Nota Bene #125: Awesome Stuff

“I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #124: I'm a Doctor, Not an Engineer

“I don’t believe in this fairy tale of staying together for ever. Ten years with somebody is enough.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #123: Behold the Chickenosaurus

“There ought to be limits to freedom.” Who said it? Continue reading

Stuart O'Steen is not a crook

But he is Richard Nixon.

Stuart, longtime friend to S&R, is a veteran stage actor who portrays the former president in the Longmont (Colorado) Theatre Company‘s ambitious take on Frost/Nixon.

I had the great pleasure of recently seeing the production. As a politics junkie and student of American political history, particularly of the Watergate debacle, I couldn’t pass it up. And I anticipated from having seen Stuart’s remarkable performance as Robert Scott in 2009’s Terra Nova that he would surely immerse himself in this unique role as well.

My high expectations were Continue reading

Of Pogues and Pranks

I just found out an amusing fact about old Shane MacGowan, the brilliant songsmith who founded one of Celtic rock’s most celebrated bands and is somehow still with us after years of reckless merriment, spirits having literally preserved him.

Another influential musician (albeit in a different genre) recounted something from his youth in England that involved the mischievous Mr. MacGowan:

At my previous school in London I was good friends with Shane. He and I used to sit together in the back row of English Lit. He was extremely smart.

On one occasion during a boring reading of some classic novel or other, the teacher spotted me and Shane nattering. He singled me out saying something like, “What figure of speech is ‘indubitably’… Robertson?”

Shane whispered under his breath: “It’s an onanism.”

Ha. “IT’S AN ONANISM, SIR!” I blurted out.

Deadly pause.

“Robertson, please come up to the front of the class, take down the OED and read out to the class the definition of the word onanism.”

Which I did. Much to the delight of Shane and the rest of the class.

This little gem was recalled by one Thomas Morgan Robertson, who was famously blinded in 1982 (by something other than incessant onanism).

 

 

Nota Bene #122: OWStanding

“When I lie on the beach there naked, which I do sometimes, and I feel the wind coming over me and I see the stars up above and I am looking into this very deep, indescribable night, it is something that escapes my vocabulary to describe. Then I think: ‘God, I have no importance. Whatever I do or don’t do, or what anybody does, is not more important than the grains of sand that I am lying on, or the coconut that I am using for my pillow.'” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #121: Birds of an Ancient Feather

“Television is an invention whereby you can be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your house.” Who said it? The answer is at the end of this post. Now on to the links! Continue reading

Nota Bene #120: Crazy Ivan

“If you can make a woman laugh, you’re seeing the most beautiful thing on God’s earth.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #119: Think! It Ain't Illegal Yet

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” Who said it? Continue reading

On Richard Pryor: It was something he said

Richard PryorThe great medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer created timeless characters in his Canterbury Tales; archetypal personalities such as the Wife of Bath and the Miller endure to this day. Through them Chaucer could readily celebrate, criticize and satirize different aspects of the society of his time. Additionally, Chaucer, as a public servant and man of the people, preserved a vernacular that may otherwise have been lost.

The late Richard Pryor, often hailed as the greatest comic to ever take the stage, is the American Chaucer. A master storyteller in the grand tradition of West African griots, fired by passion and pain, possessed of keen insight, he was also a brilliant impersonator with amazing range, an intuitive actor who never got his due, a social critic, a writer, a folklorist, a philosopher, and, most importantly, one funny motherfucker… Continue reading

Nota Bene #118: VOTE!

“I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #117: Wake Up!

“Hollywood is so crooked that Mafia gangsters are entirely outclassed and don’t stand a chance. People in Hollywood are smarter. They have more sophisticated knowledge of money and deals and how to steal legally rather than illegally.” Who said it? Continue reading

I Don’t Know, Man: A Tribute to Harvey Pekar

Harvey Pekar would have turned 71 today.

I imagine that in between a phone interview or two, he would’ve found time to write a bit, listen to some old music, write some more, tape up his favorite winter coat, misplace his keys, complain about something frivolous, write some more, Harvey Pekarflash a grin at some point and end a sentence with “man,” and perhaps spend a few reflective moments looking out the window at the gray October sky of Cleveland Heights.

The esteemed chronicler of quotidian America passed away on July 12 of this year, surely having gained some measure of satisfaction that he contributed something worthwhile in life as he set out to do, and just as surely second-guessing that notion.

In tribute to Pekar, Scholars and Rogues invited cartoonists and artists—among them distinguished veterans, rising stars, and enigmas from dark corners of the underground—to illustrate panels accompanying text about events in his life, in the manner that Pekar produced his classic American Splendor series. Each week from October 2010 to January 2011, individual contributions were highlighted, but with the conclusion of the series they’re all now gathered on this page permanently. (Click on the images to see full posts.)

And bless you, Harvey, wherever you’re fretting… you gained much more than a footnote in history. Continue reading

Nota Bene #115: RIP No. 32

“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #114: Big Star

“The radio makes hideous sounds.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #113: Seth's Near-Death

“Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #112: GOOOLLLLLLLL

“Freedom of any kind is the worst for creativity.” Who said it? Continue reading