At first, I wasn't laughing. But then I started to embrace the play as something with a touch of the silly slapstick humorRead "The Frogs" this week.
At first, I wasn't laughing. But then I started to embrace the play as something with a touch of the silly slapstick humor of, say, Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and something of the biting political humor of Lenny Bruce. And I found myself laughing out loud.
Oh, what a marvelous delight this must have been for the Athenians! An opportunity to laugh in 25 years into the Peloponnesian War. To laugh at the war, the politicians, and themselves. To hug the lines of literature quoted in the play close to their bosoms.
Dionysius, god of the wine, journeys with his sidekick servant down to Hades to bring Euripides or Aeschylus back to Athens to help save the city. But first he must determine which is the better poet.
Surprisingly fun read. And topical today in that human nature doesn't seem to have changed much.
Sad, too. So many quotes from plays which are lost. :-( ...more
Interesting, but not fascinating. VERY quick read. This book delves into the lives of those who peopled the 1970s TV series I, Claudius. But shows theInteresting, but not fascinating. VERY quick read. This book delves into the lives of those who peopled the 1970s TV series I, Claudius. But shows them in a harsher light. I hadn't thought that possible. I had been wrong.
The book puts forward the two aspects of Seneca. He writes wonderful, moral musings and letters. But he's the tutor/ the moral example for Nero. Murders are being committed left and right and Seneca is becoming incredibly wealthy.
"If you put up with the crimes of a friend, you make them your own" -- Roman Proverb.
By the time you finish reading the book, you will be forever aware that the suffix -cide means to kill.
I did enjoy the history. Nice bit: Nero and Seneca's lived the same time as Boadicea (of Britain). Churchill had written of her in his History of the English-Speaking People. She comes vividly to mind for me... In her simple British chariot, rallying her people, with her wild woman hair streaming behind her. The author puts forward the theory that Seneca may have caused or greatly contributed to the British uprising when using insider knowledge he called in his loans in Britain. 200,000 people died.
Nero putting the blame for the fire on the Christians.
The paintings that represented Seneca as a lean ascetic? Inaccurate. He was a fleshy, jowly man.
The sinking of the Lusitania. An event I remember my mother speaking of--although it was before her time, too. It's part of the cultural memory. FourThe sinking of the Lusitania. An event I remember my mother speaking of--although it was before her time, too. It's part of the cultural memory. Four stars because the final 125 pages were so horrifically real....more
I picked this book up shortly after I left Facebook. I found it to be an interesting read--- even though there were long passages that I merely skimm I picked this book up shortly after I left Facebook. I found it to be an interesting read--- even though there were long passages that I merely skimmed. Maybe it’s technology that has taught me to do that, eh? To skim along until I find something of particular interest to ME.
The author quotes Winston Churchill: We shape our buildings, and then they shape us. That is something to think about. I really, really missed Facebook the first few days after I left it…. But by the end of the week… I felt better about my life and my use of time. I began to feel more alive.
The author repeatedly returns to her main point that digital connections “offer us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship” (1). She writes of adults and young people professing to prefer texts to calls; one can answer at one’s own convenience; one doesn’t have to get caught up in chat, “wasting” time. She has a chapter on robotic “pets.” Children not wanting their Giga pets “to die.” Robot pets have been tried in retirement homes. They seem so “real,” so “comforting.” IS that a positive, I ask myself. Shouldn’t people confront their end—even if they realize they are sad and lonely… Isn’t that an aspect of life? Shouldn’t we face it? Or is it “kinder” to let lonely, old people spend their days petting and talking endearments to robot pets they think love them back? She writes of Japan… People… feeling they don’t have the time to visit their parents in the nursing home, (or not wanting to?), hire actors to visit. The parents know these are actors. But they appreciate the gesture. Or, so says the author. I find that rather difficult to believe. “The Japanese take as a given that cell phones, texting, instant messaging, e-mail, and online gaming have created social isolation. They see people turning away from family to focus attention on their screens” (146).
ALWAYS ON Are our “friends” friends? “we don’t count on cyberfriends to come by if we are ill, to celebrate our children’s successes, or help up mourn the death of our parents” (153).
“In his essay about his two years of retreat, Thoreau writes, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.”
“Do we live deliberately? Do we turn away from life that is not life? Do we refuse resignation?” (275).
I love so many aspects of the Internet. I miss writing actual letters and receiving actual letters in the mail.