho : our Top 10 reports 2Q 2016 & Dominic Berry on metro news & the Sparrow on ex-Blue Jay Edwin

Posted: December 23rd, 2016 | No Comments »

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2016. TORONTO, CANADA. The legendary arrival of Santa Claus is now a very few days away. Our esteemed colleague Dominic Berry took a trip downtown yesterday on the Queen streetcar for some last minute shopping — at HMV on Yonge Street and the Indigo bookstore in the Eaton Centre.

The trip takes a while. And Berry reports that he was unusually impressed by the December 22, 2016 local edition of metro news he read to pass the time. He singled out half a dozen items for especially high praise.

(He also asks that we preface our further short account with a bow to the ubiquity of many different local editions of metro news nowadays, including one in Helsinki, Finland — which he apparently caught up with on a Baltic Sea cruise this past May.)

Dominic Berry’s half-dozen highly praised pieces from yesterday in Toronto divide into four news reports on early 21st century life in this particular big city, and then two largely political columns by clever women. The four news reports are:

Santa Claus in South Korea.

* “How Toronto’s urban planning department embraced diversity … Toronto’s planning review panel helps city staff receive input from people who aren’t just ‘affluent white homeowners.’”

* “One Toronto crossing guard’s quest to make his intersection safer … Crossing guard Domenic Pillegi is asking Mayor John Tory to solve the problem of aggressive driving at Avenue and Wilson.”

* “Ikea warns Toronto teens not to try sleepovers in stores … A spokesperson for the Swedish store said unsanctioned sleepovers, where teens hide in closets and enjoy comfy beds, were on the rise this year.”

* “Undocumented migrants in Toronto describe life in the ‘shadows’ …  In a new book, young people with precarious immigration status in Canada share their fears, dreams and struggles.”

Kendall Jenner and Santa, 2011.

The two more political columns by clever women (on the same page) feature Chantal Hébert from Ottawa (and Montreal) and Vickly Mochama here in town :

* Chantal Hébert : “Parliamentary coverage has been changed by the times …  Long ago, if you wanted to cover Parliament, you had to be based in Ottawa. Not anymore.” Ms. Hébert’s ultimate conclusion here is that “the daily reporting of Parliament Hill media insiders” has, for better or worse, now lost its former “pride of place in the national conversation.”

* Vicky Mochama : “Let’s extend our holiday generosity to the boldly ungenerous … It’s certainly better to give than to receive — but taking has its place, too.” Ms. Mochama presents a younger and suitably more cynical (but still ultimately encouraging) view of life in the big city today, starting admirably with : “In the lead-up to the Plunderer-Elect of the United States taking the oath of office, it’s become clear that this is the Age of the Thief.”

Winter in Northern Ontario.

Now, those who want to see our Top 10 selections from counterweights for this past second quarter of 2016 can just click on “Read the rest of this page” and/or scroll below. (Where you’ll also find Rob Sparrow’s view on the latest Blue Jay news re Edwin.) We will post similar lists for the third and fourth quarters of the year on December 29 and December 30.

Meanwhile, Happy Holiday from the late great Percy Faith, who was born in Toronto in 1908 and died in the Encino neighbourhood of Los Angeles in 1976. May Santa Claus at least be good to you too this year, in one way or another.

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Belatedly discovering Zadie Smith .. and Olbermann’s back : 2016 holiday gifts from the world wide web

Posted: December 20th, 2016 | No Comments »

Keith Olbermann’s latest incarnation : “Denounced by Trump and hacked by Russia. I'm, like, a smart person.”

Almost a month ago the editor in chief reported on how the “usually agreeable X keeps telling me that he is working on some major tone poem called ‘Toronto notes : Donald Trump as Rob Ford, Part Deux .. and that really did end tragically.’ He wants to take the time to get it right. It will be ready soon …etc.”

I am here now to report myself that I have finally abandoned this project, except for the long-meditated first two paragraphs, as follows :

“My first reaction to the new America of Donald Trump is just to avoid it as much as possible. Stop watching the news on US TV. Watch old movies instead.

“My sober second thought is to seek consolation in the view that  American political history is about to turn into a comic book for the next four years. And I should at least aspire to the Classics Illustrated brand that I valued so highly in my childhood.”

Now, in a cold and snowy late December of the fateful year 2016, I can further report that pursuing this train of thought has at last led me in two more sensible directions :

(1) OLBERMANN’S BACK. To start with I’ve rediscovered Keith Olbermann, now leading something called The Resistance on the GQ magazine website.

The counterweights editors first belatedly discovered him on this website with “Who is Keith Olbermann? .. getting real at last on MSNBC,” on September 28, 2006 — more than 10 years ago.

French Resistance fighters who joined forces with Canadian army at Boulogne, September 1944.

For further counterweights reflections on the bumpy course of the Olbermann career see : “Hey MSNBC, you’ve made your point — Put Keith Olbermann Back On The Air NOW!” (November 7, 2010) ; and “Waiting for Keith Olbermann’s new Huffington Post style media empire?” (January 23, 2011).

For the latest installment of the current Olbermann incarnation — as leader of The Resistance on the GQ magazine site —  see “Alexander Hamilton’s Plan to Keep Trump From the White House … The Electoral College was designed to prevent just this sort of emergency.”

(And for a recent feisty Olbermann tweet on key current events see “You treacherous Russian whore @realDonaldTrump the White House and all of us have been after you for this for months. And we will get you.”)

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Looking back on the first quarter of the fateful year 2016

Posted: December 14th, 2016 | No Comments »

Donald Trump and UK Brexit and interim Ukip leader Nigel Farage “the first foreign politician to meet the newly-elected Mr Trump” after November 8, in front of the gold doors at Trump Tower in New York.

The short story about 2016 in the English-speaking global village is just Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump in the USA.

And, perhaps more presciently than we in North America typically allow, this all happened on the heels of the right-wing victory of Narendra Modi and the  Bharatiya Janata Party (or Indian People’s Party), in the world’s most populous democracy of the Republic of India in 2014.

(For the latest updates here see “PM Narendra Modi behaving like ‘king’” and “12 people arrested in India for not standing during national anthem.”)

A quick journey through our counterweights archives for the first quarter of 2016 raises other more forgotten but still intriguing features of the year now lurching to a troubled end.

Up here in the northern woods, 2016 began with some unnecessarily gloomy predictions about the near future of the Canadian economy.

See, eg, “Canadian dollar will drop to 59 cents US in 2016, Macquarie forecasts.”  As we write in the middle of December 2016 the Canadian dollar is at 76 cents US — still not where some of us would  like, but some six US cents higher than it was in the middle of this past January.

On counterweights 2016 began with “What can the Rose Parade tell us about where America is going in 2016?

The Allen Eagle Escadrille, from deep in the heart of Texas.

With the November 8 presidential election now behind us, it could be said that the winner was represented by the Allen Eagle Escadrille from the suburbs of Dallas, Texas — biggest band in America with 782 members. It  took eight planes to fly them to the Rose Parade in Los Angeles. If Donald Trump were going to design a marching band this would probably be it.

Our current favourite counterweights piece from January 2016 tried to deal with theoretically more manageable issues. See “Is Ottawa still ‘the last lumber village before the North Pole’.. and what should be done about it for 2017?

This piece focused on an argument in the press of the day about the need to inject some enhanced architectural and land-use planning panache of the 21st century into Canada’s federal capital city. (As in “Why is our … capital so drab?” and “Ottawa is the worst capital city in the G7.”)

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Private night thoughts inspired by Stephen Marche on the Obama years, in the Los Angeles Review of Books

Posted: December 7th, 2016 | No Comments »

Barack Obama takes oath of office, January 20, 2009.

The text for my holiday season night thoughts here is Stephen Marche, “The Obama Years,” Los Angeles Review of Books, November 30, 2016.

Mr. Marche reports early on that “I was 32 when Obama danced over the green sea of raised phones at his first inaugural ball. I will be 40 by the time he stands beside Trump at the swearing-in.”

My comparable numbers are 63 and 71.

Marche also writes somewhat dismissively about how “I am old enough to have met seekers from the ’60s, explorers of consciousness, men and women whose lives took radical turns into various experiments with psychopharmacology and exotic religions and utopian political visions.”

President Obama takes oath of office, January 20, 2013.

I started my first full-time job in the late spring and early summer of 1968. I probably still suffer from utopian political visions. And reading Mr. Marche convinces me that just how the Obama years looked to you can depend on your age.

And other circumstances, of course. One thing the 2016 election showed was that the Obama years were good economically for some people (like Mr. Marche, and more or less myself for that matter), but not so good and even worse for others. In my view President Obama’s critics had a lot more to do with this than anyone else. But they still blamed him.

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Splendor at the Hollywood theatre with Natalie Wood .. five years later (when she would be 78 years old)

Posted: November 29th, 2016 | No Comments »

Natalie Wood with her daughter Natasha Gregson in 1973, early on in her second marriage to Robert John Wagner, Jr.

I’m told that for a few weeks now the statistics for this site have been showing fresh interest in a post of mine from exactly five years ago, on “Splendor at the Hollywood theatre : remembering the Natalie Wood who would be 73 years old.”

The occasion back then was the 30th anniversary of the sad and even tragic death of Ms. Wood, at the far too early age of 43.

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the same event.

Back then as well the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was apparently taking a fresh interest in the circumstances surrounding Natalie Wood’s death by drowning, somewhere between Los Angeles and “Santa Catalina … the island of romance … twenty-six miles away.”

Lana Wood confronts Robert Wagner at Hyatt Regency in Palm Springs, this past February. He should report her to Gibbs at NCIS.

Five years later there has also been some fresh speculation about just what did happen off Santa Catalina on the night of November 28–29, 1981.

This seems fueled more by the private demons of Natalie Wood’s younger sister, Lana Wood, and the business ambitions of a website called Radar Online (and a “private detective firm called Cold Case Investigative Research”), than by any serious concerns of the Los Angeles County Sheriff.

See, eg, a short, shaky article from this past September : “Robert Wagner to Be Arrested For Murder of Natalie Wood?” — the only even half-credible sentence of which is :

“It remains unclear if police have any intention of pressing charges against the 86-year-old Wagner.”

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