I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy’s Golden Era

David Letterman Kayaking

David Letterman on CBS’s Battle of Network Stars, 1978

Based on a passing recommendation by Marc Maron on his podcast, I just read I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy’s Golden Era by William Knoedelseder.  It’s a juicy group biography about the late 1970s/ early 1980s scene that developed around Mitzi Shore’s Comedy Store in L.A. and the emergence of Jay Leno, David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, Robin Williams, and Richard Lewis, along with some now comparatively lesser-known figures, like Letterman’s best friend George Miller, whose 2003 funeral begins the story, and Elayne Boosler, who is a key figure in the development of female stand-up — I wrote about her in re: the book We Killed: the Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Kohen a while ago.  (Interesting parallel between the two book titles – a lot of killing & dying in stand-up.)  Another significant lesser-known player in the narrative is a guy named Steve Lubetkin, a comic who was Richard Lewis’s best friend and whose tragic arc of disappointment provides a throughline for the book.

Letterman and Leno both come across as, along with Richard Pryor (whom they all worship) and Robin Williams, probably the most talented of the bunch, also standing out for their sobriety (neither one did drugs, un-coincidentally) and their generally hard-working, stable qualities.  Letterman especially is depicted as a mensch who is universally liked and respected by his peers, which was a little bit of a surprise given how well-known he is today for his prickly qualities; there’s a joke in the book about how he is known for his loyalty to old friends, and for the fact that he had not made a new friend since 1979 when his career started to take off.  There are some charming photos of Letterman and various others in uniform in 1979 on the Comedy Store “Bombers” basketball team that would play pickup games at the Van Nuys YMCA.

I had not realized how close Letterman and Leno had been.  “They quickly formed a mutual admiration society, watching and learning from one another.  Night after night at the Comedy Store, when they weren’t onstage, they were standing together in the back, taking it all in, studying everything.  Their fellow comics came to think of them almost as a team, connected by an ampersand like Abbott & Costello.”  That changed later.

The second half of the book is about the labor dispute that erupted when all the comics in Mitzi Shore’s stable asked her to consider paying  a token payment (as little as $5 per set was first proposed, as gas money!) for their shows.  The concept was always that the Comedy Store was a “showcase” where comics could work on their acts and gain visibility, and thus did not need to be paid.  This stopped making as much sense when the club was grossing thousands of dollars a night, and some of the performers who had not managed to land lucrative gigs elsewhere were still sleeping in their cars because they did not earn a penny.  The strikers eventually triumph, more or less, but the book depicts the strike as a necessary and just cause that nevertheless marked the end of an era of camaraderie and relative innocence in the scene.  Letterman comments at the end, “I have undying affection for those times and for all those people, because the older I get, the more I realize that they were the best times of my adult life.”

One shocker for me was that Gary Shandling was part of the small group of comics who sided with management against the working comics who went on strike.  “Gary Shandling was the scion of a family with manufacturing holdings and decidedly antiunion views. He had not shared the struggling comic experience.”  Once he crossed the picket line, Mitzi Shore rewarded him with a regular standup gig that he hadn’t previously been able to attain.  “Regarding Gary Shandling, the only strikebreaker who went on to achieve bona fide stardom, [one of the main strike organizers Tom] Dreesan said [years later], ‘I wish him all the success in the world.  He’s a funny guy as a good writer, but as a human being, as a man, I don’t have any respect for him.'”

Very disappointed about Shandling’s role in this!

Re: “That’s A Bad Lyric And You Know It”- Thinking About Value in Pop Lyrics

Eleanor-Friedberger

Eleanor Friedberger

BEST-COAST

Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino

I have some sympathy with this piece on the NPR music blog (by James Toth), since I too care a lot about lyrics within pop music, and I’m grateful to Toth for making me think more about the question of how we think about lyrics in pop today. I think the analysis is limited, though, in its treatment as an unaccountable oversight what is actually a highly developed and historically-conditioned ideological-aesthetic stance.  Toth complains that

a person taking a survey of several leading print and online publications might be forgiven for concluding that a song’s words are no longer a measure of its failures or successes, but an arbitrary component unworthy of serious discussion. Albums instead seem to be judged on a criterion of attitude, atmosphere and that nebulous catchall imprecisely referred to as “production.”

What would have been worth explaining, and thinking more about, is the degree to which post-Robert Christgau/ Ellen Willis/ Lester Bangs/ Greil Marcus pop/rock criticism (that is, something like Village Voice criticism as opposed to Rolling Stone criticism, in the 70s/80s context– at some point in the 1990s, the strands merged) defined itself significantly according to the tenet that the pop lyric must not be understood as poetry but as words-accompanying-sound. Christgau articulated this position in his 1967 piece “Rock Lyrics Are Poetry (Maybe).”

Perhaps you are one of those people who plays every new LP with the treble way up and the bass way down so you can ferret out all the secret symbolic meanings right away. Personally I think that spoils the fun, and I suspect any record that permits you to do that isn’t fulfilling its first function, which pertains to music, or, more generally, noise.

It is by creating a mood that asks “Why should this mean anything?” that the so-called rock poets can really write poetry–poetry that not only says something, but says it as only rock music can. For once Marshall McLuhan’s terminology tells us something: rock lyrics are a cool medium. Go ahead and mumble. Drown the voices in guitars. If somebody really wants to know what you’re saying, he’ll take the trouble, and in that trouble lies your art.

Christgau influentially argued that the worst rock lyricists were those who, like Paul Simon (Christgau actually later became a big Simon fan, FWIW), create highly-crafted, self-consciously poetic lyrics, as in

Simon’s supposed masterpiece, “The Dangling Conversation,” which uses all the devices you learn about in English class–alliteration, alternating concretion and abstraction, even the use of images from poetry itself, a favorite ploy of poets who don’t know much of anything else–to mourn wistfully about the classic plight of self-conscious man, his Inability to Communicate.

Christgau made the case here (and in all his subsequent writing) that the greatest rock/ pop lyricists were those who managed to create just the right compelling, memorable, weird, charismatic combination of language, sound, and noise. Like the New York Dolls’ David Johansen, or Lou Reed, or Patti Smith.  Their lyrics might or might not be “poetic”, but in tandem with their bands’ often-abrasive sounds, they became an autonomous art, rather than imitation poetry.  Bob Dylan was a truly great rock poet, but this was not because his lyrics functioned as poetry on the page, but because of a completely different alchemy that occurred in the performed and recorded musical song; “Once upon a time you dressed so fine/ Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?” wasn’t in fact great poetry, but in Dylan’s timbre and with Al Kooper’s organ, Mike Bloomfield’s guitar, etc., it became unforgettable.  Same for David Johansen’s “Something must’ve happened over Manhattan.”  Or Lou Reed’s “I’ll be your mirror/ reflect what you are/ in case you don’t know.” And so on.

This position subsequently allowed hip critics to defend disco and seemingly “vapid” pop music against “rockist” Rolling Stone canonizing-type critics in the 1970s and 80s who tended to defend “well-crafted,” “lyrically-complex”, yet boring music in a singer-songwriter tradition (James Taylor, say) and to woefully under-rate the most exciting contemporary music in which lyrics were often minimalist and intentionally simple or even “stupid” (punk rock, Funkadelic, etc).  So, the argument gets extended to, say, the Ramones: “Beat on the brat/ Beat on the brat/ Beat on the brat with a baseball brat/ Oh yeah.”  Or Chic: “Good times/ These are such good times.”

What gets tricky here is to consider the difference, if there is one, between an effectively demotic/ colloquial lyric, on the one hand (a lyric that is good without being “poetic”), and on the other, a lyric that perhaps has no particular value on its own, but that works effectively within a great song.  So, is the Chic line itself “good”?  Or does it kind of not matter?  (I would argue that almost always, the lyric does matter, but that a strong lyric defines its own context and conditions for assessment.)

In any case, hip modern pop music criticism came to see as perhaps the worst possible critical error the knee-jerk, “rockist,” former-English-major tendency to approach pop music as lyrics that happen to be put to music.  Looking back, we were all very embarrassed to see some of the boring, over-crafted singer-songwriter dreck that was praised to the skies in the early Rolling Stone guides, while truly innovative, ground-breaking music was often dismissed as primitive or dumb.

So a critical de-emphasizing of pop lyrics became strongly linked with the championing of punk and disco and a denigration or at least down-grading of folk & rock singer-songwriters.

One could take a sociological perspective here to think about a disciplinary tension between literary analysis as taught in English and literature departments, vs. more musical or musicological analysis.  The average pop music critic was much more likely to be a former English major than a music student (or a musician), and he or she came to be a bit embarrassed about any analysis that invited the accusation of treating pop recordings as primarily verbal– precisely because that was what often came most naturally.  (I’m speaking partly out of personal experience here…)

I do think Toth has a good point that this “anti-poetic” perspective on lyrics has by now become so absolutely dominant within pop music criticism that it has, arguably, gone too far, to the point that a more old-fashioned, important American pop tradition of intelligently crafted lyricism, in the Tin Pan Alley or Cole Porter mode, say, tends to be under-rated.  Toth is right, I think, that “intelligence” and craft in lyrics sometimes is a good thing, that sometimes verbal “stupidity” and vapidity offers nothing beyond its surface, and that pop music today could probably use a greater degree of lyrical craft.

But, Toth should do more to acknowledge the context and historical development of the current critical stance.   And to admit that there is no way properly to evaluate pop lyrics purely on the page or as text. He implies that Eleanor Friedberger’s line “Today was perfection — the axis of bliss/ I was calm in your arms waiting for the kiss that never came” is self-evidently superior to Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino’s “And I don’t know why/ The sun’s in the sky.”

But it is pointless to argue over that without consideration of the context of the songs’ music, noise and attitude.  Since if either of these lines say anything at all, they say them as only pop music can.

Teju Cole’s Superfluous Man: *Open City*

I  loved Teju Cole’s Open City–  it’s the best new novel I’ve read in quite a while. Everyone cites W.G. Sebald, and yes, it definitely recalls him in its wandering, melancholy, essayistic qualities (no photos, though, too bad!), and the impression it conveys of a permeable boundary between the fictional and the autobiographical– although the tone is lighter and the voice more (albeit ambivalently) American than in Sebald’s work, immersed in the media-saturated everyday of the 21st century U.S.

It would be a great novel to teach as a test case in an introduction to critical theory; it has a lot to say about mourning and melancholy, memorialization, repression, urban space, race, class, and identity, violence, whiteness, empathy, migration, nationalism. And about classical music (Mahler plays a key role) and literature, and psychiatry and medicine: its Nigerian narrator Julius is a psychiatric intern at what seems to be Columbia University, working on a research project about affect and depression in the elderly. This may all sound heavy-handed or a bit much, but these topics emerge naturally within the thought process of a narrator who simply happens to be educated, intellectually curious and interested in philosophy, theory, and such.  (Also in humbler topics like bedbugs.) The episode in which Julius, on a visit to Brussels, befriends a politically-radical Moroccan named Farouq also reminded me of Orhan Pamuk’s Snow. James Wood comments about the passage in which Farouq explains how his academic advisors failed his dissertation on Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space that it is “one of the very few scenes I have encountered in contemporary fiction in which critical and literary theory is not satirized, or flourished to exhibit the author’s credentials, but is simply and naturally part of the whole context of a person.”  Nicholas Dames in N&1, similarly, counts Cole as a member of a new “Theory Generation” of novelists for whom critical theory is taken for granted as part of the intellectual atmosphere: “what allies [Sam] Lipsyte’s Milo, Cole’s Julius, and [Ben] Lerner’s Adam …is how fundamentally diagnostic they are. Theory has taught them to treat the world as a set of deceptive signs; they doubt, reflexively, the communications of others.” [I love those novels too, btw: Sam Lipsyte's The Ask and Ben Lerner's Leaving the Atocha Station.] Julius reads, among other books, Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida, and once back in New York, he sends a copy of Kwame Anthony Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism to Farouq as a sort of guilt offering; Farouq is one of several less-privileged interlocutors who inspire guilty responses from the psychiatrist-in-training Julius, who struggles in locating himself in relation to “blackness,” class, and Africanness. The question of whom he calls “brother,” and vice versa, recurs throughout.

Another book Open City recalled for me, although I read this many years ago and so my recollections of it are pretty vague, was Saul Bellow’s early novel Dangling Man. Like Bellow’s narrator, Julius is a “superfluous man,” a free-floating wanderer in the wartime city, in danger of drifting loose from all social connections.

It’s certainly one of the best, if not the best, “post-9/11″ novels I’ve read, fundamentally concerned with the question of how nations, cities, and individuals mourn, memorialize, and repress trauma. And although it can feel nearly plotless, I’ll say without any spoilers that there is more to the story than may initially appear to be the case, and that Julius emerges, only towards the very end of the book, as a more morally-complex and less “reliable” narrator than he’d previously seemed to be. It’s a novel that looks different in hindsight, so that now I feel I need to go back to reconsider various details that seemed random or happenstance when I first encountered them.

No one gives a shit about your dog: *Difficult Men*

Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: from the Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad.  (Is it OK for a title to have two colons?  I don’t think so, personally.)  Though at times it falls into a slightly rote magazine-profile mode, I found this a pretty interesting read.  Some of the juiciest details relate to the weird and often nightmarish qualities of the some of the famous show-runners and head writers behind these shows.

So, for example, a young writer named Todd Kessler is basking in David Chase’s approval as a writer on The Sopranos.  “He became close to the Chase family, often going out to dinner with them;” he co-writes an episode with Chase that is nominated for an Emmy.  Within minutes of getting the call about the Emmy announcement, Chase calls him in and announces that he wants to fire Kessler: “I think you’ve lost the voice of the show.”  Kessler, for whom the show is his entire life at that point, is devastated; Chase ends up giving him a second chance but then fires him for real soon afterward.

A few years later, Kessler wrote the pilot for a new series of his own….The plot revolved around a terrible boss — brilliant but manipulative, vain, imperious, unpredictable — and a young, talented, but impressionable employee who finds herself seduced, repelled, and ultimately both matured and corrupted by coming into her orbit. It was, he said, based on no small part on his experiences working on The Sopranos.  The show was called Damages.

I love the thought that Glenn Close’s character is based on David Chase!

Mad Men‘s Matthew Weiner also sounds like a challenging boss.  “Weiner demanded a strict protocol… based on age and experience” in the writers’ room.  There’s a story about a time the legendary screenwriter Frank Pierson started visiting the show’s writers’ room.

One day, [Pierson] was telling a story about his dog, and a young writer made the error of interrupting with a story of his own pet.  “This was somebody who was very low on the totem pole,” Weiner said.  “I literally pulled them aside afterward and said, “No one gives a shit about your dog.” When Pierson was talking, he said, “only I interrupt him.”

addendum: I’ll add that Deadwood’s David Milch comes across as a slightly quite nuts genius/ visionary (which I already knew from a memorable New Yorker profile of him years ago); Six Feet Under‘s Alan Ball and Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan as good guys/ reasonable people.

[stares and remains silent]: Lou Reed Was the Meanest/ Funniest Interview subject Ever

Lou-Reed-hp-02_GQ_30Aug13_getty_bt_642x390

Excerpts from his 2010 Spin interview:

You’re so closely associated with New York. But you haven’t written explicitly about the city since — 
I wrote a song for Cartier that you can download from my website. Have you heard that?

Yeah. “Power of the Heart.”
I did two songs for [2007's] Nanking documentary: “Gravity” and “Safety Zone.” Have you heard those?

Not “Safety Zone.”
Research, research, research. It means everything. [Sighs] You were saying?

..You know, it’s funny. It’s making me think, like, if you were talking to Bill Burroughs, would you have said, “Now, Bill, they put together the new version of Naked Lunch. What do you think? Do you still feel the same way, Bill?” Can you imagine being put in a position where you’re trying to justify Naked Lunch? How are we supposed to answer that? You gotta be kidding me.

…Berlin has got this rap that it’s depressing. Are you joking me? You can’t handle it? You ever read Hamlet? Who are you talking to that’s so stupid? Are you joking? You’re kidding me.

Singing about gay life on albums like [1972's] Transformer was definitely transgressive at the time. But now, playing with sexuality and gender is part of the mainstream. Do you feel like the center has come to you?
That’s truly a critic’s kind of question. I have absolutely no idea about anything.

Is that really true, though? Do you think your music has been something of a guide for people to learn about behavior they might not otherwise encounter?
[Reed stares and remains silent]

It’s easy to think of New York as this great incubator of bands. But that wasn’t the case for the Velvet Underground, was it?
Is this going to be all about the Velvet Underground now?

…This has nothing to do with music, so I don’t know why you’re asking, but fine.

What other younger bands do you like?
I’m not gonna list bands for you….

…Everything affects the way I make music. I don’t understand what you want to know. I could say “yes.” Would that be better?

From what I understand, tai chi has a spiritual component as well as a physical one. Has that spiritual component found its way into your music?
It’s a really profound study. I couldn’t possibly sum it up for you. The problem is that I don’t think you know what you’re asking about. When you say tai chi, you’re just saying a generic thing like yoga. If you want to ask a question, you should know what you’re asking about, don’t you think?

…It’s hard to find a story about you that doesn’t mention your reputation as a difficult interview. Does that perception bother you?
You could judge for yourself, can’t you? You want me to comment about other critics as though they matter. You save this question for last? I don’t know why you brought it up, seeing as we got along fine. Unless I’m mistaken. What answer do you want?

I want to know how you feel about the way you might be perceived.
You’re talking about critics and journalists. Listen, you’re not talking about music. I don’t want to get into this stupid subject with you. You brought it up. You shouldn’t have. We had a good conversation, and now we’re done. You feel better now? Did you find your angle? Do you think you did a good job?

The question wasn’t a trick.
I didn’t think you were trying to trick anybody. This is the kind of shit you wanted all along, and you saved it for last. What should I say?

I’m not looking for any particular answer.
You could’ve talked music, but this is what you wanted.

Haven’t I been asking about music this whole time?
You’re not interested in music. We’re done talking.

Pere Ubu in Bloomington, Rodriguez, and the Sorites Paradox

We saw that documentary Searching for Sugar Man the other night.  An amazing story and a fun movie, although I actually found it just slightly manipulative.

Here a summary from Rolling Stone:

The Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man tells the almost unbelievable story of a Mexican-American songwriter whose two early Seventies albums bombed in America, but who wound up finding a huge audience in Apartheid-era South Africa. Sixto Rodriguez had no idea he was a legend there until a group of fans found him on the Internet and brought him to the country for a series of triumphant concerts.

Rodriguez is an incredibly appealing character… so peaceful, zen, sort of ego-less, at least apparently.  After his career tanked (or went nowhere) after recording a couple albums in the early 1970s, he started doing construction work in Detroit, ran for city council, and lived a thoughtfully progressive, low-income life until (we’re told) he was re-discovered in the late 1990s.  The Rolling Stone piece buttresses my my sense that the documentary has its manipulative side, though.

By the late 1970s, Australian concert promoters tracked down Rodriguez in Detroit. He arrived in Australia with his two teenage daughters for a 15-date tour in early 1979. “He was just stunned by what we put together for him,” promoter Michael Coppel told Billboard at the time. “He had never played a concert before, just bars and clubs.” He played to 15,000 people in Sydney, almost as many fans as Rod Stewart drew a few weeks earlier.

The movie does not mention this at all, and implies strongly that from the moment Rodriguez’s American career failed, he lived in total obscurity until the events of the 1990s chronicled in the movie, when a couple of South African fans and journalists tracked him down.  This Australian late 1970s interlude totally messes up the narrative.  And that was my larger problem, that the movie so clearly arranges the story for absolute maximum surprise and sentiment, in ways that occasionally felt a little untrustworthy to me.

Anyway, though, it’s certainly a fascinating story.  Even if it sometimes puts its thumb on the scales, it does underline the ways that the rise of the internet absolutely transformed the meaning of fame and stardom.  So incredible that Rodriguez could be a superstar in South Africa in the 70s and 80s, selling hundreds of thousands of albums and viewed as a musical icon, while living in obscure ignorance in Detroit.  We all lived in comparatively isolated pockets back then, and values, reputations, and images could remain bottled up, not communicating at all with the rest of the world.

I thought about Rodriguez when I saw Pere Ubu play at the Bishop Bar in Bloomington a week ago.  Pere Ubu meant a lot to me in the 1980s when I was in high school and college — I ranked them with Television, the Talking Heads, Blondie and so on as among the greatest and most important post-punk/ late 1970s groups.  (Strange to think about how recent that was then!) “Non-Alignment Pact,” “Heart of Darkness,” “Final Solution,” “the Modern Dance” were some of the best, weirdest, most gnarly post-punk non-hits of that era, led by the lumbering, broodingly intellectual, Boris Karloffian David Thomas, one of the most eccentric frontmen in rock and roll history.  The Modern Dance (1978) and Dub Housing (1979) are both incredible albums — the latter especially is a bizarrely compelling synth-punk, Cold War masterpiece I still feel I’ve never gotten to the bottom of.

Pere+Ubu
So, I went to see them in 2013, 35 years (!) after their first album, at this little Bloomington club, not really knowing what to expect (although I also saw some version of the group in maybe 2000 in Chicago).  Certain ontological questions are raised by this kind of performance.  Is this Pere Ubu?  Or a single band member with a capable backup band doing cover versions of old Pere Ubu songs?  David Thomas is the only original member.  But is the concept of an “original member” even relevant?  What if the transition occurs slowly, with band members dropping out and getting replaced gradually over time, à la the Ramones?

The problem is a version of the so-called “sorites paradox” or the philosophical problem of the “heap”:

The sorites paradox is the name given to a class of paradoxical arguments, also known as little-by-little arguments, which arise as a result of the indeterminacy surrounding limits of application of the predicates involved. For example, the concept of a heap appears to lack sharp boundaries and, as a consequence of the subsequent indeterminacy surrounding the extension of the predicate ‘is a heap’, no one grain of wheat can be identified as making the difference between being a heap and not being a heap. Given then that one grain of wheat does not make a heap, it would seem to follow that two do not, thus three do not, and so on. In the end it would appear that no amount of wheat can make a heap. We are faced with paradox since from apparently true premises by seemingly uncontroversial reasoning we arrive at an apparently false conclusion.

When does Pere Ubu become not Pere Ubu?  The simplest way to think about this might be in terms of minimum number of original band members.  Can it still be the Pixies without Kim Deal?  But then, is it still the Beatles without Pete Best?  It can’t simply be a matter of numbers– I suppose one would need to measure from some moment of peak achievement or success.

Anyway.  There couldn’t have been more than 50 or so people at the Bishop which did not feel quite right for such an incredibly important band in the history of modern rock and roll.  David Thomas is a creaky, slow-moving dude now who performed seated from a chair, possibly out of medical necessity.  He was very cranky and sarcastic, mostly in a witty way; I was occasionally scared he’d say something awful or disturbing (as when he engaged a young woman in front in an extended, not entirely consensual dialogue about her love life), but he never really did.  He talked a lot about “the ladies” in a mordantly amusing way.  Best line was something like, “look around you.  For every woman you see at a Pere Ubu show, know that there will be five other kinds of people there.  And for every 58-year old, balding, ponytailed dude you see, there will be five other people who didn’t come to the show.”

They or he did “Final Solution,” “the Modern Dance,” “Street Waves,” and “Heaven.”  (No “Non-Alignment Pact” or “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.”)

I kind of felt as if David Thomas were Rodriguez, stuck in a world in which he’s in disguise as an unknown obscurity.

I don’t know if this was really Pere Ubu, but it was great to hear those songs.

[cp my experience seeing Jonathan Richman, also at the Bishop- Richman is a somewhat comparable figure to Thomas in certain ways.]

Big-bragadochio and wavelike-swelling and swaggering writings

I did a search on the university library catalogue for the new-ish Red Hook-based thriller Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda and this title (it is the actual title) from 1648, by one John Vicars, is what came up.

Coleman-street conclave visited, and, that grand imposter, the schismaticks cheater in chief (who hath long, slily lurked therein) truly and duly discovered. Containing a most palpable and plain display of Mr. John Goodwin’s self-conviction (under his own hand-writing) and of the notorious heresies, errours, malice, pride, and hypocrisie of this most huge Garagantua, in falsly pretended piety; to the lamentable misleading of his too-too credulous soul-murthered proselytes of Coleman-street & elsewhere. Collected, principally, out of his own big-bragadochio and wavelike-swelling and swaggering writings, full-fraught with six-footed terms, and flashie rhetoricall phrases, far more than solid and sacred truths. And may fitly serve (if it be the Lords will) like Belshazzars hand-writing, on the wall of his conscience, to strike terrour and shame into his own soul, and shamelesse face; and to un-deceive his most miserably cheated and inchanted, or bewitched followers.

I guess this is what I am actually supposed to read?  Sorry, Ivy Pochoda, you will have to wait.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 102 other followers