Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bread and Circuses

You know, it's been kind of a strange week. The show I directed went up, for its one night, and went pretty well. I was thankful for that, and thankful we made it through without any major catastrophes. I kind of knew when it was over, I would need to go into a bit of a creative coma, and I have. So this week, Sam and I have had the time to see a few movies and watch some tv, which has been variously inspiring, infuriating and/or disheartening.

An Inconvenient Truth. If you have not seen it, please go see it. I don't think I have been as affected by a movie since Bowling for Columbine. I thought I knew what was going on in terms of global warming, but I was actually pretty underinformed. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but after seeing that movie Sam and I started talking about ways we can decrease our CO2 contributions and I have just been seeing the American Way of Life through extremely smog colored glasses. If the globe was a cartoon by Charlez Schulz, the USA would be Pig Pen, but not as nice. Like a grown up sociopathic Pig Pen wearing an Armani suit. I feel profoundly dirty, and not in a good way.

Our post movie talk led to discussion of an independent movie about 911 called Loose Change that everyone should also be watching. Here it is. It's about 90 minutes long, so be prepared.

You all know I'm pretty susceptible to conspiracy theories, but this one has got some pretty compelling science behind it. And if it is true, or partially true that our government engineered the events of that day, there is a deeper evil at work there than I had ever suspected before. I always have said I'd never put anything past our government, but good godamn. This is the kind of movie that really makes me want to head for the hills and bunker down with some semi-automatics.

And then there was the incredibly incensing Rolling Stone article that makes a strong case for major election fraud in 2004, something that I was already convinced of at the time, and even more so now. Read it, if you haven't yet.

In the midst of all this, there is an interesting and effective bit of television we have been catching this week- a series about drug use in the US and it's effects on our culture as a whole. Very well done and absolutely fascinating. Feed your head.

The government has been trying to keep us from expanding our minds since about the 1920's, and the cyclical nature of widespread drug use in our culture shows that it is an absolutely human impetus to expand conciousness, to go beyond the veil, to break on through to the other side, as it were. And we are now in the midst of a different type of drug use, the widespread use of prescription anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds.

Gee- why are so many Americans depressed? Perhaps it because their government is poisoning the planet, killing innocents, spiraling exponentially out of control, and does not trust its own citizens to think for themselves, vote their will, or to choose and use non pharmecuetical drugs without the threat of being thrown in jail for it. There is a reason why the governmet considered Tim Leary the most dangerous man in America. Because he wanted us to tap into a part of our minds that cannot be legislated, cannot be predicted, and has the power to throw a proverbial monkey wrench into the giant cog of so-called progress. To go deeper and to find a better way.

Who will be our Leary now? Where is the new drug we need for people to open their eyes and see that we are rushing headlong towards disaster? At the very least, I propose a mass sodium penathol dosing of the White House, with a press conference to follow. But at this point, can we even handle the truth? Or distinguish it, if we saw it?

Probably not. We ended our week of dark theories, frightening science, and maddening politics by going to see Nacho Libre. We thought it could cleanse our palates, maybe. Not really that funny. And yet we go in droves. Is it from habit, or from fear?

We are the Hollow Men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw...

Sorry for the vitriol. Sometimes a girl can't help herself.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Can I get a what, what?

Last weekend Sam and I went to San Diego. I had never been there, but had heard nice things about it. We stayed in a good hotel in the Gas Lamp District, which is the "hip" part of town. Lo and behold, we happened to arrive in the midst of a "Smooth Jazz" festival. Yes, all night we strove to escape the Kenny G like tones playing smoothly all around us. But we had a nice Indian dinner and decided to follow it up with a nightcap in a Dueling Piano Bar. We thought it would be, well, Dueling Pianos. Unfortunately, we did not notice that it was a "Shout Along Dueling Piano Bar." What this entailed, as far as we were willing to witness, was two guys who seemed awfully tired of their gig, with two pianos, singing songs like Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville and encouraging the audience (who needed no encouragement) to shout along in a sort of escalatory gender war that eventually built into something like this:

Piano Guys: Some people claim that there's a woman to blame...
Rowdy Bar Women: Bullshit!
Drunken Bar Men: Fuck You!
Rowdy Bar Women: Kiss My Ass!
Drunken Bar Men: Suck My Dick!
Rowdy Bar Women: It's Too Small!
Drunken Bar Men: Your Mom Didn't Think So!

No, really. That's really what went on. And the place was packed. We slammed our drinks and escaped to the comfort of room service.

The next day we decided to go to Sea World. This was not well thought out. One of the busiest days of the year. The strollers. The exorbitant costs. The herding. The strollers. We didn't even try to see Shamu. We left pretty quickly, again for the oasis of our hotel until which time we needed to go to The Old Globe to see a play called The Violet Hour, which I read last year and is now in my old theatre's next season because it is just so good. We decide to take a human powered taxi. Not a good idea. We were running out of time and the guy was running out of steam, so we thought we'd hop out and hail a regular cab. Not so. We were caught in a seedy part of San Diego with no relief in sight. But just then, a nice young man in a sports car saw our looks of distress and gave us a ride into Balboa Rark, dpopping us off at what we thought was the back of the theatre. Nuht-uh. We couldn't find the damn thing due to 3 sets of conflicting directions but finally did arrive, sweating and out of breath. They seated us after putting us in a strange glassed in booth for a few minutes. Served us right.

The show was rolling along quite nicely, although we had a somewhat vocal audience member behind us, who seemed to be at his very first play. When it got to the scene where the young white publisher character reveals his ongoing affair with the older black jazz singer character by running to her and putting his head in her, well, crotch- the boy behind us went ballistic.

He just started asking, "What?" "What?" And shouting things like, "Get it to go!" at the actors. Yeah, it was great. Luckily he left at intermission, thanking one of the ushers for getting him the tickets, but he had to "take off to another show, yo, but it was good, it was real good!" Very strange. The rest of the show was quite good, and we went to a dessert place that had the longest line known to mankind and while the desserts were good, they were not "Extraordinary" as claimed in the name of the establishment. When it came time to get a cab back, we found that that was pretty much impossible. Eventually, we got out hotel to flag one down and send it across town to us. Ridiculousness.

So we were pretty happy to leave San Diego, although I wish we could have brought our mattress with us. That's some comfy shit, yo! Get it to go!