Thursday, August 25, 2011

History and politics

A unique and impressive ceremonial dance event is scheduled for the Plaza at Lincoln Center starting at 8:20 and ending at 8:46AM Sept. 11, 2011, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center devastation.
100 dancers will perform THE TABLE OF SILENCE PROJECT conceived by choreographer Jacquelyn Buglisi and Italian artist Rosella Vasta.
I was privileged to see a rehearsal for this spectacular and moving site specific FREE dance event featuring an international array of dancers.
It will perform again at Syracuse University October 22 and in Italy October 26. Other venues are also planned.
If you can, make it a point to start that day early and attend this stirring demonstration of tribute and prayer for peace, for you will long remember this stunning work of physical expression of the hope of our world..

Photographer Paul B. Goode’s shot of The Buglisi Dance Theatre leads 100 dancers in rehearsal of "The Table of Silence Project,"
For further historic connections, I again expand stages to include films.

I did not read “Sarah’s Keys” but found the film most moving and engrossing. So many films and books are emerging now of the horrors of the holocaust. It is fascinating to see the changes in morality since the mid 20th century.

On that same score of changes in morality, did read The Help and just saw the film. Each worked well in its own milieu. Both made their points and acting in the film was memorable.

What is happening today with prejudice against gays is so reminiscent of the fears of integration of those days. I guess people will always have to find some group to deem lesser and hate because they fear them.

Adapting a book to screen or stage is an art in itself. Authors who try to stay too true to the novels from which they work do themselves a disservice. It is called adapting because each is a different art with different needs. Being detail by detail true to the book when adapting can destroy dramatic moments and dull the experience of the viewer. Visuals are not words – but if they convey the same emotions and intentions, adaptations can work brilliantly. A book can meander introspectively, a film or play must give us drama, move with a steady building of tension. Pity the adaptor who does not know or cannot achieve that. Both these films did achieve it.

Of course, authors of the original work are often horrified by changes made. William Gibson did not like the film of “Miracle Worker”, and dreaded seeing the script of “Seesaw”, because he feared it would drastically change his “Two for the Seesaw”. He was right – but both those films worked in their own way, despite many changes in characterizations and details.

A sea adventure without leaving the dock from Greater New York Independent Publishers Association - a book launch at sea! FREE
Get on board the Lighthouse Tender ship Lilac, a historic Coast Guard vessel, built in 1933 docked at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 at West Street, at the end of North Moore Street (Franklin Street Stop on the 1 Train), Saturday, September 24, from 4 PM to 7 PM.
I’ll be MC for the event and will be reading from PIXIE TALES and ELFIN TALES about a pink and purple leprechaun and a shrinking violet sylph – with a couple of youngsters selected to help read; and illustrator Maggie Cousins to show art. Other books being read are more adult. Wear lilac and get a free book.

I judged some books in the first annual Global e-book awards on several categories. One tween book was so far superior to anything else I read for that contest I feel compelled to mention it. Dragon Cloud about Earth, and an alternate dragon universe which are interdependent, are saved by a young dragon and two young humans. Every chapter is full of action and danger. It moves rapidly and the characters evolve as “the plot thickens.” A real nail biter, it should thrill even youngest readers and still entertain older ones.
Yes, it is the old fight of good and evil and is a quest for a magic ring, and many of the elements are not new – but the facility and clarity of the writing and the fact that it is for younger readers make it a gem.

Enjoyed Douglas Kennedy’s Moment. In which the past is unraveled with the delicacy of one handling aged manuscripts.
Very pleased that, although the third book, Fairy Tales Too in the set of my Pleasant Dreams stories is now on e-book, Pixie Tales, the first in the set, finally got noticed. It is extolled on the August on line Children’s Booklist. Here’s a short quote from the review “filled with charm, surprises, and magical spunk.”
Fairy Tales Too will be released in paper officially October 17. For those who have e readers, the e-book version is only $3.99 and paper version $9.99. No e-book reader? The smashwords version,, can be downloaded right onto your computer, complete with Maggie Cousins’ colorful art.
As a kid, after WWII, I felt the world had lost its √©lan and actually wished for more turbulent times. I guess my wish was granted, because the entire world seems to be in an upheaval – politically, economically, ideologically and religiously. Of course, being as ancient as I feel, it is not surprising to have lived through so many wars, upheavals, economic crises and such a change in the tenor of a writer’s life – from writing by hand, to typewriter, to electric typewriter, to computer, etc.
Unfortunately, people have not changed. They are still as impatient as ever, still quick to place blame, slow to take blame and still using religion to hide their prejudices behind.
One reason I am eager to get back to writing my memoir of growing up during the great depression and World War II is to remind people it took 10 years to recover from the depression – it took royal battles between Roosevelt and the Republicans to establish the very programs the Republicans are still fighting to stymie. Roosevelt was accused of being a communist because many of his causes were socialistic. But how else help the disenfranchised people in this country? How else spread the wealth when so many of the wealthy believe themselves above the law and above the need to pay their fair share to support this country?
I was a Republican most of my adult life because, despite being a liberal, I believed the Republicans had the right cautious fiscal outlook. No more – I realize now their greed and disregard for the needy which caused this world crisis.
I willingly served 6 months on the Tyco trial to see how big corporations legally steal from investors. How the nice guy bosses forgave millions in debts for their employees – debts which were paid for by investor’s dollars. The bosses gave themselves bonuses even as the business was failing. Just like our congressmen giving themselves a raise in the midst of this economic turmoil. “Me first” has turned into “me only” for too many people.
OOPS – didn’t mean to rant – but I am so tired of people second guessing how they would run the country. It is a world crisis, and we are a major part of the world. We cannot come out of it alone, even if much of the cause is the fault of international companies lodged here.
What an exciting period this will be to write about for many years to come.

1 comment:

  1. Loved what you wrote about adaptation. It is the art of turning one piece of art into another; I guess that works for life too. We have to adapt a lot now; sometimes you feel stretched to the breaking point. Or is that just my age speaking? I do know lots of youger people though who are having just as hard a time adapting as I am: they cannot deal with the world of "real people," only of digital approximations. This is sad, but unfortunately where we are going. Perry Brass