Ian David Moss edition.
Hey, gang, remember that story Bobby Jindal told about the sherrif and hurricane katrina and all of that? Remember the one that had him heroically standing by Sheriff Bobby Lee while Lee was trying to cut through the bureaucratic red tape &c?
...a Jindal spokeswoman has admitted to Politico that in reality, Jindal overheard Lee talking about the episode to someone else by phone "days later." The spokeswoman said she thought Lee, who died in 2007, was being interviewed about the incident at the time.
This is no minor difference. Jindal's presence in Lee's office during the crisis itself was a key element of the story's intended appeal, putting him at the center of the action during the maelstrom. Just as important, Jindal implied that his support for the sheriff helped ensure the rescue went ahead. But it turns out Jindal wasn't there at the key moment, and played no role in making the rescue happen...
When I said that Jindal's speech sounded like a Right Wing E-mail Forward, I was talking about tone, not accuracy! Turns out I shot a double bullseye...
I got a Canadian Pharmacy Spam in my e-mail inbox today. To get past spam filters they now use words that look like words but aren't the words they're supposed to be.
I keep getting google searches looking for "most influential play of the last century". The latest one of these was looking for the "9 most influential plays of this century". But I'm pretty sure they meant the 20th, not the 21st.
The Times today calls the forthcoming Bono/Edge/Taymor Spider-Man musical "widely anticipated". Which begs the question... by whom? I'm a comic book and theater nerd, and I'm not anticipating it. The only people I know who are anticipating it are people who can't wait for the schadenfreude when it crashes and burns. Of course, if press people and marketing folk keep getting the press to call it "widely anticipated" than I'm sure it will be.
Jindal is not ready for prime time. This opening bit about how we're all post-racial now sounds totally inauthentic. He sounds like a docent at the Natural History Museum, not a potential Presidential candidate. Seriously his speech is like the Right Wing E-mail Forwards featured at My Right Wing Dad.
I didn't get to see all of Obama's speech, but he seemed to knock it out of the park. What did you guys think?
Did you ever notice how physical our language for interaction is? Make a connection. Make contact. Finding something touching.
Is this language obsolete in the digital age? Two of the more profound conversations I’ve had over the last week were done over G-chat. Is it possible to find something touching when there is no chance the person you’re interacting with can actually touch you? To be clear, I’m not slagging G-Chat or Twitter or any of it, I actually find that’s enabled me to… oh what’s the word… keep in touch with people much easier.
In Infinite Jest’s speculative (and somewhat satirical) future, over 95% of all entertainment is consumed in the home, beamed into our television sets. No one goes to movie theaters and there is no network television (Everything’s a la carte pay per view). As a result, random live events—muggings, the draining of a duck pond, five alarm fires—are huge gatherings of people. They’re called SpecOps (Spectator Opportunities). We’re so alienated in his future, so used to private consumption of the staged, that we crave live experience of the spontaneous.
There is no hiding in theatre. Over Gchat, you can fake an emotion you’re not having (or- even worse- pretend not to feel when you in fact do). When you watch a film as an audience member, you are protected from the performer (and they by you). Furthermore, editing allows film actors to hide constantly. When your scene partner is doing “coverage” you don’t have to be “there” in any real sense.
This is one of the many reasons that theatre is a hard thing for actors to do. And why it’s hard for audiences as well. Your collective energy can’t be hid from the performers, and you can never stop touching and being touched when you’re on stage. I wonder if, as our connections to people get more and more virtual, our craving for live experience will get greater or diminish.
So i had never seen TWC, and Anne has a coworker who demanded that we see it.
I am in tech this week for MCC's Youth Company show (titled Back To Society). I'm sound designing. We're almost done, just gotta get a door opening and closing and an angry sounding bell. Woot.
Count me as unconvinced by the arguments for the Slumdog Backlash. It's a feel good movie that legitimately makes you feel good without also making you feel like an asshole. That's pretty damn hard. And Danny Boyle directed the shit out of that movie. I should also say, though, that i love Danny Boyle's work- including the much maligned, underrated Sunshine - in ways that compromise objectivity. There's a way in which he puts together images and music that really gets to me. I actually cried during the Paper Planes montage in Slumdog.
If I had wanted to watch All My Childen, I'd fucking watching All My Children. What an excruciating episode, blending together both of the show's weakest elements- Ellen Tigh and Gaiius Baltar's Lesbian Sex Cult. Having reviewed which episodes she's written, I think Jane Espensen is really one of the weaker writers for the show. You can't have an episode that relies on world creation when you haven't done anything to create that world, and the writers have really never been willing to do the work to create the civilian world of BSG. So now there's a Dogtown, and Sons of Aries and all this other bullcrap but it just feel inorganically stapled on at the last minute. Blech. They were doing so well, too!
What subject in the arts did the Times think was so important it deserved column inches in its Week In Review Section?
Longtime readers of this blog will know that i kind of get a bug up my ass about Celebrity Casting, in particular Hollywood-Stage-Dilettante-Casting on Broadway (Jennifer Garner, Katie Holmes and Julia Roberts being the sort of Unholy Trinity of this).
Cote on 7 Jewish Children:
is the new play any good? Well, the pictures of the productions look antiseptic and cool, but I think this is just another case of a writer thinking they can keep their experimental bona fides while also showing how awfully topical and tough-minded they are. Moreover, there’s something about angry Brit playwrights that gets under my skin: Often they think they’re being so shocking and complacency-shattering when in fact they’re just fuming over their own sense of powerlessness and outrage. There’s something adolescent about their anger. Don’t get me wrong: I love the cool brutality of Harold Pinter’s One for the Road andMountain Language, but what political good can they actually accomplish? Do they not rather show an artist whose work feeds off of cruelty, that benefits from a kind of sadism chic? Maybe it’s just me being an American, but I’m much more impressed by the mix of humor, humanity, melancholy and outrage that goes into the political theater of Tony Kushner and Wallace Shawn. Much as I respect Pinter, Churchill, Bond, Barker et al., there’s something smug, brittle, impotent and ultimately fatalistic about British 20th-century political theater. Put it this way: I’d love for Kushner to run for the Senate, but I would have been scared shitless by Prime Minister Pinter.
I await the Hunka flame war. No no, I'm kidding. I don't have a lot to say about this, simply because I think my experience of late-period Barker, Bond and Churchill is fairly limited, although I share Cote's love for Pinter's short political works. But I love them because they're thrilling theatre, and probe their subjects with intensity and passion, although I also agree with their politics.
Part of the reason I love the above-mentioned Kushner (and for that matter, David Foster Wallace) is that while the thematic content is deeply felt, there's also an intense desire to entertain and thrill the audience. There's a love for the audience there. I feel that love for the audience, for the performer, and for theatre in Churchill's best work, particularly Mad Forrest. It's also worth remembering that the monologues in One for the Road are dazzling word-drunk verbal tightrope acts, and contain a great amount of humor even as the play is excruciating to watch or read.
As recently as the nineteen-sixties, for reasons of history and origins, the Democrats were a stapled-together collection of Southern reactionaries, big-city hacks, and urban and agrarian liberals; the Republicans were a jumble of troglodyte conservatives, Yankee moderates, and the odd progressive. Ideological incoherence made bipartisanship feasible. The post-civil-rights, post-Vietnam realignment, along with the gerrymandered creation of safe districts, has given us—on Capitol Hill, at least—an almost uniformly rightist G.O.P. and a somewhat less uniformly progressive array of Democrats.