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:: Friday, October 04, 2002 ::

Taboo



In the early 90's we had Tommy: The Musical with music by The Who, then, recently, we've had Mamma Mia with the music of Abba, Closer To Heaven with music by the Pet Shop Boys, and Moving Out with the music of Billy Joel. Now, scheduled to hit broadway in early 2003, we have Taboo, the life story of Boy George. Written and starring, you guessed it, Boy George (although he doesn't play himself, he leaves that to 'a much younger actor').

When do we get 'My Sharona: The Musical'? What about 'The Fixx' or 'Duran Duran' and we could probably get a decently surreal musical out of Alphaville's 'Afternoons In Utopia'. On the 'back to reality' side, Footloose already came and went and musical versions of Flashdance and Dirty Dancing are on the way eventually. Not to mention, already open on the West End in London, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Just please, I'm begging here...just please let me never see up in lights on a broadway theater: "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go: A Musical"

Please? Pretty please?
:: Peter 10/04/2002 09:25:00 AM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, October 03, 2002 ::

Must Fisk This



Sometimes I don't even know where to begin.

Wearing ‘hijaab’ in Canada
By Fatima Najm, Special to Arab News


Well, Fatima...

and I quote, here: "I totally rejected the idea at first. I hated the thought. I wondered how people would see me," Saima, a first-year business student, remembers. The thought of showing up at school with a head covering had her in tears. But once she worked up the resolve to wear it, everything worked out.

"I became more confident because people were seeing me for who I was, not how I dressed or who I hung out with. I felt so liberated."


Hey, good to know...everything worked out. Liberated? Did she really say 'liberated'? Does she know how that word is defined. All women who would feel 'liberated' being covered head to toe raise your hands. I'm sorry, I'm not going to be able to count those women in Islamic countries because they're not allowed to be on the internet I'm sorry, what was your point again? Oh, right...liberated. You were liberated. Was that liberation felt before or after a male relative escorted you out of the house?

"In countries such as Saudi Arabia there is no room for discussion. It is the law. All women wear the abaya, an elegant black cloak"

'An elegant black cloak' Hmmm...I think the important line to remember here is 'there is no room for discussion.' Let's repeat that:

"In countries such as Saudi Arabia there is no room for discussion"

And she said 'liberated'?
:: Peter 10/03/2002 03:53:00 PM [+] ::
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Make Your Own What?!



This is an 'Official' No Comment.
:: Peter 10/03/2002 09:29:00 AM [+] ::
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One Day More




The Company of Les Miserables

March 15, 2003. After 16 years on broadway, Les Miz will be closing as the second longest running musical in broadway history. With Phantom close behind I doubt it will remain number 2 for long, though. And, with Lion King looking as though it will be the first show to break 10,000 shows, look for Les Miz to be number 4 before too long. But for the last 16 years, viva la revolution!



:: Peter 10/03/2002 08:45:00 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 ::

ECotD



Um...some people might think that that's a good thing...


:: Peter 10/02/2002 05:02:00 PM [+] ::
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Neal Boortz



I have nothing to add to this...well, ok, just a little: The NJ Democratic party leaders spoke yesterday, announcing Lautenberg would be running in place of Toricelli. Except the vote is this afternoon. Who is voting? The Democratic Party board members. In other words, what we heard yesterday was the decision of the party leaders, who have, in effect, said that the vote of their own board is meaningless. What they say goes. Isn't that ironic?

This is from Neal Boortz. I'll quote it in full since it's worth reading:

RULE OF LAW OR POWER OF RULERS?

This Torricelli saga in New Jersey is going to be interesting to watch.

The law in New Jersey is clear. Not one bit of ambiguity. There is no legal way to substitute another Democrat for Robert Torricelli in New Jersey. This morning the Democrats will go before a Democrat New Jersey Supreme Court. They will tell that court that the rule of law must be set aside; set aside in the interest of Democratic control of the United States Senate.

Sept. 17--51 days before the election--was the "last day for a political party to designate a replacement in the event of a vacancy among candidates nominated at primaries.

Amazingly, The New York Times is saying that the law doesn’t matter. Listen to this paragraph, then let’s rip it apart.

The Republicans are likely to argue that under New Jersey election law, it is too late to put another name on the ballot. But legal wrangling over ballot access cannot be allowed to obscure the central issue, which is one of democracy. The guiding principle should be the voters' basic right to a genuine election.

The most important words out of that NYT excerpt are these: “legal wrangling over ballot access cannot be allowed to obscure the central issue, which is one of democracy.”

Do you see what The New York Times is saying here? This could easily be one of the most dangerous and frightening opinions ever set forth in that so-called “newspaper of record.” The New York Times is saying that the rule of law cannot be allowed to interfere with the concept of majority rule.”

So, this is what we have here. A battle between a government of law, and a government of men.

Our founding fathers recognized the danger of mob rule and labored specifically to establish the United States as a government of law. Simply put, this means that the law matters. The law controls. The law applies to the weak and the powerful, the rich and the poor, the minority and the majority.

The New York Times is explicitly demanding that the rule of law be set aside so that the rule of the majority can take its place. Unbelievable. And unbelievably dangerous.

The Times says that there is still time for a spirited campaign. Tom Daschle is saying that Republicans were "denying the people of New Jersey a choice" in the election." Wrong, both of them. There has been a spirited campaign in New Jersey, perhaps one of the most spirited in the country! The people of New Jersey did have a choice. The Democrats just didn’t like the way things were looking in this spirited campaign for their candidate … so now, with the help of The New York Times, they hope to cast aside an inconvenient law for the sake of preserving political power.

Maybe I’m not getting the point across here. Let’s say that a movement is started to seize the wealth of America’s 100 wealthiest citizens. Protest leaders insist that these 100 fat cats acquired their wealth by exploiting working families, and it is only just that their property be seized and redistributed. The law, of course, says that you can’t just seize a person’s wealth without some legal process .. a process that would show, for instance, that the wealth was obtained by fraud. So, there you have your combatants. On one side you have social activists who want wealth seized and redistributed. On the other side you have the law of the land that protects the cornerstone of liberty … property rights.

Here is what you might expect to read in The New York Times:

The wealthy are likely to argue that under the U.S. Constitution, you cannot simply seize the assets of one person to redistribute to another. But legal wrangling over the authority of government to seize wealth cannot be allowed to obscure the central issue, which is one of majority rule. The guiding principle should be the basic right of the majority to seize property from those who have acquired wealth.

OK .. another example. A community experiences a horrible murder. A person is arrested. The community assumes his guilt, and is shocked when the jury acquits him. A lynch mob is organized. The SOB is finally going to get what’s coming to him, law or no law. Would you expect to read this in The New York Times?



The lawyers are likely to argue that under New Jersey law, you cannot lynch a man who has been found innocent. But legal wrangling over jury verdicts cannot be allowed to obscure the central issue, which is one of democracy. The guiding principle should be the citizens’ basic right to genuine justice.

Come on, folks. Is that the kind of America you want to hand to your children? Do you want your politicians to be able to cast aside the written law when it stands in the way of their acquiring or maintaining political power?"


:: Peter 10/02/2002 10:47:00 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 ::

The Torch Is Passed



The vote by the Democrats to elect someone to run in place of the Torch will be tomorrow at 12:30 in Jamesburg, NJ. I think they'll be allowed to run whomever they select who actually agrees to do it. Lautenberg? Bradley? Menendez? Does anyone actually want to run? What platform will the GOP run on now that their main plank: "Toricelli has to go" is no longer valid?
:: Peter 10/01/2002 12:26:00 PM [+] ::
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ECotD




:: Peter 10/01/2002 10:38:00 AM [+] ::
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:: Monday, September 30, 2002 ::

Heather Williams, Come On Down!




Oh dear. I thought, here, finally, was a day where the Arab News had nothing to Fisk in their letter page. But Heather Williams, of Phoenix, Arizona wrote them a 'Message from American' (we'll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that 'n' at the end of 'American' was added by the editors of the Arab News).

"Message from American

Despite the American patriotic climate that is presented in the media, I feel it is very important that the rest of the world know that the majority of Americans do not agree with the present administration’s actions or sentiments. (I'm sorry, which majority is that? Last I checked, every poll has an overwhelming percentage of Americans, remember us?, who support fully this war.)

Most of the American people do not want a war. There is a growing anti-war movement here in America. (Yes, they're called Democrats, they worship the all-powerful god 'PC' (the child of the goddess 'Feminist' and the god 'Liberal') and they are led by the High Priestess Hillary and her lapdogs Bonior and McDermott)

What is happening here is not a democracy and has not really ever been one. (And I quote: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all." What made you think America was a democracy?)

Corporations and money interests rule our country and make the decisions. (They do? Are they part of the Jewish/Zionist cabal that rules the world? I'm confused...)
A government by the people and for the people does not exist. (Are you sure you're not from Berkely?)
Our own media will not cover the mass dissent within the civilian population, or the truth about what our own government’s actions, especially the military, have been. (Mass dissent? Must have missed that on my way to all those 'Jews Are Taking Over The World' meetings)
There have been many protests here without even a whisper in the press. (Oh, puhleeze)
Did you know that on Sept. 29 last year, 45,000 people marched on Washington DC in protest to a war, violations of civil liberties, the Patriot Act, and many other related issues? I was there. I know how many people there were. And yet, I only found a few buried articles that misreported the numbers as 1,500-2,000 “anarchists” — which we were not. (I wasn't there, so I won't hazard a guess at how many people showed up at this anti-American protest, however, International ANSWER, a group which sponsored the march, ANSWER stands for Act Now To Stop War And Racism, has, on their website the total ‘over 20,000')

Apathy remains high in America. People feel isolated in their views, and that’s just the way the government likes it. Voter turnout amongst eligible voters continues to be below 30 percent. The American public has lost faith that their vote, and their voice, counts. Can anyone blame them? The very fact that Bush is in office is an example of our corrupt election system. Our congressional representatives act on their own and bow to the president without substantiated information on the issues and regardless of their constituents’ viewpoints.

The American public does not hear in mainstream media about the suffering that our government’s actions have brought on the peoples of the world. And if it is reported at all, it is surrounded by misinformation and lies made to leave America in a positive light. We have to dig for information and read foreign reports and publications to hear of the truth. (Isn't that what Bonior and McDermott said, that Saddam was trustworthy? What makes you believe their lies? Do you still think there was a massacre in Jenin or that the Israeli army killed Mohammed al-Dura?)
Most military and presidential actions are “classified”. (Your point being? Do you think ALL knowledge should be public? Even that which would end up getting Americans killed? So there should be no censorship? None at all? Does that extend to child pornography? Betcha didn't think about that one, did you?)
Public media is our only domestic source of truthful information, and even that is lacking. (Blog, baby, blog...public media? That's like saying our only source of entertainment is ABC, CBS, and NBC. Wake up and smell the 'Blogosphere')

Please know that our hearts are bleeding at the very thought of more senseless death in the name of retribution, power, and most of all, money. (As opposed to all those who died in the name of Allah? Did your bleeding heart not bleed for them? For the little girl shot in her bed because she was Jewish? For the Americans who jumped to their deaths so as to choose the manner of their deaths rather than burn in the top floors of the World Trade Center? Where is your bleeding heart for the women stoned to death for adultery while the men who raped them go free? Where is your compassion for the 7 year old girl beheaded by her father for the 'crime' of sullying the family's honor? Does your bleeding heart bleed for them? Money? How dare you. Power? Retribution? This is, in the simplest terms, good v. evil. Which side are you on? I know you believe yourself to be on the side of good. Too bad you're not. Where is your bleeding heart for the truly innocent? Or are you only capable of compassion for their murderers?)

We want peace, and we are tired of watching people suffer and die at the hands of our “selected — not elected — “ leaders. (You know, I didn't vote for Bush. I voted Libertarian. And I thank God, every day, that Bush won. I am tired of watching innocents suffer while people turn a blind eye and blame the victim. I am tired of watching children die while people sympathize with their murderers. I am tired of listening to the whining of Americans who hate America)

In peace,

Heather Williams, Phoenix, Arizona, US published 28 September 2002

Heather...there will be no peace without war. There will be no safety with sacrifice. And, Heather, those people you mailed your letter to? They hate you. They want you dead. They are not your friends. They hate you because you're an American. They hate you because you're a woman.

They hate you, Heather. They hate us all


:: Peter 9/30/2002 02:45:00 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, September 29, 2002 ::

Ban This



Looking for something to read? These are the 10 most challenged books, when a book is "challenged," it can mean that the book in question is banned--removed from the shelves, censored, forbidden to be read, and sometimes burned. The American Library Association has assembled a list of this year's top 10 banned books with this slogan: Let Freedom Read! Read a Banned Book.

The top 10 banned books and why they were "challenged":
1. "Harry Potter" series, by J.K. Rowling, for its focus on wizardry and magic.
2. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, for using offensive language and being unsuited to age group.
3. "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier (the "Most Challenged" fiction book of 1998), for using offensive language and being unsuited to age group.
4. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, for sexual content, racism, offensive language, violence, and being unsuited to age group.
5. "Summer of My German Soldier" by Bette Greene for racism, offensive language, and being sexually explicit.
6. "The Catcher In the Rye" by J.D. Salinger for offensive language and being unsuited to age group.
7. "Alice" series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, for being sexually explicit, using offensive language, and being unsuited to age group.
8. "Go Ask Alice" by Anonymous for being sexually explicit, for offensive language, and drug use.
9. "Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers, for offensive language and being unsuited to age group.
10. "Blood and Chocolate" by Annette Curtis Klause for being sexually explicit and unsuited to age group.

:: Peter 9/29/2002 12:13:00 PM [+] ::
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Once More With Feeling



Well, I decided not to participate in the Buffy Blog Burst since my Buffy knowledge pales in comparison to most of the other participants. However, I do have a thorough background in musical theater so I felt that attacking this episode from that direction might prove interesting. With that in mind, I queried a mailing list which I belong to (CASTRECL: Cast recording listerve) what their opinion of the recently released CD soundtrack to this episode was. The results I received were unsurprising in their support of Joss Whedon and the cast of Buffy. Unsurprising because these are people passionate about musical theater and musicals in general and fully supportive of any attempts to bring musical theater to a larger audience.

From T. Kieran:

“Basically, the episode was a full musical - a book musical. There was dialogue and the songs were used to further the plot. Oh, the creator of Buffy also wrote the music and lyrics. (Apparently this was basically the first time he'd ever written music.) The style of music varied a lot, from more typical show tune stuff to pop/rock songs.

About the CD... The package is pretty awesome. Great big thick booklet - filled with lots of pictures, lyrics and liner notes. Now, the liner notes don't really do a heck of a lot to explain what's going on and since the CD doesn't really include any dialogue, I'm not sure a newcomer might easily catch on...

Oh oh...One more thing! The singing! Well, the cast all sing for themselves - no dubbing. Most sound okay and good enough, though they are not great singers at all. There are a few exceptions: Amber Benson sounds gorgeous singing a song called "Under Your Spell," Anthony Stewart Head (who had done musicals on stage before) sounds as good as ever, and Hinton Battle sounds as good as one would expect in his guest role.”

From E. Bricker:

“I do not yet have the CD, but I watched the original episode - and taped it, so as to watch again and again. I wear two hats here - I love both musical theater and Buffy. In my decidedly non-scholarly opinion, Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy and composer-lyricist of all the songs in Once More With Feeling, this musical episode, did an outstanding job of writing songs in a variety of styles - there were humorous numbers, ballads, dance, big choral pieces, and more. All the songs contributed to the plot and moved the show along. The lyrics are clever and fresh, but I can't comment on the music other than to say there were several 'hummers' therein. Whedon is a genius; I believe I read that he taught himself how to read music and play the piano
just 2 years ago. The fact that, once again, the Emmy Awards ignored Buffy completely is a joke. This show was one of the finest hours (and 10 minutes) on TV in many years.
In closing, one drawback is the likelihood that anyone who had never seen the show before might have some trouble understanding the origin of some of the songs and plot devices. But as far as a CD goes, that's what liner notes are for - hopefully they will be thorough and avoid confusion.”


I wanted to do this pseudo-review of Once More With Feeling because I thought it might give Buffy fans a new and different view of the episode and, at the same time, give musical theater fans a new and different view of Buffy.

The connection between musical theater and science fiction/fantasy is closer than most people would realize, from Cats (pure fantasy) to Little Shop of Horrors (a little science fiction, a little fantasy, a little horror) to Metropolis (the 1989 musicalization of Fritz Lang’s 1924 silent film masterpiece) and countless others. Once More With Feeling will, hopefully, bring a new audience to musical theater and a new audience to Buffy. Both will be the better for it.


:: Peter 9/29/2002 09:57:00 AM [+] ::
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