Political systems, 1940s style

Socialism: You have 2 cows. Given one to your neighbour.
Communism: You have two cows. Give both to the Govt. The Govt gives you milk.
Fascism: You have two cows. Give milk to Govt – Govt sells it.
Nazism: Govt shoots you and takes cows
New Dealism: Govt shoots one cow, milks the other & pours milk down the sink.
Capitalism: You sell one cow and buy a bull
Anarchism: Keep cows – shoot Govt. Steal another cow.
???: You have no cow.
Conservatism: Embalm the cows. Freeze the milk.

World War II letters and cards, Howard Kippenberger

Can anyone decode” ???: You have no cow.” Maybe despotism or heroism?

From World War II letters and cards, 1940-1945. The letters are written by Howard Kippenberger (Kip) to Glen and May Morgan.

Recent necrology, July 2015

Some well known people who have died recently

  • Cilla Black, 1943-2015
    Singer and television presenter who delighted audiences with her unaffected humour
  • Owen Chadwick, 1916-2015
    Anglican priest and academic whose writing on Christianity was both scholarly and entertaining
  • Cover of RagtimeAlan Curtis, 1934-2015
    Scholar, harpsichordist and conductor
  • Ronald Davison, 1920-2015
    Former New Zealand Chief Justice who was at the centre of some of New Zealand’s defining legal moments
  • E L Doctorow, 1931-2015
    Writer who detailed America’s murky history of socialites and mobsters in novels such as Ragtime
  • Harold Feinstein, 1931-2015
    Cover of One Hundred ButterfliesPhotographer who shot Coney Island’s characters and was at the heart of the New York jazz scene
  • John Maxtone-Graham, 1929-2015
    Author and speaker who left the theatre to celebrate the lost splendour of transatlantic liners
  • Ivan Moravec, 1930-2015
    Czech concert pianist whose refined interpretations of Chopin echoed beyond the Iron Curtain
  • Cover of Live in PragueRoger Rees, 1944-2015
    Actor who made his name as the passionate hero in the RSC production of Nicholas Nickleby
  • Mario Sereni, 1928-2015
    Italian baritone, former lathe operator, who became a Metropolitan Opera mainstay
  • Omar Sharif, 1932-2015
    Dashingly handsome Egyptian film star who triumphed in Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago
  • Cover of When I Stop Talking You'll Know I'm DeadJon Vickers, 1926-2015
    Canadian tenor who rejected a farmer’s life to bring reverence and brute force to the operatic stage
  • Jerry Weintraub, 1937-2015
    ‘Mr Fixit’ of showbusiness who promoted Elvis and Sinatra and produced Ocean’s Eleven

Killing Jokes

The Court TheatreSome reasons to see The Ladykillers at the Court Theatre.

  • The cast. You’re in safe hands with these old hands. Actually they’re not old hands, they’re experienced hands. And experience counts. It’s unfair to single anyone out they are so uniformly good, but Rima Te Wiata as Mrs Wilberforce, “the wraith in a pinny” is outstanding. Especially her feet. They have a life of their own. You’ll have to see it to see what I mean.
  • The bits of business. Stepping on a scarf, straightening a picture, being hit on the head with a rotating blackboard – yes it’s slapstick but there is still a place in the theatre for slapstick done well. Surely.
  • The parrot. You never see him but you don’t need to. Imagining a diseased washing-up glove is better (or worse) than seeing one.
  • The script. Based on the Ealing classic film of 1955, the play is written by Graham Linehan, who wrote or co-wrote  Father Ted, Black Books and The IT crowd. No more needs to be said.
  • The set.  It’s a  masterpiece of ramshackle precision used to great effect by actors who never put a foot wrong. And it’s so very Christchurch.

A real treat in a cold winter.