Universities are of course hostile to geniuses which seeing and using ways of their own discredit the routine: as churches and monasteries persecute youthful saints. Emerson
300 quotes from Emerson
To view more Emerson quotes or read a life background on Emerson please visit the books blog spot. We update the blog bi-monthly emersonsaidit.blogspot.com
What Love is…..
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King, Different Seasons
A short story
John William Tuohy
With every passing year Laura came to the Diner less often, but she still came. She sat in the same booth they used to sit in and she ate the way they used to eat, except now she ate alone. But at the end of each meal she ordered two bowls of strawberries and milk, one for herself and one for him.
The vision of him crossed her mind at least once a day. He was a soft-spoken man. How peaceful and calming his voice was. He was tall with sharp features and a wonderful mane of silver hair with a spectacular widow’s peak that he wore combed back away from his handsome, freckled face. He had a magnificent toothy grin. He was a respected and productive member of the community. He was a high-school English teacher, a reliable man of steady habits, of deep spiritual beliefs. He was also, or at least he had been once, in another version of his life, an American iconoclast. He was a legend among a generation of poets and artists and writers who had once, briefly and a long time ago, held sway over a now almost forgotten corner of the world’s literary realm.
He was all those things and more, but on the night she first sat with him in the Diner, although she could not recall how long ago that was, he was an older man who couldn’t decide between onion soup or New England-style clam chowder. The waitress shifted her weight to her left side and played with the pen, preparing for the older gentleman to take another several minutes to decide. She looked at the unchanging clock on the wall and then back to the old man. At the counter, the busboy was inspecting an A&P’ Ladies Fragrance Perfume in the fancy glass bottle.
“I’ll take the onion soup,” he declared but not in any way that would inspire others to order the onion soup. The young woman wrote “1 onion” on the note pad and silently walked down the narrow and near empty aisle of booths and tables, and then disappeared into the kitchen.
Alone at his table, he read in the New Haven Register that Yale was sponsoring an Open University evening class entitled The Works of Louis Scott. He knew somehow, from that moment, that everything had changed. It was taught by a young woman named Epione: Anna Epione.
He should have stayed home. And since he did go, the least he could have done was to sit there and not talk. But that young woman, that instructor, had it all wrong. An intelligent young woman to be sure, with impeccable credentials of course, and she knew her facts, dates, her times, and her places, but she didn’t understand what it had all been about.
“That generation of writers, the so-called Defeated Ones, embraced spontaneity, and the primitive, instinct, and energy,” she concluded to the class of about twenty.
“But to what end?” he said, surprising even himself.
She said, “I don’t follow you.”
He was sorry he had said anything at all. He glanced at the door to judge the time it would take him to escape the room, but she caught his eye and gave him an encouraging smile. She wanted dialogue. He wanted to leave but he continued reluctantly, his eyes trained on the tip of his shoe as he spoke.
“They didn’t just ‘embrace’ spontaneity and the primitive,” he said. “They worshipped it. Which is fine, I mean, those are good options to explore, but not to take up as a residence for the mind. Their entire being was based on anti-intellectualism and an opposition to the mores of society, which made sense because none of them was very bright, much less intellectual.”
“Is that necessarily bad?” she asked.
“Yes, in fact it is,” he said looking at her face for the first time, “but again, not to visit and explore as a topic. That is one of the functions of an artist, to explore and to temporarily embrace, but again, not as a permanent viewpoint, because the only thing that can follow anti-intellectualism and an opposition to the mores of society is violence.”
“Not necessarily,” she interrupted. “Society would have—”
“Wait,” he said softly but firmly and then returned his gaze to the top of his shoe. “Listen to me. I’m speaking in the specific, not in the general sense. We—they—people listened to us, people mimicked us, and it would have been fine if we had known our ass from our elbows but we didn’t. It was all just vanity gone mad. Society had nothing to do with it. We were not revolting against society, capitalism, or even common respectability. Ours was a revolt of standards, which is pretty damned cheeky since we didn’t have any standards. We, the morally inferior, wanted standards lowered. We declared a war of words against those who strove to find a moral balance in their lives, those artists and educators who rose above the common place and the lowbrow. We were hateful, angry young men who resented normalcy, because attempting to be normal, productive human beings is hard work and requires commitment, and we had neither of those attributes. We resented any attempts to cope with the larger world through simple intelligence. We resented the coherent because it was beyond our grasp. We resented commitment on any level, to a woman, a job, a country. Anything. And why? Because we were morally inferior and we knew it, and rather than bring ourselves up to the standards of society, which, if you consider it, aren’t all that high in the first place, we tried to reduce society to our meager spiritual and moral levels. The complete and total sum of our spiritual and intellectual interests was based on half-assed mystical doctrines, irrationalism, and unusable philosophies. Our crusade was so stupid that only an idealist could have thought it up. We said we were jazz enthusiasts because it reflected the primitive vitality and spontaneity of our writings, but actually it was because we were incapable of putting together a coherent rational artistic thought. Hipster slang as a literary form? We simply had self-imposed impoverished vocabularies that made us unable to express anything in words beyond a handful of worn-out adjectives. We decided we were beaten before the game started. The game was life and the game was real. We were the fakes, the phonies. We had no form, no restraint, no complexity, and no literary or intellectual responsibility. We were a bunch of poorly-educated turn-your-life-into-literature-Proust wannabe’s. Nor did we speak for a generation. Ten or twelve people who have decided that life is too hard to live do not for a generation speak. We were on a danse macabre.”
When he finished speaking, the room was filled with a sense of awe that translated into a dreadful silence and he realized that all eyes were on himAfter several seconds, she asked, “What’s your name?” “I’m just—” He searched for a word and concluded with, “I teach English up in Seymour.”
That night, she followed him, from a distance, and when he pulled into the Valley Diner for a late supper, she slid into the vinyl seat across from him and said, “I know you.”
He didn’t look at her. He didn’t speak to her but he had drawn his lips in tightly and his face was flush red. His jaw was clenched. She was frightened slightly, but still frightened. The chill was momentarily broken when the waitress served his onion soup. He stirred his soup and after a full two minutes, he said without looking at her, “You followed me.”
She leaned forward with a smile and said, “I think that—”
“You have no right!” he shouted. Most of the diners in the restaurant were staring at him. “You have no right to invade my life.”
She reached into the well-worn pages of a copy of Down to the Bone and pulled out a thirty-eight-year-old photo of him. “You’re him. You’re Lou Scott,” she said.
He lifted his eyes from the soup, stared at the black-and-white photograph, and saw a troubled young man he had left behind almost a half century before. Still, it was good to see him. For despite the young man’s faults and foibles, he liked him, and a slow warm smile of nostalgia came across his handsome face. The younger man in the picture held a copy of Down to the Bone. He was sitting at a table in a coffeehouse in San Francisco with the legendary poets Phil Wallen and Barry Snyder and other but lesser gods of ink. He returned to his soup, stirred it with his spoon.
He put the spoon down and reached for the photo, looked at it and said tiredly, “Yeah. It’s me. I am he.
I suppose you’ll be running off to the nearest newspaper or television station with your little discovery,” he said, the words sounding far more sarcastic than he intended. Still, the words caused her to say nothing in her defense.
“I didn’t mean that the way it sounded,” he said. “Let me say this. I’ve done nothing to harm you. I’ve done nothing to harm anyone. The fact is, young lady, the only person I have ever harmed in this life, is myself. I have elected to live out my life here, in anonymity and in peace and in happiness. It has taken me four decades to build—” he stopped mid- sentence and edited himself, “to rebuild my life, and if you tell the world about me it will all be over in a matter of hours. There is nothing I can do to stop you. But speaking as one rational person to another, it will harm me. I will ask you not to do it, and again, I say unto you, I have done you no harm.”
“What name do you go by now?” she asked. “What should I call you?”
“You can call me by my name, Louis Scott,” he replied with the slightest smile. “I prefer Lou. I’ve never been called Louis, actually.”
“What name have you been using all these years?” “Lou Scott.”
“Really?” She asked, astounded by it. “You didn’t use an alias?”
“No one ever put one and one together,” he said. “Besides, I really don’t know how to go about creating a new name. I have no idea where a person would get a fake driver’s license and all that.”
And despite this rather ridiculous legend that had grown up around us, this image of us as fearless rebels living outside the law, the facts are, we were a very law- abiding group. Jail costs money and we didn’t have any money. Not in the early days. So we followed the law.”
“I’m sorry I shouted.”
“It’s all right. I deserved it. And you’re right, I invaded your space.”
And so they talked. Over the many months that passed in the short time they knew each other, he never invited her to his house, preferring to meet her at the Diner. It was twice a week at first, and then three times a week, at her request. They met at the same time and sat at the same table. After several weeks, they decided to try everything on the menu simply to say that they did it. They sat, they talked, they ate, and they drank coffee, sometimes for only a few hours, sometimes deep into the night. They talked about everything, life, art, literature, her boyfriends, and lack thereof. In turn, he told her that there had been a marriage once, in what he termed “my new life.” It was a good marriage, a happy marriage, to another teacher. It lasted for more than three decades. She died four years ago.
“Children?” she asked.
“We were too old by then. It’s a shame. Once I got my problems cleared up, I would have been a pretty good father, actually. There was just not enough time.”
He told her everything about himself. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona, to a wealthy family of noted local surgeons. His parents’ marriage broke up, and his mother moved him to California with her, from town to town, and his childhood was rootless, skipping from Santa Monica to Coronado to La Mesa, and El Cajon, and finally to Palo Alto, where she allowed him to finish high school.
Following two uneventful years in the Air Force, he returned to California, and he entered college at Berkeley intent on studying, “something worth knowing, but instead I settled on philosophy.”
He started writing, having been inspired by Gertrude Stein's long story “Melanctha,” which is one of the three stories, in her book Three Lives, all of which take place in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
He wrote fiction mostly, but some poetry he never shared until he met the soon-to- be-famous Phil Wallen and Barry Snyder, fellow poets and writers who were his co-editors on the school’s literary magazine.
After college, he moved to Chicago and worked as a copywriter for a large advertising firm. It was here that his contribution to mass marketing in the latter half of the twentieth century was a slogan that he wrote: “Raid kills bugs dead.” He didn’t actually think it up, he just wrote it down after a meeting with a Raid corporate executive who replied to his question, “What does Raid do?” because he had no idea what Raid was, and the executive replied, “Raid kills bugs dead.” The fact that he had penned that slogan appeared in almost everything written about him, but he didn’t mind. In fact he found it amusing, and many decades later he still took a craftsman’s pride at having penned such a straightforward, understandable, and memorable sentence.
He moved back to San Francisco, and rejoined his friends Wallen and Snyder, who were starting to receive national attention for their poetry. He decided to devote his life completely to his writing. He became an integral part of the emerging San Francisco poetry scene, driving a cab at night and working on a fishing boat in the summers for pocket money. He also taught a poetry workshop offered through the extension program of the University of California at Berkeley and gave a poetry reading at San Quentin. Phil Wallen made him a character in his best seller The Long Road as Dave Wait, a wandering poet who was always ready for a good time. Then Barry Snyder included one of his poems in The New American Poetry, an important anthology and that same year his first novel, Down to the Bone, was published. More than forty years later it was still a bestseller, a must-have classic of every English major from Bar Harbor to Oakland. He took up drinking, and hitchhiked cross-country.
He said that he read in the newspapers that despite an extensive search, his body was never found. That didn’t surprise him, since it was a part of his soul that he had left there and not a body, and the police were not skilled in the art of soul-searching. He read that there was speculation that he killed himself in the woods and that a bear or pack of wolves had carried off his body. He said that he was struck deeply by the fact that others guessed, correctly, that he simply decided to vanish.
“Have you ever regretted it? Disappearing that way?” she asked him.
“At first, yes,” he answered. “In the beginning of this, this new life, not much changed. The depression and the drinking and the pills. He told her how he decided to no longer live the coward’s life. How he tried, struggled, failed, and tried again, to lead the life of a helpful, productive man. He got medical help for his depression, stopped smoking cigarettes, and gave up the dope and the drinking. He told her, with great remorse, that he fell back to all those vices many times and then he met her, his wife, and he stopped failing. He simply stopped, and he never failed again.
He opened his wallet and showed her picture.
“She made you happy?” she asked.
“No,” he said, “she did more than that. She taught me that our happiness depends on ourselves.”
After several dinners together he decided the time had come to talk about his death.
“As you probably know I left a suicide note once,” he said, “so I won’t leave a written will.
Those highwaymen over at Red Fox Press have been publishing my work for over thirty years now and since no one ever bothered to have me declared dead by the state, Red Fox Press owes my estate a fortune. They’ll fight it. of course; it’s a lot of money after all, seven million dollars at least.” He smiled and added, “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it.”
He reached into his brief case, pulled out a single envelope, and handed it to her. “Here’s a check for twenty-five thousand. Use it to hire a good lawyer to fight them with. Don’t fight to the end. That’s not my wish. Settle for a third. If they won’t settle, try this.”
From his leather briefcase he pulled out three thick manuscripts, and dropped them on the table.
“Three new works,” he said. “By me, of course,” and slid them over to her side of the table. “My autobiography, a fairly good novel, and a collection of passable poetry.”
He paused and said, “I have no one else. It’s a lot of money.”
She pushed them back wordlessly. He slid the manuscripts back across the table to her and said, as gently and kindly as he could, “People die. Nothing escapes death. No one escapes death. And I am going to die. And you are going to die. And when your time comes, I hope you too have someone near you as strong, dear, kind, and competent as I have in you.
“Will you write about me,” he asked, “when I’m gone?”
“Would you mind if I did?” she asked.
“I’ll be dead, so it’ll be fine with me,” he answered. “But I hope that you write that my old life was a futile pursuit, a listless wandering, and a great deal of talk without meaning. I grinned at the devil, mocked the Lord, and created a belief system that only I could believe and all others, including me, found ridiculous. I was meaningless to heaven and hell had no interest in me. I lived a life of moral silence and spiritual blindness. About three years ago, I decided to use the time remaining to me on this earth to complete one significant action.”
“And what was that?” she asked.
“To find God,” he answered quickly. “After my wife died, I looked for God. I had questions but I never found him. I thought it over for a very long time, about why I could not find God. I realized I wasn’t willing to work for it. I never found God was that I was not looking for him out of love. God is love. You can’t see him or understand him in any other way.”
They didn’t speak for a moment, each lost in their own thoughts.
“So, I’m going to die,” he said. “What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “Find a new friend to replace you, or go look for Hart Crane maybe. Gulf of Mexico can’t be that big.”
One evening when she arrived at the Diner, the booth was empty. He was gone. His funeral was a sellout. Four generations of his students, and hundreds of fans of Down to the Bone came to see him off.
GOOD WORDS TO HAVE
Duffer \DUFF-er\ a peddler especially of cheap flashy articles b: something counterfeit or worthless 2: An incompetent, ineffectual, or clumsy person; especially : a mediocre golfer
The original duffers of the mid-18th century were shysters of the first order, merchants who palmed off trashy goods as if they were highly valuable (they often implied to unwary buyers that the goods had been smuggled and were very rare). Over time, the meaning of duffer was extended from a no-good peddler to anyone who was "no good," not just because the individual had low morals, but because he or she was incompetent or stupid. The term has been applied to hopelessly bad golfers since the late 19th century.
Here's a poem for you..................................
How to See Deer
by Philip Booth
Forget roadside crossings.
Go nowhere with guns.
Go elsewhere your own way,
lonely and wanting. Or
stay and be early:
next to deep woods
inhabit old orchards.
All clearings promise.
Sunrise is good,
and fog before sun.
Expect nothing always;
find your luck slowly.
Wait out the windfall.
Take your good time
to learn to read ferns;
make like a turtle:
downhill toward slow water.
Instructed by heron,
drink the pure silence.
Be compassed by wind.
If you quiver like aspen
trust your quick nature:
let your ear teach you
which way to listen.
You've come to assume
protective color; now
colors reform to
new shapes in your eye.
You've learned by now
to wait without waiting;
as if it were dusk
look into light falling:
in deep relief
things even out. Be
careless of nothing. See
what you see.
Philip Edmund Booth (October 8, 1925 – July 2, 2007) was a poet and educator; he has been called "Maine's clearest poetic voice."
Booth was born in 1925 in Hanover, New Hampshire. Booth served in the United States Air Force in the Second World War. He then attended Dartmouth College, where he studied with Robert Frost; he received his B.A. in 1947. He subsequently received an M.A. from Columbia University. Booth married Margaret Tillman in 1946; they had three daughters. He spent much of his time living in Castine, Maine in a house that has been handed down through his family for five generations.
Booth was an instructor and professor of English and of creative writing at Dartmouth College, Bowdoin College, Wellesley College, and at Syracuse University. Booth was one of the founders of the Creative Writing program at Syracuse. One of his students, the poet Stephen Dunn, has written of his 1969-70 experience at Syracuse that, "We had come to study with Philip Booth, Donald Justice, W.D. Snodgrass, George P. Elliott, arguably the best group of writer-teachers that existed at the time."
Here's a poem I wrote (I'm not a poet but I wanted to give it a try)
FOR YOU I WOULD FIGHT DRAGONS
For you, I would fight dragons.
I would stand before the angry beast, shield and dagger in hand.
And I would be scared, but for you I would fight dragons, I would.
About ten years ago there was a theater in Chicago looking for badly written plays with no moral lesson. So I wrote this. The theater didn’t accept the play which means one of two things; it wasn’t bad enough or it was too good.
This play may be reproduced with the author’s permission by any not-for-profit group.
ONE NIGHT IN THE WRITERS ROOM
The writer: A male or female
Jello Biafria: Female
Genesis Q. Orridge: Female
Off stage voice guy: A guy (Duh)
McDermott Homicide: Male
Stivel: Leading man
A living room
A writer’s studio
The writer is writing at his desk and then reading aloud what he has written
The night resembled nothing so much as the nose of a giant
excellent health: cold, black, and wet…no, that’s right. Um….The rising sun crawled over the ridge and
slithered across the hot barren terrain into every nook and cranny like grease
on a Denny's grill in the morning rush, but only until eleven o'clock when they
switch to the lunch menu. I’ll fix the
opening later, anyway this has nothing to do with our story which takes places
thousands of miles away in Virginia at yet another
play writing contest. Just what writers need, more competition. Anyway, lights
go on. Genesis Q. Orridge is leaning out a window
JELLO BIAFRIA (bored)
No, Genesis Q. Orridge don’t do it! Stivel isn’t worth it!
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE (bored)
Stay back! I mean it!
JELLO BIAFRIA (bored)
No man is worth this!
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE (bored)
I’ll end it my way!
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
The lights go off. The lights come back on. Jello Biafria is throwing them out a window
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE (Very bored)
No, Jello Biafria don’t do it!
JELLO BIAFRIA (Very bored)
Stay back! I mean it! I’ll end it my way!
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
The lights go off. After several seconds, they come back on again. The characters are on stage exactly how the last scene left them. They look up towards the roof and wait several seconds. Ten years in theater and this is the best role I can get… announcer. Jes. I wonder if I can still get into graduate school
I think he’s given up for the night. Thank God, I can’t take this much longer.
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE
How many times is he going to rewrite this scene? Why doesn’t he just give up? Most people learn to write by the second grade, and then go on to do greater things, like acting and then directing and finally…………..ushering the most sensible and productive job in theater
(Exhausted, she throws herself into a chair)
The wastebasket is this guy’s best friend.
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE (Turns to the audience)
We’ve now established the basic plot, what’s called the “binding element” and that is, we all hate the writer so we’re binding on that…got it?
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY:
McDermott Homicide, dressed in a trench coat, badge on his waist with a holster and pistol, strolls onto the stage, see’s how depressed everyone is…. Mr. Big deal, like I couldn’t wear a rain coat. I could have done this part
He changed the scene…… again?
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Preoccupied with other things, they all nod. I should try directing I’d be good at that, its not like it requires some great talent
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY (Mumbling)
I could do his role without the props…but nooooooo, I have to be “off stage”
May I continue?
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Sorry, sorry, sorry….I’m sorry, please go ahead
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
ruin the play with your ham fisted acting. Chew on a piece of scenery if you like
(He reads the line VERY fast and then looks over quickly at the off stage voice guy)
From what to what?
From dumb to stupid, which, oddly enough in its own way, is a sort of evil reverse talent
And did you hear those awful, predictable lines he’s given me? “Everyone stay where they are” …I mean, God! How trite! But, hey, I’m lucky to be in the show right? I mean, for an actor, bad lines are better then no lines at all…am I right or what?
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
The others look at him and then look away
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
He turns and looks at the off stage voice guy for an explanation………I can’t get involved. I’m not even part of the play, never mind that I did Shakespeare in
Park…it was a paying gig too….but nooooooo, I can’t even have a
piddley little speaking role. I don’t
need this, you know. I have friends in Hollywood.
I have a script…here, have a copy
Will somebody please tell me what’s going on?
Some detective. You were written out of the play several pages ago
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Good, serves you right
You know, your career problems are not my fault
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Your right! Your right! I’m sorry, please go ahead. Self involved little schmuck
He can’t do that! I’m an essentially stock character, gruff Irish cop, heart of gold under a rough exterior! I’m a cornerstone of all good murder mysteries, slash satire, slash comedy, slash drama…that yutz! No good playwright would do that
Well no one has ever accused him of being a good playwright, enthusiastic maybe, oblivious perhaps…but not good.
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Enter STIVEL. You know, I could have done his role too, not much meat to it…..but nooooooo, we need to limit the number of characters in the play.
I won’t stand for this; I’m going to go see him…I should be the lead in this play! I should be on stage…. alone! (Although wearing a hat and coat he grabs a hat and coat from a chair)
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Exit McDermott Homicide……Ya think they’d at least give me a stage name. How’s this going to look on my resume? “Off stage voice guy”
Where’s he going?
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE
Off to see the quote “writer”
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
She stands, walks to the edge of the stage and addresses the audience….like I couldn’t do that either…I should be the lead in this play….I could play a female role…Jack Lemmon did it, Tony Curtis pulled if off
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE
As a theater professional, I feel obligated to let you know that McDermott Homicide is “the writer’s” ham-fisted version of a sub-plot which is essentially the same as the main plot……character, conflict and resolution but the so-called writer will try to make the sub-plot function as comic relief…in this case McDermott Homicide. Frankly, sub-plots are way, way, way out of this “Writers” reach, so if he loses you, just raise your hand and one of the actors will fill you in. Anyway, let get onto the romantic portion of the play
Hello Jello Biafria…he said smold….smolder….
Thank you…smolderingly Ouy vay. It’s possible to live an entire life with eyes that can’t see, ears that can’t hear and lips that can’t speak but I think we should die a quick death to be born with a heart that can’t love. I wonder where he lifted that line from? I think I heard that on a Bonanza rerun episode on TV Land
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Across the stage, Mc Dermott Homicide talks to the writer
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE
Well, this ought to be entertaining
If it is, THE WRITER will think of a way to ruin it
Are you the writer?
Who are you? What do you want?
McDermott. Homicide. I have head shots and a resume if you need them
I had a character in one of my plays called McDermott Homicide…a real idiot…killed him off …good play though, orphaned, blind black kid in a wheel chair gets hit by a bus, survives and dies of cancer, really pulled at the heartstrings, although maybe as a light musical comedy wasn’t the way to go with that one
MCDERMOTT, HOMICIDE (Smiling broadly)
THE WRITER (Frowning mightily)
You’re not black and your not blind and where’s your wheel chair?
No! I’m McDermott…The idiot! I’m McDermott the idiot!
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE (Smiling and sincere)
It’s like watching two baboons talk isn’t it?
Listen, you can’t write me out of the play! Look, be a pal, put me back in, coach. Be reasonable! At least discuss it with me……is it something I said? Because, if it is…you said it first….I really like that line. By the way, if you’re working on anything new, I’m available, I’ll send you some head shots later
We’re not having this conversation because you’re not real, you’re a fictional character.
Reality…what’s reality but a cowards substitute for Prozac. Don’t let it scare you.
Reality doesn’t scare me buddy! I work in the arts! Let me tell you something, more then once I’ve looked reality straight in the eye and denied it! Besides I really don’t want to get involved….. (To the audience) Get it? Get involved? It’s a funny line, you’ll probably laugh later. See, I’m THE WRITER so I’m already involved in the work.
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE
That’s not based on anything I’ve seen
(Looking over at GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE)
You now, I really don’t like her
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
The light fades on McDermott and the writer. The stage goes dark and then the lights go back on. McDermott walks on stage, he a pulls .32 out of his coat and shoots JELLO BIAFRIA
(Obviously reading a hidden script near a plant)
My God! What have you done! Why! Oh Why? He said shockedandapalled
(Reading a script hidden inside his coat lining)
I think it’s “Shocked and appalled” it’s a misprint and you’re not suppose to read that part aloud and I killed her, I hope
(Taking a page of the script he had taped to the back of a plant and reading it to himself) Oh yeah, you’re right, it is shocked and appalled. But my character does have a good point, I mean, why did you shoot her? It completely ruins the romantic overtones of the play and it doesn’t really fit into the story line.
Well not really. Now that’s she dying, you understand that you can’t live without her blah blah blah, it pulls at the audiences heart strings blah blah, blah and it cuts at least five minutes from the play…Well that, and it was the only way I could stay on stage and Chekhov’s rule, gun comes out, gun goes off
WRITER (Yelling across the stage)
I learned that in playwriting class
Chekhov! That idiot is quoting THE Chekhov
That’s right, Chekhov…the guy on Star trek (Speaking to McDermott) And they say television isn’t educational
But shooting her! You couldn’t figure out another way to bring us together?
Not me pal, it was the writer…and in his defense, it’s a ten-minute play, we ain’t got all day here. Besides, you have to admit, it’s effective
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Stivel throws himself down to Jello Biafria and holds her in his arms…I could have done this part, a breeze….but nooo…I’m the announcer. I mean its not even acting, not really
STIVEL (reading from a script taped to a plant)
Jello Biafria! Speak to me! He says with great emotion in his voice Pause
I can’t breath
What? That’s not in the script. Do you see that in the script? I got the wrong script! I knew it! You’re all out to get me! I knew it. Stop the play! I was given the wrong script
You’re leaning on my windpipe, you idiot! Get off of me! Paranoid loon.
Oh. Disregard the all-out-to-get-me remark people. Sorry
Go ahead, it’s you’re line
STIVEL (Speaks entire line)
She’s….She’s gone. Pauses, for several seconds and turns to McDermott Homicide
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
That’s my line, you yutz. As it is I’m a barely in the play. I could be doing film in Europe
How was that? Too much? It was too much wasn’t it? See? This is what happens when actors don’t get directions during the readings. It was too much wasn’t it?
No, no, no…it was fine, you know, considering the limits of your talent and all.
Thank you. (Turns to Jello Biafria) She’s….she’s dead
No, I’m not dead I’m waiting for the idiot to write my next line…hold on a second.
Typical man. Chokes at the emotional parts.
Oh Yeah, forgot!
MCDERMOTT shoots GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE
The writer didn’t like that remark about a wastebasket being his best friend and he feels that for a secondary character playing a lead character, you got kind of an attitude problem
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE (Dying)
Man, this sucks! Aw, damn! Hey writer! You know, the stage business isn’t for sissy’s, if you’re gonna write you better toughen up against criticisms….look at my last reviews for Hamlet
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
She takes the reviews from her pocket
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE (Dying)
“She was out acted by the floor boards” You think I shot anybody over that? Anyway, I have head shots if you’re casting later
You can’t do that! You can’t kill off a character like that
Sure I can
Well okay, but not twice in the same play!
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE
At least not in the same act!
It’s predictable overkill. (To the audience) pardon the pun. It was too good to pass up
Maybe, but you didn’t see it coming (To the audience) and neither did you
Well the writer’s an idiot. Ask the director, he’ll tell you the same thing. Go ahead.
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Smiling broadly, the director stands up and nods in agreement and then, delighted at the attention directors so rarely get, turns and winks to the audience and gives them a two handed V sign. McDermott turns slowly and shoots Stivel and the director.
I guess I should have seen that one coming. Here, have a copy of my resume, I do nude scenes and opera
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
He turns and shoots the guy doing the off stage ….voice…oh…I don’t think so…..
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY shoots McDermott Homicide
GENESIS Q. ORRIDGE
(Lifting her head from the floor) This is what we call a twist in the plot
Why’d you shoot me? Was it Genesis Q. Orridge? You were secretly in love with her?
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Uuummmm….for the sake of making this play seem more involved then it actually is, I’ll say yes, but between me and you, I just wanted the leading role, I really need the part for my resume. Would you like a headshot? Get it? Head-shot? See? I can do comedy too.
MCDERMOTT, HOMICIDE (Dying)
OFF STAGE VOICE GUY
Paid off the writer. Ten bucks, not bad. I was willing to go up to twenty…..thank God for student loans…like I was saying; I should have had the lead from the start…..
The lights go off. The lights come back on. The writer is writing at his desk
She walked toward him, her dress billowing in the wind -- not a calm and predictable billows like the sea, but more like the billowing of a mildewed shower curtain in a cheap motel where one has to dance around to avoid touching it while trying to rinse off soap
Nope. Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze. Naw. She was sending me more mixed signals than a dyslexic third-base coach. The lights go on. McDermott Homicide has a pistol pointed to his temple
“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” Walt Whitman
“We have to allow ourselves to be loved by the people who really love us, the people who really matter. Too much of the time, we are blinded by our own pursuits of people to love us, people that don't even matter, while all that time we waste and the people who do love us have to stand on the sidewalk and watch us beg in the streets! It's time to put an end to this. It's time for us to let ourselves be loved.” C. JoyBell C.
“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them” Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
“My wish is that you may be loved to the point of madness.”
André Breton, What is Surrealism?: Selected Writings
“That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
I’m trying to teach myself Spanish and this is what I learned today….
Pues sí: certainly
Example sentence: Pues si, estoy de acuerdo con todos los que dicen eso.
Sentence meaning: Certainly, I agree with all those who say that.
I’m trying to teach myself Spanish and this is what I learned today….
Envolver (ehn-vohl-vehr') to wrap; to involve
1. Has envuelto los regalos para la fiesta de cumpleaños mañana?
Have you wrapped the presents for the birthday party tomorrow?
2. No me envuelvas en las peleas entre tú y tu esposo.
Don't involve me in the fights between you and your husband.
Happy, Happier, Successful
Barbara Lejczak, Editor, Credit Suisse
It is official – the Swiss are the happiest nation in the world! The concept of happiness is slowly making its way into the national statistics across the globe. But how can emotions be measured?
It all started In Bhutan. In the early 1970s, Bhutan's fourth Dragon King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, decided to replace the Western economic measurement GNP (gross national product) with GNH (gross national happiness) and put spiritual values in the heart of his country's economy. A few decades have passed and Western leaders started regarding happiness an important measure of social progress too. In 2009 Gallup, the American research institute, began its Well-Being Index and two years later the United Nations adopted the resolution "Happiness: Towards a Holistic Approach to Development". The UN called for: "A more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples."
World Happiness Report
The UN resolution was followed by the first "World Happiness Report" prepared by a group of independent academics, including the economists Jeffrey Sachs, from the Columbia University, and Richard Layard, from the London School of Economics. Let's not be fooled by the name of the report, it is much more serious than it sounds and actually the question "Are you happy?" is not asked even once. The level of happiness is calculated with the following six factors: GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support, trust, freedom to make life decisions, and generosity. In this year's report the top ten happiest nations are mainly small and medium-sized European countries with high GDP. What is noteworthy is that half of the top ten are Nordic states.
This year Switzerland dethroned Denmark, who reigned supreme since the survey began. Does it mean that Switzerland has now mastered the subject of well-being? Or maybe life in the country of chocolate and cheese makers is a bed of roses? Well, the Credit Suisse "Worry Barometer" confirms that the Swiss do have concerns, just like everybody else. What keeps them awake at night are: unemployment, immigration issues, retirement, health, etc. Despite these fears, the Swiss have a very optimistic outlook for the future. One may think it is because Switzerland is a wealthy country. Surely, money can solve problems, but as proved by many economists before, money does not contribute to happiness once a certain level of wealth is reached. The same is true for Switzerland – although today the average income per capita is higher than in the mid-1970s, the level of satisfaction has not increased. Oliver Adler, the Head of Credit Suisse Economic Research, in his article How Is Switzerland Doing? argues that on top of wealth, "there are a number of reasons for Switzerland's prosperity, and some of them are rooted in its history." Oliver Adler's list includes: political and monetary stability, the Swiss society's inclination to compromise and efficient public authorities.
Social Capital and the Ability to Bounce Back
These factors can all be grouped under one name: social capital. More and more evidence confirms that social capital and happiness are tied together. The former is based on interpersonal relations, trust, honesty, and mutual support. The latter consist of the following four pillars: sustained positive emotion; recovery of negative emotion; empathy, altruism and pro-social behavior; as well as mindfulness. Jeffrey Sachs advocates that "societies with high social capital outperform those with low social capital in terms of subjective well-being and economic development." It also makes societies more resilient to economic crises and natural disasters. Unfortunately there is no recipe that would guarantee better social capital but one thing is certain – it takes time.
EU Takes a Look Beyond GDP
The appreciation of happiness has sped up in this millennium. Ten years ago, the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) started its program to redefine progress in order to promote understanding on what drives well-being of nations and individuals. The European Union followed the example and launched its own program called "Beyond GDP". The goal of the EU's initiative is to develop clear indicators of growth, similar to GDP but enriched by environmental and social aspects of progress. David Cameron was the first Western country leader to see happiness as one of his objectives and made the measurement of people's well-being a national statistic. National and local governments increasingly use the well-being data to respond to people's needs. Not only to improve the level of happiness, but also to influence the development and add to social capital. It is becoming a popular view that the economic model of growth that seemed universal in the last few decades has its limitations.
Political Participation Makes Happy
As Swiss professor Bruno S. Frey says in his paper on happiness and public policies: "Happiness research has clearly established that there are diminishing marginal returns to higher income in terms of subjective well-being. At the same time, research has established that there are other crucial determinants of happiness that are relevant in the process of economic development. Personal health and social relatedness are examples at the individual level, while political participation rights and decentralized decision making structures are important determinants at the aggregate level." It seems the time has come to seek new models of progress and some governing bodies have already made some steps towards it.
"Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt."
Visit our Shakespeare Blog at the address below
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.” ― Miguel Ruiz
I LOVE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY........................
Arnold Eagle, Platform at the Chatham Square Train Station, NY, ca 1948.
LETS LOOK AT GREAT ART..................................
Harald Slott-Møller - Midsummer’s Eve by -irinaraquel-
New York Bail Reform Is Part Of Trend Away Form Cash Punishment
New York City will soon offer alternatives to bail for low-level offenders. NPR's Wade Goodwyn speaks with Karin Martin of John Jay College about how this will affect New York's prisons.
WADE GOODWYN, HOST:
New York City is changing its bail requirements. City officials announced this week that starting next year, many people accused of nonviolent crimes and misdemeanors will no longer have to pay bail. Instead, the low-level offenders will be under court supervision until their trial. The city says this program would reduce the number of people awaiting trial on Rikers Island. Joining us now is Karin Martin. She's professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Welcome.
KARIN MARTIN: Hi.
GOODWYN: So what brought about this change to the bail system in New York City, and why specifically are we focused on Rikers?
MARTIN: We're focused on Rikers because it has the - an unfortunately-long history of horrible abuses of people, people dying and being injured and unfortunately, a lot of people have been there just awaiting trial. So essentially, Rikers is an excellent example of failing to save jail for people who are convicted, as opposed to people who have just been accused. So the changes in New York are coming about because there's something of a trend happening nationwide. We're realizing that we can't afford, both financially and kind of morally, the horrible impacts of mass incarceration. And New York is a great place to start with this type of reform.
GOODWYN: So what exactly will they replace bail with?
MARTIN: Yeah, there's lots of good options. So in New York specifically, they're going to be doing things like having people just get text reminders, offering people mental health and substance abuse treatment. The idea is that as opposed to making a person who tends to be more often than not poor pay money that they don't have, you do something else. The goal is just to get somebody back to court, right. And so there's lots of other ways to do that.
GOODWYN: I mean, explain a little bit more to me how it would work. They would text somebody, and you'd text back and that's how they'd keep track of where you are?
MARTIN: Right, well, the idea is that you just want somebody to come back to court. That is the point of bail. And so if somebody is low-risk to themselves, low-risk to society and they want themselves to be done and over with this, you know, incident, then you can just remind somebody to come and that will happen. So it could just be a text reminder - don't forget your court date. This is when it is. This is where you show up. And a lot of times that actually works quite well.
GOODWYN: Is this part of a trend against bail in this country?
MARTIN: I think it is perhaps the tip of a trend against bail. Advocates have been arguing that we need bail reform for quite a long time.
GOODWYN: Why reform? What has been wrong with the bail system up to this point?
MARTIN: It is extremely unfair. Essentially, what you're doing is taking people who have zero dollars and asking them to pay you dollars to preserve their own liberty. In New York, it's something like 45,000 people per year are detained on bail. And of those, 85 percent have a bail that they can't afford to pay, even though it's less than $500. And we have to keep in mind that in New York City, the cost of jail is something like $400 - at least $400 a day, so the math quickly does not add up.
GOODWYN: Which is why I'm wondering, you know, why does the system do it this way? How does the system benefit from the current way of asking for bail?
MARTIN: I think that it's kind of a version of inertia. I think, you know, the idea was that the most important thing we have in our society and culture is money, so if you take that away from somebody or threaten to take it away from them, then you can compel them to do what you want them to do, which is to return to court. And then we have an industry that this set up - often, you know, in any downtown area, you see the bail bondsmen is right next-door to the court. And so we have an industry that has a lot of entrenched interest to keep the current system alive and well.
GOODWYN: Karin Martin is a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Karin, thank you.
MARTIN: My pleasure.
Sample from NO TIME TO SAY GOODBYE
The wheel is come full circle. -William Shakespeare.
The social worker told me his name but I forgot it a second later. There was no point in remembering it, since he would come and go like the rest of them. He didn’t tell me where I was going. I don’t blame him. I too would have been too embarrassed to mention it, because we were going back to Pond Street. My mother was living in an apartment building there, less than a hundred feet away from our old house, which was still there and still leaning precariously to the left, like some aged wooden drunk.
“You’ll get a new start here,” the young social worker said, without understanding the humor in the statement. I understood it, though, and laughed. I was arriving back on Pond Street the way I left ten years before, with the clothes on my back and nothing else. I had been whisked out of Hartford without being allowed to pack.
“We’ll get you new clothes,” the new social worker told me on the ride back to Waterbury. That was a lie, too, but by now I knew it was a lie. I had mastered the ways of the system. I had learned—given the fact that I was being dropped off exactly where I had been picked up—that the world I had grown up in was insane. It was run by madmen who adhered to the rules of lunacy.
I knocked on the apartment door and we waited. I turned to the social worker and asked, “I wonder how many people have to knock at their own home to get in?”
He thought I was disrespecting him and snapped, “Just be lucky you have a place to call home.”
I looked around the narrow, dingy unlit hallway with its filthy walls and worn wooden floors and said, “Yeah, you’re right. I’m one lucky son of a bitch.”
I knocked again. There was no answer. The social worker wanted to leave. He didn’t like the neighborhood. He flicked me his business card and in a no-nonsense tone said, “You need to check in with me next week. Don’t screw this up. Stay out of trouble.”
I didn’t like his tone, his demeanor, or the look on his face. I didn’t like the tie he was wearing. I just didn’t like him. I was direct, because discretion, the ability to raise your eyebrow instead of your voice, held a low place in my life. I was sick of these people, these half-wits, these incompetents, running me through, screwing me over and ruining my life, and then demanding that I be grateful for their carelessness and stupidity.
“Or what?” I asked. “Tough guy.”
And I meant it as a push-back to his attitude and as a serious question. What else could they do to me? Nothing.
He turned and faced me, spreading his legs to claim his ground. “You getting tough with me?” His eye twitched and that was all I needed to see. He was afraid of me, or he was afraid of my reputation, or both.
“Yeah,” I said with a smile.
There was a long silence. The smile stayed on my face. Finally he walked away, talking tougher the farther away he got. “Just be there, or I’ll send the cops to bring you in,” he muttered, and disappeared from the stinking hallway into the brightness of the day. I watched the car drive away, the small black sedan with the state logo on the side, and for a second, just for one quick second, I could see Paulie, Denny, Bridget and Maura and me in the back seat. They turned and faced me, smiling big broad smiles and then I got it. I understood. It was over. That was the last black state sedan I would ever ride in. It was over. I felt an enormous sense of warmth. It was over.
My attention returned to the hallway I was standing in. It was dark and smelled of urine and vomit and God only knows what else. The ancient paint was chipped and falling to the filthy bare wooden floor in pieces. There were no lights.
I walked around the neighborhood, but the place where we had run wild as children, the place that held so many fantastic possibilities for play, held no possibilities at all. Always the poorest part of town, it had become even poorer. The Italian and Irish who had lived there in 1962 were long gone. The factories that had spewed out foul-smelling air and tossed great red flames into the sky were closed, too. The only thing unchanged was the dirty old Mad River, flowing with chemicals. I peered over the railing of the ancient bridge that crossed the river and, as I done as a child, I spent a good part of the afternoon tossing rocks into the yellow-green water below.
After all those years, so much was familiar and comfortable. It was a beautiful, brilliant day with plenty of sunshine and a steady comfortable breeze from the north. I love New England on days like this. So it was good to be back. For once, I didn’t mind being the new kid. It didn’t worry me this time. I felt a sense of freedom and relief.
In 1962, six year old John Tuohy, his two brothers and two sisters entered Connecticut’s foster care system and were promptly split apart. Over the next ten years, John would live in more than ten foster homes, group homes and state schools, from his native Waterbury to Ansonia, New Haven, West Haven, Deep River and Hartford. In the end, a decade later, the state returned him to the same home and the same parents they had taken him from. As tragic as is funny compelling story will make you cry and laugh as you journey with this child to overcome the obstacles of the foster care system and find his dreams.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washington DC. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. He is the author of numerous non-fiction on the history of organized crime including the ground break biography of bootlegger Roger Tuohy "When Capone's Mob Murdered Touhy" and "Guns and Glamour: A History of Organized Crime in Chicago."
His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.
His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play.
“When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.” Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. Oscar Wilde
*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***
TALOS: the 1st Science Fiction Theatre Festival of London will take place 24-25 October 2015 in Chelsea Theatre in London. The festival is seeking submissions of short plays with science fiction elements. Scripts should be no more than 30 minutes long in performance and may be original or previously produced. The accepted plays will be mainly science fiction but related genres [e.g. horror, contemporary fantasy] will also be considered. The scripts must be written in English. Translations are also welcome.
With the Senior Play Reading Festival announced for this coming October, The Players Follies Group is on the hunt for material, putting out the call to local playwrights and writers of all sorts for original short play submissions to populate the festival.
In addition to being original and unpublished work, plays should be between 1-10 minutes in length and call for no more than eight performers to produce. Musicals will not be accepted, but authors may submit up to three plays for consideration at no cost. Prospective playwrights should also keep in mind that the Follies is a 55 and older troupe and submit accordingly.
Panowski Playwriting Competition Rules
1. There is a broad theme selected each year for the competition that entries for that year must adhere to. There is no restriction to style.
1.2 2015 Theme: For our 2015 competition, we are looking for a comedy that features college-age characters as the majority of the cast.
2. The competition is open to any playwright, but only one play per playwright may be entered per biennium.
3. Entries must be original, full-length plays or musicals. They also may be co-authored, based upon factual material or an adaptation. The applicant must be the owner and controller of the copyright. The legal clearance of materials not in the public domain is the full responsibility of the playwright.
*** FOR MORE INFORMATION on these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***
*** STAGE NUDITY ***
Nude is Good for Broadway Box Office
That Radcliffe did the play in London last year and opened last week on Broadway in a transfer of that production would be news enough insofar as the star of one of the most successful franchises in film history is performing live on stage, in the flesh. But here, the phrase "in the flesh" is especially appropriate: Equus famously includes a full-frontal nude scene for Radcliffe in the role of the psychosexually tormented youth Alan Strang, who develops an erotic fixation with horses and then blinds a stable-full of them with a metal spike when his attempt to lose his virginity with a local girl fails miserably.
It's scarcely an exaggeration to say that Radcliffe's nude scene has caused as much excitement as would be engendered if Ethel Merman could be brought back to life and signed to star in new Broadway musical. (Of course, that's not the same situation, since presumably few would want to see her naked.)
Throughout his journey in Equus, from the media circus surrounding the London run to the slightly less breathless coverage of the Broadway engagement, Radcliffe has maintained his equanimity and a great sense of humor about exposing his private parts.
He recently confided in The New York Times that he has been experiencing what he called the "Michelangelo's David Effect" onstage, explaining: "[David] wasn't very well endowed, because he was fighting Goliath. There was very much of that effect. You tighten up like a hamster. The first time it happened, I turned around and went, 'You know, there's a thousand people here, and I don't think even one of them would expect you to look your best in this situation.'"
Kidman and 'Blue Room' Generate a Red-Hot Buzz
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani may have shuttered most of the porn joints around Times Square, but the hottest sex show in quite some time lands on Broadway on Nov. 27.
"The Blue Room" comes with a much better pedigree, of course. David Hare has adapted this sophisticated sex comedy from Arthur Schnitzler's turn-of-the-century Viennese classic of lust and longing, "La Ronde." The brilliant young Sam Mendes has directed it.
But, most important, Nicole Kidman in her American stage debut teams up with veteran British actor Iain Glen for this sexual merry-go-round in which they play a quintet of couples coupling across economic and social barriers.
The limited engagement of 111 performances at the Cort Theatre, with previews preceding the official opening on Dec. 13, is already nearly sold out on the strength of rave reviews from its London engagement and breathless reports that Kidman and her hunky co-star appear nude on stage. The show opened there in September, and, by the time it closed on Oct. 31, scalpers were reportedly getting as much as 1,000 pounds--about $1,600--per ticket.
Sex and the theater: An actress bares all about onstage nudity
I’ve been a stage actor for 10 years, but this summer was the first time I’ve ever really considered taking a role with two explicit sex scenes and nudity. Despite my apprehensions — how my body would look, how the role would change the way people perceive me, in theater and in real life — my biggest concern was the potential for lameness. Sex delivered badly onstage is just as depressing as sex done badly in real life, exponentiated by the presence of an audience.
I really wanted the part, the lead in a sexy comedic romance between two brainy people more comfortable quipping than feeling, just like everyone I know. The premise was that a woman at her sixth college reunion starts up a relationship with a virginal 18-year-old freshman, and awkwardness ensues. It was called “The Campsite Rule,” after columnist Dan Savage’s advice for older or more experienced persons in sexual relationships with mentees: Leave them better than you found them.
James Masters on being naked on stage
It was so weird. I'd known these guys for five years and they're just staring at my socks in embarrassment! No, seriously, it was totally cool. I don't have a big problem with being naked. In fact, I made my professional debut naked, so that burned it right out of me. In Shakespeare's The Tempest, at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. I was strapped naked to a big metal hoop! Trying to retain some shred of dignity in the mire that is serial television is not easy. On stage there's a codified way of dealing with nudity: you don't go down to underwear until your technical rehearsal.
Hair: Naked, Hairy And Ready To Sing
Hair is a well-known Broadway musical that originally gained notoriety and fame for it’s power to shock audiences with things never before seen on the Broadway stage. A nude scene, profanity, and the idea of sex and drugs all make the production of Hair what it is.
In fact, despite being a college production, the Department of Theatre and Dance has decided to keep the nude scene intact in the spirit of the show.
“We are doing the nude scene not to be super edgy or anything,” says Dalton, who will be getting fully nude. “It’s supposed to be a celebration of our bodies. Nobody was forced into it, and they’re easing us into it so we can get comfortable.”
Director LaRosa was quick to assure everyone that the department put a lot of thought into why the nude scenes were integral and couldn’t be removed from the show. “There’s two moments of nudity in the show and one is most of the cast is completely naked on stage. The first time we started to rehearse it, we were sort of surprised that people just went for it,” La Rosa said.
Baring It All
What happens—in the minds of both audiences and actors—when performers take their clothes off?
We all know that theatre artists bare their souls for an audience. But often they go so far as to bare their bodies. Nudity on stage can shock, engage, heighten, jar, excite or even delight—responses that artists work tirelessly to garner. But nudity deserves further contemplation. For starters, it seems like a lot to ask of a performer. So what function does it serve? What do playwrights and directors seek to achieve by using nudity? What does it mean for actors to appear in the nude, and what are the conditions under which they agree to do so? How does an actor assess if the use of nudity is necessary or gratuitous? And how does it affect the audience?
Nudity is a tense subject for American audiences. In fact, many theatre companies that I contacted for this article declined to survey their audiences about nudity for fear of alienating their patrons or sending the erroneous message that they should soon anticipate a veritable festival of nudity in the company’s programming.
This tension with audiences dates back to the very founding of the country, when puritanical views held that the theatre was “the devil’s drawing room,” as it was referred to in one of the earliest authentic American plays, 1787’s The Contrast by Royall Tyler. In an effort to improve the public’s perception of theatre, playwright and historian William Dunlap warned audiences in 1832 against being pleased by “glitter, parade, false sentiments, and all that lulls conscience or excites to evil,” and alternatively suggested that the role of theatre is to teach lessons of “patriotism, virtue, morality, religion.”
15 Popular Movie Quotes Translated into Latin
by Brittany Britanniae in Latin Language
When we asked to write a post on popular movies quotes and have them translated into Latin, I was eager to jump at the opportunity. I should note that some quotes are left off my list such as ones from Forest Gump, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Gone with the Wind. These and other films have already been translated on a previous post of mine which you can find here.
I have tried to translate each quote with easy to recognize vocabulary (but you can use this tool here for vocabulary), English word order (Latin usually has the verb at the end and may forgo some words I provided), and if you have questions please feel free to comment or message our Facebook page!
“I’ll be back.” “Reveniam.” -Terminator
“You can’t handle the truth!” “Potuisti non tractare verum“ -A Few Good Men
“May the Force be With You.” “Sit vis vobiscum.” -Star Wars
“You can’t handle the truth!” “Poteritis non tractare verum“ -A Few Good Men
You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?” “Rogauerim ipsum quaestionem unam: ‘Nonne sentio felix ?’ Ita, quod opinaris, nocens.” -Dirty Harry
“It’s alive! It’s alive!” “Is est vivus! Is est vivus!” -Frankenstein
“You had me at ‘Hello.'” “Habuisti* me cum diximus ‘Salve.'” -Jerry Maguire
“I see dead people.” “Video mortuos populous .” -Sixth Sense
“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” “Faciam condicionem eo, quam potest non negare.” -Godfather
“I’ll have what she’s having.” “Habebo quod habebat“ -When Harry Met Sally
Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!
Salvete ad Sodalitatem Pugnarum**. Prima regula Sodalitatis Pugnarum est: Ne dixeris de Sodalitate Pugnarum. Secunda regula est: Sodalitatis Pugnarum NE dixeris de Sodalitate Pugnarum.-Fight Club
“Why so serious?” “Cur tam serius es?” -The Dark Knight
“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” “Nemo ponit Baby in angulo” -Dirt Dancing
“”I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!” “Acquiram te, mi bella, et tuum paulum canem etiam!” -Wizard of Oz
“Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.” “Audi ad eos***. Liberi noctis. Qualem cantum faciunt.” -Dracula
Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.” “Libera me ab tuis pedibus turpibus, tu damnatus spurcus simius.” -Planet of the Apes
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu
To achieve happiness: 5 habits, 2 minutes
By Brigid Schulte THE WASHINGTON POST
With anyone who thinks of happiness as a luxury or as something that occurs after a lifetime of sacrifice on the drive to a goal, happiness researcher Shawn Achor begs to differ.
His mission is to change minds, hearts and lives.
Being happy, he contends, isn’t just about feeling good.
His research has found that simple “happiness habits” — which take no longer than brushing your teeth — make you happier and, as a result, healthier, more creative and productive at work, and closer to loved ones.
Achor, the head of the Goodthink research company and the author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness, recently shared insights about his research.
Q: Talk about happiness seems all the rage. Why?
A: I think we’re living through twin revolutions. The high-tech revolution allows us to have information at our fingertips at any moment. And hidden behind that is a more powerful one: Because of that technology, we’ve been able to understand the human brain better than ever.
By changing our mindset and habits, we can actually dramatically change the course of life; improve intelligence, productivity; improve the quality of our lives; and improve every single education and business outcome.
Q: Many people see happiness as something to earn later, after you have found success. How do you make the case for the importance of happiness?
A: Happiness is such an incredible advantage in our life. When the human brain is positive, our intelligence rises; we stop diverting resources to think about anxiety.
Our creativity triples. Productive energy rises by 31 percent. The likelihood of promotion rises by 40 percent. Sales rise by 37 percent. These figures are all from studies we’ve done.
Most people keep waiting on happiness, putting off happiness until they’re successful or until they achieve some goal — which means we limit both happiness and success. That formula doesn’t work.
Q: What might readers do to create more happiness in their lives?
A: I’ve been looking at five habits that are akin to brushing your teeth — very short habits that, if you do them every day, will improve your health but also improve your levels of happiness:
• Three acts of gratitude. Spend two minutes a day scanning the world for three new things you’r e grateful for. Do that for 21 days. . . . It’s the fastest way of teaching optimism.
• The “doubler.” For two minutes a day, think of one positive experience that’s occurred during the past 24 hours. Bullet-point each detail you can remember. It works because the brain can’t tell the difference between visualization and actual experience. So you’ve just doubled the most meaningful experience in your brain. Do it for 21 days. Your brain connects the dots for you; then you have this trajectory of meaning running throughout life.
• The fun 15. Do 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day. It’s the equivalent of taking an antidepressant for the first six months but with a 30 percent lower relapse rate over the next two years.
• Breathing. We did this at Google. We had them (employees) take their hands off their keyboards two minutes a day and go from multitasking to simply watching their breath go in and out. This raises accuracy rates, improves levels of happiness, drops stress levels.
• Acts of kindness. The final habit is the most powerful. . . . For two minutes each day, start work by writing a two-minute positive email or text praising or thanking one person you know. Do it for a different person each day.
People who do this not only get great emails and texts back, and are perceived as positive leaders because of the praise and recognition, but their social-connection score is at the top end of the scale.
Q: What happiness habits do you use?
A: My wife and I are both happiness researchers, and we’re on the road more than 200 days a year. So we have to put this happiness research into practice, especially with a 1-year-old.
I journal every day, especially when I’m on planes. I exercise every day.
I’m constantly investing in people around me, especially when I feel stressed, sad or lonely.
It’s not the macro things that matter, but it’s the micro choices for happiness that sustain happiness the best.
Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.”
THE BOOK OF FUNNY, ODD AND INTERESTING THINGS THAT PEOPLE SAY
John William Tuohy
"I have a bachelorette degree in computers."
"Graduated in the top 66% of my class."
"I worked as a Corporate Lesion."
"Served as assistant sore manager."
"Married, eight children. Prefer frequent travel."
"Objective: To have my skills and ethics challenged on a daily basis."
"Special skills: Thyping."
"Special skills: Experienced with numerous office machines and can make great lattes."
"I can play well with others."
"I have exhaustive experience in manufacturing."
"Special skills: I've got a Ph.D. in human feelings."
"My contributions on product launches were based on dreams that I had."
"I eat computers for lunch."
"I have used lots of software appilcations."
"Objection: To utilize my skills in sales."
"Experience: Watered, groomed, and fed the family dog for years."
"Reason for leaving last job: Pushed aside so the vice president's girlfriend could steal my job."
"Previous experience: Self-employed -- a fiasco."
"I am a pit bull when it comes to analysis."
"I am the king of accounts payable reconciliation."
"Work history: Bum. Abandoned belongings and led nomadic lifestyle."
"I like slipping and sliding around behind the counter and controlling the temperature of the food."
"Reason for leaving last job: The owner gave new meaning to the word 'paranoia.' I prefer to elaborate privately."
"Reason for leaving last job: Bounty hunting was outlaw in my state."
"My ruthlessness terrorized the competition and can sometimes offend."
"I love dancing and throwing parties."
"I am quick at typing, about 25 words per minute."
"I am a rabid typist."
"Skills: Operated Pitney Bones machine."
"Special Skills: Speak English."
"Strengths: Ability to meet deadlines while maintaining composer."
"Education: B.A. in Loberal Arts."
"Work Experience: Dealing with customers' conflicts that arouse."
"Education: College, August 1880 - May 1984."
"Experience with: LBM-compatible computers."
"Fortunately because of stress, worked in the cardiac intensive-care ward."
"Typing Speed: 756 wpm."
"Objectives: 10-year goal: Total obliteration of sales and federal income taxes and tax laws."
"Seek challenges that test my mind and body, since the two are usually inseparable."
"Personal Qualities: Outstanding worker; flexible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year."
"My experience in horticulture is well-rooted."
"Work History: Performed brain wave tests, 1879-1981."
"Extensive background in public accounting. I can also stand on my head!"
"I perform my job with effortless efficiency, effectiveness, efficacy, and expertise."
"Personal: Married 20 years; own a home, along with a friendly mortgage company."
"My intensity and focus are at inordinately high levels, and my ability to complete projects on time is unspeakable."
"Exposure to German for two years, but many words are inappropriate for business."
"Frequent Lecturer: Largest Audience: 1,351. Standing Ovations: 5. Number of Audience Questions: 30."
"Interests: I like to workout in my free time. I enjoy listening to music. I love to shopping in new places."
"Accomplishments: Completed 11 years of high school."
"Excellent memory; strong math aptitude; excellent memory; effective management skills; and very good at math."
"Personal Goal: To hand-build a classic cottage from the ground up using my father-in-law."
To acquire a creative development position within the entertainment industry that would utilize my vast (2 years) technical experience.
My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I have no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.
I demand a salary commiserate with my extensive experience.
I’m trying to teach myself Spanish and this is what I learned today………….
Example sentence: "Solos en la madrugada" es la película dirigida por José Luis García.
Sentence meaning: "Alone at dawn" is the movie directed by José Luis Garcia.
FROM LLR BOOKS. COM
Litchfield Literary Books. A really small company run by writers.
The Day Nixon Met Elvis
Paperback 46 pages
Theodore Roosevelt: Letters to his Children. 1903-1918
Paperback 194 pages
THE ANCIENT GREEKS AND CIVILIZATIONS
The Works of Horace
Paperback 174 pages
The Quotable Greeks
Paperback 234 pages
The Quotable Epictetus
Paperback 142 pages
Quo Vadis: A narrative of the time of Nero
Paperback 420 pages
A Halloween play for young children. By consent of the author, this play may be performed, at no charge, by educational institutions, neighborhood organizations and other not-for-profit-organizations.
A fun story with a moral
“I believe that Denny O'Day is an American treasure and this little book proves it. Jack is a pumpkin who happens to be very small, by pumpkins standards and as a result he goes unbought in the pumpkin patch on Halloween eve, but at the last moment he is given his chance to prove that just because you're small doesn't mean you can't be brave. Here is the point that I found so wonderful, the book stresses that while size doesn't matter when it comes to courage...ITS OKAY TO BE SCARED....as well. I think children need to hear that, that's its okay to be unsure because life is a ongoing lesson isn't it?”
Paperback: 42 pages
BOOKS ON FOSTER CARE
It's Not All Right to be a Foster Kid....no matter what they tell you: Tweet the books contents
Paperback 94 pages
From the Author
I spent my childhood, from age seven through seventeen, in foster care. Over the course of those ten years, many decent, well-meaning, and concerned people told me, "It's okay to be foster kid."
In saying that, those very good people meant to encourage me, and I appreciated their kindness then, and all these many decades later, I still appreciate their good intentions. But as I was tossed around the foster care system, it began to dawn on me that they were wrong. It was not all right to be a foster kid.
During my time in the system, I was bounced every eighteen months from three foster homes to an orphanage to a boy's school and to a group home before I left on my own accord at age seventeen.
In the course of my stay in foster care, I was severely beaten in two homes by my "care givers" and separated from my four siblings who were also in care, sometimes only blocks away from where I was living.
I left the system rather than to wait to age out, although the effects of leaving the system without any family, means, or safety net of any kind, were the same as if I had aged out. I lived in poverty for the first part of my life, dropped out of high school, and had continuous problems with the law.
Today, almost nothing about foster care has changed. Exactly what happened to me is happening to some other child, somewhere in America, right now. The system, corrupt, bloated, and inefficient, goes on, unchanging and secretive.
Something has gone wrong in a system that was originally a compassionate social policy built to improve lives but is now a definitive cause in ruining lives. Due to gross negligence, mismanagement, apathy, and greed, mostly what the foster care system builds are dangerous consequences. Truly, foster care has become our epic national disgrace and a nightmare for those of us who have lived through it.
Yet there is a suspicion among some Americans that foster care costs too much, undermines the work ethic, and is at odds with a satisfying life. Others see foster care as a part of the welfare system, as legal plunder of the public treasuries.
None of that is true; in fact, all that sort of thinking does is to blame the victims. There is not a single child in the system who wants to be there or asked to be there. Foster kids are in foster care because they had nowhere else to go. It's that simple. And believe me, if those kids could get out of the system and be reunited with their parents and lead normal, healthy lives, they would. And if foster care is a sort of legal plunder of the public treasuries, it's not the kids in the system who are doing the plundering.
We need to end this needless suffering. We need to end it because it is morally and ethically wrong and because the generations to come will not judge us on the might of our armed forces or our technological advancements or on our fabulous wealth.
Rather, they will judge us, I am certain, on our compassion for those who are friendless, on our decency to those who have nothing and on our efforts, successful or not, to make our nation and our world a better place. And if we cannot accomplish those things in the short time allotted to us, then let them say of us "at least they tried."
You can change the tragedy of foster care and here's how to do it. We have created this book so that almost all of it can be tweeted out by you to the world. You have the power to improve the lives of those in our society who are least able to defend themselves. All you need is the will to do it.
If the American people, as good, decent and generous as they are, knew what was going on in foster care, in their name and with their money, they would stop it. But, generally speaking, although the public has a vague notion that foster care is a mess, they don't have the complete picture. They are not aware of the human, economic and social cost that the mismanagement of the foster care system puts on our nation.
By tweeting the facts laid out in this work, you can help to change all of that. You can make a difference. You can change things for the better.
We can always change the future for a foster kid; to make it better ...you have the power to do that. Speak up (or tweet out) because it's your country. Don't depend on the "The other guy" to speak up for these kids, because you are the other guy.
We cannot build a future for foster children, but we can build foster children for the future and the time to start that change is today.
Paperbook 440 Books
BOOKS ABOUT FILM
On the Waterfront: The Making of a Great American Film
Paperback: 416 pages
On January 8, 1947, at 7:00 AM, Andy Hintz, a hiring boss on Pier 51in Manhattan, stepped out of his front door and while his wife and children watched in horror, he was shot to death by a waterfront hood named Cockeye Dunn. Just before he died, Hintz identified his killer to his wife “That was Johnny Dunn. You tell them that Johnny Dunn shot me”
Within hours, police arrested Dunn, his partner Andrew Sheridan and a Danny Gentile, a onetime prize fighter turned enforcer and charged them with the Hintz shooting, learning that Hintz was murdered because he refused to be replaced as hiring boss by Dunn’s handpicked man “Ding Dong’ Bell, a well-paid enforcer for the violent International Longshoremen’s Association, (ILA) the corrupt union that represented New York’s dock workers.
According to witnesses “Dunn sent around one of men to tell Hintz he was out, but Hintz replied, “You tell Dunn that I said he should go to hell”
They murdered him the next morning.
No one on the waterfront expected Dunn or his gunmen to do any jail time over the murder of Andy Hintz. If anything, it bewildered most that the killers had even been arrested. It was commonly assumed on the docks that those who had ordered the killing, the Mob and the all-powerful ILA were not only above the law; they were, in, fact, a law unto themselves, at least on the waterfront.
In 1948, the New York- New Jersey waterfront was home to the largest, busiest Seaport in the world. Every fifty minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, massive seagoing ships cleared its passages that were spread out through 750 miles of shore line, dotted by 1,800 piers, of which 200 were so large they served 400 ships at one time. Every year, one million passengers departed from the waterfront on luxury liners, 35 million tons of cargo passed in and out of docks with a 1948 value of eight billion dollars. The waterfront was home to 2,500 tugboats, barges, derricks and scows. It was where 1,250,000 tons of fresh fruit arrived to feed Gotham, most of it carried by the12 major railroads' companies that were headquarters in its vast lots. The waterfront of 1948 was a bastion of free enterprise that reeked with cash.
There was another waterfront. A poorer, shabbier waterfront that housed over 50,000 ill paid workers in run down brick row houses. A crime invested, closed little world rarely seen from the outside and known to few. It hadn’t always been like that. Before the days of the American Revolution, New York’s waterfront was the finest residential district in North America. Here, the best families and rich merchants built enormous, fine homes along wide, tree-lined streets. It was where George Washington resided when he was inaugurated President of the United States, not far from the elegant mansion of John Hancock.
The waterfront held to much promise for riches to remain a fashionable resting place for the new nations' elite. Manhattan was becoming the leading port in North America, largely because ships could use the ports to reach further inland, the Mohawk Valley and the Erie Canal. As the ports grew, wave after wave of German, French and English immigrants flooded into area in search of work, forcing the aristocrats to flee deeper into Manhattan. Eventually the Germans and English gave way to the Irish and Italians who arrived by the hundreds of thousands and settled into what was, by the mid-18th century, the dismal and miserable existence of life along the waterfront.
In South Brooklyn, Columbia Street was the boundary between the Italians and Irish longshoremen, two warring tribes so much alike and yet so far apart. What they shared was the boarder of filthy water that was oily, the harbor bottom rose several feet each year in a thick blanket of sludge. The sailors who ran the big harbor dredges used to say that they could bottle the harbor water, they’d sell it for
It wasn’t just longshoremen’s ghettos of South Brooklyn that had surrendered its once pristine beauty to the air of defeat and depression. The Catholic Labor activist Dorothy Day recalled the Docks of 1944 as “Mott Street, New York, is a mile long, extending from Houston Street down to Chatham Square. It is a curved street, very slightly and gently curved. It turns into Chatham Square where the Bowery ends and becomes Park Row, where East Broadway, New Bowery, Bowery, Park Row, and Mott Street all run together.
All of Chatham Square is dark and dank under the elevated lines, for here the Third Avenue line branches out and goes down Park Row to Brooklyn Bridge, and down New Bowery to South Ferry, a mile or so away. Here Chinatown and the Bowery meet, and the Bowery used to be like a bower, and lovers used to walk there. Now it is a street of the poor, a street of cheap hotels, where men can lodge for twenty or thirty cents a night. In all the larger cities of the country they have such streets, and the migrants call them Skid Roads, and the term originated in the northwest among the lumber workers who came to town from the woods with their pay envelopes and either put the skids under themselves or had them put under them by the liquor they drank or the company they kept.
The Bowery is the street of the poor, and there are pawnshops and second-hand clothes shops. Here sailors and coal heavers and dockworkers without families come to live because they have not enough money to live elsewhere. Here are their cheap amusements, movie houses, penny arcades and taverns. Here also the unemployed congregate, and there is a thieves’ market, where everything can be sold, from a razor to a pair of pants. The very clothes on one's back can be sold and substituted for overalls or dungarees. Here, too, men lie prone on sidewalks, sleeping in doorways and against the house fronts. Here, too, are fights; and because of this the street now has the name of a street of bums and panhandlers, drunks and petty thieves. But it is the street of the poor, the most abandoned poor.
It is the street of missions, where for a confession of faith, men are given a bed, and thus religion is dragged, too, in the mire, and becomes an attempted opiate of the people. Here is Christ in His most degraded guise, spat upon, buffeted, mocked, and derided.
This is not a glamorous neighborhood. There is no romance or beauty here in the Waterfront neighborhoods"
The largest longshoremen’s neighborhoods were Red Hook, in Brooklyn. Originally a Dutch village called Roode Hoek, the name came from its red clay soil and the hook shape of its peninsular corner of Brooklyn that still projects itself
Out into the East River. While most of the longshoremen’s enclaves left the outsider with the sense of sinister otherworldliness, it was truer in Red Hook than anywhere else. In 1946, the opening of the Gowanus Expressway and the 1950 opening of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel cut the neighborhood off from the rest of the borough of Brooklyn, giving it an other worldly aura.
In the 1850s Red Hook became one of the busiest ports in the country. Grain barges from the Erie Canal would wait at the mouth of the Gowanus Canal for their turn at the active piers. At its peak, in the early 1950s, Red Hook housed 21,000 people, almost all of the longshoremen or the family or longshoremen, who got by in cheaply built so-called Red Hook Houses, built in 1936 for the growing number of dock workers who were priced out of the city, as part of one of the first and largest Federal Housing projects in the country. Among its residents were Al Capone and Lucky Luciano.
In 1948, Red Hook pulsated with activity, with droves of seedy workingman
Bars and restaurants that were open 24 hours a day, seven days a week all catering to longshoremen and sailors, places where checks were be cashed, credit was granted and the prices were low. A saloon owner remembered: “Red Hook in those days sounded like maybe what took place in the Tower of Babel. You know, and people can hear crickets now. In those days, you couldn't-, you would hear the-, the sound of steel against steel, all your pile drivers going, and ships coming and going, and horns blowing, and just so much activity. Then people getting off of ships and-, and running to get to what-, wherever it was they could get to after having traveled from wherever they came from. That 12 o'clock whistle would blow and all the gates - and there were many - all the gates, and the whole of the neighborhood would open up. It was like a stampede”
Before he gained fame as the author of the international bestseller, Angela's Ashes, writer Frank McCourt worked on the docks in Red Hook “You had to be careful you're not takin' jobs from longshoremen because they think nothing of sinking a baling hook in your skull and pushing you down between ship and dock, on the chance you would be crushed beyond recognition.
They make better money on the docks than we do in the warehouses, but the work is unsteady and they have to fight for it every day. I carry my own hook from the warehouse, but I've never learned to use it for anything but lifting.
I'm glad to be getting decent wages again. Seventy-five dollars a week, going up to seventy-seven for operating the forklift truck two days a week. Regular platform work means you're on your feet in the truck, loading pallets with boxes, crates, sacks of fruit and peppers. Working the forklift is easier. You hoist up the load of pallets, store them inside, and wait for the next load.
No one minds if you read the paper while you wait. But if you read The New York Times, they laugh and say, "Oh, look at the big intellectual on the forklift."
It's gone now. All that remains of Red Hook, as it was, is the name and the staining red clay and foul smell of the oily water. But while it lasted, Red Hook and the docks gave New York’s massive pool of unskilled laborers, generations of them, steady, reasonably well paying work and right to belong to the almighty, all powerful I.L.A, the International Longshoreman's Association.
As the dock workers had predicted, the murder of Andy Hintz went unsolved despite a positive identification of the killers by the victim. Hintz’s killers walked free and the world outside the secluded world of the waterfront was no wiser for it. However, there was one person on the waterfront who had refused to allow the Hintz murder slip away. He was Father John Peter Corridan, a "rangy, ruddy, fast-talking, chain-smoking, and tough-minded, sometimes profane Roman Catholic priest" who was sent to the docks by the church to open a Labor School, St. Francis Xavier Labor School, near the west-side piers of Manhattan, in 1946.
The name “Labor School” was somewhat misleading. The Jesuit order, which ran the schools, distinguished itself by its theme of bipartisanship rather than a union-only focus, an outgrowth of the Catholic social welfare movement which called for the curbing of excessive profit-taking through regulation of the rates, return to ownership of public utilities, progressive taxation, participation of labor in management decisions, and a wider distribution of ownership through cooperative enterprises and legal enforcement of the right of labor to organize.
Although the social vision program was widely opposed by most members of the American hierarchy and by the broader Catholic Church community in general, it provided some legitimacy for social justice initiatives including the labor schools. Founded in 1936 as the Xavier School of Social Studies, held its focus.
To the labor movement with a goal was to concentrate its efforts on organizing Catholic workers in New York City by shepherding them away from the growing influence of the Communist Party since, as one Xavier priest said, “the Communists seemed to be spending most of their money and their energies on the unions...."
Throughout the late 1930's and into the war years, the target union for the Xavier School was the Transport Workers' Union (TWU) whose Communist leadership held steady sways over its overwhelmingly Catholic membership.
However, by late 1948, the Communists were losing their grip in the TWU and the Xavier School shifted its attention to the waterfront. A shift that coincided with the arrival of Father Corridan in 1946
Classes at the schools were held one or two nights per week for eight to ten weeks; running one hour, with two to three class periods per night; a set of core courses consisting of ethics, public speaking, parliamentary procedure, and labor problems. The faculty consisted of largely lay practitioners: union leaders, labor attorneys, school teachers all of who volunteered their services. Clergy or religious normally handled the ethics course. The cost was minimal ($1- $5) or, at times, free. Sometimes enrollment was restricted to Catholics or unionists, but in the case of the Jesuit programs, open to all. St. Xavier’s was somewhat different, in that it sponsored forums addressing broader issues such as the criminal justice system, public education, communism, etc., appealing to the entire community. They also offered workshops or extended courses tailored to special occupational groups such as lawyers, public school teachers, and senior labor relation’s management staff. However, the essential mission of the these schools was improving the material and social well-being of the largely impoverished American working class; overcoming the growing Communist presence and influence in the United States work force.
Lastly, their mission was the deepening the faith-life of the American Catholic worker in an increasingly secular culture that tended to divorce religion from economic life.
In a speech given on June 6, 1937 during the "Little Steel" strikers in Youngstown, Ohio, Msgr. Charles Rice told the strikers: "Because I have come here at this moment I shall be accused of injecting religion into the labor issue, and I reply: It is about time that religion was introduced into that issue. The reason we have labor strife today, the reason we have had it for generations, the reason six men lost their live in Illinois last week is that religion and religious principles have been kept out of the labor question. Because religion was forgotten, no not forgotten but deliberately thrown aside, too many industrialists have conducted their affairs as if Christ had never lived and died, as if there were not just god in heaven, and have tried to rule like the absolute Pagan Emperors of old, forgetting that they were dealing with human beings, endowed with human rights by the God who made them."
The work of the Jesuit directors, like as Corridan, ranged widely, from mediating/arbitrating labor management disputes, to lecturing to Church, business or civic organizations, to service on government boards overseeing employee relations. Corridan was one of many Jesuits active in social issues in the 1950s. In 1937, Father Charles Own Rice of Pittsburgh founded the Catholic Radical Alliance and organized the first picket line at the Heinz Food plant. He was an early supporter of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Spring Mobilization for Peace in New York in 1967, he protested against America's involvement in Vietnam in 1969
Father Lou Twomey, SJ, at the Loyola University Institute in New Orleans moved into the racial issue in the late 1940s well in advance of the decisive court cases and early protest marches of the mid-'50s. He also authored the newsletter "Christ's Blueprint of the South" which for almost two decades served as basic social justice reading for all the seminarians
The St. Joseph's Institute in Philadelphia, led by Dennis Comey, SJ, staked out an image of a sophisticated, academically demanding, labor-management program, while Comey himself became known as the Waterfront Peacemaker through his extensive arbitration work.
Fr. Willie Smith, SJ, after starting the Crown Heights Labor School in Brooklyn in the late 1930s, introduced the most diverse range of labor/management educational programs of any Jesuit Institute. He also published articles for the national media on this labor school tradition.
Most importantly, in the waterfront school, the director was to be high profile. At a time when so many working people were labeled as communists because of their pro-union views, the priest's presence was an important affirmation by the Church to the working community. This was especially true on the docks, where, under the reign of the ILA’s Joe Ryan, being Red smeared was a long favored tactic.
Like most New Yorkers, Corridan knew little of life on the waterfront. Under the tutelage of Father Philip Carey, Corridan learned how to deal with the longshoremen and to recruit activists that could confront both the ILA leaders and Communist militants. It was dangerous work, for the priests and the activists alike, and Corridan’s organizing was done with painstaking slowness. A native New Yorker who had entered the priesthood late in life, Corridan knew all about the mob and he fully understood the dangers inherent in taking on the longshoremen’ struggle as his own. It would be three years before he had established himself enough as a public figure in the media before he felt completely safe on the waterfront. The mob probably wouldn’t harm him bodily, but they would (and did) use their considerable influence from within the Catholic Church and New York politics to do whatever they had to do to stop him. At first, Corridan appeared at the docks but realized the tactic was useless, no one wanted to be seen talking to him. Afterwards, he and Father Philip Carey dropped leaflets advertising the classes in all of the locales frequented by longshoremen. Father Carey claimed that leaving leaflets in toilets "served a double purpose, it gave a man freedom from fear while he was reading it and number two it gave him sufficient time to reflect on its contents."
Contacts with longshoremen were sometimes made in alleyways and basements away from the ILA and mob snitches who were everywhere on the docks. Over the next few months, Corridan learned everything he could about the waterfront. He walked every pier, took a ferry across the river and looked at the docks from angle, even once traveling into Manhattan to view the waterfront from the Empire State Building. He concluded that problems on the waterfront were not insurmountable and that he would change them. He began by building an extensive intelligence network made up of a handful of longshoremen, altar boys, reporters, housewives and anyone else that would provide him with accurate information on the ILA and the mob. By the end of his first year on the docks,
Corridan had collected sixteen filing cabinets full of information.
What Corridan learned was that the ILA, the International Longshoremen’s Association, was the union controlled virtually all of the hiring on the New York-New Jersey waterfront. The ILA was begun in 1877, by a Dan Keefe, Irish tugboat worker (or possibly a tug boat owner) from Chicago who formed the first local of the Association of Lumber Handlers and then successfully expanded membership to include dockworkers. Keefe set the iron fisted management style that would rule over the ILA for the next century. Keefe also established the ILA’s ruthless methods to achieve its ends. Under his rule, the ILA eliminated independent stevedores by threats and intimidation and secured the ship owner's loyalty with a guarantee of uninterrupted work in return for a closed dock. When Keefe resigned in 1908, and then due only to his advanced years, the ILA had just over 100,000 dues paying members, mostly in the Great Lakes states. His handpicked replacement, TV O'Connor, another Great Lakes tugboat man, would have a far shorter reign, just under twelve years, but would use that time to establish the ILA as New York’s leading stevedore union.
As the ILA grew, power shifted increasingly to the Port of New York, where, in 1949, 30,000 longshoremen moved more than 6.5 billion in cargo through the New York-New Jersey Ports. By the late 1940s, Joseph Patrick Ryan, AKA The King, was running the New York docks as the ILA’s International president. Ryan, a crude, obnoxious little man, had come to power in 1927 and stayed there through his deep connections inside New York's political machine, Tammany Hall. For a cut of the unions' profits, Tammany assured Ryan protection from the police and other criminal investigations. Furthermore, in exchange for control of a handful of his Manhattan and New Jersey locals, the powerful New York mobs paid Ryan and Ryan paid Tammany.
Joseph Patrick Ryan was born on May 11, 1884 in Babylon, Long Island, the son of Irish immigrants, both of who died before he reached age nine. He moved to Manhattan with his stepmother and grew up in the Chelsea neighborhood, taking his elementary educated at St. Xavier Catholic parish, which would later be headquarters to the labor school that would bring about his demise.
Ryan left school at age 12 to work as a janitor and stock boy in Manhattan. In 1912, at age 28, he got his first job on the docks, in the hold of a ship, at 25 cents an hour for a mandatory 60-hour week. In 1916, he joined the ILA, buying his union book for $2.50 “The finest investment I ever made” he said.
With time, Ryan was promoted to financial secretary of Local 791 and then to organizer, for $30 a week. A natural and gifted speaker, he was the ideal organizer and soon came to the attention of Tammany Hall, New York’s Tammany Hall, New York’s entire powerful, thoroughly corrupt Democratic machine. With political clout behind him, in 1927 he was appointed president of the ILA. Despite the fact that he was extremely unpopular with the rank and file, Ryan was eventually made, self- appointed actually, the unions “president for life” in 1943, a tittle, which he insisted, was "an honorary title reflecting my stature and prominence with the working men"
Officially, his salary was less than $28,000 a year. However, according to the state of New York, his off the books' earnings were probably ten times that amount. He lived well on the wages earned by the sweat and labor of his membership. An indulgent father to his two daughters and an attentive husband to his wife of forty years, he had no use for other women and held an Irishmen’s puritanical contempt for other married men who wandered from the bonds of matrimony. The family seldom missed Sunday mass or an evening at Toots Shors or Cavanagh’s, the Tammany meeting place on West 23rd street. They belonged to the best clubs, including the exclusive Winged Foot Country Club in Westchester County. With loot taken from the ILA, he formed the Joseph Patrick Ryan Association; a Catholic political club that eventually became the mouthpiece or the powerful Trades and Labors Council. Every year, the Association held a dinner dance in his honor, a must attend on every politicians schedule. At one dinner in 1937, New York’s reform Mayor, La Guardia, found himself sitting an elbow away from the ILA’s top killer Cockeye Dunn and Mafia boss Phil Mangano. The following year, La Guardia canceled his reservation.
While Ryan may have been president of the ILA, he wasn’t the ultimate power on the waterfront. In fact, there were a myriad of powers on the Docks consisting of Ryan, the Mafia, independent Irish gangsters, the shipping companies and the Democratic parties of Tammany Hall in Manhattan and Frank Hauge in Jersey. However, directly over Ryan was William J. McCormack AKA Big Bill.
It was from McCormack’s political patronage that Ryan drew his power. In turn, Ryan acted as McCormack’s eyes and ears on the waterfront, inside Tammany and the Mob. Everyone who was anyone knew Ryan, because Ryan wanted it that way, however only a handful of insiders knew who McCormack was or how powerful a force he was.
Like Ryan, McCormack was an Irish-American from Manhattan, the son of immigrant milk wagon driver and like Ryan, and he sprang up from grinding poverty.
Always an enormous size, even as a child, McCormack, who left school as a 13-year-old boy, was able to handle of team of horses as a wagon driver on the Jersey waterfront. Tough and fearless, by age 23, McCormack and his brother owned their own trucking company and were early supporters of Jersey City’s colorful but hopelessly corrupt Mayor, Frank “Boss” Hauge ( Once, while he was supposed to address a group of young criminals with an uplifting speech on proper citizenship, Hauge told the children “Yous didn’t do nothin different from me when I was a young stud, cept, yous got caught and I became Mayor” )
During World War One, McCormack, working for the Jersey waterfront, made a fortune as a meat shipper, using that money to buy out several other trucking firms to create the US Trucking Corporation of America. When Tammany’s Al Smith lost his bid for Governor, McCormack (A Republican) was shrewd enough to appoint Smith President of US Trucking. When Smith was elected governor in 1922, he made McCormack the States Boxing Commissioner.
Five years later, McCormack sold US Trucking and entered the sand and gravel business. Using his considerable labor and political power, McCormack and his partner, Italian publisher Generoso Pope, almost cornered the ready mix concrete market in Manhattan. By 1932, McCormack had investments in banks, railroads, contracting, sand, harbor dredging, oil tankers, a race track and, most importantly, a Stevedoring firm that employed thousands of longshoremen. His estimated cash worth in 1950, not including real estate holding and stocks, was $20 million dollars.
With his money, came more political power and enormous clout within the shipping industry and control of Joe Ryan and the ILA.
Ryan’s partners on the dock was Mafia chief Vincent Mangano and his underboss, Albert Anastasia who, in turn, controlled Emil Camarda, vice president of the ILA. Likewise, Camarda controlled Dr. Tom Longo, who ran a powerful political organization, the City Democratic Club, located at 33 President Street in Brooklyn. (Camarda owned the entire block) just a few minutes’ walk from Pier 11. Longo was the Mobs and ILA’s contact to William O'Dwyer, the Brooklyn District Attorney.
Vincent Mangano, the ultimate power, was an old style Mafia boss whose power within the ILA was unquestioned although virtually unknown outside that secular universe. Vincent Mannino, a lawyer who represented six ILA “pistol locals” testified before the state of New York’s crime commission that he was “shocked” to learn that his position had been granted only after the personal recommendation of Mangano. Nino Camarda, brother of ILA Vice President Emil Camarda told him “Of course it's true. Without Vincent Mangano's okay, no-body could work here."
While Mangano was certainly ruthless, he wasn’t ruthless enough. In 1951, his Underboss, Albert Anastasia, tired of Mangano’s careful, old world ways, murdered him. He then took control of his organization and all twenty miles of the Brooklyn docks, stretching from Pier One just below the Brooklyn Bridge, south to the end of the Bush Terminal Docks all the way into Hoboken, New Jersey.
No one ever doubted that Albert Anastasia, dubbed “The Mad Hatter” by the press, was insane. Just how insane he was, was made clear one night in 1952, when Anastasia was home listening to the news on the radio, when he heard that bank robber Willie Sutton had been recognized and turned in by one of his neighbors in Brooklyn, a young man named Arnold Schuster. Anastasia got up from his chair and called one of his men, an escaped convict named Frederick Tenuto, told him about the news story and said, "I hate squealers, find this fucking Schuster and kill him." On March 8, Tenuto walked up behind Schuster on a New York Street and shot him to death. When sanity returned to Anastasia, and he realized what he had done, he ordered Tenuto’s death as well. His body has never been found.
Anastasia long, often spectacular criminal career had started as a labor terrorist on the waterfront. He was once arrested for the stabbing/strangulation murder of a longshoreman named Joe Torino in a dispute over unloading cargoes. There were several witnesses to the killing and Anastasia was convicted and sentenced to death, spending 18 months in the death house of Sing Sing. However, just before he was to be executed, he won a new trial when several witnesses reversed their statements. The state dropped the charges and Anastasia walked out of jail a free man.
Anastasia’s enforcer on the Brooklyn docks was his brother, Tough Tony Anastasia who was also a Vice President of the ILA and boss over the very powerful ILA Local 1814. He was also on salary with the Jarka Stevedoring Corporation as an executive, a major employer on the waterfront. When Jarka’s president, Frank Nolan, was pressed by state investigators to explain why the near illiterate Anastasia was on the company’s payroll as a senior executive, Nolan replied, "He is resourceful and tireless on the job. He preserves discipline and good order on the part of the men."
He preserved discipline on all levels through fear. Once, when a reporter from the New York Sun had written an unflattering piece on his brother Albert, Tony cornered the reporter and asked "Why do you keep writing all of those awful, terrible things about my brother? He ain't killed nobody from you're family" and then added "Yet"
During the Second World War, Tony claimed to have arranged the sinking of the French luxury liner SS Normande inside New York harbor, as leverage to release Mafia boss Lucky Luciano from far away Dannermore state in prison in upstate New York, to a jail closer to the city where he could still run things from behind bars. Under pressure from Naval Intelligence, New York State relented, and Luciano was released. The mob stayed to its unholy bargain and for the remainder of the war; through their help, there was never any Nazi infiltration or sabotage in the harbor.
Under Tough Tony were the front line enforcers, lieutenants like Joseph Adonis, Joe Profaci and Tony "Tony Springs" Romeo, all members of the Mafia who controlled the heavily Italian Brooklyn locals. One of the reasons that the hoods were able to run the locals with such ease was due to the high number of illegal aliens within the local. A longshoreman explained “ If you have an all-Italian local and a lot of the men working there are young men who've jumped ship, may be illegal immigrants in many cases-and very likely to do what they're told”.
On the Irish West Side there was Edward J. "Eddie boy" McGrath who had risen up the ranks of Irish gangdom under Manhattan's powerful celebrity gangster "Little Owney" Madden. Officially, McGrath, who had a record for twelve arrests for crimes ranging from petty larceny to murder, was a salaried officer for the ILA and carried the title of "Organizer at Large", a position he was appointed to by
ILA president Joe Ryan. His actual duty was front line political and police corruption and running a crew of thugs that included Johnny "Cockeye" Dunn, and Andrew "Squint" Sheridan who controlled the lucrative numbers racket throughout the port of New York.
Dunn was the son of a merchant sailor who was lost at sea when Dunn was still an infant. His mother remarried, only to have her second husband killed in a railroad accident. At age 15, Dunn was roaming the streets as part of a violent street gang. Arrested and convicted, at age 16, of robbing a hardware store at gun point and sent to a Catholic reform school. Upon his release, at age 19, he robbed a grocery store of $625, was again arrested and sent to a state run reform school. Released in late 1931, he was convicted a year later of robbing a poker game at gun point and sent to Sing Sing prison on a four year term. He was released less than a year due to political pressures from Tammany and went to work for Joe Ryan under the command of Ryan’s brother-in-law, Eddie McGrath. In mid-1935, Dunn and McGrath were arrested on a homicide charge but were freed due to lack of evidence. The more work Dunn did as a McGrath-ILA enforcer, the better he was rewarded. In 1936, Dunn was given an ILA charter to organize ILA Local 1346-1 to represent terminal checkers and platform workers. The AFL also gave him a charter to form Local 21510 that covered the Platform and office workers at the terminal. Dunn’s partner, Andy Sheridan, opened a sister local, 21512, in Hoboken.
By 1938 Dunn was rich. He bought a sprawling home in Kew Gardens, Queens, and hired a full time chauffeur for his wife. He vacationed in Florida at the local’s expense. In 1942, Dunn made a play to control the hiring on Pier 51, a massive and important dock on the waterfront. The hiring boss who ran the
The pier, a hood named Eddie Kelly, held out against Dunn who then called a strike against the Pier until his own man was voted into to replace Kelly. When the rigged election was over, Dunn followed Kelly to a saloon on West and 10th streets and beat him senseless. Kelly survived the beating and pressed charges, which led to Dunn’s eventual conviction and return to prison. Letters of support for Dunn came in from Adam Clayton Powell, then a powerful New York City councilman from Harlem, US Representative George Tinkham of Massachusetts and the heads of the U.S. Transportation Department. The US Army Transportation Corps also intervened and demanded Dunn’s release as being vital to the war effort. Mayor La Guardia, never a friend to the mob, called the Secretary of Defense and demanded an explanation. None was given and the Army withdrew its request to free Dunn from prison. In the end, Dunn only served two years of an eight-year term. He was released on September 16, 1944 and went back to work on the docks. Also working under Dunn as a leg breaker was Barney Baker, a legend in the underworld who later worked for Jimmy Hoffa. In the 1970’s, Baker’s name was mentioned several times in relation to the murder of President John F. Kennedy. Baker was one of the last people to speak to Jack Ruby before Ruby gunned down Lee Harvey Oswald. In 1937, George Donahue, a Catholic Trade Unionist, noticed several thugs at a local meeting. He approached the Local president and asked him to remove the thugs from the meeting “What?” the president asked “Are you nuts. They’ll me”
Donahue wouldn’t let it drop. He complained to ILA officials. Several days later, Barney Baker and two other men cornered Donahue on the pier and said “I’ll blow your head off and throw you in the river if don’t mind your own business” and then beat him up. Donahue filed a complaint with the police and Baker was arrested. Since he was on parole at the time of the assault he was returned to prison on a parole violation.
During the dockworker's wildcat strike of 1948, Joe Ryan’s top enforcers, Squint Sheridan and Cockeyed Dunn were permanently put of business. Sheridan was given a life sentence for murder and Dunn was executed by the state. He passed up a chance to save himself when the New York Anti-Crime Commission met to investigate the origins of the strike, it subpoenaed the mobster. Dunn, on death row, tried to work a deal that would allow him to walk free if he would name the so-called "Mr. Big" who ran things on the docks. The Commission suspected Mr. Big to be either financier Big Bill McCormick or mayor William O'Dwyer, however, the strike was settled and Dunn lost his opportunity to stay alive. Schulberg later used a part of the incident in the film. There is one shot of a respectable man watching the Crime Commission hearings where the mob is exposed as Lee J. Cobb's character; Johnny Friendly loses control of the wharfs. Mr. Big turns to his butler and says, "If Mr. Friendly calls me--I am out."
One interesting explanation of the line “If Mr. Friendly calls I’m out” is that the line referred to New York Mayor William F. O’Dwyer, who announced, when Dunn was threatening to talk, that he would not seek re-election, although had he run he would have won. Then on July 7, 1949, Dunn and Sheridan were both electrocuted to death and O’Dwyer changed his mind and announced that he would, in fact, run.
McGrath, aside from controlling Dunn, also controlled Mickey Bowers and his cousin, Johnny. Micky Bowers, a onetime bank robber had had served a ten year prison term, and had a record for grand larceny (Three charges) assault with intent to kill, robbery with intent to kill and parole violation. Bowers had control of the so-called "Pistol local" 824 on Manhattan’s heavily Irish West Side Docks whose officers included the snaked eyed Johnny Keefe, a convicted bank robber who served 12 years in prison on an assault with intent to murder charge. His other arrests included two assault charges and one for illegal possession of handgun.
Also employed by local 824 was Johnny "Apples" Applegate, a convicted burglar who had served a term in Sing Sing and was a material witness to a homicide, and John T. "Sudden Death" Ward who had served time for carrying a concealed weapon. Controlling the Staten Island for Ryan and the ILA was Alex "the Ox" DiBrizzi, who had been convicted on 23 gambling charges.
By 1956, little had changed on the waterfront. The mob still ran the ILA. Tough Tony Anastasia punched, shot and stabbed his way into control of the Brooklyn waterfront locals as he intended to do back in 1952. Mickey Bowers mob was still in power along the piers, there were more loan sharks than ever before and to many persons looking for work where there were fewer jobs to be had.
Mob Boss Albert Anastasia eventually fell from power as a result of plot-counter-plot Mafia power play. On October 25, 1957, the Gallo brothers, working on orders from the National Mafia Commission, killed Anastasia as he sat in the barbershop's chair at the Sheraton Hotel, a hot towel wrapped around his face. There were eleven people in the tiny shop, five barbers, a manicurist, three shoe shine boys and two customers who watched the two young hoods quickly enter the shop and put at least ten bullets into his head and neck.
In 1962, a year before he died of a heart attack, Tough Tony Anastasia told the FBI that his brother deserved to die “I ate from the same plate, I hate from the same table, we both came from the same womb. But my brother deserved to die. He killed to many men”
Ryan and the mob got away with it because they controlled hiring on the docks through the morning “Shape up” a humiliating process where the hoodlum connected bosses decided who would work and who wouldn't work based on the amount the hiring dockworker was willing to pay to be sure their name was called.
One longshoreman testified in 1952 that he paid the hiring foreman two dollars per week and "once in a while on Fridays--buy him a pint of whiskey [It was] more than I could afford, but in order to keep the job and support my family you got to do those things."
The Shape up’s, where between 75 and 150 longshoremen were huddled into horseshoe formation in the cold morning air, been exclusive to the New York docks. There was no shape up for longshoremen on the west coast. Joe Ryan and the ILA not only allowed the shape up’s to continue; they actually sanctioned them because the shape up gave the union its power. Through shape up’s the locals controlled who was hired. Any longshoreman, or even any member of his extended family, or caused trouble for the union or the hoods, was overlooked at the shape up. He didn’t work. An attorney representing rank-and-file longshoremen testified in 1948 to the Senate Committee of Labor and Public Welfare that a union leader successfully maintained his power "because he is able to discipline any man who dares to raise his voice in a union meeting.... That man does not work anymore."
The shape-up system, built on the guarantee of surplus labor, also made for Job insecurity "I think” said the Chief Counsel for the ILA, Louis Waldman “this is one of the rare exceptions in modern industrial relations to have men come to the employer's establishment [each day] and make themselves ready and willing to work with no obligation on the part of the employer whatever to take them. You will find that”. Another testified that “99 out of a hundred times... names were submitted to that hiring boss before the men go to the shape-up. You pretend to shape-up...and the other fellows waiting there think they have a chance. But they don't."
Shape up’s were also used to justify the hiring of “Ghosts”, fictitious names given the hiring boss to call. Each week the wages of the fictitious worker were collected and split up between the hoods and union officials who were in on the scam. In one typical case, Timmy O'Mara, a boss loader, regularly collected the wages of a non-existent longshoreman named Ross whose pay totaled $25,000 for the period 1943-1951. The shipping company, who paid the wages, knew about the scam but continued to pay O'Mara to guarantee labor peace.
Commercial extortion was another moneymaker on the waterfront. In the summer of 1948, the mob and corrupt officials called the ILA out on strike against the powerful New York Daily News, whose management had refused to pay a tribute of $100,000 on newsprint being brought in from Canada. The mob/ILA
Countered by demanding one dollar a ton on all newspapers shipped into the city. The paper still refused to pay and eventually had their shipments brought into the port of Philadelphia and then trucked to New York. Over the next two decades, other firm's doing business on the docks followed suit, leading to the eventual demise of the largest, busiest port in the world.
Union leaders also took money from the membership by selling “charity tickets” to non-existent events. Those who refused "might find he couldn't get work, or he might get kicked around. A man soon gets the idea; he doesn't refuse more than once."
Mob loan sharks were everywhere and were so powerful, that they were able to demand the workers’ pay card, the device used to pay the workers, to collect there
Loans. The sharks took out there percentage from the pay (Which was usually in cash) and then turned the balance, if any, over to the dockworker. A mob loan of $100 cost $360 in interest, paid weekly.
One of the few changes on the waterfront that came after the war years was standard use of the sling load, or the standard measure of cargo in the sling, which was increased with the introduction of heavier bearing winches. Before the war, Longshoremen worked with a one-ton draft, or 2,240 pounds. After the war, there was no limit. The results were that most men over age 30 couldn’t handle the weight on a continuous basis and the heavier sling loads increased the threat of serious injury one hundred fold, in part because there were no safety provisions and in part because of rotten ropes that frayed and broke, sometimes causing tons of cargo to land on three or four longshoremen at once. As a result, Longshoring held the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous occupation in the nation. Hernias, falls, cuts, fractures and death were common, in fact, expected, on a daily basis.
This was the world that Father John Corridan stepped into in 1948, a demoralized and extorted work force, mob control of one of the nation’s largest ports and a hopelessly corrupt and violent union. Corridan was determined to bring the situation on the waterfront to light and decided that the murder of Andy Hintz was the vehicle he needed to press his case.
Ten months after Cockeyed Dunn and his men murdered Andy Hintz, Malcolm Johnson of the New York Sun newspaper began investigating Hintz murder and penned a piece about the 1948 strike as well as the general situation on the waterfront. Corridan read the Sun piece and contacted Johnson’s editor by letter in November of 1948. Corridan, a former salesman, had been very successful in bringing the plight of the longshoremen to the media. He had managed to have pieces written in the World Telegram, Fortune Magazine, The New York Post, The New York Times, Look Magazine, Collier’s, Jubilee, True Detective, Life Magazine, the Readers Digest and the Brooklyn Eagle. He had also been covered by CBS, NBC and ABC news.
The editor at the Sun turned the letter over to Johnson “You’d better go on over and contact this guy, he seems to know what he he’s talking about”
Malcolm Malone Johnson, called Mike, hailed from Gainesville, Georgia. He left Mercer University in 1924 to start work as a newspaper reporter The Macon Telegraph. Four years later, he wrote a series of articles on criminal activities of the powerful Klu Klux Klan in Toombs, County. An editor at The New York Sun, heard about the piece and hired Johnson to come and work the metro beat in Manhattan.
In New York, Johnson covered most of the big stories of the day, including a popular Broadway and Nightclub column. In the early 1930s, he was one of a handful of reporters who met in Heywood Broun’s apartment to found the Newspaper Guild of America. At the outbreak of World War Two, the Sun made Johnson its Pacific theater correspondent. He covered the invasions of Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the first task force raids against the Japanese mainland and finally the Japanese surrender aboard the U.S.S. Missouri. Months before, he had been one of the first newspapermen to tour Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped there. He returned to the Pacific again in 1946 to cover the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Island.
After meeting with Corridan, and using the priest’s considerable contacts on the waterfront to establish his leads, Johnson penned a series on the ILA, the Mob, Joe Ryan, the Communists and their influence on the little known world of the waterfront. There had been other media pieces on the waterfront, but Johnson did what no other reporter had ever done in the past when writing about the waterfront, he named names, Cockeye Dunn, Eddie McGrath, Johnny Applegate, Big Moe Nizich, Richie he Bandit Gregory, Socks Lanza and Charley “The Jew” Yanowsky, Albert Anastasia and Meyer Lansky. He detailed criminal records and outlined the control the mob had over the ILA and the ILA had over the longshoremen. In the days prior to the public’s understanding of the Mafia, Johnson explained, in an understandable way, how the cash taken from the waterfront financed mob owned investments across the United States and how the various Mafia family’s ran narcotics, gambling, prostitution and smuggling throughout North America as a result of controlling the ILA and the waterfront.
Writing the series and naming names was fraught with danger. Even though he worked for a major metropolitan newspaper, by no means whatsoever was Johnson or any of his family safe from a beating, a maiming or murder by the mob. In broad, very general terms, the mob in Chicago had decided that policemen and reporters were exempt from retribution from doing their jobs, in so long as they were honest. The New York-New Jersey Mob, however, had no such understanding with the upper world. Everyone was fair game when it came to self-protection as national columnist Victor Riesel found out.
In 1956, Riesel, an acclaimed journalist who specialized in labor affairs, was one of the nation’s leading reporters. His column was syndicated in almost 200 newspapers nationwide and his opinions were highly regarded from the White House to Wall Street. On April 5, 1956, Riesel appeared on a national radio program and revealed the abuses of the Long Island based Local 138 of the International Union of Operating Engineers and its leader, William DeKoning, who had just been released from state prison on an extortion-threatening charge. After the program, Riesel walked to Lindy’s restaurant on 51st street and left at about 3:00 A.M. As he walked along the street, a hood named Gondolfo Miranti fingered Riesel to 22-year-old Abe Telvi, who walked up to the reporter and tossed a vial of liquid sulphuric acid in his face and eyes that left Riesel blind for the rest of his life. According to investigators, Telvi was paid $1,175 for assault by Lucchese family garment district labor terrorist Johnny Dio, who promised the Telvi he would bring him into his organization if the job was done right.
The blinding caused a national incident and eventually polices Miranti and another hood that was involved in the plot. Both agreed to identify Dio as the hood that gave the orders for the attack by changed their minds before the case went to court. However, police did learn that Dio had allegedly ordered the assault to please Teamster boss, Jimmy Hoffa. Telvi, who may not have realized who Riesel was when he blinded him, he demanded more from Dio. On July 28, he was shot to death on the Lower East side of New York.
The Malcolm Johnson series sparked no less than nine investigations into the waterfront, most of them little more than whitewash, although some brought a few indictments and jail terms for small time hoods along the docks. It did have some immediate positive results however. Among other things, the series made the waterfront a hot political issue in an election year.
In the meantime, the Priest continued to conduct his labor-unionism classes at the Xavier School. By the end of first semester, each of his classes was filled
And the mob started to send informants to the school to watch Corridan and take the names of anyone else who appeared there regularly. Eventually it became unsafe for longshoremen to attend the classes and more often than not, the longshoremen had to sneak in through a back door to avoid being seen by informants and union enforcers. Once, after Corridan found a pair of thugs waiting outside the school, he told them "If anything happens to the men I'm trying to help here, I'll know who's responsible, and I'll personally see to it that they are broken throughout this port. They'll pay and I'll see that they pay. Now get lost"
Corridan’s openness campaign was starting to take effect. In January of 1949, Johnny Dwyer, the leader of the rebels from pier 45 went to Father Corridan for help and advice. Several months after Corridan arrived on the waterfront, in the winter of 1948, there was a wildcat strike, caused by a contract, signed by Joe Ryan, which involved sling loads, the shape-up, and overtime payments. The year before the strike, the rebels and their attorney, paid for by the Communist party, inaugurated a series of suits demanding back pay owed through the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, which established that regular working hours on the docks would be from 8:00 A.M. to 12 M. and from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Any work time over those hours, was over time, or paid at a rate of time and a half. However, under Ryan’s rule, most longshoremen work a 12 hour day, some as many as 14 hours, all of it at regular pay rates.
The lawyers and the Communist saw the overtime issue as a means to cut into the ILA’s power, sued on behalf of the longshoremen and formulated Back Pay Committees in Brooklyn, Hoboken, New Jersey, and Baltimore.
Father Corridan, recognizing the Communists leadership of the strike, traveled to Washington to meet with Harry Truman’s labor advisor John Steelman, explaining that if the strike was successful, the Communists foothold on the docks would be secure. The strike, Corridan argued, needed to be averted (During the meeting, Joe Ryan, who must have been informed of Corridan’s visit through his intelligence network, phoned Steelman and tried to talk him. Steelman refused the call.)
Steelman turned the problem over to Cyrus Ching, Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and Corridan filled him in on the tense situation on the docks. Ching did nothing and a day later, on November 10, 1948, strikes erupted on the waterfront in Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
As a result of the strikes, which were well executed, Joe Ryan, lost considerable amount prestige within the international labor industry and the mob. With no other choice left, he declared the strike legal and joined the walk out, enabling him enough time to dismantle the rebels from within.
The true strikers, the rank-and-file, were relegated to meeting in bars and on street corners to further organize the strike. But, at best, they became a scattered force and as a result were unable to organize and formulate their demands, especially after outside pressures brought on by the ILA and federal government, chased the Communists organizers from the picket lines.
Twenty-six days after the strike had erupted, the federal government had secured an agreement giving the men a thirteen-cent raise, vacation time, and a welfare fund. The rebels accepted the agreement and returned to work the following day.
Corridan didn’t see the end of the strike as a victory for the workers, but for the Communists, "The stench rising out of the waterfront” as he called them, and predicted that with more victories, even minor, they would eventually take over the docks, or at the least push out the labor schools and any chance of an effective union. As he saw it, the only answer was to rid the waterfront of the ILA and the Mafia. When the strike ended, Corridan began a campaign to urge Congress and the State of New York to investigate the waterfront conditions. Appearing before the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor on June 15, 1949, Corridan contended that reform could "be brought only by a Federal and State investigation resulting in remedial action." Much to his annoyance, he had to share the Congressional stage with Communist activists.
Frustrated that they’re to many voices pretending to speak for the Longshoremen, Corridan and one of his followers, Christy Doran, created a newsletter, The Crusader. “It had to be” the Priest said “underground. At the outset I didn’t even want people generally to know where it was put out. I didn’t want the longshoremen associated with me to become masked men. I used to evade some questions as to where publication office was and who was putting it out. It was real cloak and dagger stuff. The paper we used was without a watermark and we never bought it twice at the same store. The typewriter we used was never used for any other job…we mailed from different parts of the city so they couldn’t trace back the mailing office”
Corridan and followers, working with a very limited budget mimeographed the single sheet publication that was published bi-weekly and mailed it out to 500 longshoremen. By 1953, the newsletter was being sent out to 3,000 longshoremen, politicians and newspaper reporters. The most damaging aspect about the newsletter, which was written in slang and local lingo, was that it named Joe Ryan’s informers who were operating on the waterfront, the names provided by Corridan’s intelligence network on the waterfront, rendering the squealers useless. Much to Father Corridan’s delight, Joe Ryan immediately called The Crusader “A Communist publication from top to bottom, a real product of Moscow, let me assure you “ and that the paper was put out under the guidance of “a religious fanatic with communistic leanings”
The tiny paper annoyed Ryan so much that he commissioned the creation of a counter paper, The Longshoremen’s News “At least we accomplished that much” Corridan said “Ryan and the mob were beginning to have to use propaganda of their own to keep their own men in line. The guns and blackjacks weren’t enough anymore”
Now, a year later, the priest advised Dwyer and his men to pitch another wildcat strike. Instead, he argued them to take the problem public in a meeting, if they did that, he assured them, he would get Malcolm Johnson to cover the meeting.
Dwyer agreed and a public forum was held at St. Veronica’s parish on the waterfront. Corridan sent out invitations to the media as well as to Joe Ryan and Big Jim McCormack and Mayor O’Dwyer. They all declined.
At the start of the meeting, Teddy Gleason, an ILA officer in three locals. He had served a term in Sing Sing. His record included arrests for receiving stolen property, attempted robbery, assault with intent, robbery and illegal possession of a machine gun. He worked directly under Joe Ryan, was the first to speak, defending Ryan and the ILA. While Gleason was in mid-sentence, Johnny Dwyer stood up and denounced Gleason as “A stooge not only for Ryan but for Big Bill McCormack the waterfront czar…. I’m walking out and everybody who agrees with me can follow me out”
As promised Johnson covered the story on the front page of the New York Sun. That same afternoon, Mayor O’Dwyer called the rebel longshoremen into a meeting at city hall. The next day Johnny Dwyer and his crew were running the pier under police protection and the ILA hoods were gone. It was the beginning of the end of the mobs control over the waterfront.
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Paperback 186 pages
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Perfect Behavior: A guide for Ladies and Gentlemen in all Social Crises
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Paper back 140 pages
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The Wee Book of the American Irish in Their Own Words
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BOOK ABOUT ORGANIZED CRIME
Chicago Organized Crime
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An Illustrated Chronological History of the Chicago Mob. Time Line 1837-2000
Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee
The Mob Files. Guns and Glamour: The Chicago Mob. A History. 1900-2000
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Shooting the Mob: Organized Crime in Photos: The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.
The Life and World of Al Capone in Photos
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Paperback: 340 pages
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Paperback: 172 pages
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The Mob in Vegas
Bugsy & His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill
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Paperback 200 pages
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Mob Testimony: Joe Pistone, Michael Scars DiLeonardo, Angelo Lonardo and others
The New York Mafia: The Origins of the New York Mob
The New York Mob: The Bosses
Organized Crime 25 Years after Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate
Shooting the mob: Dutch Schultz
Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal. (Illustrated)
Early Street Gangs and Gangsters of New York City
Paperback 382 pages
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The Russian Mafia in America
The Threat of Russian Organzied Crime
Paperback 192 pages
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Best of Mob Stories Part 2
Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobsters in Photos
More Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobs
The New England Mafia
Shooting the mob. Organized crime in photos. Dead Mobsters, Gangsters and Hoods.
The Salerno Report: The Mafia and the Murder of President John F. Kennedy
The Mob Files: Mob Wars. "We only kill each other"
The Mob across America
The US Government’s Time Line of Organzied Crime 1920-1987
Early Street Gangs and Gangsters of New York City: 1800-1919. Illustrated
The Mob Files: Mob Cops, Lawyers and Informants and Fronts
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Paperback: 128 pages
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Paperback: 436 pages
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Paperback 22 pages
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By John William Tuohy
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By John William Tuohy
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By John William Tuohy
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By John William Tuohy
The Dutchman's Soliloquy: A one Act Play based on the factual last words of Gangster Dutch Schultz.
By John William Tuohy
Fishbowling on The Last Words of Dutch Schultz: Or William S. Burroughs intersects with Dutch Schultz
Print Length: 57 pages
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By John William Tuohy
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Print Length: 14 pages
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THE QUOTABLE SERIES
The Quotable Emerson: Life lessons from the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Over 300 quotes
The Quotable John F. Kennedy
The Quotable Oscar Wilde
The Quotable Machiavelli
The Quotable Confucius: Life Lesson from the Chinese Master
The Quotable Henry David Thoreau
The Quotable Robert F. Kennedy
The Quotable Writer: Writers on the Writers Life
The words of Walt Whitman: An American Poet
Paperback: 162 pages
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Paperback: 128 pages
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Paperback 66 pages
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Paperback 52 pages
Kahlil Gibran, an artist, poet, and writer was born on January 6, 1883 n the north of modern-day Lebanon and in what was then part of Ottoman Empire. He had no formal schooling in Lebanon. In 1895, the family immigrated to the United States when Kahlil was a young man and settled in South Boston. Gibran enrolled in an art school and was soon a member of the avant-garde community and became especially close to Boston artist, photographer, and publisher Fred Holland Day who encouraged and supported Gibran’s creative projects. An accomplished artist in drawing and watercolor, Kahlil attended art school in Paris from 1908 to 1910, pursuing a symbolist and romantic style. He held his first art exhibition of his drawings in 1904 in Boston, at Day's studio. It was at this exhibition, that Gibran met Mary Elizabeth Haskell, who ten years his senior. The two formed an important friendship and love affair that lasted the rest of Gibran’s short life. Haskell influenced every aspect of Gibran’s personal life and career. She became his editor when he began to write and ushered his first book into publication in 1918, The Madman, a slim volume of aphorisms and parables written in biblical cadence somewhere between poetry and prose. Gibran died in New York City on April 10, 1931, at the age of 48 from cirrhosis of the liver and tuberculosis.
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Recipes we would Die For
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The Kefauver Organized Crime Hearings (Book support site)
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