I wisht I had nothin’ blacker than that on my sowl. I’d not be afraid av the angel Gabriel himself.

Digging for the Roots of American Theater

The occasion for the conference — “The Williamsburg Playhouse of 1760 and the World of 18th-Century Theater,” set for Thursday through Saturday — is the completion of a 10-year excavation of one of the first commercial theaters in America. While not the oldest (that distinction belongs to a playhouse erected in Williamsburg in 1716), the theater was among the most important of the colonial era, and the most popular. Records exist of an incident in 1772, when George Washington — who frequented the theater, as did Thomas Jefferson — struggled to get box seats to a play called “A Word to the Wise” but had to settle for seats in the pit, even though he had helped to underwrite the playhouse.

[ ]…According to the documentary evidence an evening at the Williamsburg theater would have been a long one, including a drama or tragedy, a comedy and several entr’actes. English plays would have constituted most of the material, although the Douglass company is known to have produced the first professional performance of an American-written play, Thomas Godfrey’s “Prince of Parthia,” in Philadelphia in 1767.

There are two illustrations at the link. Some background on the history of American drama here, American Literature: Drama. Interesting that despite the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 that we didn’t development a real American style of drama until after the first World War. Though early on there was a tendency for American playwrights to be both more egalitarian and more realistic then the European tradition. When it came to giving America that final push into its own unique style we have Eugene O’Neill to thank. Eugene Gladstone O’Neill (October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953)

Big-City Murders Jumped by 10 Percent

The forum’s study found:

–Forty of the 56 surveyed police departments, or 71 percent, saw homicide rates increase since 2004. That translated into an overall 10.2 percent jump in murders. Between 2005 and 2006, the increase in murders was much lower: 2.8 percent.

–Robberies rose among the cities by 6 percent since 2005 and 12 percent since 2004. Between 75 and 80 percent of the departments surveyed saw a spike in robberies.

–Felony assaults dipped slightly, by 2 percent, between 2005 and 2006, but rose slightly, by 3 percent, since 2004.

–Gun assaults saw a 1 percent boost from 2005 but spiked by nearly 10 percent during the 24-month period.

Malkin and most of the right-wing blogs like to play the proof by antedote game. Some Muslim in western Europe or America commits a crime thus they conclude that that is all the proof they need that all Muslims are bad and the only way to deal with “them” is lethal force. I don’t know the religion of all the people in this report that committed murder, but that is a legitimate question to ask if the Right is to continue to use anecdotal evidence to condemn an entire religion. At least one survey has found that 94 percent of Americans believe in God and since various sects of Christianity constitute America’s largest religion it isn’t too much of a jump in logic to assume that most murderers in America are non-atheists and non-Muslim, In “The New Criminology”, Max D. Schlapp and Edward E. Smith say that two generations of statisticians found that the ratio of convicts without religious training is about 1/10 of 1%.

During 10 years in Sing-Sing, those executed for murder were 65% Catholics, 26% Protestants, 6% Hebrew, 2% Pagan, and less than 1/3 of 1% non-religious. Steiner and Swancara surveyed Canadian prisons and found 1,294 Catholics, 435 Anglicans, 241 Methodists, 135 Baptists, and 1 Unitarian. Dr. Christian, Superintendant of the NY State Reformatories, checked 22,000 prison inmates and found only 4 college graduates. In “Who’s Who” 91% were college graduates, and he commented that “intelligence and knowledge produce right living” and that “crime is the offspring of superstition and ignorance.” Surveyed Massachusetts reformatories found every inmate religious, carefully herded by chaplins. In Joliet, there were 2,888 Catholics, 1,020 Baptists, 617 Methodists and 0 non-religious. Michigan had 82,000 Baptists and 83,000 Jews in their state population. But in the prisons, there were 22 times as many Baptists as Jews, and 18 times as many Methodists as Jews. In Sing-Sing, there were 1,553 total inmates with 855 of them Catholics (over half), 518 Protestants, 177 Jews and 8 non- religious. There’s a very interesting qualified statistic.

There are certainly Muslim sociopaths in the world, but it appears there are plenty of Christians too. I’ve lived around my share of southern fire and brimstone types and many of them manage to live lives that are not marked in any extraordinary way by anti-social behavior. Still the facts would indicate that like individuals – i.e. “we’re all sinners” that no religion is without its share of extremists and a good amount of aberrant behavior.

Video: General Eaton: “Republican Congress worst thing that’s happened to US Army and Marine Corps”

“We’ve got this thing that so many military believe that Republican administrations are good for the military. That is rarely the case. And, we have to get a message through to every soldier, every family member, every friend of soldiers that the Republican party, the Republican dominated Congress has absolutely been the worst thing that’s happened to the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps.”

YANK—Remember the night I went crazy with the heat in Singapore? And the time you was pinched by the cops in Port Said? And the time we was both locked up in Sydney for fightin’?
YANK—And that fight on the dock at Cape Town— (His voice betrays great inward perturbation.)
DRISCOLL—(hastily) Don’t be thinkin’ av that now. ‘Twas past and gone.
YANK—D’yuh think He’ll hold it up agin me?
DRISCOLL—(mystified) Who’s that?
YANK—God. They say He sees everything. He must know it was done in fair fight, in self-defense, don’t yuh think?
DRISCOLL—Av course. Ye stabbed him, and be damned to him, for the skulkin’ swine he was, afther him tryin’ to stick you in the back, and you not suspectin’. Let your conscience be aisy. I wisht I had nothin’ blacker than that on my sowl. I’d not be afraid av the angel Gabriel himself.

from Bound East for Cardiff by Eugene O’Neill – completed 1914