CPI Continues to Inform of Events Vancouver; All About Me and Also All About Him; Then Shakespeare; Ending with Malcolm Gladwell and Me Reading to Bunny

CPI in her emails informs me of things happening (more frequently not happening) in Vancouver.

She: And … the owner of the Equinox Gallery (perhaps Kathleen took you there) wondered why the federal government has not handed over the requested $100 million for the new art gallery since Trudeau was in B.C. last week handing out pre election money. The B.C. government has not given more either, so funding is right where it was when you left.

Not at all surprising.”

Me: Not at all! A new VAG is never going to be built. But the location in the downtown area is fine. It is too bad that Emily Carr’s work is not prominently (or hardly at all) displayed. VAG shall turn into greater mediocrity, should that be possible.

I now can walk to the Asian Museum and there is SFMOMA and the DeYoung. Really – Vancouver was must so provincial. I can walk to the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Opera and Davies Hall. There was the Orpheum in Vancouver but that pesky Mr. Neil Middleton was so rude to me and he still seems to be on staff. Shame on you Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – you are not listening to your musicians who were on my side. (Put Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in the search engine of this blog.)

At this moment in time the only point of contact with that city is CPI:

Me: You are the only thing that remains in Vancouver but we go back a long time.

She: Yes decades and decades and decades.

She: Went to Bard on the Beach last week to see Shakespeare in Love and Coriolanus, both quite wonderful. However, Coriolanus was cast as a woman and I’m getting tired of gratuitous gender bending. A fruitful discussion can follow.

Me: I totally agree about gratuitous gender bending. Lack lustre productions use that to try to add sparkle to their interpretation. It inevitably falls flat and becomes forgettable. The August 19,2019 New Yorker reviewed Director Daniel Sullivan’s production of Coriolanus at Central Park’s Delacorte. This production won rave reviews for the power wielded by the “titular hero”, the review ends: “Come war or peace, feast or hunger, slow decline or eco-disaster , there will always be politicians and they will mostly be wolves.”

It is my personal belief that men can portray politicians that are wolves better than a gender bending woman. But back to me and my recent determination to revise the All About Me section found in the Menu. Update it – the last one had me languishing in Vancouver – and this could never be! I sent it off to Chris for posting, he replied in an interesting way:

He: Good to have you back !

We then went on to speak of payment matters but it was an interesting exchange as I am not sure that I was anywhere – I thought I was always around. A bit of a disappearing act at the time of surgery but only for a few days.

My self absorption is slowly fading and today, son the prowl, discovered a book review appearing in my Atlantis emails. A book by Malcolm Gladwell reviewed by Andy Ferguson. It starts in an amusing fashion; t’s a bit embarrassing to finish a book by Malcolm Gladwell—master of the let me take you by the hand prose style, dealer in the simple and unmistakable thesis—and realize you don’t quite know what he’s driving at. Gladwell’s method is well established and, you would think, fail-safe. It’s one of the reasons his books have sold millions of copies. Among his other talents, he’s one of those “professional communicators” that public-speaking coaches always say we should emulate: First he tells his audience what he’s about to tell them, then he tells them, and then he tells them what he just told them. He should be impossible to misunderstand. I must be an idiot.”

Ferguson went on to provide a more detailed analysis of the various facets of the book.

“Like Lewis Carroll’s Walrus, then, Gladwell thinks the time has come to talk of many things. Too many, in fact. His millions of admiring readers often treat Gladwell’s books as the high-journalism version of Bond or Bourne movies, breakneck adventures that take us on a tour of exotic intellectual locales. He introduces us to historical oddities, revisionist interpretations of the past, the frontiers of social science, the backstories behind recent headlines, all strung together along a single provocative thesis.

In Talking to Strangers, however, the thesis never emerges. Instead he leads us into culs-de-sac that even so smooth a talker as Malcolm Gladwell can’t charm his way out of. The opening chapters of the book are devoted to what he calls two great “puzzles.” The first puzzle is, “Why can’t we tell when the stranger in front of us is lying to our face?” To illustrate the point, he describes the success of a large network of spies that Castro’s Cuba managed to establish throughout the Western world, fooling even the most battle-tested U.S. intelligence officers.’.

I don’t know whether default to truth will enter the Gladwell lexicon with tipping point and stickiness. But his appropriation of the phrase does show that his attitude to social science remains unquestioning. When he encounters a study published in a journal with a complicated name, he defaults to swallowing it whole. At times he approaches self-parody. Just follow the footnotes.”

Entertain yourselves with such. I shall address other reviews of Gladwell’s book. I do love watching the fall of giants, how paradoxical – the version of David and Goliath told by Gladwell.

He tells the story on YouTube – probably does not get paid for that one. Whereas, the book he probably does.

The photograph is of me and Bunny, whose name if PUN. I am reading to him from the New Yorker. I have an intellectual bunny.

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