[…] But the deafening din crackled with the spirit of a communal rally. The musical’s full-throated affirmation of diversity, inclusion and tolerance has taken on new urgency now that these values have fallen under sharp attack. “Hamilton” has become part of the resistance.
Parts civics class, part hip-hop extravaganza, part town hall, the show celebrates in rapping flow the ideals our Founding Fathers battled to define and defend nearly 2½ centuries ago — ideals that are still being vociferously fought over today.
The never-ending project of forming a “more perfect Union,” as the Preamble to the Constitution puts it, is what separates “Hamilton” from the other 21st century Broadway juggernauts (“The Producers,” “Wicked,” “The Book of Mormon”) that have given theater a sugar rush of popularity.
Hamilton and Lafayette’s high-five moment on the battlefield acknowledging the contribution of immigrants to the cause of freedom (“We get the job done”) has been provoking thunderous applause since the show’s off-Broadway start at the Public Theater in 2015. But the cheers at the SHN Orpheum were tinged with the ironic recognition of President Trump’s immigrant-phobic policies and proposals. In loudly endorsing the sentiment of the characters, the audience seemed to be rooting on its own activism and dissent.
Similarly, the song “History Has Its Eyes on You” takes on an even more mournful resonance than before. The image of George Washington shouldering with grave dignity his responsibilities as leader of the burgeoning democracy stands in stark contrast to the partisan shenanigans going on in Washington today. History not only has its eyes on us but it also helps us to see how far we are falling short.
“Hamilton” simultaneously highlights some of very real strides that have been made in the struggle for liberty and equality. The musical’s multicultural cast, portraying seminal figures in the story of America’s founding, is part of the show’s progressive message.
I’ll have more to say about the virtuoso spell of Joshua Henry’s Aaron Burr, the swaggering vigor of Emmy Raver-Lampman’s Angelica Schuyler and the intelligent if somewhat muted presence of Michael Luwoye’s Hamilton when the production opens in L.A. But the kinetic charge of the show comes in large part from the teamwork of this diverse and dynamic ensemble.
“Hamilton” is a generational phenomenon, a box office sensation that has been critically hailed for its groundbreaking style. The only Broadway musical in the last 25 years that remotely compares to it in terms of cultural impact is “Rent,” but Miranda’s masterpiece has a wider reach. Not many shows can claim former Vice President Dick Cheney and Jay Z as fans.
The New York company’s controversial curtain call speech to then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who caught the show after the election, may have provoked twitter thunderbolts from Trump, but “Hamilton” is open to all who uphold bedrock democratic principles. No American musical understands better the ideological combat that goes into governing. Patriots from both sides of the aisle have sung the show’s praises. […]
“I’d like to think Mr. Carter and I understand each other. Nobody who met us as younger men would have expected us to be where we are today. We know what it’s like not to have a father around. We know what it’s like not to come from much and to know people who didn’t get the same breaks that we did. So we tried to prop open those doors of opportunity so it’s a little easier for those who come up behind us to succeed as well.
Jay and I are also fools for our daughters, although he’s going to have me beat once those two twins show up. And let’s face it: we both have wives who are significantly more popular than we are.
Like all of you, I am a fan. I’ve been listening to Jay since I was a young and hungry State Senator. I sampled his lyrics to close my speech at Selma; I tweeted a reference to ‘My 1st Song’ as I was putting the finishing touches on my final State of the Union address; I had to brush some dirt off my shoulders during a campaign.
So I’m pretty sure I’m still the only President to listen to JAY Z’s music in the Oval Office. That may change at some point, but I’m pretty sure that’s true now. In fact, Jay, you have been inspiring in making me want to be active in my retirement just like you have been in yours, so I’m going to close by saying something Jay once said that struck me. He said: 'I’ve never looked at myself and said that I need to be a certain way to be around a certain sort of people. I’ve always wanted to stay true to myself, and I’ve managed to do that. People have to accept that.’ So with that, I’m proud to help present this award to a true American original, the first hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Mr. Shawn Carter.”
Trump claims “no politician in history has been treated worse”
So I decided to dispute this claim for him in a list form. I even just stuck to presidents, though he left it open to “all politicians.” Here are some examples of criticism our former presidents received:
President George Washington: had to borrow money to attend his own inauguration; Jefferson repeatedly accused him of treason especially regarding the Jay Treaty
President John Adams: entire reputation scourged by a scathing 72-page letter written by Alexander Hamilton (a member of his own party) about how horrible he was
President Thomas Jefferson: election called the “greatest misfortune our nation has ever experienced” by Martha Washington; also historically despised by many of his colleagues
President James Madison: was frequently made fun of for being small/frail/weak (5'4", about 100 pounds, very sickly); the wife of a Virginia politician once labeled him “the most unsociable creature in existence"
President James Monroe: was nicknamed “The Last Cocked Hat” due to his outdated revolutionary-era fashion sense he still kept later in life; also…he acquired Florida
President John Quincy Adams: constantly plagued by calls of illegitimacy for his term because of the backroom deal he made with the House to be elected over Jackson
President Andrew Jackson: basically almost caused mutiny of Southern states over a tariff; was chastised for his nepotism and also nicknamed “King Andrew” for his selfish/monarch-like tendencies as president (also committed genocide but I’m not counting that in here because he was actually LAUDED for it)
President Martin Van Buren: nicknamed “Little Magician,” “Sly Fox,” and “Red Fox of Kinderhook” for his shitty political skills, small stature, and red hair; Charles Ogle called him “Martin Van Ruin” on the floor of the House of Representatives
President William Henry Harrison: gave an ill-advised address in the freezing cold rain & was literally president for 30 days 12 hours and 30 minutes before he died of pneumonia, after which the nation quickly forgot about him
President John Tyler: nicknamed “His Accidency” after inheriting the presidency from Harrison
President James K Polk: so obscure that one of his rivals coined the slogan “Who is James K. Polk?” during his campaign; highly criticized for his war with Mexico
President Zachary Taylor: though only president for 16 months, often remembered as one of the worst presidents in history; as a total outsider he completely demolished the Whig party after his victory
President Millard Fillmore: entire cabinet unanimously resigned after disagreeing with him over a free vs. slave state issue
President Franklin Pierce: was abhorrently despised for his hand in the Kansas-Nebraska Act and failed to be re-nominated for a second term
President James Buchanan: pre-civil war, became so hated during his presidency part of his cabinet resigned; said to Lincoln upon leaving, “If you are as happy entering the presidency as I am leaving it, then you are a very happy man.” Also has evidently been ranked among 3 worst presidents in every poll and survey conducted since 1948
President Abraham Lincoln: shot & killed
President Andrew Johnson: literally faced impeachment over his failure to work with Congress; during his trial he blamed his troubles on “a mendacious press” that continually criticized him
President Ulysses S Grant: no political experience entering office; was loyal to people close to him and as a result failed to remove ineffective people; presidency riddled with scandals and corruption, though none involved him directly it caused him to be remembered as guilty by association
President Rutherford B Hayes: official inauguration secretly held inside the White House for fear of the trouble his opponents might stir up
President James A Garfield: shot & killed
President Chester A Arthur: plagued by a negative reputation of cronyism garnered in his early political career
President Grover Cleveland: sexually abused a widow (which he threw into an asylum) and fathered an illegitimate child (which he threw into an orphanage); was criticized with chants such as “Ma, Ma, where’s my pa?”
President William McKinley: shot & killed; also had a poor reputation due to his relationship with Republican party leader Mark Hanna who was seen as manipulating McKinley
President Theodore Roosevelt: shot & lived; also seen as egotistical and somewhat of a bully, greatly expanding executive powers
President William Howard Taft: Ballinger-Pinchot controversy gained so much bad press it led to the split of the Republican party
President Woodrow Wilson: aside from massive criticism over his handling of WWI, also garnered criticism for an investigation launched during his presidency over claims of homosexual interactions between naval personal and civilians
President Warren G Harding: Teapot. Dome. Scandal.
President Calvin Coolidge: actually criticized for saying too LITTLE
President Herbert Hoover: severely criticized for his handling of the Great Depression; also ordered Army to break up protesting veterans & his harsh methods got him a lot of public dissent
President Franklin D Roosevelt: faced allegations from Republican leaders in Congress who said he left his dog in the Aleutian Islands after a family trip & sent a Navy destroyer to rescue said dog at the taxpayers expense
President Harry S Truman: involved in a scandal when an investigation into the IRS lead to the firing of 166 IRS employees; stained with allegations of corruption in the aftermath
President Dwight D Eisenhower: many in his administration under investigation as to how many of their “gifts” and personal purchases were allegedly funded by taxpayer money
President John F Kennedy: shot & killed; also had a lot of alleged affairs
President Lyndon B Johnson: Pentagon Papers indicated he systematically lied to the American people about American involvement and actions in the Southeast Asian region
President Richard Nixon: …do I really have to say anything about this one?
President Gerald Ford: pardoned Nixon & hated for it
President Jimmy Carter: shit ton of criticism for Iranian Hostage Crisis
President Ronald Reagan: shot & lived; Iran-Contra affair; AIDS crisis…yet somehow remembered as America’s sweetheart
President George HW Bush: secretary of treasury arrested and sentenced to prison for tax evasion and obstruction of justice
President Bill Clinton: almost impeached over Monica Lewinsky
President George Bush: a journalist literally threw shoes at him
President Barack Obama: birth certificate fiasco, “THANKS A LOT, OBAMA”
Note that this is an insanely brief overview of criticisms, but the point is IT’S PART OF THE DAMN JOB, DON. NOW GET THE FUCK OVER IT BECAUSE NO ONE IS ATTENDING YOUR PITY PARTY.
You and Jay were laying on the couch, facing each other on opposite sides on the couch. Jay had recently came back from touring and you too were having a lazy. Jay was doing last minute stuff on his phone and computer and you were playing with Oscar and P.J on your lap.
While playing with both of them an idea pops into your head.
You look at Jay and see he’s totally enveloped in what’s going on his computer, typing away.
You unlock your phone and open snapchat and bring up the puppy filter. You flip the camera so that it’s facing Jay and zoom in on his face. You pretend that your taking a selfie of yourself so that he doesn’t get suspicious.
“Hey Jay” you call out to him.
“Whats up baby girl?” He asks eyes glued still to the computer.
“Babe look at me ” you said still pretending that your looking at yourself on your phone.
Jay looks up and the cute puppy ears and nose appears on your boyfriends face. You giggle silently at how cute he looks.
“Whats wrong baby?” He asks, licking his lips, wondering why your giggling.
“Say aaaaah” you say to him. Only to get a weird look from your boyfriend.
“What baby” he says and the cute tongue comes causing you to laugh and “awe” at how cute your boyfriend looks. The video stops and you look at it and laugh at how cute he looks.
“Whats so funny?” “What are you watching babe?” Jay said wondering about your recent demand.
“What? Oh nothing babe” you say. Jay looks at you and gets up from his spot and walks to you. You hide your phone before Jay can see the video you did of him.
“What is that ” he says tackling you. You laugh at your boyfriend and give up on your attempts of not showing him
“Ugh, fine ” you say showing him the video. Jay looks at it dumbfounded.
“Delete it” he says with a smirk on his face.
“Why it’s so cute ” you say to him pouting.
“I will never hear the end of it if one of the guys sees me with that puppy thing ”
“Whatever it’s called ” “ You can’t post it.”
You pout even more. “Can I at least save the video, just for my eyes to see.” You ask adding puppy eyes to your pout.
He groans “fine.” “But only for your eyes got me?”
“I got it” you say laughing.
LATER THAT DAY:
“BAAAAAAAAABBBBBEEE” you hear Jay yell all the way from your spot in the kitchen.
“JAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY” you scream back and look up from your phone to see your boyfriend.
“Oh hey ” you say smiling at him.
“So guess who just called me?” Jay asked.
“Wha- No Cha Cha did, and guess what he said”
“ He said you have pretty eyes”
“I wish. but no he didn’t, he said I looked cute with that GODDAMN PUPPY FILTER VIDEO YOU TOOK OF ME ON SNAPCHAT.”
You looked at Jay trying to hold back a laugh.
“I thought you said you deleted it?” He said to you.
“I was trying to but when I went to save it my finger accidentally pressed the “add to story” button.“
"Then why didn’t you delete it?”
“I was but you looked so cute I watched it over and over again and I forgot to delete it”
He looked at you dumbfounded. You tried in all your power not to laugh.
“How many people have seen this video?”
You thought for a moment. “Everyone”
He sighed. “Just great”
You wrapped your hands around your boyfriends neck.
“At least you looked hella cute” you said with your hands in his hair.
He wrapped his arms around you and kissed you while squeezing your butt.
“You’re sooooo lucky I love you” he says kissing you again giving your butt another squeeze.
“And I love you, my little puppy” you said kissing his cheek, giggling.
“Aaaaaaaaaand you ruined it” he said shaking his head and walking away, laughing, leaving you there on the kitchen floor laughing hysterically.
So, of the 85 federalist papers, John Jay got sick after writing five, Madison wrote 29, and Hamilton wrote 51, all in 6 months, or approximately 182 days. Each essay was between 900 and 3500 words in length, or between two and seven pages each. Handwritten.
Hamilton had to write one of these essays ever three and a half days.
One essay every three and a half days.
ONE ESSAY EVERY THREE AND A HALF DAYS.
Basically, he was insane and incredibly impressive, and I can’t even fathom how he managed to y’know. Live.