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The Hersch

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  1. As it happens, I am sketching out a major essay on Chaplin, who was not only the most brilliant film director and actor in film history, but the most influential figure in the culture and Zeitgeist of the 20th Century; perhaps, for a single individual, in human history. Along with a handful of somewhat lesser lights, and I'm thinking particularly of Andy Warhol, he created modernity in the Western world. Chaplin made only four films in which he spoke, the last of which, "A King in New York," was an unmitigated stinker, but my how he could speak, and what audacious and wonderful movies he made! In my essay to come, which I may publish here, I'll use as a focus and starting point "Monsieur Verdoux," my favorite of all his movies, but will discuss all of his talkies in some depth, and relate their qualities and properties to Chaplin's enormous influence on the wider world. I think it will be quite a ride, if only for myself. More on it to come.
  2. If you love Cezanne, as I do, this show will open your eyes to a whole side of his art that you might never have known was there. It's captivating.
  3. You know, Brady had his studio during the Civil war in the Apex Building, which narrowly escaped demolition during one of the crazes for tearing down wonderful old Washington buildings and putting up new eyesores in their place. Walt Whitman nursed maimed and dying Union soldiers nearby.
  4. You got something with Google? These seemed pretty Google resistant as I wrote them. Tell us what.
  5. Weezy, you might as well tell us what you got, since no one else is saying anything.
  6. * The Republic of Cuba is that "thing" which Fidel Castro overthrew in 1959. In the aftermath of the Spanish-American war of 1898, the U.S. took Cuba away from Spain in that war, and then backed its independence - from 1902-1959, Cuba was a democracy. Well yeah, but it wasn't much good to the Cubans. Under the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship, with the full backing of the US government, Batista revoked all political liberties and spent a couple of decades in power draining the wealth of the Cuban people (into his own bank accounts) and fleecing rich Americans with gambling, drugs, liquor, and prostitution. Castro was a savior.
  7. "Wealthiest criminal", perhaps, but only if you define these terms in narrow and ahistorical ways. How about Caesar Augustus or Caligula? Alexander the allegedly great? Catherine the "Great"? Napoleon, 1st or 3rd? Herr Adolf Hitler? The United States of America, especially in the years 1945 to the present? Or, to take a recently mentioned example, Cecil (let's kill us a passel of black subhuman savages!) Rhodes, or his willing ally Leopold King of the Belgians? The list could be extended from now till Doomsday, and probably will be.
  8. ah, 1902! I remember it well. Wasn't that the year that the Cuban republic was formed, after the US beat poor little Spain to a bloody, whimpering pulp? The year the Charron, Girardot et Voigt , the first fully armoured "tank", was introduced at the Salon de l'Automobile et du cycle in Brussels? Even looks fun to drive! (q.v.). The year that miserable old wretch Cecil Rhodes, the worst figure in the whole of European colonization of Africa, finally did the long-suffering universe a good turn by shoving off into eternal damnation?
  9. Why didn't anyone warn about this bbq joint on 18th St? I had a hankerin for a nice pork bbq sandwhich, so I ordered delivery from this place: pork bbq sandwich, coleslaw, and fries. Everything was so unbelievably bad that after a taste of each I just threw the whole order in the garbage. The best item, such as it was, was the pickle slices that came with the sandwich, and they were from a can. Anyone else been to this hogslop from Hell emporium?
  10. You may certainly have bragging rights for the most answers, although as I'm sure you're aware the only one even remotely correct is "Nope". Don: On the way.
  11. Hey kids! Here is ze shal-onge for you from ze grreatess sorfsmon in all of fronnse! 1. Who wrote the theme to Perry Mason (1958-1967)? 2. What was Frederic March’s last screen appearance? 3. What does that have in common with Robert Ryan? 4. What is today’s (6-13) Saints day? 5. Can you name the murderer of Christopher Marlowe? 6. The Roosevelts: What were the names of the 2 branches, and can you elaborate? 6. What was the Great Renaming? 7. What bridge was originally planned to carry a Metro line under the carriage way between which 2 stations? There! I’ve made these as hard as possible w/ nothing deliberately misleading. No Googling. Whoever submits the most rigorous answers gets undying respect.
  12. This is what happens when I'm away for a year! Don or others will post on a subject that is right in my wheelhouse without my comment or guidance. I have nothing to disagree withe here; Louis IX really did all these things, but I'd just add: The "innocent until proven guilty" formulation wasn't introduced into the English common law until the great barrister and parliamentarian William Garrow forced the issue in the early 19th century. It's still a universal feature in all the common law countries, most importantly ours, although perhaps more honored in the breach than in th'observance. Non-common-law countries have let it go by, as in all of Western Europe, where guilt is presumed and procedures are often conducted by judges, who are not expected to be neutral and where there are no juries (exceptions abound, particularly in those countries forced to accept constitutions by the U.S. after the War). Even in Britain itself, they now empanel "special juries" expected to find against the defendant and allow majority verdicts even in capital cases. The banning of interest-bearing loans has a number of contradictory aspects. Charging interest (usury) is explicitly banned repeatedly in both the Old Testament and the new. For example: Deuteronomy 23:19 - Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: or in the gospels: Matthew 25:27 - Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and [then] at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. This from one of the parables of Christ, spoken out of his own lips. On the other hand, charging interest on loans made possible the rise of capitalism, a mixed blessing indeed.
  13. My one "experience" with a Todd E. establishment was wretched, trying to get a properly cooked steak in some airport place. I posted here about it years ago (q.v.). However, an "ethnic" restaurant need not be thoroughly authentic to be good. Witness Jaleo, with spectacular food, in my meek and humble. You won't find a huge slab of ribeye sliced and served with a potato purée and a delicious, intense gravy-like sauce at a bar in Catalonia. PS: Go to Jaleo tonight. Best restaurant in that part of town. --- Dining near National Theatre (saxdrop)
  14. Between the guns and President Stupid, I weep for my dear old Republic, flawed as it has always been. I wonder what must the rest of the world be thinking of us when not giggling. --- [You get a hall pass, my friend. DR]
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