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Dorothy Parker, Queen Of Swords

November 18, 2016

the queen of swords

the queen of swords

One of my favorite authors of all time is Dorothy Parker who lived from 1893-1967.  Her career included writing poetry, journalism, drama criticism, and screen writing.  She is best known for her wit and satire.  As a public figure she was both well-loved and controversial.  Her political statements got her listed on the Hollywood black list during the witch hunt for communists.  When she died she bequeathed her estate to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Her stance on civil rights was progressive long before it was socially accepted.  I admire her for the way she used humor.

The Queen of Swords in tarot is a symbol of independent thought and judgement.  She is professional, perceptive, analytical and sharp witted.  She beckons to the future and is looking at it in the card, but we can’t see what she sees.  Her intellect is mature and her discernment and ability to judge impartially make her a royal.  She does not beat around the bush, but comes directly to the point without emotional investments.  She uses logic and facts to make good decisions.  When this card turns up reversed in a reading the shadow elements of the archetype are indicated.  When she is upside down it means her normally clear vision is being clouded by emotions.  Rather than clear and precise independent thought, she is influenced to preserve status quo in relationships. Her goals are compromised by fear of what others think.  Dorothy Parker had a lot of tragedy and failed relationships in her life.  She played both sides of the Queen of Swords, famously doing quite a bit of drinking.  Like her buddies Hemingway and Fitzgerald she spent a great deal of time in bars.  She suffered from alcoholism which consumed her last years. Her work endures.

Here are some of my favorite quotes attributed to this sharp and sassy sword queen:

“That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.”

“A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.”

“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”

“I think that the direction in which a writer should look is around.”

Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker

Pygmalion Revisited

September 16, 2016 1 Comment


I subscribe to Hulu for a month at a time, then put the subscription on hold for the maximum time, 90 days.  This means it is only in the home 4 months out of the year, which is perfect for us. I binge down on different new shows, and by the end of the month I have seen everything I care to watch.  This month I have watched a lot of very well produced series.  I have focused on comedy, seeing at least 10 stand up comedy specials.  I also found many comedy tv series that make me very happy. My favorite, now that the month is coming to a close, is Selfie.  This modern day version of Pygmalion is hysterically updated to show characters typical to our times.  This social satire hits all the notes.

Eliza Dooley, the same archetype represented in My Fair Lady by Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle, has a modern twist as a self obsessed social media star.  The romantic comedy takes a satirical look at workaholics, socialnetworkaholics , and corporate hierarchy.  It is set in a children’s pharmaceutical company where Henry Higgins, the British snob, is thinly disguised as Henry Higgins, branding expert.  The plot and characters are instantly recognizable, but the story unfolds in ways I could never have imagined.  All the parts are extremely well played, but the writers and producers get major credit.  This script makes me laugh for every reason, from physical comedy schtick to sophisticated satirical commentary woven into the whole story.  Some of the smaller parts are the very best because they have such extreme personalities and dialogue. I will not give away more than that. Just watch it if you can.

The story of Pygmalion comes for the mythology of Greece.  It is based on a god who fell in love with one of his own sculptures.  In 1748 the story was presented at the prestigious Paris Opera House.  This production, written by Jean-Philippe Rameau, was staged as a one act piece.  Since that time this story has been told and retold, including the popular musical version with Rex Harrison playing the stuffy and rude Henry.  The story has the same punch line every time.

Greek god Pygmalion

Greek god Pygmalion

 

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