December 30th, 2007

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Punch 24

[Click to magnify]

This cartoon is by one Charles Grave, who, alas, is represented on the PUNCH CARTOON BANK by only one other image:

Note the utterly contemporary theme of a terrorist trying to sneak through Customs. I love the guy's demented look.

Posted by Paul DiFi.
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Samia Gamal

Last night Deborah and I watched A GLASS AND A CIGARETTE, a 1955 Egyptian film:

We were thus introduced to Samia Gamal, legendary bellydancer. Now this blog has another old-school screen beauty to add to the Hall of Fame that includes Deanna Durbin, Lena Horne and Lucille Ball.

Here're two videos of her dancing. The first, in B&W, focuses exclusively on Samia. But the second has too much dialogue among the guys, yet you get to see her in color.

Posted by Paul DiFi.

New York 2108

Today's New York Times has a story in which various folks are asked for their predictions of what life in NYC will be like a century from now.  It will likely shock no reader of this blog that no science fiction writers are on the list.  However, some of the responses are of interest, including this insightful one by dance master Bill T. Jones, which is the response most congruent with my own sense of the city's future.  My only quibble is that I don't think it will take us 100 years to reach this point.  And I feel that what Jones has to say about the future of dance is also true for reading and writing. 


Choreographer and founder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company

Because I think we will lose the battle with global warming, and because I think a nuclear device will be exploded somewhere on the planet, New York will be quite a different place. The less fortunate will go hungry and some may be crippled, but there will be enclaves of great opulence.

The likes of a Lincoln Center will be constantly under surveillance and surrounded by police officers. Our cultural landmarks will be supported by private individuals with private armies. Dance will enjoy a precious place; it will be a darling of these survivors.

People will want artists to return them to certain periods. They will suffer what I call hyper-nostalgia as they look back to a time when people talked robustly about ideas like democracy. Our age will be seen as a glorious last hurrah. Period dancing will be highly prized, almost like an exotic sweet. There will be some people who lose themselves in looking backward. 


Read more here.