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Diva/Mensch pair for May 17, 2023

The Best Song winner for 1971 was Isaac Hayes's theme for *Shaft.* Shut your mouth! I'm talkin' 'about Shaft. The hi-hat intro to the song along establishes it firmly in the realm of Diva.

One of the other nominees was "Bless the Beasts and the Children," music and lyrics by Perry Botkin Jr. and Barry De Vorzon (whoever they are). Lovely, tender, earnest ballad, total Mensch.

I have a funny story about the movie *Shaft.* I got on VHS from the New York Public Library not long after I moved here, sometime in 2003. I had never seen it. You can see the opening credits below but let me talk you through my experience of watching them.

Richard Roundtree comes up out of a subway station and he's in a scummy part of town, lots of porn theaters and sketchy characters. After a while it dawned on me that it was Times Square! It bore absolutely no resemblance to the Disneyfied version of Times Square in the town where I lived. I rewound the movie and started it again, it was too shocking to be believed.

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