Beer with the Playwright

I went over to the Playwright’s last night to pick up my tarot cards and we ended up having a beer and discussing what art should do.

Because, you know, I only like those small easy questions…

Ha, no, one of the things that I love about the Playwright is that she’s got this idea that theater can be a mirror for the community and that having those kinds of mirrors–experiencing your story as worth being told–is really valuable.

And the Playwright is all over this–from Act Like a GRRRL to Faith/Doubt to this piece she’s working on about the Civil Rights movement here in town–she’s all the time taking ordinary people’s lives (ah, "Ordinary Heroes" is the name of that play) and teasing out the story worth having told.

The Playwright said "I think everybody’s life could be a movie, that everyone has had a life worth telling.  It’s never occurred to me to think that only the hoity-toity artistic community had stories worth sharing."

On Saturday, when we were all sitting around listening to Michael Rosenblum talk about what a revolution we’re in the midst of, I got to thinking that it’s not just that everyone has access to the ability to tell their stories (and my god, if you want a great discussion of that part of it, get you to Kat Coble’s), it’s that there’s been a real shift in the last little bit about what stories are worth telling.

Think of how excited historians are to discover slave narratives or even the scope of the 9/11 project in which bloggers tell the stories of the victims of 9/11.

I don’t think we’ve given up on the stories of larger than life characters who do things the rest of us can’t do, but I think we’ve made room in our cultural landscape for stories about ordinary people and we’ve come to appreciate that those people’s "ordinary" lives are filled with worthwhile transcendent stuff. 

The Mysterious “Other Butt”

Maybe it’s too early in the week for cooter humor, but this post from Gone Feral has me laughing so hard tears are running down my cheek.

I should back up here and explain that there were certain, errr, anatomical misapprehensions regarding the status of the ‘gina as a bona fide second ass until we introduced the, well, CONCEPT of the ‘gina. How do you know it’s time? When you’re changing a diaper and are commanded to "Wipe butt, mama" and when you do so are corrected with "OTHER Butt, Mama."

“I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.”

Five years.

It’s a long time.  It’s a blink of an eye.

But it’s time.  A lot of time.  Five Thanksgivings.  Five Christmases.  Five years will take you from first holding your baby in your arms to walking her to kindergarten.  In five years, you could see your son graduate from high school and college. 

Eighteen hundred and twenty six days to spend however you spent them.

Two thousand nine hundred and seventy-three of us…

I am still angry that Bush knew that Bin Laden was determined to attack us and he did next to nothing.  I’m still angry that Clinton didn’t hunt him down, either.  I’m angry that we support these monsters when it’s convenient for us and then, when they turn on us, we act like it was unforeseeable.  

But I get it.  That’s the way the world works.

I will, however, never forgive Bush for giving Bin Ladin these five years that he robbed almost three thousand Americans of.  And I will never forget that a mere six months after the attacks, when Bin Ladin’s head should have been on a spike at Ground Zero, rotting in the weather, being picked at by dogs, George Bush stood before this country and said: “I’ll repeat what I said.  I truly am not that concerned about him.”

Catching Bin Ladin isn’t about being concerned about him.  It’s about being concerned about the families of the people who lost their lives and all the people who watched it live or on TV and providing justice for them.

Once Bush revealed himself unconcerned about doing that, once I got that justice was never coming, he lost my good will and earned my contempt.

Those people who died deserve justice.

They deserve leadership who will provide it.

We deserve that, too.

The fact that we don’t have it is appalling.