Observations Along the Road

Theatre Writeups, Musings on the News, Rants and Roadkill Along the Information Superhighway

Songbird and Jazzmen | Kelli O’Hara / Wynton Marsalis @ VPAC

Written By: cahwyguy - Sat Oct 15, 2016 @ 10:44 am PST

An Evening with Kelli O'Hara (VPAC)userpic=ucla-csunLast night, we continued our CSUN Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) (fb) concert going with An Evening with Kelli O’Hara. If you aren’t familiar with Ms. O’Hara (fb), she’s a Broadway star who has starred in such revivals as the recent of The King and I, the recent South Pacific, the Harry Connick Jr. version of The Pajama Game, as well as originating lead roles in shows such as Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Bridges of Madison County, and The Light in the Piazza. She’s also got an upcoming role in Masters of Sex, and was in the live Peter Pan.

This being a concert, I really don’t have a detailed synopsis to share, nor did I keep a detailed set list. She opened with two Rogers & Hammerstein numbers — “I Have Dreamed” from The King and I and “A Wonderful Guy” from South Pacific, and then moved into “To Build a Home” from Bridges of Madison County.  Over the evening she did numbers from a number of other shows she was in: “The Light in the Piazza” from The Light in the Piazza, one song from Sweet Smell of Success (I’m guessing “I Cannot Hear the City”), and “Finishing the Hat” from Sunday in the Park with George. She also did a song about New York from some Sondheim show that I didn’t recognize, two songs that she wrote, one song that her husband, Greg Naughton, wrote, and one song that her music director, Dan Lipton (fb), wrote. She also sang some Frank Sinatra standards, and the Comden/Green tune “Make Someone Happy” from Do Re Mi. Her encore was “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady.

If you’re familiar with the songs, she had a distinct preference for the slower romantic ballads; there were only a handful of upbeat numbers (including a great number (the one from Lipton) that was about a Country Western singer doing Opera). In between the songs, she shared her experience and career on Broadway, told a little about her family, and discussed her upcoming show at Carnegie Hall.

The songs in her perhaps 100 minute, one-act show were performed beautifully (although I wished she had interspersed more upbeat numbers). In fact, interspersion of such numbers might allow her to expand the show to the two acts the audience was expecting, and would have improved the variety quite a bit. Her dialogue was very fast, and gave the impression that she was likely a bit more nervous than she was. Although she was clearly comfortable on stage, she didn’t have that easy concert comfort we’ve seen from performers like Lea Salonga or Brian Stokes Mitchell, who we’ve also seen on the VPAC stage. If I had to give her one piece of advice to improve her show, it would be: relax. The audience is there to see you, and have fun with you. Although you love singing the ballads and love songs, have some fun. Throw in some upbeat numbers (perhaps even something Jazzy from Cy Coleman, or something humorous from Marcy and Zina). As you were in Nice Work, throw in a little Gershwin for good measure. The mix could work quite well.

Kelli O’Hara was accompanied by her music director, Dan Lipton (fb), on piano; Peter Donovan (fb) on Bass, and Gene Lewin (fb) on Drums.

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Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (VPAC)Last week I was so caught up in my political posts I neglected to write up our other recent VPAC show. Last Saturday night we were at the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) (FB) for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. This was an evening that I originally booked because my wife likes jazz; I was expecting Bradford Marsalis style music — you know, the long riff, improvisational, non-melodic wandering jazz. I was very pleased with this evening — it was a great show. Alas, I didn’t write down a playlist (but luckily I found a review that did)

The evening opened with the CSUN Jazz “A” ensemble. Most people are unaware that CSUN has one of the top jazz programs in the nation. If you’ve heard Gordan Goodwin’s Big Phat Band (fb), you’re hearing a product of CSUN Jazz. Goodwin was part of CSUN Jazz back in the mid-1970s. If you’ve heard Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (fb), you’re looking at yet again a product of CSUN Jazz, as most of the members of CSUN Jazz graduates. The current Jazz “A” Group (who, as it happens, will be the entertainment at the ACSAC Conference Dinner),  consist of 20 students led by Matt Harris (fb), the band director. Their program (which was the first act) consisted of “Just in Time”, “Hello and Goodbye” by Bob Brookmeyer, and “Neil” by Rich DeRosa.  They were excellent, and just blew us away.

Per the program, the CSUN “A” Band consisted of Ben McPeek (fb) and Zakaria Solotoff (fb) on Alto Sax; Jordan Leicht (fb) and Lucas Reeder (fb) on Tenor Sax; Jeff Brown (fb) on Bari Sax; Michael Gutierrez (fb) on Lead Trumpet; Garek Najita (fb), Jesse Seibold (fb), Cesar Hernandez (fb), and Marco Lopez (fb) on Trumpet; A. J. Asano (fb) on Lead Trombone; Chris Middleton (fb), Carl Engstrom (fb), and Ryan Ruder (fb) on Trombone; Adam Hersh (fb) on Piano; Miles McIntosh (fb) and Keelan Walters (fb) on Guitar; Daniel Massey (fb) on Bass; and Kirk Portuguez (fb) on Drums.

The second act was the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (fb) with Wynton Marsalis (fb), who sat in the back row and was very unpreposing. Their program consisted of a lot of Jazz standards — in particular, a lot of Duke Ellington, and was much more of the style of jazz that I quite like (i.e., with a melodic or rhythmic undertone). The review I found noted such songs as Ellington’s “Portrait of Louis Armstrong” as well as Ellington’s “Chinoserie”. There was a wonderful piece from alto saxophonist Ted Nash’s recent album Presidential Suite titled “The Time For Healing of Wounds Has Come.” from Nelson Mandela. Nash’s 92 year old father, Dick Nash, then joined the group for Ellington’s “Take The ‘A’ Train” and a few other numbers, demonstrating the multigenerational nature of modern jazz. There was also Thelionius Monk‘s “Rhythm A Ning”.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (fb) consisted of Wynton Marsalis (fb) [Music Director, Trumpet]; Ryan Kisor [Trumpet], Kenny Rampton (fb) [Trumpet]; Marcus Printup (fb) [Trumpet]; Vincent Gardner (fb) [Trombone]; Chris Crenshaw (fb) [Trombone]; Elliot Mason (fb) [Trombone]; Sherman Irby (fb) [Alto and Soprano Sox, Flute, Clarinet], Ted Nash (fb) [Alto and Soprano Sax, Flute, Clarinet]; Victor Goines (fb) [Tenor and Soprano Sax, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet]; Walter Blanding (fb) [Tenor and Soprano Sax, Clarinet]; Paul Nedzela (fb) [Baritone and Soprano Sax; Bass Clarinet]; Dan Nimmer (fb) [Piano]; Carlos Henriquez (fb) [Bass]; and Ali Jackson (fb) [Drums].

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Ob. Disclaimer: I am not a trained theatre critic; I am, however, a regular theatre audience member. I’ve been attending live theatre and concerts in Los Angeles since 1972; I’ve been writing up my thoughts on theatre (and the shows I see) since 2004. I do not have theatre training (I’m a computer security specialist), but have learned a lot about theatre over my many years of attending theatre and talking to talented professionals. I pay for all my tickets unless otherwise noted. I am not compensated by anyone for doing these writeups in any way, shape, or form. I currently subscribe at Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB), the  Hollywood Pantages (FB), Actors Co-op (FB), the Chromolume Theatre (FB) in the West Adams district, and a mini-subscription at the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) (FB).  The Chromolume 2017 season looks particularly good: Zanna Don’t (Tim Acito, January 13 – February 5), Hello Again (Michael John LaChiusa, May 5- May 28), and Pacific Overtures (Stephen Sondheim, September 15 – October 8) — all for only $60). Past subscriptions have included  The Colony Theatre (FB) (which went dormant in 2016), and Repertory East Playhouse (“REP”) (FB) in Newhall (which entered radio silence in 2016). Through my theatre attendance I have made friends with cast, crew, and producers, but I do strive to not let those relationships color my writing (with one exception: when writing up children’s production, I focus on the positive — one gains nothing except bad karma by raking a child over the coals).  I believe in telling you about the shows I see to help you form your opinion; it is up to you to determine the weight you give my writeups.

Upcoming Shows:  This evening sees us in Thousand Oaks for Evita at Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB) on Saturday. The following weekend brings Turn of the Screw at Actors Co-op (FB) on October 22 and the new Tumbleweed Festival (FB) on October 23. The last weekend of October brings Linden Waddell’s Hello Again, The Songs of Allen Sherman at Temple Ahavat Shalom (a joint fundraiser for MoTAS and Sisterhood).

Allan Sherman Tribute Show at TASInterrupting this recap for a word from a sponsor: Linden Waddell’s Hello Again, The Songs of Allen Sherman at Temple Ahavat Shalom is open to the community, and is a joint fundraiser for MoTAS and Sisterhood. Please tell your friends about it. I’m Past President of MoTAS, and I really want this to be a success. Click on the flyer to the right for more information. It should be a really funny night.

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, October is also the North Hollywood Fringe Festival (FB), although I doubt if we’ll have time for any shows. November will bring Hedwig and the Angry Inch at  the Hollywood Pantages (FB); a Day Out With Thomas at Orange Empire Railway Museum (FB) [excuse me, “Southern California Railway Museum”]; the Nottingham Festival (FB); and possibly Little Women at the Chance Theatre (FB) in Anaheim. We still have some open weekends in there I may book. We close out the year, in December, with the CSUN Jazz Band at the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), Amalie at the Ahmanson Theatre (FB), The King and I at the Hollywood Pantages (FB); an unspecified movie on Christmas day; and a return to our New Years Eve Gaming Party.

As always, I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting productions mentioned on sites such as Bitter-Lemons, Musicals in LA, @ This Stage, Footlights, as well as productions I see on Goldstar, LA Stage Tix, Plays411 or that are sent to me by publicists or the venues themselves. Note: Although we can’t make it, I also recommend the 10th Anniversary Production of The Brain from Planet X at LACC. See here for the Indiegogo. Lastly, want to know how to attend lots of live stuff affordably? Take a look at my post on How to attend Live Theatre on a Budget.

 

Coming and Going in the Southland

Written By: cahwyguy - Fri Oct 14, 2016 @ 5:54 pm PST

userpic=van-nuysToday’s news chum post has nothing to do with this year’s election, even though Hillary Clinton just left the Southland after visiting her ATM, and the Donald wouldn’t set foot again in the land of fruits and nuts, as temptation might get the better of him. Instead, it focuses on non-candidate things in Southern California that have been coming or going:

  • Coming: A Hotel at CSUN. It appears there are plans to build a smallish hotel on the grounds of CSUN, roughly where the Orange Grove Bistro is now. The hotel plan is to feature 150 rooms and will be between four or five stories. The restaurant that will be either within or attached to the hotel lobby; will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner services to both hotel guests and students.  It will serve a greater purpose for lecturers, families of students, members of the CSU Board of Trustees, visiting athletes and recreation and management tourism majors. The developer will be the source of funding for the hotel if approved; CSUN contributes only the ground lease. The idea arose because the Bistro building, as one of the oldest on campus, will require renovation soon and there are no funds for repair or replacement.
  • Going: Irvine Meadows. The last concerts are playing out, and soon Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre will be no more. Irvine Meadows was built in 1980 by the Irvine Company and it opened in 1981. It was the largest amphitheatre in Orange County, with 10,418 reserved seats and 5,667 on the lawn. In 1981, when it opened, the amphitheatre was part of Lion Country Safari. In November 1984, after more than 14 years in business, Lion Country Safari closed permanently. In 1986, part of the former Safari Camp became Wild Rivers Waterpark. The water park operated until September 2011. It’s now the site of Los Olivos, the largest apartment complex in Orange County, with 1,750 units. More overpriced apartments are planned for the site of the amphitheater when its lease runs out in 2017. The Lion Country Safari name has long been erased. Moulton Parkway adjacent to the site is now called Irvine Center Drive. (It’s still Moulton Parkway after Lake Forest Drive.)
  • Coming: Porter Ranch Statues. Returning, however, is a bit more precise. For decades, the statues of two waving mounted cowboys at Devonshire and Tampa had greeted visitors outside The Porter Ranch, a Northridge development of model homes in what is now the neighborhood of Porter Ranch. In the 1980s, they disappeared. Turns out the fabled cowboys had been carted off to Leona Valley near Palmdale. Now, after a full restoration, the Porter Ranch statues are back. They will be shown at their temporary digs at Valley Relics Museum before being installed in a 50-acre Los Angeles park being built by Toll Bros. home builders.
  • Going: Jerry’s Deli (nee Solley’s) in Woodland Hills. After 43 years, Jerry’s Famous Deli, at 21857 Ventura Blvd., will serve up its last order of lox, bagels and cream cheese on Sunday, 10/16. The restaurant opened in 1973 as part of the Solley’s Delicatessen chain. Studio City-based Jerry’s Famous Deli, Inc. bought the Ventura Boulevard eatery and one on Van Nuys Boulevard in 1996. The Van Nuys store retained the Solley’s name but closed in June of last year. Why is it closing? The Ventura Boulevard deli still made money but there was a problem with the landlord, San Diego-based Retail Opportunity Investments Corp.
  • Coming: Massive Development at the Promenade. An enormous new mixed use development could be on its way to the site of a declining shopping mall in Woodland Hills. Plans filed with the city Thursday call for the construction of 1,432 residential units, along with two hotels with a combined 572 guest rooms at what is currently Warner Center’s Promenade mall. The plans also propose 244,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery and drug store; more than 600,000 square feet of offices; and an entertainment and sports center. It is unclear the timing of this construction, or the impact on the few businesses, and the remaining AMC theatre, on the property (which have longer leases). The AMC building is a separate building; it could remain while construction goes on around it.
  • Going: The Sports Arena. The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena — now a mass of dusty concrete and steel — is slowly being razed with little public outcry. It’s a finale that characterizes the city’s apathy for a 57-year-old has-been that plodded through the decades in the shadow of glitzier venues. Soon to rise in its place is a 22,000-seat stadium that will host a Major League Soccer franchise. It was the first home of the Los Angeles Lakers, shelter to the Clippers for 15 years, and the dutiful servant of UCLA and USC basketball teams. At least it didn’t become a ghost arena.

A Welcoming Congregation

Written By: cahwyguy - Thu Oct 13, 2016 @ 6:38 pm PST

round challah userpicGood news: This post is not about Decision 2016!

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know I typically wait until I have at least three articles on a subject before writing up a news chum post. But two articles crossed my feeds today, and I feel they are important enough to break that rule. They both concern areas where we have failed to be sufficiently welcoming — or overly welcoming — in our progressive Jewish congregations.

The first, from Kveller, talks about how painful Jewish holidays can be for an introvert. The author writes: “Three times a day every day, we’re supposed to pray in a group consisting of at least 10 people. In my community, there are daily classes and one-on-one sessions of Torah learning where attendance is strongly recommended. Having Shabbat guests at your table is considered a must. Mind you, this is just during the course of a regular week. The holidays—especially the eight-day ones—barely allow for breathing space between parties.” I saw this first hand during Yom Kippur, when the mass of people at our High Holy Day services was too much for an introvert I know, and they had to retreat to the quiet of the office, away from the service. As Jews, we come from a culture that emphasizes the value of community, and community being there to support you. Yet for some, being in that community is overwhelming — and our urge — to go over and welcome them — is just what they don’t need. They need the quiet, the space. Somehow, we need to create worship spaces that are both communal and yet apart; spaces that permit people to join the community without being surrounded by the masses that make them uncomfortable. It is a different way of welcoming — recognizing that welcoming may be something different than a hug or a handshake. The article concludes: “remember the introverts this holiday season and give them credit for hosting meals and going to synagogue and not walking in the alley to avoid seeing you. Take the time to praise and encourage your introvert friends—preferably in a non-confrontational way such as an e-mail or text, as opposed to showing up at their door unannounced. And may all extroverts and introverts alike be blessed with a happy, healthy, and sweet New Year.”

The second is an NPR piece about a black, Jewish woman and how she never felt a part of her progressive Jewish congregation. She writes: “I’m a black woman. No one ever assumes I’m Jewish. When I talk about Judaism, people look at me in a way that makes me feel like I’m breaking into my own house. Especially the people inside the house.” This reminds us of yet another hidden incorrect assumption we make: just as not all Jewish are the hugging community type, not all Jews are white Eastern European — the stereotype the media has created of Jews. Not all Jews are Semitic (which is why one writes “antisemitism”, not “anti-Semitism”). Jews can come from all ethnicities; further, non-white Jews are not all converts. Jewish communities have existed around the globe for centuries, and we should not question or make assumptions about people of color in our congregations. Especially we should not assume based on gender. This woman wrote about visiting a congregation with her non-Jewish white boyfriend, “As soon as we walked in, I started feeling like an accessory. This was a superprogressive synagogue, and I wasn’t the only person of color in the congregation. But the way people greeted him first, always; the way someone explained to me what to expect of the service (It will be an hour long with portions in Hebrew and English); the way an usher smiled and asked me, not my boyfriend, What brings you here?

If, as progressive Jews, we envision our sanctuaries as safe, welcoming spaces, we must recognize that Jews come not only in all shapes and sizes, but in all varieties of skin colors and genders. They all have their different comfort levels about community, and we must grow in sensitivity to be aware of this. We must figure out ways to be welcoming without causing pain, welcoming without preconceived assumptions. Only in that way can we create in our congregations a tent of welcoming, and more importantly, a culture that welcomes.

Experience and Demeanor — A Message to Trump Supporters

Written By: cahwyguy - Thu Oct 13, 2016 @ 11:38 am PST

userpic=political-buttonsThis is a message for all my readers who are still — for whatever reason — supporting Donald Trump. I would like to present two reasons for you to reconsider that choice: experience and demeanor.

Experience

As I wrote in my post where I endorsed Clinton, she hands down has the most and best experience: “She has an experience as an executive, from running the State Department. She knows intimately the demands of the office of President, having been First Lady. She has been in the legislature, having been Senator from New York. She hasn’t been a judge, but she is an attorney, so she knows the law. She knows foreign policy, having been Secretary of State and having negotiated with world leaders. ”

But what about Donald Trump. He has never held elected office, he has never negotiated with world leaders, he has never worked in a legislature, and he is not a lawyer. He has only been a top-level executive in the corporate world. To some, this is a plus, but it really is extremely bad. As an executive in his companies, which have been privately held, he had full power. He could hire and fire at will, and set corporate direction without having to consult and win the approval of governing boards. In fact, if the boards said no, he could fire the offending board members. As President, this is not true. A President has extremely limited authority. For almost everything, the President has to obtain approval of Congress — and that means demonstrating the ability to work with both sides, even those he does not like.  His appointments might not be approved, and his policies may be changed or modified by Congress.

A President also has to work within the legal confines of the office. He has demonstrated here, through his remarks, that he doesn’t understand this. His constant claims that Clinton wants to repeal the 2nd Amendment demonstrates that he doesn’t understand how amendments are either ratified or repealed. His argument that she should have been able to, as Senator, change tax law also demonstrates lack of understanding of the office: Revenue bills must originate in the House, and a single Senator does not have the ability to either originate a revenue bill nor ensure its passage. His call for a special prosecutor for Clinton ignores the fact that special prosecutors are called by Congress, and must operate within the rules of evidence. In fact, his constant calls that Clinton is guilty misunderstands the proof that is required in a courtroom. His threats to sue newspapers for making negative reports on him demonstrate a misunderstanding of the 1st amendment. His bringing up claims that Clinton was wrong for defending a rapist demonstrates he does not understand the 6th amendment.

Trump has not worked within our political system, and has demonstrated that he neither knows how it works, or knows the constitutional limitations of his office. Indeed, he does not understand what the Constitution actually says, he appears to know only what he’s read on the Internet. He simply does not have the experience and knowledge for the job.

Clinton, on the other hand, does. Disagree with her policies if you will, but the best way to fight those policies is to elect House and Senate members that are congruent with your views who will work the way you want in Congress. Clinton has demonstrated the ability to work with Congress and find a middle ground. That will not happen with Trump. In terms of experience, you should vote for Clinton and the down-ticket candidates with whom you agree.

Demeanor

Let’s turn now to Trump’s demeanor — what some call his temperament. Further, for this discussion, let’s set aside his racism, sexism, and all the other -isms he embodies. Yes, they are horrible. Yes, it appears that he uses his power to make sexual advancements against women (which might be harassment in many contexts). Yes, it appears that either the candidate or his supporters are racist or antisemitic, and he does not denounce such behavior. Ignore all of that. Set it aside, as many of his supporters do. For if you ignore all of it, he still doesn’t have the right demeanor for the office. Here’s why:

He doesn’t put his brain in gear before he puts his mouth in motion.

A President, in public speech, must be measured. What you say is important, and how you say it is even more important. Words must be chosen carefully, and be chosen to convey and exact unambiguous meaning. Trump simply does not do this. He speaks off the cuff, and seemingly has no filters in what he says. He tweets at all hours, and those tweets are not reviewed. He often says things that are misinterpreted. He speaks without thinking, and then has to scramble to apologize for it later. He does not realize when his words are being recorded, and that they might be used against him later.

Although in a candidate this may be refreshing, in a President, they can start a nuclear war.

Now, add back in Trump’s attitude and speech towards women. Consider what happens if he slips up with a female head of state or prime minister, or makes a pass at the Duchess of Cambridge. What happens when his stereotypical attitudes erupt during a formal meeting with mid-east leaders. When he calls Hispanics names when meeting with a Latin American dignitary. Will it be easily excused, or an international incident?

Clinton has been cast as cold and calculating. That may be the case, but that is what you want in a President. You want a President that thinks before she speaks, that considers the possible impacts of what she is saying and how she is saying it before it ever leaves her mouth. The last thing you want is a President who has to apologize for saying something that is stupid, or that was interpreted the wrong way. Whether you like what Trump says or not, you must agree that he does not always think about the consequences before saying something. That is dangerous, for the leader of the free world.

Conclusion

Donald Trump simply does not have the knowledge of the position, the experience, or the demeanor to be President. Hillary Clinton does, but (at least to you) she has policies that you don’t like, and you don’t trust her. So what should you do that is best for the country?

The answer is simple.

Vote for Hillary Clinton as the only candidate with the right experience and demeanor. Then… vote for congressional and senate candidates with whom you agree, and who will represent your position in Congress and hold Clinton’s “feet to the fire” for your views. That is why we have Congress, and that is why we have a President with limited constitutional authority.

Jews and Decision 2016

Written By: cahwyguy - Wed Oct 12, 2016 @ 5:59 pm PST

userpic=obama-hillary-california,politicsAs the sun goes down today, Yom Kippur comes to an end. Yom Kippur is a day to atone for what you have done wrong in the previous year, and to commit yourself to make an honest attempt to do better next year. If Donald Trump wins, I know I will regret that I didn’t do enough to convince you, so let’s plow through some saved articles about The Donald. In the spirit of the day, these articles explore what might be good for us Jews in this election.

We all know that the Donald has a long long history of sexism and racism and corruption. It is not just isolated incidents (as we have seen from his opponent), but a continual pattern from when he was young to the present day. No indications of repentence, no indications of tshuvah. But what about the Jewish question? Let’s explore that for a bit.

For those of us in Progressive Judaism (i.e., Reform, Reconstructionist, and to some extent Conservative), Donald Trump is anathema to us. He goes against our ideas of social justice, and his solutions for Israel will increase conflict in the region. But for many Orthodox Jews (and a small number of Progressive Jews), Trump is their man. The estimates vary—one Orthodox source consulted for the story just linked says that he expects Trump to win 70 precent of the vote in the Brooklyn orthodox stronghold of Borough Park, while another doubts that the Republican will get more than a third of the Orthodox vote, an estimate roughly in line with the Yeshiva University student poll—but a significant percentage of the Orthodox are still going to vote for him. Why? One rabbi said (according to the story linked) that the Republican candidate is a needed corrective to contemporary liberalism’s vision of “a world without any beauty and any pride and any happiness.” Trump, in his view, is “fighting a battle that we have felt for a long time,” namely the conflict between traditional Jewish life and the spiritual emptiness, and perhaps the inevitable meaninglessness, of the world that he believes the modern-day, Clinton-supporting left envisions. Many support him because of his strong, one-state, pro-Israel stance.

But it’s not a given. An opinion piece in the Forward makes the case that Orthodox Jews should support Hillary. Orthodox Rabbi Menachem Genack notes that, “For the Orthodox community, it comes down to one issue: Israel. And on that issue, during Israel’s most difficult times, Bill and Hillary Clinton were there.” It’s not only Clinton’s personal concern for Israel that makes her the right choice, Genack says, but also her view of America’s place in the world. “What Israel needs more than anything else is a strong America, respected in the world, that protects Israel’s interests — an America engaged in the world. That’s what Hillary represents,” he said. “An isolationist America, which is what Trump advocates — hiding behind a wall, dismantling 70-year-old alliances like NATO — for the Jewish people, that, historically, leads to disaster, just like it did in the 1930s.”

Like the 1930s. What would a Trump win be like for Jews in America? The campaign is giving us a taste — it is awakening millennials to the extent of antisemitism in America. Most millennials have grown up during an unprecedented era of prosperity and assimilation for Jews in America, one in which the struggles endured by an earlier generation is understood as something closer to historical lore than present fact. The early months of 2016 brought in a strange tide of online hate speech aimed largely at Jewish journalists who had published articles critical of Trump or his campaign, with all the old ugly epithets on display. Then in July Trump’s Twitter account posted an image of a six-pointed star next to a picture of Hillary Clinton, with a pile of money in the background. Though he deleted the tweet, afterward Trump walked up to a brightly lit podium and defended the image, bellowing that the Jewish star was not a Jewish star. A dim reality descended on American Jews. Yes: Trump had broadcast the message of a neo-Nazi without apology. In September, the ex-wife of Trump’s campaign manager, Steve Bannon, said that Bannon had kept his daughters out of a school because he there were too many “whiny” Jewish brats there; the candidate’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., retweeted someone described as the neo-Nazis’ “favorite academic”; and a Trump advisor was accused of discriminating against Jewish employees (and denying the Holocaust).

It is unclear if Trump himself is antisemitic. But, as this shows, some of his campaign staff is, and some of his followers certainly are. An opinion piece in Ha-aretz relates what is going on. It is a preimium article, but I found some of it reposted. It noted that attacks from his supports began in earnest early in the year, following the February South Carolina primary, when reporter Bethany Mandel was attacked as a “slimy Jewess” and was told she deserved “the oven” for writing about Trump’s relatively large number of antisemitic supporters. The attacks only grew in intensity, scope, and, if alt-right sites are to be believed, in organization of harassment. In April, prominent feature writer Julia Ioffe published a profile of Melania Trump in GQ. Ioffe, who is Jewish, was barraged with death threats and crank callers, one of whom played recorded speeches of Hitler on her phone line, another who told her that her face would look good on a lampshade.

The problem is that white supremacists and American Neo-Nazis and Klansmen and the technology-borne alt-right hear in Trump’s dog-whistles, in his retweets of their filth, and in his belated, disingenuous, or nonexistent disavowals, the sound of a common cause, and a golden opportunity. “Dog Whistles” are code phrases not heard by most people, but signals to various consitiuencies. Want an example? Look no further than the latest debate, and the repeated mentions of “Sydney Blumenthal” — which is a signal about Jews controlling the administration. Two weeks ago, Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum wrote a piece titled “In Poland, a preview of what Trump could do to America.” The Breitbart news site – whose on-leave executive chairman is Trump Campaign Chairman Stephen Bannon – then ran an article which said of Applebaum that “hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned.”  Jew-hating Trump supporters have reserved some of the most toxic of their venom for staunch Republicans and conservatives who happen to be Jewish. They’ve even coined an obscenity just for them: Kikeservatives.

Then again, there is Trump’s relationship with David Duke. In a robocall, the former KKK grand wizard said he and Trump come as a pair in the 2016 elections.

Trump may not be antisemitic. I’m sure that some of his best friends are Jews; his son-in-law certainly is. But he permits and does not denounce antisemitism in his staff and followers. His solution for Israel is not practical, and his solutions for the US will not ensure a strong US is there to defend Israel. Lastly, his plans will not bring the forms of social justice that are a hallmark of Judaism.

ETA: Alas, I must add the following: The day after I posted this, the following appeared on my FB feeds: “Trump just gave an anti-Semitic speech ‘dripping with hatred’ — and the Internet is horrified“. The article, from Raw Story (so I need to confirm), talks about another “dog whistle” from Trump, when in a speech in Palm Beach FL he lashed out at global elites who undermine American sovereignty through “international banks”. He accused Clinton of being “the vessel (of) a corrupt global establishment that’s raiding our country and surrendering the sovereignty of our nation.” The article noted how many Internet readers of the speech felt it had antisemitic undertones. Here’s the transcript of the speech. Here’s one quote: “This election will determine whether we are a free nation or whether we have only the illusion of democracy, but are in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system, and our system is rigged. This is reality, you know it, they know it, I know it, and pretty much the whole world knows it. The establishment and their media enablers will control over this nation through means that are very well known. ” «Global special interests» strikes me as a dog-whistle for the Jewish conspiracy, a common antisemitic trope. Here’s yet another dog-whistle: “Their financial resources are virtually unlimited, their political resources are unlimited, their media resources are unmatched, and most importantly, the depths of their immorality is absolutely unlimited.” This plays to the antisemitic trope about Jewish bankers and Jewish control of the media. Yes, he is not explicit about it, but I think the signals are there. Additionally, he’s telling people they can’t trust the media — I’ve written about the problems of that before. He says: “Let’s be clear on one thing, the corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism. They’re a political special interest no different than any lobbyist or other financial entity with a total political agenda, and the agenda is not for you, it’s for themselves.” Translation: Ignore the media, listen to me and me alone, for only I tell the truth. Think of who else said that, and we should be afraid — and make sure we go out and vote.

P.S.: I’m not saying Trump is all bad. After all, he has done something no one else has been able to do: He has brought the country’s leading Republicans (many of them, at least) and Democrats together, because they have finally found something they can agree upon: They can’t abide Donald Trump. There’s Paul Ryan, of course, and John McCain, and a host of other high-ranking Republicans in Congress. Barack Obama has been anti-Trump from the outset, and is now actively working to persuade Republicans to abandon him. The progressive wing of the Democratic Party is on board, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), as is much of the right-wing commentariat, among them Erick Erickson and Glenn Beck. There are Republican lions, like George H.W. Bush and Democratic lions, like Al Gore and Jimmy Carter. In short, though he presumably did not mean to do so, Trump has built a remarkable coalition. The reason for this, of course, is that for all of their disagreements, all of these individuals have much in common. They all respect the rule of law, and appropriate limits on government power. They lament sexual violence against women. They also recognize that part of the social contract on which a democracy is founded is abiding by the outcomes of elections, even if those outcomes are disagreeable. In fact, on Tuesday, numerous Republican leaders told Donald Trump and his acolytes in no uncertain terms to stop their talk of a “rigged” election.

The Erosion of Trust

Written By: cahwyguy - Wed Oct 12, 2016 @ 9:33 am PST

userpic=observationsI wish I knew who to blame.

Ever since I read “Denial”, I’ve been talking about the convergence of the facts. That we must go where the facts tell us; facts are not swayed by opinion. Facts just are, they are true, they point the way.

Alas, there’s a big problem with that. A gigantic problem. A yugggge problem. No one trusts the facts anymore.

I wish I knew who to blame. I can point to various culprits. Fox News is a big one, having introduced the notion of putting a particular political spin or slant on the news. As such, many people started discounting news from that source. Another culprit is the financial decline of print media, which forced newspapers to eliminate many editorial positions, including fact checkers and editors. As such, newspapers were no longer bastions of truth, but often presented the news either inaccurately or with particular political slants. Yet another culprit is the Internet, which has allowed anyone and everyone (including moi) to become a publisher, resulting in even more biased or slanted news sources camouflaging themselves as the truth. As such, people chose their curated news source without seeing the bias, and thus refusing to believe any other. The Internet is a culprit in yet another way, by creating echo chambers for news. As such, people don’t even realize they aren’t seeing the full stories or only selected sources that they “like”. A final culprit? The growing distrust of authority in society, making even the formerly reliable news sources now untrustworthy, whether that particular appellation is deserved or not. As such, authoritative papers of records or fact checking sources are now not trusted.

Whatever the culprit, people no longer believe the facts. And that, dear friends and readers, has brought us to where we are today. A society that has given us Donald Trump, and the lies he spreads as facts. It has given us a populace that no longer believes in science; it views science as merely an opinion. It has given us a populace that no longer believes in objective historical fact; it discounts historical facts unless they have been processed by a particular spin.

I could cite numerous examples of the result of this. Climate change deniers. Anti-vaxxers. Conspiracy theorists.

What brought this to a head for me was a discussion prompted by “And Hillary Clinton laughed at a 10 year old who was raped.” This is a particular like that has been promoted by the right wing media, by the Trump news establishment, by the establishment that has ignored facts consistently to build up a picture of Hillary as a demon. A media market that has played the populace just like the antisemitic media in Germany painted the picture that it was the Jews who were responsible for all of Germany’s problems. With today’s media, of course, it isn’t just the Jews. It is those demon Clintons and the liberal establishment.

Because of the distrust of the media, the folks to whom I indicated that statement was wrong did not believe me. You see, I had cited Snopes (which now seems to have a fake-“you’re infected” warning), and Snopes (of course)  is a conspiracy of the left. Of course, there are multiple sources pointing out the same thing:

Note that the ABC News article is from 2014, well before this year’s campaign.

What are the facts that all these sources agree upon? Clinton did not take the case willingly; the court appointed her based on the 6th Amendment’s guarantee that all parties in a case are entitiled to legal representation.  Getting the rapist off? She actually didn’t; she got a plea bargain to a shorter sentence because the prosecution mishandled the evidence, making it suspect. The laughter, not at the victim, but at the prosecution for being sloppy with the evidence, and at the polygraphs for not being as reliable as juries believe they are.

The same people who disbelieve the news believe what they are told: that Clinton was responsible for strongly defending the rapist, even though she knew he was guilty. Never mind the fact that a lawyer in a trial has a legal obligation to defend their client to the best of their abilities, even if they may know that are guilty of the crime. This is especially true when they are a court-appointed legal counsel — they have no choice, no ability to opt out of defending the person. And guess what: if you were that person — perhaps wrongly accused — wouldn’t you want your lawyer to give you the best defense possible. Our country has the legal standard of innocent until proven guilty, and that is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Today, we no longer look at multiple facts to draw our conclusion. We no longer trust our news sources, relying instead on the court of public opinion, on memes that circulate on the Internet, on the small set of sources that we “trust” despite their slant.

This political season has been built on a scaffolding of lies and innuendo, much of it built by the right wing establishment against the Clintons (Bengahzi, Email Servers, Rape, Murders), and to a lesser extent against Trump by the left-wing media establishment. People have become so ensconced in their lies they no longer recognize fact checking from neutral media. They no longer look at where the bulk of the evidence points.

When news services across the political spectrum denounce Trump and endorse Clinton, when pundits and politicians across the political spectrum denounce Trump and endorse Clinton, when there is almost universal acknowledgement that the stories going around about Clinton are patently false — these should people people to a particular conclusion. But when their leader — Donald Trump — denounces all these sources and individuals as the product of a conspiracy against them, and as a result people no longer believe them, well, there’s the biggest danger to our democracy. The erosion of trust in our media, because you can never disprove a conspiracy theory. We have a society that has become susceptible to demagogues, believing unquestioning what they are told, instead of checking for themselves.

Get it through your head: Our mainstream media — major television channels, major market newspapers (not tabloids), and such, are trustworthy. Further, checking a variety of sources and seeing the bulk of them pointing to the same conclusion should further support the theory that the conclusion is right. Believing multiple fringe sources that all bend their reporting should make one suspicious.

Postscript

Just after posting this, I see one of my extreme conservative friends on FB post the following:

Folks, the Constitution enshrines Freedom Of The Press so that it may freely inform the public of the abuses, lawlessness and tyranny of our government when it becomes corrupt.

But what are we to do when the Press itself becomes just as corrupt, giving itself over to the regime in order to deceive the people to accept despotism, rather than guard against it?

Now you see why I’m worried? When our mainstream media is viewed as corrupt, when people believe mainstream media deceives — that is the opportunity that demagogues and despots pounce upon, for then they can convince people of anything. Perhaps one source is corrupt. Multiple mainstream sources, doing independent reporting, are trustworthy.

Is History Just an Opinion? | “Denial”

Written By: cahwyguy - Mon Oct 10, 2016 @ 4:02 pm PST

denialuserpic=moviesIs history what you believe it to be? If you honestly believe that history happened a particular way, does that make it true? Is it acceptable to always slant history a certain way to support a particular argument? Do the facts define history, irrespective of what anyone says history to be?

Sounds like some questions relevant to this political silly season of 2016. Is it?

There was a man who said that particular historical events never happened. He said that others happened in a particular way that supported his view of reality. This man quoted numerous historical sources, and interpreted the evidence in such a way as to build a case to support his views and his arguments. Never mind that the facts and historians across the globe said otherwise. He truly believed that what everyone else knew as reality never happened, and was so ensconced in that belief that he could not see the facts.

However, there was a courageous woman who took him — and other similar believers on. She she called him out for his lies and his falsification. She believed that facts define what is true, not opinion, and a confluence of the facts is irrefutable evidence.

Again, sounds like someone this presidential year.

But the man in question didn’t like being called out for his lies and falsifications. He felt it was hurting his reputation, and was impacting his ability to conduct business deals. He wanted to take her down; he took this personally. He sued her for libel in court, and forced her to prove that he was lying.

Again, sounds familiar if you saw Sunday night’s debate. Only I’m not talking about Decision 2016. The man in question is David Irving (and no, I’m not linking to his website),  and the woman in question is Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. The trial did happen: Irving sued Lipstadt in British Court for Libel, based on her writings about Irving in her book “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory“. Lipstadt subsequently wrote a book about her experiences with the trial, “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier” (recently rereleased). This book was adapted into a screenplay, which is hitting the big screens this month as “Denial“.

Now, back when I was in college, I knew Dr. Lipstadt. I was a Math/Computer Science major, and we had this requirement called the Breadth Requirement. This meant we had to take courses out of our area in order to graduation. I discovered Jewish Studies was an option for Humanities. Dr. Lipstadt, who was a professor at UCLA in the Jewish Studies Department at the time, taught a number of Jewish Studies courses. As a result, I took a number of courses from her on subjects such as Zionism and Antisemitism (turning in papers printed via nroff on the Diablo 1620 in the CS Department). I’ve been in touch with her off and on since then. When Dr. Lipstadt began to talk about this movie on her Facebook wall, my interest was piqued. I was just coming off two years as president of my synagogue men’s club, and I thought this would be a great event. So I found a date, coordinated a meeting, and picked up a copy of the book so I could prepare some discussion questions. Yesterday afternoon I lead a group of 19 down to the AMC Woodland Hills for the afternoon showing.

The movie tells essentially the story that is in the book: the setup of the conflict, receipt of the lawsuit, preparation of the case, the trial, and the aftermath. It is in many ways an extreme condensation of the book — the book covers the preparation for the trial in extreme detail (and you can see all that detail at the Holocaust Denial on Trial website, which has add the details and the trial transcipts, among other resources), and provides details for almost every day of the trial. Yet such condensation is required in the process of making the film. For those seeing the film, there is one important fact noted in the republished book’s foreward: Every word in the trial scenes is verbatim. The screenwriters did not modify those words, because to do so would be to go against the spirit of the movie.

Looking at the movie as a movie, I thought it was very good (and so did everyone else in my group). It provided sufficient context to the book, presented the discovery in an engaging way, and captured the conflicts of the trial — and the difficulties that Dr. Lipstadt faced in having to stay quiet — well. It provided just enough information on the British legal system for American viewers to understand the context. As a live theatre goer, I noticed the cinematography, and I thought it did a very good job of building the mood, especially in the scenes related to Auschwitz. It wasn’t maudlin; it didn’t well on the specifics and the cruelties of the Holocaust. The focus was the trial.

However, as I watched the movie (with the book fresh in my head), I couldn’t help but notice what was missing. The movie gave the impression that the trial was centered around Auschwitz and Irving’s claims thereabout. The discovery process of the case was much more extensive, looking at all of Irving’s writings and the historical areas they covered. When in the movie they enter the courtroom and see rows and rows of binders on the walls, those aren’t just Irving’s diaries. Those are all of the material that was discovered for the trial. The screenwriter also omitted a number of critical aspects of British court (likely for the sake of time and story): that all materials discovered are shared, and that there are to be no “surprises” during the trial. Further, it didn’t note that if Irving lost the trial, he became financial responsible for all of Dr. Lipstadt’s court costs. It also didn’t note the questions related to Penguin UK’s involvement in the trial.

With respect to the trial itself, there were numerous areas that, again, were condensed out for the sake of the cinematic demonstration. There were numerous aspects of Auschwitz that were hinted at in the movie, but were much more extensive during the trial, such as the ramp to the “delousing room” and the specifics of why Leichter’s analysis of the concrete was flawed. There were aspects of the construction of the facilities. Then there were other areas that were omitted entirely, such as Irving’s claims about the Eastern Front and the massacres of Jews there.

Again, I understand the cinematic need for the omissions. There was one omission that was more problematic to me. A key emphasis of the book is the notion of confluence of history — the notion that factual history arises from facts from multiple sources and multiple datapoints all pointing to the same conclusion. This was Irving’s fatal flaw: he drew facts from one or two sources, interpreting them as he would, and ignoring numerous other sources that contradicted him. That’s not what a historian does. Once examines as many sources as possible, and where the facts lead you are the truth. This notion of confluence of history is extremely important this election season; just this weekend we had a candidate claiming that a particular behavior wasn’t representative, when the confluence of facts pointed to the opposite conclusion. This same candidate identified a few examples about their opponent and claimed it demonstrated a significant pattern when, again, that conclusion wasn’t supported by a confluence of the facts.

However, the movie did leave the audience with an extremely important point, which was also the moral (so to speak) of the book: History is not just what we say it is. One cannot say: this is how I honestly remember things, this is what I believe, and therefore it is true. Having honest antisemitic beliefs, and believing that the Holocaust never happened does not change the reality that it happened. That is such an important point to make this fall, where we have entire political parties insisting that history happened one particular way to support their point of view, completely ignoring the fact that the confluence of the evidence says otherwise.

The performances in the movie were uniformly strong. Timothy Spall, who to me was Wormwood from Harry Potter but whom others recall better as Churchill in The Kings Speech, does innocent evil so well. Rachel Weitz did a great job becoming Dr. Lipstadt — she got the vocal mannerisms down well, although her look didn’t quite fit my memory. The performance was excellent. Tom Wilkinson was strong as Richard Rampton, the lead Barrister on the case, with great support from Andrew Scott as Anthony Julius, the lead solicitor.

This being a movie, I’m not going to list all the credits as I do with a theatre production; you can see them all on the IMDB page.

Note that the underlying topic of the movie: antisemitism (always, as Dr. Lipstadt taught, written without the hyphen), is still far too prevalent. You’ll see it in comments on the book and on the movie. You’re seeing it in this political campaign, from the memes retweeted by the Trump campaign (Pepe the Frog was recently designed as a hate symbol by the ADL, and there was Trump’s earlier tweet) to the most recent debate, with the repeated references to Sydney Blumenthal. These are what are called “dog whistles” — silent signals that most people don’t recognize, but that white nationalists pick up to indicate messages to them. The denial of history — the bending of facts to make a particular point — is so timely this political season.

One other interesting comparison. One incident show in the movie, which was related in the book as well, concerns how Irving demonstrated he was not a racist. Quoting from the book:

Irving assured the reporter, Kate Kelland, that he could demonstrate he was not a racist by the fact that his “domestic staff” had included a Barbadian, a Punjabi, a Sri Lankan, and a Pakistani. They were “all very attractive girls with very nice breasts”.

Shades of a certain presidential candidates and comments made on a bus.

“Denial” is a movie I strongly recommend to all. It is in limited release now, expanding some on October 14, and going nationwide on October 22. See it. Learn from it. Get the book and visit the website and learn more.

* * *

Ob. Disclaimer: I am not a trained theatre critic; I am, however, a regular theatre audience member. I’ve been attending live theatre and concerts in Los Angeles since 1972; I’ve been writing up my thoughts on theatre (and the shows I see) since 2004. I do not have theatre training (I’m a computer security specialist), but have learned a lot about theatre over my many years of attending theatre and talking to talented professionals. I pay for all my tickets unless otherwise noted. I am not compensated by anyone for doing these writeups in any way, shape, or form. I currently subscribe at Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB), the  Hollywood Pantages (FB), Actors Co-op (FB), the Chromolume Theatre (FB) in the West Adams district, and a mini-subscription at the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) (FB).  The Chromolume 2017 season looks particularly good: Zanna Don’t (Tim Acito, January 13 – February 5), Hello Again (Michael John LaChiusa, May 5- May 28), and Pacific Overtures (Stephen Sondheim, September 15 – October 8) — all for only $60). Past subscriptions have included  The Colony Theatre (FB) (which went dormant in 2016), and Repertory East Playhouse (“REP”) (FB) in Newhall (which entered radio silence in 2016). Through my theatre attendance I have made friends with cast, crew, and producers, but I do strive to not let those relationships color my writing (with one exception: when writing up children’s production, I focus on the positive — one gains nothing except bad karma by raking a child over the coals).  I believe in telling you about the shows I see to help you form your opinion; it is up to you to determine the weight you give my writeups.

Upcoming Shows:  Next weekend has yet another VPAC event: An Evening with Kelli O’Hara on Friday, as well as tickets for Evita at Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB) on Saturday. The following weekend brings Turn of the Screw at Actors Co-op (FB) on October 22 and the new Tumbleweed Festival (FB) on October 23. The last weekend of October brings Linden Waddell’s Hello Again, The Songs of Allen Sherman at Temple Ahavat Shalom (a joint fundraiser for MoTAS and Sisterhood).

Allan Sherman Tribute Show at TASInterrupting this recap for a word from a sponsor: Linden Waddell’s Hello Again, The Songs of Allen Sherman at Temple Ahavat Shalom is open to the community, and is a joint fundraiser for MoTAS and Sisterhood. Please tell your friends about it. I’m Past President of MoTAS, and I really want this to be a success. Click on the flyer to the right for more information. It should be a really funny night.

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, October is also the North Hollywood Fringe Festival (FB), although I doubt if we’ll have time for any shows. November will bring Hedwig and the Angry Inch at  the Hollywood Pantages (FB); a Day Out With Thomas at Orange Empire Railway Museum (FB) [excuse me, “Southern California Railway Museum”]; the Nottingham Festival (FB); and possibly Little Women at the Chance Theatre (FB) in Anaheim. We still have some open weekends in there I may book. We close out the year, in December, with the CSUN Jazz Band at the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), Amalie at the Ahmanson Theatre (FB), The King and I at the Hollywood Pantages (FB); an unspecified movie on Christmas day; and a return to our New Years Eve Gaming Party.

As always, I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting productions mentioned on sites such as Bitter-Lemons, Musicals in LA, @ This Stage, Footlights, as well as productions I see on Goldstar, LA Stage Tix, Plays411 or that are sent to me by publicists or the venues themselves. Note: Although we can’t make it, I also recommend the 10th Anniversary Production of The Brain from Planet X at LACC. See here for the Indiegogo. Lastly, want to know how to attend lots of live stuff affordably? Take a look at my post on How to attend Live Theatre on a Budget.

You Out of Luck Today. Banks Closed.

Written By: cahwyguy - Mon Oct 10, 2016 @ 6:46 am PST

[Today is Columbus Day (or Indigenous People Day, if you prefer), and, FYI, the banks are closed. Thus, it is all together fitting and appropriate to remind people why we do this… to give bankers 3-day weekends :-)]

In 1961, the humorist Stan Freberg issued Volume 1 of The United States of America, a musical telling of the founding of America through the Battle of Yorktown (Volume 2 goes through the end of World War I (“They’ll never be another war…”)). The first scene on Volume 1 relates the story of how the Indians discovered Columbus. Although many things have changed since 1961 when this was recorded — Columbus is no longer held in the same regard, the portray of the Native American would likely be very different — there are still points that ring true, especially the exchange:

Columbus: Alright. Hello there. Hello there. We white man. Other side of ocean. My name, Christopher Columbus.
Chief: Oh, you over here on a Fulbright?
Columbus: No, no. I’m over here on an Isabella, as a matter of fact. Which reminds me. I want to take a few of you guys back on the boat to prove I discovered you.
Chief: What you mean discover us? We discover you.
Columbus: You discovered us?
Chief: Certainly, we discover you on beach here. Is all how you look at it.

As today is Columbus Day, let us remember that unfortunate day that the Native Americans discovered a Italian sailor, and the world was never the same. Just look at all he brought us: “real food: starches, spaghetti, cholesterol, … all the better things. That’s called progress.”

I present a transcription of the scene, just as it happened:

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