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The Sex-Obsessed Poet Who Invented Fascism. It can be hard to reconcile the incredible charisma of Hitler written about in history books with recordings of his speeches in which he looks like a madman.

The Sex-Obsessed Poet Who Invented Fascism

Some might conclude that perhaps Germans didn't notice how off-putting he was because his style of declamation was widely used at the time and has simply fallen out of fashion. But Hitler's speeches weren't normal or spontaneous. Neither were Mussolini's. Both of them were to a large extent imitating one man: an Italian poet named Gabriele d'Annunzio, who lived between 1863 and 1938. He was a war hero and famous libertine, and he essentially invented Fascism as an art project because he felt representative democracy was bourgeois and lacked a romantic dramatic arc. D'Annunzio was a thrill-seeking megalomaniac best described as a cross between the Marquis de Sade, Aaron Burr, Ayn Rand, and Madonna. A photograph of the shield on the door of Pescara's commune (town hall).

“You must create your life, as you'd create a work of art. Leonard Cohen: Just the Facts. Maybe intelligence operatives wear tuxedos, drive Aston Martins, drink martinis, and say their names in reverse order, and maybe there’s no need to wonder about anyone who doesn’t fit that bill.

Leonard Cohen: Just the Facts

On the other hand, if (just say) an intelligence operative might be good at covering his tracks and assuming the appearance of being something other than an intelligence operative (like a poet-novelist turned folk singer turned pop star, say), then maybe tracking his activities, seeing which people he associates with, where his money comes from, which groups are backing him, where he travels to and when, what sort of things happen around him or what kind of coded messages he leaves behind ~ crazy stuff like that ~ would be the logical way to proceed? Please note, this post is not meant to assert that Leonard is now or ever has been an intelligence operative. Only he and his handlers would know that for sure, and only then if the answer were yes (which it may not be). 100 Years Of Billy Strayhorn, Emotional Architect Of Song. Billy Strayhorn (right), born 100 years ago, spent the majority of his career as a composer and arranger for the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

100 Years Of Billy Strayhorn, Emotional Architect Of Song

David Redfern/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption David Redfern/Getty Images Billy Strayhorn (right), born 100 years ago, spent the majority of his career as a composer and arranger for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. David Redfern/Getty Images In 1964, near the end of his career, Billy Strayhorn accompanied himself on a live recording of one of his best-known songs. I used to visit all the very gay placesThose come-what-may placesWhere one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of lifeTo get the feel of lifeFrom jazz and cocktails ... When Strayhorn wrote "Lush Life" in 1936, he could only dream of the Paris nightlife described in the lyrics.

Strayhorn was working at a drugstore to pay for his lessons, and when he made deliveries, he played for the customers who had pianos. "They were unheard," Strayhorn told interviewer Paul Worth in 1962. BILLY STRAYHORN. Billy Strayhorn In Five Songs : A Blog Supreme. Billy Strayhorn, pictured here in the 1940s, wrote more than 1,000 works, most of them for Duke Ellington.

Billy Strayhorn In Five Songs : A Blog Supreme

William P. Gottlieb/Library of Congress hide caption toggle caption William P. Gottlieb/Library of Congress Billy Strayhorn, pictured here in the 1940s, wrote more than 1,000 works, most of them for Duke Ellington. William P. The composer Billy Strayhorn spent almost all of his adult life in the professional company of Duke Ellington, operating as a crucial but seldom visible creative partner whose own greatness has finally emerged only in the past two decades — long after his death in 1967 at age 51. This month marks Strayhorn's centennial. In late 1938, while Ellington was playing in Pittsburgh, a two-degrees-of-separation friendship resulted in the bandleader granting Strayhorn a private audience.

It's been noted that Strayhorn's cultural identity in the mid-20th-century United States was, to say the least, challenging.