A LONG TIME AGO IN MILAN

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FABRIC RETRIEVES SOUND

Whenever I’m at the Met Opera House I try to look at some of the vintage costumes on display. Recently there was a vitrine with mannequins draped in Wagnerian costumes of Flagstad’s, Jeritza’s, and Fremstad’s. They were beautifully preserved and just plain beautiful. I was impressed again by how shapely–not skinny but not fat–so many operatic divas of the past seem to have been. Each soprano was one-of-a-kind, yet part of a stellar tradition. The performances in which those costumes participated have vanished into the ether, but the fabric is living witness. And by the way, have those performances really vanished into the ether? I read an audiophile’s comment once that perhaps one day those sound waves may somehow be able to be retrieved!

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PELOSI WORKING TO ENSURE TRUMP’S RE-ELECTION

The Democratic establishment, by which I mean most egregiously at the moment Nancy Pelosi, is repeating exactly the same scenario they performed in 2015-2016: insult your base, insult Congress members attempting to lead the party into the future while at the same time cozening up to Republicans. Every day that Pelosi and the Democratic leadership are allowed to continue down this addled, stupid, monumentally egotistic path gives Trump another stepping stone to re-election.

And it’s “The Squad” who supported Pelosi’s bid for Speakership; it’s the Democratic “moderates” who didn’t. What is the matter with this woman?

Joh Atcheson writes at Common Dreams that Pelosi “and her allies are waging a war against progressives in order to hold onto a mythical centrist majority that doesn’t exist.”

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THIS MAN IS ABSOLUTELY VILE

Is Speaker Pelosi going to condemn Trump’s filthy, unspeakable attack today on The Squad, instead of continuing her own retro, stupid, hippie-punching attacks on them?

She does not seem to understand the the world and the Democratic Party have changed.
She is not the future. They are. Pelosi needs to behave like a grande dame, rather than a splenetic, superannuated diva.

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PELOSI SOUNDS LIKE NORMA DESMOND

On the day her projector broke.

The reports of Pelosi’s palaver with AOC behind closed doors at the caucus meeting do not enhance our opinion of the Speaker’s current frame of mind and behavior.

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TRUMP BOASTS ABOUT THE WAY HE CAN PLEASURE DICTATORS

They pat his head; he rolls over; they smile.

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AS BALANCHINE SAID TO TALLCHIEF

“Dear, we don’t need a museum piece in this company.”

Company/Congress.

Speaker Pelosi seems to be losing it. She’s making one gaffe after another. It’s shocking after her triumphant recapture of the gavel.

You don’t let “moderate” members of your caucus claim they can’t go back to their constituents and say they voted against funding ICE. You tell them to tell their constituents that they voted against putting children in cages.

You don’t believe that after the terrible border funding deal is sealed you can still elicit concessions from Trump or any other Republican.

You don’t talk smack about the the newest, most dynamic members of the House Democratic caucus to Maureen Dowd and then tell them not to post comments on Twitter.

Don’t give us drivel about Trump’s “self-impeachment.” He takes more liberties with our democracy every day and your refusal to impeach is a virtual endorsement. Your actions are enabling Trump and turning off the Democratic base.

Speaker Pelosi is reaching a point of incoherence as well as manic and unreasonable obstinacy. She’s beginning to sound a bit like Trump himself.

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DOESN’T DISNEY HAVE ENOUGH FOOTPRINT IN NYC AS IT IS?

Not surprised that Disney’s Bob Iger is one of the sociopathically greedy oligarchs name-checked by Bernie Sanders, who cites their opposition to his campaign alongside an indictment of their economic crimes against this country.

I’ve been trying to find more coverage of Disney’s attempt to coerce de Blasio into accepting their plans to tear down landmark-quality buildings on Varick Street to build a new Manhattan headquarters. But coverage seems to be restricted to The City, which broke the story. The “mainstream” “news” media doesn’t seem interested in delving into the impropriety of Disney hiring lawyers to whom the mayor owes a lot of money in order to win his approval for their project.

I must say, that when Disney took over the New Amsterdam theater two decades ago, I kept my mouth shut because I was so thrilled that it would be restored and reopened. I began the campaign to preserve the New Amsterdam in 1975, not that Disney or anyone in the NYC administration has ever thanked me. In 1978, Marquee Magazine published my essay on the theater. The next year the theater was designated an interior and exterior landmark.Unfortunately, the upstairs Roof Theater was not interior-designated, which allowed this exquisite, superbly-preserved gem to be destroyed for a possible production by Peter Brook that never happened. The New Amsterdam’s main theater was then allowed to become dreadfully dilapidated. In 1990 engineer Will Daly contacted me and told me how parlous was the theater’s condition. Thank you, Will! He and I then began pressuring Landmarks to live up to its municipal duty and ensure that the theater was not allowed to crumble to the ground.

Subsequently, the city spent a lot of money funding an magnificent restoration of the Art Nouveau masterpiece–originally built, btw, by my relative Abe Erlanger. Inexplicably, except all-too-typically the city used public funds to present Disney with the exclusive proprietary control of the this theater, which is a municipal treasure that should not be monopolized by any one corporation, and particularly not Disney.

Not adverse to self-promotion, when I heard Disney was going to own the New Amsterdam, I sent them my resume on the chance that they would hire me for some kind of historical research. Never heard from back from them, but they sent me two tickets to the reopening event, which was the premiere of Elton John’s Aida. I went with a friend, but we were so disgusted at the wall-to-wall middle management occupying the theater for its historic rebirth that we left at intermission.

Disney and Iger are contemptuous and exploitative of this city, and they should not be extended further indulgences aka socialized corporate welfare, by City Hall.

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BARR’S LATEST TASK: SHUT DOWN THE EPSTEIN CASE TO PROTECT TRUMP

Travis Gettys at Raw Story chronicles Trump’s sex exploits with underage girls.

Completing Trump’s wholesale corruption of American justice and American democracy, Trump has obviously tasked the Attorney General with obstructing the case against Epstein to protect Trump’s own involvement.

And you can bet that not one Republican will utter a peep of protest.

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TRUMP CLAIMS HE WON’T BE ABLE TO KEEP HIS MIND ON GOLFING IF HE’S NOT PLACED ABOVE THE LAW

His latest bid for dictator status comes in yet another attempt to shut down the Democrats’ lawsuit over his violation of the emoluments clause.

We know he never does any actual work–he’s never actually done an honest day’s work in his life–so his constant plaint that he never be subject to legal jurisdiction for fear it might distract him from something or other is even more absurd and illegal than it would be otherwise.

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PELOSI IS BEGINNING TO SOUND DIVORCED FROM REALITY

Her petty attacks on the progressive freshmen in her caucus sound bitter and are counter-factual.

It’s as if she’s thrown down the gauntlet against the future of the Democratic Party.

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