New disease


My name is PZ Myers, and I am a Hamilton addict.

Should I be looking for a cure, or reveling in it? Speak up if you are a fellow among the afflicted.


  1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Whatever boats your float.
    Just worry if you can’t make it to class.
    *where’s my SportsNight DVDs?*

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    funny how Hamilton is so popular no one can go see it. /Berra
    regardless, after listening to the recording it is clear why it is so popular. With lots of historicity thrown in for accuracy.

  3. carlie says

    I listened to it pretty much nonstop from when it came out in October until approximately… late April, maybe? Then I finally started putting other cds back in the rotation. I didn’t listen to it at all for a few weeks, but now if I put it in I can’t really stop until I’ve listened to it all again. (ok, not quite all, I do skip around to my favorites) At least I don’t end up sobbing through half of the songs any more. Usually.

    I know pretty much all the words but Child 1 thought it was hilarious that I made a mondegreen during Washington’s farewell address. Even with as much Bible learning I grew up with, I didn’t catch the fig tree reference. The line is “I want to sit under my own vine and fig tree: a moment alone in the shade, safe in this nation we’ve made”. I thought it was “I want to sit under my own vine; and victory: a moment alone in the shade, safe in this nation we’ve made”. IT MAKES SENSE.

  4. carlie says

    Also: aside from the genius lyrics annotations, the book that came out on the making of the musical has some great information in it.
    For example: If “It’s quiet uptown” doesn’t already completely crush you, the anecdote in the book will. (note: the song is about coping with a child’s death) A couple who were part of the production had a child die during prep, just a couple of weeks before the first runthrough of the song. Nobody in the cast or crew could get through it without breaking down due to this, and couldn’t imagine how the couple was making it through at all. Turns out Lin-Manuel had secretly sent them a demo tape of it weeks before and they had listened to it constantly since.

  5. qwints says

    Problematic favorite – founder hagiography sucks, but it’s so lyrically rich and dense.

  6. laurentweppe says

    That’s easy Paul, here’s the beginning of the twelve steps program you have to follow:

    1. Admit you are powerless over Hamilton.
    2. Come to believe that a Power greater than yourselves can restore your sanity.
    3. Make a decision to turn your will and life over to the Power of Rock

  7. Johnny Vector says

    *raises hand* (in a dramatic pose, coattails flying)

    I’ve read all the Genius notes, and am now starting on the book. I know close to nothing about hip-hop, but it still works for me. Most of my friends have seen it it seems; I don’t have $1600 for a pair of scalped “cheap seats”, or a reasonable way to try the lottery, so I have given up hope of seeing it in the near future.

    Had plans to go see it in Chicago (with Alex Gemignani as King George!), but, y’know, sold out instantly.

    From all the reading, it’s clear that the reason it’s so great is because not only is Lin-Manuel a genius, but so are Alex Lacamoire, Thomas Kail, the cast, and the rest of the creative team. Plus, it’s just time for Broadway to absorb hip-hop, like it did rock and jazz before.

  8. Niki G says

    Since I love a-holes so much, of course my favorite character in the musical is King George. My sister got tickets for obstructed view seats in Chicago in October. My mom won’t stop listening to it in the car. I got the Chernow biography on Hamilton and she’s already read it. I even loaned Mom my DVD of the PBS American Experience documentary and she watched that, too.

  9. says

    #10: “It’s quiet uptown” is sad, but what I found most distressing is how every piece colors every other one. You listen to it once, and that one will make you tearful; you listen to it a second time, and all the songs with Eliza and Phillip are killers, because you know what’s coming.

    #12: It’s not hagiography at all. One of the things that impressed me is that it tears down the plaster idols we’ve built of those fractious founders and reveals them to be highly flawed people, every one of them. Including Hamilton. Especially Hamilton.

    #16: I haven’t seen it at all. But I checked immediately to see if it’s going to tour (it is! But only Chicago so far). If it showed up in Minneapolis, I’d scrabble for tickets…but $1600? I can’t afford that at all. That just wouldn’t happen. I’d just wait until it was filmed.

    #17: King George is hilarious. “I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love!”

  10. jennafurfle says

    It WAS filmed! They filmed the show with the whole original cast just before several of the principals left the production. No word yet on when they might show it to us broke folks who can’t get tickets. But it WAS filmed!!

  11. elfsternberg says

    Man, join the club. I can’t stop listening to it. I can almost do “Guns and Ships” at full speed; I can’t imagine how Diggs does five nights a week and twice on Sunday. And once you’re past the lyrics, even the music is amazing. Seriously, is that the James Bond theme snuck under “Right Hand Man”?

  12. Billy Ford says

    Non-stop. We are going on our fourth month now. It all started with a C-SPAN Q&A with Chernow that I listened to during my commute. We’ve had some trouble sleeping with songs stuck in our head. We have a tendency to answer each other with lines from the musical. Also, it’s really difficult to convince others to listen to it. They think we are crazy for “jus tlistening to a soundtrack.” But, on the plus side, we are very entertained, we appreciate much more about our own nation’s history, and the 11-year-old wants to run for Treasurer at school.

  13. aleph says

    #17 King George is a disturbingly good look at the psychology of an abusive relationship – and I think the decision to present him as an abusive spouse was a rather clever one, really (and I say this as a Brit). My personal favourites… hmm. Well, basically all of them, obviously. But a few standouts are “Satisfied” (because Angelica is wonderful), “Wait For It” (which Burr absolutely /kills/) and “One Last Time”, where not only is Washington a cool guy who makes a good choice, but we also get the hilarious bonus of Hamilton’s “I’ll write under a pseudonym”.

    Yes, Hamilton. Because there are lots of other people who write six million page essays and hate Jefferson with enough passion to power a steamship. Nobody will be able to see through your clever ruse. The fact that you responded to “I want to give you a word of warning” with an instant reaction of “I don’t know what you’ve heard, but whatever it is, Jefferson started it!” clearly demonstrates why nobody would even /think/ to suspect you of anonymously tearing him apart.

    Overall I think I prefer the post-War political side to the fighting and battle just because it’s more interesting to me – and I’d be interested to hear which bits others liked in similar ways. I find the rap-fight Cabinet Battles and The Room Where It Happens as interesting as they are hilarious (especially Hamilton’s barbs about slavery and the genuine points on both sides of the France debate). Likewise, the whole Reynolds affair… “Take a Break” and “Hurricane” I could listen to on loop for ages, and “Say No To This” would be a favourite – Maria’s voice is gorgeous – if not for the fact that it makes me want to punch Hamilton in the face and remind him that he just spent literally an entire song saying “no” to his wife and sister-in-law.

  14. says

    Eliza comes out looking like a saint in this story: she’s put through the wringer by Hamilton, suffers the death of her son and husband in stupid duels, and yet still reconciles with him and tries to preserve his memory.

    Also, “Schuyler Sisters”, “Helpless”, “That would be enough”, “Best of wives and best of women”…this is a love story, and he doesn’t deserve her.

  15. aleph says

    Eliza is certainly one of the most morally admirable characters in the story, yes. Though actually, the Eliza bit that got me the most choked up – which was also the only bit in the play that managed to put a lump in my throat, because I am a jaded and heartless monster whose empathy has been honed into a weapon to use against others – was in Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story, when she talks about her work with the orphanage. The delivery of that section is brilliant, it really is.

    But on the note of “stupid duels”, I actually found the duelling culture stuff quite interesting, especially Ten Duel Commandments. Its /purpose/ in the play is to introduce us to duelling, which /does/ seem stupid and barbaric and pointless to us, from a modern perspective. But I think it gets across quite well that this was actually a pretty formalised thing and /why/ they were accepted practice – there were multiple stages and repeated chances to back down that both parties went through before getting to the stage of drawing guns. It wasn’t some violent free-for-all that they did instead of using basic communication and diplomacy; it was what they did once they’d exhausted all attempts at talking and still found themselves opposed. The duel between Laurens and Lee didn’t matter, but it was there to set up the respective Hamilton duels later in the play and explain /why/ they happened like they did.

    That doesn’t mean it doesn’t still seem senseless and pointlessly violent to us, of course. But honestly, as gun cultures go, a formal rule system that gives you three separate chances to resolve things with words before shots are fired is a lot better than the unofficial one America has at the moment.