Monthly Archives: May 2003

Les Miz Closes?

Les Miserables ends its run on Broadway at over 6600 performances, second in duration only to Cats.

However, all is not lost. It was in London before it came to Broadway, and it continues playing on the West End. Part of the Broadway set is journeying to Berlin for a new German-language production. In the US the national touring company is still travelling from city to city, and the rights have been granted to high schools to perform (a shortened version of) the musical as well.

In a newspaper article in the New York Times several months ago when the closing was announced, producer, Cameron Mackintosh, also quipped that you have to close a musical before you can have a revival. However, while New Yorkers and NY tourists wait for the Broadway revival, the musical can still be seen in many cities across the world.

two gay vultures…

There were these two gay vultures
living together in the Jerusalem Biblical zoo,
and the one vulture says to the other…

oh, wait, it isn’t a joke..

(Actually…this is sorta old news….the article is dated 1999. But Dave just discovered it…which is how it came to my attention. I wonder where the vultures (and their hatchlings) are today…)

two gay vultures…

There were these two gay vultures
living together in the Jerusalem Biblical zoo,
and the one vulture says to the other…

oh, wait, it isn’t a joke..

(Actually…this is sorta old news….the article is dated 1999. But Dave just discovered it…which is how it came to my attention. I wonder where the vultures (and their hatchlings) are today…)

manji or nazi?

Back in Dec of 1999 Nintendo removed a Pokemon trading card from the US market because it contained a ‘manji’…a Japanese symbol of good luck which resembles a backwards Nazi swastika. Historically, the Japanese symbol, with Buddhist origins, predates WWII by centuries. But, despite the over-reaction by some — there is a difference between the swastikas. The arms point in different directions.

Recently it appears Coca Cola – in Hong Kong – placed a swastika on a “Robocon” toy robot. However, did they make a mistake. Is it a manji?

There are actually two different manjis a Ura Manji and an Omote Manji. The Ura Manji is the same as a Nazi swastika, but it is rotated 45 degrees.

The pattern on the robot is clearly intended to be a Ura Manji, but it isn’t exactly. Neither is it a Nazi swastika though…

Pokemon Trading card
banned in US in Dec 1999
Coca Cola / Robocon robt under attack
omote manji
ura manji
Nazi swastika

PETA’s Holocaust on your Plate

PETA compares eating meat to the Holocaust.

My first reaction matches the reactions of Elie Wiesel, the ADL and others…which are quoted on PETA’s site, along of course with their response.

Of course, I also have great respect for the author Isaac Bashevis Singer, who is given credit for being the first to make the comparison between the slaughter of animals and the concentration camps.

“In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis; for [them] it is an eternal Treblinka.î

Whenever there is a mass killing anywhere…it seems it is always compared to the Holocaust. Kind of like every political scandal has to be given a name ending with “-gate”. Every new fantasy writer is always compared to Tolkein.

It is human nature to make comparisons…and when there is an obvious benchmark, it is used to compare everything that comes after it. Referring to the Reagan/Bush scandal as Iran-Contra-Gate, or one of the early controversies in Clinton’s term as Travel-Gate….didn’t diminish the importance of Watergate. On the contrary, if anything, it reinforced it.

The number of fantasy writers who have been compared to Tolkein are legion. However, it is still Tolkein to which new writers are compared…the benchmark hasn’t changed.

Perhaps the day the Holocaust isn’t used, and some other benchmark is chosen…perhaps that’s when we have to proclaim our objections.

PETA’s Holocaust on your Plate

PETA compares eating meat to the Holocaust.

My first reaction matches the reactions of Elie Wiesel, the ADL and others…which are quoted on PETA’s site, along of course with their response.

Of course, I also have great respect for the author Isaac Bashevis Singer, who is given credit for being the first to make the comparison between the slaughter of animals and the concentration camps.

“In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis; for [them] it is an eternal Treblinka.î

Whenever there is a mass killing anywhere…it seems it is always compared to the Holocaust. Kind of like every political scandal has to be given a name ending with “-gate”. Every new fantasy writer is always compared to Tolkein.

It is human nature to make comparisons…and when there is an obvious benchmark, it is used to compare everything that comes after it. Referring to the Reagan/Bush scandal as Iran-Contra-Gate, or one of the early controversies in Clinton’s term as Travel-Gate….didn’t diminish the importance of Watergate. On the contrary, if anything, it reinforced it.

The number of fantasy writers who have been compared to Tolkein are legion. However, it is still Tolkein to which new writers are compared…the benchmark hasn’t changed.

Perhaps the day the Holocaust isn’t used, and some other benchmark is chosen…perhaps that’s when we have to proclaim our objections.

Priorities

The US Army didn’t have time to prevent the destruction of Iraqi antiquities.

But they did have time to remove an unflattering mural of Bush from a hotel floor.

They can’t find the time to save ancient art…but can find the time to destroy modern art — if it offends them.

Haymarket Square

All over the world, countries celebrated the actions of a group of workers over a century ago.

All over the world, that is, except in the country where it occurred. That country has effectively
swept the holiday underneath the carpet by officially celebrating it four months late every year.

Haymarket Square, May 4, 1886