[Video: Denver7 – The Denver Channel] Tomorrow, June 14th, Ryan Adams will play the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. However, ahead of this special performance, Adams will be in Denver tonight, June 13th, where he’ll fulfill his “dream to do a forecast” and give the weather forecast live at 5 p.m. on ABC’s Denver7 News.In order to lobby Denver7 to allow for his special meteorological cameo, Adams released a heartfelt new song titled “Denver7 (Piece of Heaven)” on Monday. The song, which came with a ridiculous cartoon music video, serves as a cheesy ode to the Mile High City and a hilarious plea to Denver7 to let him do the weather segment.After the pleasantries opening the song, Adams gets distinctly more pragmatic, explaining the outfit he’d wear during the segment (his Batman shirt and a flannel). The song also notes that “Shannon” from the Ogden Theatre got her wish for him to do the song to promote his potential appearance, and that he should be granted the honor of doing the weather segment. Happily, it looks like Ryan Adams thoughtful tune/cartoon was successful, as he will be doing the weather segment tonight for Denver locals. As “Denver7 (Piece of Heaven)” notes, “What could possibly go wrong?”Tune in tonight at 5 p.m. on ABC’s Denver7 News, and catch Ryan Adams tomorrow at Red Rocks.
Kermit the Frog, that celebrated American philosopher of the last century, famously observed that it isn’t easy being green.But if frogs are in trouble, think of the ontological suffering that humans undertake. They are born with awareness, and from the beginning search for identity in a world of complex moral choices.The first of the traditional Tanner Lectures on Human Values this week (Nov. 4) took up the tangled struggle toward being, in a session called “Becoming Human Is Not That Easy,” delivered by Jonathan Lear, who teaches philosophy at the University of Chicago and has a parallel career as a psychoanalyst.His last book, published by Harvard University Press, was “Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation” (2006). In it, Lear explored another vulnerability that humans face during their lifelong struggle for identity: how to cope with the collapse of civilization. His test case was Plenty Coups, the last great chief of the Crow Nation, who observed that, “When the buffalo went away, the hearts of my people fell to the ground.”Lear’s Tanner series, “Irony and Identity,” resumed Thursday afternoon (Nov. 5), and will be followed by a 10 a.m. public seminar Nov. 6 at the Barker Center’s Thompson Room.This is the inaugural Tanner series for the Humanities Center at Harvard, which from now on will sponsor the lectures at Harvard. (Eight other institutions worldwide host Tanner Lectures, a tradition founded 31 years ago.Center director Homi Bhabha introduced Lear as a pioneering scholar with “a revisionary sense of irony,” whose work explores “the everyday work of being.”And he praised lecture commentator Cora Diamond, a University of Virginia moral philosopher, for her sense that literature has little appreciated ethical significance.Lear began by wondering out loud: What is so hard about becoming human? He told his first-day audience, which nearly filled Lowell Lecture Hall, that one philosophical trend “conceives of humanity as a task,” and that task — that struggle to “self-constitution” — is linked to the idea that we are in search of an ideal.Meanwhile, said Lear, each of us takes up a “practical identity,” a self-description by which we value ourselves. Inhabiting this practical identity — whether as a teacher, doctor, or student — commits us to the norms of the society around us, and is a bulwark against what might lead us astray.We must inhabit our practical identities well, said Lear, in order to live by our judgment. This makes being human an arduous task. “It can be tough work, fending off those temptations that would undo our claim to be the person we are,” he said. “Fidelity to oneself is not for the fainthearted.”That fidelity requires self-reflection. But most of the time, most of us are at least “perfectly sure of being human and knowing what it means to be a human being,” said Lear, quoting a journal entry from the 19th century Danish philosopher Søren KierkegaardLear used Kierkegaard as a way to explore a further dimension of the “tough work” of becoming human. It’s a dimension that demands more than self-reflection while in the rush of life — what Kierkegaard in the same journal entry said of existence, that it was “a hallucination, tomfoolery, a ruckus, a hubbub, busyness.”This further dimension of becoming human demands the kind of lifelong irony embraced by the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, said Lear, “a form of not being perfectly sure” what it is to be a human being.Or as Kierkegaard put it: “Socrates doubted that one is a human being by birth; to become human or to learn what it means to be human does not come that easily.” Lear posited a divide in the way most of us think of life. There are those who are “perfectly sure” of being human and those, like Socrates, who are “imperfectly sure.”Socrates led an “ironic existence,” one that was always questioning our humanness. It was in part a response to the limits of reflection, the activity most of us use to periodically question our practical identities.Kierkegaard said being a Christian is an example of one “practical identity” on which we might reflect. But reflection on Christianity right away presents a problem, said Lear, since “the reflection itself is a way of saying that Christianity exists.” Because of this, reflecting on Christianity has the consequence of never being able to get outside it. That is the “illusion of Christianity,” said Lear, that “there is no outside.”In this situation, he said, “irony can help.” But only if the irony is more than witty remarks, or, as in sarcasm, deliberately saying the opposite of what you meant. What is needed to break through the limitation of mere reflection is the irony of Socrates, a “robust irony,” said Lear, that transforms questioning and doubt “into a capacity for excellence.”Mere reflection traps us within Christianity or some other construct of identity, and in turn leads us away from the ideal. But robust irony is “an occasion for disorientation and disruption,” said Lear. It takes away our practical identity and hands it back to us as something unfamiliar.Lear chose a secular example: being a teacher. Regarded with true irony, this profession could yield “a massive disruption of more or less who I am,” said Lear, “a disorientation of a world that until now has been familiar.”This is different from irony as a sense of social detachment, said Lear. It is more like “an intense moment of god-sent madness,” he said, employing a phrase from Plato, who believed “the greatest of goods come to us through madness, provided it is bestowed by divine gift.”Plato believed that all philosophy rises from “disruptive, disorienting experience,” said Lear, something like the experience of irony, which breaks into “the chaos of social pretense” in its search for meaning.Kierkegaard made the original observation that prompted Lear’s first lecture: that becoming human is not that easy, and that the task of identity is in part the practical task of achieving excellence. Kierkegaard also believed that “no genuinely human life is possible without irony.”Lear’s interpretation is that the road to becoming human and to achieving excellence requires the jarring disorientation that true irony invites. Human excellence requires developing “a capacity for appropriately disrupting one’s understanding of what excellence consists of.”To flourish, said Lear, a human must step outside of a practical identity, and “cultivate an experience of oneself as uncanny and out of joint.”
View Comments Musical theater and live audiences: they go to together (like rama lama lama, ka dinga da dinga dong).When Grease: Live airs on Fox next month, be on the lookout for not only an all-star cast (including Aaron Tveit, Julianne Hough and Carly Rae Jepsen), but also an audience filling the halls and bleachers of Rydell High. Director Thomas Kail and production designer David Korins (the team behind Hamilton) recently revealed that unlike its NBC-produced predecessors, Grease will invite audience members (by the hundreds) to be a direct part of the live broadcast experience.“There’s something we thought really suited Grease—the rhythm and the music of the show—to have that feedback with an audience,” explained Kail. “If we’re going to say Grease: Live, and we’re owning the “live”ness of it…we want to wrap our arms around that. That’s part of the thrill.”The telecast will utilize multiple sets across three sound stages: an outdoor location, an assortment of traditional three-wall sets and the gym: a four-wall, 360-degree unit that will offer an environmental and immersive space for the performers and the audience. Spectators will be scattered through the sets, so everyone present will experience certain moments in-person and others through monitors. Kail is partnered with television director Alex Rudzinski (Dancing With the Stars), who will oversee the technical elements of the broadcast, including the movement from set to set.When you see audiences on the bleachers, don’t expect them to be in ‘50s drag. “People should look and dress as they do now, because that’s when the show is happening,” said Kail. “The tension between [1959 and 2015] actually gives it a charge. We don’t think it’s going to break the bubble we’re making.”The addition of a studio audience is a step toward ensuring live musical telecasts remain a theatrical experience in the truest sense, and veteran designer Korins is committed to blurring the line between the two mediums: “All of those tropes that we see all the time—turntables and things like that—are commonplace in theater, but you very rarely see on camera.” Korins continued, “We’re looking to infuse our world with many theatrical devices…to let people experience theater on a mass scale.”Audience members will be cultivated through outreach initiatives and contests in the coming week. Whether from the studio or from the small screen, you can catch Grease: Live on Fox on January 31.
Milan, Ind. — Margaret Mary Hospital has broken ground on a new medical office in Milan. Dr. Amy Glaser-Carpenter will provide primary care from the new location.Organizations like Holt Properties Inc., Poole Group Inc. and the Napoleon State Bank played a major role in the project. “We are honored to have Margaret Mary Health, an organization with a history of giving to the communities it serves, as our tenant in the new building,” noted Lori Holt of Holt Properties, Inc. “The opportunity to expand the services offered in Milan and contribute to our hometown, a town that we love, just felt like a great thing to do. We want Milan to be a community where people want to live and raise their families, a place to come back to. We are excited to welcome a new doctor to our community.”This will be the third Margaret Mary facility located outside Batesville. “Margaret Mary has been working diligently over the past several years to improve access to care for local families. We realize the most effective way to do this is to bring quality health care providers as close to home as possible. Milan is a great community within our service area and we are excited to open a new practice there,” said Julie Keene, Margaret Mary’s vice president of physician services.