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, 15 June 2013 00:00
A vehicle accident left a motorcyclist and his passenger dead following an accident on the New York State Thruway. The fatal motorcycle accident occurred at 1:10 a.m. on Sunday, June 2 near Exit 16 in Woodbury, the Associated Press reported.
According to officials, a Suzuki motorcycle operated by Rafaelito DeJesus, 23, of Valley Stream was headed north on the Thruway when he was hit by another vehicle.
Friday, 14 June 2013 00:00
The New York State Senate today passed a bill to protect young and inexperienced drivers by helping to remove distractions that could lead to accidents. The legislation. sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellin (R, Syosset), prohibits the use of cell phones—including hands-free devices—by drivers who hold learner’s permits.
“Young and inexperienced drivers, holding only a learner’s permit, are behind the wheel for one purpose—to learn how to safely operate a vehicle. These drivers need their full attention on the road and for the task of becoming a responsible driver,” said Senator Marcellino. “Even the best teenage drivers don’t have the judgment that comes with experience. Until a new driver has some skill and experience, the use of cell phones while driving should be banned.”
Thursday, 06 June 2013 00:00
This spring, in anticipation of fielding their strongest Varsity Baseball squad since the program began eight years ago, Portledge decided to change leagues from IPPSAL (Independent Private and Parochial Schools Athletic League) to the Private School Athletic Association and Athletic Conference of Independent Schools (PSAA/ACIS Alliance), in hopes of finding stronger and more consistent competition. As a newcomer to the Alliance League, which consists of independent school teams from all over the metropolitan area, the Panthers were placed in the 10-team 2nd Division.
It didn’t take long for Portledge to demonstrate the rapidly developing quality of their baseball program, as the Panthers hammered their way to a regular season mark of 9 wins and 1 loss. Moving on to the league playoffs, Portledge quickly dispatched their quarter and semi-final foes before heading to the championship game against Bay Ridge Prep on May 21 at MCU (Municipal Credit Union) Park in Brooklyn.
Thursday, 06 June 2013 00:00
The weather was blustery but hearts were warm at the SYAC Pony League All-Star Game, held at H.B. Thompson Middle School last month.
Thirty specially selected girls who play in the Pony League (grades 2-3) of SYAC Girls Softball put on a fine show for the bundled-up fans. They provided a barrage of hitting, combined with great fielding that ended rallies, sometimes by double plays. Eight dads who volunteer as coaches in the SYAC softball program, assisted the players.