Author: ehawkes

Ken Tynan – Theater Aficionado Anecdote

At the last dress rehearsal, a straight run prior to the first preview, I noticed a figure sitting to the rear of the stalls with a notepad. It was Ken Tynan. Afterwards I went up to greet him and found him mopping his eyes with a handkerchief. He couldn’t have paid me a more sincere compliment because what made Ken cry in the theatre was not the sadness of the subject matter but the skill with which it was realised. Provided it matched his standard of ‘High Definition Performance’, he could be brought to tears not only by a tragedy but by a farce, by a solo comedian, by a team of acrobats. They were not easy tears to induce, but it was this genuineness of emotion that had made him such an exceptional critic, and as I was beginning to learn (and rather to my surprise) such a loyal friend.

Stage Blood: Five tempestuous years in the early life of the National Theatre
Michael Blakemore

Highly recommended book

100 Notable Books of 2022 – NYTIMES List

100 Notable Books of 2022
Chosen by the staff of
The New York Times Book Review
Nov. 22, 2022

Afterlives
Abdulrazak Gurnah

Also a Poet
Ada Calhoun

American Midnight
Adam Hochschild

The Arc of a Covenant
Walter Russell Mead

Avalon
Nell Zink

The Bangalore Detectives Club
Harini Nagendra

Best Barbarian
Roger Reeves

Black Folk Could Fly
Randall Kenan

Bliss Montage
Ling Ma

The Books of Jacob
Olga Tokarczuk

Breathless
David Quammen

The Candy House
Jennifer Egan

Case Study
Graeme Macrae Burnet

A Catalog of Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On
Dung Kai-cheung

Checkout 19
Claire-Louise Bennett

Come Back in September
Darryl Pinckney

Companion Piece
Ali Smith

Constructing a Nervous System
Margo Jefferson

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Dead Romantics
Ashley Poston

Dead-End Memories
Banana Yoshimoto

Democracy’s Data
Dan Bouk

Demon Copperhead
Barbara Kingsolver

Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta
James Hannaham

Dr. No
Percival Everett

Ducks
Kate Beaton

Easy Beauty
Chloé Cooper Jones

Either/Or
Elif Batuman

Everything I Need I Get From You
Kaitlyn Tiffany

Fire Season
Gary Indiana

Flung Out of Space
Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer

Four Treasures of the Sky
Jenny Tinghui Zhang

The Furrows
Namwali Serpell

G-Man
Beverly Gage

Getting Lost
Annie Ernaux

Gods of Want
K-Ming Chang

The Grimkes
Kerri K. Greenidge

Half American
Matthew F. Delmont

Hokuloa Road
Elizabeth Hand

Homesickness
Colin Barrett

How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water
Angie Cruz

The Hurting Kind
Ada Limón

If I Survive You
Jonathan Escoffery

An Immense World
Ed Yong

The Immortal King Rao
Vauhini Vara

In Love
Amy Bloom

Indelible City
Louisa Lim

Index, A History of the
Dennis Duncan

Indigenous Continent
Pekka Hämäläinen

Joan Is Okay
Weike Wang

Kiki Man Ray
Mark Braude

Kingdom of Characters
Jing Tsu

The Latecomer
Jean Hanff Korelitz

Legacy of Violence
Caroline Elkins

Lessons in Chemistry
Bonnie Garmus

Liberation Day
George Saunders

Life Between the Tides
Adam Nicolson

Lucy by the Sea
Elizabeth Strout

Magnificent Rebels
Andrea Wulf

Metaphysical Animals
Clare Mac Cumhaill and Rachael Wiseman

Motherthing
Ainslie Hogarth

Mr. B
Jennifer Homans

My Government Means to Kill Me
Rasheed Newson

Night of the Living Rez
Morgan Talty

Now Do You Know Where You Are
Dana Levin

The Old Woman With the Knife
Gu Byeong-mo

Olga Dies Dreaming
Xochitl Gonzalez

Our Missing Hearts
Celeste Ng

The Palace Papers
Tina Brown

The Passenger
Cormac McCarthy

Path Lit by Lightning
David Maraniss

Picasso’s War
Hugh Eakin

Pure Colour
Sheila Heti

The Quiet Before
Gal Beckerman

The Rabbit Hutch
Tess Gunty

Red Blossom in Snow
Jeannie Lin

The Return of Faraz Ali
Aamina Ahmad

The Revolutionary
Stacy Schiff

The School for Good Mothers
Jessamine Chan

Sea of Tranquility
Emily St. John Mandel

Secret City
James Kirchick

Seek and Hide
Amy Gajda

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida
Shehan Karunatilaka

Shy
Mary Rodgers and Jesse Green

Solito
Javier Zamora

Son of Elsewhere
Elamin Abdelmahmoud

The Song of the Cell
Siddhartha Mukherjee

Stay True
Hua Hsu

Strangers to Ourselves
Rachel Aviv

Super-Infinite
Katherine Rundell

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
Gabrielle Zevin

The Trayvon Generation
Elizabeth Alexander

Trust
Hernan Diaz

Under the Skin
Linda Villarosa

Walking the Bowl
Chris Lockhart and Daniel Mulilo Chama

We Don’t Know Ourselves
Fintan O’Toole

The Whalebone Theatre
Joanna Quinn

When McKinsey Comes to Town
Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe

Yonder
Jabari Asim

You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty
Akwaeke Emezi

Jack Welch and Schenectady

I too grew up in Schenectady where Jack Welch earned the nickname “Neutron Jack”. The employees were sacked but the buildings still stood.

The city continued to levy property taxes against those buildings, so Jack Welch had them demolished. I remember driving through the Schenectady on my way to work and driving past those city blocks of rubble.

Pride goeth before a fall, says the proverb, but so does smallness. While Jack Welch made money for GE, he also gutted its heart. What did it even manufacture by the time he was done? Loans and life insurance quotes.

From the comments of this article:
How One of the Country’s Most Storied C.E.O.s Destroyed His Legacy

Sometimes Like is Better than Love, Drugs Aren’t What They Used to be – Couple Keith Richards Observations

I’ve been saved by chicks more times than by guys. Sometimes just that little hug and kiss and nothing else happens. Just keep me warm for the night, just hold on to each other when times are hard, times are rough.
And I’d say, “Fuck, why are you bothering with me when you know I’m an asshole and I’ll be gone tomorrow?” “I don’t know. I guess you’re worth it.” “Well, I’m not going to argue.” The first time I encountered that was with these little English chicks up in the north, on that first tour. You end up, after the show, at a pub or the bar of the hotel, and suddenly you’re in the room with some very sweet chick who’s going to Sheffield University and studying sociology who decides to be really nice to you. “I thought you were a smart chick. I’m a guitar player. I’m just going through town.” “Yeah, but I like you.” Liking is sometimes better than loving.

Richards, Keith. Life (p. 130). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

Don’t try this at home. Even I can’t do it anymore; they don’t make them the same. They suddenly decided in the mid-’70s that they would make downers that would put you to sleep without the high. I would raid the lockers of the world to find some more barbiturates. No doubt somewhere in the Middle East, in Europe, I could find some. I love my downers. I was so hyper all the time that I needed to suppress myself. If you didn’t want to go to sleep and just enjoy the buzz, you just stood up for a little bit and listened to some music. It had character. That’s what I would say about barbiturates. Character. Every man who is worth his salt in downers knows what I’m talking about. And even that wouldn’t put me down; that would keep me on a level. To me, the sensible drugs in the world are the pure ones. Tuinals, Seconals, Nembutals. Desbutal was probably one of the best that there ever was, a capsule in a weird red and cream color. They were better than later versions, which acted on the central nervous system. You could piss them out in twenty-four hours; they didn’t hang on to your nerve endings.

Richards, Keith. Life (p. 249). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

Highly recommended

Hamlet – Old Language vs Modern

OLD LANGUAGE ====================================
HAMLET
Let me see. (takes the skull) Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft.—Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? Quite chapfallen? Now get you to my lady’s chamber and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come. Make her laugh at that.—Prithee, Horatio, tell me one thing.

HORATIO What’s that, my lord?

HAMLET Dost thou think Alexander looked o’ this fashion i’ th’ earth?

HORATIO E’en so.

HAMLET And smelt so? Pah! (puts down the skull)

HORATIO E’en so, my lord.

HAMLET To what base uses we may return, Horatio. Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it stopping a bunghole?

HORATIO ’Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.

MODERN LANGUAGE ====================================
HAMLET
Let me see. (he takes the skull) Oh, poor Yorick! I used to know him, Horatio—a very funny guy, and with an excellent imagination. He carried me on his back a thousand times, and now—how terrible—this is him. It makes my stomach turn. I don’t know how many times I kissed the lips that used to be right here. Where are your jokes now? Your pranks? Your songs? Your flashes of wit that used to set the whole table laughing? You don’t make anybody smile now. Are you sad about that? You need to go to my lady’s room and tell her that no matter how much makeup she slathers on, she’ll end up just like you some day. That’ll make her laugh. Horatio, tell me something.

HORATIO What’s that, my lord?

HAMLET Do you think Alexander the Great looked like this when he was buried?

HORATIO Exactly like that.

HAMLET And smelled like that, too? Whew! (he puts down the skull)

HORATIO Just as bad, my lord.

HAMLET How low we can fall, Horatio. Isn’t it possible to imagine that the noble ashes of Alexander the Great could end up plugging a hole in a barrel?

HORATIO If you thought that you’d be thinking too much.

Hamlet
SparkNotes
“No Fear Shakespeare pairs Shakespeare’s language with translations into modern English—the kind of English people actually speak today. When Shakespeare’s words make your head spin, our translations will help you sort out what’s happening, who’s saying what, and why.”