Sunday, April 14, 2019

Hamilton on Sunday

An ecstatic surge of emotion — “joy, assurance, triumph, ‘salvation'” — transcending “the pleasures and pains, loves and hates, joys and sorrows, peace and war, life and death, of self conscious man.”

Putting sounds into words. "Writing about food is hard; writing about perfume must be even harder; but writing about music is difficult enough" Beyond Ham il ton 

A most fortuitous literary hangout. Zora Neale Hurston gave Langston Hughes a ridethrough the South in 1927. It changed both their careers

A series of short video profiles of four magicians. "According to magicians themselves, the really big reveal is how their craft helps them to connect with other people

Perhaps you saw The Lobster (stunning and strange dystopian love story starring Rachel Weisz and Colin Farrell) or my recent Oscar favorite The Favourite (cheeky and wicked period drama with the powerhouse trio of Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman) or maybe you’ve been following him since 2009’s Dogtooth. All three are examples of the relatively new “Greek Weird Wave” cinema, from the genre’s godfather himself, Yorgos Lanthimos. It’s hard to find pieces on Weird Wave written in English, but Dazed has a roundup from a few years ago: Greece may be broke, but its film scene is rich. Here’s a more current list of films via IMDB.  

A more recent piece on Medium went a bit deeper into what makes a film Greek Weird Wave, stylistically speaking ...

American Jews have instinctively identified with these refugees, because they see them as like their ancestors who fled to America, but in fact these refugees have more in common with the people their ancestors were fleeing. 

Song: “Right Hand Man”
Lyric: “Dying is easy, young man. Living is harder.

Ever get a song stuck in your head? Have you ever felt inspired by exceptional composition, powerful lyrics or the virtuosity of a vocalist or musician? Personally, I check all three boxes when it comes to the soundtrack from the smash hit Hamilton. Rarely a day goes by without some lyrics popping into my mind, offering micro surges of endorphin-laced wisdom that inspires me to be my best. In its own way, the Hamilton soundtrack has become a silent companion, a constant reminder that subtly guides my thoughts and actions.

World Economic Forum: “The average person living in Europe loses two years of their life to the health effects of breathing polluted air, according to a report published in the European Heart Journal on March 12. The report also estimates about 800,000 people die prematurely in Europe per year due to air pollution, or roughly 17% of the 5 million deaths in Europe annually.

It is now popular among most historians to dismiss the idea that leadership at the top can play the crucial role in the outcome of great historical events. With such attitudes, they are only displaying their own ignorance of how the real world works. For better or worse, leadership does matter, and Ząbecki has done a skillful job in laying out how these senior generals determined the outcome of the war. On the German side, Ludendorff, in effect Hindenburg’s chief of staff but also the real author of German military decisions, drove the German conduct of the war to its disastrous end in 1918. In some respects, Ludendorff was a proficient tactician and innovator. In fact, he was one of the few generals in the war to make a coherent and effective attempt to solve the extraordinarily difficult tactical problems the fighting in the Western theater had raised. However, the most perceptive and effective German general in the war, Crown Prince Ruprecht of Bavaria, noted of Ludendorff that he “is certainly a wonderful organizer, but not a great strategist.”[1]
That, in a nutshell, was the heart of the problem with the whole German Army. Brilliant at the sharp end of tactical competence, but incapable of perceiving the strategic consequences of their actions, Ludendorff and the German high command found themselves stuck in a strategic quandary of their own making.
Looks good enough that it just went near the top of my ever-expanding Kindle to-read list. For a look just at Allied operational art during the same timeframe,Hundred Days: The Campaign That Ended World War I is another solid read.