Roast of Frank Sinatra (1978)

In some sense, America died with Frank Sinatra.

In the above video, a roast of Frank Sinatra in 1978 is hosted by Dean Martin. It’s everything I think about when I think about “classic Americana.” It’s white men in suits, drinking and smoking.

There are Jews and black people there too. Everyone is getting along. Everyone is happy. These are all very accomplished people, who worked hard.

Of course, these are entertainment men, which is why we recognize them and why there are videos of them from 1978 saved on YouTube. But this is representative of the whole country: accomplished white men who take life seriously, but also smoke and drink and joke around and are sexists and racists.

Ironically, Ronald Reagan was at the event, and he represents the dawn of the modern era, where people stopped caring about living life to its fullest and started thinking purely in material, utilitarian terms. It is utilitarianism, the maximizing of efficiency, which led to the soulless modern situation.

The boomers stripped the fun out of everything, they stripped the meaning out of everything, they turned America into a big money factory.

You see something like this, and then you look around at America today, and you can’t help but ask: “What is left? What remains of that old America, other than the idea of it?”

Probably, nothing much remains other than the idea. But the idea should in fact be enough. If we have the idea, we can rebuild.

We can make America again a nation of honorable, accomplished men, who are sexists and smoke and drink and do important things in the arts, in politics, in industry, in everything else.

We should be hopeful.

Frankie and Dean and the rest of those wops were hopeful. And by the 1970s, they had helped to build a pretty good vibe for America. That’s what entertainers do, isn’t it? They create vibes.

I dig that vibe, and America dug that vibe.

Don Rickles and George Burns were Jew perverts, but they weren’t hurting anything. Maybe they slimed things up a bit, but you need a bit of slime, don’t you?

These vibes today, I do not dig.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I had something to say, but I forget what it was.

I wish the recording was better quality. This video warms the heart, and should give us hope.