“Meditations” of Marcus Aurelius

Meditations -of Marcus Aurelius

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  • “More than a Review”

“What WERE you thinking?” Such an inquiry arises daily … usually as rhetoric … rarely answered. Fascinatingly, in this compilation of “Meditations,” the question is answered by Emperor Marcus Aurelius. From nearly 2000 years ago, we have his own (translated) words, a penetrating, insightful, recorded litany of what drove the man and who he strove to be.

While ruling the great empire and fighting the northern hordes, Marcus captured his unequivocal ruminations. For this is not a history of battles, or Rome. It is, per the introduction, “… the innermost thoughts of his heart, set down to ease it, with such moral maxims and reflections as may help him to bear the burden of duty …”.

It’s the second century! Yet we have this (direct) personal record of one born in A.D. 121, emperor in 161, dead in 180. This is on par with getting the history of the Second World War in Churchill’s books. But M.A. delivers at-the-moment pondering while W.C. writes in review of actual events (which he could then bias in his favor). Continue reading “Meditations” of Marcus Aurelius

“The Russian Galatea”

The Russian Galatea-by Ira David Wood III

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Brick by brick the story builds. Like other constructs, it was not clear what would rise when the foundation was being laid in the first chapter or two. As author Ira David Wood III shaped The Russian Galatea, it became recognizable as something familiar told from an intriguing point of view.

This is an epic Russian story previously presented on movie screens, in staged shows, and on the written page. Yet, with its own depth and character focus, this tale offers something new. It was a pleasure to read as the mystery grew deeper, the pieces held together, and the structure was completed.
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Lady Gaga Jazz Las Vegas

Summation:
  • This is good. This is strong. This is courageous.
  • This is not epic, not a trend, not a blueprint.
  • This is Gaga … with a little help from friends.
Lady Gaga delivered an installment of her “Jazz and Piano” show at Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, June 9, 2019. For well over two hours, Lady entertained the packed audience and entertained the idea that she could, as she explained from the stage, “carry her own torch” to bring this style of music into the 21st-century limelight. Did she succeed?

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Fiddler On The Roof

Why see it:

  • Exceptional storytelling and entertainment value

Fiddler played its way onto the stage in the DPAC Suntrust Broadway Series as the show following Hamilton, after which “the world will never be the same.” This entrant couldn’t and needn’t be the next great thing. It was the old great story, somewhat re-imagined, fairly familiar, vigorously entertaining, and more than worthy of its place.

The most important element of Fiddler was unambiguous telling of story. The bonuses were that it did so with a terrific orchestra, quite excellent dance, and familiar songs. It was quality entertainment.

The acting effort from the touring production was good. Continue reading Fiddler On The Roof

Justin Timberlake Raleigh

The nail that sticks up gets pounded down, as does the audience for Justin Timberlake’s “Man of the Woods” tour.

The show (not a concert) streaks out of the gate onto a stage backlit with bright lights. The use of lasers was grand — they have been too little used for too long. Immediately the lack of audio clarity and the excess of volume overwhelm any sense of ‘song’ or ‘lyrics;’ this remains true for most of the first of two hours.

This show could better pace the crowd rather than continuing to drive the hammer. There have been concerts at PNC Arena, including Billy Joel, where the audio is clear, the stage is lit, and the crowd is managed by the performer throughout the affair, little of which happened on the sixth of January, 2019.

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Book Review: “The Death of Comedy”

The Death of Comedy -by Robert O’Connell

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Where this book shines most will depend on the individual, but anyone with a funny bone or in need of one will find the light somewhere in these pages. Everyone has their ax to grind, but not everyone knows how to poke you in the ribs with their ax and make you laugh out loud, which this author will accomplish. Continue reading Book Review: “The Death of Comedy”

Rod Stewart Las Vegas

I was drawn into the way-back audio annals to hear Rod Stewart.
Good Knight! Sir Rod is still performing! My friend ‘J’ has a fetish for those she terms “aging British rockers.”

At Las Vegas’ Caesars (is it still a Palace?) for a show billed as “The Hits,” I yearned for Maggie May, Reason To Believe, Stay With Me, (I Know) I’m Losing You, Every Picture Tells A Story, Mandolin Wind, and Twisting The Night Away.

While Maggie may be an essential hit, those others were surprisingly not included in this performance. It would also light my particular fire to have had some Handbags and Gladrags in a Gasoline Alley.

Still, the songs had flair, the night was fun, the arena was filled, the audience was fully participatory, and the festivity of Sin City was brought to bear.

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