Thursday, April 28, 2011

THURSDAY--Another edition of..........

A flip of the fedora to Jimmy Cannon


1)            This Sunday is Yom Hashoah---Holocaust Remembrance Day.   A brief moment at the start of Traditions will commemorate the event with the voice of Paul Robeson.   Sunday Simcha will have ended with a Priestly Blessing.  More thoughts on Yom Hashoah and events of similar horror is discussed in a previous blog ---scroll down.

2)            Now that Pres. Obama has put his birth certificate on the internet it only seems appropriate that people look at my original passport---it is on Facebook.  One has to keep up with the celebs and power brokers.

3)            Watching the 15 year old re-runs of Homicide—Life on the Street always delivers something new---a great comment (I never saw before) by Det. Munch (Richard Belzer)---“..the only thing more boring than a baseball game is a Ken Burns documentary about Baseball”.   It had to be said.

4)            I am delighted that so many people have liked (and requested) more material by Dennis Wolfberg on Sunday Simcha.  Sadly, due to his early demise, it is limited but the requests will be obliged as best as possible.

5)            “Get Low” is another brilliant Robert Duvall film and I wonder how many people see, as I do, the analogy in the plot with the Jewish trek through the desert for 40 years.

6)            So many meaningful places that instilled wonderful values are gone now and not truly replaced by any equivalent. I am thinking of Ethical Culture School Camp (ECSC) after just receiving an e mail from someone who’s parents were cook and handyman at the place those many years back. He, as I, felt it was the most influential place in our future lives.  Check out the website of the person who organizes re-unions to find out more---

7)            But a great bit of training it was to learn touch typing and now all you need to use are your thumbs.  Whatever happened to writing full sentences?   What happened to a regular keyboard (or typewriter) as opposed to the annoying lap-top flat keyboards for which you need at least 12 thumbs and no fingers.
People are always texting---picture 2 people in a restaurant for an intimate dinner.  They do not speak,  They text each other about what they should order.   After they text the order to the waiter and eat they go home and text each other while having sex to ask ---“ are you doing?’—the reply  “...LOL”---OMG


Sunday, April 24, 2011


SUNDAY SIMCHA----On May 1 we will be spending some time with a few versions of Rumania Rumania because you will be listening to an unbelievable version as you have never heard it before.  Believe me!!  This all has to do with some mention of a show you do not want to miss---The Adventures of Hershele Ostrapolyer ---put on by the Folbsbiene at the Baruch Center for Performing Arts.  It starts on May 15 for a limited engagement through part of June.   Starring Mike Burstyn and directed by Eleanor Reissa (also on the 5/1 program) with musical magic by Zalmen Mlotek---all guests on this program at some point.

                      May 1 will also be the commemoration of Yom Hashoah and since much of the program is devoted to the above we will close with a beautiful piece by Susan Colin---=Benediction. 

                       In the near future I am hoping to have, as a guest, on the program Leila Levinson, the author of Gated Grief.   She will be speaking at Beth El Synagogue in New Rochelle NY on May 1---Yom Hashoah.  Her book is wonderful piece which explains, among other things, the deep feelings and issues that were felt by the soldiers who liberated the concentration camps.  The scars of this horror runs even past the actual victims. 
                        You will be kept posted as to when Ms Levinson will be joining me---and if you have questions you would like me to ask her please let me know.

TRADITIONS :  Since we did not spend much time on Yom Hashoah in Simcha I will surely be doing a brief segment on this program on May 1 since, as you know, this program is all about topical material that derive or involve "folk" music---and, hey, as Woody Guthrie once said---" are the folk".  Well, if he didn't he should have.  As to Yom Hashoah--the short explanation is the Day of Remembrance for the Jews who perished in the Holocaust---a few more thoughts are below.

                            Since it is also birthday time for yours truly I suppose some material on aging would be appropriate---how about Forever Young---though I find that a tough one to play, since as Eric Bogle famously said,---"/...I don't play any Dylan".

                           Of course there will be some wonderful new material---and, as always, a few surprises along with the features which, somehow, will and should include Hazel Dickens.

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SOME COMMENTS  --That is what the title said and that is what has now to follow:

                  Yom Hashoah , as mentioned above, is a very somber and serious commemoration--remembrance, if you will.   On both programs I have always made a point of including it but what I have never included are some of these comments---

                    We rightfully recall and remember these tragic events and horrors of  humankind.  What we do not do, however, is realize that there were--and still are---tragedies of this magnitude going on around us.  Think of killings in various African nations, the mayhem in the Middle East, and, looking further back.  Was not Slavery and the kidnapping of African people to our shores in that same vein?    In truth a Yom Hashoah commemoration should be commemorated for ever so many peoples in the hope that humankind will finally appreciate life and dignity---and, unlike the animals of the wild who kill for food--abide together in a peaceful and productive way.

                     In the full realization that WFDU and its program will not be receiving any Peabody Awards, Emmy Awards, etc; and that we have no permanent--or even temporary--drama/ film critic let me just give you a few reviews---

                         The Adventures of Hershele Ostrapolyer---You have seen it mentioned above,.  As the NY Times pointed out---Brilliant---a cross of Til Eulenspiegel, The Court Jester, and Robinhood and not to be
                            The Kings Speech --  Out now on DVD and I just viewed it.  How does one describe trying to stifle many yawns.   Let me be brief---boring, trite with good acting, and horrible presentations of famous figures---Churchill, Chamberlain, etc;   Glad I never went to the movie palace (palace?) for the very nominal admission charge today for this piece of---nuff said.
                              Homicide---Life on The Streets--Having discovered this series on re-runs on Centric (Cable TV) it has to be said that it is still the best series of its kind ever made---great cast, dramatic character studies that are more than the crimes (think Law/Order and the rest of that franchise).  It is from the 1990s and, to  me, has not been surpassed.  The Golden Age of Television should have to include this as part of the treasure trove---and the creator did go on to receive a MacArthur Genius grant (award).  He also does (or did) The Wire.

                   More on Thursday when I flip the fedora for Jimmy Cannon