“What do you wanna [stay single] for?”

Bobby and his three girlfriends (the image links to the song)

I'm delighted to say that Christian H of The Thinking Grounds has sent in a guest post for the Sondheim Symposium.  Christian H is an English Lit grad student in Canada, and his blog is one of the reasons you should use RSS readers: it updates irregularly, but is always interesting.  Take it away, Christian!Sondheim’s musical Company might strike many as being strangely silent on the subject of what marriage is, and what it is for, considering that it is a musical about marriage. Or, rat … [Read more...]

Who Gets to Give the Courtier’s Reply?

blackadder courtier

How fortuitous that the same day I asked people to trust me and do the reading, Yvain (who you may remember from the Natural Law post that launched a thousand ships) has written a post examining the usefulness of the Courtier's Reply.  You should read the whole thing, but I'm going to cut and paste for a blockquote: In other words, any version of the Courtier's Reply strong enough to shut down people who want you to spend the rest of your life reading about reptilian British monarchs is also st … [Read more...]

An Apology to JT Eberhard

It has been quite a while since the deadline I set for answering JT Eberhard's questions after my conversion. One of the reasons for the delay is that I turn out to be terrible at spacing commitments or estimating how much free time I had. (Getting overwhelmed after my announcement and telling everybody "Contact me again in two weeks" was a bad idea).But the other, content related problem is that, based on these questions, JT and I (and atheist!me of say, six months ago) have a lot of … [Read more...]

Who are you dressed up as today?

Since we've been talking about theatre, (and had a guest post from an actress) I have all the excuse I need to link to Eve Tushnet's tribute to John Keegan. She wrote: Keegan proposes that leadership requires theatricality: Heroic leadership–any leadership–is, like priesthood, statesmanship, even genius, a matter of externals almost as much as of internalities. The exceptional are both shown to and hidden from the mass of humankind, revealed by artifice, presented by theatre. The theatrical imp … [Read more...]

This Atheist Activism Failure Might Actually be a Win for Skepticism

Over at Friendly Atheist, Paul Fidalgo of the Center for Inquiry has posted an open letter to imprisoned activist Alexander Aan that doubles as a rebuke to the skeptic/atheist/freethought community.  A month long drive to get 25,000 signatures on a WhiteHouse.gov petition failed. We were not asking for money, we were not asking anyone to travel, or march, or even write anything. All we were asking was the click of a few buttons. Why so many thousands could not be bothered to weather whatever … [Read more...]

“It’s not so hard to be married. I’ve done it three or four times.”

"Everything's different..."

Inspired by the Sondheim Symposium, my college friend Katharine Pitt offered a guest post based on her own experiences acting marriages in Shakespeare (She's pretty awesome, so I'm sure she won't mind me inserting a plug for Slings and Arrows in the intro to her post).  I think all the rest you need to know is she's awesome (bears repeating), the photos below were taken by William Sacco (captions courtesy of Katharine), and everything that follows is hers.  Take it away, Kate, the prettiest Kate … [Read more...]

“Bobby, you’ve been looking peculiar”

After the song above, Amy can't decide whether to go through with her wedding, and decides to call it off ("I'm sorry, Paul.  I don't love you enough").  After her about-to-be-husband walks out of the room, she turns to Bobby for validation, asking, "What did I just do?"Bobby, looking a little panicked, scrunched up against a wall replies,"You did what you had to do, I guess.  If it was right, you would have gone through with it.  That's what I think."(So yes, we interrupt this Sondheim S … [Read more...]


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