The period saw a massive expansion in the production of livestock at the expense of tilling the soil, a trend which affected not only large and aggrandizing graziers but right down the social scale to the very smallest farmers who might breed a few calves or graze a few sheep every year.
This is the basis of the shifting economic and social role of the towns and their shopkeepers in rural society. They became appendages to the farming population; and their main function was to serve its needs.
This was the period in which the repertoire, the style, the instruments, and the characteristic contexts of performance and reception came together to form what we now call traditional music. This was also the age of the mass produced accordion, fiddle, flute and concertina. Paolo Soprani had begun to manufacture diatonic accordions near Ancona Italy inand became known worldwide as manufacturers along with Hohner and Dallape in the s. Developments in the design and production of the concert flute for European orchestras caused the dumping of flutes with outmoded key systems unto second hand musical instrument markets, taken up and adapted by fifers and pipers throughout Ireland and the diaspora.
The vanishing Irish left behind them, in the small towns and countryside, institutions of the state and the church that had consolidated themselves and increased their control over the population that remained. The changing structure of the household and the new secular attitude towards delayed marriage and celibacy and against fecundity manifested itself in a tension between generations over access to the opposite sex and the capital necessary to establish an independent household in the countryside.
Culture moved indoors, where it was kept under watchful eyes. Jordan, Land and Popular Politics, pp. For example dancers of the new sets and twohand dances had necessarily to be in close proximity while simultaneously holding them in such a way as not to breach impropriety.
Music-making and dance, in the form of performance of a solitary musician or singer, or the tight choreography of the set or the solo dance performance on the half door, was, in these spaces, a vehicle for the negotiation for the expressiveness and energy under surveillance. This culture of surveillance also created sub-cultures of music and dance practitioners, sub-cultures that existed within and between families, and in social spaces on the margin of controlled public spaces such as fairs, in between zones of surveillance on the peripheries of parish boundaries, or on the porous borders between the public and the private space in households and licensed premises.
Donnelly, Jr. Hoppen, Elections, Politics, and Society, pp. Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond 50 specific to the Revival era, and not earlier. The open, public, outdoor, character of vernacular music before the Famine became a more privatized affair, confined to semi-public spaces, negotiating with increasingly omniscient and powerful forms of surveillance by strong farmer patriarchs, priests and police.
A new type of musical expression was cultivated in these circumstances, in which the wildness of the outdoor pipers and the fiddlers influenced by them was replaced by a more controlled and repetitive style suited to a more precise dance aesthetic.
Many of the contemporary characteristics of the Irish traditional music — its repetitive rhythmic intensity, its chromatic restraint, its tightly constrained improvisations, the disciplines of unison playing in ensemble — developed out of the multifarious contexts of music-making in the Irish countryside, small towns and the urban ghettoes of the diaspora in this period. These were potent developments, not to be fully unleashed upon the world until the folk revival of the s swept through popular culture on both sides of the Atlantic.
Awareness of the significance and value of this music is not obvious from the public discourse of the time and is perhaps not fully appreciated by Irish cultural historians. Hobsbawm argues that nationalist desire is rooted in the experiences and anxieties of the new urban, literate, creole classes. Neither the peasantry and working classes, who abandoned without remorse local languages that were not useful for getting along in the world, nor the haute-bourgeoisie and aristocracy, were committed to linguistic and literary nationalism though the Anglo-Irish elite appear to have been exceptional.
In academic circles, the appreciation of Irish traditional music has moved from the wine reception to the seminar room, and a fuller understanding of traditional music in the Irish revival is now firmly on the research agenda. Casey and Robert E. Rhodes edsViews of the Irish Peasantry, — Hamden,pp.
There has been no Irish school. However, the examples suggest a difference of opinion that forms a lingering question-mark over past Irish composition. Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond 54 schools have cast a disproportionate shadow over our perception of Irish music of that period? Moreover, what exactly is meant by an Irish school of composition, and how and why is such a concept relevant to our understanding of contemporary Irish musical identity? Perhaps the longevity of the concept is in part due to its ambiguous dual nature, whereby the term is used to refer both to students of the same master and to those who have similar principles and methods.
More importantly, how does the classification of this music affect our appreciation of it? Do contemporary reclassifications of this music have any relevance to current Irish musical identity? In considering these questions, this chapter will argue that the presence or absence of earlier schools of Irish composition is not simply a fact of history, but is a vital part of the chronology of music in Ireland.
This is not to say that composers necessarily build on the music of their predecessors. Throughout history, new movements have tended to react against existing musical traditions.
Yet if earlier twentieth-century Irish music is ignored, contemporary composers are denied part of the tradition that is the prerogative of new generations to challenge. When, inthe composer Frank Corcoran b. Whereas the idea of a school might imply a rigid compartmentalization, separating one generation of composers from the next, this chapter will proffer the idea of the school as a porous, even fluid framework in which to consider Irish composition.
The complexities of early twentieth-century Irish history mean that some composers from this period could belong to more than one school at different stages of their career, perhaps in more than one country. This chapter focuses on art music during the first half of the twentieth century, when ideas about a national school of Irish music were the cause of much debate.
I do not attempt to bring to the fore under-represented Irish composers of the earlier twentieth century. Valuable work in this area has already been done by scholars including Axel Klein and Joseph Ryan. Irish Musical Studies 7 Dublin,pp. Hill ed. However, the focus of this chapter is to examine such opinions within their historical setting, in order to ascertain their relevance within the chronology of Irish composition.
This chapter does not attempt to classify Irish composers according to their school, but rather to suggest the possibility of using the school model as a means to consider links between composers both within Ireland and further afield. The first section of the chapter focuses on the development of the national school idea, considering the rise of Romanticism in relation to concepts of musical identity. A few brief examples of national school debates from continental Europe are included, to locate the Irish debate within a wider context.
As a result, the complex musical relationships between the two countries before and immediately after the foundation of the Free State provide interesting material to compare and contrast. A brief consideration of later twentieth-century and contemporary composition will lead to some conclusions.
The Development of the National School Origins The longevity of the Irish school idea might obscure its origin in European intellectual thought of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Irish Musical Studies 9 Dublin,pp. Across Europe, nationalism engendered a revival of interest in folk music, language and culture in areas that had hitherto been dominated by colonial powers. National Schools in Early Twentieth Century Europe Publications from the first half of the twentieth century suggest that throughout Europe, localized artistic movements were seen as indicators of renewed national consciousness.
Indeed, the discussion of national traits in the arts might almost seem like an attempt to vindicate the independence of aspiring nations, as Schoenberg wryly observed in Indeed, through her work as a composer, folksong collector, writer on music and university lecturer, she appears ideally placed to have advanced such a cause.
In England, the writer, folksong collector and editor Cecil Sharp — expressed a similar philosophy of national music. Leonard Stein, trans. Leo Black London,p. Yet if national music was a pressing concern in small nations, it was also important in larger populations in which a multinational, imperial identity had appeared to subsume regional differences. In this respect, the anticipated Irish and British schools of composition might be seen as complementary answers to the same basic question of how to reinvigorate an autonomous artistic identity.
In the context of early twentieth-century Britain, Dibble proposed that the threat of the First World War stimulated English nationalism. This led to a rejection of the old-fashioned Victorian and Edwardian values of Parry —Stanford — and Elgar — National Schools and the Folk Music Revival As critics and composers on both sides of the Irish I Found Somebody - Bluespumpm - Village (Vinyl sought to redefine musical identity, it became necessary to find distinctive musical elements from which to build new, national music, and writings by figures such as Patterson and Sharp appear to reflect general opinions regarding the fundamental importance of folksong.
Benjamin Suchoff London,p. Pring, The Musical Quarterly 15 : — While critics seemed unanimous in praising the riches of Irish folk music, many were perhaps oblivious to English folk music. Yet in Ireland, published collections of Irish folk music had existed since the late eighteenth century. The widespread appreciation of the material in these Irish collections might imply a clear advantage in the development of a national school inspired by folk music.
So what became of the grandiose school of which Grattan Flood had expressed such fervent hopes? The National Schools of Music in Early Twentieth-Century Britain and Ireland In Britain and Ireland, some critics blamed the inadequacies of musical life on the legacy of foreign aristocracy in both countries.
Despite the obvious political differences between Britain and Ireland, the similar tone of some musical debate is perhaps unsurprising at a time when both countries were redefining their identity in the wake of changing political situations. Yet in Ireland, the notion of a borrowed culture of art music has persisted, in some circles, until the present day. Evidently certain Irish critics viewed the folksong revival as the culmination of a new, Irish musical identity.
The record of earlier twentieth-century Irish composition and performance is often concealed by the significant obstacles to music during these years. The complex roots of this situation have been traced back to various historical factors including the Act of Union, the preponderance of amateur rather than professional music-making and centuries of oppression of the Roman Catholic majority. With a direct sense of urgency, composers like Aloys Fleischmann —92 bemoaned what he saw as the almost negligible amount of musical activity in Ireland.
Indeed, the two articles mentioned above give little or no indication that their authors were composers. The fact that such prominent composers eschewed self-promotion in favour of higher ideals is commendable. Yet their apparent reticence in what has become such a high-profile debate, combined with the limited performance and recording of their works, might have facilitated their marginalization from the history of Irish composition.
Surprisingly, there was a greater similarity between British and Irish perceptions of musical life of this period than we might suppose. For example, inthe critic W.
Evidently the idea of the English pastoral school developed over time, as works gained in popularity through performance. The limited resources for the repeated performance and broadcast of earlier twentieth-century Irish works perhaps prevented such works from being accepted as part of a canon of Irish school compositions.
Boydell and May are often noted for their engagement with central-European musical styles. This would suggest a certain similarity of aims and working methods, which was earlier defined as one of the possible criteria for a school.
Although two composers are perhaps not enough to constitute a conventional picture of a musical movement, their legacy surely deserves consideration.
Complexities of Early Twentieth-Century Irish Musical Identity A key barrier to the widespread recognition of an Irish school of composers was undoubtedly the complexity of Irish identity during the first half of the twentieth century. Interestingly, Stanford was a vicepresident of the Irish Folk-Song Society, and he emphasized the role of folk music in creating a national style.
Moreover, composers such as Bax have been located in both groups. If the music of the Celtic Twilight sometimes appeared un-Irish because of its affinity with the English pastoral school, the converse was seemingly not the case. Moreover, the pastoral school came to be regarded as the aesthetic of Englishness. Whereas some British and Irish critics of the early twentieth century had seemed united in their gloomy appraisals of music in their respective countries, opinions had diverged by the s.
Some Irish critics now drew attention to the possible role models afforded by British and Continental composers. Evidently developments such as the foundation of a permanent orchestra in Dublin were welcome improvements. Yet the strident views of leading composers, combined with the limited performance opportunities for their works, could easily give the impression that little was composed during these years. Music in Ireland: A Symposium Cork,pp. Irish Musical Studies 3 Dublin,pp.
The rediscovery and performance of forgotten or unperformed works might yet engender a change in the way that earlier twentieth-century Irish music is perceived. More importantly, a reluctance to classify these composers as a school might simply arise from the fact that much of their music remains poorly known.
However, the example of Vaughan Williams raises further questions. Could a similar re-evaluation be applied to John Larchet? Larchet was not a great composer when measured by international recognition, numbers of published scores or recordings. Selected Proceedings: Part One. Irish Musical Studies 4 Dublin,pp. So can it really be said that Larchet did not establish a school of Irish composition? A similar re-evaluation could be applied to other teachers of composition in Ireland.
Consider the example of James Wilson —the English-born composer who taught at the Royal Irish Academy of Music from untilwhose many pupils included John Buckley b. Although the aforementioned composers can be grouped according to their mentors, such classifications do not entirely answer the question of whether or not there have been earlier twentieth-century Irish schools of composition.
The definition of a school, cited at the beginning of the chapter, referred to similar principles and working methods. Yet several of the composers listed above developed along quite different lines, despite having studied with the same teachers.
Moreover, Larchet was not the only teacher of these three composers, all of whom also spent time studying abroad. Yet movements in composition need not be defined by ideas of continuity.
Indeed, new musical developments are often characterized by a break from the immediate past. Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond 66 immediately preceding centuries, focusing instead on medieval and renaissance music as in the wind sextet Alma Redemptoris Mater inwhich draws on a motet of the same name by John Dunstable c.
The example of Maxwell Davies illustrates continuity in music, although it is continuity with a much earlier past. Similarly, the Irish composer Gerald Barry b. In reference to British composers such as Maxwell Davies and Benjamin Britten —76both of whom have found inspiration in music from before the Romantic age, the Irish composer Raymond Deane b. Indeed, Deane argued that twentieth-century Irish classical music was not an independent force as long as composers attempted to ally themselves with historical continuities.
Among the younger generation of Irish composers, this approach is shown in the work of Ed Bennett b. Such influences are also present in the music of British composers, including Tansy Davies b. There appears little relationship between the music of these composers and that of the earlier twentieth century Irish and British schools.
Yet the idea of a school is not simply about relationships from one generation to the next. Conclusion It is evident that questions of identity have prolonged debates regarding Irish schools of composition and their place within the history of music in Ireland.
Yet the classification of composers according to different schools has been and remains subject to the changing opinions of those who write about music. Clearly it has been difficult to categorize some early twentieth-century Irish composers. Yet orientation towards England, together with emigration, were arguably influential aspects of Irish identity before independence ended the union with Britain. Evidently there were difficulties in developing a healthy infrastructure for composition during the early twentieth century.
Moreover, the compositions of this period covered a spectrum of style and quality. When faced with the complexities surrounding the history of I Found Somebody - Bluespumpm - Village (Vinyl in Ireland, the composer might question the relevance of this history to the vitality of contemporary Irish composition.
However, such a view is ultimately unsatisfactory, both for Irish composers and for the wider world. Perhaps the vibrancy of contemporary Irish composition is partly due to its decisive break with aspects of earlier twentieth-century music. However, while many writers on Bax and Moeran refer in some way to their Irish connections, such discussions have tended to be cursory, and often insufficiently supported.
It may be that here we have a further evidence of the Irish strain in him: the Irishman is never strongly committed to logic. Bacharach ed. Laurence ed. In discussions of Bax and Moeran within a British context, if an Irish influence is mentioned at all, it is almost invariably cursory, with no real exploration of the relevant issues. Discussions by Irish commentators, meanwhile, have been few, and have focussed to a large degree on the national identity of the composers and their music, to the exclusion of almost all other issues, and the evident desire simply to either claim them as Irish or disqualify them from such an identity has tended to preclude more considered approaches.
It is my intention to explore some of the complexities in greater detail. Let us begin by considering their first experiences of and initial responses to Ireland. Irish Musical Studies 3 Dublin, The call for papers for the Music and Identity in Ireland symposium December for which this chapter was originally produced is a further example, suggesting both subject and title.
Farewell my youth! Donegal, and Cork throughout the rest of his life remained, but the influence Bax perceived Ireland to have on him, and, significantly, on his music, gradually declined.
Before Ireland and its myths elicited from Bax a musical response, he began writing poems and stories on Irish subjects; his last direct and intense engagement with Ireland was again literary: the autobiography quoted from above. He was not, however, oblivious to musical stimuli, and he quickly developed an interest in Irish folksong, an interest reflected in his music from the period.
The music of Vaughan Williams had fully revealed to Moeran the potential of folksong as a stimulus for composition in the winter of —14, during his brief period of study under Stanford at the Royal College of Music, and it seems likely that Stanford would have encouraged his enthusiasm.
The outbreak of war, however, curtailed his opportunities to pursue an active interest in folksong, as Moeran soon enlisted. After being severely injured in France inMoeran was stationed in Boyle, Co. Roscommon he was later stationed in Castlebar, Co.
Mayo and Randalstown, Co. Musically the two composers reacted to folksong in a similar manner, finding in it a means of forging a more personal style, and distancing themselves from the established, largely outmoded continental practices of their apprenticeships.
Some of the principal contrasts in outlook are also immediately apparent, however. His interest in specifically Irish folksong may thus be understood to have had a mainly personal significance that is, as an expression of cultural identificationrather than being a fundamental influence on his musical language. Moeran London,p. Moeran 73 volume of poetry which was banned by the censor. And the enlightened policy of the military is doing about as much to quench the now-no-longer-merely-smouldering fire of discontent, as a tin of petrol thrown on a burning haystack!
The Easter Rising elicited a strong emotional response from Bax; it seems to have affected him more directly than the First World War. The increasingly potent influence of Russian music is surely also significant.
Moeran, p. Moeran — an Irish Composer? The Violin Concerto and unfinished Second Symphony are particularly striking examples, while the intervening Sinfoniettafor instance, appears to be entirely unconnected with Ireland.
Given the circumstances of his first visit to Ireland, it seems likely that Moeran associated Ireland with peace — an escape from the horrors of war. His retreat to Ireland to rework and complete his Symphony in G minor in the mid s was similarly something of an escape, to a place in which he could live and work in peace and quiet, a new start after the troubled years at Eynsford where he shared a cottage with Philip Heseltineduring which his output dwindled alarmingly.
Following this unproductive period, the restoration of his creative impulses was marked by the composition of the concise and accomplished Sonata for Two Violins and String Triopreceded by the Seven Poems of James Joyce and Rosefrail also Joyce of The Symphony in G minor completed in initiated a series of mature, substantial orchestral works, many of which were closely associated with Ireland.
For a discussion of the significance of local inspiration on Moeran, and its effect on his music, see F. If Moeran was merely being opportunistic, his rebuff of Bax seems uncharacteristically ungracious. This is often a complicated issue in cases where separate national influences interact, or where there is some sort of mixed heredity, whether it is conceived culturally or ethnically; consider such cases as Charles Villiers Stanford, Hamilton Harty, Howard Ferguson and Frederick May.
See n. Moeran, by his Irish ancestry and prolonged residence in Ireland, perhaps has some claim to Irish nationality he would, for instance, be eligible for the national soccer team ,26 but he appears to have had limited interest in politics and did not participate in debates about Irish culture, art or music; and his works do not consistently articulate an Irish identity.
This striving could furthermore be equated with the escapist tendencies identified by de Barra. Moeran 77 manifestations of an exoticist approach is, however, unfair, since these elements are both sincere and at least potentially artistically valid. Bax applied an approach similar to that found in his writings, thereby articulating Irish cultural ideals, which he combined with a sincere interest in Irish folk music.
That this music could be claimed as Irish at will by figures such as Pearce and Larchet, see below points again to the absence of a conflicting, established type of Irish composition, although both composers could perhaps be seen as developing a precedent set by Stanford and Harty, however much such an interpretation would have pained Bax. The two composers, like their music, were on occasion subject to appropriation as Irishmen by Irish commentators.
The English style that developed during the early twentieth century and with which both Bax and Moeran are closely associated — Moeran in particular is often cited as a typical example of English pastoralism is defined by numerous factors, of which English folksong is but one.
Moeran, London,p. Moeran 79 with, simultaneously, the originality and authenticity it engendered. Instead of engaging with a distinctly Irish tradition of composition, Bax and Moeran applied largely the same standards and procedures that otherwise made their music English.
Fleischmann recognized in the English musical renaissance a possible model for the development of an Irish school of composition, and much music by Irish composers of the period seems to follow English I Found Somebody - Bluespumpm - Village (Vinyl, particularly in the use of folksong. Music in Ireland — Cork, His somewhat narrow — one might say blinkered — view of Ireland may then be understood as a psychological necessity, providing a suitable place to create. Moeran did, however, perceive the two countries to have markedly different effects on him, particularly in terms of inspiration.
It is significant that the works Moeran associated most strongly with Ireland, the Violin Concerto, Rhapsody in F and the Cello Concerto and Sonataare also among the most individual, synthesizing disparate elements into a personal musical language, couched in individual forms. The reasons for the failure of such a figure to appear have been widely debated, and it is easy to see why Stanford, Bax and Moeran all for very different reasons were unsuited to such a role.
To conclude, I would like to propose an alternative approach to the Irish identity of this music. Moeran 81 predecessors such as Stanford and Esposito, and contemporaries such as Harty and Fleischmann. Yet all four are major figures in Irish music with a lasting influence on music in Ireland.
While it is difficult to disentangle apparently Irish elements in a comparison, the music of Bax and Moeran relates in many ways to the music of these and other, more or less Irish composers. The difference is that such a strain of Irishness has traditionally been a matter for debate, while comparable concepts of Czechness and Englishness are now taken for granted.
This chapter focuses on the composer Frederick May —85who is acknowledged as a key figure in the history of art music in Ireland in the twentieth century. Despite this there has I Found Somebody - Bluespumpm - Village (Vinyl no serious biographical study to date and commentary on his music has generally been relatively facile. This study is neither a new biographical study of May, nor will it analyse in detail any of the music. In his Scherzo for orchestra was performed in London, as a result of which he won a travelling scholarship.
There are some slight variations between these, particularly as regards dates and these will be examined later. Klein, Die Musik Irlands, p. His last original work was an orchestral piece written in entitled Sunlight and Shadow. May as Modernist Every discipline needs its icons and also its history. The growth of musicological study in Ireland is still a relatively recent phenomenon while the serious study of Irish art music is even more recent. Whereas mainstream musicology has tended to move away from grand narrative histories and establishment of canons as a reaction to previous generations of scholarship, in Ireland these fundamental tasks had never actually happened.
Turning to the section on music one might expect a similar ambivalence to that found in the other non-literary arts, particularly considering the fact that application of techniques associated with the European avant-garde tended to be tokenistic and lagged far behind even Britain in terms of when they appear, but instead we find a swaggering appropriation of the modernist mantle: Frederick May was the first Irish composer to take the principles of Schoenberg seriously and write within the idiom of European modernism … Though Berg died prior to his arrival inMay remained in Vienna as a student of Egon Wellesz, consolidating his commitment to a modernist aesthetic.
The immediate result of these formative experiences was his String Quartet in C minor … completed on his return to Dublin inwhich sustains over three almostself-contained sections an original voice balancing in its mood and construction Viennese atonality and serialism with pastoral elements and their associated images of loss and withdrawal.
Philip Graydon, for example, isolated May, with Brian Boydell and Aloys Fleischmann as the first modernists with May playing the role of pioneer of Irish musical modernism. The distance Boydell and Fleischmann had in reality from the European modernist movement can be gauged by their allegiances. Fleischmann travelled to Germany hoping to study with Hans Pfitzner, best known today for his stridently anti-modernist writings. His later works are more clearly related to the English school of his teacher Vaughan Williams and other English composers such as Delius, Bridge or Warlock, none of them recognized modernists.
Axel Klein resolves this by conjuring a paradoxical figure whose most profound influences are demonstrated in his minor compositions, while the less important influences pervade his major works: May was … one of the first Irish composers to be influenced by the Vaughan Williams school of thought.
Certainly I think this influence was stronger than his other major influence, the later study with Egon Wellesz in Vienna. This remains his most avant-garde achievement. After the spell in Vienna, May underwent an ascetic renunciation of the most extreme technical innovations and while his subsequent compositions are modernistic none is as determinedly so as is the String Quartet.
In reality there is nothing in the work to suggest any detailed knowledge of the serial technique, the opening passage being merely 88 Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond Of course this theory relies on two crucial ideas; the first, that May, a budding modernist, travelled to Vienna to become acquainted with the dark art of serialism, and the second that the quartet was written inbefore he studied with Wellesz.
There seemed to be no room in their work for anything joyful like the coming of spring. I have great respect for Vaughan Williams because he made such a great effort to rescue English music from the domination of Wagner and his ilk. To deal with the second point first, the date of composition of the quartet has been debated by a number of commentators.
The rest of the work retains a sense of tonal rootedness throughout and contains no aural traces of contemporary Viennese modernism. Inventing Identities 89 was composed first. While one can debate this point in several directions, the first idea is more critical. However, the question here is not why did a man with strong allegiances to Vaughan Williams, whose music demonstrates no particular leaning towards the avant-garde, wish to study with Berg, but rather what evidence there is that May ever intended using his scholarship to study with Berg and that his period with Wellesz was an unfortunate result of circumstances.
The Berg scholarship story appears in a number of journalistic commentaries, including the preamble to the article by Kent quoted above.
May studied at the Royal College of Music from September until sometime in Morris and Gordon Jacob. He also studied piano with 20 90 Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond Scholarship inthe latter award being announced in the Musical Times of October They lived up to their romantic designation, being warm with impulse and diffuse in composition.
Reed and Aylmer Buesst. Inventing Identities 91 as often, he would not have been unknown in London circles. In he was invited to England by Sir Hugh Allen where he received an honorary doctorate for his compositions from Oxford University; as well as being a member of the university faculty, Allen was director of the Royal College of Music.
More pertinently, an interesting pattern emerges when one examines the careers of other Vaughan Williams pupils who won the Octavia Scholarship. A sea gull swooped in out of the snow's sky, circled, lit on the spar a foot from Profane's hand.
Sea gull didn't answer. Paola had disappeared. All at once things erupted. There was a siren, two, out in the street.
Cars came roaring on to the pier, gray Chevys with U. Navy written on the sides. Spotlights came on, little men in white hats and black-and-yellow SP armbands milled around on the pier. Three alert revelers ran along the port side, throwing gangplanks into the water. A sound truck joined the vehicles on the dock, whose number was growing almost to a full-sized motor pool. The admiral's wife started shrieking about how it was her husband, caught up with her at last.
Two or three spotlights pinned them where they lay in burning sinPig trying to get the thirteen buttons on his blues into the right buttonholes, which is nearly impossible when you're in a hurry. Cheers and laughter from the pier. Some of the SP's were coming across rat-fashion on the mooring lines. ExScaffold sailors, roused from sleep below decks, came stumbling up the ladders while Dewey yelled, "Now stand by to repel boarders," and waved his guitar like a cutlass.
Profane watched it all and half-worried about Paola. He looked for her but the spotlights kept moving around, screwing up the illumination on the main deck. It started to snow again. The motor pool on the pier was augmented by a cattle car, which is Navy for paddy wagon or Black Maria. The SP left him where he was. It would take six men to move him. The sea bird, bored with all this, took off in the direction of N.
Maybe, Profane thought, God is supposed to be more positive, instead of throwing thunderbolts all the time. Carefully he pointed a finger. Sing them that Algerian pacifist song. Profane flopped over on his back, blinking up into the snow.
He put the hat over his face, closed his eyes. And soon was asleep. Noise below diminished. Bodies were carried off, stacked in the cattle car. The sound truck, after several bursts of feedback noise, was switched off and driven away. Spotlights went out, sirens dopplered away in the direction off shore patrol headquarters. Profane woke up early in the morning, covered with a thin layer of snow and feeling the onset of a bad cold.
He blundered down the ladder's ice-covered rungs, slipping about every other step. The ship was deserted. He headed below decks to get warm. Again, he was in the guts of something inanimate. Noise a few decks below: night watchman, most likely. He spotted a mousetrap on deck, picked it up carefully and heaved it down the passageway. It hit a bulkhead and went off with a loud SNAP. Sound of the footsteps quit abruptly. Then started again, more cautious, moved under Profane and up a ladder, toward where the mousetrap lay.
He sneaked around a corner, found another mousetrap and dropped it down a companionway. Footsteps went pattering back down the ladder. Four mousetraps later, Profane found himself in the galley, where the watchman had set up a primitive coffee mess.
Figuring the watchman would be confused for a few minutes, Profane set a pot of water to boil on the hotplate. He sneaky-Peted out of the galley and went looking for more mousetraps. He found one up on the next deck, stepped outside, lobbed it up in an invisible arc. If nothing else he was saving mice. There was a muffed snap and a scream from above. He threw a handful of grounds into the boiling water and slipped out the other side, nearly running into the night watchman who was stalking along with a mousetrap hanging off his left sleeve.
It was close enough so Profane could see the patient, martyred look on this watchman's face. Watchman entered the galley and Profane was off.
He made it up three decks before he heard the bellowing from the galley. Who'd be sailing off to Italy in this thing? Chairmen of the board, movie stars, deported racketeers, maybe. More than any paid passenger would ever do for her. He moseyed along the passageway, collecting mousetraps. Outside the galley again he started throwing them in all directions.
I'm drinking your coffee. Profane absently hefted his one remaining mousetrap. It went off, catching three fingers between the first and second knuckles. What do I do, he wondered, scream? The night watchman was laughing hard enough as it was. Setting his teeth Profane unpried the trap from his hand, reset it, tossed it through a porthole to the galley and fled.
He reached the pier and got a snowball in the back of the head, which knocked off the cowboy hat. He stooped to get the hat and thought about returning the shot. He kept running. Paola was at the ferry, waiting. She took his arm as they went on board. All he said was: "We ever going to get off this ferry? Cold was turning the mousetrap injury numb. Wind had started up, coming in from Norfolk. This crossing they stayed inside.
Rachel caught up with him in the bus station in Norfolk. He sat slouched next to Paola on a wooden bench worn pallid and greasy with a generation of random duffs, two one-way tickets for New York, New York tucked inside the cowboy hat.
He had his eyes closed, he was trying to sleep. He had just begun to drift off when the paging system called his name. He knew immediately, even before he was fully awake, who it must be. Just a hunch. He had been thinking about her. New Year's night. Where he was there was only an old clock to tell the time. And a dozen homeless, slouched on wooden bench, trying to sleep. Waiting for a long-haul bus run neither by Greyhound nor Trailways. He watched them and let her talk. She was saying, "Come home.
A hollow, twanging sound dragged across the floor toward him. Dewey Gland, morose and all bones, trailed his guitar behind him. Profane interrupted her gently. Eels in the ocean, eels in the sea, a redheaded woman made a fool of me.
Rachel's hair was red, veined with premature gray, so long she could take it in back with one hand, lift it above her head and let it fall forward over her long eyes. Which for a girl 4'10" in stocking feet is a ridiculous gesture; or should be. He felt that invisible, umbilical string tug at his midsection. He thought of long fingers, through which, maybe, he might catch sight of the blue sky, once in a while. And it looks like I'm never going to cease. The girl at the Information desk was frowning.
Big-boned, motley complexion: girl from out of town somewhere, whose eyes dreamed of grinning Buick grilles, Friday night shuffleboard at some roadhouse. He moved his chin across the mouthpiece, making grating sounds with a three-day growth. He thought that all the way up north, along a mile length of underground phone cable, there must be earthworms, blind trollfolk, listening in. Trolls know a lot of magic: could they change words, do vocal imitations?
Behind her he heard somebody barfing and those who watched laughing, hysterically. Jazz on the record player. He wanted to say, God, the things we want. He said: "How is the party. They lived half their time in a bar on the lower West Side called the Rusty Spoon.
He thought of the Sailor's Grave and could not see much difference. It worried him. But she might be faking. That phony, Greenwich Village way to avoid saying good-bye.
He hung up. The point furthest from the sun is called aphelion. The point furthest from the yo-yo hand is called, by analogy, apocheir. Profane and Paola left for New York that night. Dewey Gland went back to the ship and Profane never saw him again. Pig had taken off on the Harley, destination unknown. On the Greyhound were one young couple who would, come sleep for the other passengers, make it in a rear seat; one pencil-sharpener salesman who had seen every territory in the country and could give you interesting information on any city, no matter which one you happened to be heading for; and four infants, each with an incompetent mother, scattered at strategic locations throughout the bus, who babbled, cooed, vomited, practiced selfasphyxia, drooled.
At least one managed to be screaming all through the twelve-hour trip. About the time they hit Maryland, Profane decided to get it over with. She nodded. She'll put you on to a job, find you a place to stay.
Don't ask me if we're in love. The word doesn't mean anything. Here's her address. At the 34th Street station, in New York, he gave her a brief salute. But I hope not. It's complicated. That's the trouble. There's nothing you - I - can tell her she doesn't know.
He came into town at the tag-end of a spell of false spring, found a mattress at a downtown flophouse called Our Home, and a newspaper at an uptown kiosk; roar around the streets late that night studying the classified streetlight.
As usual nobody wanted him in particular. If anybody had been around to remember him they would have noticed right off that Profane hadn't changed. Still great amoebalike boy, soft and fat, hair cropped close and growing in patches, eyes small like a pig's and set too far apart.
Road work had done nothing to improve the outward Profane, or the inward one either. Though the street by claimed a big fraction of Profane's age, it and he remained strangers in every way. Streets roads, circles, square places, prospects had taught him nothing: he couldn't work a transit, crane, payloader, couldn't lay bricks, stretch a tape right, hold an elevation rod still, hadn't even learned to drive a car. He walked; walked, he thought sometimes, the aisles of a bright, gigantic supermarket, his only function to want.
One morning Profane woke up early, couldn't get back sleep and decided on a whim to spend the day like a yo-yo, shuttling on the subway back and forth underneath 42nd Street, from Times Square to Grand Central and vice versa. He made his way to the washroom of Our Home, tripping over two empty mattresses on route. Cut himself shaving, had trouble extracting the blade and gashed a finger.
He took a shower to get rid of the blood. The handles wouldn't turn. When he finally found a shower that worked, the water came out hot and cold in random patterns. He danced around, yowling and shivering, slipped on a bar of soap and nearly broke his neck. Drying off, he ripped a frayed towel in half, rendering it useless.
He put on his skivvy shirt backwards, took ten minutes getting his fly zipped and other fifteen repairing a shoelace which had broken as was tying it. All the rests of his morning songs were silent cuss words. It wasn't that he was tired or even notably uncoordinated. Only something that, being a schiemihl he'd known for years: inanimate objects and he could not live in peace.
Profane took a Lexington Avenue local up to Grand Central. As it happened, the subway car he got into was filled with all manner of ravishingly gorgeous knockouts: secretaries on route to work and jailbait to school.
It was too much, too much. Profane hung on the handgrip, weak. He was visited on a lunar basis by these great unspecific waves of horniness, whereby all women within a certain age group and figure envelope became immediately and impossibly desirable. He emerged from these spells with eyeballs still oscillating and a wish that his neck could rotate through the full degrees.
The shuttle after morning rush hour is near empty, like a littered beach after tourists have all gone home. In the hours between nine and noon the permanent residents come creeping back up their strand, shy and tentative. Since sunup all manner of affluent have filled the limits of that world with a sense of summer and life; now sleeping bums and old ladies on relief, who have been there all along unnoticed, re-establish a kind of property right, and the coming on of a falling season.
On his eleventh or twelfth transit Profane fell asleep and dreamed. They had this act, which was for money even though they knew that the subway on weekday mornings, no es bueno for dancing and bongos. Jose carried around a coffee can which upside down served to rattle off their raving merengues or baions on, and hollow side up to receive from an appreciative audience pennies, transit tokens, chewing gum, spit.
Profane blinked awake and watched them, jazzing around, doing handsprings, aping courtship. They swung from the handle-grips, shimmied up the poles; Tolito tossing Kook the seven-year-old about the car like a beanbag and behind it all, clobbering polyrhythmic to the racketing of the shuttle, Jose on his tin drum, forearms and hands vibrating out beyond the persistence of vision, and a tireless smile across his teeth wide as the West Side.
They passed the can as the train was pulling into Times Square. Profane closed his eyes before they got to him. They sat on the seat opposite, counting the take, feet dangling. Kook was in the middle, the other two were trying to push him on the floor. Two teen-age boys from their neighborhood entered the car: black chinos, black shirts, black gang jack with PLAYBOYS lettered in dripping red on the back.
Abruptly all motion among the three on the seat stopped. They held each other, staring wide-eyed. Kook, the baby, could hold nothing in. Profane's eyes came open. Heeltaps of older boys moved past, aloof and staccato to the next car. Tolito put his hand on Kook's head, trying to squash him down through the floor, out of sight.
Kook slipped away. The doors closed, the shuttle started off again for Grand Central. The three turned their attention to Profane. Profane watched him, half-cautious. He put the coffee can absently on his head, where it slipped down over his ears.
They came back as the train was starting off again from Grand Central, "See," Jose said. Profane scratched his stomach. He looked at the floor. The subway pulled in to Times Square, disgorged passengers, took more on, shut up its doors and shrieked away down the tunnel.
Another shuttle came in, on a different track. Bodies milled in the brown light, a loudspeaker announced shuttles. It was lunch hour. The subway station began to buzz, fill with human noise and motion. Tourists were coming back in droves.
Another train arrived, opened, closed, was gone. The press on the wooden platforms grew, along with an air of discomfort, hunger, uneasy bladders, suffocation. The first shuttle returned. Among the crowd that squeezed inside this time was young girl wearing a black coat, her hair hanging long outside it. She searched four cars before she found Kook, sitting next to Profane, watching him.
Profane was asleep, lying diagonal on the seat. An this dream, he was all alone, as usual. Walking on a street at night where there was nothing but his own field of vision alive. It had to be night on that street. The lights gleamed unflickering on hydrants; manhole covers which lay around in the street. There were neon signs scattered here and there, spelling out words he wouldn't remember when woke.
Somehow it was all tied up with a story he'd heard once, about a boy born with a golden screw where his navel should have been. For twenty years he consults doctors and specialists all over the world, trying to get rid of this screw, and having no success. Finally, in Haiti, he runs into a voodoo doctor who gives him a foul-smelling potion. He drinks it, goes to sleep and has a dream. In this dream he finds himself on a street, lit by green lamps.
Following the witch-man's instructions, he takes two rights and a left from his point of origin, finds a tree growing by the seventh street light, hung all over with colored balloons. On the fourth limb from the top there is a red balloon; he breaks it and inside is a screwdriver with a yellow plastic handle. With the screwdriver he removes the screw from his stomach, and as soon as this happens he wakes from the dream. It is morning. He looks down toward his navel, the screw is gone.
That twenty years' curse is lifted at last. Delirious with joy, he leaps up out of bed, and his ass falls off. To Profane, alone in the street, it would always seem maybe he was looking for something too to make the fact of his own disassembly plausible as that of any machine.
It was always at this point that the fear started: here that it would turn into a nightmare. Because now, if he kept going down that street, not only his ass but also his arms, legs, sponge brain and clock of a heart must be left behind to litter the pavement, be scattered among manhole covers. Was it home, the mercury-lit street? Was he returning like the elephant to his graveyard, to lie down and soon become ivory in whose bulk slept, latent, exquisite shapes of chessmen, backscratchers, hollow openwork Chinese spheres nested one inside the other?
This was all there was to dream; all there ever was: the Street. Soon he woke, having found no screwdriver, no key. Woke to a girl's face, near his own. Kook stood in the background, feet braced apart, head hanging. From two cars away, riding above the racketing of the subway over points, came the metallic rattle of Tolito on the coffee can.
Her face was young, soft. She had a brown mole on one cheek. She'd been talking to him before his eyes were open. She wanted him to come home with her. Her name was Josefina Mendoza, she was Kook's sister, she lived uptown. She must help him. He had no idea what was happening. The train was heading toward Times Square, crowded. Two old ladies who had been shopping at Bloomingdale's stood glaring hostile at them from up the car.
Fina started to cry. The other kids came charging back in, singing. He didn't know who he was asking. He'd awakened loving every woman in the city, wanting them all: here was one who wanted to take him home.
The shuttle pulled into Times Square, the doors flew open. In a swoop, only half aware of what he was doing, he gathered Kook in one arm and ran out the door: Fina, with tropical birds peeking from her green dress whenever the black coat flew open, followed, hands joined with Tolito and Jose in a line. They ran through the station, beneath a chain of green lights, Profane loping unathletic into trash cans and Coke machines.
Kook broke away and tore broken-field through the noon crowd. Down the stairs, over to the uptown local, a train was waiting, Fina and the kids got in; as Profane started through the doors closed on him, squeezing him in the middle.
Fina's eyes went wide like her brother's. With a frightened little cry she took Profane's hand and tugged, and a miracle happened. The doors opened again. She gathered him inside, into her quiet field of force. He knew all at once: here, for the time being, Profane the schlemihl can move nimble and sure. All the way home Kook sang Tienes Mi Corazon, a love song he had heard once in a movie. They lived uptown in the 80's, between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway.
Fina, Kook, mother, father, and another brother named Angel. Sometimes Angel's friend Geronimo would come over and sleep on the kitchen floor. The old man was on relief. The mother fell in love with Profane immediately.
They gave him the bathtub. Next day Kook found him sleeping there and turned on the cold water. In the front room he tripped over Angel and Geronimo, who were lying there drinking wine and talking about the girls they would watch that day in Riverside Park. Kook escaped, laughing and screaming "Luis Aparicio. A few hours later, they all came reeling down the steps of the old brownstone, horribly drunk.
Angel and Geronimo were arguing about whether it was too cold for girls to be the park. They walked west in the middle of the street.
The sky was overcast and dismal. Profane kept bumping into cars. At the corner they invaded a hot dog stand and drank a pina colada to sober up. It did no good. They made it to Riverside Drive, where Geronimo collapsed. Profane and Angel picked him up and ran across the street with him held like a battering ram, down a hill and into the park. Profane tripped over a rock and the three of them went flying.
They lay on the frozen grass while a bunch of kids in fat wool coats ran back and forth over them, playing pitch and catch with a bright yellow beanbag. Geronimo started to sing. Young, with long hair that danced and shimmered against the collar of her coat. Geronimo broke off the song to say "Cono" and wobble his fingers. Then he continued, singing now to her. She didn't notice any of them, but headed uptown, serene and smiling at the naked trees.
Their eyes followed her out of sight. They felt sad. Angel sighed. Here in New York, and in Boston, where I was once and in thousands more cities. It makes me lose heart. You don't see anything down there. Did he remember the baby alligators? Last year, or maybe the year before, kids all over Nueva York bought these little alligators for pets.
Macy's was selling them for fifty cents, every child, it seemed, had to have one. But soon the children grew bored with them. Some set them loose in the streets, but most flushed them down the toilets. And these had grown and reproduced, had fed off rats and sewage, so that now they moved big, blind, albino, all over the sewer system. Down there, God knew how many there were. Some had turned cannibal because in their neighborhood the rats had all been eaten, or had fled in terror.
Since the sewer scandal last year, the Department had got conscientious. They called for volunteers to go down with shotguns and get rid of the alligators. Not many had volunteered. Those who had quit soon. Angel and he, Geronimo said proudly, had been there three months longer than anybody.
Profane, all at once was sober. Angel started to sing. Profane rolled over glaring at Geronimo. He never had, and never would, not at street level. But a shotgun under the street, under the Street, might be all right. He could kill himself but maybe it would be all right. He could try.
Zeitsuss, the boss," said Geronimo. The beanbag hung for a second jolly and bright in the air. An hour or so later, Rachel Owlglass, Profane's Rachel, passed by the spot they'd abandoned, on her way home.
There is no way to describe the way she walked except as a kind of brave sensual trudging: as if she were nose-deep in snowdrifts, and yet on route to meet a lover. She came up the dead center of the mall, her gray coat fluttering a little in a breeze off the Jersey coast.
Her high heels hit precise and neat each time on the X's of the grating in the middle of the mall. Half a year in this city and at least she learned to do that. Had lost heels, and once in a while composure in the process; but now could do it blindfolded. To herself. Rachel worked as an interviewer or personnel girl at a downtown employment agency; was at the moment returning from an appointment on the East Side with one Shale Schoenmaker, M.
The freckles were tattooed, the girl his mistress; called, by virtue of some associative freak, Irving. The other assistant was a juvenile delinquent named Trench who amused himself between patients by throwing scalpels at a wooden plaque presented to his employer by the United Jewish Appeal. The business was carried on in a fashionable maze or warren of rooms in an apartment building between First and York Avenues, at the fringes of Germantown. In keeping with the location, Brauhaus music blared over a concealed loudspeaker system continuously.
She had arrived at ten in the morning. Irving told her to wait; she waited. The doctor was busy this morning. The office was crowded, Rachel figured, because it takes four months for a nose job to heal. Four months from now would be June; this meant many pretty Jewish girls who felt they would be perfectly marriageable were it not for an ugly nose could now go husband-hunting at the various resorts all with uniform septa.
It disgusted Rachel, her theory being that it was not for cosmetic reasons these girls got operated on so much as that the hook nose is traditionally the sign of the Jew and the retrousse nose the sign of the WASP or White Anglo-Saxon Protestant in the movies and advertisements. She sat back, watching the patients come through the outer office, not particularly anxious to see Schoenmaker. One youth with a wispy beard which did nothing to hide a weak chin kept glancing at her embarrassed from moist eyes, across a wide stretch of neutral carpeting.
A girl with a gauze beak, eyes closed, lay slumped on a sofa, flanked by her parents, who conferred in whispers about the price. Directly across the room from Rachel was a mirror, hung high on the wall, and under the mirror a shelf which held a turn-of-the-century clock.
The double face was suspended by four golden flying buttresses above a maze of works, enclosed in clear Swedish lead glass. The pendulum didn't swing back and forth but was in the form of a disc, parallel to the floor and driven by a shaft which paralleled the hands at six o'clock. The disc turned a quarter-revolution one way, then a quarter-revolution the other, each reversed torsion on the shaft advancing the escapement a notch.
Mounted on the disc were two imps or demons, wrought in gold, posed in fantastic attitudes. Their movements were reflected in the mirror along with the window at Rachel's back, which extended from floor to ceiling and revealed the branches and green needles of a pine tree. The branches whipped back and forth in the February wind, ceaseless and shimmering, and in front of them the two demons performed their metronomic dance, beneath a vertical array of golden gears and ratchet wheels, levers and springs which gleamed warm and gay as any ballroom chandelier.
Rachel was looking into the mirror at an angle of 45 degrees, and so had a view of the face turned toward the room and the face on the other side, reflected in the mirror; here were time and reverse-time, co-existing, cancelling one another exactly out. Were there many such reference points, scattered through the world, perhaps only at nodes like this room which housed a transient population of the imperfect, the dissatisfied; did real time plus virtual or mirror-time equal zero and thus serve some half-understood moral purpose?
Or was it only the mirror world that counted; only a promise of a kind that the inward bow of a nose-bridge or a promontory of extra cartilage at the chin meant a reversal of ill fortune such that the world of the altered would thenceforth run on mirror-time; work and love by mirror-light and be only, till death stopped the heart's ticking metronome's music quietly as light ceases to vibrate, an imp's dance under the century's own chandeliers Rachel arose, taking her pocketbook, gassed the mirror and caught a sidelong glance at her own double in the mirror's district, passed through the door to confront the doctor, lazy and hostile behind his kidney-shaped desk.
He had the bill, and a carbon, lying on the desk. Rachel opened her pocketbook, took out a roll of twenties, dropped them on top of the papers. What you are running here -" "- is a vicious racket," he said dryly. As Ben Joravsky noted recently at Clout Cityone of the most familiar refrains from Mayor Daley's enablers is that Chicago would have become Detroit if it hadn't been for him. The good folks here at Beachwood Labs went to their computer banks to see if this was true and, indeed, this is the way life would be here if Daley had never become mayor.
We'd have much cooler sister cities. This would have been about us. Doctor Chicago! Band: Funhouse. Creativity : Strong. Serious panning action for crowd reax, zooming in on band members when they're soloing. Comments : "You've been a great crowd, give yourselves a hand! Nothing says cheesy classic rock cover band more than that one line.
And Frankfort's Funhouse has the fromage, from what we can tell from this five-minute clip of the thirty-something dudes wrapping up a big night at the Bradley Fireman's Fish Fry. We can tell from the video time stamp that this happened on June Shooter Chicagolandband must have some connection to the band, either by blood or by marriage, because he or she puts some tender loving care into this session, with some very impressive use of the zoom function to zero in on individual band members as lead singer Dean Schuldt introduces them and lets the guys take off on their solos, all the while churning out that all-time fave, Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll.
The video, in addition to the artistic band shots, also includes some fine crowd visuals. You've got the jumpin' l'il kids way past bedtimethe drunken, fist-waving guy who really feels the old-time rock 'n' roll, the biker-looking guy off on the side who's too savvy to actually move much, and the middle-of-the-frame band-starer.
Some variation of this last person appears in every band video at some point. Hmmmm, not many ladies here. They must not like the old time rock 'n' roll so much. Oh, and about the Bradley Fireman's Fish Fry, this is from its official press release please note the parts about how disgusting fish really are and how waiting in long beer lines is actually F-U-N, fun :. If you've lived here longer than a week, you probably know the basics - the best-tasting fish is battered and deep fried, and it usually comes with coleslaw and French fries.
The standard explanation for the unique Kankakee County tradition is that it evolved because the state's big Catholic population was banned from eating meat on Fridays during Lent. But there is much more to it than that, including the fishing culture of the Potawatomi Indians who lived around the Kankakee River.
There were populations who spent their lives making nets and cooking fish. Then all these immigrants descended on the area - Scandinavians, Belgians, French, Germans, Poles, whose cultures also relied heavily on fish.
There's a love-hate relation with fish. There's something disgusting about fish, the way they smell, the huge quantities of them, the dead fish on shore. But it wasn't until around the time of Prohibition that eating fried fish in taverns and restaurants became part of Kankakee County's social fabric.
The first evidence of commercial fish fries was an advertisement in the s. Taverns had to find ways to bring people into their businesses because they could no longer sell alcohol, so they started offering fried fish on Friday nights.
It was cheap enough for the whole family. But from then on, there was beer and brandy old-fashioned to wash down the fish. Even though Friday night fish fries are relaxed and casual, they have their own special etiquette.
And you single folks. You will have a chance to meet people and find out the latest community gossip! Posted by Don at AM Permalink. I read Lewis Lazare's column today on a book called The Dumbest Generation with interest because for the last couple of years Lazare has called me up periodically to complain about how dumb young people are these days, and he usually blames the Internet.
I also don't believe today's generation is dumber than those who came before because they don't read newspapers. I think newspapers are dumber. The last time I spoke with Lazare, which was a few months ago, he was complaining about Facebook. Now, I'm a Facebook fan. It's very powerful, and I've hardly begun to exploit all of its capabilities. My favorite part of it are my friends' highly amusing Status Updates and the Pieces of Flair they send me. I feel smarter after spending time on Facebook; I feel dumber after reading the local newspapers.
Of course, they don't serve the same purpose, though an increasing number of newspapers see Facebook as a fruitful distribution system for their work - including the Tribune and Sun-Times. Maybe that's what was getting Lazare down, but it became quickly apparent to me that he had no idea what he was talking about.
I'm not trying to pick on Lazare - well, actually I am - but he's emblematic of a newspaper creature that is just beyond me. See, he didn't want to know what he was talking about.
He just didn't want to know. As I've written before, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool newspaper lover. I've read newspapers since I was old enough to crawl to the door and get one. I'm one of those people who has said things all my life like "There's printer's ink in my veins.
But newspapers went off the rails at just the moment the Internet flourished as an even better place to do journalism and communicate with people. It should have been a glorious melding of the minds for a better, more creative and fun and civically inspired tomorrow, but all newspaper people could see was the threat, not the opportunity. That may be changing out of necessity, but there are still an awful lot of Lazares out there, and they will not be the ones who will save news organizations; they instead are millstones dragging everyone else down.
And how smart of a generation is that? In today's column, Lazare approvingly recites what is apparently the author's complaint that a majority of young people polled use the Internet as an "instrument of peer contact. I guess that's a smart person's way of saying they use the Internet to talk to their friends.
The horror! And we should only use the telephone in case of emergency! And stop doing that crossword puzzle - the newspaper isn't a toy! The evidence behind this complaint is a poll of University of Illinois-Chicago students that found that Facebook and MySpace were their favorite Internet destinations.
I have a feeling that's 4 percent more than the number of newspaper folk who check out "blogs or forums on politics, economics, law or policy. I'd sure like to see how that question was worded. And really, must one read a law blog to qualify as smart? Lazare, whom I'm quite certain has never read any such "blog or forum," should be heartened. Isn't that the stuff that's dumbing us down? Isn't it good then that our youth aren't polluting their minds with that crap?
And is that to say that previous generations spent their time poring over policy journals and economics texts? I could never figure out Lazare's argument outside of the fact that young people these days aren't familiar with the Broadway shows he thinks constitutes cultural literacy.
But maybe the giveaway is the apparent point of his column today: "Can such a generation of young people under 30 - and no doubt generations that will follow - be expected to have the intellectual wherewithal to create advertising that is more than a collection of juvenile punch lines?
As an advertising columnist, he should know that A advertising has never been smarter; B the Internet has spawned a creative explosion of new kinds of advertising; and C who cares! It's advertising! Ad Man Lazare panned Mad Menone of the best shows of recent vintage, and told me once that he had never seen one of my favorite ad campaigns, that of the Comcast turtles named the Slowskys. So apparently ignoring the Internet doesn't make you any smarter. Logo Lazare One time Lazare called me up and berated me for not coming out forcefully against the city's Olympic bid.
Those who actually read me - instead of just calling out of the blue every once in awhile - know that I've long been, um, skeptical of the Olympic bid. To put it politely. In fact, I don't think I could be more forceful in stating that, while it would be cool to have the Olympics here from a pure sports and entertainment standpoint, the politics behind it is corrupt to the core. We've made it over the first of many bigger Olympic hurdles to come," he wrote in April Later, Lazare ended a series of columns complaining about the city's Olympic logo with this: "Sadly, our underwhelming new logo won't help our cause much in the good fight that is ahead.
Now, is that because young people might be reading? Because I thought we established that they weren't. Perhaps the airline will revisit the Beachwood's merger recommendations. Rider "One rival executive who has spoken to Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry recently came away convinced the Cubs will make a big play for a front-line starting pitcher in the coming weeks - perhaps an acknowledgment the Cubs believe they have all the other pieces in place to end the franchise's year drought without a World Series title," the Washington Post reports.
Car Wash "I don't know what's crazier," Whet Moser writes"that the CPS is bribing middle-schoolers with cars to attend class, or that it only took one-third of a school year of perfect attendance. Is Oprah behind this? The Beachwood Tip Line : Hub and spoke. And we can't wait years But we can't wait even one year more It's been a whole damn century It's time to even up the score.
Missed the wedding, '69 and '84 and needed just five outs more Then a bridesmaid, '32 and '35 and '38 and '45, close as can be This year we're betting, that we're gonna have a wedding Cubbies gonna buy us all a Series ring A celebration, gonna trample Cubbie Nation Like that Filene's Basement bridal sale thing.
Lou Piniella! It's time to get your Cubbie fans some bling Lou Piniella! This is the year the Cubs will finally get the ring. No more called shots, no more balls through Leon's legs No more disregard for Greg, no trading Lou No more Garvey, no fans reaching in the park, And please no more Will Clark or Stephen Drew No more next year, that's the phrase that we all fear That's why we drown ourselves in beer while dressed in blue A celebration for the suffering Cubbie Nation Nothing short of that, my friends, will ever do Your fans have waited long enough for you.
It's time to give your Cubbie fans some bling Lou Piniella! Show these other Cubbies your discipline Fukudome! Show these other Cubs that you know how to win. Over the past few weeks, I have become more and more interested in Japanese baseball. Partly, my interest stems from an inability to watch the Cubs play live. The other part of me needs to have some baseball to pass the summer months.
And let's face it, at some point it's about sitting around drinking beer and watching the grass grow for three hours on a hot day. However, it is important that this is done in the appropriate environment. Lucky for me, there is a bounty of baseball on the Japanese islands. So I was faced with a choice. I knew that I wanted a team that was like the Cubs, but not so much like them that they were a poor man's version. They had to be like the Cubs I grew up with, the teams that I grew to love.
I needed a few good players, one Ryne Sandberg for say every 25 Tyler Houstons. And they had to stink. How else could I grow to love them? After all, half the fun of watching the old Cubs was debating which inning they would begin their customary meltdown.
Logic - and everyone at the office - told me I should become a fan of the Yomiuri Giants. After all, the newspaper I work for, the Daily Yomiuriis owned by the same company.
But something about the Giants just wasn't right. I was bothered by the fact that they played in an indoor stadium, and that they were the most popular and biggest market team in Japan. They just weren't at all like the Cubbies. Even though they are having a disappointing season this year, the Giants still felt too corporate, too much like the Yankees.
As any Cub fan knows, the last thing you want to be associated with is a New York sports franchise even if the association is based on tenuous deductive reasoning. So, unbeknownst to my boss, and to the chagrin of my coworkers, I decided that the Yomiuri Giants were not the team for me this summer.
The next option was another Tokyo ballclub, the Yakult Swallows. Early indicators suggested that they should be my pick. It's located in western Tokyo nestled in a woodsy area that contains one of Japan's most visited shrines, also called Meji-Jingu.
The shrine also owns the stadium. The park has a hometown feel, and is surrounded by trees and foliage, with a beautiful view of the skyline.
It really provides the summertime baseball experience. There was just one problem: it felt too small. It was too much like a minor league stadium or a college field. I said I wanted a team that was like the Cubs, not the Iowa Cubs. So the Swallows were out too. I only had one option left, the Yokohama Baystars. Yokohama, a city about 45 minutes by train from Tokyo, is the capital of the Kanagawa Prefecture in the Kanto region.
There is a bit of a rivalry between Tokyoites and Yokohamans. I hopped on a train and got myself to a game. This was it. Although strikingly different in so many ways, going to a Baystars game reminded me of the Cubs of my youth. The team plays in an outdoor stadium near the waterfront, and I was drenched by the humidity during the game. The fans are passionate and loyal, the beer flows like, well, beer, the bleachers are packed and, of course, they own a pitiful record at the time.
Who could be more like the Cubs of old without actually employing Jim Riggleman? I know what you are thinking, and no, they do not actually fight ham. They are sponsored by the Nippon Ham company. Japanese baseball has many similarities to the American game. It is really the game itself that is the most similar. Pitching changes, player confereneces and all the other nuances remain intact in Japan.
Except strikes are first, then balls i. When it comes to the stands, things begin to change. For example, the bleachers are the cheering section. At Yokohama stadium, they are full to the brim for the entire game, while the rest of the stadium has only scattered attendance. Not only are the bleachers packed, but they contain cheering sections, complete with plastic noisemakiers, bass drums, trumpets, trombones and decked-out cheer "leaders" who I've been told are often yakuza directing team songs, chants and the like.
They also have a dance team, the kind of thing you would expect at an NBA game. Interestingly, the fans only get to their feet when their team is batting. The opposing team's fan section was seated in the left field bleachers, and they stood up when the Ham Fighters were at bat. It was like some sort of strange respect between fans.
I had arrived late, and to my dismay, the Baystars were down It was the fourth inning and the home fans were drinking, cheering and having a grand old time. Over what, I could not tell. Their team made errors, swung at bad pitches and generally got outplayed for the next three innings.
The one glimmer of hope, a home run by the Baystars' star Nishi, whipped the bleacher crowd into a frenzy. People were embracing each other, and high-fiving everyone in sight, including me. One guy pulled me aside and said, "Yeah man, that was super awesome home run!
That's another thing, the beer vendors are all young uniformed girls who wave and smile at you. You read: me are defenseless. By the time I left, I had concluded that for the rest of the summer, I would carry a torch for the Baystars.
They had lost ESPN's Pardon the Interruption has a segment at the end of every show where a young staffer corrects all the factual errors the host have made during the previous 30 minutes. I've always thought newscasts should do this too.
Jay Black at TV Squad would extend the idea even further. ESPN and its showcase SportsCenter have attracted some grumpy critics in recent years, but it's still one of the smartest networks and shows on TV; if only my evening newscast could be as well-produced as SportsCenter. See also: Caveman's Crib and The Slowskys. One of the great things about Me TV is that they show vintage commercials. I haven't seen Denise Richards' It's Complicatedbut a trusted friend says it's actually not bad.
Living Lohanon the other hand, is a total tease because all you really want to know is anything related to the one family member who's not on it - Lindsay. And not even that. Intervention is back and its consistently the most powerful 60 minutes on television.
I suppose this is about rightbut while Bob Brenly is greatly improved, Len Kasper seems increasingly hokey. Lose the punny stuff. A letter writer to the Trib suggested Pat Hughes and Bob Brenly as the dream team, but I think it's Brenly and Steve Stone; I don't care if neither of them is technically a play-by-play man.
Who cares? Can you imagine? What a booth! Maybe Meet the Press oughta dump the star moderator format and go back to what I think was the original: a panel of, you know, members of the press grilling the pols. It works for American Idol. Comments welcome! Please include a real name if you wish to be considered for publication. The number of times something like this has happened in Jay Mariotti's career. From the Trib's live blog :.
Well, the "fixture" only played second base once this week, with Mike Fontenot starting two games and Ronnie Cedeno starting three. So we learned again this week that Joe Morgan sucks because as a homeowner I know that you don't replace your fixtures that often in a week.
I think these Bulls may still be debating whether to draft Rose or Beasley. Crosstown Classic I've never thought the idea of Hillary Clinton as Barack Obama's running mate made such sense, but Jerry Springer makes a pretty good brief for it in the Trib today.
Exile in Lameville "[Phair] also admits that she was willing to lie and 'take advantage of people' to get her music heard and her bank account fattened," Greg Kot wrote on Sunday. Flood Fallout "The Midwest floods have washed out an estimated four million acres of prime farmland, crimping this year's harvest as the world desperately needs more grain," the New York Times noted over the weekend. Broken System "Hours after Sen.
Barack Obama rejected public financing for his campaign on Thursday after failing to negotiate with rival Sen. John McCain as he said he would, Obama made a stop not publicly disclosed by his campaign: He visited with some of his elite corps of fund-raisers on his National Finance Committee who were meeting in Chicago for briefings and to map fund-raising strategy for the general election," Lynn Sweet writes today.
Park Patronage "Beer vending used to be a classic Chicago job where they don't want nobody nobody sent. Tin Lizzy " Exile in Guyvillearguably the most important indie-rock record to spawn from Chicago in the s, not only was an eye-opening success crafted by a girl in a boys club, but also a sweaty, personal introduction to a songwriter who would wow us with such natural expression and talent only to break our hearts later in gross disappointment," writes Tom Lynch. Ferris Bueller in.
Melodramatic Monday. Park District Dead "Harvey's park district shut down on Friday, an apparent victim of corruption and a political power struggle," Phil Kadner wrote on Sunday. A spokeswoman told Kadner that "The last park district board meeting apparently erupted in a lot of shouting.
That's Todd! Only three were verifiably correct. Neo Geo "'I've told the story before, and he doesn't like me to talk about it,' said the Cubs' TV color analyst, Bob Brenly, who's a former catcher and series-winning manager himself, 'but when the celebration was going on in Cincinnati last year, when they clinched [first place in the Central Division and a playoff berth], Geovany stuck his head in Lou's office and said, as the beer and champagne were flying everywhere, In a couple years I'm gonna be your captain.
George Carlin I was never much of a George Carlin fan, but his influence was in evidence just this weekend in a cartoon by Jim Borgman of the Cincinnati Enquirer drawn and published over the weekend before his death and appearing in the Tribune. The Beachwood Tip Line : Be dirty. Cain 5. Deitche 9. Ingraham Roemer Jr. I took in Sunday's Cubs-Sox contest from my customary seat for about 15 games a year in upper deck reserved.
And this is what I saw:. A couple not-very-competitive games were certainly a factor and perhaps a few fewer Cubs fans were willing to sell their seats this time around. He just keeps rollin', rollin', rollin'. And the Cubs thrived over the weekend despite the fact their dynamic duo of set-up men, Carlos Marmol and Bobby Howry, have been a little choppy of late. Marmol in particular was so very much due for a couple shaky outings.
And now he's had them against the Sox and the Rays last week. So he can go right on back to dominant any time now. Then again, Patterson really looks like he can hit he's kept his average over. Not that his development is surprising in the least. The Cubs continue to pad their lead over the world in second-basemen developed, traded for and signed as free agents over the past few years.
Patterson, who has been playing left field but has by far the most experience at the 4-spot, joins Alfonso Soriano, Mark DeRosa, Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot you probably have to think of Ronnie Cedeno as primarily a shortstop as second-sackers excelling all over the field for this year's Cubs. One thing I love about Piniella is that he has shown if you give him talent, he can win a ton of games - one of his Seattle teams piled up a remarkable victories in yeah, yeah, those Mariners lost in the playoffs before they even made the World Series - why do you have to bring that up you Sox fan you.
Beasley Bull Any semblance of a debate regarding the Bulls' No. I'm stunned a bigger deal hasn't been made about this. Sure Beasley was a scoring and rebounding machine last year against some decent competition in the Big 12, but the difference between and in the NBA cannot be overstated. Every draft preview I read seems convinced that Beasley is a potential professional low-post superstar.
Against considerably taller defenders night after night? Against the sorts of guys who can jump as high as he can and are so much smarter about defensive and rebounding position than any of the guys he faced last season? I already believed Simeon's with a year of finishing school at Memphis Derrick Rose was the right choice for the Bulls because of what he so clearly could become.
The most exciting players to come into the league by far the last couple years are point guards Chris Paul and former Illini Deron Williams. He also has off-the-charts athleticism, which should lead to plenty of points in transition. And some of those points will probably be exciting. And I'm all for exciting every once in a while.
But back to Beasley's shortcoming. I'll make a prediction right now: USC combo guard O. Mayo will be a better pro than Beasley. I wouldn't be surprised if the Heat stepped up and shocked the world by drafting him at No. Of course who the heck knows what a Bulls team that hired Vinny Del Negro as its coach could possibly be thinking.
I took a pass on writing about the new coach last week because I just had no clue where to begin but I have decided only to point out that the stories about the hire should have been much shorter than they were. They should have said simply that the Bulls hired the utterly inexperienced Del Negro because he was willing to work cheap. No other rationale makes a scintilla of sense. So before things got underway on Friday, I asked a bunch of my friends to write why they hated the Cubs, and I posted it on my site.
As one would expect from a bunch of college kids, each response was more immature than the last. But all of them made one thing clear: even though these were only three games in the middle of June, this weekend mattered to Sox fans.
I'm sure Cubs fans felt the same way. That's why writing this column now is pretty hard. The Sox just got pounded into the dirt.
What else is there to really say? It doesn't mean the season is over, or that the Sox still can't win the division and make the playoffs. Really, nothing was decided but a few barroom arguments. Still, those games felt like something more, and the Sox blew it. I really thought a decisive six-game series win over the Cubbies could have propelled the Sox to big things this year. Now all they can hope for is to tie up the season series at home, something that is clearly easier said than done.
Did the Sox play all that bad this weekend? Eh, I don't really think so. They dominated most of the first game, got screwed out of an Orlando Cabrera home run, and their normally reliable bullpen failed them. Saturday featured whatever the hell you call that fourth inning - bloodbath? Let's go with bloodbath - but the rest of the game simply saw two good offenses smacking each other back and forth while the wind blew out at Wrigley. The final game was the least competitive of the series, and I doubt any Sox fans really expected a comeback with the team down late.
I'm not so sure we learned anything this weekend other than that my parents are going to kill me because I received roughly 8, text messages from Cub fans friends reading "Go Cubs Go.
Man, I hate the Cubs. That's pretty much the highlight of the week. Oh wait. The Missile Tracker: A pair of doubles against the Cubs was nice, it's just too bad his teammates never got him across home plate. I must say watching Alexei is infinitely more fun than watching Juan Uribe, so there's that. From the Trib's live blog:.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The White Sox Report staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that Mariotti asking for a bodyguard was clearly the highlight of the weekend. Now go read The Cub Factor. Something tells me Marty will be a little more upbeat than me this week. Editor's Note: Nope! The White Sox Report: Read 'em all. Comments welcome. Please include a real name if want to be considered for publication.
Every season there are a few milestones that help us figure out what kind of team fans have are dealing with. A lot of people would say that this weekend was a watershed moment - that we learned something about this Cub team as they swept the White Sox this weekend. Here is a list of of what I learned the last few days:. You need to make sure the gas is turned on or else the burners on your new grill won't light.
Diet and exercise sound like an easy concept but it's a pain to pull off over the long haul. Wait, you mean I was supposed to learn something about the Cubs this week? Well, I didn't. I knew that they were dynamite at home and a bit rocky on the road. And well, that hasn't changed. Getting beat by the Rays was a bigger deal than sweeping the White Sox in reality's book.
The White Sox are a decent team, but the Rays are one of this season's elite teams. So there you go. And if a team changes its name to the Rays, don't you think all their players should be named Ray?
How cool would that be? You would have to field a team of guys named Ray. Which begs the question: Should people who don't use brooms anymore bring those Swiffer things to the game? Week in Preview : The Cubs stay in the city for six more this week with the Baltimore Orioles coming in for three at Wrigley and the Cubs jumping on the Red Line for three more against the Sox at the Cell.
Next season they should make Crosstown Classic games all crosstown double-headers just to get the whole thing over quicker. Just like jim Hendry drew it up.
In former second basemen news, Dave Hanson is the Diamondbacks minor league hitting coordinator. Hide the watercoolers in the trainer's room. Lou holds steady on the Sweet-O-Meter. And just like your real crazy drunk uncle, Lou is glad you beat the crap out of your cousin when he came over and made fun of rats in your basement, but he'll be more impressed if you go steal a few hubcaps from someone else's yard.
We're not convinced this ends here. Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by the The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that it's time to put interleague play away. Mount Lou: Lou stays at status green this week as the two biggest eruption igniters are both on the DL and out of range for possible eruption disruption.
In fact, Mount Lou is super green this week. This is no time for us to take a vacation. Not when the next Glorious Leader has just been born. Market Update Chicago seems to be more Bullish on Gators - no matter how potentially annoying they are - than on Wildcats. Tigers futures therefore have a slight edge over other felines. Illinois High It's Graduation Week, so extracurriculars are under close examination among the seniors at the state's biggest high school.
The Debating Society is furious with team captain Richard Daleyaccusing him of using them to pad his college applications. Meanwhile, Governor Rod is officially off the cheerleading squad.
High Threat-Count Sheets Counter-terrorism experts say they have uncovered LP motive behind England's recently-thwarted dirty bomb attack. The plotters apparently saw little hope for improvement of their living conditions. Euro Two quarterfinals will be contested this weekend in the Euro tournamentand it's time for the Weekend Desk picks. The Netherlands have had a good run, but Russia has ways of beating down the opposition.
On the other side of the bracket, Spain hasn't been too successful launching coups recently, while Italy has learned to stick to its guns. Learning Curves You know how U.
Well, as we say at the Weekend Desk, duh. Rescinding a woman's invitation to sit behind Obama during a unity speech after learning she is wearing hijab. Just think if McCain did that!
Taking a job selling fire alarms door-to-door in the naive belief that you're actually a reality show contestant with a shot at winning a million dollars. Committed By: Innumerable college students who obviously believed every doorbell was really a hidden camera. Committed By: The United States Department of Defense, whose initiative has not produced one police unit "fully capable of performing its mission. Years of Losing is a show about our national pastime, the lovable losers on the North Side, and all the little people that made this whole century long losing streak possible," Marty says.
You also don't have to know anything about Lou Brock, Hack Wilson or the infield fly rule. Barack Obama," Ad Age reports. It's not only a sign that the Obama camp has faith it can continue its stellar fundraising achievements but a signal that a widening field of battleground states has the candidate contemplating national broadcast buys.
The most prominent example was the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who damaged John Kerry's presidential hopes in by questioning his Vietnam record.
Clearly, Democrats know how to game the system as well. The spin from the Obama camp - particularly in its latest e-mail to supporters - is wholly disingenuous. A good rule of thumb: How would you feel if the situation was reversed? In other words, Obamaphiles would be lambasting John McCain to high heaven right now if he pulled this move.
More at Division Street later. Law Fools "In a move that could shake up legal education, Northwestern University School of Law plans to announce Friday that it will begin offering students a chance to get a law degree in two years instead of the traditional three," the Tribune reports. Die Already "Hundreds of readers responded to last week's column asking what they value in the Tribune ," public editor Timothy J. McNulty writes.
Oh Yeah! Kool-Aid Man loose on North Side. The Beachwood Tip Line : Rough and mean.
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