Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chicago in Michael Moriarty's Meditations & The Genius of Steve Allen

The guy can act, write, compose and tickle the 88s. Michael Moriarty is in the process of writing a series of prose reflections and this is the eighth rendering.

I have been blessed to know some really talented and good people in my 58 years of stomping on the terra. Michael Moriarty is as complex a moral man as the other Chicago rooted genius, actor, musician, comic, writer, composer and television pioneer Steve Allen, who was kicked out of Mount Carmel High School in his freshman year thanks to singer/actor and classmate Richard Kiley. Steve Allen was related to the Donahues, Murphys, Regans and Quinlans of the south side of Chicago and often returned to the old neighborhood even when he was at the height of fame as founder of the Tonight Show and played Hammond Organ concerts at the Franklin House on south Western Avenue*.

Michael Moriarty's grandfather George Moriarty was a baseball professional and contemporary of Tyrus Cobb, Buck Weaver, Eddie Collins and Jiggs Donahue who played for both the Cubs and The White Sox, before becoming an icon for the Detroit Tigers.
George Moriarty was also a musician and composer, but nowhere near as deeply talented as his grandson Michael. I like to think that Chicago and especially the south side of Chicago - the Stockyards and beyond - had much to do with the evolution of genius in families Billy Allen and Bella Montrose to Steve Allen and George Moriarty to Michael.

In the Eighth edition of Moriarty's Haunted Heaven prose scatting, we consider eternity.

The Haunted Heaven: Chapter Eight: The Theater of the Mysterious Same By Michael Moriarty
web posted July 18, 2011

As one hovers above the first and one of the most defining moments of a life, patience is the order of not only the day but the essence of eternity.

Eternity is one factor, however, that people can measure their lives by.

The infinity of the Universe and the eternity of Time?

These are the precepts upon which I now measure my life, both its relative insignificance but its spiritual importance as well.

Oh, I know, Stephen Hawking, whom I have never had the privilege to meet, might dispute the infinity of the Universe, and then again, since he has admitted to making mistakes himself, he eventually – because he is now an eternal factor of the universe – he eventually might change his mind again.

He might not dispute the infinity of the Universe.

If he is even slightly a pantheist, he might be willing to accept the Universe in its entirety as God Itself.

If, however, the Universe is infinite, then God is ultimately and infinitely incomprehensible.

"Not if it is just more of the same, Michael!"

I'm sure that metaphysically "It" is just "more of the same". However, the "same" is so infinite within "Itself" that It, Itself, demands to be capitalized.

The God of Same.

If we know that God looks in wonder upon Himself, then the "Same" is as bottomless a mystery as Life itself has proven to be for millenniums.

Then again, Stephen Hawking, as well as some of his certainties, might be exposed as hoaxes.

Global Warming, chapter two: Science as Inevitably Political Propaganda.

Therein lies the mystery!

Perhaps the Devil, at times, can put even God Himself in doubt, into anxiety.

Does God then call upon another God for reassurance?


This is God The Father and whatever doubts He might have?

The Doubts must come from one question: what is He to do with His own creation, which in this case is the Devil?

Evil in all its secret and manifest forms, a fact that God Himself created.

The Devil Himself as a blessing in disguise, as it is the very necessitation of Human Free Will.

That makes sense to me.

I'm now listening to a playback of my Seeds, the title for my own, little, musical inspirations, melodic and harmonic thoughts that … well … might very well fit themselves together into a masterpiece?!

The Seeds themselves, at this point in musical history, are nothing new. It is the order in which they are placed and developed that will determine whether or not they are the seeds for a work of art or the distracted pastimes of a wannabe.

Ah, ego mania! The bane of all exceptional creativity!!

One must be patient, particularly with one's own shortcomings.

I look at myself metaphorically, feel and see the considerable amount of damage that Life and I have done to myself, but, then again, I look at it as God's own work of art.

The Devil had a hand, that is for certain. Must we think of God and the Devil as Rogers and Hammerstein?!

The division between my responsibilities and Life's gets blurred very quickly when Progressive Psychology becomes involved. So involved that Good and Evil, even High and Low become a relative matter.

That is when Madness sets in and Evil becomes the Master to destroy all Masterpieces.

What is Progressivism?

"Anything but the Same!"

"Damn the Same!!" cry the Progressives.

Just now, I came to a possible format – and I only say possible format – for my symphonic series: the first movement always being an Overture of sorts, there to introduce the audience to the themes of the coming movements. Oh I would love to wait and wait, as Brahms did before he unleashed his highest symphonic achievement, his First Symphony, but I'm 70 years old!

"On, don't go back!" as the great English director, Sir Tyrone Guthrie would order us to do.

We poor but proud players of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

This poor but proud composer soldiers on.

What theater am I working for now?

The Theater of the Mysterious Same!

Old songs but eternally new settings.

Those who know the old songs best?

They lead!

We follow.

The goal?

Our destination?


If you are really serious about your life, why settle for anything less?

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and 4Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at

I remember a top rated loud mouth FM radio personality, as they were termed, horse-laughing the mention of Steve Allen, in the early 1990's. His side-kick buzzed and hooted slight regard for the man who won Emmys for Network and Public TV and Grammys for some of his 5,000 songs, comic genius, artistry at the piano and prodigious literary output. Hell, he had the drive-time slot!

* Both Moriarty and Steve Allen are criticized for their defense of eternal truths:

Michael Moriarty--like Jon Voight before him--turns Right.
It's a sort of ritual for certain aging male celebrities to publicly retreat into social and/or poltical conservatism. Steve Allen, in his last years, became a cranky crusader against what he considered "filth" in entertainment. The late Ron Silver (once involved with the left-to-moderate Creative Coalition) became vocal about his rightist beliefs after 9/11. Jon Voight, who won an Oscar for playing an anti-Vietnam War paraplegic (inspired by Ron Kovic) in COMING HOME, now can be found opnionating on Fox News. And don't get me started on former comedian Dennis Miller.

Michael Moriarty has now come to the proverbial fork in the road--and has turned Right. Here are links to an interview and a Moriarty-penned article for Andrew Breitbart's showbiz-liberalism-bashing site BIG HOLLYWOOD.

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