Saturday, July 19, 2014

In loving memory of 
ELAINE  STRITCH (1925-2014)
A Force of Nature, an American Original, a redoubtable, doughty, unique entertainer.
May the flights of angels I doubt you believed in sing you to your rest, dear soul. 

Here's to the Ladies Who Lunch – and to you who made them famous, Elaine, and to Stephen Sondheim who pitied them so poignantly with his uniquely eloquent brand of mockery.


  1. If the point of the mockery was supposed to be derogatory (and I haven't seen the play, so I don't know), it utterly FAILS.

    SuperEgo needs no justification, no object, no goal. It just needs TO BE SEEN, and to be RECOGNIZED.

    And Ms. Stitch's delivery certainly succeeds in accomplishing BOTH.

  2. btw - Now that I have read a synopsis, I have to believe that Sondheim should have gone with original instincts on an ending for Company, for SuperEgo literally IS our "companion from HELL."

  3. Sondheim's mistake... SuperEgo isn't always a "blessing".

  4. Death Drive, "being alive" is the Lacanian lamella, le hommelette, libido itself.

    The compulsion to repeat lies at the heart of Sondheim's mistake... of humanity's mistake. But of course, les non dupes erant!

  5. I always enjoyed the way that mr. ducky used to snidely refer to the "Ladies who Lunch"... as if to say, "THERE, I've GOT you."

    But what have you "got", ducky? Have you truly captured the driving force behind capitalism? Or have you perhaps merely captured a vision of its' "excess" (born of human vanity)... it's necessary albeit superfluous part, the human libido which maintains and sustains the living form's ethereal grasp upon existence (nothing but an illusion).

    The important parts of capitalism are the families and lives it sustains, not the symptomatic "excesses" that sometimes drive it.

    I grant that our "system" has gotten increasingly "excessive" over recent years. But as the Greek's said, Meden Agan!

    When one day "balance" is restored, and 'mercantilism' is replaced by laissez faire, then, perhaps, the "ladies who lunch" so as to organize charity out of their "excess" will n'er be so "derided" again.

  6. Too bad she was primarily a stage actress which limits her audience.

    She so owns "Ladies Who Lunch" that is must be tough to mount a revival of Company in that shadow.

  7. Oh, go back to drinking toasts to Mahler, ducky! ;)

    Have you seen Carol Burnett's version from "Putting it Together"?

  8. Stravinsky inspires me to go watch "Psycho" again...

  9. Getting back to ELAINE:

    I'd strongly advise y'all not to miss this:

  10. Maybe I'm tone deaf and must be missing something in the clip of the subject of this post. But I am having a hard time discerning the slightest hint of harmony in the lady's tinny voice.

    Maybe you had to be there to appreciate it.

  11. On the other hand the second link in choosing Rock Hudson over Ben Gazzara is good. I think she's making a subtle point about the star personna of Rock Hudson as "created" by the Hollywood mind benders and the ultimate "real" Rock Hudson wasting away from AIDS. From personal sexual choices that would likely have made him a much smaller glimmer in the galaxy of Hollywood stars (if his true self had been sold instead of the phony made for the audience image).

  12. Maybe I'm missing the point, but I find "Here's to the Ladies Who Lunch" a statement as to how superficiality ultimately leads to deep depression.

  13. No, AOW, you didn't miss the point at all. That IS the point. The downward swoop of the main melodic motive, the harmonies and accompaniment figurations evoke just that.

    Whatever else it may be, this hardly qualifies as "light entertainment," though Sondheim is often categorized as such. I believe he has true greatness in him, despite having chosen to work in the theater as opposed to the world of opera and concert music.

    He and Leonard bernstein bith did mych to try to bridge the gap between the two worlds -- and mught have succeeded even better than they did were it not for the rude jolting arrival of Rock 'n Roll -- the quintessence of coarseness, baseness and vulgarity glorified by artful promotion.

  14. "Stephen Sondheim who pitied them so poignantly with his uniquely eloquent brand of mockery."

    As perfect a description of what this is all about as you could hope to find, FT. Yes. Amazingly enough the idle rich may be even more pathetic and get a lot less out of life than the dirt poor Sondheim may have pity for them, but Stritch makes no attempt to soften her overt contempt.

    -------------> Katharine Heartburn



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