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May 20, 2011

The Glory of You
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 12:01 AM * 26 comments

By royal proclamation, today is Eliza Doolittle Day.

Celebrate appropriately.

Comments on The Glory of You:
#1 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 12:26 AM:

Why yes, it is the 20th of May on the East Coast, isn't it!

(The original cast recording is ground into my DNA. Heh.)

#2 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 12:43 AM:

You should see my DNA.

#3 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 12:57 AM:


#4 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 01:21 AM:

Also the source of one of the best things to come out of the Ender's Game series. (Ender has unplugged his connection to his AI, Jane, for what feels to her like a subjective eternity.)

#5 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 02:00 AM:

One of those bits of trivia that has stuck in my head: The first genuine Cockney Eliza Dolittle in a professional production was Martine McCutcheon in 2001, 45 years after My Fair Lady first opened on Broadway and nearly 90 years after Pygmalion first opened in London. Up until then, producers - perhaps doubting that Professor Higgins's feat was possible in the real world - preferred to find somebody who spoke the way Eliza ends up speaking and have her put on the Cockney for the first bit.

#6 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 02:26 AM:

There's actually some point in that, Paul A.: to the extent that reviewers are more likely to be upper crust than Cockney, they're much more likely to spot small errors in the upper crust language than in the Cockney. It's much easier to get accents/vocabulary 95% right than 100%.

#7 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 04:27 AM:

Lee, thank you. On a sleepless, dissertation-filled night, I needed a grin. That link filled me with so much delight that I had to click around the author's website looking for more music, at which point I discovered this:

A law was made when life had just begun here,
To outlaw any independent thoughts.
And there's a legal limit to the fun here
In Camazotz.

So catchy. So evil.

#8 ::: Devin ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 04:53 AM:

Tom Whitmore @6

Well, yes, but I don't think that's the only reason. Let's turn it around: Imagine Professor Higgins is a New York blueblood trying to turn out a proper socialite. London audiences are more likely to catch a faux-Cockney than to spot an American who doesn't belong at the Metropolitan Opera. So you'd expect that role to be almost always filled by a real Cockney actress, right? Yeah, me neither. (Probably by a Londoner, yes, but I suspect it'd be rare to see someone who spoke Cockney at home, in the first half of the century at least).

#9 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 05:18 AM:

Rymenhild, now you've given me a G&S earworm:

In Camazotz, in Camazotz,
in homogeneous Camazotz...

#10 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 05:39 AM:

Devin: someone who spoke Cockney at home

Well, there's Sir Michael Caine.

#11 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 08:54 AM:

The original cast recording is ground into my DNA.
Julie Andrews, I presume? I'm the same way with The Sound of Music — I only listen to the Mary Martin version.

It's only a model.

#12 ::: DBratman ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 08:59 AM:

And next Monday is the annual day not to eat liverwurst.

#13 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 09:07 AM:

DBratman, you have just replaced the Camazotz earworm with "when you go to the delicatessen store..."

I am not sure this is an improvement.

#14 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 10:31 AM:

It's only a model.

With a lot of mass-produced parts.

#15 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 11:43 AM:

When I worked in the House of Commons (in the Thos. Cook office) the office manager spoke a broad, deep-dyed cockney when it was just us in the office, but could drop into BBC received pronunciation when the phone rang or a client walked in the door.

#16 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 12:45 PM:

Happy birthday to my boy! At three, he's actually old enough to have some inkling of what's going on..

#17 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 03:44 PM:

B. Durbin, Happy birthday to him. If he really has some inkling, then he's doing better than I am some days.

I find myself shaking my head in disbelief more and more often when observing the American political landscape.

#18 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2011, 11:14 PM:

B. Durbin @16: I can just remember some memories from when I was three.

There had been a recent BoingBoing posting - that seems to be the threshold for adults. But if you talk to a three year old and ask what s/he remembers, you can get back to eighteen months. The theory was that we develop a different system for memory recall, and later the earliest memories are no longer accessible.

I wonder if you quiz him about his earliest memories, he'll remember the conversation.

Yea! Three! (Tell him I said 'hi'; I'm sure he'll remember that!)

#19 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2011, 07:14 AM:

Rob Rusick #18: You were reading BoingBoing when you were three? :-)

#20 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2011, 09:48 AM:

I don't have any clear memories from before I was 5, but it was not long after that that my folks got the My Fair Lady record, the white one with the drawing of puppets on the cover. It arrived around Xmas, and I recall that when I heard the graceful march of "Wouldn't It Be Loverly", I tried to march around the Xmas tree and had problems because the tree was against the wall.
We played it a lot, and I had all the music engraved on the inside of my skull. The sexism, classism and language-snobbery went over my head, of course, I believe I did think some of it sounded rather silly, but the tunes were good.

#21 ::: Walter Hawn ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2011, 01:13 PM:

For an understanding of how the American Political Landscape will work out, see Heinlein's "Revolt in 2100"

#22 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2011, 10:22 PM:

Rob Rusick: I know he remembers some things from back that far because of what he reacts to in our online slideshow (AppleTV link to my Flickr site for when we're playing music.)

My own earliest accessible memory is from when I was two. I once described a boardwalk with some railings going near some bubbling mud and my mother was astounded--I was describing the Bumpass Hell trail at Mount Lassen. (I'd thought it was maybe a dream.) I apparently walked the whole mile-long trail1 at the ripe age of two, got back to the car, and fell deeply asleep. The part that I find amusing is the associated memory of the faucet that came out of the hillside, because I was wondering what had happened to the rest of the house. Had it rotten away? Then why was the faucet still there?

1Bumpass Hell has a much longer trail now, apparently. I haven't been back since I was two.

#23 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2011, 06:57 PM:

DBratman, OtterB: The other day I decided to finally disregard Allen Sherman's sage advice and try liverwurst for the first time at Heidi's in Highland Square (northwest Denver; not to be confused with Highland Park).

But they were out of liverwurst.

On the bright side, that they do in fact run out from time to time indicates that Allen Sherman's advice ("has been there since October 1st...") does not apply.

#24 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2011, 07:48 PM:

I remember a few things from when I was two and three and living in Australia. I also remember telling people about the memories when I was six, which I figure reinforced the memories.

It's almost all things that were outside my usual experience at the time, rather than things that were particularly Australian.

#25 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2011, 01:02 AM:

"not to be confused with Highland Park"

Is that in addition to Highlands Ranch? (I have friends who used to live within walking distance of the Highland Common Grounds. We used to have Gin & Coffee there.)

#26 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2011, 02:11 AM:

Highland Park is an excellent single malt (IMO). Especially at cask strength....

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