SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Dream of the Rarebit Fiend

Dream of the Rarebit Fiend is a newspaper comic strip by American cartoonist Winsor McCay, begun September 10, 1904. It was McCay's second successful strip, after Little Sammy Sneeze secured him a position on the cartoon staff of the New York Herald. Rarebit Fiend appeared in a newspaper published by the Herald. For contractual reasons, McCay signed the strip with the pen name "Silas"; the strip had no continuity or recurring characters, but a recurring theme: a character has a nightmare or other bizarre dream after eating a Welsh rarebit—a cheese-on-toast dish. The character regrets having eaten the rarebit; the dreams reveal unflattering sides of the dreamers' psyches—their phobias, hypocrisies and dark fantasies. This was in great contrast to the colorful fantasy dreams in McCay's signature strip Little Nemo, which he began in 1905. Whereas children were Nemo's target audience, McCay aimed Rarebit Fiend at adults; the popularity of Rarebit Fiend and Nemo led to McCay gaining a contract in 1911 with William Randolph Hearst's chain of newspapers with a star's salary.

His editor there thought McCay's skilled cartooning "serious, not funny", had McCay give up comic strips in favor of editorial cartooning. McCay revived the strip in 1923–1925 as Rarebit Reveries, of which few examples have survived. A number of film adaptations of Rarebit Fiend have appeared, including Edwin S. Porter's live-action Dream of a Rarebit Fiend in 1906, four pioneering animated films by McCay himself: How a Mosquito Operates in 1912, 1921's Bug Vaudeville, The Pet, The Flying House; the strip is said to have anticipated a number of recurring ideas in popular culture, such as marauding giant beasts damaging cities—as popularized by King Kong and Godzilla. Winsor McCay first produced Dream of the Rarebit Fiend in 1904, a year before the dream romps of his Little Nemo and a full generation before the artists of the Surrealist movement unleashed the unconscious on the public; the strip had no recurring characters, but followed a theme: after eating a Welsh rarebit, the day's protagonist would be subject to the darker side of his or her psyche.

The strip would begin with an absurd situation which became more and more absurd until the Fiend—the dreamer—awakened in the final panel. Some situations were silly: elephants falling from the ceiling, or two women's mink coats having a fight. Other times, they could be more disturbing: characters finding themselves dismembered, buried alive from a first-person perspective or a child's mother being planted and becoming a tree. In some strips the Fiend was a spectator watching fantastic or horrible things happen to someone close to themself; the protagonists are urban bourgeoisie whom McCay subjects to fears of public humiliation or loss of social esteem or respectability. Rarebit Fiend was the only one of McCay's strips in which he approached social or political topics, or dealt with contemporary life, he addressed religious leaders, homelessness, political speeches, suicide and other topics, whereas his other strips were fantasy or had vague, timeless backgrounds. The strip referenced contemporary events such as the 1904 election of Theodore Roosevelt.

The rarebit is a dish made with rich cheese thinned with ale and served melted on toast with cayenne and mustard mixed in. McCay used it despite its innocuousness—cultural theorist Scott Bukatman states rarebit was not the sort of dish a person would associate with having nightmares. McCay's most famous character, Little Nemo, first appeared in the first year of Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, on December 10, 1904. In 1905, McCay had Nemo appear in his own strip in the New York Herald. In comparison to Little Nemo, the artwork of the Rarebit Fiend strips had minimal backgrounds, were done from a static perspective with the main characters in a fixed position; the content of Rarebit Fiend played a much bigger role than it did in Little Nemo, whose focus was on beautiful visuals. The stories were self-contained; the dreams in Nemo were aimed at children, but Rarebit Fiend had adult-oriented subjects—social embarrassment, fear of dying or going insane, so on. Some of the dreams in both strips were wish-fulfillment fantasies.

Unlike most comic strips from the time, Rarebit Fiend is not escapist. The strips highlight readers' darker selves—hypocrisies, deceitfulness and discomfort, they offer biting social commentary and show marital and religious matters in a negative light. McCay had an interest in pushing formal boundaries, playful self-referentiality plays a role in many of the strips. Though frequent in Rarebit Fiend, this self-referentiality does not appear in McCay's other strips. In contrast to the skilled artwork, the lettering in the dialogue balloons, as in McCay's other work, was awkward and could approach illegibility in reproductions, where the artwork has been reduced in size. McCay seemed to show little regard for the dialogue balloons, their content, their placement in the composition, they tend to contain repetitive monologues expressing the increasing distress of the speakers, show that McCay's gift was in the visual and not the verbal. McCay had a prolific output published in magazines and newspapers.

He became known for his ability to draw a talent he employed during chalk talks on the vaudeville stage (alongside

The Sure Thing

The Sure Thing is a 1985 American romantic comedy film written by Steven L. Bloom and Jonathan Roberts and directed by Rob Reiner; the film stars John Cusack, Daphne Zuniga, Viveca Lindfors, Nicollette Sheridan. The film chronicles the cross-country journey of college students Walter Gibson and Alison Bradbury as they make their way from New England to Los Angeles, each in an effort to meet their ideal match; the origins of the film came from an experience writer Steven L. Bloom had while attending Brown University. During this time, his best friend was attending Emory University in Atlanta, GA and was recounting the good times he was having while nothing was going on for Bloom. Out of pity over his situation his friend arranged for him to meet a sure thing over spring break, so Bloom found a ride through a ride board and drove to Atlanta with a number of other students. High school senior Walter Gibson and his best friend Lance are celebrating the fact they are moving on to college, but all Walter can do is lament the fact that he has lost his touch with women.

Lance heads to UCLA. The two keep in touch by writing letters, his attempt to get close to Alison Bradbury from his English class by tricking her into tutoring him only results in his angering and alienating her. He receives a phone call from Lance telling him to come to California for Christmas break because he has set him up with a beautiful girl, assuring him she is a Sure Thing. Walter finds a ride from a ride share board to make the trip, he meets the couple providing the ride. Things go from bad to worse when he realizes he will be sitting next to Alison as she heads to UCLA to visit her boyfriend Jason; the tension and bickering between Walter and Alison becomes too much for Cooper, he abandons them on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and Alison hitches a ride which turns out to be a big mistake. The driver stops at a deserted little pocket of the road and attempts to rape her, but Walter comes to her rescue just in the nick of time; as they hitch to California, they overcome issues with transportation, lack of food, lack of money, sleeping arrangements, while at the same time developing genuine feelings for one another.

En route to California, Alison discovers the real reason Walter made the trip is to meet his "sure thing" and angrily walks away after they arrive. That night at a college mixer Lance has arranged for Walter to meet his "sure thing". Meanwhile, Alison is spending a boring night with Jason when she drags him to the same mixer for some fun. Alison and Walter see each other at the party, but jealousy leads to a confrontation between the two. Walter can not stop thinking about Alison. Back on campus after the break and Walter are uncomfortable around each other. In their English class, Professor Taub reads an essay composed by Walter as a writing assignment, a description of his night with the "sure thing"; the girl in the essay asks the protagonist if he loves her, but for the first time he realizes that those are not just words and he cannot sleep with her. Alison realizes what happened that night, she tells Walter that she and Jason broke up, they kiss; when casting for the part of Walter Gibson began, director Rob Reiner refused to meet with John Cusack because the actor was under-aged.

Casting directors Jane Jenkins and Janet Hirshenson convinced Reiner to audition Cusack, after which Reiner knew he had to have him for the part. At the time Anthony Edwards was being considered for the lead, but after Cusack got the part, Edwards was offered the best friend role instead. At the time of his casting, Cusack was still 16 and had not yet graduated from high school, so producer Roger Birnbaum had to go to court to have him emancipated. During the filming of the movie, Birnbaum became Cusack's legal guardian. Many popular songs were used in the film but a soundtrack was never released; the following is a list of tracks featured in the film: The film earned over $18 million at the box office. Reviews for The Sure Thing were positive. Film critic Roger Ebert, who gave it three-and-a-half stars out of four, praised the film and called it a "small miracle" for its handling of teenage material in an era when movies like Porky's were the norm. In a review for The New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote that The Sure Thing was "glowing proof of two things: Traditional romantic comedy can be adapted to suit the teen-age trade, Mr. Reiner's contribution to This Is Spinal Tap was more than a matter of humor".

As of October 2018, the film holds a rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 33 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads: "Though its final outcome is predictable, The Sure Thing is a charming, smartly written, mature teen comedy featuring a breakout role for John Cusack; the Sure Thing on IMDb The Sure Thing at AllMovie The Sure Thing at the TCM Movie Database The Sure Thing at Rotten Tomatoes The Sure Thing at The 80s Movies Rewind

Bay Psalm Book

The Bay Psalm Book was the first book printed in British North America. The book is a metrical Psalter, first printed in 1640 in Massachusetts; the Psalms in it are metrical translations into English. The translations are not polished, not one has remained in use, although some of the tunes to which they were sung have survived. However, its production, just 20 years after the Pilgrims' arrival at Plymouth, represents a considerable achievement, it remained in use for well over a century. One of eleven known surviving copies of the first edition sold at auction in November 2013 for $14.2 million, a record for a printed book. The early residents of the Massachusetts Bay Colony brought with them several books of psalms: the Ainsworth Psalter, compiled by Henry Ainsworth for use by Puritan "separatists" in Holland. Evidently they were dissatisfied with the translations from Hebrew in these several psalters and wished for some that were closer to the original, they hired "thirty pious and learned Ministers", including Richard Mather, Thomas Mayhew, John Eliot, to undertake a new translation, which they presented here.

The tunes to be sung to the new translations were the familiar ones from their existing psalters. The first printing was the third product of the Stephen Day press, consisted of a 148 small quarto leaves, including a 12-page preface, "The Psalmes in Metre", "An Admonition to the Reader", an extensive list of errata headed "Faults escaped in printing"; as with subsequent editions of the book, Day printed the book for sale by the first bookseller in British America, Hezekiah Usher, whose shop at that time was located in Cambridge. An estimated 1,700 copies of the first edition were printed; the third edition was extensively revised by Richard Lyon. The revision was entitled The Psalms and spiritual songs of the Old and New Testament, faithfully translated into English metre; this revision was the basis for all subsequent editions, was popularly known as the New England Psalter or New England Version. The ninth edition, the first to contain music, included 13 tunes from John Playford's A Breefe Introduction to the Skill of Musick.

The expansion of the neoclassical movement in England led to an evolution in the singing of psalms. These changes found their way to America and subsequently new psalm versions were written. In the early part of the 18th century several updated psalms, notably those written by Tate and Brady and by Isaac Watts, were published. Shortly thereafter several congregations in New England elected to replace the Bay Psalm Book with these new titles. In 1718, Cotton Mather undertook the revision of the original Bay Psalm Book which he had studied since youth. Two subsequent revisions were published in 1752, by John Barnard of Marblehead and in 1758 by Thomas Prince. Prince was a clergyman at the Old South Church in Boston, he convinced the members of the congregation of the need to produce a revised, more scholarly, edition of the Bay Psalm Book. Prince’s version was not accepted outside of his membership and in 1789, the Old South Church reverted to the earlier edition published by Isaac Watts; the title page of the first edition of 1640 reads: The Whole Booke of PsalmesFaithfully TRANSLATED into ENGLISHMetre.

Whereunto is prefixed a discourse declaring not only the lawfullness, but the necessity of the heavenly Ordinance of singing Scripture Psalmes in the Churches of God. Imprinted, 1640 Eleven copies of the first edition of the Bay Psalm Book are known still to exist, of which only five copies are complete. Only one of the eleven copies is held outside the United States. One copy is owned by each of the following: A copy of the first edition sold in 1947 for $151,000. A 1648 edition, described in American Book Prices Current as the "Emerson Copy", fetched $15,000 on May 3, 1983, at New England Book Auctions in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. On September 17, 2009, Swann Galleries auctioned an early edition, c. 1669–1682, bound with an Edinburgh Bible, for $57,600. On November 26, 2013, Sotheby's auctioned a 1640 copy owned by Boston's Old South Church. Sotheby's confirmed that it was purchased by American financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein "who planned to loan it to libraries across the country"..

In Neal Stephenson's book The Rise and Fall of D. O. D. O. A shadowy Pentagon project finances itself by sending a researcher back in time to 1640 who steals and buries a copy of the Bay Psalm Book; the book is recovered in the 21st century and auctioned off for 14 million dollars. Codex Leicester, which holds the record for the sale price of any book House of the First Print Shop in the Americas John Ratcliff Metrical psalter List of most expensive books and manuscripts Fully digitized copy of the original 1640 edition from the John Carter Brown Library collection available at the World Digital Library Arch. G e.40 Digital facsimile from the Bodleian Library Bay Psalm Book From the American Imprint Collection at the Library of Congress The preface to the book Reprint of the First Edition Historic Boston Church’s Decision to Sell Rare Psalmbook Divides Congregation