Thursday, December 31, 2009

JANIS web site

JANIS JOPLIN WEB SITE

Savage marriage

I don't always agree with Dan Savage, but I think he's right here about marriage - or any long-term romantic relationship:
A successful marriage is basically an endless cycle of wrongs committed, apologies offered, and forgiveness granted, STH, all leavened by the occasional orgasm. If you're having such a hard time forgiving her for this piddling "betrayal," STH, you're not cut out for marriage and your wife may want to run away before it's too late.

Some people just love to hold onto their grievances and ignore any and all attempts at reconciliation - or even some kind of humane closure. Even when they were the original source of the trouble in the first place. And although people like that hurt other people immensely, they hurt themselves even more. Unless they actually want to grow old alone.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Regency stand-up?

I guess they didn't have stand-up comedy in Regency England. But they did have the early incarnation of Pantomime



Oh look, it's Paul O'Grady's Panto!



The British can be extremely strange.

Speaking of which...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Adult Engrish

You have to go to Japan to get the best hot noodle.



More crazy adult Engrish

I literally cannot read this site for more than five minutes without laughing hysterically.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

OUR TOWN

My excellent daughter got us tickets to see OUR TOWN, the one currently running on Barrow Street which recently become the longest-running production of the play ever. I'm very excited - I've never seen OUR TOWN live, I've only seen it on TV - specifically the version with Spalding Gray as the Stage Manager. Here is a clip from the beginning of the movie version of Spalding Gray's monologue "Swimming to Cambodia."



How captivating do you have to be to have an entire movie built around your hour+ monologue?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tidings of comfort

Krugman has his own version of "A Christmas Carol"
Indulge me while I tell you a story — a near-future version of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” It begins with sad news: young Timothy Cratchit, a k a Tiny Tim, is sick. And his treatment will cost far more than his parents can pay out of pocket.

Fortunately, our story is set in 2014, and the Cratchits have health insurance. Not from their employer: Ebenezer Scrooge doesn’t do employee benefits. And just a few years earlier they wouldn’t have been able to buy insurance on their own because Tiny Tim has a pre-existing condition, and, anyway, the premiums would have been out of their reach.
more

Friday, December 25, 2009

More on the Dickens Manuscript

The NYTimes has another story about the recently unearthed "A Christmas Carol" manuscript:
She also noticed that the story's lone mention of the "United States" was inserted on Page 17 in an apparent dig at the United States. The narrator suggests that time had little meaning for Scrooge beyond the ability it gave him to collect interest on his bonds. If the normal rules of time had somehow lapsed, the financial instruments that made Scrooge rich might instead revert to "mere United States’ securities" – in another words, paper of little worth.

Mr. Kiely said United States securities were viewed dimly by the English in Dickens' time after several American borrowers ran afoul of the financial crisis of 1837. Mr. Kiely said he thought the word in the text that "United States" replaced was "questionable." Dickens' custom, Mr. Kiely said, was to omit that sentence when he read the story aloud to audiences in the United States.

Ms. Johnson’s most stunning find, however, was on Page 37, where Dickens introduces the little boy forever known as Tiny Tim.

"Do my eyes deceive me or was Tiny Tim actually a 'Mick' or a 'Dick' before Dickens thought better of it?" Ms. Johnson wrote.

Mr. Kiely said he was impressed that she noticed that the author appeared to have renamed Tiny Tim, even if she could not make out the original name.

"It's one of the most famous characters in literature, and he starts out life as Little Fred," said Mr. Kiely.

According to Mr. Kiely, the name "Fred" might be an amalgam of Dickens' younger brother named Frederick, another brother named Alfred who died young, and the sickly son of his sister Fannie.

Unwilling to excise a name he liked from his story, Dickens appears to have decided to bestow the name "Fred" upon Scrooge's previously unnamed nephew on Page 43.

Hot Man in Regency Period Clothing of the Week - December 25 edition



Ah, excellent web site for its ferreting out period inaccuracies of romance novel covers.

And what an excellent blog post title: Gorgeous Men in Tight Breeches and Ruffled Shirts. Says the author:
Here's a description of male attire from my Regency time travel, Lady of the Stars. The twenty-first century heroine, Caroline, gets her first good look at the Regency hero, Richard.


"Good heavens, the aggravating man was gorgeous. Tall and slim, his broad shoulders tapered to narrow hips and long legs. But where had he found that outlandish outfit? He wore a top hat, out here in the middle of nowhere. His shirt collar was turned up and he wore a huge white tie. And his waist-length, double-breasted jacket had tails, like the one an orchestra conductor wore. Muddy black boots with the tops turned down came up to his knees. Skintight trousers, or were those breeches--of all things?--emphasized every well-formed muscle."

This passage illustrates another aspect of Regency men's clothes: they were tight. A man's coat often fit so closely he needed help putting it on, and then he might be unable to lift his arms as high as his shoulders. Form-fitting breeches literally left little to the imagination. Then, as now, such clothes could look good only on men with the best physiques, like romance novel heroes.


She is not kidding about the breeches - if the BBC's 1971 "Tom Brown's School Days" is accurate. I didn't notice this when I first saw the series but I noticed it this time - wow you can see virtually every male character's package. It's practically obscene. I think I'll watch it again tonight.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from the US Senate

Well, the Senate DEMOCRATS at least:

Senate Passes Health Care Overhaul on Party-Line Vote
The Senate voted Thursday to reinvent the nation’s health care system, passing a bill to guarantee access to health insurance for tens of millions of Americans and to rein in health costs as proposed by President Obama.

he 60-to-39 party-line vote, on the 25th straight day of debate on the legislation, brings Democrats a step closer to a goal they have pursued for decades. It clears the way for negotiations with the House, which passed a broadly similar bill last month by a vote of 220 to 215.

If the two chambers can strike a deal, as seems likely, the resulting product would vastly expand the role and responsibilities of the federal government. It would, as lawmakers said repeatedly in the debate, touch the lives of nearly all Americans.


What Krugman said:
...what we’re getting will, in its overall results, work a lot like a single-payer system. It will be an imperfect, inefficient simulation; but those on the left who decry it as terrible, evil, nothing but a giveaway to the insurance companies are missing the very real good it will do...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

She surely likes absinthe!




Since 2007, when the Treasury Department relaxed its position on the sale of absinthe, 13 American distilleries have begun producing the spirit legally, according to the Wormwood Society, a consumer education and advocacy group. Ms. Lins, 56, is the first in New York State, making two versions at Delaware Phoenix, her micro-distillery here. (Another absinthe, distilled in Gardiner, N.Y., and called Edward III, will go on sale next week.)

Customers like Astor Wines & Spirits and the bar Louis 649 seem to find her lack of self-promotion sometimes amusing and mostly refreshing. Justin Chearno, manager of the wine store Uva in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said: “When she walked into the store, I saw she had that thing natural winemakers have — an authentic, obsessive thing. When she said she was selling absinthe, not wine, I was, like, ‘You’re kidding!’ Then I tasted. Her flavors and tastes were just as alive.”

Five years ago, Ms. Lins was living in a yurt in New Mexico. To escape the heat, she came to this small town in Delaware County, chosen for no apparent reason other than instinct. A computer programmer and watercolorist, she tended the fish counter at the health food store in nearby Delhi. Then one March morning in 2006, The New Yorker arrived in the mail. Inside was an article on absinthe.

Though nearly a teetotaler at the time, Ms. Lins became so possessed by the history of the green fairy that she ordered bottles (perfectly legal) from Europe. After several $100 deliveries, frugality took over. She ordered a copper-pot still from Portugal that arrived with “decorative garden ornament” written on the shipping label. Pierre Duplais’s bible of 19th-century distillation techniques became her best friend. She headed to her basement to concoct. Soon, the police were on constant patrol. “They probably thought I was running a meth lab,” she said.

more on the green fairy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jazz Christmas is the best

The only Christmas music I can stand anymore is jazz Christmas music. Jazz blends perfectly with Christmas music because they complement each other so well. Everybody knows the Christmas songs, they're done to death every December. And much jazz is unlistenable because of the tendency of jazz players to subvert the melody (or not even bother with melody in the first place) with random solos. Contemporary jazz music puts a high premium on novelty. So the familiarity of the Christmas song is leavened by the novelty of jazz - and even if jazz musicians do go out on a tangent, you can still usually follow the melody line.

Vince Guaraldi did jazz versions of several Christmas standards for "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown" - in this Youtube clip he does a little bit of the standard version of "O Tannenbaum" and then gets into the jazzed-up version.



And of course Guaraldi composed the classic "Linus and Lucy" - which isn't technically a Christmas song, but it has become a Christmas standard. And it's an all-around great song. Here is a snippet from the Charlie Brown Christmas special:



CLASSIC dance moves from the Peanuts gang!

The soundtrack from that Christmas special is the best collection of music for the season ever. Get it if you don't have it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Garrison Keillor has lost it

It's probably due to his recent stroke, although Keillor had already shown he is a lousy satirist a few years ago. But what he's written most recently for the Chicago Tribune goes beyond inept satire.

My theory is that Keillor is too much the canonized Great Man of the Arts for any of the cultural gate-keepers to stop him - and one of these days he's going to say something so offensive even they won't be able to palm it off as "he's only satirizing" - they're going to let him drive his addle-brained self right off a cliff.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

demonology



This latest episode of the Darlington Curse mentions sulfur again - which as we know is the mark of demons. The Long Island Paranomal Investigators provide more info on the identification of demons.

Yes we still live in a completely misogynistic world

Stories like this are the reason that I usually sign my work N. G. rather than by my full first name. This writer talks about how she succeeded in business by using a male pen name:
I had high-quality skills and a good education. I was fast on turnaround and very professional. I hustled and I delivered on my promises, every single time. I worked hard and built the business, putting in long hours and reinvesting a lot of the money I made.

I really, really wanted to make this work.

But I was still having a hard time landing jobs. I was being turned down for gigs I should've gotten, for reasons I couldn’t put a finger on.

My pay rate had hit a plateau, too. I knew I should be earning more. Others were, and I soaked up everything they could teach me, but still, there was something strange about it...

It wasn’t my skills, it wasn't my work. So what were those others doing that I wasn't?

One day, I tossed out a pen name, because I didn’t want to be associated with my current business, the one that was still struggling to grow. I picked a name that sounded to me like it might convey a good business image. Like it might command respect.

My life changed that day

Instantly, jobs became easier to get.

There was no haggling. There were compliments, there was respect. Clients hired me quickly, and when they received their work, they liked it just as quickly. There were fewer requests for revisions — often none at all.

Customer satisfaction shot through the roof. So did my pay rate.

And I was thankful. I finally stopped worrying about how I would feed my girls. We were warm. Well-fed. Safe. No one at school would ever tease my kids about being poor.

I was still bringing in work with the other business, the one I ran under my real name. I was still marketing it. I was still applying for jobs — sometimes for the same jobs that I applied for using my pen name.

I landed clients and got work under both names. But it was much easier to do when I used my pen name.
more here...

Swedish Boogie-woogie championship



OK, I never even knew there was a Swedish boogie-woogie championship... thanks youtube.

In fact, according to wikipedia:
The small village of Herräng in Sweden (north of Stockholm) has unofficially become the international mecca of Lindy Hop thanks to the annual Herräng Dance Camp run by the Harlem Hot Shots with an attendance from around 40 countries.
I kid you not.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hot Man in Regency Period Clothing of the Week - December 18 edition

From "Becoming Jane" James McAvoy shows how to wear a waistcoat.



Ooh - this trailer of "Becoming Jane" has a clip - alas all too brief - from the excellent Jane voyeristically watching the guys skinny-dipping scene.



Meanwhile, the Darlington episodes are coming fast and furious...

I herewith apologize to all my readers who have been justly dismayed by the depravity..."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I missed Gurney

Well thanks to being sick I missed the latest Cherry Lane master class, this time with A.R. Gurney, author of SYLVIA among other plays. *sigh* But at least 6 other members of NYCPlaywrights got to go.

Monday, December 14, 2009

John Keats - Ode to a Nightingale

Ode to a Nightingale

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness, -
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain -
To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music: - Do I wake or sleep?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Faire une pipe - c'est-ca sais?

I know not how long I lay...

another mystery solved



I've blogged earlier about how the TV series "Alias Smith and Jones" was a big influence on my heterosexual development. The Masterpiece Theater series "Tom Brown's Schooldays" was also a big influence - and on reviewing the excerpt from the series here, I think this also explains why I love men in Regency-period costume so much. When I first saw this show I was smitten with Tom Brown and his blond friend here - I was ten years old at the time but I was also aware of a sexual charge from the sadistic bully Flashman. And now I see why - just look at him, in boots and sundry sartorial splendors and tied up with a bow. Even though the character is a bastard of course he's still a scorching hot hottie. I finally know the name of the actor: Richard Morant

The actor who played Tom Brown is Anthony Murphy, now a painter. And not nearly as handsome as you might expect considering how incredibly pretty he was in the day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hot Man in Regency Period Clothing of the Week - Dec. 11 2009

Is it Friday already? It must be time for the Hot Man in Regency Period Clothing of the Week. I think it's appropriate to feature some major cravat action here:



Some helpful info:

Cravat variations



Waistcoat


The waistcoat image comes by way of the Oregon Regency Society. Who knew there was an Oregon Regency Society?


Bonus hot guy - "Mr. Darcy" models a man's Regency period shirt - which did not unbutton all the way down, as you can see.

This information will all be very helpful for the next DC installment.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Darling, I love you

Best Paul Krugman blog post title yet:
Darling, I love you

OK, that’s way too strong. But Alistair Darling’s new super-tax on bank bonuses sounds like a good idea, on first read. Or as Justin Fox puts it, why the heck not?


more...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Love is like a ball & chain




Sittin' down by my window,
Just lookin' out at the rain.
Sittin' down by my window,
Just lookin' out at the rain.
Somethin' came along, grabbed a hold of me,
And it felt like a ball and chain.

And I say, oh, whoa, whoa, now hon', tell me why,
Why does every single little tiny thing I hold on goes wrong?
And I say, oh, whoa, whoa, now babe, tell me why,
Why does every thing go wrong?
Here you gone today, I wanted to love you,
Honey, I just wanted to love you for so long

And I say oh, whoa, whoa, no honey
It ain't fair, it ain't fair what you do,
And I say oh, whoa, whoa, no honey
I said hon' it ain't fair what, baby it ain't fair what you do.
Oh, here you gone today I want to love you love you
That's all I could do.

Love's got a hold on me, baby,
Feels just like a ball and chain.
Now, love's just draggin' me down, baby, yeah,
Feels like a ball and chain.
I hope there's someone out there who could tell me
Why the man I love wanna leave me in so much pain.

Sittin' down by my window,
Lookin' at the rain.
Just sittin' down by my window,
Lookin' at the rain
Somethin' came along, grabbed a hold of me,
And it felt like a ball and chain.


I'm always getting hits to this web site from people looking for "janis joplin nude" - here yah go everybody!



this one is popular too

Friday, December 04, 2009

Hot Man in Regency Period Clothing of the Week - inauguration



I have such a fetish for men in Regency period clothing I decided to celebrate by posting one image a week of same. I don't know if I'll remember to do so on a weekly basis, but it's worth a try.

I'm guessing this is from a movie version of Jane Austen's "Emma."

fun with Google maps

I really enjoy Google maps - did you know that not only can you look down on Stonehenge by turning on the "Satellite" option:




..you can take a tour through Stonehenge by throwing the little yellow person down on the map?



Not surprisingly, if you throw the yellow person down on one of the roads that goes around Google's headquarters (aka "Googleplex") - especially Ampitheatre Parkway - you will see something you'll never see in any of the other Google Earth images - people's unblurred faces. Although a few are blurred out, but since most of these people are Google employees they were easily persuaded to give permission. It looks like Google got its entire workforce out to wave at the photo trucks.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dickens harshes on Hamlet

Very interesting article in today's NYTimes about Charles Dickens's original manuscript of "A Christmas Carol."

Impressively, the article includes links to high-resolution PDFs of the entire manuscript.

Apparently Dickens was unimpressed with Hamlet and said so on page one of the manuscript, and then thought better of it and scratched it out. But it's still readable and it says:
Perhaps you think that Hamlet's intellects were strong. I doubt it. If you could have such a son tomorrow, depend upon it, you would find him a poser. He would be a most impracticable fellow to deal with, and however creditable he might be to the family, after his decease, he would prove a special incumbrance in his lifetime, trust me.

Ooh, naughty Dickens.

Monday, November 30, 2009

the curse of Cassandra



It's never easy being Cassandra

What I said in July 2008:
The US government will have to do two things to fix the coming world-wide economic crisis - create a jobs program, as it did during the Great Depression, and put a cap on the interest rates charged by credit card companies.


What Paul Krugman said today:
Meanwhile, the federal government could provide jobs by ... providing jobs. It’s time for at least a small-scale version of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration, one that would offer relatively low-paying (but much better than nothing) public-service employment.


Not that I'm accusing Krugman of not listening to me - my understanding of economics is hugely influenced by him in the first place. No - Krugman is a Cassandra too, although as a NYTimes columnist and a Nobel Prize winner, he is occasionally listened to - and I wish he had made a point of talking about jobs programs sooner.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Interview



Another interview with an NYCPlaywrights member in the can - this clip includes Mary doing scenes from my work-in-progress PALMYRA NJ.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Frenchy-French Thanksgiving - try again

As I blogged last year, I celebrate Thanksgiving at Capsoutos Freres - I've been doing it since 1998. This is only the 10th year though, because

a. in 2005 my ex-boyfriend wanted to try One If By Land - he loved the unctuous waitstaff there. I was not impressed. And we were broken up by Thanksgiving 2006 so it was back to CF pour moi.

b. last year my daughter was sick

Assuming there will be no sick incidents today, I hope to be enjoying French turkey and pumpkin souffle in about 5 hours from now - and something really yummy from their always excellent wine list.

Formidable!

And now some traditional French Thanksgiving punk music from Plastic Betrand

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All your Christmas Carol are belong to us

Suddenly, it seems, Gerald Charles Dickens is everywhere, cashing in on his family name and lineage to plague all the other less well-descended performers of one-man Christmas Carols.

I just received an email from Theater 1010 today which touts their sponsorship of GC Dickens doing his thang in early December. And the people who run 1010 know a very good (I begrudgingly admit) local Christmas Carol actor whom they've even worked with before on other projects.

You just gotta know how to pick the right ancestors I guess.

my new play idea

There is a certain independent filmmaker I know (no you've never heard of him) whose work absolutely cries out for parody. I will write a play about it soon. In my play the guy has a fetish for bob haircuts and he makes sure that almost all the women who he somehow manages to convince to act in his sci-fi Starwars ripoff films wear bob wigs. Also, the movie will have a couple of robot hunters - one male, the other female land on a planet where all the women are compelled to dress like hoes, so the female robot hunter has to dress like one too - with a bob haircut wig. Throw in some truly bad, cliched, mind-bogglingly slow-moving dialog and... genius! This should be the funniest play I could ever hope to write.

Oh yeah, and maddeningly irritating, repetitive techno music.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Every day I write the book



Great song...


Don't tell me you don't know what love is
When you're old enough to know better
When you find strange hands in your sweater
When your dreamboat turns out to be a footnote
I'm a man with a mission in two or three editions

[Chorus:]
And I'm giving you a longing look
Everyday, everyday, everyday I write the book

Chapter One we didn't really get along
Chapter Two I think I fell in love with you
You said you'd stand by me in the middle of Chapter Three
But you were up to your old tricks in Chapters Four, Five and Six

[chorus]

The way you walk
The way you talk, and try to kiss me, and laugh
In four or five paragraphs
All your compliments and your cutting remarks
Are captured here in my quotation marks

[chorus]

Don't tell me you don't know the difference
Between a lover and a fighter
With my pen and my electric typewriter
Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal
I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel

Forced Empathy Gets 'Em



Another clip from CHRISTMAS BLESSING

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Blessing video clip



You do NOT want to mess with the New York Christmas Fairy, f***tard!

One of the advantage of doing a non-Equity show - you get to videotape.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas Blessing opens tonight



My 10-minute play CHRISTMAS BLESSING opens tonight. It was fun, but alot of work for a 2-show run. Ah well, the trials of off-off Broadway.

I gothed up Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" for the New York Christmas Fairy's entrance. Listen here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What I did for love



Above is a clip from my play GOOD WOMEN OF MORNINGSIDE, which was part of Sunday's NYCPlaywrights Autumn Reading Fundraiser. I thought this reading went very well.

This play is inspired by a true story, but altered to change the facts. In my play, two mean girls - well, actually fully grown women - create a Facebook page to mock a college student who loves her cat - loves him too much in the opinion of the mean women.

In real life the story is even stranger - I blogged about it back in June but it bears repeating it's so peculiar. What actually happened is this: I was unrequitedly in love with an actor and we had a vicious falling out and he stopped communicating with me. I was devastated and even though I despised this person for what I had learned about him, I also still loved him. Which I am not happy about in the least, but it's the truth. I'm sure other people have been in the same situation - hearts do not listen to reason. And one of the ways that I dealt with this confusing tangled-up anguish was to write sonnets and post them to this blog - they are still here.

More...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Jane Eyre - Twilight connection

Edward: Our romantic hero's name was inspired by 'Edward Fairfax Rochester' from classic Charlotte Bronte novel Jane Eyre.
found here

Monday, November 16, 2009

Master class

One of the nice things about running NYCPlaywrights (for a list of lousy things feel free to write in) is that I get freebies like a master class at the Cherry Lane Theater with Tina Howe, which I attended tonight. Although it wasn't really a class so much as Tina Howe sitting around talking about her career. Which wasn't too bad, she had some pretty entertaining anecdotes, like the time Dianne Wiest was almost burned alive in Howe's play THE ART OF DINING when a flaming special effect for the crepes suzette exploded.

She complained that critics like her "white glove" plays better than her "bare hand" plays, but that's probably because much of her work is autobiographical, and her life has been all white gloves - she comes from an upper-class New England family and when she was in her 20s her father gave her the choice of going to graduate school or touring Europe with Jane Alexander. We should all be given such choices when we are in our 20s.

She also said that the ten-minute play is a legitimate art form. She said it about four times, so she must really believe it. She also said that lots of plays performed in the Louisville short play festival are commissions - so there's not much chance of a non-famous playwright getting their work in. Things like this are good to know, if not actually surprising. So I did learn general playwright stuff. And besides, I didn't feel like going to Europe.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

falling readership?

Geez, if nobody's going to read my story I don't know why I should bother writing it...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trying to throw your arms around the world...



Lyrics:

Six o'clock in the morning
You're the last to hear the warning
You've been trying to throw your arms
Around the world
You've been falling off the sidewalk
Your lips move but you can't talk
Tryin' to throw your arms around the world

Sunrise like a nosebleed
Your head hurts and you can't breathe
You been tryin' to throw you arms around the world
How far you gonna go
Before you lose your way back home
You've been trying to throw your arms
Around the world

Yeah, I dreamed that I saw Dali
With a supermarket trolley
He was trying to throw his arms around a girl
He took an open top beetle
Through the eye of a needle
He was tryin' to throw his arms around the world

I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman be still
I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Oh, Woman I will

(And you just gotta, you just gotta make your faith...see...)

Nothin' much to say I guess
Just the same as all the rest
Been trying to throw your arms around the world
And a woman needs a man
Like a fish needs a bicycle
When you're tryin' to throw your arms around the world

I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman be still
I'm gonna run to you, run to you, run to you
Woman I will

-------

This song wins the award for "Best use of the feminist motto 'a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle' in a song"

This is not Betsy's motto, alas.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

It cannot be said often enough: Jon Stewart is a genius

He deserves an Emmy for this piece of political-satirical theater. I totally lost it at: "I'm a cuckoo bird! I'm a big cuckoo bird! I eat my own tie!"

Watch and see:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The 11/3 Project
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Times of Harvey Milk - NOW

You can watch The Times of Harvey Milk online for free now!

This is a great great movie.

Nick Fondulis IS Jayden Michael Tyler





Wow, Nick does crazy really well, as can be seen by his appearance on 30 Rock. Nick IS Jayden Michael Tyler!

Brian Williams was also very funny!

It's amusing to see Tina Fey holding Nick's headshot - I almost didn't audition Nick for my HUCK FINN because I didn't really like his headshot... but at the last minute I was like, well, what the heck - there's a slot on the audition schedule.

And then he blew away the competition - and I was rooting for another guy for Huck.

Now Nick's famous - all of a sudden people are Googling his name and ending up on the NYCPlaywrights web site. Using search terms such as "jayden michael tyler" and "30 Rock Fondulis" and "Nick Fondulis gay."

You can see for yourself here:
Who played Jayden Michael Tyler tonight on "30 Rock"?

Liz and Pete have, after a TSA-slapfight-filled search, finally picked their chosen new cast member, a squeaky-faced young man with three names, Jayden Michael Tyler... The audition occurs and it seems clear that Jayden is the best...plus he has great references including Martin Scorsese, Christopher Walken, and Gilbert Gottfried. It turns out though that he's actually a complete psychopath who used his incredible impersonation skills to fake those references.


Here's Nick doing a monologue I wrote just for my STRESS AND THE CITY show (to get around Equity restrictions - they won't let you record the rehearsals or the show.) The character Nick plays here is based on my ex-boyfriend - clearly Nick portrays crazy guys well!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Go Marsha Norman

Not There Yet
What will it take to achieve equality for women in the theatre?
By Marsha Norman

Discussing the status of women in the theatre feels a little like debating global warming. I mean, why are we still having this discussion? According to a report issued seven years ago by the New York State Council on the Arts, 83 percent of produced plays are written by men—a statistic that, by all indications, remains unchanged. Nobody doubts that the North Pole is melting, either—we see it on the news. These are both looming disasters produced by lazy behavior that nobody bothered to stop. End of discussion. What we have to do in both cases is commit to change before it is too late.

But, you ask, why is it a disaster that women writers are wildly underrepresented on the American stage? Actually, it's awful all over the arts world for women. My painter pals tell me that at one big museum in New York City, the new acquisitions by men are on the walls, while the new work by women is all in crates in the basement. Only in the orchestra world are the gender numbers equal, and that's because they started holding blind auditions a few years ago.

The U.S. Department of Labor considers any profession with less than 25 percent female employment, like being a machinist or firefighter, to be "untraditional" for women. Using the 2008 numbers, that makes playwriting, directing, set design, lighting design, sound design, choreography, composing and lyric writing all untraditional occupations for women. That's a disaster if you're a woman writer, or even if you just think of yourself as a fair person. We have a fairness problem, and we have to fix it now. If it goes on like this, women will either quit writing plays, all start using pseudonyms, or move to musicals and TV, where the bias against women's work is not so pervasive.

In the late '70s, when I came of age as a playwright—along with Beth Henley, Wendy Wasserstein, Tina Howe, Paula Vogel and Ntozake Shange—we thought the revolution would be over by now. We thought we were changing things, that regional theatres and New York institutional theatres would soon be presenting seasons filled with plays by women. But that did not happen.


More at Theatre Communications Group

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ayn Rand Christmas


Wow, suddenly there is all this interest in Ayn Rand - like this New Yorker article about her, inspired by the two new biographies about her.

My play CHRISTMAS BLESSING is turning out to be very trendy with all the references to the queen of the Objectivists.

The image here is the post stamp honoring Ayn Rand, and as the New Yorker observes:
Of all Americans who have appeared on the nation's postage stamps, Ayn Rand is probably the only one to have thought that the United States government has no business delivering mail. In her central pronouncement of political belief - the character John Galt's radio address, which begins on page 1,000 of Rand's 1957 novel, "Atlas Shrugged" - allowance is made for the state to run an army, a police force, and courts, but that's it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Hammer of the Witches

I've been doing some research for my Darlington story and found that the Malleus Maleficarum - aka "Hammer of the Witches" is available online.

It's rather slow and tedious reading, considering the subject matter - there's some freaky stuff in it. And the requisite misogyny:
But because in these times this perfidy is more often found in women than in men, as we learn by actual experience, if anyone is curious as to the reason, we may add to what has already been said the following: that since they are feebler both in mind and body, it is not surprising that they should come more under the spell of witchcraft.

For as regards intellect, or the understanding of spiritual things, they seem to be of a different nature from men; a fact which is vouched for by the logic of the authorities, backed by various examples from the Scriptures. Terence says: Women are intellectually like children. And Lactantius (Institutiones, III): No woman understood philosophy except Temeste. And Proverbs xi, as it were describing a woman, says: As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

But the natural reason is that she is more carnal than a man, as is clear from her many carnal abominations. And it should be noted that there was a defect in the formation of the first woman, since she was formed from a bent rib, that is, a rib of the breast, which is bent as it were in a contrary direction to a man. And since through this defect she is an imperfect animal, she always deceives. For Cato says: When a woman weeps she weaves snares. And again: When a woman weeps, she labours to deceive a man. And this is shown by Samson's wife, who coaxed him to tell her the riddle he had propounded to the Philistines, and told them the answer, and so deceived him.

And it is clear in the case of the first woman that she had little faith; for when the serpent asked why they did not eat of every tree in Paradise, she answered: Of every tree, etc. - lest perchance we die. Thereby she showed that she doubted, and had little in the word of God. And all this is indicated by the etymology of the word; for Femina comes from Fe and Minus, since she is ever weaker to hold and preserve the faith.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

if it's Autumn...

It must be time for the NYCPlaywrights Autumn Fundraiser...

Friday, October 30, 2009

another awesome Mr. Deity



"It's their culture - that's how they roll."

And they stole the Prime Directive from Star Trek.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Awesome

I wrote a play that was kind of like this a few years ago..

Sunday, October 25, 2009

another dream destroyed



I never followed professional sports until I dated my ex-boyfriend, who was a big Yankees fan. So I actually got to know who was on the team, etc. for the 1998 - 2005 seasons. Not that I really cared much - except when that incredibly sexy Derek Jeter came up to bat, or made a play in the outfield. Like any heterosexual female, I fantasized about Derek Jeter, never thinking that I would ever actually be in his presence, like, in "real life."

So I'm in my local Starbucks today and I turn around and whose eyes should I find myself gazing into, but Derek Jeter's. I might have said something except - my mouth was full of a big piece of chocolate biscotti!

*sigh* Not at all like I imagined it...

Damn I could look at images of Derek Jeter all day though.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Julie roundup

Roundup of reviews for the just-opened AFTER MISS JULIE - am I the only person who finds the ending of the original (and this remake) to be ridiculous?

prancing pony



The Prancing Pony, as we all know, is where Aragorn liked to get his drink on.

His blue eyes sparkle and he prances like a pony and makes silly jests and talks and talks (not Aragorn)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ode on a Grecian Urn and William Faulkner's momma

William Faulkner said:
The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much that he can't get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is worth any number of old ladies.


I think it's no accident that the writer is a he and those he'd sacrifice are females. I mentioned this statement in my essay The Asshole License, written a few years ago.

I was gratified when recently I found that my essay was being linked-to by many people during the time of the Polanski arrest because of the connection between that and the response of the French and Hollywood to the arrest - outrage that a Great Man of the Arts should be treated like any common child-rapist. I wasn't aware of Polanski's crime when I wrote that essay but I certainly would have mentioned it if I was.

I recently discovered this excellent essay about the Polanski issue that expresses my sentiments perfectly in regards to Faulkner's statement:
Being a great artist (or having the personal history that Polanski has suffered through--from Holocaust Poland to the Manson Family murder of this wife and unborn child) should not exempt from justice.

Plenty has come to light about the judge in the case and possible prosecution misconduct. Polanski couldn't face a better time to make his case.

Of course, his timing is gruesomely horrible--think of any number of ironic twists in his movies--he gets nabbed just as the country is awash with the Mackenzie Phillips incest story. But Polanski does seem to have more apologists around than Papa John.

D. H. Lawrence once said, "we shed our sicknesses in books."

I'm not so sure. I think very little gets shed writing songs or making movies. The figures on the urn are finally just figures on the urn.

It's what we do with the old ladies, or young girls, I think, that ultimately matters.


Furthermore, I doubt John Keats would have sacrificed his mother - who never got to be an old lady but died fairly young of tuberculosis (which also killed Keats at age 25) for his poem.

Presumably Faulkner felt differently about his own mother. Here's the poem he would trade her and others for:
Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thou express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring'd legend haunt about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter: therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal - yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.


more Keats here

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

heehee



This cartoon in the latest New Yorker made me laugh aloud on the subway today.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

good women done good

I finally had a reading of my play THE GOOD WOMEN OF MORNINGSIDE at NYCPlaywrights - I was afraid that since I wrote it out of a personal experience it wouldn't work well as a play itself - but it did - it went very well. Of course I lucked into getting a couple of really good actors who are very good at cold readings to play the mean girls so I don't take all the credit, but I'm really quite pleased. I was going to do it as part of the Playlab, but that didn't work out. But I think I'll do it for the NYCP fundraiser. The actors playing the mean girls also seemed to have quite a bit of fun being mean.

Like Courtney in my play, I really don't get mean girls. Why would somebody try to hurt someone they don't even know? My assumption is that there is something deeply nasty and resentful in the core of their being that comes out when they think they can hurt somebody and get away with it. It's also a kind of a bonding ritual. And then there's the issue of hierarchy. This essay on mean girls I think gets at something here:
Alliances, many of them temporary and fleeting, are a critical element of the Alphas’ strategy. When it suits them, Alphas will befriend a girl with whom they would not ordinarily be associated with the sole intent -- not always apparent to the newly befriended girl -- of inflicting revenge and retribution on their latest victim. Although Alphas can be mean and cruel, they aren’t physical; catfights aren’t their thing. Rather than engaging in physical altercations, they rely on words, insults, rumor, gossip, innuendo, and manipulation. And the Alphas use others who are not members of the clique, including girls aspiring to this lofty status, and boys, naturally the most popular boys whenever possible, in their campaigns to ruin the reputations of others they find threatening or morally, intellectually, socially, or physically superior.
The Debbie-Lisa and Lisa-Jean characters in my play are based on women who fall into that category - of girls used by the Alpha girls to accomplish their ends. I didn't bother to put the Alpha Girl at the heart of the gang into this play - I already gave her a play of her own, a year before this GOOD WOMEN play. I knew the Alpha girl was seriously screwed up, but I didn't realize she had organized a whole gang of strangers to attack me until recently - which is why it took me this long to write a play about them.

The moral of the story - if you fuck with me, I will write a play about you. Cause I'm all badass like that.

Friday, October 16, 2009

dreamy dreams



The Darlington Curse or The Curse of Darlington??? Apparently the Town of Grimsby has been getting its ass kicked by Darlington for 31 years now.

ooh that sexy Keats and his dreams...

And look - Ben Whishaw, who played Keats, has the same birthday as Katha Pollitt.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy birthday!

to Katha Pollitt - one of my favorite writers.

One of my favorite essays by her:
"STICK to straight liquor," my father advised me when I left for college, in the fall of 1967. "That way, you'll always know how drunk you are." I thought he was telling me that real grownups don't drink brandy Alexanders, but, of course, what he was talking about was sex. College boys could get totally plastered, and the worse that would happen to them would be hangovers and missed morning classes. But if I didn't carefully monitor my alcohol intake one of those boys might, as they used to say, take advantage of me. Or, as they say now, date-rape me.

Veiled parental warning like the one my father gave me- don't go alone to a boy's room, always carry "mad money" on a date, just in case - have gone the way of single-sex dorms, parietal hours, female-only curfews, and the three-feet-on-the-floor rule, swept away like so much Victorian bric-a-brac by the sexual revolution, the student movement, and the women's movement. The kids won; the duennas and fussbudgets lost.

Or did they? In "The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus" (Little, Brown; $19.95) Katie Roiphe, a twenty-five-year-old Harvard alumna and graduate student of English at Princeton, argues that women's sexual freedom is being curtailed by a new set of hand-wringing fuddy-duddies: feminists. Anti-rape activists, she contends, have manipulated statistics to frighten college women with a nonexistent "epidemic"
of rape, date rape, and sexual harassment, and have encouraged them to view "everyday experience"- sexist jokes, professional leers, men's straying hands and other body parts- as intolerable insults and assaults. "Stranger rape" (the intruder with a knife)
is rare; true date rape (the frat boy with a fist) is even rarer. As Roiphe sees it, most students who say they have been date raped are reinterpreting in the cold grey light of dawn the "bad sex" they were too passive to refuse and too enamored of victimhood to acknowledge as their own responsibility. Camille Paglia, move
over.
more

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Me, Claudius



This is the best episode of Monsterpiece Theater. Sesame Street's greatest period was the early 1980s when my daughter was a toddler - and before computer graphics ruined it.

Although the 70s certainly had some classic moments - on the SUBWAY!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Christmas Blessing

Isn't that nice - Jonathan Wallace asked me to contribute a play to the 10-minute Playlab he's running because he likes my work. And I'm happy to say I like his work too - and I say that about so few playwrights this side of Shakespeare and Tony Kushner. I became acquainted with his work last year when I selected one of his plays for my 10-min. Playfest.

And actually, I think my play CHRISTMAS BLESSING is somewhat Wallace-esque.

And it's a small world after all - Jonathan knows some of the same actors and directors that I know - I wonder if he knows how much some of them like to write poetry.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Keats the hotty



The drawing of John Keats, above, portrays a very attractive man - much more attractive than in any of the paintings of Keats I have seen.

one of his poems...

ASLEEP! O sleep a little while, white pearl!
And let me kneel, and let me pray to thee,
And let me call Heaven’s blessing on thine eyes,
And let me breathe into the happy air,
That doth enfold and touch thee all about,
Vows of my slavery, my giving up,
My sudden adoration, my great love!


More Poetical Works of John Keats

Thursday, October 08, 2009

good morning



Time for a story - here's hoping you had a better night than Oliver Acton.

The best plaza ever



I say in my link list to the right that Engrish.com never fails to amuse - so true - I always laugh out loud after looking at this site for more than 4 seconds.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Love letter from John Keats to Fanny Brawne

My sweet girl,
Your Letter gave me more delight, than any thing in the world but yourself could do; indeed I am almost astonished that any absent one should have that luxurious power over my senses which I feel. Even when I am not thinking of you I receive your influence and a tenderer nature steeling upon me. All my thoughts, my unhappiest days and nights have I find not at all cured me of my love of Beauty, but made it so intense that I am miserable that you are not with me: or rather breathe in that dull sort of patience that cannot be called Life. I never knew before, what such a love as you have made me feel, was; I did not believe in it; my Fancy was affraid of it, lest it should burn me up. But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures.

more

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

gotta go to work, work all day, search for underpants hey

Excellent post at Eschaton:


Looting For Profit

Buy companies, leverage them, pay yourself a dividend, and then go bankrupt.

I think we've finally found the secret phase 2 of the underpants gnomes.


Phase 1: Collect Underpants
Phase 2: Use underpants as collateral for multibillion dollar loan.
Phase 3: Profit


Although admittedly, I like anything that references the Underpants Gnomes:



Here the Underpants Gnomes explain their business model.

I laugh hysterically every time.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Emmaline Grangerford

I'm preparing my play HUCK FINN for publication and I've been thinking about all the things that I had to leave out of my adaptation of Twain's novel. I didn't mind leaving the Tom Sawyer bits out, except for the argument between Tom and Huck on the subject of genies, but I'm really sorry I couldn't get the poetry of Emmaline Grangerford in. Emmaline was the morbid daughter of the Grangerfords, a family who was feuding with the Shepherdsons. The feud section of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" ends tragically but the Emmaline part is really funny.

I added my own original bits too, when I felt it was absolutely necessary - I hate it when people mess with a classic for no good reason - and was suprised, if gratified to discover that some of my bits got as many laughs as Twain's funny bits, like this one:



BOB: You reckon they’ll catch that runaway slave that killed that boy, what’s his name?

JOE: Whose name? The slave?

BOB: The boy. Crazy old Finn’s boy.

JOE: I don’t remember. Except it was a strange kind of name. It was some kind of fruit.

BOB: Some kind of fruit? Who would name a child after some kind of fruit?

JOE: I’m pretty sure it was some kind of fruit. Like “Crabapple.” Yeah, that sounds right. Crabapple Finn. His pappy’s a terrible drunk – maybe he was drunk when he named him. And now that old drunk’s gonna get all Crabapple’s money. Some people have all the luck.



While I was preparing to adapt the novel I recorded myself reading the entire novel (I was unemployed at the time.) here is my recording of the Emmaline section below:






Bright Star - a review



I finally got to see the movie "Bright Star" tonight. Go see it if you need a really good cry. And the acting is absolutely amazing!

This Rolling Stone review says it well:
And Cornish is glorious, making Fanny a force of womanhood able to take on Brown (Schneider is a sharply witty irritant) when he tries to break the connection between her and her beloved. Cornish catches the fertile mind that Fanny poignantly tries to nurture, knowing she'll grow closer to Keats by deciphering the words that possess him. A literate, lyrical love story in the age of Hollywood crass. I must be dreaming.


complete Rolling Stone review

And of course there was the glorious Regency period clothing which makes even unattractive men unbearably enticing. Ben Wishaw is not beautiful, strictly speaking, but in that long shaggy hair and high collars and neck wraps and jackets and tight trousers, you just want to ravish him. Oh lah lah. I must write another play set in the Regency period soon, just so I can get my actors into those amazing outfits.

Watch an excellent clip of the movie here

Oh yes, and the pussycat is very cute - but then, what pussycat is not?

John Keats's theory of negative capability:
in his letter to George and Thomas Keats dated Sunday, 28 December 1817.[1]

"I had not a dispute but a disquisition with Dilke, on various subjects; several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously - I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason."

Saturday, October 03, 2009

well we all shine on

As I once said to somebody: "good luck hanging out with the Snake Society - make sure you always have plenty of anti-venom with you."
Unfortunately, within a year and a half there was a coup d'etat. First the General Manager and then the Artistic Director were pushed out. That was about 8 months ago.

Anybody talking about nests o' vipers 8 months ago was so silly.

Karma isn't always instant - but sooner or later it's gonna get you.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Thursday, October 01, 2009

absolutely repulsed and disgusted by the following Polanski apologists

You expect a scumbag like Woody Allen to defend Roman Polanski - an admitted child-rapist makes Woody Allen look restrained by comparison. But here are people whose support for a child rapist I find shocking:

Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation twittered:
# I am a feminist, declared and proud, but also hate prosecutorial misconduct. How to reconcile? Don't call me apologist for Polanski.8:38 PM Sep 28th from web

# Polanski should have served time then, but there's evidence of prosecutorial misconduct & victim has spoken. I will read Kate Harding's pc.8:34 PM Sep 28th from web

# Watch "Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired"--doc made last year. Detailed claims of prosecutorial wrongdoing at time of RP's original arrest.5:19 PM Sep 28th from web

# Rarely agree with Applebaum: http://bit.ly/wz0mw5:15 PM Sep 28th from web

# Very Rarely agree with Anne Applebaum, but do in Polanski case. http://bit.ly/16oYkD5:07 PM Sep 28th from web


Here's what Anne Applebaum had to say about Polanski:
He did commit a crime, but he has paid for the crime in many, many ways: In notoriety, in lawyers' fees, in professional stigma. He could not return to Los Angeles to receive his recent Oscar. He cannot visit Hollywood to direct or cast a film.

Since WHEN is the punishment for child-rape "professional stigma" - of which it seems to me he has experienced precious little, when you look at the list of all the douchebag directors who support him.

Whoopie Goldberg:
Hollywood has rallied behind Roman Polanski after his arrest in Switzerland over the weekend, with the actor Whoopi Goldberg suggesting that whatever he was guilty of it wasn't "rape-rape".

source

Debra Winger:
Debra Winger, who serves as president of the Zurich fest's jury, on Monday demanded Polanski's release and criticized Swiss authorities for their "philistine collusion" in arresting Polanski as he entered the country.

"This fledgling festival has been unfairly exploited, and whenever this happens the whole art world suffers," Winger said in a statement on Monday, standing together with the other four international jury members who wore red badges reading "Free Polanski" as they announced plans to continue the fest.


more


The excellent article Polanski Arrest Causes Mass Dementia Among Apologists where I learned about Vanden Heuvel:
Prosecutorial misconduct: It's uhm...bad, mmm'kay? It's especially bad when it happens to anonymous defendants who slip through the criminal justice system, who cannot afford to mount the best appeals, and whose fates go largely unnoticed by the media. It should be fought. But Polanski had all sorts of resources at his disposal to fight it: he had wealth, he had friends, he had access to fine legal representation... why, I am reliably informed by Katrina vanden Heuvel that they even made a movie about the prosecutorial misconduct in his case. Polanski had the opportunity to expose prosecutorial misconduct -- and who knows whether that misconduct didn't extend to other defendants? But he didn't fight it. Instead, he fled, taking that fight with him.

Why did he do that? I'm guessing it's because he drugged and raped a thirteen year old girl.

But don't call vanden Heuvel a "Polanski apologist." He's just totally helping to raise awareness of rampant prosecutorial misconduct! Forget it, Jake, it's crazy town!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Very important article in this week's New Yorker by John Cassidy



About finance reform...

"Our system failed in basic fundamental ways," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledged earlier this year. "To address this will require comprehensive reform. Not modest repairs at the margin, but new rules of the game."

Despite this radical statement of intent, serious doubts remain over whether the Obama Administration’s proposed regulatory overhaul goes far enough in dealing with the problem of rational irrationality. Much of what the Administration has proposed is welcome. It would force issuers of mortgage securities to keep some of the bonds on their own books, and it would impose new capital requirements on any financial firm "whose combination of size, leverage, and interconnectedness could pose a threat to financial stability if it failed." None of these terms have been defined explicitly, however, and it isn’t clear what the new rules will mean for big hedge funds, private-equity firms, and the finance arms of industrial companies. If there is any wiggle room, excessive risk-taking and other damaging behavior will simply migrate to the unregulated sector.

A proposed central clearinghouse for derivatives transactions is another good idea that perhaps doesn’t go far enough. The clearinghouse plan applies only to "standardized" derivatives. Firms like JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley would still be allowed to trade “customized” derivatives with limited public disclosure and no central clearing mechanism. Given the creativity of the Wall Street financial engineers, it wouldn’t take them long to exploit this loophole.

The Administration has also proposed setting up a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, to guard individuals against predatory behavior on the part of banks and other financial firms, but its remit won't extend to vetting complex securities—like those notorious collateralized debt obligations—that Wall Street firms trade among themselves. Limiting the development of those securities would stifle innovation, the financial industry contends. But that's precisely the point. "The goal is not to have the most advanced financial system, but a financial system that is reasonably advanced but robust," Viral V. Acharya and Matthew Richardson, two economists at N.Y.U.'s Stern School of Business, wrote in a recent paper. “That’s no different from what we seek in other areas of human activity. We don’t use the most advanced aircraft to move millions of people around the world. We use reasonably advanced aircrafts whose designs have proved to be reliable."

more...