Someone is hating on Les Miz: Shorter David Denby: I am too far above the average Murican to like this musical that the common person loves so much. Oh, and one of his excuses for hating it? The book is not relevant.
Is it sacrilege to point out that the Victor Hugo novel, stripped of its social detail and reduced to its melodramatic elements, no longer makes much sense? That the story doesn’t connect to our world (which may well be the reason for the show’s popularity)? Jean Valjean becomes a convict slave for nineteen years after stealing some bread for his sister’s child. He has done nothing wrong, yet he spends the rest of his life redeeming himself by committing one noble act after another, while Javert pursues him all over France. Wherever Valjean goes, Javert shows up; he’s everywhere at once, like the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” who was at least intended to be a fanciful creation.
You just wonder what he thinks of Captain Ahab in Moby Dick. “Really, he’s so overly focused on the whale. Why doesn’t he just stay ashore and not think about it so much?”
The Afghan Geniza: Who knew that Afghanistan held Jewish religious treasures? And that the Taliban didn’t find and destroy them?
Intifada number three: They’re working hard at making it so. Probably want to accent the “nonviolence” by, you know, not throwing stones and molotov cocktails.
Anyone out there suprised by this? The “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt is a Jew-hater. But don’t worry, they’ll explain it away as old views that he no longer holds. After all, the interview is from 2010. I’m sure he’s really changed since then.