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NYT: "I Paid $2,500 for a ‘Hamilton’ Ticket. I’m Happy About It."
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From the New York Times, an oped by Gregory Mankiw, former chairman of GW Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers:

I Paid $2,500 for a ‘Hamilton’ Ticket. I’m Happy About It.
Economic View
By N. GREGORY MANKIW OCT. 21, 2016

… We had no doubt about what we wanted to see. “Hamilton” had received rave reviews from both critics and our friends who had seen it. We had much enjoyed “In the Heights,” an earlier musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the genius behind “Hamilton.” And as an economist, I have always viewed Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury secretary, as one of the most important and intriguing founding fathers. …

We, however, had no problem getting tickets. Two weeks before our trip, I logged into StubHub, the online ticket marketplace owned by eBay. I found the performance we wanted, located some great seats and within a few minutes was printing our tickets.

The rub is the price. Including StubHub’s fee, I paid $2,500 a ticket, about five times their face value. Such a large markup is not unusual.

… It was only because the price was so high that I was able to buy tickets at all on such short notice.

And aren’t we all happy for you, your wife, and son enjoying a $7,500 matinee…

My prediction: as the Democrats continue to evolve into the Party of the Power Structure, Lin-Manuel Miranda, son of Democratic campaign consultant Luis Miranda, will be on the Democratic national ticket some before 2050, as the perfect embodiment of the Democrats’ promise that they can continue to Invite the World without endangering the the affluence of the People Who Matter.

 
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  1. It’s a matter of upbringing I suppose, but if I were so extravagant I certainly wouldn’t brag about it.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    I agree, but that is the Nouveau Riche (sp?) for you. To paraphrase the great Oscar Wilde, "They know the price of everything (and are happy to tell you about it), and the value of nothing".

    And this guy is supposedly a Republican!

    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/77057-nowadays-people-know-the-price-of-everything-and-the-value
  2. The Hamilton phenomenon says something weird about the elite psyche. Surely, without the minority angle, nothing about the Founding Fathers would ever seem cool and become a cultural phenomenon. By casting everyone as non-white and making it into a rap video, educated Americans of all political persuasions, Republicans and Democrats, can come together and celebrate a shared history. The dark cast removes the stain of whiteness that is there throughout European and American history.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    And it's not some dangerous founding father like Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine, it's the most pro-plutocratic Founding Father who is suddenly an Honorary Nonwhite.
    , @Forbes
    The rock musical Rent (Broadway debut 1996), principally about living with AIDS/HIV, had a very similar vanity-signaling effect on the culture at the time. It was the must-see/hot ticket show for a number a years. It ran for 12 years on Broadway.
  3. @Hepp
    The Hamilton phenomenon says something weird about the elite psyche. Surely, without the minority angle, nothing about the Founding Fathers would ever seem cool and become a cultural phenomenon. By casting everyone as non-white and making it into a rap video, educated Americans of all political persuasions, Republicans and Democrats, can come together and celebrate a shared history. The dark cast removes the stain of whiteness that is there throughout European and American history.

    And it’s not some dangerous founding father like Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine, it’s the most pro-plutocratic Founding Father who is suddenly an Honorary Nonwhite.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    And it’s not some dangerous founding father like Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine, it’s the most pro-plutocratic Founding Father who is suddenly an Honorary Nonwhite.
     
    Unlike our current crop of pro-plutocrats, however, Alexander Hamilton was most decidedly not pro-immigration:

    The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias, and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family.

    “The opinion advanced in the Notes on Virginia is undoubtedly correct, that foreigners will generally be apt to bring with them attachments to the persons they have left behind; to the country of their nativity, and to its particular customs and manners. They will also entertain opinions on government congenial with those under which they have lived; or, if they should be led hither from a preference to ours, how extremely unlikely is it that they will bring with them that temperate love of liberty, so essential to real republicanism? There may, as to particular individuals, and at particular times, be occasional exceptions to these remarks, yet such is the general rule. The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.


    The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another. The permanent effect of such a policy will be, that in times of great public danger there will be always a numerous body of men, of whom there may be just grounds of distrust; the suspicion alone will weaken the strength of the nation, but their force may be actually employed in assisting an invader.
     
    http://thefederalistpapers.org/current-events/alexander-hamilton-and-immigration
    , @Hepp
    Miranda tells the story that he just happened to pick up a book on Hamilton. What if he instead picked up a general book on early American history? He could've had them all juking and jiving at the Constitutional Convention, and it could've been just as much of a hit.

    I think Jefferson and Paine are seen as more left wing icons today for their skepticism of Christianity and their support for the radical egalitarianism of the French Revolution. If Miranda had picked them, it would've been seen as having a left wing message. Of course, making all the Founding Fathers into minorities and giving women 50% of the stage time in a play about the founding is not considered political by the types who read National Review. So not having it be Jefferson or Paine allows for a bipartisan embrace.
  4. Hamilton is a good signal to determine those who are in the elite and those who aspire to be in the elite. I know some people my age (20s) who want nothing more than to see this play. They have the soundtrack, read the Ron Chernow book, and talk about how Miranda is a genius yet they have not seen the play themselves, since they are still broke and paying their massive student loans. It’s really weird to witness but easy to figure out why. Going to or wanting to go see Hamilton is an excellent virtue/progressive signal, maybe the best one out there now since too many people own a Prius.

  5. @dearieme
    It's a matter of upbringing I suppose, but if I were so extravagant I certainly wouldn't brag about it.

    I agree, but that is the Nouveau Riche (sp?) for you. To paraphrase the great Oscar Wilde, “They know the price of everything (and are happy to tell you about it), and the value of nothing”.

    And this guy is supposedly a Republican!

    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/77057-nowadays-people-know-the-price-of-everything-and-the-value

  6. He got a column out if it. He can write it off. It is not like dudes like him get audited.

  7. @Steve Sailer
    And it's not some dangerous founding father like Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine, it's the most pro-plutocratic Founding Father who is suddenly an Honorary Nonwhite.

    And it’s not some dangerous founding father like Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine, it’s the most pro-plutocratic Founding Father who is suddenly an Honorary Nonwhite.

    Unlike our current crop of pro-plutocrats, however, Alexander Hamilton was most decidedly not pro-immigration:

    The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias, and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family.

    “The opinion advanced in the Notes on Virginia is undoubtedly correct, that foreigners will generally be apt to bring with them attachments to the persons they have left behind; to the country of their nativity, and to its particular customs and manners. They will also entertain opinions on government congenial with those under which they have lived; or, if they should be led hither from a preference to ours, how extremely unlikely is it that they will bring with them that temperate love of liberty, so essential to real republicanism? There may, as to particular individuals, and at particular times, be occasional exceptions to these remarks, yet such is the general rule. The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.

    The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another. The permanent effect of such a policy will be, that in times of great public danger there will be always a numerous body of men, of whom there may be just grounds of distrust; the suspicion alone will weaken the strength of the nation, but their force may be actually employed in assisting an invader.

    http://thefederalistpapers.org/current-events/alexander-hamilton-and-immigration

    • Replies: @Mr. Blank
    High school students 20 years from now: "But...but...why would Alexander Hamilton be against immigration when he was a Hispanic dude from Puerto Rico?"

    Because you know that's how they'll visualize him, the same way millenials grew up thinking God looked like Morgan Freeman.
    , @Questionator
    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
  8. Is that the one where everybody is minority except total poopiehead king George?

  9. @Steve Sailer
    And it's not some dangerous founding father like Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine, it's the most pro-plutocratic Founding Father who is suddenly an Honorary Nonwhite.

    Miranda tells the story that he just happened to pick up a book on Hamilton. What if he instead picked up a general book on early American history? He could’ve had them all juking and jiving at the Constitutional Convention, and it could’ve been just as much of a hit.

    I think Jefferson and Paine are seen as more left wing icons today for their skepticism of Christianity and their support for the radical egalitarianism of the French Revolution. If Miranda had picked them, it would’ve been seen as having a left wing message. Of course, making all the Founding Fathers into minorities and giving women 50% of the stage time in a play about the founding is not considered political by the types who read National Review. So not having it be Jefferson or Paine allows for a bipartisan embrace.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    I think Jefferson and Paine are seen as more left wing icons today for their skepticism of Christianity and their support for the radical egalitarianism of the French Revolution.
     
    Actually, the Left have been shifting away from Jefferson for the last 30 years. The whole slavery thing. He's not quite in the Deplorables bin with Jackson, but he's no longer in good odor.
    , @syonredux
    Ta-Nehisi Coates as weather-vane: If you are curious about a historical figure's standing with the Left, just ask yourself "What Would TNC Think?"
  10. • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    She is very good, but, alas, will not be 35 by 2020, but another younger Ann C would be good.
  11. Some interesting scenes from the John Adams miniseries

  12. @syonredux

    And it’s not some dangerous founding father like Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine, it’s the most pro-plutocratic Founding Father who is suddenly an Honorary Nonwhite.
     
    Unlike our current crop of pro-plutocrats, however, Alexander Hamilton was most decidedly not pro-immigration:

    The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias, and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family.

    “The opinion advanced in the Notes on Virginia is undoubtedly correct, that foreigners will generally be apt to bring with them attachments to the persons they have left behind; to the country of their nativity, and to its particular customs and manners. They will also entertain opinions on government congenial with those under which they have lived; or, if they should be led hither from a preference to ours, how extremely unlikely is it that they will bring with them that temperate love of liberty, so essential to real republicanism? There may, as to particular individuals, and at particular times, be occasional exceptions to these remarks, yet such is the general rule. The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.


    The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another. The permanent effect of such a policy will be, that in times of great public danger there will be always a numerous body of men, of whom there may be just grounds of distrust; the suspicion alone will weaken the strength of the nation, but their force may be actually employed in assisting an invader.
     
    http://thefederalistpapers.org/current-events/alexander-hamilton-and-immigration

    High school students 20 years from now: “But…but…why would Alexander Hamilton be against immigration when he was a Hispanic dude from Puerto Rico?”

    Because you know that’s how they’ll visualize him, the same way millenials grew up thinking God looked like Morgan Freeman.

  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    $2,500 is nothing. Apparently Trump offered $10,000 for sex:

    “Woman Says Trump Sexually Assaulted Her, Offered Her $10,000 For Sex”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jessica-drake-donald-trump-assault_us_580bde7ae4b000d0b157203c

    Adult film star Jessica Drake on Saturday became the 12th woman in recent weeks to allege that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sexually mistreated her.

    “He was wearing pajamas,” she said, and added that there was a bodyguard in the room. “He asked me about being an adult film star, details about shooting porn, and asked about our personal relationships and whether we were married or single.”

    • Troll: Clyde, Amasius
    • Replies: @syonredux
    Well, Jessica Drake is 5'8, which gives her a definite edge over Mexican dwarf Salma Hayek (5'1.5).Still, 10,000 seems a bit steep.
    , @syonredux
    Since I hate waiting

    Well, Jessica Drake is 5’8, which gives her a definite edge over Mexican dwarf Salma Hayek (5’1.5).Still, 10,000 seems a bit steep.
    , @Rob McX
    Sure. And I bet she bought four tickets to Hamilton with the money.
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
    Do the Clintons pay twice for multiple Hasbara posts to the same site on the same topic? If not someone is going to be disappointed.
    , @candid_observer
    I'll admit, when I heard that there was still another woman who has suddenly appeared to accuse Trump of sexually assaulting her, the cynic in me was ready to dismiss her as just another crazy woman of low morals who saw this as her ticket to fame.

    But when I read that she is an adult film star, I realized, what could possibly be my answer to that? What could possibly drive a woman who has achieved such a position to lie? Why would money or notoriety mean anything to someone who has committed her life to the thankless sacrifice of a career as an adult film star?

    You've finally convinced me, Anonymous.

  14. To be sure, most people can’t easily afford paying so much for a few hours of entertainment. That is indeed lamentable. The arts expand our horizons, and in a perfect world, everyone would have the opportunity to see a megahit like “Hamilton.”

    I suppose Lin-Manuel-Miranda and his producers could record the show and let people see it for $10 in movie theaters. But then people like Mankiw wouldn’t have such a great way to status signal their wealth, taste, children and busy lifestyle, would they?

    • Agree: SPMoore8
    • Replies: @kihowi
    If a broadway musical "broadens your horizons" you are a pathetic specimen.
    , @Questionator
    He and they should have to pay people to imbibe their self-serving political propaganda.
  15. To be sure, most people can’t easily afford paying so much for a few hours of entertainment. That is indeed lamentable.

    those consumers who don’t buy “Hamilton” tickets — perhaps deterred by its uniquely high prices

    I just hope that neither Professor Mankiw or other brainless spenders (e.g., former governor Elliot Spitzer) are ever hired by the forthcoming Clinton administration. However, I get a feeling …..

    It also reminds me of this famous passage from William James’ Psychology, the chapter on Habit:

    There is no more contemptible type of human character than that of the nerveless sentimentalist and dreamer, who spends his life in a weltering sea of sensibility and emotion, but who never does a manly concrete deed. Rousseau, inflaming all the mothers of France, by his eloquence, to follow Nature and nurse their babies themselves, while he sends his own children to the foundling hospital, is the classical example of what I mean. But every one of us in his measure, whenever, after glowing for an abstractly formulated Good, he practically ignores some actual case, among the squalid ‘other particulars’ of which that same Good lurks disguised, treads straight on Rousseau’s path. All Goods are disguised by the vulgarity of their concomitants, in this work-a-day world; but woe to him who can only recognize them when he thinks them in their pure and abstract form! The habit of excessive novel-reading and theatre-going will produce true monsters in this line. The weeping of a Russian lady over the fictitious personages in the play, while her coach-man is freezing to death on his seat outside, is the sort of thing that everywhere happens on a less glaring scale. Even the habit of excessive indulgence in music, for those who are neither performers themselves nor musically gifted enough to take it in a purely intellectual way, has probably a relaxing effect upon the character. One becomes filled with emotions which habitually pass without prompting to any deed, and so the inertly sentimental condition is kept up. The remedy would be, never to suffer one’s self to have an emotion at a concert, without expressing it afterward in some active way. Let the expression be the least thing in the world -speaking genially to one’s aunt, or giving up one’s seat in a horse-car, if nothing more heroic offers – but let it not fail to take place.

    Apparently it only took place in Professor Mankiw’s brain to write this Op-Ed.

  16. It’s weird how the scores for two sections could be so far apart. 2.5 standard deviations. I’m not sure what to make of that.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I hope Lin-Manuel's accountant doesn't find out he's much less intelligent with numbers than with words.
    , @syonredux
    I knew a guy in Grad school who had a similar spread in the GRE: 730 Verbal, 550 Quantitative.Fortunately for him, he was applying to the English Dept.
    , @Glossy
    He was born in 1980, so these are post-1995 numbers. Equivalent to about 125 IQ:

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/12/16/revised-chart-converting-sat-scores-to-iq-equivalents/

    I think it's rare to score higher on Verbal than on Math. And by so much!
    , @L Woods
    I think a lot of the commenters around here have a similar split. I was at the 99th verbal percentile but the ~65th quant percentile on the GRE myself.
  17. ‘… My prediction: as the Democrats continue to evolve into the Party of the Power Structure, Lin-Manuel Miranda, son of Democratic campaign consultant Luis Miranda, will be on the Democratic national ticket some before 2050…’

    Doubt it

    Reminds me of Bob Hope’s comment about refusing the Presidency because of his wife’s unwillingness to move to a smaller house.

    Miranda I’m sure lives in a prestigious Manhattan neighborhood with all the right type of neighbors. Clinton was brought up in the suburbs and lives in a suburb so Pennsylvania Ave would be an improvement. And Trump is an outer boroughs type so the White House wouldn’t be a comedown.

    Also being the token heterosexual on Broadway is a pretty good gig.

  18. @Lord Jeff Sessions
    https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/123986249827618816

    It's weird how the scores for two sections could be so far apart. 2.5 standard deviations. I'm not sure what to make of that.

    I hope Lin-Manuel’s accountant doesn’t find out he’s much less intelligent with numbers than with words.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
    Miranda almost certainly has a very high IQ. The high school he attended - Hunter College High School - is the most prestigious of all New York City public schools, more selective than Stuyvesant or Bronx Science. Hunter actually uses an IQ test to evaluate those admitted, and the school allows no consideration for race or ethnic background. One has to have a very high IQ score or one doesn't get admitted.
    , @JamesG
    Nah.

    As an ex-accountant, comptroller, budget director, treasurer and CFO (all in mega-sized companies) I know accounting is not mathematics. It's conceptual. Even arithmetic has been delegated to electronic desk calculators and computers as, earlier, it was to electro-mechanical calculators and Comptometer operators.
  19. @Lugash
    To be sure, most people can’t easily afford paying so much for a few hours of entertainment. That is indeed lamentable. The arts expand our horizons, and in a perfect world, everyone would have the opportunity to see a megahit like “Hamilton.”

    I suppose Lin-Manuel-Miranda and his producers could record the show and let people see it for $10 in movie theaters. But then people like Mankiw wouldn't have such a great way to status signal their wealth, taste, children and busy lifestyle, would they?

    If a broadway musical “broadens your horizons” you are a pathetic specimen.

    • Replies: @rod1963
    I agree. If anything they appeal to the low attention span sort of crowd that is confused and bored by more traditional plays and scared of books.

    Sort of live action cartoons for adults with lots of money.
  20. His twitter bio is “voten mi gente”. Yup, it looks like he’s planning ahead. Kirsten Gillibrand is young, but Chuck Schumer can’t be around for that more than a couple years (or maybe he can). He’s up for election this year, meaning in 2022 there might be an open Senate seat from NY. That seems like a good place to be. He’ll be 42, and Schumer will be content knowing he’s ushered in indefinite one party rule. Also, Charlie Rangel’s 86. If he still lives in Inwood, that wouldn’t be a bad entry point.

    • Replies: @Forbes
    Charlie Rangel has retired. Up-Chuck Schumer will be removed from the Senate in a pine box.
  21. @Hepp
    Miranda tells the story that he just happened to pick up a book on Hamilton. What if he instead picked up a general book on early American history? He could've had them all juking and jiving at the Constitutional Convention, and it could've been just as much of a hit.

    I think Jefferson and Paine are seen as more left wing icons today for their skepticism of Christianity and their support for the radical egalitarianism of the French Revolution. If Miranda had picked them, it would've been seen as having a left wing message. Of course, making all the Founding Fathers into minorities and giving women 50% of the stage time in a play about the founding is not considered political by the types who read National Review. So not having it be Jefferson or Paine allows for a bipartisan embrace.

    I think Jefferson and Paine are seen as more left wing icons today for their skepticism of Christianity and their support for the radical egalitarianism of the French Revolution.

    Actually, the Left have been shifting away from Jefferson for the last 30 years. The whole slavery thing. He’s not quite in the Deplorables bin with Jackson, but he’s no longer in good odor.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    The fact that he wanted sodomy to be punished with castration probably doesn't endear him to the Left either.
  22. @Hepp
    The Hamilton phenomenon says something weird about the elite psyche. Surely, without the minority angle, nothing about the Founding Fathers would ever seem cool and become a cultural phenomenon. By casting everyone as non-white and making it into a rap video, educated Americans of all political persuasions, Republicans and Democrats, can come together and celebrate a shared history. The dark cast removes the stain of whiteness that is there throughout European and American history.

    The rock musical Rent (Broadway debut 1996), principally about living with AIDS/HIV, had a very similar vanity-signaling effect on the culture at the time. It was the must-see/hot ticket show for a number a years. It ran for 12 years on Broadway.

    • Replies: @Jokah Macpherson
    The spoof Lease in Team America: World Police is hilarious.
    , @Triumph104
    The late homosexual writer David Rakoff had a funny take on the musical Rent.

    https://soundcloud.com/missjessicadavis/david-rakoffs-take-on-rent

  23. @Anonymous
    $2,500 is nothing. Apparently Trump offered $10,000 for sex:

    "Woman Says Trump Sexually Assaulted Her, Offered Her $10,000 For Sex"

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jessica-drake-donald-trump-assault_us_580bde7ae4b000d0b157203c

    Adult film star Jessica Drake on Saturday became the 12th woman in recent weeks to allege that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sexually mistreated her.
    ...

    “He was wearing pajamas,” she said, and added that there was a bodyguard in the room. “He asked me about being an adult film star, details about shooting porn, and asked about our personal relationships and whether we were married or single.”
     

    Well, Jessica Drake is 5’8, which gives her a definite edge over Mexican dwarf Salma Hayek (5’1.5).Still, 10,000 seems a bit steep.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Wikipedia says, "Jessica Drake (born October 14, 1974) is the stage name of an American pornographic actress and sex educator."

    Wow, who knew that getting boinked on camera for a living was a ticket into becoming an "educator". And here my niece went to school for five years!

    , @Daniel H
    >> definite edge over Mexican dwarf Salma Hayek (5’1.5).Still, 10,000 seems a bit steep.

    Ha, ha, dwarf Salma Hayek. I got a thing for tiny Latina spitfires, a lot of other dudes have it too. For years I have had this business idea of setting up a boutique in Manhattan for ladies of stature 5 foot 3 or less. Shoes, bespoke couture, hats, gloves, accessories, Madison avenue, the works .... staff it with old guinea or gay tailors and salesman, have an adjoining cafe, wine bar for brunch lunch and early dinner and charge stratospheric, unconscionable prices for the wares. The ladies will come, and the well heeled, stuffed to the gills suitors will follow. No need to advertise, they will just turn their beaks to the air and sniff the prey. If I were a businessman I could make millions off of this idea.
  24. @kihowi
    If a broadway musical "broadens your horizons" you are a pathetic specimen.

    I agree. If anything they appeal to the low attention span sort of crowd that is confused and bored by more traditional plays and scared of books.

    Sort of live action cartoons for adults with lots of money.

  25. @Lord Jeff Sessions
    https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/123986249827618816

    It's weird how the scores for two sections could be so far apart. 2.5 standard deviations. I'm not sure what to make of that.

    I knew a guy in Grad school who had a similar spread in the GRE: 730 Verbal, 550 Quantitative.Fortunately for him, he was applying to the English Dept.

    • Replies: @Questionator
    How did his career turn out?
    , @The Last Real Calvinist

    I knew a guy in Grad school who had a similar spread in the GRE: 730 Verbal, 550 Quantitative.Fortunately for him, he was applying to the English Dept.

     

    I was in a department with a guy who'd aced the GRE verbal -- a flat 800 -- and, if I recall correctly, was under 500 in math. He just didn't get along with numbers -- got flustered and frustrated trying to deal with them. There was no question about his intelligence, though -- it was obviously very high indeed.
  26. This is why I say: When life throws you lemons, hire a village full of undocumented Hondurans to pick them up, then have two of your butlers high tail it to Trader Joe’s to buy you some lemonade. Because, middle class greed hurts billionaires in need, and source code is rotting in the fields.

    • Replies: @Questionator
    You buy the lemonade. So what do you do with the lemons?
  27. @Lord Jeff Sessions
    His twitter bio is "voten mi gente". Yup, it looks like he's planning ahead. Kirsten Gillibrand is young, but Chuck Schumer can't be around for that more than a couple years (or maybe he can). He's up for election this year, meaning in 2022 there might be an open Senate seat from NY. That seems like a good place to be. He'll be 42, and Schumer will be content knowing he's ushered in indefinite one party rule. Also, Charlie Rangel's 86. If he still lives in Inwood, that wouldn't be a bad entry point.

    Charlie Rangel has retired. Up-Chuck Schumer will be removed from the Senate in a pine box.

    • Replies: @Glossy
    Usually when celebs move into politics, it's after their show biz careers die a natural death. Is Trump a counterexample? Were Apprentice ratings flagging when he decided to run? I don't know.

    But normally a guy who can still hope to star in a hit movie, show or TV program wouldn't go into politics. Think of what Trump told Billie Bush on that bus: "if you're a star, they let you do it". Miranda is still young enough to appreciate that, and whether or not there's another hit in him, he probably thinks that there is.
  28. @Anonymous
    $2,500 is nothing. Apparently Trump offered $10,000 for sex:

    "Woman Says Trump Sexually Assaulted Her, Offered Her $10,000 For Sex"

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jessica-drake-donald-trump-assault_us_580bde7ae4b000d0b157203c

    Adult film star Jessica Drake on Saturday became the 12th woman in recent weeks to allege that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sexually mistreated her.
    ...

    “He was wearing pajamas,” she said, and added that there was a bodyguard in the room. “He asked me about being an adult film star, details about shooting porn, and asked about our personal relationships and whether we were married or single.”
     

    Since I hate waiting

    Well, Jessica Drake is 5’8, which gives her a definite edge over Mexican dwarf Salma Hayek (5’1.5).Still, 10,000 seems a bit steep.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Edge in what? Believability? Do you think Drake's accusation is more credible than Hayek's?
  29. @syonredux

    I think Jefferson and Paine are seen as more left wing icons today for their skepticism of Christianity and their support for the radical egalitarianism of the French Revolution.
     
    Actually, the Left have been shifting away from Jefferson for the last 30 years. The whole slavery thing. He's not quite in the Deplorables bin with Jackson, but he's no longer in good odor.

    The fact that he wanted sodomy to be punished with castration probably doesn’t endear him to the Left either.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    He was sort of a forerunner of the closeted GOP pol who's publicly very opposed to gay rights but privately a major enthusiast in the lifestyle e.g. Larry Craig, Dennis Hastert, Mark Foley, etc. These types really don't endear themselves to the contemporary Left.
  30. “I Paid $2,500 for a ‘Hamilton’ Ticket. I’m Happy About It.”

    Is that a masturbation joke? Get it, he only bought one ticket and there was a happy ending.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veblen_good

    In economics, Veblen goods are types of material commodities for which the demand is proportional to its high price, which is an apparent contradiction of the law of demand; Veblen goods also are commodities that function as positional goods.

    • Replies: @Ivy
    These days, the great unwashed, so far from Manhattan, are becoming more familiar with Giffen Goods.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giffen_good
  31. @Lord Jeff Sessions
    https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/123986249827618816

    It's weird how the scores for two sections could be so far apart. 2.5 standard deviations. I'm not sure what to make of that.

    He was born in 1980, so these are post-1995 numbers. Equivalent to about 125 IQ:

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/12/16/revised-chart-converting-sat-scores-to-iq-equivalents/

    I think it’s rare to score higher on Verbal than on Math. And by so much!

    • Replies: @syonredux

    He was born in 1980, so these are post-1995 numbers. Equivalent to about 125 IQ:

     

    Hey, a PR with a 125 IQ. Surprised that he had to settle for Wesleyan University and not Harvard.
    , @SPMoore8
    I had a similarly large variation in Verbal and Math for both SAT and GRE, but then I practically maxed the verbal. Looking at the chart, it sounds about right. The irony is that I spent most of my working life crunching numbers, which I had to learn on my own, but for which I found a certain aptitude.

    I have to dispute the value of these scores as indicative of brightness or brilliance or whatever you want to call it. The people who maxed these things never struck me as quick witted, rather as extremely earnest and ambitious, and not particularly creative, either. The truly brilliant people I have known tended to be monomaniacs, obsessive compulsive, and quirky.
    , @anonguy

    I think it’s rare to score higher on Verbal than on Math. And by so much!
     
    SAT and GRE both about 1 standard deviation higher on Verbal. Something of a similar offset in other psychometric tests.

    I don't know when a difference in scores between verbal/math becomes significant or of interest. I did always notice it in test results, just figured it meant what it said, I did better on verbal portions of tests than the math/analytic stuff.
    , @snorlax
    I did, but only because I had a perfect score on verbal and a just-shy-of-perfect score on math. (Might as well take a cue from Trump and be a bit braggadocious when the opportunity presents itself).
    , @Hhsiii
    Back in 1981 I got 760 verbal, 540 math originally. I retook it and got 720 math. Only the high score in each gets reported.
  32. @Rob McX
    The fact that he wanted sodomy to be punished with castration probably doesn't endear him to the Left either.

    He was sort of a forerunner of the closeted GOP pol who’s publicly very opposed to gay rights but privately a major enthusiast in the lifestyle e.g. Larry Craig, Dennis Hastert, Mark Foley, etc. These types really don’t endear themselves to the contemporary Left.

  33. @benjaminl
    OT:

    Tomi Lahren in 2020

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/2016-presidential-election/2016/10/22/controversial-fox-news-dallas-tomi-lahren-one-facebooks-loved-hated-women

    She is very good, but, alas, will not be 35 by 2020, but another younger Ann C would be good.

  34. @Marc Zuckurburg
    This is why I say: When life throws you lemons, hire a village full of undocumented Hondurans to pick them up, then have two of your butlers high tail it to Trader Joe's to buy you some lemonade. Because, middle class greed hurts billionaires in need, and source code is rotting in the fields.

    You buy the lemonade. So what do you do with the lemons?

  35. I suppose the nyt paid mankiw 7,500$ for this silly column so he can now afford the tickets.

  36. @syonredux
    I knew a guy in Grad school who had a similar spread in the GRE: 730 Verbal, 550 Quantitative.Fortunately for him, he was applying to the English Dept.

    How did his career turn out?

    • Replies: @syonredux

    How did his career turn out?
     
    Phd. Did his dissertation on the Gothic novel. Got tenure, so he's set for life.
  37. @Hepp
    Miranda tells the story that he just happened to pick up a book on Hamilton. What if he instead picked up a general book on early American history? He could've had them all juking and jiving at the Constitutional Convention, and it could've been just as much of a hit.

    I think Jefferson and Paine are seen as more left wing icons today for their skepticism of Christianity and their support for the radical egalitarianism of the French Revolution. If Miranda had picked them, it would've been seen as having a left wing message. Of course, making all the Founding Fathers into minorities and giving women 50% of the stage time in a play about the founding is not considered political by the types who read National Review. So not having it be Jefferson or Paine allows for a bipartisan embrace.

    Ta-Nehisi Coates as weather-vane: If you are curious about a historical figure’s standing with the Left, just ask yourself “What Would TNC Think?”

  38. @syonredux
    Since I hate waiting

    Well, Jessica Drake is 5’8, which gives her a definite edge over Mexican dwarf Salma Hayek (5’1.5).Still, 10,000 seems a bit steep.

    Edge in what? Believability? Do you think Drake’s accusation is more credible than Hayek’s?

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Edge in what? Believability? Do you think Drake’s accusation is more credible than Hayek’s?
     
    Desirability, dear fellow. 5'8 Anglo vs 5'1.5 swarthy Mexican dwarf. I Still think that 10,000 seems excessive, though. Perhaps Trump was a fan of her work?
  39. @Lugash
    To be sure, most people can’t easily afford paying so much for a few hours of entertainment. That is indeed lamentable. The arts expand our horizons, and in a perfect world, everyone would have the opportunity to see a megahit like “Hamilton.”

    I suppose Lin-Manuel-Miranda and his producers could record the show and let people see it for $10 in movie theaters. But then people like Mankiw wouldn't have such a great way to status signal their wealth, taste, children and busy lifestyle, would they?

    He and they should have to pay people to imbibe their self-serving political propaganda.

  40. @Lord Jeff Sessions
    https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/123986249827618816

    It's weird how the scores for two sections could be so far apart. 2.5 standard deviations. I'm not sure what to make of that.

    I think a lot of the commenters around here have a similar split. I was at the 99th verbal percentile but the ~65th quant percentile on the GRE myself.

    • Replies: @guest
    I don't remember the numbers, but my verbal way, way outscored my math. I assume that's because I'm more naturally talented in that direction, but mostly it's because it had been so damn long since I practiced math. I graduated when I was 25, and hadn't taken any formal math class since College Algebra when I was 19. (There was physics, which was all but a math class, but I can't count that.) I got up to calculus in high school, but wasn't very interested in it.

    I was a humanities major, and to this day I never have taken to math as a discipline, an art, or anything, except as history, which I do find interesting. I can read about Gaussian, but can't think like him.

    Anyway, it was the lag that got me. I remember acing the entrance exam at the college I went to, so I wasn't herded into remedial courses. Had I taken the GRE when I was 18 I would've done much better.

    I had an okay ACT score, not great. My math weighed me down a bit, but I convinced myself that was because I forgot to bring a calculator. True story. My score was good enough that I didn't bother retaking it. I wasn't going to Harvard, in any case. But I sometimes wonder how I would've done at full strength.
  41. @Forbes
    Charlie Rangel has retired. Up-Chuck Schumer will be removed from the Senate in a pine box.

    Usually when celebs move into politics, it’s after their show biz careers die a natural death. Is Trump a counterexample? Were Apprentice ratings flagging when he decided to run? I don’t know.

    But normally a guy who can still hope to star in a hit movie, show or TV program wouldn’t go into politics. Think of what Trump told Billie Bush on that bus: “if you’re a star, they let you do it”. Miranda is still young enough to appreciate that, and whether or not there’s another hit in him, he probably thinks that there is.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    But topping yourself in composing a hit Broadway musical is a tough job.
    , @guest
    Trump's not a standard cebrity, in that he was and is a success in another field. He was also in the entertainment field, and has been a Personality for decades. But you have to think of him as a businessman politician.
  42. @syonredux

    And it’s not some dangerous founding father like Patrick Henry or Thomas Paine, it’s the most pro-plutocratic Founding Father who is suddenly an Honorary Nonwhite.
     
    Unlike our current crop of pro-plutocrats, however, Alexander Hamilton was most decidedly not pro-immigration:

    The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias, and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family.

    “The opinion advanced in the Notes on Virginia is undoubtedly correct, that foreigners will generally be apt to bring with them attachments to the persons they have left behind; to the country of their nativity, and to its particular customs and manners. They will also entertain opinions on government congenial with those under which they have lived; or, if they should be led hither from a preference to ours, how extremely unlikely is it that they will bring with them that temperate love of liberty, so essential to real republicanism? There may, as to particular individuals, and at particular times, be occasional exceptions to these remarks, yet such is the general rule. The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.


    The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another. The permanent effect of such a policy will be, that in times of great public danger there will be always a numerous body of men, of whom there may be just grounds of distrust; the suspicion alone will weaken the strength of the nation, but their force may be actually employed in assisting an invader.
     
    http://thefederalistpapers.org/current-events/alexander-hamilton-and-immigration

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  43. So White guys playing Egyptian Pharaohs in movies is “problematic”, but a bunch of Coloreds playing Hamilton and Co in 2016’s hottest cultural phenomenon is terrific.

    I’m not White, but color me not surprised.

  44. All cast members must be a race other than their race in reality.

    Except high-tenor King George.

    One of Lin-Manuel’s dad’s offices is on B’way and 206, around there anyway. Right in Rangel’s district, soon to be Adriano Espaillat’s. This guy is all about la gente, and the old black ladies in Harlem are Not Happy about it.

    Blacks in NYC were ecstatic that the council and the city itself are no longer majority white. They thought as the established POCs, the spoils would come to them.

    Well, Melissa Mark ( -Viverito, added as an adult, BdB style) is the Speaker of the council, and there are no blacks with a real shot at replacing her. There is no reason to think there will ever be a black Speaker.

    The poor blacks will be the last ones to realize they’ve been bamboozled by the diversity scam, that the ‘POC’ category simply dilutes their own claims. As usual.

  45. @Glossy
    Usually when celebs move into politics, it's after their show biz careers die a natural death. Is Trump a counterexample? Were Apprentice ratings flagging when he decided to run? I don't know.

    But normally a guy who can still hope to star in a hit movie, show or TV program wouldn't go into politics. Think of what Trump told Billie Bush on that bus: "if you're a star, they let you do it". Miranda is still young enough to appreciate that, and whether or not there's another hit in him, he probably thinks that there is.

    But topping yourself in composing a hit Broadway musical is a tough job.

  46. @Glossy
    He was born in 1980, so these are post-1995 numbers. Equivalent to about 125 IQ:

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/12/16/revised-chart-converting-sat-scores-to-iq-equivalents/

    I think it's rare to score higher on Verbal than on Math. And by so much!

    He was born in 1980, so these are post-1995 numbers. Equivalent to about 125 IQ:

    Hey, a PR with a 125 IQ. Surprised that he had to settle for Wesleyan University and not Harvard.

  47. @syonredux
    Well, Jessica Drake is 5'8, which gives her a definite edge over Mexican dwarf Salma Hayek (5'1.5).Still, 10,000 seems a bit steep.

    Wikipedia says, “Jessica Drake (born October 14, 1974) is the stage name of an American pornographic actress and sex educator.”

    Wow, who knew that getting boinked on camera for a living was a ticket into becoming an “educator”. And here my niece went to school for five years!

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Wikipedia says, “Jessica Drake (born October 14, 1974) is the stage name of an American pornographic actress and sex educator.”

    Wow, who knew that getting boinked on camera for a living was a ticket into becoming an “educator”.
     
    Gives new meaning to the phrase "school of hard knocks."
  48. @Anonymous
    $2,500 is nothing. Apparently Trump offered $10,000 for sex:

    "Woman Says Trump Sexually Assaulted Her, Offered Her $10,000 For Sex"

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jessica-drake-donald-trump-assault_us_580bde7ae4b000d0b157203c

    Adult film star Jessica Drake on Saturday became the 12th woman in recent weeks to allege that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sexually mistreated her.
    ...

    “He was wearing pajamas,” she said, and added that there was a bodyguard in the room. “He asked me about being an adult film star, details about shooting porn, and asked about our personal relationships and whether we were married or single.”
     

    Sure. And I bet she bought four tickets to Hamilton with the money.

  49. @Glossy
    He was born in 1980, so these are post-1995 numbers. Equivalent to about 125 IQ:

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/12/16/revised-chart-converting-sat-scores-to-iq-equivalents/

    I think it's rare to score higher on Verbal than on Math. And by so much!

    I had a similarly large variation in Verbal and Math for both SAT and GRE, but then I practically maxed the verbal. Looking at the chart, it sounds about right. The irony is that I spent most of my working life crunching numbers, which I had to learn on my own, but for which I found a certain aptitude.

    I have to dispute the value of these scores as indicative of brightness or brilliance or whatever you want to call it. The people who maxed these things never struck me as quick witted, rather as extremely earnest and ambitious, and not particularly creative, either. The truly brilliant people I have known tended to be monomaniacs, obsessive compulsive, and quirky.

    • Agree: Hail
  50. @Anonymous
    Edge in what? Believability? Do you think Drake's accusation is more credible than Hayek's?

    Edge in what? Believability? Do you think Drake’s accusation is more credible than Hayek’s?

    Desirability, dear fellow. 5’8 Anglo vs 5’1.5 swarthy Mexican dwarf. I Still think that 10,000 seems excessive, though. Perhaps Trump was a fan of her work?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    So based on desirability, are you saying Drake's accusation is believable? Or just more believable than Hayek's? What about the fact that Drake is a porn actress, and Hayek is a regular film actress? Do you think this has any bearing on believability?
  51. @Jim Don Bob
    Wikipedia says, "Jessica Drake (born October 14, 1974) is the stage name of an American pornographic actress and sex educator."

    Wow, who knew that getting boinked on camera for a living was a ticket into becoming an "educator". And here my niece went to school for five years!

    Wikipedia says, “Jessica Drake (born October 14, 1974) is the stage name of an American pornographic actress and sex educator.”

    Wow, who knew that getting boinked on camera for a living was a ticket into becoming an “educator”.

    Gives new meaning to the phrase “school of hard knocks.”

  52. @Questionator
    How did his career turn out?

    How did his career turn out?

    Phd. Did his dissertation on the Gothic novel. Got tenure, so he’s set for life.

    • Replies: @Questionator
    Wow.
  53. Honorary Non-White. The phrase of the Century.

  54. @Anonymous
    $2,500 is nothing. Apparently Trump offered $10,000 for sex:

    "Woman Says Trump Sexually Assaulted Her, Offered Her $10,000 For Sex"

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jessica-drake-donald-trump-assault_us_580bde7ae4b000d0b157203c

    Adult film star Jessica Drake on Saturday became the 12th woman in recent weeks to allege that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sexually mistreated her.
    ...

    “He was wearing pajamas,” she said, and added that there was a bodyguard in the room. “He asked me about being an adult film star, details about shooting porn, and asked about our personal relationships and whether we were married or single.”
     

    Do the Clintons pay twice for multiple Hasbara posts to the same site on the same topic? If not someone is going to be disappointed.

  55. @Steve Sailer
    I hope Lin-Manuel's accountant doesn't find out he's much less intelligent with numbers than with words.

    Miranda almost certainly has a very high IQ. The high school he attended – Hunter College High School – is the most prestigious of all New York City public schools, more selective than Stuyvesant or Bronx Science. Hunter actually uses an IQ test to evaluate those admitted, and the school allows no consideration for race or ethnic background. One has to have a very high IQ score or one doesn’t get admitted.

    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Or...you just have to be the son of a very powerful, very well connected Democrat bigwig in New York. You know, like Miranda's father is.

    That said, Miranda is clearly intelligent: he's filled the role of token-straight-minority-male-"hit"-Broadway writer/start/etc. He managed to bamboozle the rich and powerful to buying ludicrously expensive tickets for a didactic, politically correct high school musical. That's some P.T. Barnum-esque hucksterism and smarts right there.
  56. @syonredux

    How did his career turn out?
     
    Phd. Did his dissertation on the Gothic novel. Got tenure, so he's set for life.

    Wow.

  57. I’d gladly pay $7,500 to see the audience reaction to this Hamilton quote:

    “The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass.”

    I’d pay double if they’d add a scene with John Jay reading Federalist #2 to an approving Alexander Hamilton, and triple if they included the foreign policy section of Washington’s farewell address.

    These globalists who detest Trump’s supporters can only pretend to admire Hamilton because they are willfully ignorant of his nationalism.

  58. @Anonymous
    $2,500 is nothing. Apparently Trump offered $10,000 for sex:

    "Woman Says Trump Sexually Assaulted Her, Offered Her $10,000 For Sex"

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jessica-drake-donald-trump-assault_us_580bde7ae4b000d0b157203c

    Adult film star Jessica Drake on Saturday became the 12th woman in recent weeks to allege that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sexually mistreated her.
    ...

    “He was wearing pajamas,” she said, and added that there was a bodyguard in the room. “He asked me about being an adult film star, details about shooting porn, and asked about our personal relationships and whether we were married or single.”
     

    I’ll admit, when I heard that there was still another woman who has suddenly appeared to accuse Trump of sexually assaulting her, the cynic in me was ready to dismiss her as just another crazy woman of low morals who saw this as her ticket to fame.

    But when I read that she is an adult film star, I realized, what could possibly be my answer to that? What could possibly drive a woman who has achieved such a position to lie? Why would money or notoriety mean anything to someone who has committed her life to the thankless sacrifice of a career as an adult film star?

    You’ve finally convinced me, Anonymous.

    • Replies: @Clyde
    Hey candid_observer, I see you like to lay down voluminous replies here so you have a certain high IQ. Can you be that oblivious that a certain *anonymous* liberal sack o shit likes to haunt iSteve and has already been multi-tagged as a troll today?
  59. Mankiw’s an economist. My guess is that he’s trying to demonstrate the price of convenience with his $2500 tickets. He’s not signaling – he’s just doing what “homo-economicus” species do.

    Yes, it’s odd to spend 5x the face value on a few hours of (very good) entertainment. But irrationality abounds in many populations. I find the tendencies of skilled trades workers to buy $50,000+ for trucks for commuting insane. These are NOT their work trucks, they are their elevated muscle cars. My guess is that Mankiw drives an Accord.

    • Replies: @Clyde

    Mankiw’s an economist. My guess is that he’s trying to demonstrate the price of convenience with his $2500 tickets. He’s not signaling – he’s just doing what “homo-economicus” species do.
     
    Wrong, he is signalling. Never attribute to virtue what you can attribute to malice.
  60. @Glossy
    He was born in 1980, so these are post-1995 numbers. Equivalent to about 125 IQ:

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/12/16/revised-chart-converting-sat-scores-to-iq-equivalents/

    I think it's rare to score higher on Verbal than on Math. And by so much!

    I think it’s rare to score higher on Verbal than on Math. And by so much!

    SAT and GRE both about 1 standard deviation higher on Verbal. Something of a similar offset in other psychometric tests.

    I don’t know when a difference in scores between verbal/math becomes significant or of interest. I did always notice it in test results, just figured it meant what it said, I did better on verbal portions of tests than the math/analytic stuff.

  61. Mankiw isn’t just rich (mostly from his textbook)- he puts enormous energy into trying to defend being rich against the depredations of his Harvard milieu. Of course, most people around him are also rich, to one extent or another, but it’s considered gauche to show it or defend it, while he puts a lot of energy into arguing for a “just deserts” theory of economic outcomes, along with working for lower tax rates as an attache to previous Republican candidates and Presidents.

    Personally, I think high end inequality is less of a problem than is often assumed (working vs upper-middle inequality is a big big deal, but it’s hard to do anything about), so Mankiw doesn’t bother me, but this is part of his larger intellectual project of saying it’s great to be rich. I also think he probably is doing some costly signaling that he isn’t one of -those- types of conservatives by making the outlet for his conspicuous consumption “Hamilton, the Non-White Musical.”

  62. @Glossy
    He was born in 1980, so these are post-1995 numbers. Equivalent to about 125 IQ:

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/12/16/revised-chart-converting-sat-scores-to-iq-equivalents/

    I think it's rare to score higher on Verbal than on Math. And by so much!

    I did, but only because I had a perfect score on verbal and a just-shy-of-perfect score on math. (Might as well take a cue from Trump and be a bit braggadocious when the opportunity presents itself).

    • Replies: @Questionator
    How did your career turn out?
  63. I wonder how much economists are also beholden to the elites. Mankiw is the author of the standard undergraduate economics text called “Principles of Economics”. There are things I question.

    The chapter, “Interdependence and gains from trade” he covers David Ricardo and comparative advantage to show the benefits of specialization. Comparative advantage is described as a parable on a micro level where a rancher specializes in beef and a farmer specializes in potatoes to illustrate the win-win situation for all. This example is extrapolated to the macro level to argue for international trade. He admits that some individuals may be worse off, but both nations always benefit.

    What about the scenario where one nation has an advantage in the production input for all manufacturing such as cheap labor? Isn’t that the only nation that will benefit from trade? This seems to be the big issue not addressed by economists. Charles Munger was not satisfied with the economist that he asked this question.

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2008/03/charlie-munger-ricardo-and-finance.html

    Also in Mankiw’s chapter, “The influence of monetary policy and fiscal policy on aggregate demand” Mankiw introduces the concept of the Multiplier Effect where an example is given in which the government increases spending by $20B and the demand effect on the economy is $80B. I don’t believe it.

  64. iSteve readers are hip to these nefarious liberal trix and know this is a case of virtue signalling and status signalling. In these perilous times Gregory Mankiw (former chairman of GW Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers) must confirm that he is no racist low-brow Trumpster type of racist. No siree Bob. He and the entire family adore ridiculous hip hop musicals and will fork out thousands to see them.
    It took me two minutes on you tube to satisfy my Hamilton curiosity.

  65. @mikeInThe716
    Mankiw's an economist. My guess is that he's trying to demonstrate the price of convenience with his $2500 tickets. He's not signaling - he's just doing what "homo-economicus" species do.

    Yes, it's odd to spend 5x the face value on a few hours of (very good) entertainment. But irrationality abounds in many populations. I find the tendencies of skilled trades workers to buy $50,000+ for trucks for commuting insane. These are NOT their work trucks, they are their elevated muscle cars. My guess is that Mankiw drives an Accord.

    Mankiw’s an economist. My guess is that he’s trying to demonstrate the price of convenience with his $2500 tickets. He’s not signaling – he’s just doing what “homo-economicus” species do.

    Wrong, he is signalling. Never attribute to virtue what you can attribute to malice.

    • Agree: Kylie
  66. @snorlax
    I did, but only because I had a perfect score on verbal and a just-shy-of-perfect score on math. (Might as well take a cue from Trump and be a bit braggadocious when the opportunity presents itself).

    How did your career turn out?

    • Replies: @snorlax
    So far, fine.
  67. @candid_observer
    I'll admit, when I heard that there was still another woman who has suddenly appeared to accuse Trump of sexually assaulting her, the cynic in me was ready to dismiss her as just another crazy woman of low morals who saw this as her ticket to fame.

    But when I read that she is an adult film star, I realized, what could possibly be my answer to that? What could possibly drive a woman who has achieved such a position to lie? Why would money or notoriety mean anything to someone who has committed her life to the thankless sacrifice of a career as an adult film star?

    You've finally convinced me, Anonymous.

    Hey candid_observer, I see you like to lay down voluminous replies here so you have a certain high IQ. Can you be that oblivious that a certain *anonymous* liberal sack o shit likes to haunt iSteve and has already been multi-tagged as a troll today?

  68. I think I’m going to write a play. I’m not quite sure what it’s going to be about, but it’s going to be called, Birth of a Hamilton, Unchained.
    Needless to say, it’s going to be very historically accurate.

  69. @Forbes
    The rock musical Rent (Broadway debut 1996), principally about living with AIDS/HIV, had a very similar vanity-signaling effect on the culture at the time. It was the must-see/hot ticket show for a number a years. It ran for 12 years on Broadway.

    The spoof Lease in Team America: World Police is hilarious.

  70. @George
    "I Paid $2,500 for a ‘Hamilton’ Ticket. I’m Happy About It."

    Is that a masturbation joke? Get it, he only bought one ticket and there was a happy ending.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veblen_good

    In economics, Veblen goods are types of material commodities for which the demand is proportional to its high price, which is an apparent contradiction of the law of demand; Veblen goods also are commodities that function as positional goods.

    These days, the great unwashed, so far from Manhattan, are becoming more familiar with Giffen Goods.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giffen_good

  71. I paid $10 to see Hamilton and I’d say it was about worth it.

  72. Greg Mankiw’s textbook Principles of Economics has become a standard undergraduate economics textbook just as Paul Samuelson’s Economics was a generation ago.

    $348 on Amazon.

    A $280 [$348 now]college textbook busts budgets, but Harvard author Gregory Mankiw defends royalties [$42 million]

    Nothing wrong with that textbook’s price, of course. It’s just economics, just like those Hamilton tickets.

    Greg Mankiw’s blog and occasional op-eds have always seemed to me rather glib and cavalier about actual effects in the economy such as jobs lost overseas and a tad too smug about the correctness of the underlying economics orthodoxy. A sort of troll for plutocrats, if you will. I won’t dig those opinion columns up—instead, here are a couple of links to other internet people’s opinions, for what they’re worth.

    http://economixcomix.com/2015/05/11/greg-mankiw-sux/

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/greg-mankiw-and-one-percent

    • Replies: @Clyde
    I went to your first link where the last paragraph is that Mancow's text book is "pirated". This is true. It is listed on torrent sides at 36mb size.
    , @Bugg
    You would think high school and college textbooks would be a quick and obvious content to be quickly and readily digitized; think again. My kids are still lugging around huge ass textbooks because the industry doesn't want the hard copy textbook to die. And as you recall, the nonsense of new editions every year so last year's textbook is no good and cannot be sold back and bought cheaply by new students. Updating digital textbooks would be way easier. Alas, by design the colleges and the textbook companies don't want to make it cheaper and easier out of self interest.
  73. I wonder how many of these dewy eyed Hamilton-goers are actually listening to the soundtrack later on. Stuff like Le Mis and Miss Saigon was in the tape decks and CD players of volvos and saabs all across America.

  74. I’m thinking of proposing a musical on a true American Icon. A man of integrity, honor, and great intelligence, a masterful teacher, and a man of modesty, family and country. I propose the subject:

    “KING”

    I plan, as genius is wont, to cast the musical with white Anglo-Saxons of the palest hue. True, Martin Luther King, the Reverend, the Saint-in-Waiting, is, alas, black – not ebony black, but a kind of dark chocolate black, so I would, to be true to my vision, cast an albino Irish lad as the shyster orator.

    What could go wrong? I’m sure the financial sector would jump at the opportunity to see the Man of Black glorified in an opera based on melody and singable arias, don’t you think?

    What have I failed to see? What could go wrong?

  75. I am a social democrat who opposed communism. This guy is not on our side.

  76. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    If someone offered me $2500 to sit through Hamilton, I don’t think I could do it unless I had my fingers stuffed in my ears and my eyes shut the whole time. I’ve seen a brief clip of the thing on Youtube, and that was enough. The ethnic cast is a silly lie about history, and I hate rap to the core of my being. The real Hamilton would be retching if he saw the musical about him. Heck, he’d be begging Burr to shoot him and put him out of his misery. Now, if someone gave me 2500 bucks to use as I see fit, I’d invest it, which the real Hamilton would think far more highly of. (But not invest it in market right now, of course.)

  77. @PiltdownMan
    Greg Mankiw's textbook Principles of Economics has become a standard undergraduate economics textbook just as Paul Samuelson's Economics was a generation ago.

    $348 on Amazon.

    A $280 [$348 now]college textbook busts budgets, but Harvard author Gregory Mankiw defends royalties [$42 million]

    Nothing wrong with that textbook's price, of course. It's just economics, just like those Hamilton tickets.

    Greg Mankiw's blog and occasional op-eds have always seemed to me rather glib and cavalier about actual effects in the economy such as jobs lost overseas and a tad too smug about the correctness of the underlying economics orthodoxy. A sort of troll for plutocrats, if you will. I won't dig those opinion columns up—instead, here are a couple of links to other internet people's opinions, for what they're worth.

    http://economixcomix.com/2015/05/11/greg-mankiw-sux/

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/greg-mankiw-and-one-percent

    I went to your first link where the last paragraph is that Mancow’s text book is “pirated”. This is true. It is listed on torrent sides at 36mb size.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    My college going kid says most books are available as torrents.

    The trick that authors and textbook publishers use is to publish problem sets online which are accessible only with a password. To get the password you need to pay up for a new copy of the textbook. Furthermore, some professors make the online problem sets mandatory, so you can't escape buying the latest edition of the textbook and make do with older editions (or a pirated pdf copy.)

  78. @L Woods
    I think a lot of the commenters around here have a similar split. I was at the 99th verbal percentile but the ~65th quant percentile on the GRE myself.

    I don’t remember the numbers, but my verbal way, way outscored my math. I assume that’s because I’m more naturally talented in that direction, but mostly it’s because it had been so damn long since I practiced math. I graduated when I was 25, and hadn’t taken any formal math class since College Algebra when I was 19. (There was physics, which was all but a math class, but I can’t count that.) I got up to calculus in high school, but wasn’t very interested in it.

    I was a humanities major, and to this day I never have taken to math as a discipline, an art, or anything, except as history, which I do find interesting. I can read about Gaussian, but can’t think like him.

    Anyway, it was the lag that got me. I remember acing the entrance exam at the college I went to, so I wasn’t herded into remedial courses. Had I taken the GRE when I was 18 I would’ve done much better.

    I had an okay ACT score, not great. My math weighed me down a bit, but I convinced myself that was because I forgot to bring a calculator. True story. My score was good enough that I didn’t bother retaking it. I wasn’t going to Harvard, in any case. But I sometimes wonder how I would’ve done at full strength.

  79. @Glossy
    Usually when celebs move into politics, it's after their show biz careers die a natural death. Is Trump a counterexample? Were Apprentice ratings flagging when he decided to run? I don't know.

    But normally a guy who can still hope to star in a hit movie, show or TV program wouldn't go into politics. Think of what Trump told Billie Bush on that bus: "if you're a star, they let you do it". Miranda is still young enough to appreciate that, and whether or not there's another hit in him, he probably thinks that there is.

    Trump’s not a standard cebrity, in that he was and is a success in another field. He was also in the entertainment field, and has been a Personality for decades. But you have to think of him as a businessman politician.

  80. @Clyde
    I went to your first link where the last paragraph is that Mancow's text book is "pirated". This is true. It is listed on torrent sides at 36mb size.

    My college going kid says most books are available as torrents.

    The trick that authors and textbook publishers use is to publish problem sets online which are accessible only with a password. To get the password you need to pay up for a new copy of the textbook. Furthermore, some professors make the online problem sets mandatory, so you can’t escape buying the latest edition of the textbook and make do with older editions (or a pirated pdf copy.)

    • Replies: @Clyde
    Thanks. More proof that the educational establishment is highly serious about getting paid.
  81. @Questionator
    How did your career turn out?

    So far, fine.

  82. I have yet to hear, after all this time, a single tune from this “hit musical.” Regular people, not counting Broadway nerds, and the culture at large remain uneffected by this play. It may be good, for all I know. But Cole Porter or Rogers and Hammerstein this is not.

    Broadway, where are thee? You used to appeal to the general audience. What are you now? A tourist stop and a means for the rich and powerful to signal to eachother. You’re like modern art, only less offensive. So far.

    Popular music still exists. I don’t want to, but I accidentally hear music from Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, or whatever. I hear the titles of Broadway plays and sometimes the concept. But not the songs, and almost never the story. How pathetic, that they can’t do as well as the four people I assume crank out the same inane songs, slightly tweaked, and maybe featuring a banjo instead of a ukulele this week because fashion. That’s their competition, and not only are they losing, they’re not even in the game.

    As I’ve asked before, what Broadway composer after Sondheim and Webber has been a household name? I know the Hamilton guy’s name, barely, (mainly because Steve keeps posting about him, but also because I’ve seen him on tv; I think he was on an episode of House, and he kept showing up on Jeopardy!), and can’t tie it to any music. The industry’s in a rut.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @whorefinder

    what Broadway composer after Sondheim and Webber has been a household name
     
    And Sondheim deliberately made tunes that were un-catchy. He was obsessed with making his music as complicated, un-hummable, and ugly as possible.

    Webber gets a lot of grief for lack of sophistication in his musicals, but anyone who's seen Phantom or any of his other hits can sing along---and want to. Webber, like Clint Eastwood, is just picking up $100 bills all the lefty-gays-Jewish-female contingent leave lying on the floor.

    , @Daniel H
    >>I have yet to hear, after all this time, a single tune from this “hit musical.” Regular people, not counting Broadway nerds, and the culture at large remain uneffected by this play. It may be good, for all I know. But Cole Porter or Rogers and Hammerstein this is not

    Broadway musicals suck as popular music. They are only popular with gays and young ladies for a brief period. When was the last time you heard ANY song from a Broadway musical on the radio or on anybody's ipod playlist, 1955? The only Broadway musical song I ever liked was Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns". Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from "West Side Story", "A Chorus Line", "Cats", "Phantom of the Opera" or "Cabaret", can't do it right? Alright, I can probably hum a few bars from "Cabaret", but you get the point. Prole inspired popular music (blues, country and western, rock and roll, folk, cool jazz, R&B, punk, techno, disco, metal, whatever) have completely blown Broadway out of the water. That said, for some reason, many lady's of a certain age know all the lyrics to the "Little Mermaid". That was big thing amongst mothers of the time and they all dragged their young daughters to see the show or movie.
  83. And aren’t we all happy for you, your wife, and son enjoying a $7,500 matinee…

    That’s what you can do if you author a successful college textbook that goes for $250 a copy.
    http://tinyurl.com/mankiwecontext

  84. Miranda’s 760 verbal SAT score puts him about 3 standard deviations above the typical

    Puerto Rican 27,871 Critical Reading 456 104 Math 453 104 Writing 445 101

  85. @Daniel H
    Miranda almost certainly has a very high IQ. The high school he attended - Hunter College High School - is the most prestigious of all New York City public schools, more selective than Stuyvesant or Bronx Science. Hunter actually uses an IQ test to evaluate those admitted, and the school allows no consideration for race or ethnic background. One has to have a very high IQ score or one doesn't get admitted.

    Or…you just have to be the son of a very powerful, very well connected Democrat bigwig in New York. You know, like Miranda’s father is.

    That said, Miranda is clearly intelligent: he’s filled the role of token-straight-minority-male-“hit”-Broadway writer/start/etc. He managed to bamboozle the rich and powerful to buying ludicrously expensive tickets for a didactic, politically correct high school musical. That’s some P.T. Barnum-esque hucksterism and smarts right there.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    Yeah: I thought it really funny at the height of the mania that everyone in respectable Manhattan was falling over themselves to attend what was essentially Schoolhouse Rap Takes Broadway!!
  86. @guest
    I have yet to hear, after all this time, a single tune from this "hit musical." Regular people, not counting Broadway nerds, and the culture at large remain uneffected by this play. It may be good, for all I know. But Cole Porter or Rogers and Hammerstein this is not.

    Broadway, where are thee? You used to appeal to the general audience. What are you now? A tourist stop and a means for the rich and powerful to signal to eachother. You're like modern art, only less offensive. So far.

    Popular music still exists. I don't want to, but I accidentally hear music from Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, or whatever. I hear the titles of Broadway plays and sometimes the concept. But not the songs, and almost never the story. How pathetic, that they can't do as well as the four people I assume crank out the same inane songs, slightly tweaked, and maybe featuring a banjo instead of a ukulele this week because fashion. That's their competition, and not only are they losing, they're not even in the game.

    As I've asked before, what Broadway composer after Sondheim and Webber has been a household name? I know the Hamilton guy's name, barely, (mainly because Steve keeps posting about him, but also because I've seen him on tv; I think he was on an episode of House, and he kept showing up on Jeopardy!), and can't tie it to any music. The industry's in a rut.

    what Broadway composer after Sondheim and Webber has been a household name

    And Sondheim deliberately made tunes that were un-catchy. He was obsessed with making his music as complicated, un-hummable, and ugly as possible.

    Webber gets a lot of grief for lack of sophistication in his musicals, but anyone who’s seen Phantom or any of his other hits can sing along—and want to. Webber, like Clint Eastwood, is just picking up $100 bills all the lefty-gays-Jewish-female contingent leave lying on the floor.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Sondheim is a little like Arnold Schoenberg. A super sophisticated composer (his best friend's dad was Oscar Hammerstein II) who tried to push the art form forward. It turns out he went too far, unfortunately, but I'm not going to hold it against him that he tried.
  87. @PiltdownMan
    My college going kid says most books are available as torrents.

    The trick that authors and textbook publishers use is to publish problem sets online which are accessible only with a password. To get the password you need to pay up for a new copy of the textbook. Furthermore, some professors make the online problem sets mandatory, so you can't escape buying the latest edition of the textbook and make do with older editions (or a pirated pdf copy.)

    Thanks. More proof that the educational establishment is highly serious about getting paid.

  88. @guest
    I have yet to hear, after all this time, a single tune from this "hit musical." Regular people, not counting Broadway nerds, and the culture at large remain uneffected by this play. It may be good, for all I know. But Cole Porter or Rogers and Hammerstein this is not.

    Broadway, where are thee? You used to appeal to the general audience. What are you now? A tourist stop and a means for the rich and powerful to signal to eachother. You're like modern art, only less offensive. So far.

    Popular music still exists. I don't want to, but I accidentally hear music from Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, or whatever. I hear the titles of Broadway plays and sometimes the concept. But not the songs, and almost never the story. How pathetic, that they can't do as well as the four people I assume crank out the same inane songs, slightly tweaked, and maybe featuring a banjo instead of a ukulele this week because fashion. That's their competition, and not only are they losing, they're not even in the game.

    As I've asked before, what Broadway composer after Sondheim and Webber has been a household name? I know the Hamilton guy's name, barely, (mainly because Steve keeps posting about him, but also because I've seen him on tv; I think he was on an episode of House, and he kept showing up on Jeopardy!), and can't tie it to any music. The industry's in a rut.

    >>I have yet to hear, after all this time, a single tune from this “hit musical.” Regular people, not counting Broadway nerds, and the culture at large remain uneffected by this play. It may be good, for all I know. But Cole Porter or Rogers and Hammerstein this is not

    Broadway musicals suck as popular music. They are only popular with gays and young ladies for a brief period. When was the last time you heard ANY song from a Broadway musical on the radio or on anybody’s ipod playlist, 1955? The only Broadway musical song I ever liked was Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns”. Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from “West Side Story”, “A Chorus Line”, “Cats”, “Phantom of the Opera” or “Cabaret”, can’t do it right? Alright, I can probably hum a few bars from “Cabaret”, but you get the point. Prole inspired popular music (blues, country and western, rock and roll, folk, cool jazz, R&B, punk, techno, disco, metal, whatever) have completely blown Broadway out of the water. That said, for some reason, many lady’s of a certain age know all the lyrics to the “Little Mermaid”. That was big thing amongst mothers of the time and they all dragged their young daughters to see the show or movie.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from “West Side Story”, “A Chorus Line”, “Cats”, “Phantom of the Opera” or “Cabaret”,

    All those musicals have at least one really good song, and West Side Story has many.

    What wrecked Broadway musicals was the rise of rock / electric guitars, which made it hard to hear the lyrics and wasn't as good a style for complex songs. Before rock, there weren't any real boundaries between Broadway and hit songs. The Bob Dylan Revolution, in which songwriters had to become performing stars or be considered inauthentic, really hurt the profession of songwriting.

    In this century, with the huge decline in crime in NYC, Broadway has done very well for itself economically: The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked have all made a billion dollar box office on Broadway alone, and billions more around the world. On the other hand, Broadway tends to sell itself these days on ultra-professional show biz razzmatazz rather than on the songs.

    You can see the decline in songwriting in movies. If you go back far enough, producers could simply assign somebody to compose a catchy tune for a movie with confidence that the appropriate song would be produced. But now it's very fraught whether a movie can come up with a single good song.

    Broadway and Hollywood had been interrelated, with the movies providing a decent living to composers like Frank Loesser (who sold Baby It's Cold Outside to MGM in 1948), while they worked on their Broadway masterpieces (Guys and Dolls, 1950).

    , @guest
    I agree, the 70s, for instance, were a long way from the days of dominating the Hit Parade. But come on. Today's Broadway is a whole other story. Most people have heard of Marvin Hamlisch, for instance, and for good reason. There's no comparison to now, when the gulf between regular people and Broadway is vast enough to swallow up whole continents.

    I am no theater nerd, but I can easily name songs from the plays you mentioned: Maria, America, Somewhere, Tonight, I Feel Pretty, One, What I Did for Love, Mr. Mestopholes, Memory, The Phantom of the Opera, All I Ask of You, Masquerade, Music of the Night, Cabaret, The Future Belongs to Us.

    I don't know when the turnaround date was, but your '55 may be right. Broadway was a much, much bigger deal in popular music earlier in the century. In fact, it was at one time *the* source for mass popular song. It wasn't just rock and roll that killed it. Broadway lost itself in seeking something other than pandering to the ordinary mass audience. I don't know if it's because they wanted to be a serious art form, or because the New York Jews and homos who always ran it forgot about middle America and started openly making plays for themselves alone to enjoy. That seems to have happened in all of our major artforms last century.

    I prefer Rogers and Hart to Rogers and Hammerstein, easily, because the former is easier. That Leonard Bernstein is pretentious goes without saying. Sondheim is, too. But there's a world of difference between that and what's happening now. There were hit Sondheim songs. Marvin Hamlisch was a mainstream composer. West Side Story is chockfull of well known songs. Today's Broadway is for no one.

    Scratch that. Half of Broadway is for no one. The other half is a nostalgia money machine. There is the original material, which no one outside of theater nerds and the culturati care about. Then there are the reviews of previously available material, like Jersey Boys or Mama Mia, or the adaptations of movies, like every Disney film from my childhood. People are aware of those.
    , @guest
    Broadway music is prole music, too. It derives from jazz, and not the high-falutin' Duke Ellington-type jazz, either. There's a stereotypical Broadway style that seems like a genre unto its own. And maybe it is; it has been over a hundred years by now that it's been in mass culture. You get the sort of effect from that you might expect from trying to turn dubstep, for instance, into a commercial jingle.

    The Little Mermaid, by the way, was deliberately made to resemble a musical by producer/lyricist Howard Ashman. Prior to that, they were dumping Billy Joel and Huey Lewis songs into Oliver and Company, for instance. He thought it would be better to incorporate them into the storyline,and give them emotional heft. And blammo, you have your second golden age of Disney, or whatever they call it.

    , @SPMoore8
    Oh, I missed another music thread ...... "Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from “West Side Story”" -- I could sing and/or hum them all.

    It's true that musicals are not the thing they used to be. But, around Xmas time (I'm using that form deliberately to emphasize the commercial holiday), you are certain to hear any number of tunes from the "Sound of Music" which came out in 1961.

    What killed the musical? Basically the fact that pop music after R&R got very heavy on the persistent rhythm and that tends to detract from the ability to articulate a melody. Nowadays, B'way shows pipe in much, if not all, of their scores, through loudspeakers and it's no coincidence that so many of the those shows feature jacked up pop songs from the '60's and '70's with strong beats (usually achieved techno pop style these days.)

    The pop songs for most of the 20th Century also had "prole" roots, if you want to call it that, being rooted in ragtime and pop songs written based on folk idioms. Early Broadway shows a particularly heavy debt to Scottish and Irish folk melody and ethos, if you listen to Broadway recordings from 100, 120 years ago that's obvious, just the four square nature of the melodies, rhythm. Then mostly Jewish composers extended that into ragtime and beyond. (In that respect, think of what Aaron Copland did with American and particularly Scotch Irish idioms in his ballets).

    I myself like a good melody. However, I cannot write a good melody without consciously or unconsciously cribbing a sequence from the enormous body of Western music, classical or popular. But the sign of a great composer is that they can write pleasing and memorable tunes and tune sequences that sound well in any medium (not talking profundity, that's something else.) Sondheim's greatest flaw is that he he just can't write good tunes. Rodgers could. Bernstein could. The distinctive "classical" composers could. But not Sondheim. I don't see how that ties to Schoenberg, at all.

    Now I'm off to teach a lark how to pray ......
  89. @whorefinder

    what Broadway composer after Sondheim and Webber has been a household name
     
    And Sondheim deliberately made tunes that were un-catchy. He was obsessed with making his music as complicated, un-hummable, and ugly as possible.

    Webber gets a lot of grief for lack of sophistication in his musicals, but anyone who's seen Phantom or any of his other hits can sing along---and want to. Webber, like Clint Eastwood, is just picking up $100 bills all the lefty-gays-Jewish-female contingent leave lying on the floor.

    Sondheim is a little like Arnold Schoenberg. A super sophisticated composer (his best friend’s dad was Oscar Hammerstein II) who tried to push the art form forward. It turns out he went too far, unfortunately, but I’m not going to hold it against him that he tried.

    • Replies: @Cryptogenic
    If you are interested in formal experimentation in music, Schoenberg is a treat. His serialism or 12-tone technique was, for better or worse (I say better), probably the chief development of music in the 20th century.

    He was an interesting painter too: http://www.gseart.com/Artists-Gallery/Schoenberg-Arnold/Schoenberg-Arnold-Biography.php

    , @guest
    Very little. Sondheim is merely frustrating to me. Schoenberg may have been the devil. I'm not just saying that because Thomas Mann had a character based on him making a deal with the devil (or fever dreaming about doing so; I'm not sure).

    I can't remember a single bar from Sweeney Todd, though I sat through that horribly depressing movie, aside from that Joanna song and the "I will have vengeance" part. But he did wright palatable tunes. Send in the Clowns everybody knows. There's Broadway Baby. I liked Sooner or Later from the Dick Tracy movie.
  90. @Daniel H
    >>I have yet to hear, after all this time, a single tune from this “hit musical.” Regular people, not counting Broadway nerds, and the culture at large remain uneffected by this play. It may be good, for all I know. But Cole Porter or Rogers and Hammerstein this is not

    Broadway musicals suck as popular music. They are only popular with gays and young ladies for a brief period. When was the last time you heard ANY song from a Broadway musical on the radio or on anybody's ipod playlist, 1955? The only Broadway musical song I ever liked was Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns". Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from "West Side Story", "A Chorus Line", "Cats", "Phantom of the Opera" or "Cabaret", can't do it right? Alright, I can probably hum a few bars from "Cabaret", but you get the point. Prole inspired popular music (blues, country and western, rock and roll, folk, cool jazz, R&B, punk, techno, disco, metal, whatever) have completely blown Broadway out of the water. That said, for some reason, many lady's of a certain age know all the lyrics to the "Little Mermaid". That was big thing amongst mothers of the time and they all dragged their young daughters to see the show or movie.

    Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from “West Side Story”, “A Chorus Line”, “Cats”, “Phantom of the Opera” or “Cabaret”,

    All those musicals have at least one really good song, and West Side Story has many.

    What wrecked Broadway musicals was the rise of rock / electric guitars, which made it hard to hear the lyrics and wasn’t as good a style for complex songs. Before rock, there weren’t any real boundaries between Broadway and hit songs. The Bob Dylan Revolution, in which songwriters had to become performing stars or be considered inauthentic, really hurt the profession of songwriting.

    In this century, with the huge decline in crime in NYC, Broadway has done very well for itself economically: The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked have all made a billion dollar box office on Broadway alone, and billions more around the world. On the other hand, Broadway tends to sell itself these days on ultra-professional show biz razzmatazz rather than on the songs.

    You can see the decline in songwriting in movies. If you go back far enough, producers could simply assign somebody to compose a catchy tune for a movie with confidence that the appropriate song would be produced. But now it’s very fraught whether a movie can come up with a single good song.

    Broadway and Hollywood had been interrelated, with the movies providing a decent living to composers like Frank Loesser (who sold Baby It’s Cold Outside to MGM in 1948), while they worked on their Broadway masterpieces (Guys and Dolls, 1950).

    • Replies: @guest
    That's like saying Hollywood sells itself on CGI effects instead of story. Well, yes, but that's either because they can't write stories anyone cares about, or because they can't figure out how to do so for both smart and stupid people at the sane time, or Americans and Chinese at the same time.

    Broadway would LOVE to have hit songs. More to sell. If they hype the razzmatazz, it's by default.
    , @guest
    I was looking at the nominees for the Best Song Oscar recently from 1984, don't ask me why, and it was hit after hit, and songs that are still well known. I Just Called to Say I Love You, Footloose, Let's Hear It for the Boys, Against All Odds, and Ghostbusters.

    I don't see any reason why they couldn't just plop songs that are going to be hits anyway into movies. Writing ones that go with the story and fit in thematically may be difficult. Sticking a hit song on the soundtrack shouldn't.

    , @MC
    "If you go back far enough, producers could simply assign somebody to compose a catchy tune for a movie with confidence that the appropriate song would be produced."

    Just last night I watched "The Pink Panther" for the first time. I knew Henry Mancini had done the theme song, but I had no idea that "It Had Better Be Tonight" was written for that movie.
  91. @syonredux
    I knew a guy in Grad school who had a similar spread in the GRE: 730 Verbal, 550 Quantitative.Fortunately for him, he was applying to the English Dept.

    I knew a guy in Grad school who had a similar spread in the GRE: 730 Verbal, 550 Quantitative.Fortunately for him, he was applying to the English Dept.

    I was in a department with a guy who’d aced the GRE verbal — a flat 800 — and, if I recall correctly, was under 500 in math. He just didn’t get along with numbers — got flustered and frustrated trying to deal with them. There was no question about his intelligence, though — it was obviously very high indeed.

  92. A couple of points.

    Could you imagine the headline if he payed the money and didn’t like the show. If I paid that much money I couldn’t imagine not liking the show. It would look like I swindled myself. He is bragging a bit with the article but the truly in crowd is getting in closer to face value because they have connections that Mankiw doesn’t have I suppose. I think his purchase is actually easier to defend then someone paying that much to attend the World Series. I believe the games are televised and it is going to be chilly.

  93. Very perceptive point about rock guitar and Broadway musicals. I may be wrong but Marvin Hamlisch may have been among the last composers in the old style who could move easily between Broadway and Hollywood.

    The introduction of a rock style to Broadway by the musical Hair caused quite a sensation in the late Sixties (so did it’s nudity, but that’s a different story) but the songs are almost completely forgotten now. That is because, as Steve rightly points out, the lyrics and melodies were necessarily limited by the choice of amplified guitar. The numbers depended on the then new “rock sound” for impact. To a lesser extent, that’s true also of Jesus Christ Superstar, which followed two years later.

    Andrew Lloyd Webber then picked up on the public’s appetite for somewhat dumbed down musicals that depended on the rock sound—power chords and percussion—to create audience excitement. He added lights and modern dance inspired choreography to create a formula, and made a fortune. True, there are a handful of good songs in his musicals, but few that you can whistle, and almost none with truly memorable lyrics.

    Today, a generation after Hair, audience standards for musicals are quite low. There’s talent out there, and it results in the occasional song that’s very good, but these days, no theater-goer catches himself humming catchy, witty, new show songs six months or a year later. The so-called Great American Song Book is basically frozen in time.

    IMHO.

    • Replies: @guest
    This ignores the loads and loads of acoustical rock hits. Broadway isn't made for the likes of James Taylor, but there could've been an analogue in that world.

    They weren't trying hard enough, I believe. There also could've been more Marvin Hamlisches. Those people have gotta be out there. But somewhere along the way Broadway lost its vision for itself as repository of popular song.

    Popular culture as whole lost the idea of popular song, as well. Rock and roll started out as a dance genre, but it quickly became our primary venue for song. But it fulfilled that role disastrously. You had those who were capable but got distracted by innovations in recording techniques, like the Beach Boys and the Beatles. Then there were all the genres I consider anti-song, like heavy metal, punk, hip-hop, etc.

    They even messed up folk. Bob Dylan, those people's god, is not exactly un-singable. There have been many good covers of his tunes. But he obviously wasn't trying very hard to write new This Land Is Your Lands.

  94. @Glossy
    He was born in 1980, so these are post-1995 numbers. Equivalent to about 125 IQ:

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/12/16/revised-chart-converting-sat-scores-to-iq-equivalents/

    I think it's rare to score higher on Verbal than on Math. And by so much!

    Back in 1981 I got 760 verbal, 540 math originally. I retook it and got 720 math. Only the high score in each gets reported.

  95. Steve’s been pointing this out for sometime, but what’s new about the virtue signalling by people on the Left, such as those who let you know they have seen Hamilton, is the luxury good (Veblen good) aspect of the virtue signal. The more that the Left elite and the plutocracy become indistinguishable, the more that “doing the good and moral thing” will be re-positioned as a class marker and Veblen good. To some extent this has been going on a long time. Philanthropy has been both a Veblen good and a virtue signal since the dawn of civilization.

    But increasingly, being able to afford the symbols of virtue (such as Hamilton tickets) and being virtuous will become redefined as the same thing. Getting rich will become the entry ticket to being able to do good, as redefined.

    The everyday virtues of the rest of us—honesty, truthfulness, kindness, generosity and egalitarianism—will be devalued as being irrelevant. That’s the moral world that the Clintons have been busy creating all their lives. And all their hypocritical wealth accumulating acolytes on the Left will be busy doing the same. I have a hunch that Barack Obama has exactly the right kind of smug personality needed to follow in their footsteps, after January 20th.

    PS: I understand Greg Mankiw is on the Right and doesn’t quite fit my tentative little hypothesis. I’m not talking about him.

  96. @syonredux
    Well, Jessica Drake is 5'8, which gives her a definite edge over Mexican dwarf Salma Hayek (5'1.5).Still, 10,000 seems a bit steep.

    >> definite edge over Mexican dwarf Salma Hayek (5’1.5).Still, 10,000 seems a bit steep.

    Ha, ha, dwarf Salma Hayek. I got a thing for tiny Latina spitfires, a lot of other dudes have it too. For years I have had this business idea of setting up a boutique in Manhattan for ladies of stature 5 foot 3 or less. Shoes, bespoke couture, hats, gloves, accessories, Madison avenue, the works …. staff it with old guinea or gay tailors and salesman, have an adjoining cafe, wine bar for brunch lunch and early dinner and charge stratospheric, unconscionable prices for the wares. The ladies will come, and the well heeled, stuffed to the gills suitors will follow. No need to advertise, they will just turn their beaks to the air and sniff the prey. If I were a businessman I could make millions off of this idea.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    . I got a thing for tiny Latina spitfires, a lot of other dudes have it too.
     
    I don't. I prefer Anglo girls.
  97. Musicals, ALL musicals, are idiotic. Broadway is stupid. Show tunes are stupid. The aura of “magic” surrounding it is infantile.

    Everything and everyone associated with any sort of musical is [insert vicious adjective here].

    • Replies: @guest
    "Broadway is stupid"

    So? Hard not to be when you're for everyone. Because most people are stupid.

    I'd rather listen to stupid music than Schoenberg, which sounds like nothing to me. His music is purely destructive, and I believe no one cares for it for musical or even broadly aesthetic reasons. It's not any better than the nonsense of John Cage.

    Give me Tea for Two any day.

    , @vinteuil
    West Side Story is at least a hundred times more worth a listen than Moses & Aron.
  98. @Steve Sailer
    Sondheim is a little like Arnold Schoenberg. A super sophisticated composer (his best friend's dad was Oscar Hammerstein II) who tried to push the art form forward. It turns out he went too far, unfortunately, but I'm not going to hold it against him that he tried.

    If you are interested in formal experimentation in music, Schoenberg is a treat. His serialism or 12-tone technique was, for better or worse (I say better), probably the chief development of music in the 20th century.

    He was an interesting painter too: http://www.gseart.com/Artists-Gallery/Schoenberg-Arnold/Schoenberg-Arnold-Biography.php

    • Replies: @benjaminl
    Arnold's son Ronald named his son Randol. Like a tone row! I wonder if they moved in similar social circles as fellow SoCal Jewish Nazi refugee families as that of Otto Kaus (Stephen and Mickey).

    Back then SoCal got a higher class of immigrant.
    , @vinteuil
    Schoenberg, and the Schoenberg cult, was the greatest disaster ever to befall Western music.

    Serialism was foolish in theory and endlessly ugly & dull in practice.

    Shall we go into the details of the theory? Would that interest you?
  99. @syonredux

    Edge in what? Believability? Do you think Drake’s accusation is more credible than Hayek’s?
     
    Desirability, dear fellow. 5'8 Anglo vs 5'1.5 swarthy Mexican dwarf. I Still think that 10,000 seems excessive, though. Perhaps Trump was a fan of her work?

    So based on desirability, are you saying Drake’s accusation is believable? Or just more believable than Hayek’s? What about the fact that Drake is a porn actress, and Hayek is a regular film actress? Do you think this has any bearing on believability?

    • Replies: @syonredux

    So based on desirability, are you saying Drake’s accusation is believable? Or just more believable than Hayek’s?
     
    More believable than Salma's. Which isn't much.

    What about the fact that Drake is a porn actress, and Hayek is a regular film actress? Do you think this has any bearing on believability?
     
    Mexican actress vs Anglo porn performer? Something of a wash.
  100. @Daniel H
    >>I have yet to hear, after all this time, a single tune from this “hit musical.” Regular people, not counting Broadway nerds, and the culture at large remain uneffected by this play. It may be good, for all I know. But Cole Porter or Rogers and Hammerstein this is not

    Broadway musicals suck as popular music. They are only popular with gays and young ladies for a brief period. When was the last time you heard ANY song from a Broadway musical on the radio or on anybody's ipod playlist, 1955? The only Broadway musical song I ever liked was Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns". Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from "West Side Story", "A Chorus Line", "Cats", "Phantom of the Opera" or "Cabaret", can't do it right? Alright, I can probably hum a few bars from "Cabaret", but you get the point. Prole inspired popular music (blues, country and western, rock and roll, folk, cool jazz, R&B, punk, techno, disco, metal, whatever) have completely blown Broadway out of the water. That said, for some reason, many lady's of a certain age know all the lyrics to the "Little Mermaid". That was big thing amongst mothers of the time and they all dragged their young daughters to see the show or movie.

    I agree, the 70s, for instance, were a long way from the days of dominating the Hit Parade. But come on. Today’s Broadway is a whole other story. Most people have heard of Marvin Hamlisch, for instance, and for good reason. There’s no comparison to now, when the gulf between regular people and Broadway is vast enough to swallow up whole continents.

    I am no theater nerd, but I can easily name songs from the plays you mentioned: Maria, America, Somewhere, Tonight, I Feel Pretty, One, What I Did for Love, Mr. Mestopholes, Memory, The Phantom of the Opera, All I Ask of You, Masquerade, Music of the Night, Cabaret, The Future Belongs to Us.

    I don’t know when the turnaround date was, but your ’55 may be right. Broadway was a much, much bigger deal in popular music earlier in the century. In fact, it was at one time *the* source for mass popular song. It wasn’t just rock and roll that killed it. Broadway lost itself in seeking something other than pandering to the ordinary mass audience. I don’t know if it’s because they wanted to be a serious art form, or because the New York Jews and homos who always ran it forgot about middle America and started openly making plays for themselves alone to enjoy. That seems to have happened in all of our major artforms last century.

    I prefer Rogers and Hart to Rogers and Hammerstein, easily, because the former is easier. That Leonard Bernstein is pretentious goes without saying. Sondheim is, too. But there’s a world of difference between that and what’s happening now. There were hit Sondheim songs. Marvin Hamlisch was a mainstream composer. West Side Story is chockfull of well known songs. Today’s Broadway is for no one.

    Scratch that. Half of Broadway is for no one. The other half is a nostalgia money machine. There is the original material, which no one outside of theater nerds and the culturati care about. Then there are the reviews of previously available material, like Jersey Boys or Mama Mia, or the adaptations of movies, like every Disney film from my childhood. People are aware of those.

  101. @Anonymous
    So based on desirability, are you saying Drake's accusation is believable? Or just more believable than Hayek's? What about the fact that Drake is a porn actress, and Hayek is a regular film actress? Do you think this has any bearing on believability?

    So based on desirability, are you saying Drake’s accusation is believable? Or just more believable than Hayek’s?

    More believable than Salma’s. Which isn’t much.

    What about the fact that Drake is a porn actress, and Hayek is a regular film actress? Do you think this has any bearing on believability?

    Mexican actress vs Anglo porn performer? Something of a wash.

  102. @Daniel H
    >> definite edge over Mexican dwarf Salma Hayek (5’1.5).Still, 10,000 seems a bit steep.

    Ha, ha, dwarf Salma Hayek. I got a thing for tiny Latina spitfires, a lot of other dudes have it too. For years I have had this business idea of setting up a boutique in Manhattan for ladies of stature 5 foot 3 or less. Shoes, bespoke couture, hats, gloves, accessories, Madison avenue, the works .... staff it with old guinea or gay tailors and salesman, have an adjoining cafe, wine bar for brunch lunch and early dinner and charge stratospheric, unconscionable prices for the wares. The ladies will come, and the well heeled, stuffed to the gills suitors will follow. No need to advertise, they will just turn their beaks to the air and sniff the prey. If I were a businessman I could make millions off of this idea.

    . I got a thing for tiny Latina spitfires, a lot of other dudes have it too.

    I don’t. I prefer Anglo girls.

  103. @Steve Sailer
    Sondheim is a little like Arnold Schoenberg. A super sophisticated composer (his best friend's dad was Oscar Hammerstein II) who tried to push the art form forward. It turns out he went too far, unfortunately, but I'm not going to hold it against him that he tried.

    Very little. Sondheim is merely frustrating to me. Schoenberg may have been the devil. I’m not just saying that because Thomas Mann had a character based on him making a deal with the devil (or fever dreaming about doing so; I’m not sure).

    I can’t remember a single bar from Sweeney Todd, though I sat through that horribly depressing movie, aside from that Joanna song and the “I will have vengeance” part. But he did wright palatable tunes. Send in the Clowns everybody knows. There’s Broadway Baby. I liked Sooner or Later from the Dick Tracy movie.

  104. @Daniel H
    >>I have yet to hear, after all this time, a single tune from this “hit musical.” Regular people, not counting Broadway nerds, and the culture at large remain uneffected by this play. It may be good, for all I know. But Cole Porter or Rogers and Hammerstein this is not

    Broadway musicals suck as popular music. They are only popular with gays and young ladies for a brief period. When was the last time you heard ANY song from a Broadway musical on the radio or on anybody's ipod playlist, 1955? The only Broadway musical song I ever liked was Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns". Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from "West Side Story", "A Chorus Line", "Cats", "Phantom of the Opera" or "Cabaret", can't do it right? Alright, I can probably hum a few bars from "Cabaret", but you get the point. Prole inspired popular music (blues, country and western, rock and roll, folk, cool jazz, R&B, punk, techno, disco, metal, whatever) have completely blown Broadway out of the water. That said, for some reason, many lady's of a certain age know all the lyrics to the "Little Mermaid". That was big thing amongst mothers of the time and they all dragged their young daughters to see the show or movie.

    Broadway music is prole music, too. It derives from jazz, and not the high-falutin’ Duke Ellington-type jazz, either. There’s a stereotypical Broadway style that seems like a genre unto its own. And maybe it is; it has been over a hundred years by now that it’s been in mass culture. You get the sort of effect from that you might expect from trying to turn dubstep, for instance, into a commercial jingle.

    The Little Mermaid, by the way, was deliberately made to resemble a musical by producer/lyricist Howard Ashman. Prior to that, they were dumping Billy Joel and Huey Lewis songs into Oliver and Company, for instance. He thought it would be better to incorporate them into the storyline,and give them emotional heft. And blammo, you have your second golden age of Disney, or whatever they call it.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    The Little Mermaid, by the way, was deliberately made to resemble a musical by producer/lyricist Howard Ashman. Prior to that, they were dumping Billy Joel and Huey Lewis songs into Oliver and Company, for instance. He thought it would be better to incorporate them into the storyline,and give them emotional heft. And blammo, you have your second golden age of Disney, or whatever they call it.

     

    I wonder if the seeming resurgence of middlebrow interest in Broadway signals a desire to get quite specifically beyond Disney. Twenty to thirty years ago a trip to Disneyworld was a big deal for my middle-class, midwestern peers. Now it's old hat -- even, well, not embarrassing, exactly, but maybe something you'd announce in an offhand remark rather than a big feature FB post. Spending (and, as we discussed in a thread earlier this year, this means SPENDING) a week in NYC seeing shows looks a whole lot better.
  105. @Steve Sailer
    Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from “West Side Story”, “A Chorus Line”, “Cats”, “Phantom of the Opera” or “Cabaret”,

    All those musicals have at least one really good song, and West Side Story has many.

    What wrecked Broadway musicals was the rise of rock / electric guitars, which made it hard to hear the lyrics and wasn't as good a style for complex songs. Before rock, there weren't any real boundaries between Broadway and hit songs. The Bob Dylan Revolution, in which songwriters had to become performing stars or be considered inauthentic, really hurt the profession of songwriting.

    In this century, with the huge decline in crime in NYC, Broadway has done very well for itself economically: The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked have all made a billion dollar box office on Broadway alone, and billions more around the world. On the other hand, Broadway tends to sell itself these days on ultra-professional show biz razzmatazz rather than on the songs.

    You can see the decline in songwriting in movies. If you go back far enough, producers could simply assign somebody to compose a catchy tune for a movie with confidence that the appropriate song would be produced. But now it's very fraught whether a movie can come up with a single good song.

    Broadway and Hollywood had been interrelated, with the movies providing a decent living to composers like Frank Loesser (who sold Baby It's Cold Outside to MGM in 1948), while they worked on their Broadway masterpieces (Guys and Dolls, 1950).

    That’s like saying Hollywood sells itself on CGI effects instead of story. Well, yes, but that’s either because they can’t write stories anyone cares about, or because they can’t figure out how to do so for both smart and stupid people at the sane time, or Americans and Chinese at the same time.

    Broadway would LOVE to have hit songs. More to sell. If they hype the razzmatazz, it’s by default.

  106. @Cryptogenic
    Musicals, ALL musicals, are idiotic. Broadway is stupid. Show tunes are stupid. The aura of "magic" surrounding it is infantile.

    Everything and everyone associated with any sort of musical is [insert vicious adjective here].

    “Broadway is stupid”

    So? Hard not to be when you’re for everyone. Because most people are stupid.

    I’d rather listen to stupid music than Schoenberg, which sounds like nothing to me. His music is purely destructive, and I believe no one cares for it for musical or even broadly aesthetic reasons. It’s not any better than the nonsense of John Cage.

    Give me Tea for Two any day.

    • Replies: @Cryptogenic

    I’d rather listen to stupid music than Schoenberg, which sounds like nothing to me. His music is purely destructive, and I believe no one cares for it for musical or even broadly aesthetic reasons. It’s not any better than the nonsense of John Cage.

    Give me Tea for Two any day.
     
    You're confused. It's John Cage who sounds like nothing.

    https://youtu.be/Oh-o3udImy8
  107. @PiltdownMan
    Very perceptive point about rock guitar and Broadway musicals. I may be wrong but Marvin Hamlisch may have been among the last composers in the old style who could move easily between Broadway and Hollywood.

    The introduction of a rock style to Broadway by the musical Hair caused quite a sensation in the late Sixties (so did it's nudity, but that's a different story) but the songs are almost completely forgotten now. That is because, as Steve rightly points out, the lyrics and melodies were necessarily limited by the choice of amplified guitar. The numbers depended on the then new "rock sound" for impact. To a lesser extent, that's true also of Jesus Christ Superstar, which followed two years later.

    Andrew Lloyd Webber then picked up on the public's appetite for somewhat dumbed down musicals that depended on the rock sound—power chords and percussion—to create audience excitement. He added lights and modern dance inspired choreography to create a formula, and made a fortune. True, there are a handful of good songs in his musicals, but few that you can whistle, and almost none with truly memorable lyrics.

    Today, a generation after Hair, audience standards for musicals are quite low. There's talent out there, and it results in the occasional song that's very good, but these days, no theater-goer catches himself humming catchy, witty, new show songs six months or a year later. The so-called Great American Song Book is basically frozen in time.

    IMHO.

    This ignores the loads and loads of acoustical rock hits. Broadway isn’t made for the likes of James Taylor, but there could’ve been an analogue in that world.

    They weren’t trying hard enough, I believe. There also could’ve been more Marvin Hamlisches. Those people have gotta be out there. But somewhere along the way Broadway lost its vision for itself as repository of popular song.

    Popular culture as whole lost the idea of popular song, as well. Rock and roll started out as a dance genre, but it quickly became our primary venue for song. But it fulfilled that role disastrously. You had those who were capable but got distracted by innovations in recording techniques, like the Beach Boys and the Beatles. Then there were all the genres I consider anti-song, like heavy metal, punk, hip-hop, etc.

    They even messed up folk. Bob Dylan, those people’s god, is not exactly un-singable. There have been many good covers of his tunes. But he obviously wasn’t trying very hard to write new This Land Is Your Lands.

  108. @Steve Sailer
    Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from “West Side Story”, “A Chorus Line”, “Cats”, “Phantom of the Opera” or “Cabaret”,

    All those musicals have at least one really good song, and West Side Story has many.

    What wrecked Broadway musicals was the rise of rock / electric guitars, which made it hard to hear the lyrics and wasn't as good a style for complex songs. Before rock, there weren't any real boundaries between Broadway and hit songs. The Bob Dylan Revolution, in which songwriters had to become performing stars or be considered inauthentic, really hurt the profession of songwriting.

    In this century, with the huge decline in crime in NYC, Broadway has done very well for itself economically: The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked have all made a billion dollar box office on Broadway alone, and billions more around the world. On the other hand, Broadway tends to sell itself these days on ultra-professional show biz razzmatazz rather than on the songs.

    You can see the decline in songwriting in movies. If you go back far enough, producers could simply assign somebody to compose a catchy tune for a movie with confidence that the appropriate song would be produced. But now it's very fraught whether a movie can come up with a single good song.

    Broadway and Hollywood had been interrelated, with the movies providing a decent living to composers like Frank Loesser (who sold Baby It's Cold Outside to MGM in 1948), while they worked on their Broadway masterpieces (Guys and Dolls, 1950).

    I was looking at the nominees for the Best Song Oscar recently from 1984, don’t ask me why, and it was hit after hit, and songs that are still well known. I Just Called to Say I Love You, Footloose, Let’s Hear It for the Boys, Against All Odds, and Ghostbusters.

    I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t just plop songs that are going to be hits anyway into movies. Writing ones that go with the story and fit in thematically may be difficult. Sticking a hit song on the soundtrack shouldn’t.

  109. Getting rich will become the entry ticket to being able to do good, as redefined.

    as opposed to the current system, in which moral authority rests with the “poor” and “downtrodden”, who’ve overcome adversity (Left wing/Christian thing)

    The everyday virtues of the rest of us—honesty, truthfulness, kindness, generosity and egalitarianism—will be devalued as being irrelevant.

    yup. because let’s face it, being poor sucks. that’s what happens if one was a c**t in their past life.

    This is some Asianization and Africanization. What is that church called where they pray for money, which is popular in Africa?

    the West lurches from one extreme to the other. the truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle.

  110. @Steve Sailer
    I hope Lin-Manuel's accountant doesn't find out he's much less intelligent with numbers than with words.

    Nah.

    As an ex-accountant, comptroller, budget director, treasurer and CFO (all in mega-sized companies) I know accounting is not mathematics. It’s conceptual. Even arithmetic has been delegated to electronic desk calculators and computers as, earlier, it was to electro-mechanical calculators and Comptometer operators.

  111. @PiltdownMan
    Greg Mankiw's textbook Principles of Economics has become a standard undergraduate economics textbook just as Paul Samuelson's Economics was a generation ago.

    $348 on Amazon.

    A $280 [$348 now]college textbook busts budgets, but Harvard author Gregory Mankiw defends royalties [$42 million]

    Nothing wrong with that textbook's price, of course. It's just economics, just like those Hamilton tickets.

    Greg Mankiw's blog and occasional op-eds have always seemed to me rather glib and cavalier about actual effects in the economy such as jobs lost overseas and a tad too smug about the correctness of the underlying economics orthodoxy. A sort of troll for plutocrats, if you will. I won't dig those opinion columns up—instead, here are a couple of links to other internet people's opinions, for what they're worth.

    http://economixcomix.com/2015/05/11/greg-mankiw-sux/

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/greg-mankiw-and-one-percent

    You would think high school and college textbooks would be a quick and obvious content to be quickly and readily digitized; think again. My kids are still lugging around huge ass textbooks because the industry doesn’t want the hard copy textbook to die. And as you recall, the nonsense of new editions every year so last year’s textbook is no good and cannot be sold back and bought cheaply by new students. Updating digital textbooks would be way easier. Alas, by design the colleges and the textbook companies don’t want to make it cheaper and easier out of self interest.

  112. @Forbes
    The rock musical Rent (Broadway debut 1996), principally about living with AIDS/HIV, had a very similar vanity-signaling effect on the culture at the time. It was the must-see/hot ticket show for a number a years. It ran for 12 years on Broadway.

    The late homosexual writer David Rakoff had a funny take on the musical Rent.

  113. @Cryptogenic
    If you are interested in formal experimentation in music, Schoenberg is a treat. His serialism or 12-tone technique was, for better or worse (I say better), probably the chief development of music in the 20th century.

    He was an interesting painter too: http://www.gseart.com/Artists-Gallery/Schoenberg-Arnold/Schoenberg-Arnold-Biography.php

    Arnold’s son Ronald named his son Randol. Like a tone row! I wonder if they moved in similar social circles as fellow SoCal Jewish Nazi refugee families as that of Otto Kaus (Stephen and Mickey).

    Back then SoCal got a higher class of immigrant.

    • Agree: Cryptogenic
  114. @whorefinder
    Or...you just have to be the son of a very powerful, very well connected Democrat bigwig in New York. You know, like Miranda's father is.

    That said, Miranda is clearly intelligent: he's filled the role of token-straight-minority-male-"hit"-Broadway writer/start/etc. He managed to bamboozle the rich and powerful to buying ludicrously expensive tickets for a didactic, politically correct high school musical. That's some P.T. Barnum-esque hucksterism and smarts right there.

    Yeah: I thought it really funny at the height of the mania that everyone in respectable Manhattan was falling over themselves to attend what was essentially Schoolhouse Rap Takes Broadway!!

  115. @Cryptogenic
    If you are interested in formal experimentation in music, Schoenberg is a treat. His serialism or 12-tone technique was, for better or worse (I say better), probably the chief development of music in the 20th century.

    He was an interesting painter too: http://www.gseart.com/Artists-Gallery/Schoenberg-Arnold/Schoenberg-Arnold-Biography.php

    Schoenberg, and the Schoenberg cult, was the greatest disaster ever to befall Western music.

    Serialism was foolish in theory and endlessly ugly & dull in practice.

    Shall we go into the details of the theory? Would that interest you?

    • Replies: @Cryptogenic
    Well, the details aren't that difficult to grasp. Serialism is pretty straightforward and gets especially interesting when applied to other musical parameters. I like formalized music and especially ferocious spectral experiments that focus on timbre (Xenakis, Grisey, Dumitrescu). I like horrible noise.

    My favorite 20th century composer is Scelsi whose music is harrowing and grating big league, that I can tell you. If serialism hurts your feelings, wait until you hear the most shrill microtonal soundscapes.

    This is all very much more interesting to me than an Hispanic guy rapping or people dressed as cats prancing around for an audience of democratics, gays and children.
  116. @Cryptogenic
    Musicals, ALL musicals, are idiotic. Broadway is stupid. Show tunes are stupid. The aura of "magic" surrounding it is infantile.

    Everything and everyone associated with any sort of musical is [insert vicious adjective here].

    West Side Story is at least a hundred times more worth a listen than Moses & Aron.

  117. @guest
    "Broadway is stupid"

    So? Hard not to be when you're for everyone. Because most people are stupid.

    I'd rather listen to stupid music than Schoenberg, which sounds like nothing to me. His music is purely destructive, and I believe no one cares for it for musical or even broadly aesthetic reasons. It's not any better than the nonsense of John Cage.

    Give me Tea for Two any day.

    I’d rather listen to stupid music than Schoenberg, which sounds like nothing to me. His music is purely destructive, and I believe no one cares for it for musical or even broadly aesthetic reasons. It’s not any better than the nonsense of John Cage.

    Give me Tea for Two any day.

    You’re confused. It’s John Cage who sounds like nothing.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    John Cage was to Arnold Schoenberg as Andy Warhol was to Clement Greenberg. A clever climber who exposed the pretenders for the charlatans they were.
    , @guest
    Cage's music is not "like" nothing, it IS nothing.
  118. @Cryptogenic

    I’d rather listen to stupid music than Schoenberg, which sounds like nothing to me. His music is purely destructive, and I believe no one cares for it for musical or even broadly aesthetic reasons. It’s not any better than the nonsense of John Cage.

    Give me Tea for Two any day.
     
    You're confused. It's John Cage who sounds like nothing.

    https://youtu.be/Oh-o3udImy8

    John Cage was to Arnold Schoenberg as Andy Warhol was to Clement Greenberg. A clever climber who exposed the pretenders for the charlatans they were.

  119. @guest
    Broadway music is prole music, too. It derives from jazz, and not the high-falutin' Duke Ellington-type jazz, either. There's a stereotypical Broadway style that seems like a genre unto its own. And maybe it is; it has been over a hundred years by now that it's been in mass culture. You get the sort of effect from that you might expect from trying to turn dubstep, for instance, into a commercial jingle.

    The Little Mermaid, by the way, was deliberately made to resemble a musical by producer/lyricist Howard Ashman. Prior to that, they were dumping Billy Joel and Huey Lewis songs into Oliver and Company, for instance. He thought it would be better to incorporate them into the storyline,and give them emotional heft. And blammo, you have your second golden age of Disney, or whatever they call it.

    The Little Mermaid, by the way, was deliberately made to resemble a musical by producer/lyricist Howard Ashman. Prior to that, they were dumping Billy Joel and Huey Lewis songs into Oliver and Company, for instance. He thought it would be better to incorporate them into the storyline,and give them emotional heft. And blammo, you have your second golden age of Disney, or whatever they call it.

    I wonder if the seeming resurgence of middlebrow interest in Broadway signals a desire to get quite specifically beyond Disney. Twenty to thirty years ago a trip to Disneyworld was a big deal for my middle-class, midwestern peers. Now it’s old hat — even, well, not embarrassing, exactly, but maybe something you’d announce in an offhand remark rather than a big feature FB post. Spending (and, as we discussed in a thread earlier this year, this means SPENDING) a week in NYC seeing shows looks a whole lot better.

  120. @Cryptogenic

    I’d rather listen to stupid music than Schoenberg, which sounds like nothing to me. His music is purely destructive, and I believe no one cares for it for musical or even broadly aesthetic reasons. It’s not any better than the nonsense of John Cage.

    Give me Tea for Two any day.
     
    You're confused. It's John Cage who sounds like nothing.

    https://youtu.be/Oh-o3udImy8

    Cage’s music is not “like” nothing, it IS nothing.

  121. @Steve Sailer
    Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from “West Side Story”, “A Chorus Line”, “Cats”, “Phantom of the Opera” or “Cabaret”,

    All those musicals have at least one really good song, and West Side Story has many.

    What wrecked Broadway musicals was the rise of rock / electric guitars, which made it hard to hear the lyrics and wasn't as good a style for complex songs. Before rock, there weren't any real boundaries between Broadway and hit songs. The Bob Dylan Revolution, in which songwriters had to become performing stars or be considered inauthentic, really hurt the profession of songwriting.

    In this century, with the huge decline in crime in NYC, Broadway has done very well for itself economically: The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked have all made a billion dollar box office on Broadway alone, and billions more around the world. On the other hand, Broadway tends to sell itself these days on ultra-professional show biz razzmatazz rather than on the songs.

    You can see the decline in songwriting in movies. If you go back far enough, producers could simply assign somebody to compose a catchy tune for a movie with confidence that the appropriate song would be produced. But now it's very fraught whether a movie can come up with a single good song.

    Broadway and Hollywood had been interrelated, with the movies providing a decent living to composers like Frank Loesser (who sold Baby It's Cold Outside to MGM in 1948), while they worked on their Broadway masterpieces (Guys and Dolls, 1950).

    “If you go back far enough, producers could simply assign somebody to compose a catchy tune for a movie with confidence that the appropriate song would be produced.”

    Just last night I watched “The Pink Panther” for the first time. I knew Henry Mancini had done the theme song, but I had no idea that “It Had Better Be Tonight” was written for that movie.

  122. @vinteuil
    Schoenberg, and the Schoenberg cult, was the greatest disaster ever to befall Western music.

    Serialism was foolish in theory and endlessly ugly & dull in practice.

    Shall we go into the details of the theory? Would that interest you?

    Well, the details aren’t that difficult to grasp. Serialism is pretty straightforward and gets especially interesting when applied to other musical parameters. I like formalized music and especially ferocious spectral experiments that focus on timbre (Xenakis, Grisey, Dumitrescu). I like horrible noise.

    My favorite 20th century composer is Scelsi whose music is harrowing and grating big league, that I can tell you. If serialism hurts your feelings, wait until you hear the most shrill microtonal soundscapes.

    This is all very much more interesting to me than an Hispanic guy rapping or people dressed as cats prancing around for an audience of democratics, gays and children.

  123. @Daniel H
    >>I have yet to hear, after all this time, a single tune from this “hit musical.” Regular people, not counting Broadway nerds, and the culture at large remain uneffected by this play. It may be good, for all I know. But Cole Porter or Rogers and Hammerstein this is not

    Broadway musicals suck as popular music. They are only popular with gays and young ladies for a brief period. When was the last time you heard ANY song from a Broadway musical on the radio or on anybody's ipod playlist, 1955? The only Broadway musical song I ever liked was Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns". Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from "West Side Story", "A Chorus Line", "Cats", "Phantom of the Opera" or "Cabaret", can't do it right? Alright, I can probably hum a few bars from "Cabaret", but you get the point. Prole inspired popular music (blues, country and western, rock and roll, folk, cool jazz, R&B, punk, techno, disco, metal, whatever) have completely blown Broadway out of the water. That said, for some reason, many lady's of a certain age know all the lyrics to the "Little Mermaid". That was big thing amongst mothers of the time and they all dragged their young daughters to see the show or movie.

    Oh, I missed another music thread …… “Quick, sing or hum any of the songs from “West Side Story”” — I could sing and/or hum them all.

    It’s true that musicals are not the thing they used to be. But, around Xmas time (I’m using that form deliberately to emphasize the commercial holiday), you are certain to hear any number of tunes from the “Sound of Music” which came out in 1961.

    What killed the musical? Basically the fact that pop music after R&R got very heavy on the persistent rhythm and that tends to detract from the ability to articulate a melody. Nowadays, B’way shows pipe in much, if not all, of their scores, through loudspeakers and it’s no coincidence that so many of the those shows feature jacked up pop songs from the ’60’s and ’70’s with strong beats (usually achieved techno pop style these days.)

    The pop songs for most of the 20th Century also had “prole” roots, if you want to call it that, being rooted in ragtime and pop songs written based on folk idioms. Early Broadway shows a particularly heavy debt to Scottish and Irish folk melody and ethos, if you listen to Broadway recordings from 100, 120 years ago that’s obvious, just the four square nature of the melodies, rhythm. Then mostly Jewish composers extended that into ragtime and beyond. (In that respect, think of what Aaron Copland did with American and particularly Scotch Irish idioms in his ballets).

    I myself like a good melody. However, I cannot write a good melody without consciously or unconsciously cribbing a sequence from the enormous body of Western music, classical or popular. But the sign of a great composer is that they can write pleasing and memorable tunes and tune sequences that sound well in any medium (not talking profundity, that’s something else.) Sondheim’s greatest flaw is that he he just can’t write good tunes. Rodgers could. Bernstein could. The distinctive “classical” composers could. But not Sondheim. I don’t see how that ties to Schoenberg, at all.

    Now I’m off to teach a lark how to pray ……

  124. Somewhat off-topic, but it was reported at the weekend that one of Michelle Obama’s aides-de-camp will soon be marrying one of Barack Obama’s secret service detail in a DC wedding.

    The whole affair will cost about $300,000.

    http://www.tmz.com/2016/10/03/malia-sasha-obama-wedding-bridesmaids/

    I am sure you had nearly a third of a million bucks to spend on your wedding at the age of 34. I know we did.

    Humble civil servants, indeed.

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