April 20th, 2019

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Eugene O'Neill

This is wild. It is a sad, far cry from the times of The High Niall, or the Nine Hostages...  Ah, wilderness! To wit, Wiki:

...O'Neill was sent to St. Aloysius Academy for Boys, a Catholic boarding school in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where he found his only solace in books.[citation needed] His father suffered from alcoholism; his mother from an addiction to morphine, prescribed to relieve the pains of the difficult birth of her third son, Eugene.[7]

The O'Neill family reunited for summers at the Monte Cristo Cottage in New London, Connecticut. He also briefly attended Betts Academy in Stamford.[8] He attended Princeton University for one year. Accounts vary as to why he left. He may have been dropped for attending too few classes,[9] been suspended for "conduct code violations,"[10] or "for breaking a window",[11] or according to a more concrete but possibly apocryphal account, because he threw "a beer bottle into the window of Professor Woodrow Wilson", the future president of the United States.[12]

O'Neill spent several years at sea, during which he suffered from depression and alcoholism...  O'Neill's parents and elder brother Jamie (who drank himself to death at the age of 45) died within three years of one another, not long after he had begun to make his mark in the theater.

In their first years together, Monterey organized O'Neill's life, enabling him to devote himself to writing. She later became addicted to potassium bromide, and the marriage deteriorated, resulting in a number of separations, although they never divorced.

In 1943, O'Neill disowned his daughter Oona for marrying the English actor, director, and producer Charlie Chaplin when she was 18 and Chaplin was 54. He never saw Oona again...

The Chaplins and six of their eight children in 1961. From left to right: Geraldine, Eugene, Victoria, Chaplin, Oona O'Neill, Annette, Josephine and Michael.

He also had distant relationships with his sons. Eugene O'Neill Jr., a Yale classicist, suffered from alcoholism and committed suicide in 1950 at the age of 40. Shane O'Neill became a heroin addict and moved into the family home in Bermuda, Spithead, with his new wife, where he supported himself by selling off the furnishings. He was disowned by his father before also committing suicide (by jumping out of a window) a number of years later.

After suffering from multiple health problems (including depression and alcoholism) over many years, O'Neill ultimately faced a severe Parkinsons-like tremor in his hands which made it impossible for him to write during the last 10 years of his life; he had tried using dictation but found himself unable to compose in that way....

O'Neill died in Room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel (now Boston University's Kilachand Hall) on Bay State Road in Boston, on November 27, 1953, at the age of 65. As he was dying, he whispered his last words: "I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room and died in a hotel room."[23]

mm101 Note:  Isn't this bizarre? Also, Jack Nicholson portrayed O'Neill in, "Reds" - which seems to be part of some kind of conspiracy - to portray Irish people with actors who don't look, in the slightest, Irish!  I am noticing examples everywhere. Like: We are supposed to believe Hillary Swank is Irish, (in, P.S. I Love You)?! Crazy.
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Music for the Masses - part 1

I do appreciate one of the local FM (radio) stations.  It is one of a little network based in nearby Wisconsin.  Shut my mouth, the guy in charge just came back from Eire, loved it, and is selling it to the hilt.  Even though the station plays Billy Joel, Madonna, Prince, etc., non-stop, it also plays tolerable music.  Every mid-afternoon, they play a George Harrison song, for some reason.  It's usually one of two of his songs, but eh.  And, on the weekends, they play a lot of extreme oldies, from the 50's and 60's.

One of the songs, recently, was, "The Big Hurt."  I heard this and really went to town in my brain.  For one thing, this song from the 1950's, employed the "airoplane" sound of the mike being moved around.  This technique was later used by E.L.O., ("I'm Alive," etc.), 10c.c, ("I'm Not in Love"), and others in the 1970's.  This song was being very progressive - and, it also used some complex notation in its structure, which was uncommon for a pop song.  So, if you are into music, I suggest you look this up and take a listen.  "The Big Hurt."  By Wayne Shanklin.

So, then this song got me interested in Wayne Shanklin. Some of his songs were used in Primrose lane, and etc. One of his popular songs was "Chanson D'Amour" (Song of Love) - this set me on a Wiki search for "Song of Love," "Melody of Love," and others I was, or was not familiar with. I ended up editing a few Wiki pages. "Melody of Love" was some kind of craze in the 1950's, I guess. Here is the Wiki page for that: Melody of Love. And this: Melody of Love. I think there is another song that was written at the turn of the century, and much later was written into a pop song... Must find...