1. Why do we like to read scathing reviews of movies and plays?
2. Why is it fun to eavesdrop on put-downs?
3. How many times do you think, “If I only had said _____, that would’ve been a good comeback,” long after the moment for a good comeback has passed?
Today’s Something Else: Another Michael Robins Cartoon Adventure
1. George S. Kaufman said, “You can’t make a living in the theater, just a killing.” We all know what making a killing means these days, but what is making a living?
2. “Another day; another dollar” — remember that saying? I think it’s one of those that’s meant to extol the value of hard work and its payoff, but really, is all that work for such little pay worth it anymore?
3. How about “A penny saved is a penny earned,” which is one of those early American-Puritan ideals courtesy of Ben Franklin. Wouldn’t he be surprised to land on the streets of Philadelphia today and see all the mixed messages? (“Save? No, spend to fuel the economy.”) Are we more a land of contradictions now than in Ben’s time?
Something Else: More from Mr. Franklin
Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying a lot of smart things. (Imagine if he had had a blog!) Below are some of what I think are his more interesting quotes. Do you have any favorites?
“Admiration is the daughter of ignorance.”
“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.”
“Applause waits on success.”
“Many people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they are 75.”
“Honesty is the best policy.”
“Hunger is the best pickle.”
“Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.”
1. Am I the only one, or does all this talk about the “Middle Class” and its importance to the core values of America drive you as nuts as it does me?
2. I mean, who really likes being middle anything: Isn’t middle age, middle income, middle child and middle fill-in-the-blank all just a way to say, “boring”?
3. I think this obsession with the middle is fueled by a romantic notion of some past time when being Middle Class was the pinnacle of the American Dream. But doesn’t the quintessential, horrible playground game “Monkey in the Middle” best describe what being in the middle really means? No one wants to be that monkey, right?
Today’s Something Else: A Goodbye to “Always & Forever”
photo courtesy of Marlin Possehl
We closed “Always & Forever” this weekend with a roof-raising final performance. Was sorry to put this show to bed, but have great hopes of more to come. Thought I’d share a photo from the closing party. Thanks to Marlin, who never goes anywhere without his camera. It was a joyous, bittersweet night — and yes, there was singing along with the usual party chit-chat and thank-you-see-you-soon-on-to-the-next-show theater toasts.
1. Is the devil in the details? Or is the devil in your mind like a character in a Dostoevsky novel?
2. Does anyone believe that the devil exists as a being, a person, a goat man with horns and a tail? Is the devil real?
3. Or is he that neighbor who votes for the Party you don’t vote for and therefore has to be evil? Is there really “evil” or just regular schmos doing bad things?
Today’s Something Else: More Questions (Please Indulge Me; I Feel Inquisitive This Week)
Perhaps he (for sure the Big D has to be a he) is a character in a play or opera — there are plenty with names like Satan, Devil, Mephistopheles, Beelzebub, etc. Except for the recent play by an Irish writer where the devil is a character that beats you at poker and drinks everyone under the table and is played by the guy who was Julius Caesar in “Rome.” Some say Caesar was the devil incarnate leading the Empire to its ruin and others say he was an angel sent to save the Empire. Aren’t devils just fallen angels anyway? Angel/devil, good/evil, or like the song “Joy & Pain” from “Always & Forever,” are these just two sides of the same coin?