Starring Jamie Denbo as Desdemona Hughes and Arden Myrin as Betty Hughes. Also starring Craig Cackowski as Baron Lightworker; Chris Tallman as Marco; Paul F. Tompkins as Rick Stanton; Annie Savage as Hannah Emma Otto; and Mark Gagliardi as Finnerty, the…
Great performances from all, even the ones to whom I’m not married.
"I had developed a survival skill of using my wit to score for myself. If a scene was dying, I’d lob in these little bombshell lines that would get me some attention and a laugh without really helping the scene. I’ve always had that overwhelming desire to be liked by the audience. Del once said to me, “One day, you’re going to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m so cute, and I’m only fifty years old.’"
Am I the only person who kinda ships Sheldon/Kripke from TBBT? I mean after re-watching “The Cooper/Kripke Inversion" it just seems to me that maybe - just maybe - Kripke had some kind of crush on Sheldon that he really doesn’t wanna come to terms with or whatever idk.
The show is gonna be on for a while - let’s not rule anything out.
“We simply don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation… We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts. Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.
The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand. We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”—Secretary of State John Kerry. (via quickhits)
The actress Ellen Page came out in an emotional, eloquent speech today at the Human Rights Campaigns Time to THRIVE conference in Las Vegas. Loving other people starts with loving ourselves and accepting ourselves, a visibly nervous Page said. I am here today because I am gay. After a short…
Totally worth watching the whole speech - very moving, and I’m touched by the fact that the poor girl seems visibly and audibly nervous. Good for her. It just got incrementally easier for a little kid to be who he or she is.
Years ago, sometime in the late ’90s, I auditioned for a one-act play in NY. It was a light comedy about a playwright who had a troll who lived in his closet who wrote his plays for him. My audition for the role of the the troll went very well. I thought the character suited my strengths; I took…
We toss the word ‘epic’ around too freely. Wanna see the real thing? @Denisohare is doing An Iliad at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. And it. Is Fucking. Epic.
I stepped in figuring it would be just this eerily charismatic actor reciting a deeply condensed version of Homer’s epic poem of the Trojan War and I was fine with that. I sat through Gatz, come at me, bro. What instead happens is something more contemporized and more old-fashioned – a thrilling reminder that this story was a song, and this song was sung, and passed on, and was a collection of anecdotes, of gossip, of literal war stories, often shared while drunk. So Denis O’Hare – billed in the program as ‘the poet’ – appears on stage dressed in an outfit approximating early 20th century hobo chic, and he begins speaking in ancient Greek. And then in a heavily accented English, and then gradually switches to a very colloquial speech touched with a, say, St. Louis regionalism. The effect? Pulling us into an ancient story about a war that lasted ten years by reminding how not ancient such a thing is.
There are chunks of the lyrical writing from Robert Fagles translation, sure, but also well-observed digressions (like the passage likening the Greek armies to the guy who has been standing in line at the Grocery Store for twenty minutes, and even though a shorter line has opened up, he’s not moving because he’s “been standing here for twenty goddam minutes” and the wait has to mean something) and moments where our poet reminds us that Agaememnon had reason to drop f-bombs. The described violence is both appealing and repellent, and if the moment where every war in human history is catalogued chronologically seems interminable and pointless, well …
This epic, I might add, is a fast paced, intermissionless one hour and 40 minutes. You are dragged, like Hector, through the last weeks of the conflict, given amazing facts and trivia and yet, the whole show ends with a two word question. I won’t give it away, but the answer that everyone in the theater shares is a silent “Yes.”
You have a 3 year window to discover the Smiths – 14 to 17, say. If you miss that window, fuck it, don’t bother, there are other bands. But if they get to you in that sensitive pubescent time where you’re an open wound begging for attention, you have a friend for life. Not in any individual member of the group, but in the songs that are filled with self effacing longing and are splashing with sarcasm, flashes of absurd, near-Pythonesque humo(u)r and deep sadness. It’s the lyrics of Morrissey that lift it, sure, but I have every Smiths record on my iPod, and I have only two Morrissey records – You Are the Quarry, and a greatest hits package called, simply, Suedehead. That’s telling. The Morrissey and Marr songwriting team has yet to be topped in either men’s careers.
Morrissey’s autobiography fell into my lap – an early release pirated e-book from a friend who traffics in such things and despite sticking my nose up at piracy, Somalian and Bit-torrentian, I accepted the gift. When I was done with the last book I was reading, and scrouging around for something new, there Steven Morrissey was, pages of confession and indulgence waiting for me. It’s over-written, natch, and there are moments where you can see him straining to meet a strict wordcount. And there are lovely moments throughout, in the way he writes about music (well, about rock stars - clarification to come), Camden Town, Los Angeles, Elaine Stritch. But he goes in order. He drags you kicking and whining through Manchester in the 60s and 70s, which sounds like the sort of place Bob Geldof should have paid attention to the 80s. “Birds abstain from song in post-war industrial Manchester,” he tells us, “where the 1960s will not swing and where the locals are the opposite of worldly.” There are two ways to take this – wow, this guy can really capture the voice of the teenage malcontent OR wow, this guy is 56 and harboring grudges that should have passed long ago. Morrissey’s Manchester is awful, fetid, sickly – people in his life are introduced only to die at the end of their lone paragraph, and this happens so often it starts to get vaguely …funny? As if he’s fucking with us, as if he knows what we expect and is all too eager to put on the misery minstrel show.
And then music steps in, or at least its image. Morrissey discovers the New York Dolls (who can be discovered any old time, so fun are those records, although I don’t listen to them as much as I do Queen is Dead). And while he goes to a lot of shows with them and the Ramones and others, his critique is less about the charging guitars and the tumescent drums than it is about the sight of David Johansen and his cohorts themselves. Sure we hear about “a high wire act of tough noise and fantastic pop lyrics” but so much more ink is spilled regarding the image “The Dolls were a social unit, great fun, grave fun and completely off the deep end … The confusion with the Dolls is that their scumsucker rough-trade drag contrasted with the truth of their wise-guy personalities.” Look, the New York Dolls had good shtick, but we’re talking about music here, right? And this surface look would be great if it didn’t also apply to the Smiths, who are give 50 pages of the books 385 page length. For contrast, The New York Times John Williams (not the composer, though I’d sell a nut for his take) points out that the song writing royalties trial initiated by drummer Mike Joyce is covered in 70 pages. The Smiths existed for, yes, a 4 year window, but the output is pretty unmatched in British Rock History. Each record is perfect. There is no Sandinista (3 Album Set with 10 good songs and weird self-covers). There is no Let It Be (4 solo EPs that Phil Spector did a post-mortem on). The lesser album is Strangeways Here I Come, which has Girlfriend in a Coma, Stop Me …, A Rush, etc. and is beautifully produced. Wanna hear about the creative genesis of these songs? What triggered these poems? What was Johnny Marr’s writing process like? Look elsewhere, laddie, because Steven’s here to tell you about how Hand in Glove sounds terrible.
It sounds like I hated the book. I didn’t. I snuck away from my kids to read it. I rolled my eyes, chuckled, marveled at some of the stories – Morrissey goes to see a taping of 3rd Rock From The Sun! Morrissey goes to a taping of Friends, is spontaneously offered a role on the episode, sneaks off the Warner Brothers lot in abject terror! Morrissey does explain his school and, as such, the Headmaster Ritual in DEPTH! But the legal proceedings drag the party down, and Morrissey shows an ugly side during the telling.
During the course of the book, he repeatedly denies any racism, claiming, for instance, that when he said the “Chinese are a sub-species” because of the way they treat animals, he was being misquoted. OK. Let’s say you were. Are you capable of being misquoted in your own autobiography?
While trying to hold on to management commissions owed to a deceased colleague – said commission would have been paid to the deceased’s family – Morrissey is sued by the improbably named and un-Google-able Irving Handsoff (seriously. The name returns zero results, excluding the ones taking you right back to the Morrissey book. He’s fucking with us, right?). Morrissey loses the case, and writes “It was true that the art of getting money and acknowledging no superior was the rock on which the black hands of Handsoff had built his empire, and I was gooey putty against his Israelites.”
The sentence is full of lucre-grubbing dog whistles even before we get to that last word, but wow. There’s not a lot of coverage about this line, with the exception of the Daily Beast which won the awesome title award for their headline Viva Hate! I’ve spent time in London, which has the largest Jewish population in the UK, which in turn has the largest Jewish Population in Europe. It didn’t always. There’s an … I was going to say insidious anti-Semitism in England, but insidious is just my judgment talking, its really quite out in the open so much so that my wife’s comedy partner, Jessica Chaffin, made this brilliant assessment “The Jews in England are hiding in their own attics.”
My wife Jamie Denbo and her comedy partner Jessica Chaffin perform together as Ronna & Beverly, a pair of Jewish dowagers from Northern Massachusetts who interview celebrities as, well, Jamie and Jessica’s mothers might. There’s an argument to be made that their show mocks Jews, or at least Jewish Mothers from the North Shore of Boston, but it’s done with a great deal of affection and, not for nothing, it’s both written and performed by Jews. While traveling to promote their short-lived chat show for Britain’s SkyAtlantic, they would encounter naff interlopers who would screech “You’re Jewish? But where are your noses?” Stuff like that. The most cursory research reveals a lot of talk about a creeping anti-Semitism finding its way into the National Dialogue in Britain: Here, Here, here, and a terrifying piece on ‘Judaephobia’ in the Muslim Community, written by a British Muslim.
My feelings about Israel are mine – and we’re not going there in this forum – but Morrissey does not mean “citizens of Israel” yet doesn’t quite have the stones to say “Jews.” And, for someone who lived in Los Angeles, doesn’t Morrissey know that merely the phrase ‘team of Lawyers’ will cast a lovecraftian linguistic spell over a reader? No. Guess not. But the larger issue: this man who defends the rights of animals, who wrote Irish Blood, English Heart about the oppression of his ancestors at the hands of the British - he’s gonna pick on the Jews? Who make up .05% of the British population? There are those who will say “Oh, I see John, you’re fine with him dissing the Chinese, but the second he gets to your wife’s tribe …” No. I’ll take the guy at his word - the British press gets sued for libel all the time, and things get taken out of context. These are his words, his context.
This doesn’t ruin the Smiths for me, and it doesn’t even ruin the book, glad I read it, insight into the machinations of a great band, etc – and just as I will continue to watch The Good, The Bad and the Ugly despite Clint Eastwood’s beef with IKEA products, I will continue to crank “You’ve Got Everything Now” when I am sad. But it’s disappointing to hear someone grow old and instead of gaining wisdom and peace, just getting more and more scared.