July 6th, 2003

Mama Deb

Reading stuff

I spent yesterday doing nothing. Yes, that's in both the spirit and the letter of Shabbat, but mostly it was the heat - I slept badly and woke up too late for synagogue and then didn't want to walk 3/4 mile to my friend's house (not to mention how a two hour nap kinda makes you feel like not doing much). I mean, I finished lunch (lunch being cold baked salmon steaks with yogurt dill sauce and a salad - yogurt dill sauce: as tart a low fat yogurt as you can find, mixed with chopped fresh dill so that you can taste both. If the yogurt isn't as tart as it could be, add lemon juice. It doesn't really get any easier.), but that's all I did.

Except read. I read a lot.

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Mama Deb

You gotta love a musical with a song about the Triangle Trade

UPN, or my local affiliate, just showed 1776, which is one of those shows you either love or hate.

I love it. I love the who's who of seventies/eighties television and the distinguished stage actors who never did another movie. I love the presentation of men of honor and courage, even if I disagreed with what they believed in. I love the passion of their beliefs.

It was an amazing thing they did then - they created a country, and it's been, not perfect, but better than most. They made it possible for other people to believe they, too, could create a country because until the thing is done, no one will believe it can be done, but once it's done, it cannot be stopped.

I don't cry at big things. I cry at little things - where everyone else had to sign the Declaration at the podium (and, yes, I know. It really wasn't all signed that day. That doesn't matter.), John Hancock quietly and without a fuss brought it to the ailing Ceasar Rodney to sign. John Dickinson fighting tooth and nail to prevent what he saw as treason. We're not supposed to like the man as he browbeats the third member of the Pennsylvania delegation (no one could browbeat the second, being Benjamin Franklin and all), and argues against our freedom. But then they make it clear that he wasn't just arguing out of a love of status quo, but because he truly believed it was treason. And John Adams gives him honor as he leaves, unable to sign the Declaration but still willing to fight with the colonies. These things made me tear up.

And then. John Cullum, Holling from Northern Exposure, singing in that wonderful voice that probably could fill a theater, as Edward Rutledge, singing what amounts to an aria about the Triangle Trade, about coins and hypocrisy - molasses to rum to slaves, and cargoes of Bibles to boot, changing accents, evoking the slave auctions...


ETA: apparently one scene, when the opposition to John Adams sang about being "Cool, Cool Considerate Men", and how they moved to the right, never the left, had been cut until now. Then-President Nixon asked for that.
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