Sunday, November 17, 2013

Virginity preserved as "time like months in an unworn sweater wore holes " in a relationship

 In his  terrific book  Gossip,  Joseph Epstein differentiates between the  various ways  gossip  has emerged and  the various ways  it's  retailed  and  can be interpreted.   In  a chapter  on the way gossip has gone public  and  how,  in an  age  of  celebrity  and  "with-it-ness"  (a term to which he devotes a whole  chapter in his equally terrific   Snobbery in America) at any cost,  he  details  how gossip has  gone public.  He  touches on  people  who,  rather than  avoiding being gossiped about,   invite  gossip about themselves --     and even  tell things about themselves most people wouldn't  think of  publicizing.  

A  feature in the  November 17th  New York Times,  "Does My Virginity Have a Shelf Life?"   by  a free lance writer named Amanda MC Cracken is a case in point.    McCrackin  details  why and  how she's held onto her  virginity.  The  35-year-old virgin,  has   nevertheless  had  all manner of   intimate encounters with men (short of  penetration).    Her  self-gossip  piece, which I suppose you could call  a case of  self-gossip   includes  memories of  one  of two men  for whom she came close to taking her  virginity "off the shelf."  The man in the case was a soldier with whom she had an epistolary romance.  She met him once and   they  ""continued to meet and fell in love, but a series of long deployments over a couple of years kept us from having sex."  She further explains it with this simile.

 Distance and time, like moths in an unworn sweater, wore holes in the relationship, until it unraveled.

Mr.  Epstein would also  cite  the paper of  record's   giving space to a more gossipy than newsworthy  item   as  another example  of   how  much   even the most highly reputed newpapers  have  tripped into the  footsteps  of  the  gutter press.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A nifty simile from Beckett's star-cast radio play All That Fall

One  of  the hottest  shows currently in New York  is   All T hat Fall, a 1957 radio play by Samuel Beckett.  Director  Trevor Nunn has managed to persuade the notoriously strict  Beckett estate keepers  to allow him to stage it more visually than  usually.  The  buzz  is  less a case of  the play's the thing  than  the starry leads, Sir  Michael Gambon and Dame Eileen Atkins.   The  bucolic flavor and bawdy  humor  include  this   simile with which Atkins's  Mrs.  Rooney  describes herself.

Oh, let me just flop down flat on the road like a big fat jelly out of a bowl and never move again.

My review of the

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bruce Norris's unDomesticated: adulterer knows female compassion: is "like a Nazi asking sympathy from a roomful of Jews."

 In   Domesticated,  his take  on  the all too familiar story  of   adulterous  politicians,   Pulitzer Prize winning playwright    Bruce Norris  has   the   libidinous  politician  he  invented  justify  his  years  of  cheating on  his  wife   by declaring  the  male species  to  be  naturally inclined to  resist  domestication--  in short,  monogamy.   While   initially  silently repentant,   Jeff Goldblum as  the  disgraced Pol   rips  into his   defense .  However,  he realizes  that  neither his wife or  the female characters  all around him are likely to  sympathize  with his  viewpoint.  He sums this up with, you guessed it,  a  simile. . .
 "For a man to want compassion from women is like a Nazi asking sympathy from a roomful of Jews."

 Here's  a link to   my review of  the play

Monday, November 4, 2013

Spider-Man Tell-All dishes up similistic put-downs

     In  his tell-all memoir, Song Of Spider-man
 In The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History ,  Glen Berger dishes up  some pithy  similistic takes on the show and the main players.   His most caustic  comparison likens  New York Post theater columnist Michael Riedel  to "a parasite-carrying blood-sucking mosquito depositing the larvae of an elephantiasis-causing filarial worm under the skin of our show"

As for his own decision to cut himself loose from Ms. Taymor's  influence and move in a different direct,  Ms. Taymor  likens it to "a masectomy."

 Mark Harris,  who reviewed Berger's  book for  the New York Times  apty  sums it up with a trope, likening it to "a coroner’s report signed, sealed and delivered by one of the parties responsible for the victim’s demise."

Incidentally,   though the show still hasn't  earned back its  huge investment,  it's  still running!

Here's a link  to my review when it finally had its  official opening

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Betrayal's astronomical tkt prices defined by tropes from Snobbery in America

Joseph Epstein,  a prolific  Chicago  essayist and short story writer,  is  one  of  my  recently  discovered  favorite  writers.   While   his books  have nothing  to  do  with   my  main beat, the theater,   a chapter called  "The art of  With-it-ry" from   his  terrific  Snobbery in America   helped me to  explain  the  buzz  that  has  made  the  revival  of Harold Pinter's  Betrayal  the hottest ticket in town.   To see how,   see  In  talking about   another aspect of snobbery -- name  dropping --  Epstein   used  this   pity  simile to   recollect  a   prime  example  among  his acquaintances:
Names came burbling out of  his mouth  like  froth from  champagne

Friday, November 1, 2013

Broadway as a metaphor for a graveyard. . .

 The  latest   big bucks,  celebrity affiliated  musical  headed to Broadway  is  The Last Ship by rock super star Sting who's  well aware that  Broadway  is  not  always  kind even to  shows  with a big name  attached to them.  His  metaphoric  sum-up likend  Broadway to  " a landscape littered with bleached corpses."