Sari and I drove out to Poteet today, south of San Antonio, so we could see the area she covers for the paper. It’s very spread out, sunny, open and hot. We wore tank tops and shorts. The land is a beautiful place, with big overhanging trees and wide streets. I can see why people love Texas so much. It has a grandeur to it, even in a small town, and the sky really does seem large. It’s open.
But there’s a lot of poverty. The paint on the buildings is old, and the homes look patched together. We went by a mobile home with “Keep Away” spray-painted in red on one of the windows. We also went by rows of glistening, brand-new tractors, next to houses with crumbling wood. The juxtaposition between Poteet and the prosperity in San Antonio – and even more so in Austin – is extreme.
It was a drive that makes you think, a drive of extreme class contrasts, extreme poverty. Naturally, I got into talking about Golda and TJT and Jewish politics. I gave Sari my 10-minute history of Zionism and the state of Israel. We talked about politics in Palestine on the drive both there and back. We talked about institutionalized racism versus gun-in-your-face, bomb-on-the-bus racism. Texas. Mexico. Israel. The US. Palestine. Europe.
She’s helped me to remember some of the animation I used to do (Sari did the voice for this little film called “Misfortunes Of An Arrogant Child” that was at the Stanford film festival, when I was a junior) and we talked about the possibilities of making short films, short animated Internet segments a la Muffinfilms, which would have Jewish content – which would create something of an Internet comedy/theatrical voice for intelligent criticism of the Israel/Palestine conflict. (Now that’s a tall order.) Something like the South Park of the Jews. Something like a more meaningful Quarterlife. American Jews, or short animated kids, trying to make sense of it all.
It wouldn’t even have to be criticism. It could just be comedy-reportage. I’m really into this idea, but it feels like way too much responsibility – making sharp comedy about this issue is so hard, and so charged, and I’d probably end up with a real bomb on my hands, to use an inappropriate metaphor. Anyway, I don’t need another project.
Maybe I can start by making short animated films about something else with Jewish subject matter. Like I really need another project, right? Especially one that’s going to make everybody angry? But this is what I would want to watch. I guess that means it’s what I have to make.
Then we went to the zoo, came back and made chili. We’re going to see her roommate Monica play at an open mic tonight.
We also discussed, yesterday, what in modern entertainment today is the real child of Beckett.