Saturday, July 25, 2015
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
"Are you free?"
You just know by the take on a question with a group that it's the right one. Once the question landed, there was silence for four beats.
Then we all started listing topics for research; it was clear the question was going to be the beacon, and that this is the right group to be researching this question. The topics from the 12 present showed the intense focus and sharp intelligence of this group.
Friday, January 13, 2012
the noise of other people
slips to nothing.
and now it's finally quiet.
When she wrote that first, it worried her friends. They wrote her letters. No smartphones involved. In longhand. Mailed and taken to the Post Office and moved through a huge system to end up right in her mailbox, nearly lost amongst ads and bills, Shackleton hellbent for the Beaufort Sea.
They all wondered also about the braces, but then a few weeks later she informed everyone she'd got a job writing encryption algorithms for some midsize quick and dirty code factory. Nothing creative really, just cribs of Triple DES and Kerberos. So they got the joke but they didn't laugh, in that way people can not laugh.
She wrote a book of poetry with a publication run of 250 that James Franco happened to pick up and read. Within a month he had tweeted it. Right after, he Googled for her email addy, and told her in a 310 word email the book knocked him over. James fracking Franco asked if he could use it for something. She expected nothing, what's he going to do? But with typical James Franco class, he read it aloud on his vlog, saying it was the first poetry that really moved him.
Orders started pouring in. She got a call from Viking Penguin who was looking for an online poet. She made them wait, while she walked to the loft of the friend with the handpress who done the first edition of 250, and ordered 1,000 books (how many orders she had gotten from NYC and Long Island bookstores). The friend turned her down. In the meantime Viking/Penguin called her back, and they did a run of 150,000 copies and they sold out in three weeks. The second run of 150,000 sold out in two weeks.
Armed with that money she started buying things. They seemed like normal things a person would buy. Flatscreen TVs, gaming systems, tiny black set top boxes. Computers. Many of them, on every floor of her condo. A hot tub, a massage table.
To power her world she purchased a photovoltaic array for her roof, several gasoline generators for her ground floor, and a power windmill, more for its intimidatingly rotating white blades than for its ability to supplement her household's need for electric power.
She began to lay in a collection of identical sturdy charcoal grey steel anodized metal shelves, which she assembled assiduously with a rubber mallet, and lined along her walls. Into these shelves she inserted rubberized polymer trays, ostensibly to prevent messes. Alongside these dark metal shelves she installed, several freezers of the highest stainless steel quality, all made by the same European appliance company.
She then purchased many forms of foods, always with an eye toward those that could be held from consumption for long periods of time. Some by being filled with ingredients that promised to preserve the food and her, other by their merely being boxed and canned and dried and bagged.
She outfitted a room in her condo just for Yoga. At strange hours of the night one could hear chanting. But mostly these things were kept away from prying eyes.
With that entire list of planned purchases and changes accomplished, she was ready to implement her grand strategy.
She didn't stop seeing the people all all at once. No, she leveled down to it from almost an imperceptible gap. She'd fail to return one phone call, but then call back or answer the phone the very next time they called. Then it was every third and then fourth call. Then it was not send back response holiday cards. And so on.
After nearly a year of turning the knob down, she finally got to total. That's total, complete, utter. You could hear an angel trying to dance on the head of a pin but accidentally kicking it over, that tiny ringing sound. You could hear a moose fart in Canada. You could hear faraway species dying, and I'm talking at the bottom of the ocean where even marine biologists shrug about going there. I guess it's a really boring part of the bottom of the ocean, with no vastly differently-evolved species of life that can survive by engufling cigarette filters as they drift down from the pacific trash vortex.
Over that year, her consumption of all those preserved foods made the lawn over her septic leaching field as lush and verdant and filled with a sense of near eternal awe-filled natural goodness as her life lacked human contact. The lawn looked like a little New Zealand, but without all the sheep.
to be continued...
Monday, September 06, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
If one were actually going to start a theatre company that would actually handle not just the production but also the aesthetic and total artwork of theatre. What properties would such a company need? It seems to boil down to six (hence the post title) but perhaps there are more.
What do you think? Please comment, tear this up or agree or whatever you want to do. You might have already started a company with such or similar goals in mind. Or you might be afraid to do one. Or you might be mad enough to plan it and do it.
One last thing. The question mark is intentionally missing from the title. This poses as the first draft of a question. But not quite a question yet.
Ultimate Experience – A life-altering experience for the audience and the performers must be offered, every time. It’s a big thing to promise and you can never achieve it fully. An ideal is intended to be beyond reach. This is the most important tenet.
Revolutionary Design – The visual and aural aspect of every performance must push the boundaries of the known state of the art. Perfect and life-altering look and sound. These designers want to change the world through light, color, depth, tone, melody, emotion.
Physical perfection – to keep the instrument of every performer in perfectly tuned shape, permitting no limits to what can be accomplished. The maximum possible human physical state, to ground what must come from the performer and company.
Cultural breadth – Sufficient knowledge of all major branches of human knowledge that the performer can call up an immense library of knowledge in performance. Every performance calls up Joyce, Popper, quantum theory or finite automata, and intelligently, in the service of story as well as culture.
Situational Dexterity – Having studied every form of improvisation known, the performer can call any one up at will. This includes Commedia, Spolin, Bebop Poet, Jazz, Rap / Hiphop, Slam, & whatnot.
Genre Flexibility – Discovering, understanding, codifying scene, act and work structure of every known storytelling genre ever used. Then, more importantly, the ability to instantly adopt that genre for use, both overall and within a scene.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
First digging your own grave was considered a virtue. Then custom; then unwritten law; then maktoub as Law.
It was a sign of honor and great virtue to dig your own grave. The Great dug their own graves, and all the citizenry aspired to be Great.
And each citizen was good about it. Generally. He’d set some time aside, before he died, to dig the grave. It would get dug.
Usually. Sometimes he didn't do the duty. Perhaps it became something he tended to put off until late in life (after all, if he dug his grave too soon, he’d have to go keep going back to make sure the grave stayed dug, as another person, or nature, might tamper with it).
Sometimes he managed to die before it got dug. In that case, some family friend or descendant would sneak in and dig the wayward grave before anyone found out (as digging your grave was a sign of honor/virtue, not doing so would be a source of familial embarrassment).
In general the Great were good at it too, perhaps actually better, it being a sign of Virtue and all. But sometimes the Great said, “I’m too busy. If I forget to do some Thing, you understand,” etc. So it got be done anyway, as it was Law. Maybe bought, but done, and since the Great gave life to the People, the People got it done. Reliably.
De facto there was now a government, there to get things done reliably. And perhaps economics. As if a well-dug grave inspiring government wasn’t bad enough, maybe it should also start money.
Remember, stories are our best revenge.