Hamilton makes fantastic use of repetition, especially of the repeated phrase whose meaning changes with context. The most striking uses of this are “I am not throwing away my shot” (sometimes just “my shot” or “shot”) and “Wait for it.”
The historic Hamilton occupies a specific spot in American common knowledge. In my experience, before the musical came out, if you asked the average American who Alexander Hamilton was, you’d get something like this: “He lived during the American Revolution. He was… Uh…. Secretary of the Treasury, I think? Something like that, anyway. He was shot and killed in a duel with another politician, Aaron Burr. [That is probably the only thing the average American knows or recalls about Aaron Burr.] Oh, yeah, and he's the dude on the ten-dollar bill.”
What both cracks me up and gladdens my history nerd heart about the sheer unlikeliness of the entire existence of this musical is that previous to it, Hamilton was not one of America’s iconic political figures, like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson (or, in terms of people who weren’t president, Harriet Tubman or Martin Luther King.) Nor was he obscure enough to be cool. He was in the exact "One of those dead white guys" zone where people interested in his period know a lot about him, because he really was important, but the average American knew exactly what was in my paragraph above, and no more. (If they’re a leftist, they may have the impression that he sowed the seeds of making America a plutocracy but probably didn’t intend that. Or that may just be me. If I recall correctly, my grandfather hated him for exactly that reason.)
But in popular consciousness, he was just above the level of someone like Paul Revere, where everyone can spit out “The midnight ride of!” upon mention of his name, and then, “Uh… He warned everyone that ‘The British are Coming!’” (Wikipedia has this note in his entry: "The British are coming" redirects here.) And that’s it. In general, no one who isn’t otherwise interested in that period (or economics/the Coast Guard/etc) has thought of Alexander Hamilton since high school. Whereas Americans who are otherwise not knowledgeable of history often have actual opinions on, say, Thomas Jefferson. (If you’re younger than me, you probably heard a lot about his slaves. If you’re my age, he had a sort of demigod status in high school history classes, which makes his takedown in the play especially hilarious.)
You notice that the duel figures prominently in common knowledge. People who know who Hamilton was at all always remember the duel. This is probably because 1) duels are cool, 2) Hamilton was the only important person in American history who was killed in one. (I guess unless you count Button Gwinnett. But I’m pretty sure nobody counts Button Gwinnett except autograph-collectors and people who enjoy unusual names. For the former, his signature is the rarest of any of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. For the latter, just FYI, a dude named Peru Italian Blackerby Ping served in the Kansas state senate in the mid-1800s.) Anyway, just in case you don’t know or forgot about the duel, Hamilton tells you about it right in the opening number. Miranda does not want that to be a surprise.
Burr shot and killed Hamilton, and every time you hear the word “shot,” that goes through your mind. And like any good tragedy, you know what’s coming but you want to scream, “No! Don’t do it!” So “wait,” in the sense of “stop,” also brings the duel to mind.
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Treatments beginning in November were a blessing; for his last three months Felix was able to eat nearly anything he wanted with no ill effects. But his latest shot last week had almost no effect, and by Saturday I knew he was done.
I have had many cats, but he's only the third who was especially mine, and I don't think I've ever been so bonded with a cat; this is pretty awful. We will have just Oscar for a few months, until Laura and Nala move back in (we will likely be keeping Nala while Laura is in college). If Oscar is miserable we'll consider another cat, but I think he'll enjoy getting all the attention and treats for a while.
I had no new entries for RFM this week, or at least none came up, so I'm reposting the standing entry. If you DID send me a blurb for this week's RFM, please let me know, because either this computer doesn't want me to have them or there's something wrong with the google form.
Ways to Give:
You all know about editrx, whose fundraiser I've been promoting for a few months; on top of her struggles to keep her indy bookstore afloat, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate (who is fortunately in jail). She's had to rekey her locks at home and at the bookstore, and she's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault. She doesn't have a new fundraising site yet, but funds from her ongoing YouCaring fundraiser will reach her, as will income from the Starcat Books online etailer. She also has jewelry for sale on Etsy. (Obviously if you're shopping her etail or etsy there may be a delay in delivery.) She could really use the help these next few weeks.
And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
Spotted a meme-y thing going around Facebook on the lines of 'only Britain doesn't have an Independence Day because they were what everyone else was seeking independence from'.
Okay, the UK's sins of imperialism were numerous and gross, but they were hardly the only power from which independence was being sought.
I suppose the situation is complicated by the various European nations that won their independence from Other European Nations at some point in their history - e.g. Belgium - and therefore celebrate that.
However, there are some nations that were never ground beneath the heel of some other nation, or at least not for many centuries, and I'm pretty sure UK is not the only one without an independence day.
I suppose Bastille Day could be considered Independence from Monarchical Tyranny Day?
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During the week I made the Collister/Blake My Favourite Loaf: strong white/wholemeal/einkorn flours, a few sunflower seeds, dash of walnut oil. Particularly nice.
No Saturday breakfast rolls because I was off to An Event.
Today's lunch: plaice fillets baked with a stuffing of breadcrumbs tossed in butter with lime juice and lime zest, crushed coriander seeds, salt and pepper (20 minutes in moderately hot oven under foil), served with sweetstem broccoli roasted with garlic, and padron peppers.
"Massaging the Heart," "How People Always Get Close," "Touch and Come," "The Power of a Touch," and "Wonderful in Its Own Way" have been sent for consideration and are on hold.
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"Vanilla Is a Spice" has been reserved, to be sponsored and posted some time next week.
I have finished at least one poem for every prompter. I am trying to wrap up the last few extras, so that I can stop writing tonight and leave tomorrow for the folks who want to browse all the thumbnails before deciding what to sponsor.
Must ... Write ... Faster!