Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 25 May 2012 00:00
What is this elusive thing called talent?
Many Americans use the terms genius and talent interchangeably. Awards are constantly showered on these clever and skilled persons, and while some accolades are richly deserved, some recipients are over-praised.
Meryl Streep is a gifted actor who can assume the identities of many famous subjects. Her performance as Margaret Thatcher was ingenious. She also portrayed Julia Child and her acting was apt and on target. She has also spoken in various accents and dialects, including Italian (Bridges of Madison County), and Polish (Sophie’s Choice). Her singing in Mama Mia! was also quite good for someone who is not a known vocalist.
In the world of sports, we see many talents that are bizarre and unconventional. Throwing an accurate football pass is prized and quarterbacks are labeled adroit and clever, but I think this talent is over-praised. I am a fan of Johnny Unitas, the Manning brothers, Sammy Baugh, Y.A. Tittle, Otto Graham, Johnny Lujack, Tom Brady and others, but I am not sure that talent is the proper word for their skills.
Playing a musical instrument well is highly regarded and pianists, fiddlers, drummers, clarinetists and even triangle players are considered true artists. Those of us who have no musical talent appreciate their ability to make music in coordination with others.
Singing in America has garnered praise from various sources. American Idol has excited the whole country with votes and acclaim for those who sing well…or not so well. I appreciate the English singer Adele for her style, as she delivers lyrics in a simple but effective manner. She is a very talented singer. Petula Clark and Amy Winehouse were also my favorites. Luciano Pavarotti and Renee Fleming are also pretty good.
Talented painters are special category. Jackson Pollock, Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol please many modernists, but I prefer the more classic style of Rembrandt, Picasso, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, El Greco, Rubens and Velazquez. “You pays your money, and you takes your choice.”
Talent is in the eye of the beholder.
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
On Nov. 7, more than 150 supporters gathered for MercyFirst’s Annual Harvest Ball held at The Garden City Hotel, raising more than $100,000 to help fund MercyFirst’s programs.
This year, the 2013 MercyFirst Community Partner Honoree Awards went to three Syosset-Woodbury families: The Millers, The Cliffords and The Majoys.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
On a crisp November evening, more than 200 people arrived at Chelsea Mansion at East Norwich for the Syosset-based Long Island Jewish Community Relations Council’s holiday party, entitled “Multicultural Visions, Artists Exploring Identity.” People from all ethnic and religious walks of life mingled under the heated tent viewing art from six local artists, equally diverse, including Manu Kaur Saluja, a Sikh artist from Old Brookville.
Each artist addressed the audience and talked about art and how it reflects their individual identity as a Jew, a Sikh woman, a Latino woman or an African American man. Saluja, a portrait artist, explained to the audience how identity is a very complicated issue. Standing between two portraits of her brother, a cardiologist, one wearing a black turban and one with his long hair cascading down his shoulders, she explained why she chose to paint these two portraits.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Fourteen student-athletes from Syosset High School have committed to play at a college or university next year.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Jericho Celeste Taub, 13, showed that she could run with the big girls (and the big boys!) on Sunday, Nov. 17, as she scored a decisive victory in the Women’s Division of the 5th annual Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer, a 5-kilometer road race that started and finished at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park.
Taub finished the Run in 20 minutes, 17 seconds, 53 seconds in front of 36-year-old runner-up Kelly Bregou of New York City.