Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
The low road
by Marge Piercy
What can they do
to you? Whatever they want.
They can set you up, they can
bust you, they can break
your fingers, they can
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can’t walk, can’t remember, they can
take your child, wall up
your lover. They can do anything
you can’t stop them
from doing. How can you stop
them? Alone, you can fight,
you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can
but they roll over you.
Two people can keep each other
sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four
you can play bridge and start
an organization. With six
you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no
seconds and hold a fund-raising party.
A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousand, power and your own paper;
a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.
It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again after they said No,
it starts when you say We
and know who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.
“The low road” from THE HUNGER MOON: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2010 by Marge Piercy. Copyright © 1977 by Marge Piercy. Used by permission of The Wallace Literary Agency. (buy now)
On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in Paris. It was built for the Paris Exposition as part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, and also as a demonstration of the structural capabilities of iron. The tower elicited strong reactions after its opening. A petition of 300 names, including writers Guy de Maupassant, Émile Zola, and Alexandre Dumas the younger, was sent to the city government protesting its construction, declaring it “useless” and a “monstrosity.”
De Maupassant hated the tower so much that he started eating in its restaurant every day, because, he said, “It is the only place in Paris where I don’t have to see it.”
Today is the birthday of philosopher René Descartes (books by this author), born in La Haye en Touraine, France (1596), called the father of modern philosophy, but he considered himself a mathematician and scientist. He became interested in philosophy when he heard that the church persecuted Galileo for his scientific theories. Descartes realized some of his own theories were also controversial, so he wrote a book called Discourse on Method (1637), about the necessity of doubt in scientific inquiry. He also wrote about beginning to doubt everything about his life, even the fact of his own existence. But in the process of doing so, he realized that he couldn’t doubt the existence of his own thoughts, and he produced his most famous line: “I think, therefore I am.”
It’s the birthday of poet and novelist Marge Piercy (books by this author), born in Detroit, Michigan (1936). She grew up as one of the only white girls in a black neighborhood, and she was the first member of her family to go to college. She published her first book, a collection of poems called Breaking Camp, in 1968. She’s written novels, short stories, essays, and a memoir, and her most recent poetry collection is Made in Detroit (2015).
Oklahoma! opened on Broadway on this date in 1943. It was based on a play called Green Grow the Lilacs (1930), by Lynn Riggs. Though the play, which was about settlers in the Oklahoma Territory, featured some old folk songs, it wasn’t a musical of the Broadway variety. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein were both admirers of the play, and they had both independently tried to adapt it to the musical format, but their respective songwriting partners — Lorenz Hart and Jerome Kern — weren’t interested. So Rodgers approached Hammerstein about it. Usually, musicals were made up of fairly thin and joke-riddled plotlines that only served to string together the most important element: the songs. But Rodgers and Hammerstein were both committed to making the songs fit the story, rather than the other way around. One of Broadway’s most beloved musicals, as well as one of its most successful partnerships, was born out of their collaboration.
Nobody expected the show to do very well, but Oklahoma! was an immediate smash hit, and the first big Broadway blockbuster. It ran for more than 2,200 performances.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®