Ben Coffer gorges on piesTHE BE-MULLETED eighties pop duo Tears For Fears were wrong about so much, yet in one respect they were right on the button: this is, as they sang on the soundtrack to Donnie Darko, a mad world. And in such a mad world, there are few things which have any enduring significance. Popes die, promises made to Chancellors of the Exchequer are forgotten; even the royals we assumed would live in sin forever eventually do the right thing and tie the knot.Nonetheless, there remains a single area of modern life that is, like one of those towns on the retreating cliffs of Whitby, firmly immured against the salty tides of change: the Great English Pork Pie. Anything the world throws at it simply slides off its greasy pastry outer shell, disdained. The pie is a monument to empire. The pie is forever. The pie will be here after Armageddon to feed the cockroaches.The reason for this is simply that the pork pie is the perfect food, in no need of change. Its pastry crust speaks to a diner of infinite potential, obscuring what’s within and defying conventional conceptions of identity. “Don’t ever f**king judge me,” it proclaims, like those modern-day philosophers and renowned lovers of the pork pie, Slipknot. For who can say what lies beneath a crusty mask? While the ’Knot remain forever obscured by theirs, however, the ever-rewarding savoury simply teases until all is revealed with the first bite. Further mouthfuls continue to surprise, offering the full range of textural experiences: an average pie (if such a thing exists) provides the obvious moist chewiness, along with moments of unexpected and inexplicable crunch, and even the more unconventional quivering of the jelly.Such icons inevitably have detractors. There are those, for instance, who frown and tell me that the Pork Pie is too unhealthy to survive in a world where even McDonald’s sells salads. But so what if British meat is accepted worldwide as a breeding ground of BSE, Foot and Mouth, and myriad other plagues? No sane Englishman seriously expects a pork pie to contain real meat. It’s a scientific fact that a pie is 73% safer than a British steak. Pies: one; modern world: nil.“But that’s not the only reason they’re unhealthy,” retorts that insistent voice of modernity. “Pies are incredibly fattening.” Yes they are. And it’s an acknowledged truth that the majority of girls prefer larger men. Pies two; modern world: nil.Still, though, our whining contemporary society persists in its attempts to prove the invulnerable Pork Pie defunct, practically screaming, “Pies don’t actually taste very nice.” No, indeed they don’t. But to dwell on such points is really to misunderstand the ethos of the pork pie. This is a pastry that doesn’t care what people think. It doesn’t need your affirmation. It couldn’t give a toss whether or not you like how it tastes. Rather, it challenges you to eat it in spite of its blandness. This isn’t some nouveau riche foodstuff that wants to be loved. The great English Pork Pie is the aristocrat of the culinary world, and I but its humble serf.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2005
Elephant Wrecking Ball is an electronic-infused instrumental power trio featuring Neal “Fro” Evans of Dopapod on drums and Scott Flynn and Dan Africano of John Brown’s Body on trombone and bass, respectively. While they’re not on the road with their other projects, the three musicians try to find time to come together as Elephant Wrecking Ball and bring their unique and avant-garde blend of jazz, hip-hop, and electronic music to the masses. Eschewing the norms of genre and any type of explicit classification, the group is adventurous and musically held together by their underlying tightness as a crew.Last weekend, on August 20th, Elephant Wrecking Ball took over Brooklyn Bowl, with the three-piece playing an hour-and-a-half of music for their cult following of rabid fans. During the show, the band was joined by Snarky Puppy saxophonist Chris Bullock for two numbers, “Five Bucks” and “Do We Ah”, and by guitarist Dave Fullerton of Deaf Scene during “Mountain Lion.” In addition to pulling tunes from their older catalog, the group also laid down a stellar rendition of their relatively new song, “Jogging.” Across the board, the show was a smashing success, with eager fans keeping a watchful eye on this side project turned musical powerhouse as the group continues their mini-tour of the East Coast over the next week.You can take a listen to Elephant Wrecking Ball’s show at Brooklyn Bowl for yourself below, recording courtesy of Matt Moricle. Also, don’t forget get to check out the group’s upcoming tour schedule, which wraps up on Sunday with a show in Baltimore, Maryland, at the 8×10. Elephant Wrecking Ball Upcoming Tour DatesAug. 23 Wed. @ Funk ‘n Waffles in Syracuse, NY *Aug. 24 Thu. @ Flour City Station in Rochester, NY *Aug. 25 Fri. @ Night Lights Music Festival in Panama, NYAug. 26 Sat. @ Zeno’s in State College, PA *Aug. 27 Sun. @8×10 in Baltimore, MD ** = w/ Deaf Scene
1984 is the London play that just won’t quit and is now at the Playhouse Theatre for a third West End run, this time with an entirely new cast. Adapted from George Orwell’s chilling and prophetic 1949 novel, Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s stage version currently stars Liverpool-born actor Andrew Gower as Winston Smith, the Ministry of Truth employee who suffers a bleak trajectory as he learns to succumb to Big Brother. Broadway.com spoke to the lively West End newbie about chilling after an emotionally charged performance and facing down the novel’s notorious Room 101—oh, and those rats.You’re too young to have been around in 1984 itself.Hah! That’s right, I was minus 4 then [Gower is now 27]: not even a twinkle in anyone’s eye.Did you know much about the novel when this offer came your way?I hadn’t read the novel, and when I then went to read it, I made a conscious decision not to actually finish it. I read up to a certain point—and the appendix—but I didn’t actually read the final pages.That’s interesting: why was that?I think I felt that I wanted to remain in a sort of Winston Smith head space so that I would know the story without having read the very end. In every other respect, and for every other big moment, the book has been like our bible, basically.I suppose it frees you up to form your own view of the character.Yes, and in fact at my first audition, [co-directors] Rob [Icke] and Duncan [Macmillan] were very interested to see how I would approach [the material] not having read the book. The fact is, there are so many people who have seen the film or read the book or both and they have such a concrete image of it all in advance, whereas I think it was important for me to go on a journey, discovering both the character and the book as I went along.The material is certainly timely.What’s extraordinary is how genuinely timeless Orwell’s writing is. So many current events or how they are reported in the press seem to fit what is described in the book, so you’re always finding bits of the novel jumping out at you. Something will happen, and I will think, “that’s very thought police, that’s very double-think”: it’s as if Orwell has created a language to speak to us right now.Which must explain why a production first seen in London at the Almeida early in 2014 keeps coming back—and has toured internationally as well.From day one of rehearsals, every single member of the cast was basically referring to how poignant 1984 is for us today. There are so many reasons why [the production] has had a prolonged run, and I can’t imagine why that shouldn’t continue given the demand of people who either know the story already or want to discover it for themselves.How would you describe Winston?I see him as a man who is forever trying to find an answer to his problem when there is never an answer but only further questions. The book doesn’t give you answers and I don’t think the play should either, beyond the fact that Winston starts the play not really knowing who he is and is constantly trying to find an identity and in a way only realizes by the end end how happy he has been.That awareness comes at a terrible price.Yes, Winston ultimately is a tortured soul trapped in a world in which he doesn’t fit in. He’s stripped back to a non-person, back to a blank canvas.There are so many images associated with the novel—not just the fearsome Room 101, but the rats that exist to torture Winston.It’s funny you mention that because when I first told my parents I was doing this, my dad hadn’t read the novel but my mum had and the very first thing she said was “rats!” She’s English but lives in Turkey and is coming over this summer to see me in the play.So not one, then, for the squeamish.I wouldn’t let [the rats] put you off a performance, but I suppose you can always stand up and leave [laughs].You graduated from drama school [the Oxford School of Drama] six years ago but are only now making your West End debut.Yeah, which is funny because when I left drama school, I always envisaged that my career would be on stage; I never saw it going down the route of TV and film, so for this to be only my third theater job and in something so incredible and illustrious is really amazing.I saw you described in one of your TV roles as exhibiting a characteristic nervous energy in that part—is that how you see yourself as an actor?Well, it’s always nice to hear what people pick up on, but for me it has to do with how you access emotions once you’ve found the character. On [BBC supernatural drama] Being Human, for instance, I might be playing a vampire but the job is still about presenting a character with whom the audience can form a connection—who feels real. To me, it’s always about the search for identity.Is this show hard to switch off after each performance?At the moment, I’ve been stopping off at Whole Foods and buying myself a super green juice and watching highlights of the football on TV. Last night’s performance, for instance, was quite raw and bloody so it took me a while. It’s important to get back home and switch off and turn on some trashy television. View Comments Andrew Gower in ‘1984’(Photo: Manuel Harlan)
Pastor Carolyn Williams, 80, of Greensburg, formerly of Holton passed away at 1pm, Wednesday, May 21, 2020 at the home of her son in Greensburg. She was born near Holton on November 30, 1939 the daughter of Lester and Madge Beach Schlotman. She was married to Gerald Williams on September 12, 1954 and he preceded her in death on October 11, 2012. Survivors include three sons Mark (Jana) Williams of Edinburg, Steve (Beth) Williams of Nashville, Tennessee, and Andy (Theresa) Williams of Greensburg; two daughters Beth (James) Kraus of Dover, and Lisa (Dennis) Granger of Batesville; 18 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren; one sister Donna (Gerimo) Hernandez of Batesville. She was also preceded in death by her parents and her daughter Sue Rice. Mrs. Williams was the former pastor of the Greensburg Free Methodist Church and had served as chaplain for the Decatur County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg. Her calling in life was to share the Gospel of Christ and doing social and ministry work. Carolyn also enjoyed doing arts and crafts and spending time with her many grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 27th at 11am at the Flat Rock Baptist Church west of Osgood with Carolyn’s grandson Stephen Rice officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will also be at the church beginning at 10am. Memorials may be given to the Flat Rock Baptist Church in care of the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles.