10 September 2015

I Post Song Lyrics from Time to Time: Zip

I was twenty, I looked forty. I got the job. 
-- Elaine Stritch

Oh, Elaine, will ya for Chrissake go to New Haven and sing the fuckin’ song? 
-- Ethel Merman


Interviewed Pablo Picasso
And a countess, named di Frasso.
I’ve interviewed the great Stravinsky.

My greatest achievement
Is the interview I had
With the star who worked for Minsky.

I met her at the Yankee Clipper,
And she didn’t unzip one zipper.
I said, “Miss Lee, you are such an artist,
Tell me why you never miss.

"Whadda you think of
While you work?”
And she said, “While I work,
My thoughts go something like this:

"Zip! Walter Lippmann wasn’t brilliant today.
Zip! Will Saroyan ever write a great play?

"Zip! I was reading Schopenhauer last night.
Zip! And I think that Schopenhauer was right.

"I don’t wanna see Zorina.
I don’t wanna meet Cobina.
I’m an intellect-ual.

"I don’t like a deep contralto,
Or a man whose voice is alto.
I’m a het'roseck-sual.

"Zip! It took intellect to master my art.
Zip! Who the Hell is Margie Hart?

"Zip! I consider Dali’s paintings passé.
Zip! Will they make the Metropolitan pay?

"Zip! English people don’t say 'clerk,' they say 'clark.'
Zip! Anybody who says 'clark' is a 'jark.'

"I adore the great Confucius,
And the lines of luscious Lucius.
I am so ecletic.

"I don’t care for either Mickey,
Mouse or Rooney makes me sicky.
I’m a little hectic.

"Zip! My artistic taste is classic and dear.
Zip! Who the Hell’s Lili St. Cyr?"

Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Written for “Pal Joey”
"Zip" was introduced by Jean Casto.
For the highly successful revival of "Pal Joey" in 1952, the song was sung by a certain Elaine Stritch.

On Hegel

Hegel founded reality by describing it.

-- Me. <--> I actually said this

08 September 2015

Here's a funny poem <--> this is the title

Here's a funny poem <--> this is the title

Hey. Here's a funny poem
I found in the 17th
Century. It doesn't matter,
So, you can stop reading now,

Because your experience
And the past have zero
Connection, whatsoever.
You're so cool; it's too cool: Anyways,

The poem goes like this: You
Are stuck in a poem: Not of your
Own devising: And that: Is the
Power of Poetry: Surprise!

Ha! And. Fuck you! Ha, ha!
You asshole, are you still
Reading this? You are.
You're mad. I can always

Tell. I can always tell that
You are an incredible
Asshole. Thank you for
Reading. I love you.

L. Steve Schmersal, Here's a funny poem <--> this is the title, September 2015.

Sound Image: Bernard Herrmann: Fahrenheit 451

So, I belong to the Bernard Herrmann Society page on Facebook--as you should--and Dirk Wickenden, of Kent, published this beautiful appreciation of Herrmann's work on François Roland Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451.

It is a thing we can't talk about, exactly: this intersection among image, music, and idea. Sound-image. Saussure spoke--as we know from his students' notes--of the sound-image, but we never seem to speak of the incredible accomplishment of the great score-writers and their attempt--sometimes well-intentioned and failing, sometimes better than the image being supported--to further the diegesis, the image, the audience, the now-place; the flavor, the texture, the smell--yes, I said the smell--and the possibility of film through sound. The image, somehow, as sound. Sound-image.

Herrmann may have been the sublime possibility, suggestion, and ending of all these intractable ideas. 

This clip is incandescently gorgeous. It sounds very much like Bernard Herrmann. It is a repetition without being a canon. It is as though every time the theme comes back again, the composer can't let it go. It is the most searchingly wonderful passage. I love it.

Please, listen to this. I wrote to Dirk Wickenden, today, just to ask to quote him, so you could read him. Just so you could listen.

Dirk Wickenden writes:
Fahrenheit 451: In this one cue, supporting a closing montage, Herrmann manages to comment on the characters' feelings of love for books and knowledge, the possible emerging love of the two main characters and the melancholy feelings of a group of people who are trying to keep the essence of an author's words alive. It is beautiful but sad at the same time.