Do you remember the deprecating put-down by W.C. Fields of the city of Brotherly Love? “Last week I traveled to Philadelphia, but it was closed.” Not very nice!
Teen-agers enjoy a good “fight” with adults who do not feel a need to dominate and are willing to listen. As children progress from the “earthbound” quality of concrete thinking to the “intergalactic” quality of complex thinking, they become capable of formulating contrary-to-fact-hypotheses, of leaping with their minds here, there and everywhere. Herein lays the source of teen-agers’ growing ability and fervor for challenging others’ ideas, beliefs and values and for engaging in furious debate, often to the dismay of parents, teachers and other adults.
As we all learned in elementary school, the first Thanksgiving holiday set the tone for centuries to come. During the initial winter that the Pilgrims spent in Plymouth, Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag tribe, donated food stores to the settlers. In turn, the Pilgrims invited members of the tribe to a three-day feast after their first harvest in 1621.
I do not text message!
I have no iPod!
I haven’t yet figured out Facebook or Craig’s List!
This past Wednesday I did my duty!
I traveled to Staten Island to tidy up and say a few prayers at my parents’ graves. Refreshing my bonds with my mother and father is always pleasurable and meaningful to me. No matter what is done, the weeds keep coming in and popping up, uninvited on the gravesite.
From September through early November at the Fire Island Hawk Watch, migrating raptors are counted daily and the data is eventually shared with researchers worldwide. I go once a week, but not just to help spot and identify birds. I go for the excitement, the feast of images and for the moments when the words “this is why I come,” ring silently in my head.
Today, I would like to discuss a topic near and dear to the hearts of citizens over 60. It is the subject of PILLS. You know, those little, expensive things you buy at CVS and swallow every morning upon awakening and before you put on your pajamas in the evening.
In Francesca Carlow, who is running for State Senate in the 6th District on Long Island, we have a very unique candidate. She is your “everyday woman,” who got involved because she thought she found a better way to help her community. Francesca is running without the backing of either party and is running as an independent Democrat. She is so independent that Bill Murphy of Newsday wrote of her “… if Carlow can beat Hannon, the senate would have a new member beholden to neither party,” (Newsday, Sept. 2.)
I have never considered myself a reviewer. But if I like a play, movie or opera, I do love to tell people about it. Talking about a production usually winds up in a profound discussion of the major points, positive or negative. I do enjoy these back-and-forth, stimulating conversations.
Last week, we saw the play Time Stands Still for my birthday. It was a wonderful birthday present! The play was written by Donald Margulies and it starred one of my favorite actresses, Laura Linney. In my humble opinion, Laura Linney and Meryl Streep are the two best actresses today of the American stage and cinema.
Ms. Linney has appeared in The Savages with Philip Seymour Hoffman and with Liam Neeson in the movie Kinsey. She received Oscar nominations for both. She also starred as Abigail Adams in John Adams, for which she won a Golden Globe and an Emmy.
In this drama, she plays a wartime journalist who enters the stage with crutches and a knee brace, for wounds she received in combat in Afghanistan. She is only alive when in a battle zone on foreign soil. Her boyfriend tries to tame her into a marriage and conventional life, but she is unwilling. Only four actors were in the performance.
Other great performances were by Eric Bogosian, Christina Ricci and Brian D’Arcy James. Margulies’ other plays that I have seen were Brooklyn Boy and Dinner With Friends. He writes crackling, authentic dialogue and his characters are all true to life. He is a master.
Last Saturday at noon, the Brush Hollow Theater did a simulcast of Boris Godunov from the Metropolitan Opera. The theater was filled with gray-haired opera enthusiasts. The cinema was packed and I was lucky to get a seat.
The opera by Modest Mussorgsky is an actual historic part of Russian history. It takes place in the year 1598. The people of Russia are starving, and they yearn for Boris Godunov to become Tsar. At first he refuses, but he relents and the bells ring for his coronation.
There is doubt as to whether Boris is the rightful Tsar, as some claim that he has killed the true heir Dmitry, a young boy. A pretender to the throne arises named Grigory. Grigory escaped to Lithuania and when Boris learns of him, he is deeply shaken. He imagines he sees Dmitry’s ghost, and he prays for forgiveness.
The ruler with an evil secret reminded me of Macbeth. The cast of the opera were all Russians, except for Rene Pape, a German who has learned Russian. We saw the opera at the same time as the audience at the Met. However, the camera showed facial expressions to us that were not available to the crowd at the Met.
The conductor was Valery Gergiev and the cast was magnificent. The opera ends with the pretender replacing Boris as Tsar. It was a powerful, touching view of Russian history.
I promise my readers- no more reviews! They take too much out of me!
It’s just wrong. Secret campaign cash should have no place in our American democracy. But now we are seeing huge sums of money from secret sources going into campaign advertising. Special interests are spending millions and millions of dollars in this election and it threatens to drown out the voices of individual voters. And because of changes in the law, there are no disclosure requirements- even foreign government corporations could be funding these ads.
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