Maria Callas: A Dozen Heresies (I)

Having provided my thoughts on such singers as Birgit Nilsson, Shirley Verrett and Beverly Sills, I’m herewith turning my attention to the singer who is widely considered the prima donna assoluta del mondo, Maria Callas. While Sills was a phenomenon in her day, the Callas phenomenon has proven even bigger and far more durable. When I first came to opera in the mid-1970s, she was already a legend. I recall news of her death, and I recall being puzzled whenRead more

Reflections on Impeachment

The country is now faced, for the second time in two years, with the trial on impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. There is one remarkable aspect to the case, however: the president in the action isn’t the president. After the House of Representatives had hastily passed the single article of impeachment without anything even resembling due process on January 13, the Senate began its proceedings this week by voting on the much-debated constitutionality of the impeachment of someone whoRead more

Rudy Giuliani to Get the Boot?

The New York State Bar Association has begun an investigation into Rudolph Giuliani’s involvement in the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. In the words of a letter published by the Association on January 11: NYSBA President Scott M. Karson has launched an inquiry pursuant to the Association’s bylaws to determine whether Mr. Giuliani should be removed from the membership rolls of the Association. The letter “strongly condemn[s]” the events at the Capitol, and goes on to stateRead more

Christmas Songs I Hate

Christmas is upon us, which means that we have been listening, willingly or unwillingly, to Christmas music for a month. I suppose I’m like other people, in that there is Christmas music (I suppose I ought to say ‘holiday music’ or ‘winter solstice music’) that I like, and some that I dread. I thought I’d write about a few of the songs I dread. First up, although the all-but-ban on religious Christmas music means you don’t hear it as oftenRead more

A “Duet” for Our Times

As our country finds itself in the midst of another disputed presidential election, we can perhaps look back at the disputed election to end all disputed elections, the Hayes and Tilden debacle of 1876…and how it was set to music by Leonard Bernstein. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, was Bernstein’s last score for Broadway. It was also a colossal flop that ran for all of seven performances. The show attempts to depict a century ofRead more

Dodgers in 6

Clayton Kershaw The Dodgers won the World Series. They needed three trips to the Fall Classic in four years, but they finally did it. Last night’s Game 6 was a good, tight game. It wasn’t crazy like last Saturday’s Game 4 (I don’t think I could have handled another of those), but there was plenty of excitement as Tampa Bay got off to a quick lead and the Dodgers didn’t catch up until the 6th inning. We then scored twoRead more

Episode 34

Daniela Romo (Angela), Jorge Poza (Diego), Irene Azuela (Ysabel), Erick Elias (Julio), Ilse Salas (Belen), Diana Bracho (Teresa) One of the most enjoyable telenovelas in recent memory is the Mexican El Hotel de los Secretos, which first aired in 2016 and is now available for revisiting on YouTube. Lavishly produced, the show is set in 1908 with elaborate sets and period costumes. The cast, unusually for any genre, gives two of its four above-the-title billed roles to older women (DanielaRead more

Service of Process on Indian Reservations

The choice of topics for the Blogfolio is intentionally eclectic. Herewith the fruit of research we did for a client several years ago on the admittedly obscure but surprisingly interesting topic of service of process on Indian reservations. Service of process on Indian reservations has long confused United States process servers. Many service firms avoid Indian reservations altogether, while others approach the issue with trepidation, half-fearing that they are going to be chased off the reservation at bow-and-arrow point. TheRead more

Mixing Cereals

I don’t consider myself a leather-jacketed rebel. I suppose I once had my leather-jacketed rebel side (I also owned several leather jackets), but I have now reached an age at which reason doesn’t necessarily equate with boring. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally live dangerously. Indeed, there is one wildly dangerous activity in which I regularly and recklessly engage. I mix cereals. Cold breakfast cereal is an American invention, created by men who thought that a breakfast of grainRead more

And the answer is…

Jeopardy! is the third-longest running game show in American television history, placing right behind The Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune. That’s without reckoning its earlier daytime run under Art Fleming from 1964 to1975 and a couple goes in syndication before the current version, hosted by Alex Trebek, reached the airwaves in 1984. The game is a quiz show with a gimmick. Instead of asking its contestants to come up with the answers to questions, it asks them toRead more