Archives for the month of: August, 2011

Did you know that the idea of local candy bars is quickly fading from the national scene?

There used to be individual candy makers who made sweets like Valomilks, Twin Bing’s, Fat Emmas, and Idaho Spuds—ever taste one of those candy bars?

Is this conglomeration of candy bars into mass-marketed products—as opposed to mom-and-pop sweets with personality—another example of the homogenization of American culture?

Something Else:

Fat Emmas

Idaho Spuds

Twin Bing



Is it any longer culturally relevant to say that American values stem from Puritan values?

 More and more photographs of various trusted, elected officials in compromising positions widely circulate the Internet without fazing us. When said scandals revolve around the arrogance and stupidity of the offending parties, rather than the fact that the pictures exist in the first place – does this signal that Americans are no longer the prudes that Europeans—and the rest of the world for that matter—think we are?

 And isn’t our national psyche just as equally influenced by the commercial—and liberal—values of the first Dutch colony that became New York?

 Something Else:




Is happiness possible?

If the profile for the happiest person corresponds with one being an Asian or Jewish married man with kids — then how many of us fit that and “get to be” happy?

And what is happiness after all?

Something Else:

Is theater as a form obsolete?

As everything becomes more global and the focus shifts to Asia, is there room for the act of watching a play – an evening of watching people talk – or will it become a museum piece and the Western performing arts that survive will be Ballet and Classical Music?

Or will the big Broadway-style entertainment be the only kind of theater to thrive in brave new world?

Something Else:

If you really want to help the American theater, don’t be an actress, dahling. Be an audience.Tallulah Bankhead

“I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won’t contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That’s what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act.”Orson Welles

I had been a kid that moved so much, I didn’t have a lot of friends. Theater really represented camaraderie. –Francis Ford Coppola

They say “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and they also say “out of sight out of mind”—so which is it? I’ve taken a hiatus from the weekly Three Questions and Something Else blog because we have been so busy—traveling to Nashville, Chicago and New York and then back to Chicago and New York as well as producing an incredible Fresh Ink. I’ve been writing my questions and making observations, but decided to take a summer break. Now I’m back. Let me know what you think.

Something Else:

I imagine we have all had a teen-angst moment when we were obsessed with a song or poet and wore the same shirt every day or wrote reams of our own poetry. Well, I did the summer I was 12. We had recently moved, and my grandmother had recently passed away (may she rest in peace). I would sit in the corner of our basement rec room and play Sounds of Silence over and over again—feeling that I was that rock and no one understood me.  Fortunately for me—and my family—this lasted only a few weeks before I became insanely busy doing something else.

The importance of Simon and Garfunkel and that song never left me.

Fast forward to being a college freshman in West Texas (don’t ask—that’s another story I’ll tell you some day). Not only did I feel so alone, but I was stuck in a place more foreign to me than any of the foreign lands I ever visited. So I joined the leadership council at the student union and managed to get myself in charge of booking acts. Yes, you can see this one coming—I was able to book Simon and Garfunkel because they had a date free between two bigger venues in bigger towns. It was somewhat of a coup because the school’s tastes ran more in the line with country or heavy metal, but I prevailed and was able to meet them for two seconds back stage before I introduced them.

Just before I heard my cue, Art leaned over and asked me if I had a favorite song—and yes, you know I did—so I told him. He smiled as if to say “What else would you choose?” Then I was on, and then they were on. When they came to “Sound of Silence,” he introduced the song by saying something cryptic like “This is for someone out there who knows why.” It was a sweet pleasure to come full circle from the 12-year-old in the basement to standing back stage watching the concert.

I know you all have a memory of some song that got you through a 12-or 13-year-old moment. This one is mine.