Friday, February 29, 2008

Understanding Little; Understanding Much

In my acting class I often ask a student: "How much do you understand yourself? Give me a percentage." The eighteen year old invariably replies: "80%". The thirty year old says "50%". The forty year old says "35". I pause and add; "I'm down to about

There are as many cells in the human body as there are stars in the universe. We are as knowledgeable inward as we are outward.

"The mark of wisdom is knowing how little you know." The mark of happiness is accepting--and cherishing--that reality.

(Creativity springs from exploring that uncharted space.)

When men say "Is it good for you,too?", what they really mean is, "Am I good for you, too?"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What a Difference a (Half) Century Makes

Whatever happened to baritone--deep-throated, resonant--singers? Baritones were the rage of the 1930s, 1940's, and 1950's. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como? I guess they and their voices went out of style with John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, and Robert Mitchum...who and what was then complimentarily called, and now disparagingly referred to as...the sights and sounds of men's men.

Since the late 1960's--deep-throated, barrel-chested men (and singers) have been replaced with will o'the wisp performers who mostly wouldn't be caught dead looking like an athlete (hip-hoppers excepted); or for that matter, clean shaven (I suppose women put up the scratchy kisses much more now than in my days--perhaps they have tougher faces? I remember in my youth, being asked openly, more than once, to shave before climbing into bed for a late-evening of frolic. Oh well...maybe kissing's out of style...'let's just get it on' is the bed-battle-cry of the new century! No need to shave; we're not going to kiss anyway! "Oh, by the way, what's your name?"), and, concomittantly, in the world of sound, baritones have been replaced by screetchers and screamers, falsettos and the sounds of confusing androgyny.

The sights...and sounds...of a half century of progress.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Short-Term Memory: "Fagetta 'bout it'"

All this worry about losing short-term memory as you grow older is much ado about nothing...because:

(1) 2/3rds of my life I don't want to remember anyway.

(2) If my memories are bad, my wife will remember them for me. If my memories are good, my friends will pooh-pooh them and say the never happened.

So...what's the point of even discussing...whatever it was we were talking about.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Triumph of Capitalism (and it best friend, Marketing)

To quote from the Assciated Press (RE Fox's coverage of the 2008 Super Bowl):

"This year's Super Bowl was one of the few - if only - television events where more people watched the commercials than the program itself, according to digital video recorder makers TiVo Inc."

ME: Wow. Is this a comment on pro football, the artistic qualities of commercials, or the decadent obsession the American public with all things that have to do with shopping?!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

John Edwards; a Final Note

John Edwards' candidacy for president may be gone, but the message...all too tragically...remains:

The biggest problem facing the US and the world is rampant and unnecessary poverty. Most friction that results in war can be directly attributed to it. It is the oily rag whch the spark of terrorism ignites. (Well-fed people can rarely be induced to mass together to kill one another.)

Moreover, poverty is majorly exacerbated by corporate/state (and multi-national) greed.

In America, corporate greed is facilitated by lobbyists and their lock on campaign contibutions.

This was John Edwards' message.

Not enough Americans in campaign 2008 wanted to hear it. So with elegance and style, refusing to 'change message' to suit political expediency, he New Orleans, against a backdrop of devastation and poverty.

I personally felt cleansed by the campaign of John and Elizabeth Edwards; disappointed and uplifted at the same time; as one feels at the end of a great tragedy.

So Democrats are left with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the Professor and the Politician, Macbeth (with a little Hamlet thrown in) and Lady Macbeth.

Which of their tragedies appeals to you?

"A person's fate is written the day they are born; and no constant dodging can avoid it."

A person who cannot command themselves cannot command others.