Friday, May 30, 2008

The Strangerer

I saw a play that deals with this, called The Strangerer - based on the Camus book which I have not read. And the company, Theater Oobleck, is doing that smart 'paywhatyoucan' strategy. At the box office I credited Radiohead with the idea, and they made it clear that I was wrong.

Regardless, this play was FANTASTIC. The best theater I've seen in Chicago. It's I guess the subject of the book, retold through the context of the Bush/Kerry debate in Florida, moderated by Jim Lehrer. Unfortunately, my problem that I have to got to disclose is this ridiculous preference for political art. I'm a total sucker. So while I think this really was stand alone good theater, I will recluse myself from giving too much about it. Bias - it only exists when you want it to!

I'm hungry.

Have you developed a euphemism for youtube yet? We need to euphemize it. Please think of something.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Not done yet.

So Risa, I'm not done blogging. I think I was intimated by our different approaches and that turned me away...but maybe I'll be more consistent if I just stick to my intentions.

And I don't need to explain things either, right? I think I'll feel better if I can relax feeling compelled to explain details of conversations we have on the phone. As we've discussed countless times, everybody knows what everybody is saying half the time anyway, our sentences are so repetive that we may as well just thing thing thing thing thing thing.


I've been way on the excitement about the skill breakdown of empathy through motivational interviewing. I haven't felt this way since college, but for the past week eveything has been connecting on an intellectualy splendid plane.

If everybody just learns how to do this, learns how to meet people where they're at, we can create a sex-positive, drug-positive, pluralistic, empathetic world.

I wonder where Barack Obama would fall on a sexuality and gender scale? And what his rating on the purity test is?

oh man....oh man.... I would put money on the fact that he has 'experimented'.

*** I apoligize for my use of hyperbole in this post. Hyperbole is gross.***

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DTWOF #527

It's here!

Alison Bechdel says she's invoking a hiatus to finish her next graphic memoir.
It's fine.
I'm fine with it.
It's fine.
I believe in breaks, I think they're good, distances gives us perspective. She's not obligated to me in any way. She's not making a living from the strips, she needs to eat, this is fine. This is her right.



Seriously, Alison, as much as I'll miss the strip, as happy as I'll be when it returns, good luck with all your projects...have some fun too dammit...and I look forward to whatever comes next.

Goodbye, Mr. Rauschenberg

I took Bob Rauschenberg as a hero in college. I think, originally, I just really loved his work. His pieces, like so much of the art I love, appeared to me as something I had always dreamed of...but never seen...and then they were there. Then, the more I learned about him, specifically his collaboration with John Cage and Merce Cunningham, he became a figure of possibility for me. He represents a lack of limitation; an artist can do anything with his/her chosen medium/ia. And yet, despite the infinite meanings they convey, his work is tightly controlled, limited in the best way. Each piece has its rules, its subjective meaning for Rauschenberg, which may or may not be conveyed to us as he meant them, but surely SOMETHING is conveyed.

Thank you, Mr. Rauschenberg.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Using Sontag's On Photography for a paper about Weegee's Naked City, came across the word quiddity:
The photographer’s ardor for a subject has no essential relation to its content or value, that which makes a subject classifiable. It is, above all, an affirmation of the subjects thereness, its rightness (the rightness of a look on a face, of the arrangement of a group of objects), which is the equivalent of the collector’s standard of genuineness; its quiddity – whatever qualities make it unique (77).

Sometimes words are great because they are onomatopoeitic.
Sometimes words are great because they sound like nonsense but convey a definition you've been looking to signify with one word for quite sometime.

Quiddity, for me, goes into the latter category.

Oh language, you're so terribly, terribly flawed, and yet...

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Cult of the Impossible

When I was 20 years old, after my sophomore year of college, I took part in the SITI Company's summer intensive, which takes place every May/June at my college - Skidmore College.

At some point during this summer, some member of the SITI Co., maybe Anne, maybe someone else, forgive my faulty memory, imparted unto me the idea of the "intention of the impossible." Which I have taken to mean is the goal of all theater.

Mind you, I do mean the INTENTION of the impossible, and not the brining of this intention to fruition, for that truly is, as the phrase suggests, IMPOSSIBLE.

You do not become a Jet when you act the part in West Side Story; Peter Pan does not exist and, sadly, no one can fly without the aid of mechanics. You simply do not, from curtain to curtain, become another person - your chromosomes and heart defects and gap-toothed grins stay, relatively speaking, as they are, as they have been from the day you were born.

HOWEVER, you can lie. You can say you are thin when you are fat, you can say you are tall when you are short, and you can say you are a man when you are a woman. And if you say it with complete intention, if, as any good con knows, you believe your own lie first and foremost, then others will believe it too. Simply put - if you intend the impossible, others will achieve it for you out of sheer belief.

But let me toss you a slight curve ball:
When you train with the SITI Company, as I was remembering on the subway today, and bear in mind I haven't trained in some years, and as I have already proven, memory often fails, but as I remember, this idea of the intention of the impossible is part and parcel of Suzuki and Viewpoints training as well. But here's the thing that got me puzzling on the subway: Suzuki is approached with zealot-like exactitude, that seems to beg you, as the author of your training, not to intend the impossible but to actually achieve it. And so I recall getting caught up in not being able to do it "right," which is indeed impossible, and so I don't think I ever performed as well as I could.

I guess what I'm really talking about it is that it does you no good to worry over being right. Impossibility is an arationality (cheers, Professor Stone-Richards) that we approach but never achieve in theater, and we build a rational system off this intention. So too, perhaps, in all walks of life. Do not fret over your rightness, for you are bound to be wrong...most of the time. Open yourself to the very impossibility that you gain more truth in wrongness than rightness.

Looney Tunes' The Rabbit of Seville

Salvador Dali & Luis Bunuel's Un Chien Andalou

Banana Bag and Bodice's The Sewers