Friday, July 31, 2009

Emily slacker

Well I guess it serves me right, I procrastinated about going to visit the Dickinson Museum and missed out on some events in July - and judging by the calendar at the web site, Emily D. goes on vacation for the month of August.

HowEVER - it appears that there will be an Emily marathon in September and I am seriously thinking about being there:

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon
Emily Dickinson Museum
The Museum will host its annual marathon reading of all 1,789 poems by Emily Dickinson.

I wonder if you can sign up to participate in the marathon? I didn't see anything on the site, but I'll keep looking...

Ooh - Emily is on Facebook and I friended her.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

more books on my list

Well as I reported yesterday, I scored a cheap copy of The Great Gatsby. I had a nice time reading the first two chapters on my commute - I almost missed my stop coming home, I was so absorbed in the narrator's first meeting with Gatsby.

So here are more books on my must-have list, although I don't expect I'll find copies at a Goodwill...

  • Filthy Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns: "Divided into chapters on lesbianiasm, homosexuality, virginity, sexual diseases, impotency, whores, pimps, brothels and other topics that shall here remain nameless, this jaw-dropping, giggle-inducing text proves both the Bard's enduring relevance and the fact that today's popular entertainment isn't nearly as debased as some might think..."

  • The State of Jones: "Make room in your understanding of the Civil War for Jones County, Mississippi, where a maverick small farmer named Newton Knight made a local legend of himself by leading a civil war of his own against the Confederate authorities. Anti-planter, anti-slavery, and anti-conscription, Knight and thousands of fellow poor whites, army deserters, and runaway slaves waged a guerrilla insurrection against the secession that at its peak could claim the lower third of Mississippi as pro-Union territory..."

  • The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology: "...his illuminating anthology follows the sonnet through its various moments and makers over five and a half centuries. Edward Hirsch and Eavan Boland, two of our foremost poets, focus on vicissitudes, paying particular attention to how individual poets—from Shakespeare to Strand—have claimed these fourteen lines: lengthened them, shortened them, elaborated on them, and, in turn, been defined by them..."

  • The Wordy Shipmates: "essayist and public radio regular Vowell (Assassination Vacation) revisits America's Puritan roots in this witty exploration of the ways in which our country's present predicaments are inextricably tied to its past. In a style less colloquial than her previous books, Vowell traces the 1630 journey of several key English colonists and members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Foremost among these men was John Winthrop, who would become governor of Massachusetts. While the Puritans who had earlier sailed to Plymouth on the Mayflower were separatists, Winthrop's followers remained loyal to England, spurred on by Puritan Reverend John Cotton's proclamation that they were God's chosen people..."

  • Reagan's Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 And the Rise of the Right: research for my latest full-length play, which is semi-autobiographical from my semi-hippie days in Palmyra NJ

  • Regency Buck: OK, I'm not really into romance novels (and no, "Jane Eyre" does not count, although it is sometimes considered an early work of the genre) but I found the title intriguing...
  • Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    the Great Nancby

    Well I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself. I finally got my butt back to the gym and did the whole circuit of weight machines and the accursed rowing machine. Then on the way home I stopped by the Goodwill on 88th & 2nd because I did not want to buy a hardcover copy of The Great Gatsby for $25 at Barnes & Noble and I had a hunch that I might find Gatsby at Goodwill. And sure enough, as soon as I hit the book shelves, voila! there he was for a very reasonable $1.08!

    Plus - bonus - this copy was once owned by a student who added enlightening commentary to the text:
    She dressed in white and had a little white roadster
    white = pure & class marker

    *Doctor. T. J. Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleberg are blue and gigantic
    Dr. Eckleberg looks out over valley of ashes (God symbol)

    There was Gatsby, looking a little, not much younger - with a cricket bat in his hand
    proves Gatsby's story!

    Quite the bargain for a buck and eight bits. Of course, I could read The Great Gatsby for free online... but the subway doesn't have Internet access.

    I sure do love the quotation on the title page of the book:
    Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry "Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!"


    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    Why, man, they did make love to this employment

    So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't.

    Why, man, they did make love to this employment;
    They are not near my conscience; their defeat
    Does by their own insinuation grow:
    'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
    Between the pass and fell incensed points
    Of mighty opposites.


    Monday, July 27, 2009

    more literary roadtrip pix

    We visited the Preservation Shipyard at the Mystic Seaport to get an idea of the restoration process. We got to explore a ship currently being restored - the Charles W. Morgan.

    this Quicktime movie shows Nome exploring the crew's quarters - you can hear a recording of talk presumably by one of the crew, which they piped into that section of the ship.

    The flag in the shipyard - I made Nome salute it.

    Nome checks out the stairs below deck.

    Captain's sofa - the captain had pretty nice quarters

    We surmised from the prisoner's ghostly pallor that she had been confined to below deck for at least a fortnight...

    Living la dolce vita - we had lunch afterwards in town.

    Sunday, July 26, 2009

    Monologue Project online - part 3

    Carl Conway Maguire rocks the Project. Recorded right down the street from me in Carl Schurz Park.

    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    all is forgiven, Stanley Fish

    Stanley Fish has written quite a few anti-atheist columns at the NYTimes and they always annoy the hell out of me.

    But now all is forgiven:
    Henry Louis Gates: Déjà Vu All Over Again

    I’m Skip Gates’s friend, too. That’s probably the only thing I share with President Obama, so when he ended his press conference last Wednesday by answering a question about Gates’s arrest after he was seen trying to get into his own house, my ears perked up.

    As the story unfolded in the press and on the Internet, I flashed back 20 years or so to the time when Gates arrived in Durham, N.C., to take up the position I had offered him in my capacity as chairman of the English department of Duke University. One of the first things Gates did was buy the grandest house in town (owned previously by a movie director) and renovate it. During the renovation workers would often take Gates for a servant and ask to be pointed to the house’s owner. The drivers of delivery trucks made the same mistake.

    The message was unmistakable: What was a black man doing living in a place like this?


    Hero Dog

    If you haven't seen this yet, watch the clip of a brave dog who saved another dog's life. This will make you cry.

    Friday, July 24, 2009


    Oh my god! This is the most honest, down-to-earth coolest thing any sitting president has EVER SAID IN A PRESS CONFERENCE! I can't believe liberals everywhere aren't celebrating this.

    And how great is it that FINALLY the phenomenon that people of the "wrong" ethnicity have experienced for years is finally said out loud by the POTUS!!!

    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    4 degrees of Bewitched x 2

    Well I finally found a clip of great-uncle Iggy Wolfington on youtube - he plays the king's chef in Rogers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" starring Julie Andrews. Cinderella's mom is played by Agnes Moorehead, who was of course Samantha's mother, and one of Cinderella's sisters is played by Alice Ghostley, who played Esmerelda, another witch on Bewitched.

    The production values of this Cinderella are unimpressive, but I surely do love that Prince Charming's outfit - ooh lah lah.

    Bewitched is one of my favorite TV shows ever - such great characters, in addition to the ones mentioned - Uncle Arthur, played by the inimitable Paul Lynde, Doctor Bombay (who also showed up on an episode of Peewee's Playhouse to treat Jambie the Genie) and Serena, Sam's hippie chick cousin, played by Elizabeth Montgomery herself (who seems to be basing her portrayal on Liza Minelli in "Caberet" which strangely enough wasn't made yet.)

    And thanks to youtube, I can FINALLY watch the legendary episode of Bewitched in which Sam and Darrin tell Larry that Sam is a witch. An ex-boyfriend of mine told me about it years ago and I've been wanting to see ever since - and finally HERE IT IS. But that Larry Tate is another great character, even if he is not a witch (or warlock, as they called boy witches on the show.) And Larry's reaction to the news is VERY much in keeping with Larry's character. Although it turns out to be a dream.

    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    what Lance said

    It's not a health care system, it's a wealth care system

    What we have is a system in which some people are given Christmas bonuses for letting other people die.

    And that's exactly what Republicans and the Blue Dogs are trying to protect.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Apollo 17 PARTAY!

    Apollo 11 was the first mission on the moon, and Apollo 13 was dramatic because they were in danger but Apollo 17 was the PARTY MISSION!

    Hopping on the moon

    Throwing a rock hammer on the moon

    Falling on the moon

    Falling on the moon

    Falling on the moon

    Dune buggy on the moon

    Singing on the moon

    And now for some Buzz Aldrin and Ali G

    Ali G should have watched this video from They Might Be Giants

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    NYCPlaywrights monologue project part 2

    Lynsey Buckelew rocks the Project. I rather like the music, which I put together with the ever-handy Garageband loops.

    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    Jamie Dimon and me

    Interesting article in the NYTimes about JPMorgan president Jamie Dimon Especially this part:
    A centerpiece of that effort involves regulating the market for derivatives, which Mr. Dimon’s firm dominates. While JPMorgan favors new reporting requirements for the complex financial instruments, it opposes the administration proposal to force trades onto public exchanges; doing so would likely cut into the firm’s lucrative business of selling clients custom-made instruments. Like other banks, it also opposes a new consumer agency for financial products.
    Because I certainly did my part to try to convince Dimon to cooperate with financial regulations of derivatives.

    I first contacted Jamie Dimon in late 2006 - I worked for JPMorgan (contractor, not permanent employee) and had his company email address - to congratulate him for his inviting Al Gore to speak about global warming to JPMorgan employees. It was a pretty effusive email, I admit - I said he was helping to literally save the world. A couple of days later he emailed me back, thanking me for my thoughts. I think I have a print-out of that email around somewhere.

    In early 2008 the shit was starting to hit the fan over the various derivatives shenanigans, and it was very clear that a huge reason for the problem was that there was almost NO oversight into the world of derivatives. This is partly because they are so complex it is impossible, in some cases to track them through the global financial system - I know because I used to watch the compliance department developers struggle to do just that, and they mostly threw up their hands. And the manager in the London office did not seem bothered by the impossibility of derivatives compliance tracking in the least, which also irritated them. And it was especially those "custom-made instruments" that were the problem. They could be custom-made out of ANYTHING. You could have these crazy chimerical instruments made up of various percentages of equities, bonds, options, options on options, etc, etc. These custom-made instruments are called "baskets." That's how JPMorgan makes its ethically-challenged customers happy: what's in the basket? ANYTHING YOU WANT. To allow these Frankenstein monsters to run free without oversight through the global financial system again would be INSANE. Insane unless you don't care if you completely destroy our current financial system - which is what will happen next time a melt-down of this type happens again.

    If Jamie Dimon wants to save the world from catastrophe, he needs to realize that global warming is only ONE threat.

    My hero Paul Krugman of course was on the case, and so I emailed Krugman's column of March 21, 2008, entitled "Partying Like It's 1929" to Dimon and urged him, in his new leadership role due to the Bear Stearns buy-out to listen to what Krugman had to say, especially this bit, which I quoted in the body of the email:
    Wall Street chafed at regulations that limited risk, but also limited potential profits. And little by little it wriggled free — partly by persuading politicians to relax the rules, but mainly by creating a “shadow banking system” that relied on complex financial arrangements to bypass regulations designed to ensure that banking was safe.

    For example, in the old system, savers had federally insured deposits in tightly regulated savings banks, and banks used that money to make home loans. Over time, however, this was partly replaced by a system in which savers put their money in funds that bought asset-backed commercial paper from special investment vehicles that bought collateralized debt obligations created from securitized mortgages — with nary a regulator in sight.

    As the years went by, the shadow banking system took over more and more of the banking business, because the unregulated players in this system seemed to offer better deals than conventional banks. Meanwhile, those who worried about the fact that this brave new world of finance lacked a safety net were dismissed as hopelessly old-fashioned.

    In fact, however, we were partying like it was 1929 — and now it’s 1930.

    I never received a response. He was pretty busy at the time. And of course I don't expect Jamie Dimon to care what some technical writer contractor employee of JPMorgan thinks about the financial system. But the Times article notes:
    Mr. Obama has singled out Mr. Dimon for praise more than once. Yet some Democrats say Mr. Dimon can be too outspoken, and deaf to the anti-bank sentiment of the country. When he complained in a March speech about Washington’s vilification of Wall Street, more than 40 House Democrats shot off a protest letter.
    I wouldn't say I'm exactly anti-bank - I'm pro-regulation, which only the completely insane, or Republicans, but I repeat myself, would oppose given all the disastrous results of non-regulation that we've seen.

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    You're gonna lose that girl

    From HELP!

    I love me some internets.

    The Beatles were interviewed in Playboy Magazine in 1965. Many many more Beatles interviews here

    Favorite bit:

    PLAYBOY: "You guys seem to be pretty irreverent characters. Are any of you churchgoers?"

    JOHN: "No."

    GEORGE: "No."

    PAUL: "Not particularly. But we're not antireligious. We probably seem antireligious because of the fact that none of us believe in God."

    JOHN: "If you say you don't believe in God, everybody assumes you're antireligious, and you probably think that's what we mean by that. We're not quite sure 'what' we are, but I know that we're more agnostic than atheistic."

    PLAYBOY: "Are you speaking for the group, or just for yourself."

    JOHN: "For the group."

    GEORGE: "John's our official religious spokesman."

    PAUL: "We all feel roughly the same. We're all agnostics."

    JOHN: "Most people are, anyway."

    RINGO: "It's better to admit it than to be a hypocrite."

    JOHN: "The only thing we've got against religion is the hypocritical side of it, which I can't stand. Like the clergy is always moaning about people being poor, while they themselves are all going around with millions of quid worth of robes on. That's the stuff I can't stand."

    PAUL: "A new bronze door stuck on the Vatican."

    RINGO: "Must have cost a mighty penny."

    PAUL: "But believe it or not, we're not anti-Christ."

    RINGO: "Just anti-Pope and anti-christian."

    PAUL: "But you know, in America..."

    GEORGE: "They were more shocked by us saying we were agnostics."

    JOHN: "Then they went potty; they couldn't take it. Same as in Australia, where they couldn't stand us not liking sports."

    PAUL: "In America, they're fanatical about God. I know somebody over there who said he was an atheist. The papers nearly refused to print it because it was such shocking news that somebody could actually be an atheist... yeah... and admit it."

    RINGO: "He speaks for all of us."

    Non-believers who don't like sports - truly the Beatles were THE perfect men.

    Here's the whole thing:

    PLAYBOY: "OK, we're on. Why don't we begin by..."

    JOHN: "Doing Hamlet."


    RINGO: "Yeah, yeah, let's do that."

    PLAYBOY: "That sounds fun, but just for laughs, why don't we do an interview instead?"

    GEORGE: "Say, that's a fine idea. I wish I'd thought of that."

    PAUL: "What shall we ask you for a first question?"

    RINGO: "About those Bunny girls..."

    PLAYBOY: "No comment. Let's start over. Ringo, you're the last Beatle to join the group, aren't you?"

    RINGO: "Yes."

    JOHN: "A few years probably... sort of off and on, really... for three years or so."

    PAUL: "Yeah, but really amateur."

    GEORGE: "The local pub, you know. And in each other's uncle's houses."

    JOHN: "And at George's brother's wedding. Things like that. Ringo used to fill in sometimes if our drummer was ill. With his periodic illness."

    RINGO: "He took little pills to make him ill."

    PLAYBOY: "When you joined the others Ringo, they weren't quite as big as they are now, were they?"

    RINGO: "They were the biggest thing in Liverpool. In them days that was big enough."

    PAUL: "This is a point we've made before. Some people say a man is made of muscle and blood... No they don't... they say, 'How come you've suddenly been able to adjust to fame,' you know, to nationwide fame and things. It all started quite nicely with us, you see, in our own sphere where we used to play, in Liverpool. We never used to play outside it, except when we went to Hamburg. Just those two circles. And in each of them, I think we were 'round the highest paid, and probably at the time the most popular. So in actual fact we had the same feeling of being famous then as we do now."

    GEORGE: "We were recognized then, too, only people didn't chase us about."

    PAUL: "But it just grew. The quantity grew; not the quality of the feeling."

    PLAYBOY: "When did you know that you had really hit it big? There must have been one night when you knew it really had begun."

    JOHN: "Well, we'd been playing 'round in Liverpool for a bit without getting anywhere, trying to get work, and the other groups kept telling us, 'You'll do alright, you'll get work someday.' And then we went back to Hamburg, and when we came back, suddenly we were a 'Wow.' Mind you, 70 percent of the audience thought we were a 'German Wow,' but we didn't care about that."

    PAUL: "We were billed in the paper: 'From Hamburg-- The Beatles.'"

    JOHN: "In Liverpool, people didn't even know we were from Liverpool. They thought we were from Hamburg. They said, 'Christ, they speak good English!' Which we did, of course, being English. But that's when we first, you know, stood there being cheered for the first time."

    PAUL: "That was when we felt we were..."

    JOHN: "...on the way up."

    PAUL: "...gonna make it in Liverpool."

    PLAYBOY: "How much were you earning then?"

    JOHN: "For that particular night, 20 dollars."

    PLAYBOY: "Apiece?"

    JOHN: "For the group! Hell, we used to work for less than that."

    PAUL: "We used to work for about three or four dollars a night."

    RINGO: "Plus all the Coke we could drink. And we drank alot."

    PLAYBOY: "Do you remember the first journalist who came to see you and said, 'I want to write about you'?"

    RINGO "We went 'round to them at first, didn't we?"

    JOHN: "We went and said, 'We're a group and we've got this record out. Will you...'"

    GEORGE: "And the door would slam."

    PLAYBOY: "We've heard it said that when you first went to America you were doubtful that you'd make it over there."

    JOHN: "That's true. We didn't think we were going to make it at all. It was only Brian telling us we were gonna make it. Brian Epstein our manager, and George Harrison."

    GEORGE: "I knew we had a good chance... because of the record sales over there."

    JOHN: "The thing is, in America it just seemed ridiculous... I mean, the idea of having a hit record over there. It was just, you know, something you could never do. That's what I thought anyhow. But then I realized that it's just the same as here, that kids everywhere all go for the same stuff. And seeing we'd done it in England and all, there's no reason why we couldn't do it in America, too. But the American disc jockeys didn't know about British records; they didn't play them; nobody promoted them, and so you didn't have hits."

    GEORGE: "Well, there were one or two doing it as a novelty."

    JOHN: "But it wasn't until 'Time' and "Life' and "Newsweek' came over and wrote articles and created an interest in us that American disc jockeys started playing our records. And Capitol said, 'Well, can we have their records?' You know, they had been offered our records years ago, and they didn't want them. But when they heard we were big over here they said, 'Can we have 'em now?' So we said, 'As long as you promote them.' So Capitol promoted, and with them and all these articles on us, the records just took off."

    PLAYBOY: "There's been some dispute among your fans and critics, about whether you're primarily entertainers or musicians... or perhaps neither. What's your own opinion?"

    JOHN: "We're money-makers first; then we're entertainers."

    RINGO: "No, we're not."

    JOHN: "What are we, then?"

    RINGO: "Dunno. Entertainers first."

    JOHN: "OK."

    RINGO: "'Cuz we were entertainers before we were money-makers."

    JOHN: "That's right, of course. It's just that the press drivels it into you, so you say it 'cuz they like to hear it, you know."

    PAUL: "Still, we'd be idiots to say that it isn't a constant inspiration to be making alot of money. It always is, to anyone. I mean, why do big business tycoons stay big business tycoons? It's not because they're inspired at the greatness of big business; they're in it because they're making alot of money at it. We'd be idiots if we pretended we were in it solely for kicks. In the beginning we were, but at the same time we were hoping to make a bit of cash. it's a switch around now, though, from what it used to be. We used to be doing it mainly for kicks and not making alot of money, and now we're making alot of money without too many kicks... except that we happen to like the money we're making. But we still enjoy making records, going on-stage, making films, and all that business."

    JOHN: "We love every minute of it, Beatle people!"

    PLAYBOY: "As hard-bitten refugees from the Liverpool slums-- according to heart-rending fan magazine biographies-- do you feel prepared to cope with all this sudden wealth?"

    PAUL: "We've managed to make the adjustment. Contrary to rumor, you see, none of us was brought up in any slums or in great degrees of poverty. We've always had enough; we've never been starving."

    JOHN: "Yeah, we saw those articles in the American fan mags that said, 'Those boys struggled up from the slums..."

    GEORGE: "We never starved. Even Ringo hasn't."

    RINGO: "Even I."

    PLAYBOY: "What kind of families do you come from?"

    GEORGE: "Well, you know, not rich. Just workin' class. They've got jobs... just work."

    PLAYBOY: "What does your father do?"

    GEORGE: "Well, he doesn't do anything now. He used to be a bus driver..."

    JOHN: "In the Merchant Navy."

    PLAYBOY: "Do you have any brothers or sisters, George?"

    GEORGE: "I've got two brothers."

    JOHN: "And no sisters to speak of."

    PLAYBOY: "How about you, Paul?"

    PAUL: "I've got one brother, and a father who used to be a cotton salesman down in New Orleans, you know. That's probably why I look a bit tanned... But seriously folks.... he occasionally had trouble paying the bills, but it was never, you know, never 'Go out and pick blackberries, son; we're a bit short this week.'"

    PLAYBOY: "How about you, John?"

    JOHN: "Oh, just the same. I used to have an auntie. And I had a dad whom I couldn't quite find."

    RINGO: "John lived with the Mounties."

    JOHN: "Yeah, the Mounties. They fed me well. No starvation."

    PLAYBOY: "How about your family, Ringo, old man?"

    RINGO: "Just workin' class. I was brought up with my mother and me grandparents. And then she married me stepfather when I was 13. All the time she was working. I never starved. I used to get most things."

    GEORGE: "Never starved?"

    RINGO: "No. I never starved. She always fed me. I was an only child, so it wasn't amazing."

    PLAYBOY: "It's quite fashionable in some circles in America to hate your parents. But none of you seem to."

    RINGO: "We're probably just as against the things our parents liked or stood for as they are in America. But we don't hate our parents for it."

    PLAYBOY: "It's often exactly the opposite in America."

    PAUL: "Well, you know, alot of Americans are unbalanced. I don't care what you say. No, really. Alot of them are quite normal, of course, but we've met many unbalanced ones. You know the type of person, like the political Whig."

    PLAYBOY: "How do you mean?"

    PAUL: "You know... the professional politcal type; in authority sort of thing. Some of them are just mad! And I've met some really maniac American girls! Like this one girl who walked up to me in a press conference and said, 'I'm Lily.' I said, 'Hello, how do you do?' and she said, 'Doesn't my name mean anything to you?' I said, 'Ah, no...' and I thought, 'Oh god, it's one of these people that you've met and you should know.' And so Derek, our press agant, who happened to be there at the time, hanging over my shoulder, giving me quotes, which happens at every press conference..."

    GEORGE: "You'd better not say that."

    PAUL: "Oh yes, that's not true, Beatle people! But he was sort of hanging about, and he said, 'Well did you ring, or did you write, or something?' And she said, 'No.' And he said, 'Well, how did you get in touch with Paul? How do you know him?' And she said, 'Through God.' Well, there was sort of a ghastly silence. I mean, we both sort of gulped and blushed. I said, 'Well, that's very nice, Lily. Thanks very much. I must be off now.'"

    PLAYBOY: "There wasn't a big lightening bolt from the sky?"

    PAUL: "No, there wasn't. But I talked to her afterward, and she said she'd got a vision from God, and God had said to her..."

    JOHN: "It's been a hard day's night."


    PAUL: "No, God had said, 'Listen Lil, Paul is waiting for you; he's in love with you and he wants to marry you, so go down and meet him, and he'll know you right away. It's very funny, you know. I was trying to persuade her that she didn't in actual fact have a vision from God, that it was..."

    GEORGE: "It was probably somebody disguised as God."

    PAUL: "You wouldn't hardly ever meet somebody like that in England, but there seemed to be alot like her in America."

    JOHN: "Well, there's alot of people in America, so you've got a much bigger group to get nutters from."

    PLAYBOY: "Speaking of nutters, do you ever wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say, 'My god, I'm a Beatle?'"

    PAUL: "No, not quite."


    JOHN: "Actually, we only do it in each other's company. I know I never do it alone."

    RINGO: "We used to do it more. We'd get in the car. I'd look over at John and say, 'Christ, look at you; you're a bloody phenomenon!' and just laugh... 'cuz it was only him, you know. And a few old friends of ours done it, from Liverpool. I'd catch 'em looking at me, and I'd say, 'What's the matter with you?' It's just daft, them just screaming and laughing, thinking I'm one of them people."

    PLAYBOY: "A Beatle?"

    RINGO: "Yes."

    PAUL: "The thing that makes me know we've made it is like tonight, when we slipped into a sweetshop. In the old days we could have just walked into a sweetshop and nobody would have noticed us. We would have just got our sweets and gone out. But tonight we just walked in... it took a couple of seconds... and the people there just dropped their sweets. Before, you see, there would have been no reaction at all. Except possibly, 'Look at that fellow with the long hair. Doesn't he look daft?' But nowadays they're just amazed; they can't believe it. But actually we're no different."

    PLAYBOY: "The problem is that you don't seem to be like real people. You're Beatles."

    PAUL: "I know. It's funny, that."

    GEORGE: "It's all the publicity."

    PAUL: "We're taken in by it too. Because we react exactly the same way to the stars we meet. When we meet people we've seen on the telly or in films, we still think, 'Wow!'"

    JOHN: "It's a good thing, because we get just as tickled."

    PAUL: "The thing is that people, when they see you on TV and in magazines and up in a film, and hear you on the radio, they never expect to meet you, you know, even our fans. Their wish is to meet you, but in the back of their mind they never think they're actually gonna meet us. And so, when they do meet us, they just don't believe it."

    PLAYBOY: "Where do they find you-- hiding in your hotel rooms?"

    JOHN: "No, on the street usually."

    PLAYBOY: "You mean you're brave enough to venture out into the streets without a bodyguard?"

    RINGO: "Sure."

    GEORGE: "We're always on the street. Staggering about."

    RINGO: "Flogging our bodies."

    GEORGE: "You catch John sleeping in the gutter occasionally."

    PLAYBOY: "When people see you in the street, do you ever have any action?"

    GEORGE: "Well, not really, because when you're walking about, you don't bump into groups of people as a rule. People don't walk 'round in gangs, as a rule."

    PLAYBOY: "Can you even go out shopping without getting mobbed by them, individually or collectively?"

    JOHN: "We avoid that."

    PAUL: "The mountain comes to Mohammed."

    GEORGE: "The shop comes to us, as he says. But sometimes we just roll into a store and buy stuff and leg out again."

    PLAYBOY: "Isn't that like looking for trouble?"

    PAUL: "No, we walk four times faster than the average person."

    PLAYBOY: "Can you eat safely in restaurants?"

    GEORGE: "Sure we can. I was there the other night."

    JOHN: "Where?"

    GEORGE: "Restaurants."

    PAUL: "Of course we're known in the restaurants we go in."

    GEORGE: "And usually it's only Americans that'll bother you."

    PLAYBOY: "Really?"

    GEORGE: "Really. If we go into a restaurant in London, there's always going to be a couple of them eating there; you just tell the waiter to hold them off if they try to come over. If they come over anyway you just sign."

    RINGO: "But you know, the restaurants I go to, probably if I wasn't famous I wouldn't go to them. Even if I had the same money and wasn't famous I wouldn't go to them, because the people that go to them are drags. The good thing when you go to a place where the people are such drags, such snobs, you see, is that they won't bother to come over to your table. They pretend they don't even know who you are, and you get away with an easy night."

    GEORGE: "And they think they are laughing at us, but really we're laughing at them... 'cuz we know they know who we are."

    RINGO: "How's that?"

    GEORGE: "They're not going to be like the rest and ask for autographs."

    RINGO: "And if they do, we just swear at them."

    GEORGE: "Well, I don't, Beatle people. I sign the autograph and thank them profusely for coming over, and offer them a piece of my chop."

    JOHN: "If we're in the middle of a meal, I usually say, 'Do you mind waiting till I'm finished?'"

    GEORGE: "And then we keep eating until they give up and leave."

    JOHN: "That's not true, Beatle people!"

    PLAYBOY: "Apart from these occupational hazards, are you happy in your work? Do you really enjoy getting pelted by jellybeans and being drowned out by thousands of screaming subteenagers?"

    RINGO: "Yes."

    GEORGE: "We still find it exciting."

    JOHN: "Well, you know..."

    PAUL: "After a while, actually, you begin to get used to it, you know."

    PLAYBOY: "Can you really get used to this?"

    PAUL: "Well, you still get excited when you go onto a stage and the audience is great, you know. But obviously you're not as excited as you were when you first heard that one of your records had reached number one. I mean, you really do go wild with excitement then; you go out drinking and celebrating and things."

    RINGO: "Now we just go out drinkin' anyway."

    PLAYBOY: "Do you stick pretty much together off-stage?"

    JOHN: "Well, yes and no. Groups like this are normally not friends, you know. They're just four people out there thrown together to make an act. There may be two of them who sort of go off and are friends, you know, but..."

    GEORGE: "Just what do you mean by that?"

    JOHN: "Strictly platonic, of course. But we're all rather good friends, as it happens."

    PLAYBOY: "Then do you see a good deal of one another when you're not working?"

    PAUL: "Well, you know, it depends. We needn't always go to the same places together. In earlier days, of course, when we didn't know London, and we didn't know anybody in London, then we really did stick together, and it would really be just like four fellows down from the north for a coach trip. But nowadays, you know, we've got our own girlfriends... they're in London... so that we each normally go out with our girlfriends on our days off. Except for John, of course, who's married."

    PLAYBOY: "Do any of the rest of you have any plans to settle down?"

    PAUL: "I haven't got any."

    GEORGE: "Ringo and I are getting married."

    RINGO: "Oh? To whom?"

    GEORGE: "To each other. But that's a thing you'd better keep a secret."

    RINGO: "You better not tell anybody."

    GEORGE: I mean, if we said something like that, people'd probably think we're queers. After all, that's not the sort of thing you can put in a reputable magazine like PLAYBOY. And anyway, we don't want to start the rumor going."

    PLAYBOY: "We'd better change the subject, then. Do you remember the other night when this girl came backstage..."

    GEORGE: "Naked..."

    PLAYBOY: "Unfortunately not. And she said..."

    GEORGE: "It's been a hard day's night."

    PLAYBOY: "No. She pointed at you, George, and said, 'There's a Beatle!' And you others said, 'That's George.' And she said, 'No, it's a Beatle!'

    JOHN: "And you said, 'This way to the bedroom.'"

    PLAYBOY: "No, it was, 'Would you like us to introduce you to him?'"

    JOHN: "I like my line better."

    PLAYBOY: "Well, the point is that she didn't believe that there was such a thing as an actual Beatle 'person.'"

    JOHN: "She's right, you know."

    PLAYBOY: "Do you run across many like her?"

    GEORGE: "Is there any other kind?"

    PLAYBOY: "In America, too?"

    RINGO: "Everywhere."

    PLAYBOY: "With no exceptions?"

    JOHN: "In America, you mean?

    PLAYBOY: "Yes."

    JOHN: "A few."

    PAUL: "Yeah, Some of those American girls have been great."

    JOHN: "Like Joan Baez."

    PAUL: "Joan Baez is good, yeah, very good."

    JOHN: "She's the only one I like."

    GEORGE: "And Jayne Mansfield. PLAYBOY made her."

    PAUL: "She's a bit different, isn't she? Different."

    RINGO: "She's soft."

    GEORGE: "Soft and warm."

    PAUL: "Actually, she's a clot."

    RINGO: "...says Paul, the god of the Beatles."

    PAUL: "I didn't mean it, Beatle People! Actually, I haven't even met her. But you won't print that anyway, of course, because PLAYBOY is very pro-Mansfield. They think she's a rave. But she really is an old bag."

    PLAYBOY: "By the way, what are Beatle people?"

    JOHN: "It's something they use in the fan mags in America. They all start out, 'Hi there, Beatle people, 'spect you're wondering what the Fab Foursome are doing these days!' Now we use it all the time, too."

    PAUL: "It's low-level journalese."

    JOHN: "But I mean, you know, there's nothing wrong with that, It's harmless."

    PLAYBOY: "Speaking of low-level journalese, there was a comment in one of the London papers the other day that paralleled you guys with Hitler. Seriously! It said that you have the same technique of drawing cheers from the crowd..."

    PAUL: "That power isn't so much us being like Hitler; it's that the audiences and the show have got a sort of, you know, Hitler feel about them, because the audience will shout when their told to. That's what the critic was talking about. Actually, that article was one which I really got annoyed about, 'cuz she's never even met us."

    PLAYBOY: "She?"

    PAUL: "The woman who wrote it. She's never met us, but she was dead against us. Like that Hitler bit. And she said we were very boring people. 'The Boresome Foursome,' she called us. You know, really, this woman was really just shouting her mouth off about us... as people, I mean."

    RINGO: "Oh, come on."

    PAUL: "No, you come on. I rang up the newspaper, you know, but they wouldn't let me speak to her. In actual fact, they said, 'Well, I'll tell you, the reason we don't give out her phone number is because she never likes to speak to people on the phone because she's got a terrible stutter. So I never did actually follow it up. Felt sorry for her. But I mean, the cheek of her, writing this damn article about us. And telling everybody how we're starting riots, and how we're such bores... and she's never even met us, mind you! I mean, we could turn around and say the same about her! I could go and thump her!"

    GEORGE: "Bastard fascist!"

    PLAYBOY: "Ringo..."

    RINGO: "Yes, PLAYBOY, sir?"

    PLAYBOY: "How do you feel about the press? Has your attitude changed in the last year or so?"

    RINGO: "Yes."

    PLAYBOY: "In what way?"

    RINGO: "I hate 'em more now than I did before."

    PLAYBOY: "Did you hear about the riot in Glasgow on the night of your last show there?"

    JOHN: "We heard about it after."

    PLAYBOY: "Did you know that the next day there was a letter in one of the Glasgow papers that accused you of directly 'inciting' the violence?"

    RINGO: "How can they say that about us We don't even wiggle. It's not bloody fair."

    GEORGE: "Bastards!"

    PAUL: "Glasgow is like Belfast. There'll probably be a bit of a skirmish there, too. But not because of us. It's because people in certain cities just hate the cops more than in other cities."

    GEORGE: "Right."

    PAUL: "There were ridiculous riots last time we were there... but it wasn't riots for us. The crowd was there for us, but the riots after the show..."

    RINGO: "All the drunks come out, out of the pubs."

    PAUL: " was just beatin' up coppers."

    PLAYBOY: "They just used the occasion as a pretext to get at the cops?"

    GEORGE: "Yeah."

    PAUL: "In Dublin this trip, did you see where the crowd sort of stopped all the traffic? They even pulled a driver out of a bus."

    JOHN: "They also called out the fire brigade. We had four fire engines this time."

    PLAYBOY: "People were also overturning cars and breaking shop windows. But all this had nothing to do with your show?"

    PAUL: "Well, it's vaguely related, I suppose. It's got something to do with us, inasmuch as the crowds happen to be there because of our show."

    JOHN: "But nobody who's got a bit of common sense would seriously think that 15-year-old girls are going around smashing shop windows on account of us."

    GEORGE: "Certainly not. Those girls are 'eight' years old."

    PLAYBOY: "This talk of violence leads to a related question. Do you guys think there'll be a war soon?"

    GEORGE: "Yeah. Friday."

    RINGO: "I hope not. Not just after we've got our money through the taxes."

    JOHN: "The trouble is, if they do start another war, then everybody goes with you."

    PLAYBOY: "Do you think the Rolling Stones will be the first to go?"

    PAUL: "It won't matter, 'cuz we'll probably be in London or Liverpool at the time, and when they drop the bomb, it'll be in the middle of the city. So we probably won't even know it when it happens."

    PLAYBOY: "We brought this up for a reason, fellows. There was an essay not long ago in a very serious commentary magazine, saying that before every major war in this century, there had been a major wave of public hysteria over certain specific entertainers. There was the Irene Castle craze before World War One..."

    PAUL: "Oh yes."

    GEORGE: "I remember that well."

    PLAYBOY: "And then, before World War Two, there was the swing craze with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, and all the dancing in the aisles. And now you--- before...."

    JOHN: "Hold on! It's not our fault!"

    PLAYBOY: "We're not saying you may have anything to do with inciting a war..."

    PAUL: "Thanks."

    PLAYBOY: "But don't you think you may be a symptom of the times, part of an undercurrent that's building up?"

    PAUL: "That sort of comparison just falls down when you look at it, really. It's just like saying that this morning a fly landed on my bed and that I looked at my watch and it was eight o'clock, and that therefore every morning at eight o'clock flies land on the bed. It doesn't prove anything just 'cuz it happens a few times."

    PLAYBOY: "Let's move on to another observation about you. Did you know that the Duke of Edinburgh was recently quoted as saying that he thought you were on the way out?"

    JOHN: "Good luck, Duke."

    GEORGE: "No comment. See my manager."

    PAUL: "He didn't say it, though. There was a retraction, wasn't there?"

    JOHN: "Yeah, we got a telegram. Wonderful news."

    PAUL: "We sent one back. Addressed to 'Liz and Phil.'"

    PLAYBOY: "Have you ever met the Queen?"

    JOHN: "No. She's the only one we haven't met. We've met all the others."

    PAUL: "All the mainstays."

    PLAYBOY: "Winston Chirchill?"

    RINGO: "No, not him."

    JOHN: "He's a good lad, though."

    PLAYBOY: "Would you like to meet him?"

    GEORGE:" Not really. Not more than anybody else."

    PAUL: "I dunno. Somebody like that you wish you could have met when he was at his peak, you know, and sort of doing things and being great. But there wouldn't be alot of point now, because he's sort of gone into retirement and doesn't do alot of things anymore."

    PLAYBOY: "Is there any celebrity you would like to meet?"

    PAUL: "I wouldn't mind meeting Adolf Hitler."

    GEROGE: "You could have every room in your house papered."

    PLAYBOY: "Would you like to meet Princess Margaret?"

    PAUL: "We have."

    PLAYBOY: "How do you like her?"

    RINGO: " "OK. And Philip's OK, too."

    PLAYBOY: "Even after what he supposedly said about you?"

    RINGO: "I don't care what he said, I still think he's OK. He didn't say nothing about me personally."

    PAUL: "Even if he had said things about us, it doesn't make him worse, you know."

    PLAYBOY: "Speaking of royalty..."

    PAUL: "Royalty never condemns anything unless it's something that they know everybody else condemns."

    RINGO: "If I was royal..."

    PAUL: "If I was royal, I would crack long jokes and get a mighty laugh... if I was royal."

    GEORGE: "What would 'we' do with Buckingham Palace? Royalty's stupid."

    PLAYBOY: "You guys seem to be pretty irreverent characters. Are any of you churchgoers?"

    JOHN: "No."

    GEORGE: "No."

    PAUL: "Not particularly. But we're not antireligious. We probably seem antireligious because of the fact that none of us believe in God."

    JOHN: "If you say you don't believe in God, everybody assumes you're antireligious, and you probably think that's what we mean by that. We're not quite sure 'what' we are, but I know that we're more agnostic than atheistic."

    PLAYBOY: "Are you speaking for the group, or just for yourself."

    JOHN: "For the group."

    GEORGE: "John's our official religious spokesman."

    PAUL: "We all feel roughly the same. We're all agnostics."

    JOHN: "Most people are, anyway."

    RINGO: "It's better to admit it than to be a hypocrite."

    JOHN: "The only thing we've got against religion is the hypocritical side of it, which I can't stand. Like the clergy is always moaning about people being poor, while they themselves are all going around with millions of quid worth of robes on. That's the stuff I can't stand."

    PAUL: "A new bronze door stuck on the Vatican."

    RINGO: "Must have cost a mighty penny."

    PAUL: "But believe it or not, we're not anti-Christ."

    RINGO: "Just anti-Pope and anti-christian."

    PAUL: "But you know, in America..."

    GEORGE: "They were more shocked by us saying we were agnostics."

    JOHN: "Then they went potty; they couldn't take it. Same as in Australia, where they couldn't stand us not liking sports."

    PAUL: "In America, they're fanatical about God. I know somebody over there who said he was an atheist. The papers nearly refused to print it because it was such shocking news that somebody could actually be an atheist... yeah... and admit it."

    RINGO: "He speaks for all of us."

    PLAYBOY: "To bring up another topic that's shocking to some, how do you feel about the homosexual problem?"

    GEORGE: "Oh yeah, well, we're all homosexuals, too."

    RINGO: "Yeah, we're all queer."

    PAUL: "But don't tell anyone."

    PLAYBOY: "Seriously, is there more homosexuality in England than elsewhere?"

    JOHN: "Are you saying there's more over here than in America?"

    PLAYBOY: "We're just asking."

    GEORGE: "It's just that they've got crewcuts in America. You can't spot 'em."

    PAUL: "There's probably a million more queers in America than in England. England may have it's scandals... like Profumo and all... but at least they're heterosexual."

    JOHN: "Still, we do have more than our share of queers, don't you think?"

    PAUL: "It just seems that way because there's more printed about them over here."

    RINGO: "If they find out somebody is a bit bent, the press will always splash it about."

    PAUL: "Right. Take Profumo, for example. He's just an ordinary..."

    RINGO: " maniac."

    PAUL: "...just an ordinary fellow who sleeps with women. Yet it's adultery in the eyes of the law, and it's an international incident. But in actual fact, if you check up on the statistics, you find that there are hardly any married men who've been completely faithful to their wives."

    JOHN: "I have! Listen, Beatle people..."

    PAUL: "Alright, we all know John's spotless. But when a thing like that gets into the newspapers, everybody goes very, very Puritan, and they pretend that they don't know what sex is about."

    GEORGE: "They get so bloody virtuous all of a sudden."

    PAUL: "Yes, and some poor heel has got to take the brunt of the whole thing. But in actual fact, If you ask the average Briton what they really think of the Profumo case, they'd probably say, 'He was knockin' off some bird. So what?'"

    PLAYBOY: "Incidentally, you've met Mandy Rice-Davies haven't you?"

    GEORGE: "What are you looking at 'me' for?"

    PLAYBOY: "Because we hear she was looking at you."

    JOHN: "We did meet Christine Keeler."

    RINGO: "I'll tell you who I met. I met whats-her-name... April Ashley."

    JOHN: "I met her, too, the other night."

    PLAYBOY: "Isn't she the one who used to be a man, changed her sex and married into nobility?"

    JOHN: "That's the one."

    RINGO: "She swears at me, you know. But when she sobers up she apologizes."

    JOHN: "Actually, I quite like her. Him. It. That."

    PAUL: "The problem with saying something like, 'Profumo was just a victim of circumstances' or 'April Ashley isn't so bad, even though she's changed sex' -- saying things like that in print to most people seems so shocking; whereas in actual fact, if you really think about it, it isn't. Just saying things like that sounds much more shocking than it is."

    RINGO: "I got up in the Ad Lib the other night and a big handbag hit me in the gut. I thought it was somebody I knew; I didn't have my glasses on. I said, 'Hello,' and a bloody big worker went 'Arrgghhh.' So I just ran into the bog... because I'd heard about things like that."

    PLAYBOY: "What are you talking about?"

    GEORGE: "He doesn't know."

    PLAYBOY: "Do you?"

    GEORGE: "Haven't the slightest."

    PLAYBOY: "Can you give us a hint, Ringo? What's the Ad Lib, for example?"

    RINGO: "It's a club."

    GEORGE: "Like your Peppermint Lounge and the Whiskey-a-Go-go. It's the same thing."

    PAUL: " No, the English version is a little different."

    JOHN: "The Whiskey-a-Go-go is exactly the same, isn't it? ...only they have someone dancing on the ceiling, don't they?"

    GEORGE: "Don't be ridiculous. They have 'two' girls dancing on the roof. In the Ad Lib they have a colored chap. That's the difference."

    PLAYBOY: "We heard a rumor that one of you was thinking about opening a club."

    JOHN: "I wonder who that was, Ringo."

    RINGO: "I don't know, John. There was a rumor, yes. I heard that one, too."

    PLAYBOY: "Is there any truth to it?"

    RINGO: "Well, yes. We were going to open one in Hollywood, but it fell through."

    JOHN: "Dino wouldn't let you take the place over."

    RINGO: "No."

    PAUL: "And we decided it's not worth it. So we decided to sit tight for six months, and then buy..."

    GEORGE: "...America."

    PLAYBOY: "Have you heard about the Playboy Club that's opening in London?"

    RINGO: "Yes. I've heard about it."

    PLAYBOY: "What do you think of our Clubs?"

    RINGO: "They're for dirty old men, not for the likes of us-- dirty young men. They're for businessmen that sneak out without their wives knowing, or if their wives sneak out first, or those who go out openly."

    GEORGE: "There's no real fun in a Bunny's fluffy tail."

    PLAYBOY: "Then you don't think a Club will make it here?"

    GEORGE: "Oh yes, 'course it will."

    RINGO: "There's enough dirty old men here."

    PLAYBOY: "Have you ever read the magazine?"

    JOHN: "Yes."

    GEORGE: "Yes."

    RINGO: "I get my copy every month. Tits."

    PLAYBOY: "Do you read any of the philosophy, any of you?"

    PAUL: "Some of it. When the journey's really long and you can't last out the pictures, you start reading it. It's OK."

    PLAYBOY: "How about Playboy's Jazz Poll? Do you read it, too?"

    JOHN: "Occasionally."

    PLAYBOY: "Do you enjoy jazz, any of you?"

    GEORGE: "What kind?"

    PLAYBOY: "American jazz."

    JOHN: "Who, for example?"

    PLAYBOY: "You tell us."

    PAUL: "We only dig those who dig us."

    PLAYBOY: "Seriously, who? Anyone?"

    JOHN: "Getz. But only because somebody gave me an album of his... with him and somebody called Iguana, or something like that."

    PLAYBOY: "You mean Joao Gilberto?"

    JOHN: "I don't know. Some Mexican."

    PLAYBOY: "He's Brazilian."

    JOHN: "Oh."

    PLAYBOY: "Are you guys getting tired of talking?"

    JOHN: "No."

    PAUL: "No. Let's order some drinks. Scotch or Coke?"

    JOHN: "I'll have chocolate."

    GEORGE: "Scotch for me and Paul... and chocolate for the Beatle teenager."

    JOHN: "Scotch is bad for your kidneys."

    PAUL: "How about you, Ringo? Don't you want someting to keep you awake while you're listening to all this rubbish?"

    RINGO: "I'll have a Coke."

    JOHN: "How about you, PLAYBOY? Are you a man or a woman?"

    PAUL: "It's a Beatle people!"

    GEORGE: "Who's your fave rave?"

    PAUL: "I love 'you!'"

    GEORGE: "How gear."

    PLAYBOY: "Speaking of fave raves, why do you think the rock 'n roll phenomenon is bigger in England than in America?"

    JOHN: "Is it?"

    PAUL: "Yes. You see, in England... after us... you have thousands of groups coming out everywhere, but in America they've just sort of had the same groups going for ages. Some have made it and some haven't, but there aren't really any new ones. If we'd been over there instead of over here, there probably would have been the same upsurge over there. Our road manager made an interesting point the other day about this difference in America. In America the people who are big stars are not our age. There's nobody who's really a big star around our age. Possibly it may seem like a small point, but there's no conscription... no draft... here. In America, we used to hear about somebody like Elvis, who was a very big star and then suddenly he was off to the Army."

    JOHN: "And the Everly Brothers."

    PAUL: "Yes, the Everly Brothers as well went into the Army at the height of their fame. And the Army seems to do something to singers. It may make them think that what they're playing is stupid and childish. Or it may make them want to change their style, and consequently they may not be as popular when they come out of the Army. It may also make people forget them, and consequently they may have a harder job getting back on top when they get out. But here, of course, we don't have that problem."

    JOHN: "Except those who go to prison."

    PAUL: "It's become so easy to form a group nowadays, and to make a record, that hundreds are doing it-- and making a good living at it. Whereas when we started, it took us a couple of years before record companies would even listen to us, never mind give us a contract. But now, you just walk in and if they think you're OK, you're on."

    PLAYBOY: "Do you think you had anything to do with bringing all this about?"

    JOHN: "It's a damn fact."

    PAUL: "Not only us. Us and people who followed us. But we were the first really to get national coverage because of some big shows that we did, and because of alot of public interest in us."

    PLAYBOY: "What do you think is the most important element of your success... the personal appearances, or the records?"

    JOHN: "Records. Records have always been the main thing. P.A.'s follow records. Our first records were made, and then we appeared."

    PLAYBOY: "Followed closely by Beatle Dolls. Have you seen them?"

    GEORGE: They're actually life size, you know."

    PLAYBOY: "The ones we've seen are only about five inches high."

    PAUL: "Well, we're midgets, you see."

    PLAYBOY: "How does it make you feel to have millions of effigies of yourselves decorating bedsides all over the world? Don't you feel honored to have been immortalized in plastic? After all, there's no such thing as a Frank Sinatra doll, or an Elvis Presley doll."

    GEORGE: "Who'd want an ugly old crap doll like that?"

    PLAYBOY: "Would you prefer a George doll, George?"

    GEORGE: "No, but I've got a Ringo doll at home."

    PLAYBOY: "Did you know that you're probably the first public figures to have dolls made of them... except maybe Yogi Berra?"

    JOHN: "In Jellystone Park. Do you mean the cartoon?"

    PLAYBOY: "No. Didn't you know that the cartoon character is based on a real person... Yogi Berra, the baseball player?"

    GEORGE: "Oh."

    PLAYBOY: "Didn't you know that?"

    JOHN: "I didn't know that."

    PAUL: "Well, they're making 'us' into a cartoon, too, in the states. It's a series."

    JOHN: "The highest achievement you could ever get."

    PAUL: "We feel proud and humble."

    PLAYBOY: "Did you know, George, that at the corner of 47th Street and Broadway in New York, there is a giant cutout of you on display?"

    GEORGE: "Of me?"

    PLAYBOY: "Life size."

    RINGO: "Nude."

    PLAYBOY: "No... but the reason we mention it is that this is really a signal honor. For years on that corner, there's been a big store with life-size cutouts of Marilyn Monroe, Anita Ekberg, or Jayne Mansfield in the window."

    JOHN: "And now it's George."

    PAUL: "The only difference is that they've got bigger tits."

    RINGO: "I suppose that's one way of putting it."

    GEORGE: "The party's getting rough. I'm going to bed. You carry on, though. I'll just stop my ears with cotton... so as not to hear the insults and smutty language."

    PLAYBOY: "We've just about run out of steam, anyway."

    JOHN: "Do you have all you need?"

    PLAYBOY: "Enough. Many thanks, fellows."

    JOHN: "'Course alot of it you won't be able to use-- 'crap' and 'bloody' and 'tit' and 'bastard' and all."

    PLAYBOY: "Wait and see."

    RINGO: "Finish your scotch before you go."

    JOHN: "You don't mind if I climb into bed, do you? I'm frazzled."

    PLAYBOY: "Not at all. Good night."

    RINGO: "Good night, PLAYBOY."

    GEORGE: "It's been a hard day's night."

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    gonna see the Krug-Man!

    The mighty Krug-Man will be speaking at the 92nd St. Y - conveniently right up the road from me on September 22 - guess who has a ticket - whoohoo!

    Another song written about Krugman! By Loudon Wainwright III

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Alice in Wonderland

    Oh I do love the Internets. You can read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland there.

    A really neat restaurant not too far from my apartment is Alice's Tea Cup.

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Jews, nuns, musicals

    Screenwriters are uniformly contemptuous of the people who run the Hollywood movie machinery, especially when it comes to getting notes about their screenplays. But even though it's an old story, it can still be told entertainingly as in Paul Rudnick's essay for the current New Yorker Fun with Nuns. The entire thing is not available for free, but you can read it online if you are already a subscriber.
    Another, equally gung-ho (Disney) executive appeared, carrying, in his palm, a three-inch-high plastic figurine of the Little Mermaid herself, with her chunky cascade of red hair and her skimpy sea-shell bra.

    "Look at her!" the exec said. "Isn't she hot? I'd do her!" Other staffers convened for the meeting, and they all agreed that the figurine was indeed hot and doable. As in all decent studio meetings, everyone was "totally stoked" about "Sister Act" and eager to "fast-track" the property. Most of the executives' notes were about shaping the material for Bette Midler and about how much they all loved nuns.

    "Nuns!" I declared. "I'd do 'em!" Everyone cheered.
    Rudnick discusses both nuns, Jews and nuns and Broadway musicals in the piece and in my mind those things have always been linked anyway. When I was eleven, two of my girl cousins, around the same age, and I spent a week with my aunt the nun (nome de nun: "Sister Martin Joseph") in her convent in Delaware, and the thing that made the biggest impact on me was her Broadway musical album collection which I listened to on her very nice stereo system. Ironically, my aunt the nun's copy of "Fiddler on the Roof" was my first real introduction to Jews. The other thing I remember was her taking us girls to see What's Up Doc starring Barbra Streisand.

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    born under an unlucky planet

    "Leaves of Grass" was considered obscene by many as can be seen by the clipping from May 22 1882. The entire clipping in PDF format can be read here.

    So what was so obscene in LOG? This, apparently was found shockingly frank:

    A Woman Waits for Me

    A woman waits for me, she contains all, nothing is lacking,
    Yet all were lacking if sex were lacking, or if the moisture of the
    right man were lacking.

    Sex contains all, bodies, souls,
    Meanings, proofs, purities, delicacies, results, promulgations,
    Songs, commands, health, pride, the maternal mystery, the seminal milk,
    All hopes, benefactions, bestowals, all the passions, loves,
    beauties, delights of the earth,
    All the governments, judges, gods, follow'd persons of the earth,
    These are contain'd in sex as parts of itself and justifications of itself.

    Without shame the man I like knows and avows the deliciousness of his sex,
    Without shame the woman I like knows and avows hers.

    Now I will dismiss myself from impassive women,
    I will go stay with her who waits for me, and with those women that
    are warm-blooded and sufficient for me,
    I see that they understand me and do not deny me,
    I see that they are worthy of me, I will be the robust husband of
    those women.

    They are not one jot less than I am,
    They are tann'd in the face by shining suns and blowing winds,
    Their flesh has the old divine suppleness and strength,
    They know how to swim, row, ride, wrestle, shoot, run, strike,
    retreat, advance, resist, defend themselves,
    They are ultimate in their own right—they are calm, clear,
    well-possess'd of themselves.

    I draw you close to me, you women,
    I cannot let you go, I would do you good,
    I am for you, and you are for me, not only for our own sake, but for
    others' sakes,
    Envelop'd in you sleep greater heroes and bards,
    They refuse to awake at the touch of any man but me.

    It is I, you women, I make my way,
    I am stern, acrid, large, undissuadable, but I love you,
    I do not hurt you any more than is necessary for you,
    I pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for these States, I
    press with slow rude muscle,
    I brace myself effectually, I listen to no entreaties,
    I dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated within me.

    Through you I drain the pent-up rivers of myself,
    In you I wrap a thousand onward years,
    On you I graft the grafts of the best-beloved of me and America,
    The drops I distil upon you shall grow fierce and athletic girls,
    new artists, musicians, and singers,
    The babes I beget upon you are to beget babes in their turn,
    I shall demand perfect men and women out of my love-spendings,
    I shall expect them to interpenetrate with others, as I and you
    inter-penetrate now,
    I shall count on the fruits of the gushing showers of them, as I
    count on the fruits of the gushing showers I give now,
    I shall look for loving crops from the birth, life, death,
    immortality, I plant so lovingly now.

    Hear that piece and others from Leaves of Grass book IV read aloud at Libravox

    What would the members of the New England Society for the Suppression of Vice think about the fact that in a little over a hundred years, the most explicit pornography would be widely available through the Internet?

    More on Leaves of Grass here

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    literary road trip part 1

    Well we didn't make it to Amherst to visit E. Dickinson's museum - it's a long drive but we made it to the Whitman place and got to see the tall ship the Joseph Conrad in Mystic CT.

    Nome driving the FDR

    Nome inspects Walt Whitman's well

    Waiting for the ferry to CT

    The Joseph Conrad
    more about the Joseph Conrad

    Nome takes the wheel

    Few realize that Nome was one of the original members of the Velvet Underground...

    more road trip pix coming...

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    The magical literary tour is coming to take you away...

    A page from one of Walt Whitman's notebooks

    First stop, the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site and Interpretive Center on Lon Guyland. I always thought that Camden was Walt Whitman central - there's even a major bridge spanning the Delaware named after Whitman although its eastern side is in Gloucester City, just south of Camden. The western side is in Philadelphia. Plus, when I was 18 I had an exhibit of my drawings and paintings at the Walt Whitman Poetry Center (since renamed the Walt Whitman Arts Center.) I have photos around somewhere as proof.

    But back to Whitman, and why a huge honking bridge is named after him:

    A noiseless patient spider,
    I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
    Mark'd how to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
    It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself.
    Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

    And you O my soul where you stand,
    Surrounded, detatched, in measureless oceans of space,
    Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them.
    Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
    Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

    More of the poetry of Walt Whitman

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    on exploitation

    If you come from a wealthy privileged background and your full-time job is making independent movies or off-off Broadway productions YOU CAN AFFORD TO PAY THE ACTORS.

    But exploiters will NEVER run out of reasons why they MUST exploit actors. The best excuse of all time was offered by Edward Einhorn the douchebag who registered an unauthorized derivative copyright based on my play TAM LIN and then used the illegitimate copyright as the basis of a lawsuit against me:
    Well, I think the theory behind it all is that the actors get the glory of having being on stage, which is why they are usually happy to work for free...

    Get that - actors are USUALLY HAPPY to work for free. Not, actors endure working for free. Not actors are actually subsidizing the work of douchebag men who mistakenly believe they have anything of interest to say about anything. "USUALLY HAPPY TO WORK FOR FREE."

    Meanwhile most of the actors that I know - which would be the ones exploited by the likes of Edward Einhorn - are barely getting by. Most of them don't have a trust fund or a wealthy family to fall back on.

    Thursday, July 09, 2009

    Another stop on the literary road trip

    This here is the study that Mark Twain built in his fabulously lavish house in Hartford Ct. I've been there before but it's so much fun I'm going to stop by again.

    Lance Mannion called shotgun for this road trip.

    Wednesday, July 08, 2009

    coming soon...

    Coming soon: literary road trip!

    One of the stops: the Emily Dickinson Museum

    Tuesday, July 07, 2009

    Marvin, Reagan, Bruce & Nancy at the Apollo

    Checking out the Michael Jackson tribute, signing the wall...

    Sunday, July 05, 2009

    the inspiration of the hateful

    It is always a miserable time to deal with hateful people, but once you get away from them, and gain a little perspective, they can be an excellent source of inspiration for various works of art, just like the sonnet says.

    My latest 10-minute play, The Good Women of Morningside was inspired by a recent run-in with a particularly nasty species.

    Saturday, July 04, 2009

    Another varietal character

    Appropriately nicknamed the ‘heartbreak grape’, no other varietal can claim to have simultaneously seduced and rejected as many suitors. The greatest wines made from the vine possess a complexity and beauty that trap consumers and winemakers alike in a lifelong search for its equivalent. Pinot Noir’s character can be hard to qualify. In favorable cool-climate regions, Pinot Noir's youthful character can suggest flavors ranging from red berry fruit to cherries. As Pinot Noir-based wines mature, they rapidly develop strong earthy dimensions, such as forest floor, mushroom, game and violets. Young or old, Pinot Noir’s greatest attribute is a harmonious, even sublime combination of fruit, alcohol, body, acidity and tannin.


    Friday, July 03, 2009

    sauvignon blanc

    I just love sauvignon blanc!
    When treated with respect and afforded suitable growing conditions, it is one of the wine world’s darlings. Dry wines made from this grape are characterized by steely, racy acidity, green, gooseberry fruit, asparagus and a grassy, herbaceous character. It is rarely oaked, except in California, where it has often been subjected to such extreme winemaking as new oak, extended lees contact and malolactic fermentation. Here, it produces a tropical, buttery style of Sauvignon Blanc. However, California producers are increasingly using less oak, to create more naturally expressive wines.

    Thursday, July 02, 2009

    Heavens to Mergatroyd Poetry Quiz

    How well do you know the poetry and poems on Heavens to Mergatroyd?

    Take the Heavens to Mergatroyd Poetry Quiz.