|Eight hours a day, call it twenty years
|British Sea Power, "To Get to Sleep"|
Oh, God, I am tired. Since Tuesday, I have slept four hours a night at most and all of it during the day, which is terrible for me. I had three deadlines this weekend and I've made two of them; the third will have to wait until I've gotten back from the closing show of the Actors' Shakespeare Project's Edward II, which I am seeing tonight with rushthatspeaks, gaudior, and nineweaving. I have never seen a stage production, only Jarman's luminous 1991 film. Yesterday I took my parents to hear the Alloy Orchestra accompany Douglas Fairbanks in The Black Pirate (1926), a two-strip Technicolor swashbuckler with plenty of acrobatics and sliding down sails. It was a digital projection and I am both amused and annoyed that it cut out for a crucial moment during the wrap-up—immediately after Fairbanks' laughing, chivalrous, black-clad revenger was hailed as "my lord Duke"—because between the Egyptian hieroglyphs of his father's signet ring and his leather-kilted men arriving in the nick of time rowing what looked for all the world like a pentekonter minus the sails, we were really left wondering what or when the hell country he was Duke of. (The internet tells me "Arnoldo," which explains nothing.) Have some things that happened on the internet while I was not looking.
1. Derek Walcott died. I discovered him in grad school; I was TA'ing a class on Homeric retellings, including Walcott's Omeros (1990). It must have been a good introduction, since I promptly ran out and bought his most recent collection at the time. He was one of the great contemporary poets of the sea.
I loved them as poets love the poetry
that kills them, as drowned sailors the sea.
—"The Schooner Flight"
2. Chuck Berry died. derspatchel sent me an interview from 1980 where he was asked to comment on some notable punk and new wave singles of the time. He liked the music of the Sex Pistols and the Clash (but not the vocals in either case: "Can't understand most of the vocals. If you're going to be mad at least let the people know what you're mad about"), had nice things to say about the Selecter and Dave Edmunds, was unimpressed by Wire and Joy Division, and I just like his entire reaction to Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer": "A funky little number, that's for sure. I like the bass a lot. Good mixture and a real good flow. The singer sounds like he has a bad case of stage fright."
3. John Kander did not die! Not only that, but he got to include among his ninetieth birthday celebrations a smackdown of Richard Spencer, courtesy of Kander's great-nephew Jason. Remember that thing where Kander and Ebb got hate mail during the original run of Cabaret for trivializing the horrors of history by incorporating a real-life anthem of the Third Reich into their score? And that was totally wrong? Apparently Spencer did not get the memo about the queer Jewish Broadway origins of "Tomorrow Belongs to Me," either.
And this is an article about Romaine Brooks. I wish I hadn't missed that exhibit. Teleporter, someday. I must run.