A slow recovery from pneumonia is more pleasant if you take a good book from your library and play some music — I’ve been listening to Hamilton (the original cast recording) and reading along in Hamilton—The Revolution. Two hours of glorious, Tony award-winning music that is also a dramatic, history lesson. The story has fighting, sex, scandal, intrigue, and, of course, there is a duel or two.
Act I. This is a story in which the black first president is in an awful pickle: the war with England is not going well. In fact Washington is about to lose all his marbles in the battle for New York. But, an impoverished immigrant from the Caribbean steps up to win a great battle. The home team goes on to win the war and exits from the British Empire; that’s Brexit 1776, and that’s Act I, which is just one hour of the music. There is more to come after the intermission.Act II, the President and his cabinet must now govern the rag-tag collection of unruly states that were the USA. Money is a problem so Treasury Secretary Hamilton creates a national bank by making an unusual partnership with slave owners Jefferson and Madison. Then, at the peak of his power, Hamilton has a messy affair that leads to blackmail and bribery, but “no laws are broken”. The scandal is covered up, but emotions run high, the suspense is unbearable. I’m going to listen to Act II again.
Our relationship with England sunk pretty low during the rule of King George III, but has warmed over the years and today we are allies on the world stage. Yesterday, our friends on the other side of the Atlantic decided by a simple majority to exit (Brexit) from the European Union. They decided to go it alone, and things may be difficult for them. I wish them well and expect that they will do fine. I could suggest that they, too, listen to the musical Hamilton. That may cheer them up and steady them for the times ahead.
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