So, Tell Me about Boston

Okay, folks, you know me by now.  I like creepy things.  I like history.  I like looking at things.  I like magic.  I like folklore.  I like food.

What should I be sure not to miss in Boston?

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Pure Life Revolution & The Call

Egalia’s talking about it and so are the folks over at NiT.  I spent lunch looking through the sites for both things and, whew, am glad I am no longer getting roped into participating in this shit.

I have lots of small thoughts on it.

1.  Egalia’s right.  They’re marching down Church because they want to send a message to gay folks.  What that message is, I’m not sure.  Possibly “We’re didn’t realize that y’all would probably be asleep and not out shopping in the gay district at 7 a.m.”

2.  Is it really appropriate for a bunch of Christians to gather together for a religious event out front of the Parthenon?

3.  When you see all of this talk about “the spirit of Prostitution” ruining America and you see it constantly referred to as a “she” and you see the predominance of men on the boards of both the Pure Life Revolution and The Call, does it kind of squick you out?  It does me.

4.  You don’t have to dig very deep in The Call’s website to see the old-school anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish Protestant ugliness is still simmering just under the surface.  See “After a 40-year judgment, could we be in a season in which a great spiritual awakening could occur in America, and the Jewish people would return to Yeshua?” andWE BELIEVE that only the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired, and therefore inerrant, Word of God.”  I guess that could also be considered anti-Orthodox and anti-Coptic, too.  So, in other words, they’re for all Christians, but only the Protestant ones, and of those Protestant ones, only the ones praying for the conversion of Jews.  Oh, how narrow the definition of “everyone” becomes when you get right down to it.

5.  Is it just me or is there something that sounds like bragging in the tone of Matthew Stark? It appears that all his life he’s liked to be a bad-ass and now he’s found a way to be a bad-ass for Jesus.  Folks, I’m not Christian.  What you do with your faith is your business.  But I know Christian leaders and I can tell you that Jesus never, ever says “Continue doing just what you’re doing only you focus your energy on me now.”  Just think on that; that’s all I’m asking.

Nathan Moore Makes Me Laugh

Every once in a while, I consider whether I should respond thoughtfully to Nathan Moore’s posts, not all of them, mind you, but you know, the ones that make me think.

Like today, he has a post about why radical Muslims hate us.  Okay, thought-provoking enough concept.

But it contains this:

The best way to defeat your enemy is to understand him. If American and Western leadership refuses to accept the truths about the showdown between our culture and the culture of the caliphate, the war will continue and more lives will be lost.

Yes, that’s so funny, I’m going to post it again:

The best way to defeat your enemy is to understand him. If American and Western leadership refuses to accept the truths about the showdown between our culture and the culture of the caliphate, the war will continue and more lives will be lost.

See?  If Moore’s not even going to go to the effort of resolving the disparity between “the best way to defeat your enemy is to understand him” and “showdown between our culture and the culture of the caliphate” why should I go to the effort of responding thoughtfully to his post?

But, hey, in general, I’m a nice girl, so let’s at least address this nonsense:

One of the distinctions between the Right and the Left regarding the ongoing war with Islamic fundamentalism is the cause the underlying the conflict. The Left seems to believe that our presence in Iraq and elsewhere is “breeding” terrorists – as if the primary reason for Islamic fundamentalism’s penchant for terrorism is a reactionary one. It’s a “blame the West” mentality. The Right, in marked contrast, believes that the actions of Islamist terrorists are at their very source religious, compelled into action by a belief structure absent any sort of real world prodding by free people.

This is a concise overview of the problem.  Too bad it’s so inadequate.  Let me explain to you what the Left (in general) believes.

We believe that there is a dangerous strain of fundamentalism in the Muslim world and that said dangerous strain of fundamentalism doesn’t like the West because we’re a bunch of over-educated, irreligious, good-time-having, decadent, pigs who’ve granted women too much freedom* who are ruining the world with our sinful frivolity.  We believe, in general, that they’re right–that we are a bunch of good-time-having, decadent, freedom-loving, slutty women loving, frivolous pigs.  We just happen to believe that those are good qualities to have in a society.  We also believe that most people in the world, if given an opportunity, will strive to be educated, slightly frivolous, good-time-having, somewhat decadent freedom-loving folks.  We don’t believe that you can force that on people, but you can tempt them into it.

We don’t believe that we’re going to change the minds of those dangerous fundamentalists.  They are a dangerous annoyance we must kind of tolerate (while enabling the authorities to track them down and arrest them) in order to live how we like living.

We believe that there is, at least, one other group of Muslims–folks who, in general, don’t wish us harm and, in general, like the influence of the West, even as they worry that said influence is moving people away from God and proper Islamic practice.

When we talk about our presence in Iraq breeding terrorists, what we mean is that our continued presence there convinces these wary Muslims that the fundamentalists are right about the West, at least in some regard, and so people who would not otherwise act against us feel pressured by our presence and our behavior while present to act against us.

This is not a mind-set that’s impossible to understand.  Any of you with sincerely-held Christian beliefs have probably felt that some of what fundamentalist Christians say makes sense, even if you disagree with the degree to which they take their beliefs.

We need to win those hearts and minds–the devote Muslims who aren’t fully on-board with the fundamentalists, but who are afraid that the fundamentalists might be right, that we are at war with all of Islam.

We’re not.

As for why Moore cracks me up, he begs us to understand our enemy, but he refers to it as an “us v. caliphate” situation.  There hasn’t been a Caliphate since 1924.  But maybe understanding that part of Islam isn’t part of what Moore’s proposing.

*For fun, take a look at the Pure Life Revolution website and see if you can see if they disagree.

Reviews! I Have Reviews!

Y’all, check this shit out! If this is not the weirdest, coolest thing to happen to me, I just don’t know what the fuck is. I have reviews.

Only two, but two is two more reviews of my play than I had just last week, so there’s that.

Shall we peruse them together?

First:

Here Becca A. Lewis pulls her tennessee accent out of mothballs to become a fading Country-Music star trying to make herself once more into the Image her public will expect when she steps on the Grand Ol’ Opry stage. The idea of being trapped in an image less and less true to your true self comes alive because Kathy Wittman enters as a newswoman bent on doing an intimate portrait of the backstage life of a famous performer. [Aunt B.’s] play ends letting the audience decide whether a terrified star can have the guts to tell the world who she really is.

Second:

In the first play, Honey, I’m So Lonesome I Don’t Know What to Do, by [Aunt B.], the set represents the back-stage precincts of a run-down country and western music venue. Lucetta Flood (Becca A. Lewis) entertains a lesbian journalist (Kathy Wittman), and wrestles with her scathing inner doubts as she weighs a successful music career against the freedom, and the consequences, of telling the truth about herself. The dialogue, full of broken hearts and love gone wrong and girlfriends who chose church friends over life-long love, fits into the country-music theme nicely, and packs a punch as stiff as a belt of the Jack Daniels the women put away as their passions simmer.

[…]

Some of these pieces are complete little sketches, and some seem like promising first acts for larger works; as a result, the best, most fully realized plays tend to feel unfinished (October), while the self-contained pieces have a superficial feel, sometimes feeling obvious (McGillicuddy) and sometimes charged with a sketch-show energy that makes them so funny and witty that you accept them as charming shots of theatrical imagination, like amuse-bouches of the stage (The Sanzibel Putt-Putt Rally). Honey I’m, So Lonesome I Don’t Know What to Do and Paris walk a fine line between the two extremes…

Well, hmm. I’m not sure what two extremes my play is walking a fine line between, but I’m going to take that as a compliment anyway.

And can I just say that I’m dying to see it now, more than ever? It’s really weird to see how other folks have interpreted what I wrote. I mean, in my mind, Lucetta is an up-and-coming country music star not a fading one. And clearly, even if the back stage of the Grand Ole Opry is not The Ritz, how can one see it as a “run-down country and western music venue”? I don’t know.

It’ll be cool to see.

It’s so damn cool to have folks take my writing seriously as art. Cool and weird and wonderful. I have total heebie-jeebies all over.

Folks, I know some of you are out east. If you’re interested, here’s the skinny:

Queer Soup Theater presents:
lost & found: the anniversary series
June 28 – July 21st, Thurs – Sat 8 PM, Sun 7/8 & 7/15 4 PM
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Ave, Boston

Hurricane Katrina. A proposal. Sobriety. Birthdays. 9/11. Mini-Golf. Kooky Queer Theater. Anniversaries. As we celebrate 5 years together, we asked our favorite playwrights and artists to bring an anniversary to life. And like any milestone worth celebrating, there’s laughter, tears and a six-foot silver dog-walking alien.

with: Becca A. Lewis, Cheryl Singleton, Kathy Wittman, Mal Malme, Paul Dixon
Directed by: Renee C. Farster

Plays:
“Honey, I’m so Lonesome I Don’t Know What to Do” by [Aunt B.]
“October” by Ginger Lazarus
“Paris” by Lyralen Kaye
“gutting” by Mal Malme
“The Sanizibel Putt-Putt Rally” by Jess Martin
“Magillicutti” by Renee C. Farster
“Queer Soup: The True Homogenized Story” a film by Kathy Wittman

Special dates:
7/8 ASL; 7/12 benefit for the Center for New Words; 6/28, 7/8, & 7/15: Pay-What-You-Can

How much? $22, $15 Students/Seniors
Tix: 1-866-811-4111 or at http://www.queersoup.net

See that? 7/8 “Pay What You Can” I’ll be there on 7/8. Just saying. I’ll be the girl shreaking with delight.

Random Things I Thought About While Walking the Dog

–I missed walking the dog.  I just love getting out and moving around the neighborhood with her.  My Uncle B. has two bassett hounds and my Cousin A. has a chocolate lab, so I didn’t lack for doggly affection while I was gone, but I missed my dog.  I’m proud to say, too, that she is just about as well behaved as all the other dogs in my family.

–There’s another pitbull in the neighborhood.  We met it this morning.  And I think it’s an honest to god Staffordshire Bull Terrier–real squatty and compact compared to Mrs. Wigglebottom.  Cute as hell, though.

–I can’t breathe.  I wonder if this is going to be a problem in Boston.  I wonder if I can get a cart like they wheeled Hannibal Lector around on and just have Plimco push me to interesting things when I run out of breath.

–My parents arrive on the 11th.  They are staying up at Mack’s cabin.  Well, behind Mack’s cabin, in their trailer.  This will either be the greatest thing to happen to Tiny Cat Pants, allowing me weeks of material to blog about, or we will have to have another fund-raiser in which y’all send me money for therapy.