Saturday, January 16, 2010

Acadian Exodus

As devoted readers of this blog know, I'm about to move to New Orleans. I'm a bit puzzled about what to do with this blog. Or, more specifically, I'm puzzled about the picture above.  It was taken in New England and it belongs to New England.  I hate to change it.

Perhaps I will start writing all new posts in my newer blog (Transient.)  Haven't decided yet.  But somehow I suspect that New Orleans will provide plenty of material.  C. suggested that I start another blog, but it seems to me pretentious to have three blogs.  It's somewhat pretentious to have two blogs, actually.  And come to think of it, it's pretentious to have any blog at all . . . but it's too late now.

To everyone who comes across this page:  go well, with blessings.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Noel Coward Diaries

I was so impressed by the book of Noel Coward plays I read a couple months ago that I decided to go through his diaries.  (They cover the years 1941 to 1969.  He died in 1973.)

He does occasionally say nice things about other people besides himself.  And he does not always retract his praise a few pages later.  However, he does rate his own talents above those of everyone else . . . even his self-criticisms tend to take the form of "My X is weak, but it's more than made up for by my Y, Z and Q."

Actresses especially are perfect loves until he has to rehearse with them, when they instantly become brainless, egotistical, no-talent cows.  I will say though that the critics always hated his work and the public mostly loved it, which must have been very frustrating, although financially rewarding.

The thing that really struck me is that he was a full-blown British Imperialist, in a way that no one is probably allowed to be today.  His reaction to hearing of Gandhi's assassination was, "A bloody good thing which happened far too late."  During the Suez crisis his first comment was, "We should never have evacuated Egypt," and later on, "The good old imperialism was a bloody sight wiser and healthier than all this woolly-headed, muddled, 'all men are equal' humanitarianism . . . The British Empire was a great and wonderful social, economic and even spiritual experiment."

Ironically, he was completely opposed to religion in general and Christianity in particular.  (I always think of Western imperialism and Christianity as being synonymous.)  The one point on which he criticized British justice was the criminalization of homosexuality.  That, he knew was wrong, because it affected him and his friends.  Everything else apparently was just fine.

Also, I honestly believed that Cavalcade was an anti-war play, but it appears I was wrong.  Oh well.  Noel Coward:  talented at what he did; almost completely oblivious to the rest of the world.  (But then how could he appeal so much to audiences?  Paradox.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Language Oddity #5,637,008