I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

July 10, 2013 - 4:21 p.m.

The Deadly Gentleman are Not Monsters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

So here it is, my second update of the day. As with so many addiction a blogger needs progressively larger doses to get the same kick.

So last we heard I was leaving Rockwood Music Hall after John Platt's On Your Radar. I said my goodbyes, left the building, when I was caught my Catherine. I hadn't given her a goodbye hug and she was calling me on it. I guess I should mention that I pretty much always do that to her. If a nanosecond goes by without her hugging me I give her a guilt trip. It's a miracle that anyone is my friend. I just realized that my friends are extraordinary because only someone extraordinary would put up with me; mystery solved. I'm just lucky there are extraordinary people.

I broke loose from Catherine's clutches to make my way to Joe's Pub to see The Deadly Gentlemen. I originally thought I couldn't go to the show but then I saw yesterday that it was at 9:30. On Your Radar ends at 9:00 and they aren't far apart. I could make it! I bought a ticket and got a seat right down front. That is actually not my first choice at Joe's Pub but that was available. After saying my goodbyes and escaping Catherine's clutches (I just like saying that) I passed the drummer for the Twangtown Paramours walking into a restaurant. I was quickly introduced to him before the show but we didn't talk much. But even though I was in a rush I stopped to talk to him, why? His name is Chris Marshak, Until I started writing that sentence that interested me because I thought it was the name of one of the main characters on Friday the 13th: The TV Series. But as I wrote that it hit me, the character was Jack Marshak but he was played by Chris Wiggins. I am not even checking that on IMBD. I know I'm right. So I went to talk to him for something that was wrong. That's me. He was fun to talk to so I was rewarded for my stupidity.

I could have walked to Joe's Pub but I didn't have much time, I decided to take the subway even though it meant taking two trains for one stop each. Actually I took the one stop and figured I'd see how long the wait was for the . If it was too long I'd walk, I had less than a minute wait for it so I got to Joe's pub before 9:30. I had to wait at the box office while two people bought tickets and took their time choosing a seat. But I still picked up mine with time to spare. I even had time to go to the bathroom.

The opening act was something like T.HE.M. It was pronounced Them and it's based on the initials T.H.M of the three women in the band. Their sound reminded me a bit of Sometymes Why. I wanted to love them but I didn't. They are good. They have musical chops, but they did not grab me.

I know the Deadly Gentlemen through their banjo player and founder Greg Liszt. He's in Crooked Still one of my all-time favorite bands. They are on "hiatus." I'm a Frhead, that's a word that always gets quotation marks. Before their last gig I made all the members of the band promise me they'd get back together. I somehow don't think that's going to affect what happens. On the bright side it means more acts to love. I've seen Aoife O'Donovan's band many times. She's been doing that even when Crooked Still was touring. I love her. I love Brittany Haas. I've seen her twice, with two different sets of partners. This is my first time seeing the Deadly Gentleman. I had their two previous albums but hadn't seen them live. This was the CD release party for their new album, Roll Me, Tumble Me.

I usually describe their music as punk bluegrass. That was never quite right but it gives a feel for the sound. The new album is not as much punk, or bluegrass. It's more folk and more melodic. Many are songs you can sing along too. They still rock the Casbah and they still don't sound like anybody else. I tried to come up with a comparison but couldn't. I did come up with a comparison for their mandolin player, Dominick Leslie, looks like the love child of Peter Noone and John Lennon. Carey will want to take him home. It's a sad thing but I have a better handle on Carey's taste in men than my taste in women.

Another sad thing I am having trouble coming up with how to better discuss their music. I just know I love it. There is instrumental virtuosity and great songwriting. What more do you need?

After the show I ran into Chris. I forgot he was going to the show and invited me to join him months ago. I thought I couldn't go then because of On Your Radar so I didn't sit with him. Good thing he was there. The band didn't take credit cards and I didn't have enough cash to buy the CD. I borrowed $5 from him.

OK now for something completely different, Tiffany Aching. She's the hero of a trio of child/young adult novels of Discworld by Terry Pratchett. I thought of her for a number of reasons. Yesterday I wrote about the Nac Mac Feegle, the fairies that serve her in the books. I had several conversations in person and on line about fictional female role models, and I just wrote about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Tiffany might be the most admirable fictional character I've come across. Her defining characteristics are intelligence, altruism, and bravery. If she weren't 15-years-old, living in a different universe, and fictional I'd marry her. I can't think of a better role model. When Tiffany sees someone in need her first instinct is to help. Tiffany is a witch and to Tiffany a witch is someone that helps people. A witch fits Pratchett's definition of a magical person, someone who knows things everyone doesn't know. Most of what she does, does not involve spells. It's about thinking, being rational, and what her mentor Granny Weatherwax calls headology. We with much less directness call it psychology. If I had a daughter Tiffany is the one I'd want to be her role model. But here's my real point. If I had a son she's the one I'd want to be his role model. That's what feminism is about to me. The notion that gender isn't destiny. That's what admirable in a man is admirable in a woman and visa versa. I am so tired of what has become the obligatory female action hero. Women are as good as men but they are smaller and weaker. A woman is not going to be a super fighter for the same reason a woman can't run 100 m in less than 10 seconds. I loved Emma Peel. She was unique at the time. I love Buffy her strength is supernatural. I was always annoyed that Superman was muscular, his strength doesn't come from having bigger muscles, it's qualitatively different. But now we have Xenas all over the place. That isn't the only way of being a hero. It isn't even the best way of being a hero. I'll take Tiffany any day. When she was 9 and a monster grabbed her brother she ran for her cast iron skillet to hit it over the head with. She wasn't super strong, she wasn't even fearless, she was brave and resourceful. That's a real hero and it makes no difference if she's a boy or a girl. It's why I'm using hero not heroine, not just because I often mistakenly write heroin. I usually like the distinction of gender words but in this case no. People are too quick to make gender differences about heroism that aren't deserved.

So I realize that it's odd that what I like is that this fictional witch is a realistic role model and not supernatural. But she is. She isn't a witch because she was born a witch. It's a career choice for her and the biggest compliment I can give her is that she's a witch to her bones.

OK I have to run to my mailbox and see if the post office is lying about me having mail. Then I'm running to Penn Station to take a train to Woodbridge NJ to see Caravan of Thieves.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile July 10, 2013
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