Archive for June 18, 2009


June 18, 2009 Leave a comment


I’m a little late getting to this, but how about that Stanley Cup series? Any series that goes to a 7th game is special, and one where the outcome is in doubt in the last second is especially so. We were looking forward to watching the 7th game last Friday, and to rooting the Red Wings to victory over the Penguins. As you’ll recall from an earlier post, the Red Wings are one of the NHL’s original six, and I always root for an original six team over a newcomer. Plus, given our love for all things Detroit, we have to support them.

The thing is, we were invited two days before the game to go to the symphony. We have old friends who subscribe. They invite us every year or two to join them. (They have four seats.) The symphony started at 8:00 PM Friday. We left the house at 7:00, just as the third period started. The Penguins were up 2-0 at that point, to our disappointment. There was the possibility that the third period wouldn’t be too exciting. We set the DVR to record the rest of the game and listened to the first few minutes on the radio as we drove downtown. Then we put it out of our minds and enjoyed our evening in Benaroya Hall.
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Categories: Music, Sports

McCain on Iran

June 18, 2009 Leave a comment

In April 2007, John McCain famously sang “Bomb Bomb Iran” to the melody of the Beach Boys song Barbara Ann. (Watch the video above.) Here’s the thing — and I’m hardly the first to point this out — if we had bombed them, among the victims would be the people now fighting for a just election result, democracy, and the rule of law in Iran. Here’s how Glenn Greenwald put it two days ago:

Much of the same faction now claiming such concern for the welfare of The Iranian People are the same people who have long been advocating a military attack on Iran and the dropping of large numbers of bombs on their country — actions which would result in the slaughter of many of those very same Iranian People. During the presidential campaign, John McCain infamously sang about Bomb, Bomb, Bombing Iran. … Rudy Giuliani actually said he would be open to a first-strike nuclear attack on Iran in order to stop their nuclear program.

Imagine how many of the people protesting this week would be dead if any of these bombing advocates had their way — just as those who paraded around (and still parade around) under the banner of Liberating the Iraqi People caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of them, at least. Hopefully, one of the principal benefits of the turmoil in Iran is that it humanizes whoever the latest Enemy is. Advocating a so-called “attack on Iran” or “bombing Iran” in fact means slaughtering huge numbers of the very same people who are on the streets of Tehran inspiring so many — obliterating their homes and workplaces, destroying their communities, shattering the infrastructure of their society and their lives. The same is true every time we start mulling the prospect of attacking and bombing another country as though it’s some abstract decision in a video game.

For more on McCain and Iran, see the comments of hilzoy and Larison. hilzoy concludes her post as follows:

Seriously: this guy might have been President. National security was supposed to be his strong suit. On the most charitable interpretation, he is completely ignorant of the history of our relations with Iran, but this fact does not prevent him from pontificating about what we ought to do. Think about that, and thank the deity of your choice that he lost.

Categories: Foreign Policy, Politics

Misbehaving Audiences

June 18, 2009 Leave a comment
Tovah Feldshuh in Irena’s Vow

Tovah Feldshuh in Irena’s Vow

I was going through a pile of Wall Street Journals last night before recycling them when I came across the front page feature article from two Saturdays ago. I’m glad I caught it. It has the clever title Are Misbehavin’: No Tonys for These Performances, and in it, Ellen Gamerman writes about some astonishing examples of audience misbehavior these days. For example:

The litany of misdemeanors is long. During a Saturday matinee of the Holocaust drama “Irena’s Vow,” a man walked in late and called up to actress Tovah Feldshuh to halt her monologue until he got settled. “He shouted, ‘Can you please wait a second?’ and then continued on toward his seat,” recalls Nick Ahlers, a science teacher from Newark, N.J., who was in the audience. He says the actress complied.

Ms. Feldshuh says she typically pauses when she’s interrupted. She doesn’t recall the incident, which she says may be evidence of the Zen attitude she’s cultivated onstage. “I have no negative energy about it to even remember,” she says.

Gamerman makes the useful observation that unruly behavior isn’t new: “Rowdy audiences have been around as long as stages. William Shakespeare’s plays were performed outdoors while prostitutes and drunk spectators milled about eating fruit and nuts, talking back to the actors and throwing things at them.”

Maybe this is as it should be. The article ends on a cheery note:

Some shows are beginning to experiment with new etiquette rules. “Hair” director Diane Paulus is exploring ways to make the theater atmosphere more relaxed, less traditional. In order to keep up with the times, she plans to allow cell phones this summer at a theater space at the American Repertory Theater, in Cambridge, Mass., where she is the artistic director.

“I’ll tell you, it’s radical,” she says. “I don’t think there’s a theater in America that tells you to turn your phone on.”

Categories: Theater

Get Over It!

June 18, 2009 Leave a comment


I try not to overdo posts referencing Ted Rall cartoons, but I couldn’t pass up this one. There’s something to be said for the rule of law, but it’s not clear in what sense the law ruled in Bush v. Gore.

Categories: Politics