|Cocktails with the Honorable Mr. Steyn|
|Tramping with Rita|
|Lounging with Jill|
When Sinatra died and the networks dusted off their old footage of him and Dean on stage, tumblers in hand, wreathed in smoke, the announcers all but prefaced the clips with "Don't try this at home, boys and girls". The assumption is that Rat Pack fever is ironic and post-modern, like practically everything else these days. It seems more likely that 21st century Rat Packers, after growing up with parents who've inflicted plonkingly earnest rockers like Sting on them for 20 years, dig these cats for real. Ditto, Clooney, Pitt and Damon. Any irony in the new Ocean's is a cover: they'd love to be able to smoke and booze like Frank and Dino, but they know, sadly, that guys will never be allowed to have that much fun again.
My favourite Sinatra movie line was in Tony Rome (1967). Sinatra, a soured Chandleresque gumshoe, has been nabbed by some punks and is coolly watching them as they pour chloroform on a dish-rag obviously intended for him. He says: "When."
And now Frank is George Clooney. And Sammy Davis is Don Cheadle. And Angie Dickinson is Julia Roberts. And Dean Martin is Brad Pitt.
More. Steyn has too many Sinatra song reviews to google; here's his Number #1: It Was a Very Good Year
From 2015, Sinatra's Centenary and, ah, no need to google, the complete Top 100 songlist.
And via our old friend Francis Poretto, Mr. Steyn discusses Alan Colmes and the power of Persuasion.