BRAVE NEW WORLD is Not a Dystopia

In which I take arms against a sea of troubles and wind up drowning MIRANDA How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in’t! PROSPERO ‘Tis new to thee. : The Tempest, Act V Scene 1 *WARNING: SPOILERS* Friends, Americans, countrymen! We have enteredContinue reading “BRAVE NEW WORLD is Not a Dystopia”

The Strange Mirror of UNORTHODOX

In which I consider what makes a home *WARNING: SPOILERS* A couple months have passed since I watched Anna Winger’s four-part Netflix series Unorthodox, based on Deborah Feldman’s memoir, and I’m working through how close it hit to home. Not in terms of Judaism, in terms of my physical location. The action is divided betweenContinue reading “The Strange Mirror of UNORTHODOX”

It’s getting to the point…

In which it’s a matter of mind over music—or is it? Yesterday a favorite podcaster of mine who often engages in discussions of mental health issues—and who is herself studying to be a therapist—read out a message from a female listener who described her boyfriend’s unwillingness or inability to help her through an emotionally turbulentContinue reading “It’s getting to the point…”

We’re in Urinetown

In which I’m filled with symbolism and things like that It’s the oldest story: Masses are oppressed Faces, clothes, and bladders all distressed Rich folks get the good life Poor folks get the woe In the end it’s nothing you don’t know : “Too Much Exposition” For nearly a week now—beginning, with eerie prescience, shortlyContinue reading “We’re in Urinetown”

Lit Review: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

In which I play the Cecilian Defense *WARNING: SPOILERS* I suspect I was always one nudge away from playing chess. Growing up I might have had the makings of an enthusiast if I hadn’t devoted almost all my energies to literary pursuits. Or if I hadn’t been so troublesome at board games, a jealous playerContinue reading “Lit Review: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT”

The Greatest Jazz Album…?

Or, a Christmastime observation I’m relying on holiday tunes more heavily than usual this year to keep the spirit of the season alive in relative isolation. I can’t help listening a little more closely, perhaps only because I can. Among the records on regular rotation is, for self-evident reasons, the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack toContinue reading “The Greatest Jazz Album…?”

My Year in Song

In which I compile an eclectic playlist for an eclectic year As we commence our closing tricks in the death-defying circus act of 2020, let me gift you with a soundtrack to help us carry them off. These picks more or less sum up each thirty-day cluster; some are snapshots of the state of myContinue reading “My Year in Song”

A Brief History of A Cappella

In which I sing the praises of a much-misconstrued genre The above image, whose painter I could not identify for the life of me (drop a comment if you can), does not depict the a cappella style we know, as there are instruments present. However, it does depict (again) that musical troublemaker St. Cecilia, plusContinue reading “A Brief History of A Cappella”

Every Beatles Reference in “You’ll Be Back”

In which I send a fully armed battalion to remind you that all you need is love Hamilton’s George III, our favorite mad king, steps out in the middle of Act I to the most fanfare since, well, Hamilton stepped out. He proceeds to introduce himself with a tune I can only describe as Late-StageContinue reading “Every Beatles Reference in “You’ll Be Back””