Yeesh

July 18, 2017

While looking up something about The Glass Menagerie, I found this scathing review of the recent New York production directed by Sam Gold. Hilton Als, tell us how you really feel!

The despair and disgust I felt after seeing the director Sam Gold’s rendition of Tennessee Williams’s 1944 play, “The Glass Menagerie” (at the Belasco), was so debilitating that I couldn’t tell if my confused, hurt fury was caused by the pretentious and callous staging I had just witnessed or if my anger was a result of feeling robbed of the beauty of Williams’s script.

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Me Too, Bette. Me Too.

July 16, 2017

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Something to Ponder

July 14, 2017

Do you think Sofia Coppola ever wishes she had just been born Peter Weir so she could have made Picnic at Hanging Rock and called it a day?

Who Said It: Meat Loaf or Lao Tzu?

July 13, 2017

And wherever you are and wherever you go

there’s always going to be some light

 

If you don’t worry about the future, sooner or later it’s the past

 

The further you go, the less you know

 

Heaven can wait

And all I’ve got is time until the end of time

 

The nameless is the origin of heaven and earth

 

Some days it don’t come easy

Some days it don’t come hard

 

Sometimes you lead

Sometimes you follow

 

What about your gods?
They’re defective! They forgot the warranty

 

The beat is yours forever
The beat is always true

 

She cries all day without getting hoarse.

She is the ultimate in harmony.

 

Does it come with the darkness? Does it bring out the light?

 

How deep! How dark! In it there is an essence.

 

You were only killing time and it will kill you right back

 

Though you lose the body, you do not die.

 

And if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car

 

Assignment

July 10, 2017

The following is an essay prompt given out to students of the Enfield Tennis Academy class “The Personal Is the Political Is the Psychopathological: the Politics of Contemporary Psychopathological Double-Binds.”  I would like each of my readers––yes, all four of you––to please submit your responses by 2359 GMT today.

KEEP YOUR ANSWERS BRIEF AND GENDER NEUTRAL

ITEM 1

(1a) You are an individual who, is pathologically kleptomaniac.  As a kleptomaniac, you are pathologically driven to steal, steal, steal.  You must steal.

(1b) But, you are also an individual who, is pathologically agoraphobic.  As an agoraphobic, you cannot so much as step off your front step of the porch of your home, without undergoing palpitations, drenching sweats, and feelings of impending doom.  As an agoraphobic, you are driven to pathologically stay home and not leave.  You cannot leave home.

(1c) But, from (1a) you are pathologically driven to go out and steal, steal, steal.  But, from (1b) you are pathologically driven to not ever leave home.  You live alone.  Meaning, there is no one else in your home to steal from.  Meaning, you must go out, into the marketplace to satisfy your overwhelming compulsion to steal, steal, steal.  But, such is your fear of the marketplace that you cannot under any circumstances, leave home.  Whether your problem is true personal psychopathology, or merely marginalization by a political definition of “psychopathology,” nevertheless, it is a Double-Bind.

(1d) Thus, respond to the question of, what do you do?

(No cheating off Schacht and writing “mail fraud,” please.)

Yesterday Was Not a Very Productive Day

July 6, 2017

As is evidenced by my biggest win: watching a clip of an old Oprah episode and finding myself beguiled by this glorious early nineties haircut.

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Burning Books (and Plays)

July 5, 2017

I wrote a funny (I hope) little thing on the act of burning books, and then today, read this funny little thing about Edward Albee’s will, which stipulates that his unfinished work be burnt after he died.  Here’s the important bit:

Was he working on anything when he died? We may never know.

Why not? He requested that all his unfinished manuscripts be destroyed after his death.

In another part of this “article” (faux Q&A?) the writer says that the executors plan to grant Albee’s wishes.  Which made me really curious: was Albee a longhand man?  Meaning: do they need to destroy physical works?  And if so, would they let me attend the bonfire?  I will absolutely not sneak a peek at anything!  I would consider that a sacrilegious act.  I’m considering writing a note to the two executors, named in the New York Times, asking for permission, but I very much doubt they’ll be open to it.

 

Funny Text

July 4, 2017

HW: Lesson learned: do not wish a Happy Independence Day to people involuntarily locked on a psychiatric union.

Technology Is the Devil, Part I’ve Lost Count

June 28, 2017

I got a new phone (ugh!) and when I use Gmail, sometimes there are SUGGESTED RESPONSES in little boxes at the bottom of my emails based on, I’m assuming, what the algorithm that has “read” my emails deems most appropriate.  Samples include: “Sure, that sounds great,” or “See you then!”  I’ve literally NEVER BEEN SO INSULTED IN MY WHOLE LIFE.  As if I can’t up with clever, unique ways of responding to even the most simplest of invitations!  Pass me the cyanide pills, ’cause I’m gonna need those little buggers when the robots start taking over.

Three’s a Trend

June 25, 2017

So actually there are only two of these that I can think of right now, which means that this post is anticipating a third one, which I’m guessing will happen verrrrry soon because I am something of a cultural prophet.

Here’s what I’ve noticed: a rise in the true crime meta-doc.  What is that, you ask?  It’s a sub-trend of the true crime trend, which has been ongoing for the past few years, and sees us revisiting crimes––some major, some less so––of the past, oh, forty or so years (OJ, Robert Durst, Making a Murderer, et al).  But in the true crime meta-doc, instead of just going over the facts of the case and maybe positing a new theory as to what happened, the director charts the progress of a fake-film he/she is “making” about the true crime case.  The first example of this is Kate Plays Christine, about the news anchor Christine Chubbuck, who killed herself on air in 1974; the meta-doc came out the same year as a narrative film on the topic, called simply Christine, did.  I saw the narrative film and didn’t have much interest in seeing the meta-doc, until Richard Brody told me I was a moron (which is true) and so now I am faced with the dubious task of seeing the documentary and un-seeing the narrative film.

And then this year, after the deluge (okay fine, maybe there were just two?) documentaries about JonBenet Ramsey’s murder, came the supremely weird (and possibly exploitative? also h/t Brody) Casting JonBenet, in which actors from the Boulder area, where the Ramsey family lived, audition for a possibly fake (unclear) movie about JonBenet and, during their try-outs, talk about everything from their experience with prostate cancer to their own family members being murdered to their mostly crackpot theories about the case.

Now––why the new meta-doc trend, and why return to something like the JonBenet Ramsey case, which has been covered in myriad ways ad nauseam since the girl’s murder in 1996?  My theory is that these major cases were cultural traumas, and therefore we just can’t let go.  For a bit more on that, let me introduce Neil Smelser, sociologist.  Take it away, Neil!:

The idea [of mass cultural trauma] is that certain historical events are so profound in their cultural and personal impact that they develop the features that resemble psychological trauma, namely that they’re permanently unsettling, that you can’t forget about them, even if you try to forget about them, there’s a kind of compulsive need to relive and re-experience.

The murder of one child, however adorable and young she was, might seem like small potatoes in the face of the Holocaust or slavery, but Ramsey was, I’d argue, emblematic of American innocence, and the fact that her murdered has never been solved (though I have a guess as to who it was) means the Freudian compulsion to repeat is heightened. And we’re repeating via meta-doc because all the more straightforward ways of doing so (made for TV movie, documentary, interview with family members, books on case) have been done already, and thus we have to resort to more avant-garde/oblique projects.

What will the next true crime meta-doc be?!  Here are some guesses: Ted Bundy (movie’s in the works, so the timing is good!), Laci Peterson, and… Son of Sam?  I am stuck on this one.  Help me out, people!

One final note: I would like to have a feather boa cape-thing (what is the word for this?) like the one the ersatz JonBenet wears in Casting JonBenet.  Thankssomuch.

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And SCENE.