humor rhymes with tumor, theater

(As the curtain rises, someone is taking a shower in the bathroom, the door of which is half open.)

Belatedly, via Rob Kozlowski, the Onion lets you now write to an advice column where you can Ask The Stage Directions To Tennessee Williams’ CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. I like the idea of there being stage directions to direct all of us in our lives. To give a little context. To tell us what our action is, or more likely, our emotion – something we can’t play, can’t do anything with, but is there nonetheless. This is what mine would look like, nine days out of ten:

(confusedly, as if waking up out of a nightmare drawn by Roz Chast)
What just happened?

Chris Danowski’s BRANDOHEAD stage directions were so lovely that many of the people who worked on that production wanted to somehow have them read aloud or staged. And the piece he wrote as the follow-up to BRANDOHEAD was even more intensely packed with stage directions. Now if only I’d take their advice.

a propos of nothing, books, humor rhymes with tumor

If the names “Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Dawn” bring back memories of hiding these books inside less trashy kid’s books in the bookstore…

“First of all, huh? Little cowboy shoes? I don’t know what those are. Also, anyone who can imagine wearing these outfits should be taken out back and beaten with their little cowboy shoes.”

from one of the posts at Claudia’s Room, where Tiff blogs her way through the Baby-Sitters Club books. It’s so much fun making fun of the writing. (One of the actors in the show got a BSC book for Christmas, as a joke present, and the name of the blog.)

Using “books” as a category tag for this is stretching it.

“Dawn actually says, “People in California don’t have yard sales.” MY ASS! Come on Cali readers, back me up on this one! I refuse to believe that nowhere in Southern California has there never been a yard sale (or a more convoluted sentence).”

animation, film, Golda, humor rhymes with tumor, israel, Judaism, travel

South Texas and South Israel Park

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.

humor rhymes with tumor, politics

Colbert writes Maureen Dowd’s column

“First of all, I don’t think Nobel Prizes should go to people I was seated next to at the Emmys. Second, winning the Nobel Prize does not automatically qualify you to be commander in chief. I think George Bush has proved definitively that to be president, you don’t need to care about science, literature or peace.”


And Frank Rich links to a Post article about WW2 veterans who didn’t use torture in interrogation in their day and are speaking out against current practices.

Golda, humor rhymes with tumor

Quote O’ The Day

Actor: I wish my character cursed.
Director: Me too.
Actor: Does she ever?
Me: I’ll look into it.
Actor: What’s a Jewish curse?
Me: Oy?
Director: That’s complaining, not cursing. Hey, maybe that’s part of the Jews’ problems – all of their curses are really complaints…