I still wait patiently for the merciful day

that DJT is dragged kicking and screaming into court yelling “No collusion. No obstruction.” and a mob of his non-fans chant “Lock him up! Lock him up!”

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Trump’s cruel, stupid, unnecessary, fascistic separation of immigrant families,

and removing babies, toddlers, and young kids thousands of miles away from their parents is evil. He is evil personified. N.B./Although he signed a change in policy today, there is no clarity on what will happen to the 2,500 or so kids already uprooted from their parents.
Also: The nasty Republican dope on Fox who wah-wahed the handicapped kid on TV should be ‘zapped’. He deserves no mercy or support from anyone.

Is there no bottom to the moral evil of the Ugliest American of All Time?

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The day driverless transport trucks hit the roads and highways,

God help us one and all.

It’ll be ‘fun’ watching them drive themselves relying on GPS technology to get lost, take longer, busier routes, etc. Won’t it be ‘fun’ too to see how they make out reading highway signs, turn-off signs, and temporary signs for roadwork?

Would you want to be the gal smoking a doobie and holding a STOP sign at the bottom of a hill along deep canyons as a big semi powers toward you? Or in front of driverless multi-wheeler going down a hill when it misses slow-down curve signs?

The obsession to go humanless is a Theatre of the Absurd runaway train to disaster on all counts. The carnage that is about to be released on roads and highways will be astounding and truly horrific.

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Graham Greene’s “The Human Factor” DVD

A well-done 1979 drama directed by the late great Otto Preminger adapted from Greene’s novel. clever dialogue by Tom Stoppard and well-acted by Nicol Williamson (whom I met at McNally when he was in town) and Richard Attenborough, John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, Robert Morley, Ann Todd, and the African supermodel IMan (as Williamson’s wife).

Lots of intrigue of the Who-is-the traitor-to the Russians? variety. Spies and counterspies with many interesting scenes. Nice use of sets and color by Preminger. There are layers of twists with Williamson trying to stay together with his African wife. If you like British drama and Le Carre books, this is a worthy complement by the guy who invented spy thriller fiction literature before Ian Fleming/James Bond back in the 1940s.

Spoiler:  Preminger’s film chooses a realistic conclusion which may a letdown for romantics.

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“Make America stupid, mean, violent, racist, and corrupt again.”

Slogan of DJT

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Where’s The Author?

Back from Radium. Glorious weather the entire getaway.
Lots of wildlife encounters. More pix later.

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I still enjoy going to plays, especially classics.

For me, there is always a magic about seeing a good live play. This summer I’ll take in the Free Will Players’ The Comedy of Errors which is one of the few Shakespeares I’ve not read or seen.

I’ve literally seen hundreds of plays going back to university days (in Winnipeg, in Edmonton at Theatre Three, the original and new Citadel, Studio Theatre, Vic Comp’s theatre beside the school, Walterdale, Northern Lights, and at Fringe. Drama would be my second-favorite genre (after poetry) of literature overall. (I once took a u-course in 19th and 20th century British and American Drama.)

I’ve acted in and directed plays in my teaching career and, before that, in high school. I once played Daddy in Edward Albee’s “The Sandbox”, Zeus in The Rape of the Belt, Jim in “The Gift of the Magi”, the mayor in “The Red Velvet Goat”, and the butler in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Plays depend largely on language, and I suppose that would be the main fascination, going back to first studying Macbeth and Hamlet,  (might as well start at the top) in senior high school. But it is also always interesting to see the imaginative visual designs of live plays or in film adaptations when images round out the naked words of a script. In particular, great speeches and quotations resonate for me. And, hence, my long-time interest, too, in film, particularly great films and classics.

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Chekhov’s “The Sea Gull” on DVD

What a positive delight of acting performances featuring James Mason, Vanessa Redgrave (near the start of her career), Simone Signoret, David Warner, and Denholm Elliott!

Wonderfully directed by the late great Sidney Lumet who brought so many plays to the silver screen in his long, distinguished career. Beautifully shot on location in pastoral Sweden using a house and lake setting. Well-rehearsed so that entire scenes are played out uncut with natural flowing continuity.

This is arguably Chekhov’s most powerful play with a near-perfect cast. A nihilistic 1896 (play debut)/1968 (movie version) knockout examining reality vs. dreams and illusions similar to Chekhov’s other classic plays. A would-be playwright and would-be actress are the central characters who influence all the other, mostly older, characters.

Chekhov, as usual, creates much conflict, characterization, and symbolism through short sentences and phrases. In Lumet’s skilled hands, the dialogue assumes an even more powerful influence.

One of the most successful cases ever of adaptation of a play to film (and the best, most memorable Chekhov movie adaptation), The Sea Gull speaks great truths about us all and how humans are often beguiled and frustrated in their idealism and dreaming. And, as always, Chekhov remains a master in presenting, developing, and arguing that central theme of human existence.

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Caliban and Trump Leading the Way Downward into Proud Ignorance

“Remember
First to possess his books; for without them
He’s but a sot as I am.”
–Caliban speaking in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest

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Where Modern Techno-Education Comes Up Way Short

by being anti-book, anti-literature, anti-classics, and anti-critical thinking and reading.

“The use of letters,” says Gibbon (in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire), “is the principal circumstance that distinguishes a civilized people from a herd of savages.”

This tragedy shall extend beyond schools today into future generations of brave new techno society, too. Schools and public education have sold out lock, stock, and barrel to the machines.

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