Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
Tomorrow is John Lennon’s birthday – he would have been 72 this week had he not been killed in 1980 outside his home in New York City. The Beatles’ Red and Blue albums seemed always to be spinning on our RCA record player when I was a child, and my interest in Lennon and his music spanned my earliest years, which were Lennon’s last, as well as the decades since his death. I remember my Lennon posters making one particular college roommate particularly uneasy. He came from a family of Republicans who taught him that Lennon was a radical, a communist, and an insurgent. It was known by then that President Nixon tried for years to have Lennon deported from his adopted country, in part because the anti-war activist participated in a large San Diego concert on the same evening as the 1972 Republican National Convention. The voting age had been recently lowered to 18, and Nixon was worried that Lennon would woo all those new voters, most of them Beatles fans, to the anti-war cause. Then-Senator Strom Thurmond even sent President Nixon a memo suggesting that "deportation would be a strategic counter-measure” to all of Lennon’s activism. History proved that Nixon had plenty to worry about, but McGovern wasn’t really one of them, for Nixon won the 1972 contest with the largest margin of any presidential election before or since, with McGovern winning only Massachusetts, and my hometown of Washington DC. On that election night, John Lennon attended a symbolic wake, and then separated from Yoko Ono. In documents that have been turned over to Lennon biographers, the FBI concluded, “Lennon appears to be radically oriented; however, he does not give the impression he is a true revolutionist, since he is constantly under the influence of narcotics.” I suppose that if you want to be a true revolutionary, you need to keep your head about you.
Speaking of political movements and rallies, a very different sort of President will be joining us in Davis tomorrow, as Bill Clinton campaigns on the Quad for local Democrats. I’ve seen Presidents Carter and Reagan from afar, and presidential candidates Jesse Jackson and Ted Kennedy up close. The crowds were too crazy the last time Clinton visited us – I think to spark interest in his wife’s candidacy four years ago – but I think there should be room for all of us on the Quad this coming Tuesday morning at 10:30. As we learned in November, the Quad can hold a large number of enthusiasts.
Expect a John Lennon question on the Pub Quiz tonight (a tie-breaker concerning two relevant songs). Tonight at de Vere’s you will also hear spicy film taglines, talk of fonts, comparisons to The Beatles, The Princeton Review, The US Civil War, Texas, LA-based pop rock bands, sports records, your choice of sciences, Urban Dictionary words that you can say on the radio, televised sports, Trivial Nail Canals, Triple A, the centers of things, Washington DC, Rick Perry (who?), California counties, buildings on the UC Davis campus, Irish actors, Paris, Spanish birds, medical maladies, presidential elections, The San Francisco Giants, and Shakespeare.
I hope to see you this evening for the Pub Quiz. The first team who introduces me to a team of six newly-recruited first-time players will be awarded a plate of fries with a serving of the delicious de Vere’s curry ketchup. Do come early to claim a table.
Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:
1. Internet Culture. As of December 2011, version 3.0 of the most popular blogging system in use on the Internet had been downloaded over 65 million times. Name it.
2. Newspaper Headlines. The candidates for US President are preparing for this week’s first Presidential debate. On what day later this week does the debate take place?
3. Four for Four. Which of the following members of famous couples, if any, were ever married to each other? Bonnie and Clyde, Cleopatra and Antony, Hepburn and Tracy, Kahlo and Rivera
4. Dogs and Cats. With a 15% margin of error, what percentage of American dog owners own just one dog?
5. Film Quotations. In what 2011 film does the central character say “Do not try the free pistachio ice cream! It done turn!”?
P.S. Happy birthday to two of our most stalwart Pub Quiz participants. Professor Keith David Watenpaugh will join us tonight, as he almost always does, even though it’s his birthday, while his teammate Don Lipper celebrates tomorrow. These two members of POM recently ran into each other in the Denver airport, so I’m sure they shared potential trivia question topics until they had to board their planes. Happy birthday to Keith and Don, and thanks to all of you who joined me on Facebook recently to share your Pub Quiz question topics. Expect to see all those topics represented in the coming weeks of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz!