Dept. of Alternative Facts: Persuade

persuade: (v) to convince someone to act in a certain manner, by advising or urging; to induce to believe Continue reading

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Dept. of Alternative Facts: Unite

unite: (v) to bring together in a single whole or unit; to join in mutual sympathy or a common goal Continue reading

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Theatre Review: Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare loved his women.  Beyond rumours of his lusty affairs, his plays female characters in Shakespeare’s comedies often trump the men’s powerless grasp at authority, witless charm, and drunken stupor.  Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing rises to the top of his list for out-smarting the men about her.  In most productions which I have seen of Much Ado About Nothing, actresses have played Beatrice’s wit with the sparkle of Champaign which none of the men can afford, save Benedick, who has sworn off such intoxicating stuff.  In the Blackfriar Theatre’s production, Beatrice comes with a warning that one drink of her sorrow at one’s own risk.  Still Benedick is the only man with the humility to taste such deep felt emotion. Continue reading

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Theatre Review: Peter and the Starcatcher

I did not spend a lot of my childhood with children’s stories.  Peter Pan might have been the Disney version which I might have watched.  But, I do not truly know whether I saw it.  My friends must have, for I know about the basic storyline of a boy who did not want to grow up, a small, firefly like ferry, and pirates lead by one with a hook for a hand.  I did not actually read the book until my wife bought it for me some decade after we married.  Late bloomer, I guess… or maybe I never grew up enough to be a child.   Continue reading

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Poem: Free Jazz

Free jazz:
notes cascading
from horns,
cords striding
across eighty-eight keys,
while rhythms
on drum kits beat.

To the unaccustomed
ear an explosion
of unrelated
sounds, each
instrument
contesting
for center stage.

But, are these
musicians
more than
a congregation
assembled
on a common space?

Watch the eyes,
concentrating
inwardly as
fingers jump
on keys, valves,
and strings.

Watch the lips,
call out charts
now strain
with key changes,
then smile
as recognition
attains harmony.

Society is not
about confirmity
nor control,
but about
reciprocation,
as we take
a solo,
then turn the stage
over to follow
the flow as the tune
evolves.

Freedom is not
about only doing
my will,
disregarding yours,
but about watching,
listening,
and changing keys.

 

 

 

 

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From the Bookshelf: My Years in Communist China, by Eva Diao

Every once in a while, I find a book on my shelf which I had forgotten about for a couple of decades. After those not-too-light-reading texts by Friedman and Chomsky, I skimmed for something less taxing. My eye settled on a red-covered memoir signed by the author in 1995, Eva Diao’s My Years in Communist China. Mrs Diao was probably in her late 60’s at the time. We lived in Alexandria, Va, where we met. She had published her memoir two years earlier. She knew that I was interested in history. Continue reading

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From the Bookshelf: The World is Flat, and Requiem for the American Dream

Recently, my mother gave me a book to read, Noam Chomsky’s Requiem for the American Dream. Some years ago, she had given me Thomas L. Friedman’s The World is Flat, which I have neglected on my shelf as dust gathered. Whether shame, enthusiasm, or just a desire to not fall too far behind on my reading, I dedicated Spring to consuming these two texts. Continue reading

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