Sunday, June 11, 2017

George Gerswhin reference in Jane Austen #Emma adaptation

"Emma Approved" is an adaptation of Jane Austen's "Emma" set in 21st Century America where Emma is cast as a matchmaker/lifestyle coach.


The Harriet Smith character in the "Plus One, Minus One" episode


video

makes a reference to the George Gershwin song "They Can't Take that away from Me" written for the Astaire Rogers film "Shall We Dance":


























There's possibly a bit of deliberate or inadvertent misdirection in this scene:


Harriet Smith: I read this book in high school containing love letters written by different presidents. I was thinking we could print out copies and put them on tables for your guests to read.
Caroline Lee: I'm sorry, I thought we were discussing the music?
Harriet Smith: Then we have the DJ play songs inspired by the letters. For example, Roosevelt letters to his wife were all about the little things: her smile, the way she slept, her laugh.
Emma Woodhouse: Romantic, go on
Smith: Then we dedicate a song from Teddy to Alice, and we play the Gershwins' "They Can't Take that away from Me." A classic.

When I thought of Gershwin music and the Roosevelts, I immediately thought of Franklin and Eleanor, since they were in the White House when the song was composed. However, the Democrat Roosevelts had more of a business versus romantic relationship.


Obviously, Theodore Roosevelt possessed a more romantic attachment to his wife than his cousin, Franklin, did to his:






On the topic of mashing up classics with new adaptations, a youtuber pointed out that the choreography to another Gershwin song from the same film "They All Laughed" could be synched up, if you squinted, to Stromae - <<Tous Les Mêmes>>



Unfortunately, the exact video Helen P referenced has been taken down due to copyright violations (those evil greedy corporations :-)













The best I can figure, Stromae's song synchs up from the start of Fred dancing about 2:42 mark:




Warning, the Stromae video depicts godless heathen behavior, so you might have to say 10 Hail Marys after watching it:





And, finally, a reprise of "They Can't Take that away from Me" this time sung by Billie Holiday:



Friday, June 9, 2017

Of Pretzels and Spelling Bees 🙏

I saw a recent hippy comic strip goofing on pretzels, saying they look like snakes:































This annoyed me because as I recalled from Catholic school days, and as KateriofMnisota confirmed on her video, pretzels were made for Lent





















Usual interpretation that pretzels represent arms in prayer:





















An alternative explanation is that pretzels represent the trinity:


















Even the secular humanist History channel confirms





Pretzels were designed to be in the shape of hands in prayers:

















So, the stupid comic seems to be either wittingly, or unwittingly, anti Christian. However, the USA is a free country, so Tony Cochran, the hippy comic,  has the right to be a jerk.

One might guess the religious connotations of pretzels if one looked up the etymology  "Pretzel." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 9 June 2017






















However, clicking on the link to the kid's explanation of "pretzel" gives a purely secular humanist explanation that pretzels are just shaped like folded arms with no reference to prayer:


















If you're obsessed with etymologies, then you also might be obsessed with Spelling Bees and their etymologies:



Ben Zimmer June 2, 2017  "Wall Street Journal" article "Searching for the Roots of Spelling Bees" hypothesizes both a secular ( imitating honey bees) and religious (derivation from Latin "bene" aka "blessing") source for the modern term "bee":



"Etymologists [with an affinity for entomologists - I made a punny!] long assumed that these get-togethers were called 'bees' 'in allusion to the social character of the insect,' as the Oxford English Dictionary puts it. But a sociologist named George C. Homans came up with a different theory in his 1941 book 'English Villagers of the Thirteenth Century.' Homans noticed a striking similarity between the 'bees' of his native New England and what were called 'beans' or 'beens' in the English countryside, likewise involving neighbors sharing in some type of labor. That in turn likely stems from the Middle English word 'bene,' meaning a boon or prayer."

So, in case, Homans' theory is correct, here is Liszt's "Blessing of God in Solitude" for your easy listening pleasure whilst munching yummy pretzels and reading random dictionary definitions:




Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Battle Hymn of the Republic" 🇺🇸 vs "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory"🙏

I uploaded  a kludgy recording of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." I was doing some Spring cleaning and ran across a shoe box of old audio cassettes, one of which is of  an old LP record I taped many years ago. Unfortunately, I've lost all information about this record. I don't know the artist or the arranger, but I liked the performance, so I thought I'd share. If anybody recognizes the artist, I'd appreciate the feedback so I can update the video:





I noticed when recording that the hippy hymnal I own, Batastini, Robert J, and Michael A. Cymbala. Gather: Choir Book. Chicago: GIA Publications, 1988. Musical score.
























listed the title as "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" under the category of the "Second Coming"





The same hippy hymnal listed "My Country Tis of Thee" under the category "Nation"





















Conversely, the normal, non-hippy hymnal Alstott, Owen. The Choir Book. Portland, OR: OCP Publications, 1979. Musical score.























Properly lists the song as the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" under "Patriotic" songs:









Lastly, a rendition from Classic Arts Showcase:



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

For #MemorialDay J. D. Salinger & Julia Child in WWII

A couple of  PBS American Masters documentaries touch on the war time service of two famous Americans.

























Novelist Salinger  perhaps, if he wangled his connections, could have obtained an OTS commission since he graduated from the Valley Forge Military Academy:



video


However, Salinger volunteered to join and fight in the US Army enlisted ranks in WWII

















After first being rejected by the medical board, Salinger fought against the Army bureaucracy for the privilege of serving in the ranks:


video



Salinger's first introduction to combat was in the infantry during the D-Day Normandy landings. Salinger then joined the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) in France.


Watch Full Episodes Online of American Masters on PBS | S26: Salinger's Work in World War II Army Intelligence

J.D. Salinger was part of the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) on the ground in Europe during World War II. Salinger formed a strong bond with three other men in the CIC and they dubbed themselves the Four Musketeers. One of them took the only known photo of Salinger writing "The Catcher in the Rye" during his army service.













In case the above links breaks:


video

Salinger fought in Hurtgen Forest, Battle of Bastogne,  and liberated a sub camp of Dachau:


video


Salinger suffered a nervous breakdown/combat fatigue/PTSD and was stationed to a military hospital to recuperate. After being discharged,  he worked with the US Army de Nazification program:

video






Pfc J.D. (Jerome David) Salinger  - Military Timeline



























In the Pacific Theater, TV cook Julia nee McWilliams Child and her soon to be husband, Paul Child, served in the OSS

"She found that chance in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. Like many Americans her age, she hurried to Washington to work for the war effort, finding a job at the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Eventually she volunteered to go to the Near East. In March 1944, she set sail for Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, to work for the OSS office in the ancient city of Kandy. Here, far from home, she finally had her chance for adventure – and for love."

video







And finally, for something completely different

!!!NAUGHTY WORD ALERT!!!

Gordon Ramsay vs Julia Child. Epic Rap Battles of History 

(in case you're offended, Geoffrey Chaucer also used naughty words and discussed adult situations, but he did so in Middle English, so it's not as understandable)





Saturday, May 20, 2017

Best Way to Kill Lobsters

There's a lobster killing scene in "Julie & Julia" that debates the merits of killing lobsters either through boiling in water or stabbing with knives:





and in case the link breaks:


video




video


FYI, the song in the background of the scene is the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" where the actors replace the word "psycho" w/ "lobster" 





There's also a lobster killing scene in "Annie Hall" where Woody Allen is as inept in killing lobsters as Amy Adams is: 





In case you wondered how Julia Child killed her lobster on her "The French Chef" show, she chose to boil them to death:






However, if you try to boil lobsters in water vs kill them with a knife, you could end up with the negative repercussions faced by the "The Muppet Show" Swedish chef





I guess to be fair, and to engage in plausible deniability wrt lobstercide, you could give knives to the lobsters, let them fight it out, and then eat the loser.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Spiders are evil 🕷️🕸️👿

I appreciate the academic exercise that spiders often keep down more harmful pests, but I give into the irrational and emotional conclusion that spiders are just creepy and gross.


I found a giant spider in my apartment which I thought was incredibly evil and gross:




Being that the giant spider was 1. still alive and 2. on the inside of my apartment, I didn't use a dollar bill to scale the size of the evil creature like I did with a cicada who was on the outside of my screen door:







Rather than try to determine its particular species and whether it was  friendly and helpful or not:





I just killed the spider:










So, being that it's universally established that everyone w/whom I communicate hates spiders as much as I do, it's perfectly logical that a film about an evil creepy doll, "The Great Gabbo" would include a scene where people dress up in creepy spider costumes in a weird sing and dance routine:










Clip from "Class Arts Showcase"


"Caught in a Web of Love" (1929) from the film "The Great Gabbo"
Donald Douglas and Betty Compson
Music and lyrics: Lynn Cowan and Paul Titsworth, Donald McNamee, King Zany
Directed by James Cruze
KINO on Video













video



video





video


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Elizabeth Taylor in an opera "Aida"🎭 w/in a movie "Young Toscanini"🎥

It's weird that the only fake Egyptian wearing black face in the "Aida" scene of the biopic film "Young Toscanini" is Elizabeth Taylor:















who didn't wear black face when she played "Cleopatra".






This biopic of Toscanini portrays Brazilian opera audience members as more poorly behaved than Philadelphia football fans, who booed Santa, but possibly because he might've been a wee bit under the weather, I by under the weather, I mean drunk:






















The guy who played Santa, Frank Olivo, admits to being skinny (at the time), but doesn't admit to being drunk:





Any way, this Santa booing excuse sounds like it was plagiarized from "Miracle on 34th Street"






Philadelphians, purportedly the city of brotherly love, also attacked a poor, harmless robot, so I don't know what the excuse is for that:





The credits for the clips below:















"Young Toscanini" (based on the early years of conductor Arturo Toscanini, 1867-1957)
His unexpected debut in Verdi's "Aida" and an inspired Diva speaks out....
Elizabeth Taylor (as the Diva) and C. Thomas Howell (as Arturo Toscanini)
Carto Bergonzi (as the tenor)
(w/ John Rhys-Davies & Sophie Ward)
Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Petruzelli (Bari)
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli
Distributed by Force Video


video

video

video

video

Here's a youtube clip of the same scene that stops before Elizabeth Taylor delivers her speech:





And in case you felt cheated and wondered what it would look like to see Elizabeth Taylor lip synch to opera:





I believe Elizabeth Taylor, herself, would admit it was odd for her to be cast as an opera diva since she self deprecatingly admitted in "That's Entertainment!" to not possessing a strong singing voice:




video

Thursday, May 11, 2017

George Gershwin "Rhapsody in Blue" played by Ilana Vered

A clip from the Classic Arts Showcase presents Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" as a pick up jam sessions vs an orchestra concert.

The opening scene:




























could possibly be an homage to Rick's Cafe Americain in "Casablanca"



































or possibly Hopper's painting of "Nighthawks" corner diner:








or maybe by kitschy Dogs Playing Pool painting




















There's a marching band sequence:
















that seems to be an homage to Drum and Bugle Corps International DCI:









A Big Band homage:

















that's maybe on homage to "The Blues Brothers"







The fact they included what seems to be an elevator in their set indicates the Swiss might be confusing a motel with a hotel














The complete video:





And all the relevant credit details:













"Rhapsody in Blue" (Complete version)
Music by George Gershwin (1898-1937)
Ilana Vered, piano (1992)
Swiss Radio Symphony Orchestra
Matthias Bomert, conductor
"Classic Visions 5"
RCA Victor/BMG Classics


A kludgy phone videos in case above youtube link breaks:



video


video


video


And some of the comments from youtube, most of which are positive: