Yes, the sound is really authentic! I was there and I attest to it. :-)

So I was surprised not to see some reference to other shows set in the 50s made much later but before Grease, i.e. the movie The Last Picture Show (1971), and the TV show Happy Days (1974-84), with the Fonz. I am no expert fn musicals, but I had assumed Grease was a spinoff of those.

As for the cancel culture, the university education I got in the social sciences and humanities in tCanada in he 70s was meant to give us an appreciation of the complexity of social phenomena and human psychology.

I was shocked when I went back to grad school in the US in the early 1990s and saw how much things had changed, and now it had become a moralizing enterprise reducing that complexity to a simple one-dimensional witch-hunt for "systemic oppression". It took a few decades for that kind of mindset to reach Canada, but it eventually did. Aargh!

Yes, lack of appreciation of complexity and a very superficial knowledge of history are the two main factors, imo.

Glad to see not everyone in academia has succumbed. Keep up the good work!

Expand full comment

I admit I am one who thinks Sandy debases herself to "resolve" the play's conflict. She likes herself at the beginning, but she doesn't fit-in with the Pink Ladies, and Danny does not accept her as-is. She doesn't grow, she regresses. The take-away (if any) is peer acceptance is a strong motivator. The conversation with Scott Miller didn't change my mind but I am willing to give it another watch and listen. Maybe my thoughts are superficial.

That said, Grease seems to be the Brett Kavanaugh of musicals. Maybe there is some value, but one can do much better.

Expand full comment

I very much appreciated Scott Miller's generous attitude about helping folks to move through this era we're in, to further deeper thinking in the arts. Not sure what happened at the end of this conversation, it looped over and over with him repeating the word score, score, score . . . on my computer.

To me, an explanation for a lot of the lack of conversation today, the cancelling out of the other currently battling about in our culture, is laced in the individual's easy availability to have an experience of power via social media. Having an amplified voice is fun. It is the dopamine hits to the brain, in a social media culture experienced largely in solitude, that is the problem. We need social engagement, eye to eye interactions, to help mediate our emotional states biologically, and that can't happen in alone spaces.

Expand full comment

The future of art? Look at Netflix. I refuse HBO because of all the chic movies and woke movies with poor writing, acting and crap I just can't stand.

Expand full comment