Pahk the Cah in Hahvahd Yahd

Our excellent dialect coach Liz Hayes sent along a series of videos as touchstones for the sound of the fictional town in which SPLENDOR is set.

Some are available for embedding here, but not all, so follow the links.

Let’s start with THIS ONE, which may be particularly helpful for Gloria.

Here’s a great one of Somerville’s Mayor Joseph Curtatone:

 

In general, the SomervilleCity TV YouTube channel is kind of a gold mine. Check it out HERE. (After all, it includes gem like THIS!)

 

 

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LBJ and the Great Society

CLIVE: School. Yep, yep. That’s how your mother and I got to talking. One day in civics they do whole lesson on LBJ, you know LBJ?
ANTHONY: Well, yeah, I—
CLIVE: Great Society. Have and have nots and til then Gloria Giosa barely gave me the time of day, right? She had herself a little after school job down the town hall and soon’s the bell rang off she go but one day Gloria Giosa and I got to talking and it turned out Gloria Giosa and I saw things eye to eye. We was all fired about about LBJ and it was spring time and we thought we was gonna go make a difference and we both signed up to hand out the free lunch…

Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, promoted a series of domestic programs in the 1960s that were known as the Great Society. The two main goals of the programs were to eliminate poverty and racial injustice. In scope, the Great Society most closely resembled Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Great Society programs were enacted throughout the 1960s. Notable programs that were introduced during the Great Society and continue to this day include Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans act, improvements to Social Security, the National Endowment for the Arts, and federal funding for education.

Highlight from Johnson’s Great Society speech, given in 1964 in Ann Arbor, MI:

“The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in out time. But that is just the beginning.

The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where leisure is a welcome chance to build and reflect, not a feared cause of boredom and restlessness. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community.

It is a place where man can renew contact with nature. It is a place which honors creation for its own sake and for what is adds to the understanding of the race. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.

But most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.”

Read the full text of Johnson’s speech here.

I’m Like a Gypsy Now

GLORIA: […] the mother says “This is not your cat. It is my cat” and all the kids all her kids stare out at me and I know it’s mine but no one will say it’s mine and I think that’s something, that is really something, you just, you just have to claim things. I’m like a gypsy now.  I learned my lesson, boy.  I never looked at anything in my parent’s house the same ever again: who owns anything?  It’s a joke.  It’s a joke on all of us and the Indians and the gypsies.  On all of us.    

Gloria, a strong-willed woman who breaks from the expectations of her family and community, is also a self-proclaimed “gypsy.” To her, this means someone who lives by her own rules, who doesn’t wait for people to give her what she needs, who questions the cultural norms of ownership — a direct rejection of her family’s more wealthy, conservative ways.

Gloria taps into the modern mythology of gypsies — a non-unified group who prefer to be called Roma/Romani (Eastern European descent) or Travellers (Irish descent) — as a base for her personal philosophy. Today, the idea of the gypsy has been so thrust into pop culture that you can watch “reality” television shows like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, American Gypsies, and Gypsy Sisters, but Gloria fell in love with the romantic ideal long before TLC got their hands on it.

While today the Travellers and Romani are subject to skepticism, distrust, and discrimination (especially within the European Union), Gloria models herself on her  impressions of their approach to life. She is a highly moral person, but her moral universe is one of her own design — solidly framed in right and wrong, but perhaps not the same notions of right and wrong that those around her abide by. …A philosophy she thinks of as gypsy-like.

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Thanksgiving’s a Black Man’s Holiday

CLIVE: Thanksgiving’s a black man’s holiday, bet you didn’t know.
ANTHONY: I, uh, no, I wasn’t aware.
CLIVE: 1863, Lincoln says to himself “This country done ripped in two, we need something bring us together, make us thankful we was almost in two but we not, we hanging by a thread, one thread, that’s still good. So he thinks on it and he says the whole land, everyone up in here, is invited to celebrate Thanksgiving. If the Indians and the pilgrims can do it, so can we, right? I mean think of all the foods Thanksgiving got? Those are stone cold New England it’s cold and about to get colder foods. And the black man—

On October 3, 1963, in the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln released a proclamation making the last Thursday of November a national holiday; a “day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” He did it at the prompting of writer Sarah Josepha Hale, who had been advocating for it to be a national holiday for 17 years. Before 1963, Thanksgiving was not widely celebrated outside of New England, and even there each state celebrated at a different time.

Highlight from the Thanksgiving Proclamation:

It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gracious gifts of the Most High God] should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

Read the complete text of the Thanksgiving Proclamation here.

Tiger Woods: A Thanksgiving Meltdown

DAVE (shaking his head): You get a load of that, huh? Greatest golfer in the whole wide world.
CLIVE: Morning news said she got that Cadillac good with those clubs.
DAVE: Well of course the guy’s sleeping around he’s richer than God: this is news? They’ll print anything I tell you. This is not news.

In the early morning hours of November 27, 2009, Tiger Woods got into a car accident as he was backing out of the driveway of his Windermere, FL home, according to ABC News:

Professional golfer Tiger Woods was injured in a car crash outside his Windermere, Fla., home early this morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The 33-year-old Woods was driving a 2009 Cadillac SUV alone when he hit a fire hydrant and then slammed into a tree at 2:25 a.m., according to police reports.

According to ABC affiliate WFTV, Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor said Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren, used a golf club to smash out the back window and get her husband out of the car.

 She told officers she was in their house when she heard the accident and came outside.

Saylor told WFTV police officers found Woods lying in the street with his wife hovering over him. Saylor said Woods was in and out of consciousness when the officers arrived.

This happened after the National Enquirer leaked the story of Woods having an affair with a New York City party girl named Rachel Uchitel.

The ENQUIRER is reporting exclusively in its print edition that  the 34-year-old brunette, who has a reputation for dating married celebrities, has been telling friends about a jet-set liaison with 33-year-old Tiger  that began in June.

Multiple sources, who passed polygraph tests, say Rachel told them that she and Tiger also stay in touch during his frequent travels through phone calls and “sexting,” sending each other racy text messages on their cell phones.

Here are a few images from the 2009 Thanksgiving week events:

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I’ll Ask to Be the Pilgrim Next Year

FRAN: I’ll ask to be a Pilgrim next year so I can wear that dress: the Pilgrim dress.
NICOLE: I don’t wanna wear a friggin dress. How many times are we gonna do this same stupid thing over and over:  the pilgrims come, the Indians put fish in the ground to grow the corn, the Pilgrims are happy—
FRAN: Thankful.
NICOLE: Who cares? If I have to be in this same play over and over every year til I die wearing a dress made out of black construction paper please kill me now before Thanksgiving comes again.

Yup, a standard-issue Thanksgiving Pageant…

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The History of the Golf Tee

CLIVE: So all us get happy with Thanksgiving cause of Mr. Lincoln and we spread it around and that’s why it’s just one more thing we add to this country like peanut butter and the golf tee. We invented that shit, the golf tee: look it up, write a book. We—

Dr. George Franklin Grant, the African American man that invented the golf tee, attended Harvard Dental School and graduated in 1870. He saw the need for the invention after being displeased with how the ball traveled after he hit it from a sand mound. Read more about him here.

An excerpt:

Dr. Grant was unhappy with the mess that came with the tee shot. The process of teeing the ball up involved pinching moist sand to fashion a tee. Doing that 18 times a round was enough to annoy Dr. Grant, so he came up with an invention that would forever have an impact. On Dec. 12, 1899, he received U.S. patent No. 638,920, the world’s first patent for a golf tee.

In 1991, nearly a century after his patent, the United States Golf Association finally gave Grant recognition for his contribution to the game of golf.

He also became the first African American professor at Harvard University while creating another invention.

bhm-07-grant