KRTHULU = KRUGMAN
Greetings seekers of wisdom. You may have come to this web site because you saw Duncan Black mention "krgthulu" on his web site Eschaton and you Googled the word. When Black uses that word, he's talking about Paul Krugman.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The joy of operational lady parts

The greatest double-entendre song of all time.

I love myself
I want you to love me
When I'm feelin' down
I want you above me
I search myself
I want you to find me
I forget myself
I want you to remind me
I don't want anybody else
When I think about you
I touch myself
I don't want anybody else
Oh no, oh no, oh no
You're the one who makes me happy honey
You're the sun who makes me shine
When you're around I'm always laughing
I want to make you mine
I close my eyes
And see you before me
Think I would die
If you were to ignore me
A fool could see
Just how much I adore you
I get down on my knees
I'd do anything for you
I don't want anybody else
When I think about you
I touch myself
I don't want anybody else
Oh no, oh no, oh no
I love myself
I want you to love me
When I'm feelin' down
I want you above me
I search myself
I want you to find me
I forget myself
I want you to remind me
I don't want anybody else
When I think about you
I touch myself
I don't want anybody else
Oh no, oh no, oh no
I want you
I don't want anybody else
And when I think about you
I touch myself
Ooh, oooh, oooooh, aaaaaah
I don't want anybody else
When I think about you
I touch myself
I don't want anybody else
Oh no, oh no, oh no




Well OK the chorus is pretty much a single entendre..

Laptop update

Luckily my hard drive did not fry. The Apple Genius said I needed to have the graphics card replaced. Hopefully that will be done by the weekend at least - I know some of you blog readers are looking forward to my anti-zombie rant. And I am about to get carpal tunnel syndrome from typing so much on this iPhone.

  In the meantime continue to enjoy the fine selection of music I am posting here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

In Trutina


In trutina mentis dubia
Fluctuant contraria
Lascivus amor et pudicita.

Sed eligo quod video
Collum iugo prebeo;
Ad iugum tamen suave transeo.

(In the wavering balance of my feelings
Set against each other
Lascivious love and modesty

But I choose what I see
And submit my neck to the yoke;
I yield to the sweet yoke.)





Thursday, August 21, 2014

Good Lovin'


Well, I was feelin' so bad
Asked my family doctor 'bout what I had
I said, "Doctor, doctor, 
Mr. M.D.
Can you tell me, what's ailing me?"
He said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
All you need, all you really need, good lovin'"
Because you got to have lovin'
(Good lovin')
Everybody got to have lovin'


So come on baby, well squeeze me tight
Don't you want your daddy to feel alright
Well I said now baby (baby)
Well it's for sure (baby)
I got the fever (baby)
And you got the cure (baby)

[chorus]








Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Want Candy

I know a guy who's tough but sweet
He's so fine, he can't be beat
He's got everything that I desire
Sets the summer sun on fire
I want candy, I want candy
Go to see him when the sun goes down
Ain't no finer boy in town
You're my guy, just what the doctor ordered
So sweet, you make my mouth water
I want candy, I want candy
Candy on the beach, there's nothing better
But I like candy when it's wrapped in a sweater
Some day soon I'll make you mine,
Then I'll have candy all the time
I want candy, I want candy
I want candy, I want candy


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lumina

The sexiest car song ever.
Lumina, come and wrap around me.
Lumina, take me through the snow.
 
Eve took a train, Eve took a train,
went to see her man.
Melting inside, melting away,
like butter in the pan.
 
Lumina, come and wrap around me.
Lumina, take me through the snow.
 
Eve took the fruit, Eve bit the fruit,
juice ran down her chin.
Babies will put things in their mouths,
That never heard of sin.
 
Lumina, open like a city.
Lumina, see me in the dark.
 
Eve had to ask, Eve had to ask,
"What is wrong with this?"
Here is the place, now is the time.
Let's invent the kiss.
 
Lumina, come and wrap around me.
Lumina, come and wrap around me.
 
Come and wrap around me.
Come and wrap around me.
Come and wrap around me.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Positive Vibration

Live if you want to live
(Rastaman vibration, yeah! Positive!)
That's what we got to give!
(I'n'I vibration yeah! Positive)
Got to have a good vibe!
(Iyaman Iration, yeah! Irie ites!)
Wo-wo-ooh!
(Positive vibration, yeah! Positive!)

If you get down and you quarrel everyday,
You're saying prayers to the devils, I say. Wo-oh-ooh!
Why not help one another on the way?
Make it much easier. (Just a little bit easier)

Say you just can't live that negative way,
If you know what I mean;
Make way for the positive day,
'Cause it's news (new day) - news and days -
New time (new time), and if it's a new feelin' (new feelin'), yeah! -
Said it's a new sign (new sign):
Oh, what a new day!

Pickin' up?
Are you pickin' up now?

Rastaman vibration, yeah! (Positive!)
I'n'I vibration, yeah! (Positive!) Uh-huh-huh, a yeah!
Iyaman Iration, yeah! (Irie ites!) Wo-oo-oh!
*Positive vibration, yeah! (Positive!)

Pickin' up?
Are you pickin' up now?
Pickin' up?
Are you pickin' up now?
Pickin' up? (Jah love, Jah love -)
Are you pickin' (protect us!) up now?
Pickin' up? (Jah love, Jah love -)
Are you pickin' (protect us!) up now?
Pickin' up? (Jah love, Jah love -)
Are you pickin' (protect us!) up now?
Pickin' up?
Are you pickin' up now?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blogging will be light

Until I get my goddam laptop fixed.

The Tide is High

The tide is high but I'm holding on
I'm gonna be your number one
I'm not the kind of girl who gives up just like that
Oh, no

Every girl wants you to be her man
But I'll wait my dear 'til it's my turn

I'm not the kind of girl who gives up just like that
Oh, no

The tide is high but I'm holding on
I'm gonna be your number one
Number one, number one

It's not the things you do that tease and wound me bad
But it's the way you do the things you do to me

I'm not the kind of girl who gives up just like that
Oh, no

The tide is high but I'm holding on
I'm gonna be your number one
Number one, number one

The tide is high but I'm holding on
I'm gonna be your number one




The original version by The Paragons:



About the original version of this song.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Brass in Pocket

It's well known that men cannot resist the sidestep.
Got brass in pocket  
Got bottle I'm gonna use it  
Intention I feel inventive 
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice 
Got motion restrained emotion  
Been driving Detroit leaning  
No reason just seems so pleasing  
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice 
Gonna use my arms  
Gonna use my legs  
Gonna use my style  
Gonna use my sidestep  
Gonna use my fingers  
Gonna use my, my, my imagination 
'Cause I'm gonna make you see  
There's nobody else here  
No one like me  
I'm special so special  
I gotta have some of your attention give it to me 
Got rhythm I can't miss a beat  
Got new skank it's so reet  
Got something 
I'm winking at you  
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice 
'Cause I'm gonna make you see  
There's nobody else here  
No one like me  
I'm special, so special  
I gotta have some of your attention  
Give it to me.

songfacts




I guarantee you the guitarist in this video clip was not yet born when this song first hit the charts.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Upcoming rants

UPDATE: damn NC your friends are blowing up my web analytics.
And you know I'm right about the zombies.

As soon as I have a little down time I will be writing and posting three righteous rants on this here blog:

Rant #1 - what is wrong with the "romantic comedy"

I made a good start on this one by including in the NYCPlaywrights weekly email blast a few weeks ago a whole slew of links to articles on what is wrong with the romantic comedy. If you want to see them you can sign up for the NYCPlaywrights weekly email blast and look through the archives. I have issues with Bitter Gertrude's opinion on the subject - she wants to fire all romantic comedies into the moon, as if the existence of some bad rom-coms makes the entire genre worthless crap.

Rant #2 - the theater audience is older women. Get over it. 

It isn't fashionable to be a blatant misogynist, so theater hipsters will not admit to it, but a major reason why theater producers keep trying to lure straight men into the theater is because they are mortified by the fact that the theater audience skews female. I really believe the attitude is this: women, especially over 40 = stupid cows. This is why it's vitally important to try to fill your theater with men under 40, preferably hipsters in porkpie hats and tattoos. It isn't just Broadway either. Off Broadway and "Independent Theater" is all about pushing plays about zombies and sci-fi and noir clowns these days. Because that's what straight guys care about. For as the article about theater producers above states:
“It’s always been a holy grail on Broadway — to have a show that universally appeals to men and women,” said Michele Groner, the lead marketing executive for “Rocky.” “Women are the low-hanging fruit. Trying to appeal to men is an increasingly scary challenge.” (The attendance problem is mostly with straight men; gay men are widely considered by producers and group sales agents to be a reliable Broadway demographic.)
Theresa Rebeck was delightfully apoplectic over that "low-hanging fruit" comment.

I believe that one of the reasons why there is still such resistance to producing plays by women is because the fear is that plays by women will likely bring in even more women, thus compounding the problem of too many women in the audience. And if you think that's far-fetched consider this: one of the excuses given for why there aren't more plays produced about people of color (and written by people of color) is because the audience is so overwhelmingly white. But that excuse breaks down when it comes to women - women are a clear majority of the audience in theaters - and yet that does not translate into more plays by and about women - something that a majority female audience would prefer. Giving the audience what it wants is a pretty basic component of making money. So that shows you just how really deep the misogyny goes - theater decision-makers from Broadway on down would sacrifice profits to prevent girl germs from ruining the coolness quotient of the theater. Bring on the zombies!

Rant #3 - Bitter Gertrude is full of shit when she claims that female playwrights are more likely to write "reactive" characters.

My first introduction to the kind of thing BG is talking about was Jeff Sweet talking about the work of Neil Simon. Who, you might be interested to know, is male, and a very commercially successful playwright.

But more than that, BG almost never bothers to back up any of her claims on her blog ever with empirical evidence, and this is no exception. She makes reference to the new plays she's read, but she doesn't offer any examples. And I for one am not willing to take her word for it because:
A. I have read lots of new plays and this has not been my experience and
B. I think BG has plenty of internalized misogyny to get over - although internalized misogyny is probably helpful if you want to attempt to be a bigshot in an artform that is still completely dominated by men, the way theater is.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Well Louis CK was definitely wrong that time...

This Youtube video has the documentary proof. And by a perfect coincidence there is a scene extant in which Cooper spanks Louis CK (American Hustle.)


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hanging with the Cougar Lady

I invited Donna Moore, the creator of COUGAR THE MUSICAL to see JULIA & BUDDY and she came, daughter in tow. I saw her after the show and she said that my play really gave her something to think about, which I consider the highest of compliments.

Although I wrote about the experience of seeing her show, I really didn't know that much about Donna, although she knows my friends Valerie David and Kitty Hendrix. So I was amazed and impressed when I found out, just recently that Donna had been one of the kids on Zoom! I guarantee I saw the episodes that Donna was on when they were first aired - I'm just about Donna's age. It is a small world after all.



I asked Danny Bernardy, who played all the guy roles in COUGAR to play Buddy in my show, but he wasn't available for the full run. Which is perhaps just as well - someone who knows Danny's work and saw Matt DeCapua play the role said in her opinion Matt was actually the better choice for the role.

I certainly can't imagine that Danny could have played the Schopenhauer part as well as Matt. One of my ambitions for J&B was that people would look at their programs to see who was playing Schopenhauer because they weren't sure it was the same guy playing Buddy. The actors and stage manager scoffed at the idea when I mentioned it during rehearsals but sure enough, for the last performance a coworker friend of mine who came to see the show admitted he wasn't sure, at least at the beginning of the Schopenhauer scene, that it was the same actor. VICTORY!

As I blogged before, I did like COUGAR much more than I expected I would. And I'm also extremely impressed that Donna was able to create a successful show as she did. She's promised to let me take her  out for drinks and ask her for tips on how to be a success in this business we call show.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Shakespeare al fresco

Bruce Barton (downstage right) as Leontes in Hudson
Warehouse's A WINTER'S TALE

 Not every play by Shakespeare is a gem. This past weekend I saw performances of two of the Bard's lesser works - my friend Bruce Barton was Leontes in WINTER'S TALE and Amanda Thickpenny was Sebastian in TWO GENTLEMEN FROM VERONA.

I have much more tolerance for liberties taken for his lesser work than I do for messing with HAMLET for instance, and both these productions did some inspired work.

Amanda Thickpenny (on the grass) as Sebastian in
Hip to Hipt Theater Company's
TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

WINTER'S TALE went to town with the bit about the bear. The stage direction "exit, pursued by a bear" in the middle of the play is famous because stage directions are so rarely included in Shakespeare's plays. So they had a member of the Hudson Warehouse dress in a bear suit, entering stage left - she stopped center stage, lifted up the bear head so we could see her face and said: "exit pursued by a bear" and then exit, stage right. I thought that was brilliant.

More gruesomely, during the following scene various body parts flew across the stage to represent the poor character being eaten by the bear.

And Bruce was very good, of course.

TWO GENTLEMEN by Hip to Hip Theater Company was done in a commedia dell arte mode, very stylized, but it did very well for the play. My favorite moment was when Julia, who had been running around disguised as a boy (the first of many in Shakespeare's plays) with her long hair under her cap, suddenly whips off her hat and lets her hair down, and all the characters on stage go "ooh!" as if utterly amazed that this boy should suddenly turn into a woman. It was really funny and the audience got a huge kick out of it. Amanda played several roles, all with great style and panache.

Nice work all.

Monday, August 11, 2014

We are not living in an Ayn Rand novel

I see that the Mighty Krugman has responded to the NYTimes Magazine article Has the Libertarian Moment Finally Arrived?

Krugman says no. And reliably got off a good one at Paul Ryan:
Paul Ryan thinks that we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel.
He provides a link to the New Yorker article Ayn Rand Joins the Ticket which contains this awesome fact:
...as a Congressman, Ryan not only tried to get all of the interns in his congressional office to read Rand’s writing, he also gave copies of her novel “Atlas Shrugged” to his staff as Christmas presents, as he told the Weekly Standard in 2003.
I'm sure that Ryan doesn't appreciate the irony of celebrating a Christian holiday of free-handed gift-giving through the anti-altruism Bible written by a devout atheist.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

SURPRISE! JULIA & BUDDY got another review

The folks at the MITF posted another review of JULIA & BUDDY on their Facebook page on Saturday night. It was a nice surprise. This one is not as glowing as the first one... but that would scarcely be possible.

I found this part to be especially interesting - I didn't think about it in quite this way...
Julia, a philosopher, tries to understand Buddy and “put together the pieces of the puzzle” as she puts it, while at the same exact time Buddy seems to realize that Julia knows very little about herself: Just as Buddy figures out that Julia is calling for a maintenance man to unlock her door, when she is actually afraid of leaving the house, Julia simultaneously realizes that even though the maintenance man is supposed to fix the ills of an apartment, Buddy quite literally can’t do any of the things in his job description. The two prove to be completely self deluded as to their actual standing in the real world, not fully comprehending their own ridiculousness. However, as I watched the two figure out the other’s flaws in front of me, I found myself completely transfixed by the actors playing caricatures of people, yet truly finding the realness of both of them. Though Julia’s various phobias and stigmas and Buddy’s multiple problems and shortcomings pose a certain threat to their respective sanity, the two find solace in their understanding of one another.
Very interesting perspective. Although I regret to say that Schopenhauer is not mentioned once. The second half of the play would make more sense if the critic had a better appreciation of the role of Schopenhauer in the proceedings. I have to say, I thought the review by the college guy (also appearing in Drama-Queens.net, strange that the same media outlet reviewed it twice), while excessively hostile, at least mentioned Schopenhauer - even if he did fail to completely understand the importance of Schopenhauer to the play.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The saint's apparition in Queens

So I'm walking home from work and I'm struck by a graffito that I had never seen before on the boarding around a construction site..



It was an unusually literary graffito so I felt compelled to take a photo. I was unfamiliar with the tag SEK and I wondered what that symbol was above the letters on the tag. I don't know if a life like Gatsby was meant as aspirational or what - although if you've read "The Great Gatsby" you probably don't want to aspire to Gatsby's life.

So I'm walking along and several blocks later I see this. Apparently somebody is not a prince - or is no longer a prince.



And they are also not a king.


Hey wait a minute... there's something familiar about this graphic style...



AHAH! So that's what that symbol means - SEK has a halo.


Naturally I assumed that SEK was some local kid who decided to decorate the neighborhood. 



But after some Googling discovered that SEK is actually prominent enough to have had an art gallery show - in Los Angeles. He was recently interviewed on KIISFM.

Apparently SEK is/was recently in NYC doing some work for Nylon Magazine according to SEK's Facebook profile.



So the artist currently known as SEK has made an apparition in Queens. And you know what that means - while most of SEK's street art is untransportable, that grafitto on the construction board is. And is probably worth more - and potentially worth much more - than your standard construction site board. 

If I had a car I would maybe try to get it. This could be similar to the Banksy situation.

I wonder if my friend the Penis Artist knows about the career potential in street art. 

Friday, August 08, 2014

I hear you gots operational lady parts

Matt DeCapua as the
Space Cowboy from
JULIA & BUDDY
photo by Linda Jaquez
You never know what the audience is going to laugh at when you write a play. If you write a romantic comedy, you have to hope you can predict when at least some lines get a laugh.

In my JULIA & BUDDY this never failed to get a laugh:

    BUDDY
Hey, do you want to play dress-up? I could be the cowboy and you could be the Indian girl.
 
    JULIA
And then what, you give me smallpox and steal my land?

No matter how quiet the audience was, this exchange, at least, would make them laugh.

And the best part is, it is 100% politically correct.

However, another politically correct line that I thought would get a laugh: "If you ruled out every Great Man in history on the basis of misogyny, you wouldn't have any left" only got one really solid laugh during our 5-show run.

Sometimes the actors will make a line funny. In the second half of the play, Julia has a panic attack, by herself, while she's on a boat. A little later Buddy joins her and observes that the weather and water are so beautiful nobody could have a panic attack in such an environment. To which Julia replies: "almost nobody." For several performances that got a good laugh, and I had never expected it, and mostly actor Claire Warden gets the credit for it.

And Matt DeCapua's Schopenhauer got sterner with each performance and so naturally became funnier, until by the last performance, one of the biggest laughs we got was this:
     JULIA
And he has a good sense of humor and sometimes he is so sweet and kind. But then again... he has brain damage. Mild brain damage. But still... 
 
    SCHOPENHAUER
A brain-damaged actor. If you are serious about philosophy you will dispense with him immediately. 
 
     JULIA
But I was so lonely before he came into my life.  
 
     SCHOPENHAUER
I recommend you get a poodle. 
 
     JULIA
Is that all there is to life? Poodles? 
 
     SCHOPENHAUER
Life is misery…
That's where the laugh was - after Schopenhauer says "life is misery." There's actually quite a bit of monologue after that, but Matt began to take longer pauses after "misery" for each performance, until by the last one it got a good hearty sustained laugh, which was immensely gratifying and still quite surprising, considering what he's actually saying.

I was disappointed that the Space Cowboy scene didn't get more laughs - the dialog is just so absurd I thought, surely... but after talking to my brother-in-law, who came with my sister to see the show, I think the reason it doesn't get a laugh is because the audience is perplexed as to what is going on. It is explained in the next scene why we see Buddy playing a Space Cowboy, but there is no exposition prior to the scene. So the audience was probably too confused to laugh.

Well I laughed every time he said "operational lady parts." Although it might be because I know the provenance of the phrase.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Another charmer

I received this message from someone on an online dating site.

Why is it that so many men on these sites think that the women there are a bunch of really inexpensive prostitutes?

And why hasn't Science ever looked into the issue of why such a high percentage of men are rotten horrible people? Could it be because until recently virtually all scientists were men?

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Another dating disaster

Well in spite of my sad encounter with the Tawainese hair stylist, I got right back on that dating horse. And again, disaster has ensued.

This guy was a construction worker, youngish, and attractive, although not as attractive as his dating site photos. But he really impressed me by asking me specific questions from my profile, especially about my art background and portrait work. And charmingly, he had grown up in New Orleans.

It took about a single hour for him to morph from that into a good old cigarette-smoking Southern boy who:
  1. Informed me that the Illuminati were behind 9-11
  2. Revealed that the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers were secretly controlling the government
  3. Claimed the government is controlling all our lives
  4. And is planning to take our guns so we can't fight back
  5. When I gave change to a homeless man, he chided me that I might have been contributing to the guy's scam.


By the last item on my list I was completely done. I jumped into the subway and never looked back.

Just kill me now.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Standing up to submission fees

The Los Angeles-based SCI-FI play fest was initially charging $10 per submission of one-act plays, and a bunch of us on the "Official Playwrights of Facebook" group gave them shit for days.

And now they've decided to stop charging a submission fee.

Now I can't say for sure that we were the cause of the change of policy - but we did our best.

When enough people give theater organizations shit about submission fees, they will change the policy. I've had other groups do the same thing after I told them that NYCPlaywrights will not run their call for submissions.

If there was no down-side to charging submission fees, what would prevent all theater organizations from doing so? I don't enjoy guilt-tripping and shaming theater organizations, but there doesn't seem to be any alternative.

So there.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Why I stopped watching porn

Actually I hardly ever watch porn - I find my own fantasies are much more satisfying than the standard ugly-men-screwing-Barbie-dolls-without-human-conversation which is what most porn appears to be about. But it does seem like it's becoming a problem with a segment of young men who come to see the tropes of Internet pornography as the essence of sex. I just watched the movie Don Jon which addresses that.

This TED Talk below addresses the reason for the distancing effect - because cameras need to be able to see penile penetration, so hands must be kept out of the way.

This man seems so sweet when he talks, especially about the insidious effects of porn - the complete depersonalization of human sexual response.

I don't know though if I agree with him when he makes the leap from porn to slut-shaming: he talks about young women making videos with their boyfriends and then those boyfriends sharing the videos and then the young women being humiliated and hounded and socially isolated - in some cases to the point of suicide.

The self-made videos may be depictions of sex, but they are not in fact "porn" - porn is made by actors being paid to have sex. The videoing of a sincere sexual event, even if there is betrayal later, is not in itself "porn." And slut-shaming is not an essential part of porn. It's true that the same people who consume porn may look down on the people, especially women who make porn (as was so well represented in Boogie Nights) but that is not the fault of porn.

And although there is no doubt that too much porn is violent misogyny, I did a survey of porn a couple of years ago, and I did not find that most of it was misogynistic - although it was certainly aimed at men and the porn actors generally seemed very stupid - although that might have been the result of their terrible acting.

I like his concept of emotional safe sex though.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

What is wrong with people?

What is wrong with people? There has been a dog barking incessantly in apartment 3R in my building since yesterday. I was too busy yesterday to deal with the situation since I had to get ready for the last performance of JULIA & BUDDY, and hoped it would stop. But it continued today.

I knocked on the door of 3R but no answer - it appears they've just abandoned this poor dog for days. And the thing is, we aren't even supposed to have dogs in this building. And when I called the superintendent to report the situation, I could barely understand what he was saying, between his accent, broken English and the bad cell phone connection, but he said something like the people in that apartment don't really live there, and the superintendent doesn't have a key, and maybe they'll get around to breaking the door down. And meanwhile the little dog just barks and barks and barks.

I also knocked on the door of 3R's next door neighbors. Not only did they not know anything about their neighbors in 3R, they didn't seem to be bothered at all by the fact that a poor little dog was in distress and barking constantly right near them.

Why am I the only person in this whole apartment building who is disturbed by a poor dog's constant barking???

Saturday, August 02, 2014

JULIA & BUDDY - last performance

The show feels much longer than 5 performances, because it was stretched out over three weeks from July 17 - August 2. And then there's the production work and the rehearsals - so all told I've been working on this show steadily (in addition to my full-time job) for two freaking months. It's going to be weird when it's over.

So what's up next? Well I committed myself to writing a one-act play about the Bronte sisters for a women's theater project. And of course there is the on-going DARK MARKET, my play about Ayn Rand and the economic melt-down of 2008.

And while I was at the Jersey shore this week I saw a structure (below) that reminded me of the play I started, based on a short story I wrote for a gay men's magazine called WILDWOOD SUMMER. It was published in Freshmen Magazine in 1996 under a pseudonym - that was the easiest $200 I ever earned.

Anyway, in the story our hero, Vinnie a blue-eyed Italian guy is making money renting out beach things in Wildwood.

This would totally be what his station looked like:





Friday, August 01, 2014

New Atheists vs. Social Justice Warriors

In the middle of my JULIA & BUDDY production I took the time to address the issue of Richard Dawkins vs. Adam Lee on July 6. It isn't only them though, but what they represent - New Atheists vs. Social Justice Warriors.

In case you aren't familiar with the terminologies - "New Atheists" are generally considered to be lead by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, and until he shuffled off this mortal coil, Christopher Hitchens.

Since Hitchens is gone other atheists are up for being considered as the fourth of the Four Horsemen of atheism - see the Wiki I linked to above. Steven Pinker is one of the most prominent runners-up, and I think the most appropriate - like the others he is devoted to explaining human behavior through evolutionary psychology, a research theory that posits among other things that women have evolved to be more monogamous than men, and less capable, innately, at math and science ways of thinking than men, which is why, as Larry Summers famously argued, women don't have as successful careers in STEM.

And Hitchen's own personal contribution to this mighty theory is that women have evolved to be unfunny. Outside of the New Atheist bubble, Hitchens is known as the guy who said women aren't funny. Serves the asshole right.

The New Atheists also tend towards xenophobia, especially against Muslims, most likely in a terrified response to the 9-11 attacks. Sam Harris is especially awful in this respect, justifying torture and promoting ethnic profiling in security checks.

I've discussed my objections to the New Atheist celebrity leaders throughout this blog, right from the very beginning if you count Pinker, who has flirted with the edges of more hard-core sociobiology - the racial aspect - through his publicly proclaimed intellectual affiliation with right-wing operative Razib Khan.

While Pinker has no trouble citing Khan to back up his own work, he has stated that Stephen Jay Gould's critical views on evolutionary psychology should be discounted due to Gould's leftist political leanings. Although as far as I know Gould was never an actual political operative like Razib Khan.

Pinker's absolute, shameless, blatant hypocrisy on this issue should be more widely-known and should certainly give anybody pause when deciding whether to worship Pinker as a Great Man of Atheism, along with those other seriously flawed celebrity atheists.

On the other side are the Social Justice Warriors, who are just as obnoxious as the New Atheists, but in different, and sometimes opposite ways. I haven't been criticizing Social Justice Warriors for as long as New Atheists, but I have certainly been doing so a lot lately. Surprisingly there is no entry in Wikipedia for Social Justice Warrior - I will probably remedy that soon - perhaps because the term is less well-known, although Richard Dawkins has been using the term lately. But science fiction writer Will Shetterly, while not the coiner of the term, has been most prominent in using the term, even writing a book about SJWs.

SJWs have well-known proponents, although they don't have the celebrity status of the leading New Atheists. But SJWs tend to think and act in mobs anyway, through the power of social media aggregation, and so are less likely to stand alone as an individual celebrity.

One of the most prominent SJWs is Mikki Kendall, whom readers of this blog know I have a personal beef with: several years ago she used her Tumblr account to proclaim me, by name, as a "racist." This was because some friend of hers I argued with on Facebook decided I was a racist because I defended John Lennon and Yoko Ono's use of the N word in a song written 40 years ago. They used the N word to make a serious political point about sexism, not to attack African Americans. But you can't reason with a SJW mob. They know what they know and anybody who argues with them is automatically a racist.

The power of Google-bombing a person's name is still under-discussed in the media, considering how much power it has to harm people, and legally. Google suggests that if you don't like what somebody is saying about you, which is showing up in Google results, ask them to take it down. But if you ask a SJW to take it down, that only confirms your guilt in their mind, and they will simply post even more links, to make their defamation against you go even higher in Google results.

Kendall was joined in her Tumblr smear of me by K. Tempest Bradford, also via Tumblr. Bradford is a science fiction writer, and included by Shetterly in his blog on SJWs. I had a Facebook exchange with Bradford during which I asked her to stop smearing me, and I found it fascinating that Bradford basically excused the smears on the grounds that I was rude to friends of hers when I argued with them. In other words, smearing me as a racist was justifiable payback for my bad manners. I will have more to say about Bradford's response, and the attitudes of SJWs generally as soon as I get a chance.

In any case, I concluded on July 6 that both sides are idiots.

However, I must acknowledge that Richard Dawkins has scored one for the New Atheists by this statement, made with Ophelia Benson:
It’s not news that allies can’t always agree on everything. People who rely on reason rather than dogma to think about the world are bound to disagree about some things. 
Disagreement is inevitable, but bullying and harassment are not. If we want secularism and atheism to gain respect, we have to be able to disagree with each other without trying to destroy each other.
In other words we have to be able to manage disagreement ethically, like reasonable adults, as opposed to brawling like enraged children who need a nap. It should go without saying, but this means no death threats, rape threats, attacks on people’s appearance, age, race, sex, size, haircut; no photoshopping people into demeaning images, no vulgar epithets.
 
Richard adds: I’m told that some people think I tacitly endorse such things even if I don’t indulge in them. Needless to say, I’m horrified by that suggestion. Any person who tries to intimidate members of our community with threats or harassment is in no way my ally and is only weakening the atheist movement by silencing its voices and driving away support.
Bravo.

I was one of those who pointed out that Dawkins had a responsibility to denounce the shitstorm of rape and death threats that his ill-considered personal attack on Rebecca Watson inspired, and so even if this statement is three years late, it's something.

To give you a sense of how it should be done, recall that idiot Twitterer Suey Park called for the Colbert Report to be cancelled because of her own obtuseness (deliberate or not) over Colbert's parody of the Redskins football team name. I'm still not entirely convinced that Park is not a sock puppet of some right-wing think tank - her friendship with Michelle pro-Japanese-internment Malkin alone is extremely suspicious. But she could be real, and just a garden-variety dumbass Social Justice Warrior.

When his show returned after the weekend, Colbert defended himself, in character, but while he was doing it he said:
"Now all of this was started by a hash tag activist, or hashtivist, who has been viciously attacked on Twitter, and if anyone is doing that for me I want you to stop it right now. She's just speaking her mind and that's what Twitter is for..."
And that's how it's done. But Colbert is an entertainer and while his show and the Daily Show has a clear demographic, they can't speak only as the leaders of a self-selected group of people.

And that's what makes them different from both New Atheists and Social Justice Warriors, who tend to live in their respective bubbles. So New Atheists will make the most outrageous claims about the religious and religion in general without providing evidence, and as if all New Atheists live in a world in which they don't have to co-exist with religious people - including close friends and relatives.

Social Justice Warriors are perhaps more insidious - under the guise of social justice they will attack anybody, even allies, or perhaps especially allies, who ventures even slightly out of the political correctness compound, or who even leave themselves open to the slightest misinterpretation, as in the Colbert controversy. They are so in love with their self-image as defenders of justice that they will try to invent cases of injustice so they can get their superhero tights on and fight it.

Of course the New Atheists have their own dreams of glory - they like to imagine themselves standing tall against the forces of ignorance and superstition and, in their most misguided logical leap, terrorism which they equate with Islam. And so they support stupidities like the outcry against the "9-11 mosque." I went to the counter-demonstration.

Now it appears that Richard Dawkins was not getting off on the power of having his slavish New Atheist followers attack feminist atheists - especially but by no means only Rebecca Watson - at least if Dawkins was to be believed. He apparently was oblivious the the phenomenon, or at least didn't seem to understand he might have the power to reduce the viciousness through speaking up against it. Well now he has, so let's see if it works.

So that gives New Atheists a boost over Social Justice Warriors at this point - I consider Adam Lee of Daylight Atheism to be a SJW because he censored me when I suggested that certain of Ayn Rand's literary output might have been due to Ayn Rand possibly having an autism spectrum condition. He told me to STFU and allowed his good buddy Azkyroth to attack me as someone out to hurt people with Asperger's.

And mind you, I had been contributing to the discussion of Atlas Shrugged on Lee's blog for months, and had shown no indication of wanting to harm anybody with Asperger's. But that does not matter - when a SJW has their hero tights on, you cannot reason with them any more.

It's issues having to do with brain functionality that is one of the big problems with Social Justice Warriors. Just as it is unacceptable to use gender and race and other physical features to suggest a difference in emotional/intellectual expression, they believe it is also unacceptable to even discuss the possibility that conditions like Asperger's, or even mental illness might have an influence on the way a person expresses themselves.

You can see it in Greta Christina's response to somebody suggesting that the disgusting "Amazing Atheist" might have a mental illness:
Brian Walsh @ #13: Please don’t do that. The idea that hateful and vile people must be mentally ill gets trotted out a lot (it did with the Elliot Rodger shooting), and it’s very problematic. It diminishes responsibility for hateful and vile behavior. It marginalizes people who are mentally ill, perpetuating the idea that we’re dangerous and/or evil. And it disproportionately gets used to protect white people. (As has been pointed out many times by many people: When a white person shoots a bunch of people, they’re mentally ill. When a black person does it, they’re a thug. When a brown person does it, they’re a terrorist.) Please don’t do it. Thanks.
Please note that she doesn't present an argument for why the Amazing Atheist is not mentally ill - she proclaims that it is unacceptable to suggest that anybody who is hateful and vile has a mental illness.

Just as it is unacceptable to Lee and company for anyone to speculate that Ayn Rand might have had Asperger's. Because friends of Adam Lee and Greta Christina (or apparently Christina herself) have Asperger's and mental illness. And so you must not ever say that anybody who is bad might have the same condition. 

This is censorship, plain and simple. They think they are promoting social justice, but what they are doing instead is making areas of discussion taboo. And demonizing anybody who wants to explore that area of discussion.

Social Justice Warriors are wrong in this. Wrong and stupid. And they need to admit that their censorship and shaming attempts are wrong. And chances are they never will - they believe in their own absolute correctness and moral superiority and you dare not attempt to argue with them or they will have no qualms about smearing you and attributing all kinds of evil against you. And then they will censor you, so you cannot argue back. 

That's what Dawkins and company mean by "witch hunts" and they do have a point. So New Atheist are slightly up on Social Justice Warriors in my book.

Until the next horrific thing they do/say/support. Tune in for future reports.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pix from Cape May Point

Once again the highlight of visiting Wildwood NJ was going to nearby Cape May Point. Once again I got to see dolphins, although unfortunately I didn't get any good photos - you could only see their dorsal fins above the waves for a second and they were pretty far away so  my photos show dark triangular specs, basically, not worth posting.

Other than dolphins there isn't much to see in Cape May Point, which is kind of the point - it's very peaceful, in contrast to Wildwood.

Wildwood wasn't so bad though, it was fun riding in one of those multiple person surreys with family.

Cape May Point






Wednesday, July 30, 2014

More pix from Wildwood NJ

My sister and Lydia the tattooed lady

Carousel details

I don't think this is a chain store...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wildwood 2014

So this is the "ocean" I've heard so much about.
I took pix this year, like last year - although we are in Wildwood proper this year - last year was Wildwood Crest.

My newer phone takes better photos than last year - but it would have been really nice if I hadn't dropped it in the Wawa parking lot this morning. It still works though... it just has a cracked front screen which I McGyvered with clear packing tape.





We made a friend on the beach.

There's plenty more ocean where that came from.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Standing Oh!

Who knew Schopenhauer would
turn out to be such a rock star?









We got our first standing ovation at the fourth performance of JULIA & BUDDY on Saturday. Only one more performance left - which you can see this Saturday at 5PM - tickets.

And the best part is that neither of the standers were friends or family - I had no idea who they are. Although one of them appeared to be a full-on philosophy nerd - I was sitting facing the woman, who was in the first row, and I could see her visibly perk up every time philosophy or Schopenhauer was mentioned... and when Schopenhauer actually appeared in Julia's fever-dream, she was ecstatic.
She came up to me afterwards to tell me how much she loved the show (she came on a friend's recommendation) and to ask me about my thoughts on Schopenhauer, etc. Unfortunately I had too much to do, not the least of which was to thank the members of NYCPlaywrights for coming. Many of them participated in readings of J&B over the years since I first began writing it (2009) so they were a more discerning audience than usual - and they all really loved the performances.

Which you will have one more chance to see, this Saturday.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Howdy Howdy Howdy!

Cowboy karma - right in the middle of playing a Space Cowboy in the MITF production of JULIA & BUDDY, Matt DeCapua played an Earth Cowboy... or cowboy, in the MTV series "One Bad Choice" -

“One Bad Choice” is a new series that explores the consequences of young people who made a single, terrible decision that irrevocably changed their lives forever. Shocking, surprising, and deeply emotional, “One Bad Choice” takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride filled with twists and turns, suspense, drama and redemption through scripted storytelling based on true stories. (Source: Deadline.com)

Matt doesn't know when his cowboy episode will air - you can check his web site matthewdecapua.com for updates.

Friday, July 25, 2014

But I suffer, you know?

One of the reasons I dislike going to the hairdresser - or hair stylist as they are known these days - is because I always feel awkward about having a conversation with the stylist. So I usually ask them questions about themselves - I'm a pretty good listener. Although it is difficult at times if the stylist has a thick accent as was the case the other day with the stylist whom I'll call F, who is from Romania. Then it's hard work, straining to make out what she said, with all the rolling Rs.

Another reason I dislike going is because I have thick unruly hair and it takes hours to do something with it - in this case highlights and a blow-out.

Anyway, so during the hours of hair styling time, I mentioned to F that I had a date, with a younger guy, and I think it made F jealous - although if she knew anything about my pathetic dates she wouldn't be. But she apparently wanted a shoulder to cry on (not literally, what with all the hair chemicals) and my talk of a date set her off - so she proceeded to fill almost the entire time while doing my hair with telling me about her sad situation - her husband of 30 years recently has heart problems and is now suffering from depression and erectile dysfunction and so F isn't getting any sex these days. However, she is mighty tempted by various men she knows, but she doesn't want to betray her husband of 30 years. But she fears she will never have sex again and so she's trying to learn to become at peace with the Universe. And then she said: "but I suffer, you know?"

Yes. I know. Although our situations are different, the frustration is similar. I went on a date with a straight Taiwanese hair stylist. In fact that's what finally got me to go to my hair stylist - I figured my date would be looking at my hair with a critical eye.

He had longish hair and seemed like a sort of Asian surfer dude. And he had amazing tattoos on his forearms, which caught my eye in the first place, which is why I offered to buy him a drink in the West Village.

Well it turns out he doesn't really drink. So what I thought would be a nice hour, at least of drinking and chatting turned into 20 minutes of me drinking and him eating some bruschetta and then the two of us walking briskly through the Village towards his apartment, while I regaled him with the story of the Son of a Movie Star Booty Call.

OK but here's the thing - I wasn't expecting true love. And I don't mean this in a snobby way, but I really don't have that much in common with a Taiwanese hair stylist. But since when did the phrase "friends with benefits" end up meaning "benefits" without the "friends"? Don't people need friends any more?

This guy was royally put out by the fact that I wouldn't come up to his apartment with him, having just met him in-person less than an hour earlier. I said I thought he was cute and we should get together again so that I could get to know him well enough to become intimate with him. But no. It was now or nothing. What is wrong with guys these days? And this wasn't even the 20-something son of a movie star - it was a 38 year old hair stylist. You would think he would have some interest in humanoid conversation - he talks to women all day long. Is it really that onerous? I like to think I'm not a completely tiresome conversationalist, and if nothing else, I'm a decent listener.

I mean, yeah, he was cute, but really? I'm supposed to hop right up to his apartment? Doesn't he realize that the dating site through which we met specifically advises against going into the date's residence on the first date?

I guess it was a bad sign when I took his iPhone from him to do a search for my play JULIA & BUDDY - I was flattered he was interested enough in it to Google it but he kept typing Juliet instead of Julia so I offered to find it for him - and right in the middle of my Google search on his phone a message popped up from Tinder telling him he had a match.

And then he had the nerve to claim during our brisk walk towards his apartment that he wasn't all that interested in Tinder because it was just about hooking up. Not 10 minutes later he was giving me attitude because I wouldn't immediately hook up with him.

But since my self-confidence has been set to close to zero for years now, I thought maybe he wasn't really attracted to me and was just looking for an excuse to be rid of me. But he insisted on walking me to my subway stop and wouldn't you know it, when I gave him a good-bye hug he grabbed my right breast? WTF?

I did get something out of the date though - although the Taiwanese hair stylist doesn't really drink he admitted he's done "Molly" which is apparently a pure form of Ecstasy. So I learned something.

Yeah, my hair stylist F has absolutely nothing to be jealous of.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

More reasons why the Bloggess makes a living blogging

The fourth in the irregular series.

Women Who are Ambivalent about Women Against Women Against Feminism
An excerpt:

So...yeah.  Right now there’s a lot of talk about a tumblr called WomenAgainstFeminism.  It’s just pictures of some women holding up handwritten signs entitled “I don’t need feminism because...”  Some of the reasons they give for not needing feminism almost seem like a parody (“How the fuck am I suppose to open jars and lift heavy things without my husband?”) and some (“I don’t need to grow out my body hair to prove I’m equal to men”) just make me wonder where in the world they got their definition of feminism.
At first I considered starting my own “I Don’t Need _____ Because” tumblr with people holding equally baffling signs.  Signs like:
I don’t need books because YOU KNOW WHO WROTE BOOKS?  HITLER.  HITLER WROTE A BOOK.  NO THANK YOU, NAZIS.
I don’t need money BECAUSE I HAVE A CHECKBOOK, ASSHOLE.
I don’t need air because LOTS OF IT IS FARTS.  I’M NOT BREATHING FARTS.  YOUBREATHE FARTS.
But then I remembered that I’m too lazy to make a tumblr and that this whole thing was a bit ridiculous. Here’s the thing:  Do you think men and women should have equal rights politically, socially and economically?  Then you’re probably a feminist...  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A shout-out from Hidden City

I blogged about the poor Boy in the Box a year ago, and recently got a request from a guy from the web site Hidden City Philadelphia, which "pulls back the curtain on the city’s most remarkable places and connects them to new people, functions, and resources."

He wrote an article and links back to my original post:
Beyond the soccer field’s goal, in the center of a windbreak, a small space framed by two concrete median barriers opens near the ground. The opening is not visible from midfield. The trees in the windbreak look like the beginning of the woods, but beyond the barriers is instead a mown field 500 feet deep and 200 wide. This was Philadelphia’s last potter’s field; hundreds of unclaimed people are buried here. 
“The boy’s headstone was right about in the center,” says Nancy McClernan, who grew up in nearby Bensalem. McClernan remembers riding her bike down Century Lane toward the Parkwood playground to use the pool in the summer with other kids from Bensalem. “Walking past that grave was the most unnerving aspect of going to Parkwood and back,” she writes in a blog about her experiences growing up nearby
Back then, in the 1960s, the potter’s field at Dunks Ferry and Mechanicsville contained a single headstone. The inscription read, “Heavenly Father, Bless This Unknown Boy, February 25, 1957.”
The unknown boy, like the other people buried in this city cemetery, was never claimed. He was found in a cardboard box in Fox Chase and despite an investigation that lasted decades, was never identified. In 1998, his body and headstone were moved to Ivy Hill Cemetery. Now, in the center of the field, right about where the stone stood, a pair of groundhogs peak out of a hole leading into a network of tunnels in a mound of lumpy earth.
The Boy in the Box - my first inkling of the tragedy of human existence.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What the other critic said...

I would be remiss if I did not mention that the other critic for JULIA & BUDDY completely trashed the play. It's amazing how two people could have such completely opposite responses to a single play.

Although I will say about the other critic:

  • He's fresh out of Columbia University
  • He's a fledgling playwright 
  • He appears to have very little experience as a critic - so although he expresses his deep deep sorrow and regret for the necessity of hatcheting my play, he can't even bother to discuss the work of the actors, who are excellent, even as they struggle through the irredeemable shit.
  • He's not a big fan of romantic comedy since he declares that the relationship between the two characters is not high enough stakes. Romantic comedy is considered extremely uncool in the theater world these days. It's much too girly to be cool.

What I find most interesting is that although he mentions the appearance of Schopenhauer in the play (the other critic mentioned him not at all) he completely misses the significance of Schopenhauer's philosophy in the context of the play, even though I put the quote "we want what we will, but we don't will what we want" right at the top. And here I thought I had made it much too obvious. I figured anybody who bothered to consider the Schopenhauer issue would get it. Guess I was wrong.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Julia & Buddy at the Midtown International Theater Festival gets a rave

The bare stage at the Jewel Box Theatre, one of the venues for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, does not deter the new play “Julia & Buddy from instantly making it a playground for wit, intellect, and heartfelt affection as two actors inhabit the stage and begin their ninety minute banter. Claire Warden playing Julia and Buddy inhabited by Matthew DeCapua seem to capture and understand the age old quip that “opposites attract” and give evidence of proof to this notion with exceptional clarity. The panic ridden philosopher and the forgetful maintenance man are the perfect example of the odd couple: each examines her or his actions carefully, peeling away shallow facades and gently exposing their sensitive cores. Both actors manage to appear real and in control and never waver from an honest and truthful performance. Ms. Warden is strong, mindful and focused, yet frail, vulnerable and distracted and always tempts the audience to wonder about her path and intent - always with a distinct emotional investment. Mr. DeCapua is a pleasure to watch as he morphs into impressions of unseen pertinent characters. He produces a character study which is complex, precise, honest and filled with integrity, resulting in a sensitive portrait of a hopeful soul with fractured dreams and the will to survive. They are generous actors providing for each other and allowing the audience to enter their intimate world, always searching for creative ways to establish an emotional connection."
The writing by N.G. McClernan is quick, intelligent, purposeful and entertaining, never wasting words. Her script provides fuel for the actors allowing them to cruise at full speed never faltering or second guessing their commitment. As director, she knows her voice and characters well, taking all opportunities to squeeze every morsel of emotional energy from each verbal encounter. It would be worth the while to treat yourself to this little gem and witness some fresh, new and interesting New York theatre. 

 David Roberts, CEOExpress

Responses to my play JULIA & BUDDY

We've had three performances and at least one person has come up to me afterwards to offer thoughts on the script for each show - much of it very complimentary.
“So are you going to sell the movie rights to this?” 
“This was as good as a Neil Simon play.” (I believe this was meant as a compliment) 
“I could see how you worked out the plot - it unfolded nicely.”  
“I think it really came together in the Schopenhauer scene.” 
“The writing was so intelligent.” 
“You did good, Nancy G.” (my daughter's girlfriend.) 
“I was hoping that ‘dinner with L. J.' would turn out to be a humorous misunderstanding. I think Buddy is a jerk!” (My daughter.)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Some kind of progress

While waiting outside the Jewel Box theater for the show in front of ours to finish up, I couldn't help noticing the poster for the Workshop Theater Company's upcoming DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION - I critiqued the artwork for a previous production of the show because it featured a photo of a woman bending forward and sticking out her butt. Which shouldn't be surprising since according to a woman I know, one of the big-wigs in the WTC is a world-class creep.

So this poster is definitely an improvement - the focus is on the contents of the back pocket of the jeans, not on the butt.

And their coming season almost makes up for their past male dominance - at least 50% of the main stage plays they are producing this season are written by women.

Of course, they are only doing two main stage productions between now and April 2015 - this one and a collection of short plays by an as-yet unnamed group of company playwrights. Which I guess is some kind of progress.

The smaller Jewel Box theater productions balance out the gynocratic tyranny - all three of their plays in progress are written by men; and of the staged readings planned, two out of five are by women, which sounds pretty good. But I find it fascinating that both women have written plays with males as main characters. And all but one of the plays by men features males as the main characters. Well, you don't want too high a percentage of girl germs ruining serious theater.

And speaking of theater parity for women, it just occurred to me that the revered Slings and Arrows presents no women as creative artists except for actors and singers. In addition to Shakespeare, they presented a musical author and a playwright during the three seasons, both male. The vast majority of the non-performing female characters were involved in backstage support (costumes, stage management etc.), administration and business. The only non-performing female creative was a director, and she was
a. portrayed as a non-stop talker and
b. given a broken neck and taken out of the show after a minute of screen time.
And one of the writers of the show is Susan Coyne, who portrayed Anna, an administrator.

I don't think it was necessarily a deliberate and conscious choice, but rather a reflection of what is considered a natural state of affairs in the theater - a woman's job - preferably a young and pretty woman - is to present the writing and direction of men.

A realistic aspect of Slings and Arrows was that the company's leading lady Ellen often fretted about the crappy minor roles she would have to play in Shakespeare productions (the dreaded nurse in ROMEO & JULIET) as she aged. The sweet irony is that Shakespeare actually wrote more, and more varied parts for women than most contemporary male playwrights do - unless you count an endless parade of prostitutes with hearts of gold, hot chicks and screwed-up mothers as "varied."

A curious fact about many of the over-30 female actors - they don't seem to go out of their way to be friendly with female playwrights. In fact, in my experience quite the opposite. And it doesn't seem to make sense - female playwrights are far more likely to write roles for women, especially women over 30, than men are (except of course at the Workshop Theater Company.)

However, if you look at it in another way, it does make sense. In the minds of many theater people (conscious or not) playwright is a man's job, and the highest place on the theater pecking order for women is actor - but if women are entering male roles - which are naturally higher status than women's roles, that means those female playwrights will be given higher status than female actors.

And that's what disrespecting female playwrights is all about - status and power and conventional gender attitudes. It's probably a good short-term political strategy but not a good long-term career strategy.