Happy: August 2005 Archives

Subcommander Marcos

Well, maybe not, but he sounds really good, and he still looks wonderful.

His words, especially since they're from the mid-90's, won't be news to many out there, but I tripped over this powerful quote from Subcommander Marcos while trying to get more information about the Mexican rebel this morning. I had just read this piece in the NYTimes about his current campaign to move his great nation to the Left. It was accompanied by this attractive photograph. After more than ten years of news accounts and imagery, I was immediately smitten all over again. The reporter himself was not immune to his attractions, for he wrote that Marcos "may be the only man in history to make a ski mask and pipe look sexy."

Marcos is gay in San Francisco, black in South Africa, an Asian in Europe, a Chicano in San Ysidro, an anarchist in Spain, a Palestinian in Israel, a Mayan Indian in the streets of San Cristobal, a gang member in Neza, a rocker in the National University, a Jew in Germany, an ombudsman in the Defense Ministry, a communist in the post-Cold War era, an artist without gallery or portfolio.... A pacifist in Bosnia, a housewife alone on Saturday night in any neighborhood in any city in Mexico, a striker in the CTM, a reporter writing filler stories for the back pages, a single woman on the subway at 10 pm, a peasant without land, an unemployed worker... an unhappy student, a dissident amid free market economics, a writer without books or readers, and, of course, a Zapatista in the mountains of southeast Mexico. So Marcos is a human being, any human being, in this world. Marcos is all the exploited, marginalized and oppressed minorities, resisting and saying, 'Enough'!

[image by Adriana Zehbrauskas from the NYTimes]

in the Channel Gardens, Rockefeller Center, on Thursday

up the wall

He's back! I'd seen nothing since last July, but there were two sightings of our roof garden lizard this morning, both on the wall above the planters. Barry thinks we actually saw two separate little creatures, one a bit larger than the other. Hmm. When do we get to see the kids? And are they going to want to come inside when it gets colder?

Sorry for the quality of the image, but she or he's really tiny, and I didn't want to frighten the little guy away by getting too close.

playing for peace

In a project begun with the dream of his late friend Edward Said, Daniel Barenboim finally made it to Ramallah with his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra last night. Members of the orchestra, founded in 1998, come from Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.

The sound of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony drowned out the staccato of bullets on Sunday in the conflict-ridden Middle East as world-famous conductor Daniel Barenboim dazzled his Ramallah audience with both music and words.

Playing under the theme "Freedom for Palestine," Barenboim and his new West-Eastern Diwan [sic] orchestra were able to break all barriers and help an audience fatigued by strife to enjoy two hours of pure music from Beethoven and Mozart.

. . . .

The 1,200-seat auditorium of the Ramallah Cultural Center was packed with a Palestinian, international and even Israeli audience an hour before the baton was scheduled to drop. As the seats filled, hundreds others milled in the hallways and the aisles hoping to get a seat or just to be allowed to stay in standing room and listen to Barenboim and the orchestra.

The same audience stood for 15 minutes, enthusiastically clapping and yelling "bravo" after Barenboim concluded the performance, giving Palestinians in Ramallah a chance to forget the checkpoints, the occupation, the wall and everything that has made their lives void of spirit, as one member of the audience remarked after the concert.

Outside the auditorium, the reality for West Bank residents had not yet changed after the concert, as Barenboim hoping to achieve with his music and orchestra.

A few audience members had to leave early to get home before some checkpoints at entrances to Ramallah closed. Others who waited until the end and headed home after the concert had to stop in long lines of cars waiting at checkpoints to be able to reach their homes. Barenboim realized this reality, and this is why he brought his new orchestra to Ramallah.

"What I want to say to you," Barenboim told the audience after the orchestra finished playing, "I have already said in the music.

But it wasn't easy getting there.

[image from European Pressphoto via Taipei Times]

demonstrators dressed as a priest and a nun kiss in front of a large model dinosaur during an anti-religion demonstration in Cologne August 19, 2005 [as der Ratzinger arrived in Cologne]

Sometimes it's best to let the thing speak for itself.

I'm very proud of my family's ancient Rhenish Catholic [and before that, Roman without the Catholic] Heimat, and amazed at the effrontery of [Yahoo!]. See Bloggy for a related post.

[image by Pawel Kopczynski from Reuters which, together with my excerpt from its accompanying caption, is furnished by Yahoo!]

the Rhine maidens taunt Alberich [another cast, same harnesses]

What a trooper!

What an exciting diversion from the day job! How could you turn it down if the opportunity presented itself? And think of the stories for the grandchildren. Gina Lapinski saved the day for Wagner's "Das Rheingold" in Seattle on Monday by volunteering as a "fly-in" for one of the Rhine maidens.

The scene was the Seattle Opera at 4 p.m. Monday, only three hours before the curtain was to rise on a performance of "Das Rheingold" in the company's "Ring" cycle, running through Aug. 28. The mezzo-soprano Jennifer Hines, a New York City Opera regular who plays Flosshilde, one of the Rhine Daughters, called in, violently ill after eating fish at lunch. The first scene of this production calls for the three Daughters, behind a scrim and wearing a flying harness, to simulate swimming during a carefully choreographed 18 minutes (and after perhaps 100 hours of rehearsal) that takes them from 5 to 30 feet off the ground. To the rescue came Gina Lapinski, an associate director to Stephen Wadsworth and an assistant director at the Metropolitan Opera, who had been in charge of rehearsing the scene. The same size as Ms. Hines, she was able to wear her costume and harness, and after rehearsing once, perform before the audience. Speight Jenkins, general director of the Seattle Opera, said, "It was as though she had done the scene a hundred times." Sarah Heltzell sang the role from the pit, but Ms. Lapinski mouthed every word.

Yeah, I spotted the story in the Times, [read the last two paragraphs] in the same box which announced, among other items, Madonna's riding accident, a nun protesting the filming of "The Da Vinci Code," and the sighting of a mechanical Loch Ness Monster.

[image from operajaponica]

exactly 60 years later: the kiss watched 'round the world, its original models, and some contemporary enthusiasts

Although there is at least one same-sex couple in the group* kissing in the image above, they didn't make it into the NYTimes photo caption today, and there's nothing queer in the story which accompanies it. Does that suggest that we're no longer remarkable, or still just unmentionable?

Well, at least we have our fabulous advertising ghetto.

click on the photo when you open the link

[image by Mario Tama from Getty Images via the NYTimes]


Usually there's a tree of some kind in the middle of these things, but then the grasses don't grow so luxuriantly as they have in this little curb garden, seen on Waverly Place this afternoon.

Yes, the usual neat iron wicket is still there under the green. It gives the installation a little definition.


[spotted in Astoria last evening, squeezed between a Cosco and Socrates Sculpture Park]

This page is an archive of entries in the Happy category from August 2005.

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