Wednesday, January 1, 2014


The new year is once again upon us and, of course, many wishes for joy, happiness, good health, and all the other cliches I should be heaping on this annual event.  Yet, a few thoughts occur to me that I am sure were expected---

Let's start with Secty of State Kerry and the Isaraeli/ Palestinian issue.  Truly complex and fairness and justice is needed.  One thing all have to remember is that given the issues in 1948 the fact that Israel is "Jewish" state (homeland) cannot be disputed.   All other things should be negotioable.  On can only hope that Mr. Netanyahu also realizes that simple fact.   Times and situations change.  We have come along way from, 1948  and later times. They
 need later solutions and, yet, Bravo, for the events of that time

 Skipping to another pet peeve.  Have you ever wondered why Theater prices are so astronomical.  My guess is that you think the rents or the money paid to performers just kept upping the costs.   Think again.   Do you know that an average "stagehand" (with that strong union) rcvs approx. over $400,000 annually.  Picture this---Carnegie Hall, no scenery, standing up music stands and chairs. I bet many of you have done that for a HS concert, let's say.   $400,000.   I wish.  The recycler  who picks up the matreial from my place gets a pittance for all his / her hard work. Sure, there are some more complicated shows to work with.  But, still, over $400,000 dollars---they certainly do not get the kind of play that the performers receive.   Sure beats coal mining and other endeavors and all below the popular and nonsensical radar.   Now---there is a union and they certainly know how do what they have to do.  Too bad the UAW and the UMW and all the others have not taken a page from their book.   Enjoy your next overpriced show and think of these struggling workers.

I am so touched by Mayor Bloomberg's valedictory ( as reported in the NYT).   This  I love--" then swiped his senior metro card on a subway station and headed home..".  Right.  To his limo and then to his mansion.  Please.  It's so hard to be poor and humble when you are rich and arrogant.

A personal thought about New Years Eve.   Over many years---too many to even remember--they were always spent w/ friends.  How delightful that, for many years now , they have been spent with family.  By that I mean children and their kids and their friends.    As to New Years Eve.  No sense getting into another day where people seem to be delighted to show---on TV--how moronic they are and how, like the morning TV audiences, they look like trained sheep being led to who knows what.  Best to have the good memories of years gone by and uniting with family and friends and not watching strange folks thinking that being on the "boob tube" makes them meaningful.

OK--now is the time to remind you of some upcoming shows and programs--On 1/5 you cannot want a better New Years gift than my  conversation with David Buskin and Rob Carlson during the TRADITIONS program.  Do join us and then make sure you go on1/18 to the Acoustic Cafe in Park Ridge, NJ ( )  

Finally, and for you happily, I end with my sincere wishes for a very Happy---and most, importantly--Healthy New :Year.