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  • dirigo commented on the blog post Late Night: All Over But The Pouting

    2013-10-18 02:49:32View | Delete

    By way of Eugene Robinson, attributed to John Boehner:

    ” … we control one-half of one-third of the government.”

    This man is simply not wearing the right head gear.

  • dirigo commented on the blog post The Consequences of Weaving Tangled Webs, German Edition

    2013-07-28 07:15:32View | Delete

    Walt Scott played second base for the Red Sox in the fifties and wrote poetry on the side.

  • dirigo commented on the blog post Late Night FDL: Stars and Bars

    2012-04-20 07:24:18View | Delete

    Trite But True

    You’ve got to be taught
    To hate and fear;
    You’ve got to taught
    From year to year.
    It’s got to be drummed
    In your dear little ear;
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught”
    South Pacific
    Rodgers & Hammerstein

  • dirigo commented on the blog post Late Night FDL: Holier Than Thou

    2012-02-23 23:11:49View | Delete

    Heyy … cocktailhag! You do stand-up? The Oscars might need you too. Good luck.

  • dirigo commented on the blog post Pull Up a Chair

    2011-07-09 05:01:01View | Delete

    Happy birthday, Karen …

  • dirigo commented on the blog post Pull Up a Chair

    2011-01-15 07:29:00View | Delete

    Quite true about men seeing comedy while women see tragedy. My mother, were she still alive, could speak to that, and for us, as with any unhappy family, the tears flooded and leached out a lot of the laughter (Ahh! Tolstoy: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” ).

    Great post!

  • dirigo commented on the blog post Pull Up a Chair

    2011-01-15 07:02:08View | Delete

    I’d say – having, like Polonius, “enacted” a bit – the key to comedic delivery is playing it straight. In other words, the characters don’t know they’re funny. It’s all real to them. Or like an actor playing a drunk; you don’t slobber and fall down the stairs; you play it as though you’re in charge of everything, despite being snackered.

    At the same time, the put downs or send ups from another character, aimed at the characters who don’t know they’re funny (whether drunk or not), are simply rapier wit, often crafted to go over all but a few heads.

    An example of a great comedic actor just passed is Leslie Neilson, who didn’t discover his comedy chops until he was in his fifties.

    Anyway, a great writer gives you all you need, whether it’s fiction or drama.

    Interestingly, though you and I have had some sidebar conversations about Austen, I didn’t think of her as a comedic writer.

    Just goes to show ya …

  • dirigo commented on the blog post Pull Up a Chair

    2011-01-15 06:32:20View | Delete

    Hey Karen,

    Well there’s the old saw: Drama is easy; comedy is hard, and it’s no doubt true that comedic synapses are quite different between men and women.

    You ask about fave rave authors, I cite Chekhov, whose short stories are the backbone of his work.

    But there’s been a lot of confusion about Chekhov’s intentions, the most famous being the way The Moscow Art Theater’s premiers of his full-length plays were done.

    Stanislavski, who produced and directed the plays, was taken aback when Chekhov complained that what was put on stage was drama, or even bad melodrama. Chekhov said his stuff was intended as comedy, and the confusion about his stories has gone on for well over a hundred years.

  • dirigo commented on the blog post And Now, a Word from Sarah Palin

    2011-01-12 11:25:01View | Delete


    I am so pleased you took the time to ‘splain things here before such a hostile audience.

    May the Republic be saved by your grace, and may a statue of YOU eventually replace the one of Eleanor Roosevelt, now perched on the capitol dome in Washington.

  • dirigo commented on the blog post Pull Up A Chair

    2010-12-04 08:07:43View | Delete

    Hi Karen,

    Don’t care all that much to talk about the weather, but I do like to talk about snow, being from New England and all.

    During my late teen years I lived in Portland, Maine. The family moved there from the Boston area. We thought winters were tough in the city (and they are), but when we got to Maine it was a whole new deal.

    We never had a snow blower, but we did have to get new shovels. If a storm was coming, we had to plan well ahead to get out in the morning. If the snow started falling after dinner, and the forecast was basically for a blizzard overnight, we’d sometimes be out before bedtime, trying to get ahead of the thing by shoveling hard to keep the driveway and the garage doors clear. Plows up north run through the night during big storms, and so in the morning, say at six or so, we’d be hard at it, because no matter what, the pile at the end of the driveway at sun-up could be five or six feet high and packed by the blade of the plow going by.

    My Dad always got to work, and we went off to school, unless classes were cancelled – and school is NOT cancelled at the drop of the hat in Maine, I’ll tell ya! – in which case we’d have hot chocolate all day long, watch some daytime television, read, or, just find some eight foot drifts to jump in until the roads were plowed. And then we’d go sliding.

    One of the funniest things I can remember about those times, as a budding media guy, was watching the channel eight weather from Poland Spring, Maine (where the water comes from). Up until 2002, the station’s transmitter sat on the peak of Mount Washington, in Coos County, New Hampshire, and for nearly 40 years, channel eight’s engineer on site was Marty Engstrom. Every night, Marty did the weather on the news show, sort of as a sideline. And a consistently funny sideline it was. Marty was a uniquely Maine broadcaster, a true Bob & Ray character, and a legend in the business up there.


    Talk about snow. Go on up Mount Washington a bit. Go on! I dare ya! Ay-yuhh.


    I’ll tell you one thing. At say four in the afternoon, there’s nothing like the beauty of the winter sun going down amidst clear gray skies and bare tree limbs, after a storm in northern New England. And once a big storm comes (maybe in late November or December, the snow usually stays. Other storms arrive and they add to the pile, and you can be socked in until March.

    Those were the days; but funnily enough, they still happen, even now, for all the kids up there.