Thursday, March 30, 2006

Politics is the Art of Controlling Your Environment

"That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks "it doesn't matter who's President" has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World -- or beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property -- or hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons -- or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted." Hunter S. Thompson

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

John Patrick Shanley Speaks Out

John Patrick Shanley's reaction to the NYTW's cancelation of My Name Is Rachel Corrie. From an interview on the Brian Lehrer show, WNYC, March 22. (Transcribed as excerpted on the March 24 broadcast.)
"The motives of the people who were going to produce this play Off-Broadway in New York are not adequately known and I think that they should be aired...But it highlights a larger phenomenon which is an international gangsterism towards the arts at this time. I consider the New York Times not publishing the cartoons about Mohammed to be an act of editorial cowardice and inappropriate--obviously it was major news--and this idea of it being 'sensitive' to religion, respectful to religion, not to air differences, not to air slurs, not to air slights, is just giving into intimidation of different kinds. Now the theatre in New York may not have been afraid that they were going to be killed, they may have been afraid they were going to lose funding from somebody, that I don't know. But I do know there is intimidation across this country in the arts, where plays like Grease are being vetoed by local organizations as being too racy and cartoons are being called unworthy of publication because the sensitivities of people of a certain religion trumps the need of people of every persuasion to know. And I think it has to be looked at. There's a certain degree of cowardice involved and I think people are going to have to get used to the idea that doing these things--like what happened to [documentary film maker Theo] Van Gogh in the Netherlands--may lead to them being killed."
If you're interested in reading more about the My Name Is Rachel Corrie controversy, checkout Playgoer. He's done an amazing job covering this story and moving it forward.


The Oval Office. KARL ROVE’S face can be seen in a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. ROVE’S eyes dart back and forth as PRESIDENT BUSH sits at his desk and thinks. The sound of grinding gears and clanking machinery. BUSH thinks and thinks. The effort shows. DONALD RUMSFELD appears through a secret door in the floor and surprises the President.

BUSH: Dag-nab-it, Rummy. I’m tryin’ to fornicate a strategy for the mid-term elections.

RUMMY: Sorry to interrupt, Mr. President. But I just need a little more money for the defense budget.

BUSH: How much we talkin' about?

RUMMY: Ten billion dollars.

BUSH: Where the hell am I supposed to come up with ten billion dollars?

RUMMY: Well, I was 911, all the national monuments are a liability to us. Why don't we sell them off?

BUSH: Hmmmm. Let me think about that. (More grinding of gears)


CONNIE: Sir. Dab Bobertson and Rosemary Beard of the Christian Accord are waiting to speak with you.

BUSH: (Points to his Stetson) Candy, ma thinkin’ cap? Ma thinkin’ cap is still on!

CONNIE: Sorry to interrupt, Mr. President, but they’ve been waiting for three days.

ROVE: (appears from Lincoln’s portrait, crazy hypno music plays) See Dab. Reconnect with your conservative base.

BUSH: Oh! Just when my brain was about to find the key to the door that unlocks the box to the windmills of my mind.

CONNIE: Maybe you can take a break now, sir. It’s good to give overworked muscles time to recover.

BUSH: You’re right! Send ‘em in. I need a breather.


BUSH: Bobertson? What do you mean bringin’ a goat into the Oval Office?

BOBERTSON: This is Rosemary. She’s a very special goat. Rosemary has the gift of prophecy.

BUSH: You interrupt my conjugatin’ with a prophesizin’ goat?

ROVE: (again with the crazy hypno music) Hear Dab out. The Lord has presented him with a new strategy that’ll seal our majority in the House and assure our future for eternity!

BUSH: What to do you all take me for? A complete idiot?

THEY ALL protest mightily.

ALL: Oh no sir. No sir. Not in a million years, sir.

ROSEMARY: Damn straight. I seen fence posts smarter than you boy!

BUSH: Who said that?

ROSEMARY looks completely innocent.

ROVE: It was the goat, sir.

BOBERTSON: I apologize. Rosemary may be a little short on manners, but she speaks the true word of God.

BUSH: So this goat is here to tell me that God thinks I’m an idiot?

ROSEMARY: No. God thinks you’re a moron. But you work with what you got.

BOBERTSON: Rosemary! Come on now. Tell the President what the Lord sent you here to say.

ROSEMARY goes into a trance. She sways and moans. She moves about the office assuming various poses as the spirit takes her, it looks a lot like a Madonna video. She breaks into song with the most angelic of voices.

Here ye! Here ye! The end is nigh!
Prepare the way for the Big Lord Guy!
We’re in the Last Days!
The Last Days!
Prepare the way! Prepare the way!

BUSH: Last days? What does that mean? Are we gonna lose our majority in the House?

BOBERTSON: Rosemary is talking about the Rapture. The Last Days when God returns to earth and runs it like He meant it to be run.

BUSH: How do you know that we’re in the Last Days?

CONNIE: Well, sir. The Last Days before the coming are filled with Tribulation and War.

RUMMY: Kind of like the way things are now, except God provides the “Shock and Awe.”

ROVE: Hurricanes, famines, pestilence…stuff like that.

BUSH: God’s asking me to step down from office?

BOBERTSON: No! You’re here to fulfill the Prophecy to fight the battle of Armageddon.

BUSH: Have you seen my popularity rating? We’ve lost all credibility on the war in Iraq, now I’m supposed to start another war?

ROVE: Technically, it’s not a war. It’s a battle.

BUSH: People are fed up with the war.

RUMMY: We’re talking about a battle. One measly battle. Come on; give me more money to fight the battle!

CONNIE: Rummy’s right, we don’t want to wait until the heavenly hosts are a seven-headed beast.

BUSH: We’ve got elections coming up! We need to focus on the issues.

RUMMY: Issues? What issues?

BUSH: People are worried about the economy.

ROVE: After the battle, there’ll be one thousand years of peace and prosperity. Even the peaceniks in San Francisco can get behind that.

BUSH: The people want us to decrease our dependence on oil.

They all laugh good-naturedly then spit.

BUSH CONT’D: Develop alternative energy sources.

They all laugh good-naturedly then spit.

ROVE: That’s the beauty of the plan. Behold! The Big Book of ROVE! Errr, I mean God!

The big Book of Rove, errr....G.O.D. appears from on high and flies open. A heavenly light shines from it and a choir of angels sings. ROSEMARY burps. ROVE takes hold of the book reverently and sings.

It’s the war to end all wars!
For the justest cause of all.
No worries about the ozone,
the other shoe’s about to fall!

When you hear the thunder crashing
And see great plagues across the land
Don’t worry God is coming,
To fulfill His master plan.

If there’s an seven-headed beast
and the Whore of Babylon
You can bet your sweet patooty,
I’ve got my Armageddon on.

Let’s get it on!


DAB: Mr. President, you’re always saying that God speaks through you. Well, let me ask you this. Has He spoken to you lately?

DICK CHENEY ENTERS and sits at a desk and dials a phone.

BUSH: Now that you mention it. No.

The phone on the President’s desk rings.

ROVE: Mr. President. It’s God on the line.

CHENEY: (Cups hand over phone) Hey, Buckaroo. Did you get my message?

BUSH: Sure enough, Big Ace. The goat was a nice touch.

CHENEY: You’re on board then, right?

BUSH: I’m just concerned. It says in the Bible that the Anti-Christ starts the Battle of Armageddon. I’ve never thought of myself as an Evildoer.

CHENEY: Think of it this way, you’ll be doing My will by fulfilling the Prophecy. That doesn’t make you an Evildoer. That makes you…well, how do you feel about the Hand Puppet of God?

BUSH: Count me in, Big Guy. Count me in.

The Rapture is a-coming
A great reckoning’s on the way
George Bush is the Anti-Christ
Who’s come to save the day!


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Prick Up Your Ears!

Alec Baldwin takes on Sean Hannity.
"Hannity! You no talent whore!" [link]

But wait there's more...
Hannity Makes Political Pornography by Alec Baldwin [link]

In Their Own Words (To be continued...)

Charles Marowitz
A comparison of English vs.
American theater criticism.
Frank Rich, unaffectionately dubbed "the Butcher of Broadway," reigned supreme as The New York Times drama critic for over a decade. During his sway, the theatre community smarted under his acrimonious notices. When he walked into theatre receptions, the actors, it is alleged, walked out en masse. There were even rumors of plots against his life but, as anyone familiar with the New York scene knows, there is no tyrant as immovable as a theatre critic who enjoys the confidence of his editorial hierarchy. (Swans - March 14, 2005) [link]

"There is something undeniably boring about ordering thoughts long familiar to reasonably clever people for the sake of some external purpose..." Robert Musil

Monday, March 27, 2006

28rd Annual St. Stupid's Day Parade

Saturday, April 1th
Noon - 2:34

Join Bishop Joey in celebration of the First Church of the Last Laugh's one and only hole-y day. This year's parade follows the weekend route, starting at the Tall Pointy Building (transamerica pyramid) and heading up Columbus Avenue to Washington Square Park for a staged event with heretical music, discount dogma, a faith based 2 minute talent show and the traditional FREE LUNCH! The public is encouraged to join this unique San Fransisco tradition with their own music, noise makers, costumes and silly buisness to honor St. Stupid, patron saint of civilizations and parking meters.
POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights) &
Unconditional Theatre Present:



Performed in English & Spanish

April 6-9 @ 8PM
EXIT Theater on Taylor
277 Taylor St. (between Eddy & Ellis)
$7-$27 sliding scale
For tickets, call 415-738-7755

El Otro Lado shines a light on the untold and unseen lives, histories and struggles of low-wage Latina domestic workers in San Francisco. The vast majority of these workers are immigrants from the Global South who uproot their lives and cross borders to secure the promise of the American Dream. Performed by POWER members and low-wage workers and scripted from interviews with domestic workers and their families, as well as organizers, lawyers and politicians. Directed by Kim Fowler & John Warren.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Theater Criticism and the US Flag Code

"Any art so vulnerable that it needs euphemized reviews to survive ought to be put out of its misery, just as any country that needs to outlaw flag burning ought to think again about what loyalty means." Jonathan Kalb, The Death (and Life) of American Theater Criticism

Brush up on your US Flag Code

Weigh in on the following question: What are the functions of a theater critic?

Bang or Whimper?

Delightful End of the World Senario.

Lisa Says...
"When someone asks if you'd like cake or pie, why not say you want cake and pie?" Lisa Loeb

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Happy Pi Day

It's today and the number is Pi.
etc. etc.

Bonus: It's Enstein's birthday. "The faster you go, the shorter you are."

Sunday, March 12, 2006


"It's not easy to improvise, it's the most difficult thing to do. Even when one improvises in front of a camera or microphone, one ventriloquizes or leaves another to speak in one's place the schemas and languages that are already there. There are already a great number of prescriptions that are prescribed in our memory and in our culture. All the names are already preprogrammed. It's already the names that inhibit our ability to ever really improvise. One can't say what ever one wants, one is obliged more or less to reproduce the stereotypical discourse. And so I believe in improvisation and I fight for improvisation. But always with the belief that it's impossible. And there where there is improvisation I am not able to see myself. I am blind to myself. And it's what I will see, no, I won't see it. It's for others to see. The one who is improvised here, no I won't ever see him." Jacques Derrida (unpublished interview, 1982)

This quote is striking to me as someone who builds work through Viewpoints. It acurately describes the necessity for effacement. Effacement of the self to the point that one can simply respond to an impulse coming from another live body in the present.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Thanks For All The Fish

Crunch-a-tize me Cap'n! 'Coz Chik'in A Biscuit has a bold new look. Same great taste. Bold new look. Good thing we're capable of revolutionizing the snack cracker because the fish are a done deal. There is no fish that doesn't contain mercury. Recent news reports advise pregnant women not to eat more than one can of tuna a week if they are eating fresh fish of any sort. Better to eat no fish at all. Shame on us.

Got Mercury?
mercury hair sampling kit
estimate of
your current levels of mercury exposure

Random Elements Found On Desk
Site logging historical landmarks and markers
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Conscious media consumption