Monthly Archives: January 2010

nad hen jôc eto

1/31/10

“Hither and yon” was something my Grandma used to say, an old pioneer colloquialism meaning “here, there and everywhere” and usually referring to a mess. While making æbleskivers, she would take the beaters out of the bowl too quickly and the batter would scatter all over the wall, the cupboards, “hither and yon”. She was far too good a linguist to hackney it up with “thither”.

While researching old English and Celtic languages for a script, I came upon the Cumbric language once spoken in the lands now in northern England and southern Scotland – one of those awesome old Celtic tribal tongues that gave us words like “bucket”, “nook” and my favorite, “dad”.

Cumbric has a lot of relationship to Welsh, and in fact, it seems like the old Welsh tribe once spanned into the area. The oh-so-Scottish name “Wallace” actually means “man from Wales”, but in that time they could be referring to southern Scotland as “Wales”. Nobody said any of this was going to be simple – when our forefathers walked back and forth across the island and changed their names, they didn’t have our convenience in mind, alas.

Anyway, I was looking at the numbering system they used, in a graph on Wikipedia:

CumbricNumbers(bl).jpg

All of the variations on Cumbric numbers are similar, and some are awesome – look at the Wasdale dialect, where “two, three, four” is “taen, tudder, anudder”. But then look at the Swaledale dialect, specifically “six” and “one”. That is straight-up “hither” and “yahn”.

Something about the phrase “six and one” seems to perfectly fit my far-off pre-memory meaning “here and there”. I can’t say why, but it FEELS right. And in the dialect of Cumbric, directly where my ancestors came from, “six and one” is pronounced “hither and yon”.

Yes, I’ve looked at the etymology of both “hither” and “yon”, and while “yon” does come from the word meaning “once”, hither is said to come from a Germanic root “hider” meaning “on this side”. But etymology is never 100% accurate; it’s only a story agreed upon, and my story feels better. I can say that “hither and yon” is an ancient holdover from an extinct language meaning “six and one” but nobody likes to fight more than a gaggle of linguists, and as we like to say, they are most cunning.

the cup of a carpenter

1/28/10

As we’re off to Napa Valley this weekend to celebrate my sister’s bridal shower, I have the following CODE WORD question for you all. What, specifically, are your three favorite drinks containing alcohol?

Mine? Glad you asked.

1. three Single-Malt Scotches tie for first (the Clynelish 1976 by Murray McDavid, the Ardbeg Uigeadail, and the 1975 “Rarest of the Rare” Banff)

2. a Toasted Almond made by a hot chick circa 1990

3. a fkn HUMONGOUS JACK AND COKE

(honorable mention goes to the Prairie Fire shot, which is Cuervo 1800 with eight drops of Texas Pete)

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backslappy handgliding

1/27/10

Here’s the thing, damn you, I refuse to be mollified and I can smell “being humored” like a fart in a car. I signed up for this, put my eggs in this wagon, because it was the one place left that still felt like a meritocracy – you know, the cream would rise, and the best work would lead to success. Instead, my sneaking suspicion has turned to an outright accusation: this shit is RIGGED, isn’t it?

That’s fine if it is. I’m not some shy begonia just off the yam truck; I’m more than happy to call a rake “a rake” and a hoe “a hoe” and play the game as directed. But if you are going through the motions, being the Grand Guignol in a kabuki theater to make it look like you’re covering the bases, then just fucking let me know.

You’ve no need to mollycoddle me – I’ve had the view from the cheap seats for too many years to lose my innocence. I have a pioneer’s expectations and descend from ancestors who kept extra coffins. But you are no longer permitted to waste my time. If I want humiliation, I’ll go back home and get it delivered straight, no chaser, in the warm bosom of friends and family.

peter, i can see your house from here

1/26/10

A few months back, Consumer Reports Health released a survey that said 55% of people who had LASIK – the corrective eye-laser surgery – are still wearing glasses or contacts some of the time. 22% of patients still had the annoying side-effects (halos, starburst around lights) six months afterwards. The first statistic amazes me, the second does not.

I was one of the first LASIK patients in America. A girl I was seeing in 1998 worked for one of the head opthamologists at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Eye Institute, and he was beginning his LASIK practice, with the lasers that had just been approved by the FDA. Lots of people had already undergone an older, less-reliable treatment called RK (radial keratotomy), but my doctor was anxious to get the word out about the new technique. He asked his assistant to find a good patient who could be a success story, and she brought me to the office.

He offered to do my eyes for free, and in return, I agreed to be interviewed by the newspaper, and have before/after pictures taken. At this point, there’s one thing you should already understand – if there’s a bizarre side-effect, I’m your guy. When I got my wisdom teeth out, they made us watch a video about how there’s a .01% chance of the surgery hitting your jaw nerve and paralyzing half your face. Cut to me, writing this right now, with barely any feeling on the left side of my chin (which, admittedly, makes shaving easier).

But my terrible eyesight was one of my Four Major Fights With God (the others being acne, depression, and lethargy) and when you see a chance like this to get the upper hand, you bloody well take it. I signed the forms without even looking, strapped myself into the chair, and like Queen Victoria, lay back and thought of England.

After the surgery, I definitely saw better – my previous vision had been -7 and -7.5 with severe astigmatism, which is a short step away from being totally non-functional – but after two weeks, I went back in for another corrective round. You can’t open your eyes for the first hour or so after the event, so I didn’t do so until I got back home.

And that’s when the clouds parted, and the sun shone through. Somebody was watching a television two rooms away, and I could read the credits. I nearly started crying. From that day forward, I could read the spines of books through windows across the street. As of a couple of years ago, I’m still better than 20/20. Sometimes I walk outside and look to the horizon of the ocean and spot distant boats, just because I remember a time when I couldn’t have distinguished the sea from a parking lot.

Yes, I saw pretty noticeable halos around lights at night, especially while driving (caused by your pupil dilating past the treated area) and I did have annoyingly dry eyes for about a year or two (caused by the tiny laser scar keeping your tears from spreading uniformly) but those abated, and I can’t BEGIN to tell you how thankful and blessed I feel.

To go back to my original statement, I find it hard to believe 55% of people still use glasses or contacts after LASIK, unless they had a disreputable doctor – or didn’t go back for another correction, like I did. As for the halos and starbursts… man oh man it was worth it. No more losing glasses, no more walking into a party and having them steam up, no more contact lens solution, no more eye migraines, and no more random bursts of helplessness.

I have a statistics counter that shows how people end up on this site through Google searches – among plenty of other things, many of you are looking for Olympic volleyball goddess Misty May and her awesome ass, my wonderful stepsister Cyia, or our old friend Laurie Dhue… but lots of you got here looking for LASIK stories. Here’s mine in a nutshell: find a doctor with a ton of experience (thousands of eyeballs with virtually no infection rate), plan ahead for a possible 2nd surgery, and go for it. Then throw your glasses off the nearest bridge, and watch them hit the water in glorious detail.

AnusolBlurry(bl).jpg    AnusolSharp(bl).jpg

just bring kindling and some good stories

1/25/10

There’s a pretty cool editorial in Wired this week that tentatively suggests something that many of you have already figured out without trying: an online presence with too many followers may actually stop good discourse in its tracks. Put simply, if somebody has 957,400 Twitter followers – or routinely gets 350 comments on each blog entry – the person in charge becomes a figurehead, and the online community degenerates into crap.

Greater minds than mine have dissected what the perfect size of a community should be – if you read any Robin Dunbar (or Malcolm Gladwell, for that matter), you’ll see the number 150 crop up again and again. Apparently 150 people was the perfect upper limit for early tribe gatherings, Roman squadrons, close-knit villages, and any other group that had a vested, efficient interest in staying together.

Any bigger than that, and things got unwieldy. More draconian laws would get passed, the sense of “belonging” vanished, and the sheer size of your community would escape your peripheral vision, leading you to balkanize and stop giving a shit about big swaths of your group. I’m pretty sure companies could save themselves a lot of money by not hiring a consulting firm and just reducing their self-contained pods to 150.

Of course, with the commoditization of Twitter and Facebook, we start to use our old capitalist rules on a medium that doesn’t bear the weight as well as you might think. I’m sure there’s some monetary value in having a million Twitter followers, and if you’re in it just to receive blasts the same way you’d get information from a radio station tower, that’s awesome – but there’s certainly no “community” worth a damn.

Currently on Facebook, I have 602 friends. That’s pretty good for not being in high school, where you automatically befriend 350 classmates just by showing up. My friend count is largely due to UNC (where I was excessively social), this blog (which makes me easy to find), and the fact that I’m 42, lived lots of lives, and haven’t grown totally complacent. But that number doesn’t (and shouldn’t) convince me I’m remotely cool. In fact, once that number crept over about 250, I started to feel meaningless on there. Almost like we were all collecting friends the way we would collect pretty shells on the beach.

I hardly ever invite people to things via Facebook, because I feel like it’ll get thrown into your daily vat of invites and quizzes, and end up being one more thing you’ve got to wade through. Don’t get me wrong: I love seeing all of you on there, and I would be overjoyed to be your Friend, but the sense of community there is cacophonous.

So, naturally, I started looking at the statistics for this blog. I added up how many hits we were getting each month, and how many “unique visitors” we get per workday, and then adjusted for spam and image searches. If you follow the Zipf curve of Participation Inequality, or the “90-9-1” rule, turns out our lurking community is very large, but the 10% of you who comment either frequently or intermittently throughout the year is just over 100 people.

Nice fucking work, y’all! They said blogs were old-fashioned and would die out once YouTube and MySpace took over the world, but we gots ourselves the Perfect Online Community™! As Clive Thompson said in Wired, we’re the…

…group of people who are passionately interested in a subject and like arguing about it… willing to experiment with risky or dumb concepts because [we’re] among intimates… It was, after all, small groups of marginal weirdos that brought us the computer, democracy, and the novel… what if they warned us when our social circles became unsustainably large?

homina homina homina

1/24/10

CaffeineMolecule.png

I’ve asked a version of this question before, but how many of you consume caffeine at some point each day? Also, what form does the caffeine take (coffee, etc.) and would you say that you definitely need it? Further, do you suffer any side-effects from it (or the lack thereof)?

1 cup vitriol, 2 tsp. profanity, mix w/powdered loathing

1/21/10

I was just giving Tessa a headrub and she fell asleep on my chest – prompting me to tap her on the eyeballs and telling her to move. “Why?” she asked.

“Because I have to write a blog,” I said.

“Is it going to be all sunshine and light?”

“Oh yeah,” I said, “Absolutely… oh wait, I mean NO.”

“You know your readers come to you for sunshine and light.”

If that’s the case, my friends, turn away now, because we got ourselves a Bad News-a-palooza!!! Why, just in the last two days:

• Massachusetts replaces Ted Kennedy with a teabagging douche

• Barring miraculous testicle growth, the Democratic agenda is dead, and Obama will end up like Jimmy Carter

• The Supreme Court ruled that corporations can give as much money to Republican candidates as they want, overturning decades of precedence (and rational thought)

• Air America got shitcanned to the dustbin of history

• The UNC Tar Heels got drubbed by Wake Forest AT HOME, making it the third straight loss, with seemingly no answers for a turnaround

• It has pissed down rain in Los Angeles for the sixth straight day in a row

• and some other things I can’t really mention.

Let me use this blog right now to let out an ear-shredding, glorious

FuckCursive(bl).gif

just so those of you at work have to scroll past it. FUCK THIS FUCKING WINTER!!!

*ahem*

In the meantime, let’s set a few things straight.

1. I’ve been taken to task for “giving up” on the political process and told “all liberals fold and take home their toys when things don’t go their way” and “if you do nothing, the worst people in the world win” and the like. Let me reiterate: I will still give money to my local progressive politicians. I will raise money for Gillibrand. I will affect change in my ‘hood. But I am not going to immerse myself in the news anwmore, because THE NEWS IS ALWAYS BAD, AND I FIGHT DEPRESSION REGARDLESS.

I’m not even listening to NPR for the next few months, and that’s saying something, coming from a pinko pill-popping leftist stooge monkey like yours truly. What the fuck, I already had to give up lattés and granola because of IBS, I’m sure Linda Wertheimer won’t miss me.

I say this, even though 95% of me thinks this country is too stupid to save, and even if it weren’t, there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it – even for my daughter – and the Supreme Court ruling just made that even clearer. All I can do is open up my home for friends and weary travelers and lend money and grow vegetables. Anything more is a waste of stomach lining.

2. Regarding my beloved Tar Heels, I’ll reiterate something I wrote to friends earlier today: I don’t think any of us realized what a psychic blow it was to lose Tyler Hansbrough. He brought superhuman focus to our team and did it for four years, allowing us to infantilize in his presence. Now we are adrift, without a student leader or, really, a personality we can get behind.

I’ve always said that every team is merely a custodian for the higher philosophy of Dean Smith, and every time we’ve broken from that path, we not only lose, we cease having much meaning. I know that sounds fruity to many of you, but you can suck it; the Carolina Family stands for something bigger than basketball, and it’s the only religion I’ve got.

Of course, this is where you Christians have an advantage – your God is great every year, whereas I can have a really crappy season.

3. When it rains in Los Angeles, it’s like a magical spell wears off. You wake up and wonder what the fuck you’re doing here. Of course, I’m always wondering that anyway, which means the rain is making me insane. And don’t come to me with that “you don’t know winter like I know winter” bullshit… six days straight of pelting rain and 45 mph winds is bad for anywhere, even London or Seattle. And we’ve got another week to go.

4. A word about the The Top Ten Handwritten Labels to Give Your VHS Videotapes So Nobody Will Watch Them and Find Out They’re Actually Porn blog from a few days back. I’ve been getting lots of emails about it, but let me say this… you’ve got to be careful with this particular genre.

Remember, this was 1991, and in a house full of 22 and 23-year-old guys who were underemployed and had a finely-whittled sense of the absurd. If you made your VHS label too boring-sounding, or too ludicrously mind-numbing, any one of us might have popped it into the VCR in a fit of ironic pique. “Oh!” someone might have said, “The video feed from a closed-circuit camera in a middle-school library? Let’s put this on during a party while cranking Soul II Soul!”

So you had to make the label just right. “Citizen Kane” sounds like a bit much, but you can imagine somebody saying to themselves “I’ve never watched it, and it’s raining… fuck it.” And then your porn is discovered. On the other hand, as good as it might have been, nobody on earth is ever going to pop in “Agnes of God” because it’s raining. As The Budster™ or I might have said, “it’s never a “‘Norma Rae’ night”.

Like everything in life, it’s a matter of balance.

So I bought a bass.

RickenBass(sm).jpg

goober grape (sour version)

1/19/10

Already I get the gloating emails from conservative friends who want to preen about the Massachusetts special election yesterday, and I have two words for them: fair enough. Brown ran the perfect campaign, and cleaned the Democrats’ clock in their own cloakroom. Anybody who has spent time on these pages knows I’m a frothing, foul-mouthed progressive who would rather be dipped in molten lava than vote for a Republican, but you know what? I’m beginning not to give a shit.

Sure, I will always fight for my hometown heroes: specifically Kirsten Gillibrand in New York, and Larry Kissell in North Carolina, but caring about the bigger picture – the “national debate”, if you will – has already begun to fade. In return, I don’t expect anyone to give a damn about my opinion, but here are my reasons:

1. The Democratic Party’s views and my views have diverged. We now live in a country where NOBODY is asking to repeal the death penalty, and the dialogue of abortion uses nothing but terms invented by the right wing. The “left” of the Democratic party would have been considered radical Republicanism twenty years ago.

Even if the Democrats talk a good game about their agenda, they turn into dithering milksops once they’re in power. They have allowed homosexuals to be vilified again and again over the last four years and said nothing, let alone offering abject resistance to DADT and DOMA. My views have remained consistent, but they have wilted so far to the right that I’m having trouble giving them any more money.

2. The Democrats don’t know how to rule in the modern era. The Republicans may be assholes, but they’re effective assholes. They sure as hell wouldn’t have allowed one or two senators to hold their administration-defining agenda hostage. Either the Dems played it cool and vastly miscalculated, or they just don’t see modern politics as a blood sport – either way, it’s dealbreakingly infuriating. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”? Are you kidding?

As I’ve said before, I’m a believer in Mamet’s idea of Capone’s Chicago: they put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue. Republicans will not fight fair; they will lie, distort and impugn… and if that doesn’t work, they’ll brazen it out. They don’t care about Americans, they care about getting and holding power by any means necessary. Attempting to negotiate, or playing nice, gets you NOTHING with these people. It’s like offering a rattlesnake some lettuce. And it’s a confrontation the Democrats are clearly not up for.

A lot of Americans are hurting right now, furious because they’ve lost their jobs and/or have no health insurance. Their home is worth nothing, and their prospects look terrible. And SOMEHOW, the DEMOCRATS HAVE ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO TAKE THE BLAME FOR ALL OF IT. Never mind the facts. Our party has become the firemen who are blamed for the fire.

3. The public discourse on all political issues has become poisonous. News media, especially now that the internet has destroyed their previous financial models, has all their eggs invested in keeping political news at TRAUMA STATUS forever. This means constantly creating a news cycle with its own narrative, and that narrative is a lie… until it’s repeated so often that it becomes the truth. Which leads to…

4. The American Populace has simply gotten too fucking dumb. I mean, really, think about it. George Bush hands us two wars, a global economy teetering on collapse, a Homeland Security system predicated on torture, and put us a decade behind on the two things that could have gotten us out of this mess (alternative energy and stem cell revolution). His party destroyed the middle class, sped up the demise of the American Empire, and made us the most hated country on the globe. So one year after we elect someone else, we’re going to swing power… back to the Republicans?

That’s a dumb fucking country right there, folks. Especially in Massachusetts, when everyone knew it was a referendum on the pivotal vote in the Senate. You gotta have the attention span of single-cell bacteria to make that mistake again, but here we go. Three years from now, mark my words, all the “independents” will be up in arms about their “new” Republican overlords, and how they screwed everything up, and the progressives will (again) beat their heads against the goddamn wall.

But not me this time. Fuck it. I’m not “giving up” or anything – I’ll still give the maximum to my politicians at a local level – but my days of endlessly reloading 538 or HuffPo or always buying Newsweek at the airport are gradually coming to a close.

I’ve got one thing in common with these teabagging thugs: I’m furious too. I’m furious at the way I relaxed decades of protective cynicism to feel a smidgen of hope last January, but at least I was no dummy. I’ll reprint a couple of sentences I wrote almost exactly a year ago today, not just because I’m a self-aggrandizing twat whose momma didn’t pay him enough attention, but because it makes me feel better in a sick sort of way:

I take it on the chin, I understand my place in the 20th and 21st century timeline. 2004 was my last gasp of trying too hard, and as I’ve said before, something in me broke. Never again will I trust Americans to do the right thing; the revelation of that disgusting, pockmarked underbelly is all I care to take, thank you very much.

Does that mean I miss out on the joy of this moment? A little, yes. I appreciate it intellectually, and I did cry with joy a few times this year. But that’s a fever I had once before, and like every virus, it’s very hard to catch again.

And with that, I will start meditating again.

on golden blonde

1/18/10

Sure, technology is always getting better, faster, smaller and easier… but in the transition, there are a few valuable skills that are inevitably lost. There are some of you who could re-roll the ink ribbon on a typewriter; that skill is now unnecessary. There are many of you who could make the perfect 90-minute mix tape, with each side ending exactly at 45 minutes according to mood; your services will no longer be needed. Calling all calligraphers: your epoch has passed.

But there’s one skill set I’ll miss most of all. Y’see, long before movies were stored as binary forms on distant hard drives, they used to be kept on clunky plastic VHS tapes that could be played in your VCR. Each tape came with a sticky label, where you could scrawl the title of the video inside. So I’d like to present to you a special treat from me and The Budster™ circa 1991:

The Top Ten Handwritten Labels to Give Your VHS Videotapes So Nobody Will Watch Them and Find Out They’re Actually Porn

10. Montana vs. Boise State, Big Sky Conference Women’s Hoops Quarterfinal

9. Norma Rae

8. Taconic High School Presents “Crazy For You!”

7. Golfing Left-Handed, Lesson VI: Approaching the Green

6. Conversational Welsh

5. Getting to Know Your 1988 Jeep Cherokee

4. Pittsboro Town Council Minutes (tape 5 of 7)

3. Snails! Our Slow Gastropod Neighbors

2. “Charles in Charge” season 2 (partial)

1. Agnes of God

vhs_tapes.jpg

we didn’t need dialog, we had faces

1/14/10

I quite enjoyed my brother Sean’s blog today, and I know people have issues with clicking to other pages, so if you don’t read it on his his site, I’ve reprinted it here:

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Sylvester-Stallone-Demo.jpg

There’s a lot of head scratching going on, and a sure sign of stupidity is when everyone else is confused and you think there’s an easy answer. I’m pretty obviously, then, a little stupid, because it seems pretty clear to me.

Broadway has had a series of really well reviewed shows close before they could see any return on their investment, and a Neil Simon play never even made it because the other Neil Simon play was hemorrhaging money.

Man, I should just memorize how to spell hemorrhage. I really like using it and I’m tired of looking it up.

There are a lot of people coming up with a lot of ideas about why these plays just aren’t bringing in audiences. I would like to tell you why I think it is, and I’m gonna say all of this without providing a single bit of supporting evidence. This is all conjecture, and based exclusively on my perspective, which is ridiculously skewed.

In the 70s, people made really awesome movies. Or so the story goes. Then Jaws and Star Wars killed the whole thing because people wanted to make blockbusters. This is a ridiculously simple way of looking at it, but there definitely was a shift away from a single artist’s vision (the director) to a system where each element of a film was given equal responsibility to provide a return on an investment.

Score? Regardless of the movie’s style, get John Williams. Actors? Regardless of the roles, get Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Script? Get the guy that wrote the thing that just made money, whatever idea he’s got, it’s probably great! Direction? Just… get someone who can take notes from the producers.

Fast forward a decade or so, to 1993. Last Action Hero comes out. Remember, at this point, it was in vogue to cast European legitimate actors as bad guys, thanks to Die Hard, so we had Schwarzenegger as the hero, F. Murray Abraham as the bad guy and… Jesus, every actor you can name was in this movie. And every one of them showed up on set with, at minimum, their agent, manager and make-up artist, but very probably with their own script doctors.

What opened against it? Demolition Man, which had Nigel Hawthorne as its propped up English actor cred, and Sylvester Stallone in the lead. Wesley Snipes also ate through about a hundred cameras as the “charming bad guy”. In “Last Action Hero”, the alternate reality has Sylvester Stallone appearing in all of Schwarzenegger’s movies, in “Demolition Man” they have (in a weird bit of prescience) Schwarzenegger as the President of the United States.

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These movies are remembered for their suckiness, but the truth is, they were exactly as good as the crap that went before them. In fact, they have a fair bit of charm when compared to “Cliffhanger” and “The Pelican Brief”, which were also released that year. But a little movie called “True Romance” snuck in there as well, and everyone suddenly got very excited about what movies might turn in to…

1994? We had Pulp Fiction, The Professional, The Shawshank Redemption, Natural Born Killers, Ed Wood, Clerks, Heavenly Creatures, Shallow Grave, Once Were Warriors…

I can’t believe I lived through 1994 and didn’t simply eat popcorn and sleep on the floor of a movie theater. The movies that weren’t even watershed films were certainly pop culture touchstones, like Ace Ventura, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Reality Bites, Four Weddings and a Funeral…

My point for all of this is this – In Acting Skool, they teach “Don’t play ‘Drunk’, play the circumstances of the scene, and play ‘trying not to be drunk'”. In “Art”, you can’t *try* to make money. You have to try to make art, and that art will then either make money or not. But as consumers of art, we can tell when you’re switching the price tags on the old meat in the cooler. The minute you think you’ve got a system for popularity, you’re actually taking a step closer to failing.

So, why did these shows close on Broadway? My feeling is that it’s because Broadway has become too Broadway, the meat’s been in the cooler for too long. Broadway producers who are interested in making money need to be willing to *lose* money on an auteur, on a singular artistic voice that might be a touchstone for a generation. Neil Simon and established musical re-treads don’t speak to the audience specifically because they seem to be engineered to entice the audience.

We want that from fast food, but we don’t want it from our art. Some of the avant garde is off-putting and, like all art, a lot of it feels insignificant and confused. I refuse to call it bad, but sure, that stuff won’t translate. However, MOST of the avant garde stuff is really very fun, totally digestible and could make a producer somewhere a fortune.

The guy who didn’t buy The Blue Man group when he saw them on the street is probably the same guy who’s losing millions of dollars trying to turn Spider Man into a musical. To that guy, I’d say, “the lessons are there, they aren’t even from that long ago, and if you really love theater, you’d know what to do.”

Come find the individual voices. Don’t look at the MFA programs, come an see what the punks are doing. There are men and women in the off-off world who are SWINGING FOR THE FENCES. And we can do it because if we lose four grand, WE’VE ONLY LOST FOUR GRAND. Most of the people who are writing and being incredibly brave because… because when nobody’s looking, bravery is easy. EVERYONE sings in the shower, and that’s what we’re doing at our 53 seat houses.

When Tracey Letts wrote Superior Donuts, he had no intention of it going up at a Broadway house. Which was probably a little bit naive on his part, he’d had a successful play on Broadway which means EVERY THING HE WRITES will go up on Broadway from now on. Until he flops. And then NOTHING HE WRITES will go up on Broadway. Until he succeeds again. And then EVERYTHING HE WRITES… This is how it works.

The voices of a new generation are currently bellowing at the windmills. If someone wants to take the money they’ve got, and print ten times the amount, they should dig in their backyards, because I know, for a fact, the backyards are full of diamonds.

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