Wednesday, May 31, 2006

15 Days and Counting-Madonna In Chicago!

Concert photos - Madonna at Coachella 2006 >> liveDaily
I'm sort of updating this post...um to make it more intereting for non-Madonna fans heh heh. But my god, I love these photos of her!

Forbes magazine has listed 15 ways to extend ones life span. I love # 6. Yeah thanks Einstein. No prob. Um, what is #5? I would like to add a #0: Make a pact with the devil.

1. Don't oversleep
2. Be optimistic
3. Have more sex
4. Get a pet
5. Get a VAP
6. Be rich
7. Stop smoking
8. Chill out
9. Eat your antioxidants
10. Marry well
11. Exercise
12. Laugh a little
13. Lose weight
14. Manage stress
15. Meditate

Kawasaki Krump...Closer closer...


See my powerful fist, I have you in my hands, Kawasaki. I WILL beat you in technorati!!! Candy Minx kicks Guy Kawasaki's technorati ass!


After cutting out a sillouette of a hand in a magazine, I noticed on a page underneath this bit of photo of David Carradine from Kill Bill and his hand. That is the paper bag you can see through the cut out hand mirroring Carradines hand. A coincidence.

I painted these little clouds and then cut them up and used bondex to collage them into the painting.



Bunnyz in the Hood









Saturday, May 27, 2006

Search words that brought people to this blog

25
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Friday, May 26, 2006

I Like The Blogs With Pictures...


I've been yapping my head off so here is a photo. This is from my neighborhood bar (pub if you're British hee) called Scot's. I love it here, and I love that cool rainbow friendly Bud Light neon sign! I love this bar because if I get restless or lonely...remember I don't know very many people here...I step in here and there is always art on the walls and the staff and customers are super friendly. So I can shoot the shit or screw the pooch for a couple hours. They always go all out and decorate the place for celebrations. Sometimes I might be waking to the grocery store, but the theme draws me in for a quick pint. they don't have a web site or I would link them right now.

Hey, see...there is a tv with the Simpsons on!!!!

Favorite War Movies

I love all genres of movies, but I really love comedy and war genres the best. It's Memorial Day weekend so I figure why not a list of some favorite war movies of mine. I am such a war movie fan, you will know because not only do I love Hamburger Hill, I own it on dvd! I have probably read most of the books published on the Vietnam War, and that is about 500. One of the best Vietnam books I ever read was, They Marched Into Sunlight by David Maraniss. It compares two events one a major operation in Vietnam and a peace rally in Madison. I highly recommend it. We all have someone in our families who fought to protect us, save us and who sacrificed their own safety for others. Bless them.

My grandfather never told the bad stories from his tours. He often told me tales behind the battles. He and his friends never said how bad it was. Once they hid in a church and then found barrels of rum. He said that was a great night. We have a photo of him a few others in his company and they had just taken over a town in Europe and the town had swastika's hanging outside all the buildings. In this photo my grandfather and his brothers had wrapped one of the swastika flags around their hips like a skirt. It is the ultimate fuck you picture.

M.A.S.H.
The Green Beret
Full Metal Jacket
Casablanca
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Apocalypse Now
Hamburger Hill
Caine Mutiny
Eye of the Eagle 2
Saving Private Ryan
The Thin Red Line
Manchurian Candidate (both)
Bat 21
Das Boat
Master and Commander
Three Kings
Fail Safe
War Games
On The Beach
The Deer Hunter
The Hanoi Hilton
Born On The Forth Of July
Casualties of War
Dead Presidents
King Rat
Red Dawn
Escape From Afghanistan
Operation :Dreamland
Jarhead
Blackhawk Down
We Were Soldiers
The Killing Feilds
Lord of The Flies
Dr. Strangelove

Rational Psychedelia?

Daniel Pinchbeck might be the most interesting writer alive right now.


I am surprised I haven't written anything about him here so far. I was just inspired to do so by a blog I frequent.
I am pretty excited to get this new book by Daniel Pinchbeck called 2012: The Return of Quetzacoatl. Here is another interesting piece of writing by Pinchbeck.

This is from Amazon.com...
Throughout the 1990s, Pinchbeck had been a member of New York's literary select. He wrote for publications like ArtForum, Esquire, and The New York Times Magazine. Critics acclaimed his first book, Breaking Open the Head, as the most significant contribution to psychedelic literature since the work of Terence McKenna.

But the unexpected occurred: Pinchbeck found himself increasingly pulled into the shamanic and metaphysical realms he was reporting on as a journalist. As his mind opened to new and sometimes threatening experiences, disparate threads and synchronicities made new sense: Humanity, every sign suggested, faces an imminent decision between greater self-potential and environmental ruin. The Mayan "birth date" of 2012 could herald the close of one way of existence and the beginning of another, symbolized by the prophesied return of the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl, the mysterious "Plumed Serpent" of ancient myth. In just the nick of time, the skeptical modern mind can reclaim the suppressed psychic, intuitive, and mystical dimensions of being, and institute a new planetary culture. But it is only - and by no means assuredly - possible if we confront the environmental catastrophe staring us in the face.

Something is in the air: many, if not most, of us feel that real change - for good or ill - is afoot. Pinchbeck's journey - a metaphysical opus that takes the reader from the endangered rain forests of the Amazon, to the stone megaliths of the English plains, to the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada - tells the tale of a single man in whose trials we ultimately recognize our own secret thoughts and unease over modern life. And a redemptive vision of where we are heading.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

American Idol Meets Fight Club

Let the healing begin...

"If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this is useless fine print and another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all who claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think everything you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told you should want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.......Tyler" (seen for a few seconds at beginning of dvd version of Fight Club)


The first rule of American Idol if you are cool is don't tell anyone you watch American Idol.

I however, am not as cool as I'd like to think I am. I watch American Idol. Hate the singing style most of the time. I don't like trained voices, prefer natural sounding rock singers. Among my top favourite singers of all time are Chris Cornell, Scott Weiland, Bono, Roger Daltrey, Chrissie Hynde so I have been very delighted with Taylor Hicks. Been secretly watching the whole thing. Don't tell my cool friends.

American Idol can teach us how to practice world peace. How to practice non-violent conflict resolution. American Idol can make us all better.

As much as Kennedy's murder was a heartbreak for a nation, so too were the messy tragic deaths of Judy Garland and Elvis Presley. Thay may not have been assasinated, but they could not live either. The culture that adored them and worshiped them also killed them. Drug abuse, obesity, loneliness, dysfunctional love lives, families and despair mirrored our societies failures for many of our population and do so still today.

Eventually, this is how I knew either Hicks or McPhee would win. Art heals. Sports is the marriage of art and war and competition brought us the reincarnation, or revival if you prefer, of Elivs and Garland. McPhee does a beautiful version of Over The Rainbow but the mass appeal and adoration of Elvis would probably seal the votes for Taylor Hicks who sang In The Ghetto beautifully. And vote people did, over 63 million votes counted by the worlds largest voting system. Will we use this system in the future to monitor behaviour in the middle east? In Darfur?

The homage and spiritual rebirth of Garland and Elvis moved some audience to tears. Closure. Life really does go on. We can feel like we were there and if old enough or nostaligic enough an opportunity for release and renewal watching Hicks sing about the ghetto. Not the ghetto of rappers and drive by shootings, but Elivs's ghetto. The one Elvis believed could be saved one little child at a time. But...yet, the reason I was so moved by Hicks version is because of my music, Ice T, NWA, Tupac, Biggie, Eminem and laying it down against Elvis' era. Hicks version may be gentrified, but so is resolution, so is world peace. Tompkins Square Park in NYC is no where near the park I'd walk past after dancing all night at Area or Danceteria. Back then Tompins Square Park was a shanty town, where my date bought me flowers picked by one of the "residents" from the public park flowerbeds.

I don't like gentrification or homogenization. I don't like globalization.

But I do like people sharing their personalities and diversities. And I loved seeing kids and the elderly moving freely in the sunshine in Tompkins Square Parks makeover.

I like tolerance, but even better I like curiousity and genuine compassion which make the legalization of tolerance pale.

American Idol demonstrates how we can have it all. We can love our brother and sister, compete and allow our individual beliefs to shine and share.

During this season Chris Daughtry was accused of performing LIVE's rendition of Johnny Cash's “I Walk the Line” and not giving his inspiration creds. Some LIVE fans fumed. One week later Daughtry acknowledged it was not his own rendition adding that LIVE was one of his favorite bands.

Last night the band Live performed with Chris Daughtry. High fived, hugged and sang their hearts out.

American Idol understands that music poetry and nostalgia heal the wounds that life and ego inflicts. Non-violent conflict resolution is a facet of good sportsmanship.

Katherine McPhee looked tired and distracted when the camera wasn't on her. It's as if she knew wasn't going to win, but she kept at it. She gave it her very best. Her fading energy was overcome despite her intuition that she was not the winner. I think she knew and yet she still came out fighting. I appreciated her more last night for that attitude than all season.

What ever happened to the residents of Tomkins Square Park? We could learn a lot about different ways of living by studying and visiting with the people who live outside. Why do they choose outside over shelters? What kind of an economy do they make a living with? How can we apply this economy into our way of life and help them be more comfortable in the city?

If life is a game who are you? A sore loser or a good sport?

Urban centres are always trying to clean up their rough neighbourhoods. But if we can't help our richest most talented citizens like Garland and Presley how do we help people with less options? I suggest they are the ones who can help us.

I think Guy Kawasaki and I should be working on these urban issues of rough neighbourhoods and people who live outside. I suggest he and I work on saving the women in the DRC. I am gonna kick his ass at technorati, and then get to him to use his genius and marketing skills to help me find new ways for all our citizens of the world to get along and live well.

In some small way, Whitney Houston made an appearance last night on Ameican Idol. I don't know if the rumours are true about her suffering from drug use, loneliness but her cousin performed last night, and made me think also of Whitney, Garland and Elvis. Dionne Warwick was awesome, I knew she would be because I saw her sing on Oprah's Legends Ball the day before. Warwick performed with Burt Baccarat and the evening could have been complete with that for me.

I began to cry when Prince came on stage. You're kidding, Prince on American Idol?

I couldn't believe it. Ryan Seacrest deserves boons for his deadpan delivery saying well thats it folks, now for the winner...he had me sucked in a ready for a verdict and then Prince walks on stage.

You see this is healing at it's most lovely. The oft censored Prince on American Idol. We can all be friends.

Even Coca-cola was brillaint with it's co-opting of war...take sides? Coke take sides? No Coke created a whole new dimension. It's motto in ads last night "The Coke side of life."

If we don't take sides does that mean we're on the fence? No, it means we can enter another dimension. Compassion, tolerance, and particpation are the noble heights of assimilation and gentrification.

Somehow American Idol was wild and got cool. It mixed nostaligia and cutting edge and it worked. Like the Ford commercial it gave me pause. Ford produced a commercial with Hicks and McPhee going to a drive-in watching the other contestants perform on the drive-in screen. Do I think people should park their cars? Yes, let's reject this lifestyle of driving everywhere, move downtown and take public transit for gods sake people!

But...maybe cars have a small value where they could be rented for pleasure trips like to the drive-in theatre or to visit grandma out of town. Maybe, Candy, cars are too powerful to give up completely, but less driving may put the pressure on car manufacturers to utilize alternative power? So drivers, come up with a way to force inventive environmental dynamic cars. Put your car in the garage for week, all of you. The leaders and manufactuers will HEAR YOU! You are the leader.

Yes, American Idol got cool last night, from Mary J. Blige, and McPhee and Meatloaf singing beautifully together to Prince dancing like an angel.

Meatloaf and Ed Kowalczyk from the band Live were both in Fight Club. Live's original name was First Aid. Instead of censoring artists like Prince, or hiding our homeless or avoiding Darfur...maybe we should be incorporating these extremes into our problem solving. Maybe our culture's first aid treatments and healing should be incorporated into answers. We should hire the homeless to work in our streets. We should invest in the women in the DRC so they can buy their own army and create a business to sell us stuff. I don't know the answers to help people live well but I believe the answers are in the tragedies. Fight Club was cool, counterculture, challenging and controversial. In many ways we must fight amonst ourselves to really be alive. Let's take that conflict and talk violently about peace. Can we reject the tepid action of our leaders by taking action ourselves and seeking the answers by casting the counterculture and wallflowers as our stars? Like American Idol succeeds and assimilates? This should not be a surprise though. After all the old Micky Rooney and Judy Garland films had the conflict and the solution? How did Mickey and Judy save the day? "Let's Put On A Show!"

And as long as our tragedies are back stage, American Idol is beating the shit out of the United Nations and world leaders.

Elvis knew, and couldn't live with it, we're all in the ghetto till we help each other. I got two words for you. Soul Patrol!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Help Candy Beat Kawasaki


Hi I've had a lot of visitors from Bifurcated Rivets and I really appreciate the link and you stopping by to visit. I am trying to out rank Guy Kawasaki. Guy Kawasaki is most known as an incredible marketer, authour of self help books for business and a former guru at Apple. I like Kawasaki's work, I love mac and Apple...but he wants to be top ten in technorati.


I want to beat him there! I have resisted asking for "mercy links" and so far...I began my technorati rating at 1,192,043 but today I am at 143, 114. I need a lot more links. Kawasaki is not embarassed by his quest for top ten ranking at technorati, and he doesn't care if people tease him, just as long as they link him. So maybe someone will read this and link me. I don't care if it's a mercy link heh heh.

I've been working on a painting that is almost finished, in order to psych out Kawasaki...nothing is more fearful to ones opponent than their enemy painting their portrait. It intimidates the hell out of them...TO FREEZE THEIR WARRIOR SOUL IN MY HANDS! I build a kind of mystery about the artist...a puzzle within an enigma...revealing my existential angst and power....ok maybe it doesn't do all that but I know Mr.Kawasaki is scared, he knows I am creeping up on him. I think we should meet once I kick his butt, and I'll post a photo here of me giving him a noogie, er ah, I mean us shaking hands. LINK ME!!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Farmers versus Hunter-gatherers...

CBC News Indepth: Caledonia land claim
Stand-off for three months between Mohawks and land developers.

My opinion? Farmers should go fuck themselves and stay in the cities they built!

And the government agrees, offering compensation to the developers.

"The land was originally part of an aboriginal treaty dating back to 1841, but the members of the nearby Six Nations reserve say the land was leased to the province, not sold for development."

wikipedia offers a slightly different perspective...

Today...

Why should we protect land for hunter and gatherers?

-people living in cities cuts down on commuter time and gas.
-more residents in urban centres keeps city safer, more round the clock activity
-residents in cities create and support dynamic social and cultural diversity
-city life tends to be more tolerant of diversity, therefore more non-violent conflict resolution and rights support
-protects wilderness from development safekeeping wetlands, animals, flora
-protecting wilderness allows hunter and gatherers to make a living outside totalitarian agriculture
-protecting the economy of hunter and gatherers gives cityfolk/farmers(same thing) a resource on alternative economy and land use
-protecting hunter and gatherers allows their economy to protect their unique belief systems
-farmers can learn about land conservation from hunter-gatherers belief systems
-farmers can learn about healing and nutrition from hunter and gatherers practices

Monday, May 22, 2006

Tag Yer It

I got tagged. I got tagged by ol Nowt! And the activity sounds strangely touchy feely. I just said today how I should have been born a guy. I drink beer, hate shopping and don't like to talk about my feelings. This tagging seems very close to talking about feelings!

I tag Rockittome, G.H. and S.H.


I AM: clumsy
I WANT: a spa day
I HATE: intolerance
I MISS: my grandmother
I LOVE: discussing ideas
I FEAR: putting my foot in my mouth
I HEAR: sirens, trucks running engines in the alley
I WONDER: if there is life on Mars
I REGRET: not seeing Nirvana when I had a chance
I AM NOT: cynical
I DANCE: every day
I SING: at karioke
I SEE: good in people most of the time
I CRY: at tv ads, sad movies,in confrontation, seeing suffering, lets say often
I AM NOT ALWAYS: well rested
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: excellent brocoli salad
I WRITE: in bed
I CONFUSE: singing with braying
I NEED: not much
I SHOULD: do more housework but I'd rather blog!
I START: excited
I FINISH: happy

Warning: photos of tv's again


Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa are in Niagara Falls Canada today.



I love Apple and Mac...love iPod. Am an Apple store geek. But it pisses me off that ads can be on the sides of trains but artwork can't...and I love these ads too. I consider them a kind of art. Freight Train art and international urban train paintings rock my world.

Soda pop, nostalgia and urban legends


This post is for Meghan who loves Tab. This billboard is right by our studio and I love the art colours and it reminds me of family members who were addicted to this pop and to dieting while I was growing up. You know the aunt or cousin who was a few years older and always seemed fabulous looking. Weird how this billboard set off memories of these relatives. I didn't know it's name was created because people were keeping "tabs" on their weight or diet. I also didn't know it was a Coca-Cola product.
Ever had someone tell you they are raising money for a seeing eye dog, a wheelchair or a dyalysis machine by collecting soda pull tabs or cigarette wrappin? I am a sucker for this sort of thing and just found out right now it's an urban myth.

Roof top bbq





Sunday, May 21, 2006

Back In The Day...



Four Dinners said...in response to some search engine words below...

"candy minx blog goth???? like it!"

well, yes I come by it naturally...The Cure, Alien Sex Fiend, NIN, Ministry, Jesus and Mary Chain, Souixie etc etc
No I haven't fixed the flash yet...I am running around too much darn! I loved being a punk rock goth, still am inside...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Search Engine Words again.....OR a poem...

schizophrenic hams
giordano memory
african american economy
vagina opening
blood meridian quotes
news south africa
I am fuel you are friends
film the one percent jamie johnson
vagina
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aspect cooperative field work
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knitting
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bad beaver
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kitimat
candy and the best of all possible worlds
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book meridian magic

Friday, May 19, 2006

I MET CORMAC MCCARTHY!!! SPOILER!!!

If you do not want to hear details of Cormac McCarthy's play The Sunset Limited which opened last night at Steppenwolf in Chicago, do not read this review.

Did I mention? I met Cormac McCarthy!!!

The following is from Playbill...

A funny thing has happened this season: Cormac McCarthy's The Sunset Limited is the third work we have produced this year by an author most known for writing prose fiction. Frank Galati adapted novelist and short story writer, Huraki Murakami's after the quake. Don De Lillo's new play, Love-Lies-Bleeding, is playing in our Upstairs Theatre and now, in our Garage Theatre, we are premiering The Sunset Limited by acclaimed novelist, Cormac McCarthy.

It seems fitting that in a season devoted to new work, we are producing well-known writers working in new ways and, in the case of Murikami, presented in a new way. Producing the work of prose fiction writers writers allows us to extend the interrogation of new voices to an interrogation of the form in which these voices take speak. Why does some work want to take the form of prose? Why does some work want to take the form of drama? And how does prose-writing look and sound when adapted for the stage?

When we interviewed Don about how he chose to write Love-Lies-Bleeding as a play, he said that the opening line of the play, "I saw a dead man on the subway once" had been floating in his mind for years and that he knew it was being spoken on a stage.

We haven't asked the question of Mr. McCarthy. What we know is that Cormac McCarthy had previously written a play, The Stonemason, which was not produced. The Stonemason went through a workshop process at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. but ultimately, did not eventuate in a production. The Stonemason is a multi-generational drama, a play that touches upon interpersonal, historic and cultural themes. The Sunset Limited is a more intimate play. Two men sit in a single room and talk to one another. The elemental reduction of the play's canvas extends to the names of the characters themselves. The men are designated simply as "Black" and "White". Perhaps unsurprisingly, these anmes (labels, really) are racial markers. So: two men, one a black man, the other, a white man, sit in a room, talking.

The course of their conversation reveals another layer, another meaning of "black" and "white." The conversation between the two men has evolved out of a life and death situation. The polarity of life and death is amplified, through their conversation, by the polarity of their spiritual convictions: one man is an atheist, one man is a Christian. Amplified too, by their cultural positioning: one man is educated (is in fact, a university professor); the other, uneducated, a former prison inmate. One has successfully lived his life within the social system; the other, as an outlaw.

It is perhaps the interplay of polarities in these themes (and his skilled manipulation of these polarities) that invited Mr. McCarthy to express The Sunset Limited as a play. A play is, after all, (in the end of all), a DRAMA: a collision of opposing forces alive in a present moment, in a play on the stage. The unwritten language of the stage is a behaviour: we watch two men, "Black" and "White" in a life or death struggle. The elemental struggle is nuanced by our identification with, and empathy for, either or both of these men.

The issues of spiritual conviction, of the meaning of life are enormously complex ones. And yet there is some insistence, on the part of Mr. McCarthy in his invocation of the labels "black" and "white", that a moral code is in play that is absolute. That he chose the stage as a venue for this conversation suggests that he sees the drama of The Sunset Limited as one best unmediated by the narrative voice: he seeks the pure exchange of ideas and leaves you, the audience, to negotiate your position in that argument.

Our emotional movement towards or away from these men is the registration of our belief. The novelist abandons his guiding and shaping narrative voice to deliver that responsibility for point of view into our lap.

I regard willingness on the part of prose fiction writers to write for the stage (and to allow their work to be adapted for the stage), a daring one. Working in the theatre is a collaborative process. A director, the designers, the actors, and ultimately, the audience, move and shape the work of the story according to their various points of view. Acceding that control is generous (and likely, uncomfortable) for a writer whose principle skill is the negotiation of a point of view. We celebrate these writers in our season of new work-they provide us insight into both the telling and the tale. They encourage us to question both the story of how we live now, and the form of the story.

Artistic Director Steppenwolf, Martha Lavey


My notes about the play...

So good and so demanding. A strain to follow the philosophical hairturns, like a mental action film, no shit. A white guy is saved from suicide, he is an atheist and the black guy who saves him, is a man of faith. One man is professor/white the other is an excon/black. Sunset Limited is the train the white guy tried to jump in front of, and it becomes a catch phrase thoughout the one hour 45 minutes of the play..."going to sunset limited" equals death...suicide but death in general. These two talk it all out, what faith is, that Jesus is the core ore in the earth, all people are not race or skin but the ore is Jesus says the black man...almost tempting the aetheist white guy...race starts out hot and heavy in this. I think liberals will avoid the real issue of race after the play is over...Perhaps... but I also think the play suggests something else about "black and white". the philosophical issues are treated like black and white...don't both atheists and believers treat philosophy and ideals like black and white issues? Often never allowing for moderation...for grey? When philosophical and spiritual issues including existentialism are treated as polar opposites, as black and white, then compassion is always slipping away from people.

The actors were awesome...the white guy wants to leave, hates the discussion, black guy feels he is saving him and wants to talk him out of suicide...Austin Pendleton and Freeman Coffey played yin and yang and large and small black and white despair and hope so passionately and so naturally. It was an honour and delight to see them so close and to try to remember they were acting.

Atheist/professor tries to describe how faith is not an option for him. Some very funny dialogue about how clever the professor is and he should write a book, or he should write down his ideas for a sermon etc. The dialogue was very fast in places and very funny. The audience was out loud gaffawing many times throughtout the play. This worked well because sometimes we would be laughing so hard, and then really fighting with the ideas the men were arguing about and suffering with them.

Each character goes into serious detail about what it feels like to not believe in a god, or to believe. Often the thesis revolved around the idea that the main drive of life is suffering: why should one stay and knowingly keep the torture of suffering going? Lack of resolution with this suffering and sense of peace is why the white professor tries to kill himself. He says he has lost interest and passion in what used to give him pleasure, music, love, art. He says a haunting line early in the play "That's what Education does, it makes things personal." There are times when each man seems to tempt or convince the other of their perspective.

Um, does anybody win this chessgame?

No. Maybe it's not actually a contest but a excercise. Maybe being black or white is the mistaken path...the men can never seem to realize that life offers lots of grey? Eventually, the suicidal professor does have a deep passion...and it is for his sorrow and disillusionment and desire for relief from sufferring and seeing others suffer. He asks loud and emotionally and the black man of faith can not answer him. the white guy leaves...probably to try and kill himself yet again, in the morning. The white guy speaks eloquently and with finality...there is no comeback for our man of faith, we see him run out of philosophy or answers or comebacks...The black guy falls on his knees and asks god, "Why does he have all the words" He has tears in his eyes and he says he might go to the train station in the morning, he wonders if he can stop the professor again...yet he has no concrete words or answers...no tools to help transfer faith or happiness.

My favourite moment in the play: When Freeman Coffey's character makes them something to eat. Austin Pendleton is so hungry and so convinces me that he hasn't had food, never mind food that is delicious, for a very long time. The food they share is bread and "soul food"...of course. For a few minutes the two men enjoy eating together. The pleasure on White/Professor's face is obvious.The tragedy becomes clear in this moment: isn't life worth living in order to share our different philosophies and live with each other and share bread together? The professor does not come to this conclusion. But I did.

Overall, the two men shared an evening of talking about ideas, of sharing food and perhaps for any other two people it would have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Why not for these two?

I was left feeling that sometimes all we can know of life and each other is our company...but if we hold our ideas and politics and religion before our communion with each other...then we will not be able to feel empathy or compassion for each other.

And...

When there is suffering how can we feel happy?

Unfortunately, at the end of the play, each man is left with emptiness. When we look at life as a need to reconcile faith versus disbelief then we block the opportunity to relieve suffering and find compassion. When we prioritze dogma and politics over community and human company then we will be disenfranchised.

Playbill for McCarthy play The Sunset Limited.

A funny thing has happened this season: Cormac McCarthy's The Sunset Limited is the third work we have produced this year by an author most known for writing prose fiction. Frank Galati adapted novelist and short story writer, Huraki Murakami's after the quake. Don De Lillo's new play, Love-Lies-Bleeding, is playing in our Upstairs Theatre and now, in our Garage Theatre, we are premiering The Sunset Limited by acclaimed novelist, Cormac McCarthy.

It seems fitting that in a season devoted to new work, we are producing well-known writers working in new ways and, in the case of Murikami, presented in a new way. Producing the work of prose fiction writers writers allows us to extend the interrogation of new voices to an interrogation of the form in which these voices take speak. Why doe some work want to take the form of prose? Why does some work want to take the form of drama? And how does prose-writing look and sound when adapted for the stage?

When we interviewed Don about how he chose to write Love-Lies-Bleeding as a play, he said that the opening line of the play, "I saw a dead man on the subway once" had been floating in his mind for yearsan d that he knew it ws being spoken on a stage.

We haven't asked the question of Mr. McCarthy. What we know is that Cormac McCarthy had previously written a play, The Stonemason, which was not produced. The Stonemason went through a workshop process at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. but ultimately, did not eventuate in a production. The Stonemason is a multi-generatioanl drama, a play that touches upon interpersoanl, historic and cultural themes. The Sunset Limited is a more intimate play. Two men sit ina single room and talk to one another. The elemental reduction of the play's canvas extends to the names of the characters themselves. The men are designated simply as "Black" and "White". Perhaps unsurprisingly, these anmes (labels, really) are racial markers. So: two men, one a black man, the other, a white man, sit in a room, talking.

The course of their conversation reveals another layer, another meaning of "black" and "white." The conversatin between the two men has evolved out of a life and death situation. The polarity of life and death is amplified, through their conversation, by the polarity of their spiritual convictions: one man is an atheist, one man is a Christian. Amplified too, by their cultural positioning: one man is educated (is in fact, a university professor); the other, uneducated, a former prison inmate. One has successfully lived his life within the social system; the other, as an outlaw.

It is perhaps the interplay of polarities in these themes(and his skilled manipulation of these polarities) that invited Mr. McCarthy to express The Sunset Limited as a play. A play is, after all,(in the end of all), a DRAMA: a collision of opposing forces alive in a present moment, in a play on the stage. The unwritten language of thestage is a behaviour: we watch two men, "Black" and "White" in a life or death struggle. The elemental struggle is nuanced by our identification with, and empathy for, either or both of these men.

The issues of spiritual conviction, of the meaning of life are enormously comlex ones. And yet there is some insistence, on the part of Mr. McCarthy in his invocation of the labels "black" and "white", that a moral code is in play that is absolute. That he chose the stage as a venue for this conversation suggests that he sees the dramaof The Sunset Limited as one best unmediated by the narrative voice: he seeks the pure exchange of ideas and leaves you, the audience, to negotiate your position in that argument.

Our emotional movement towards or away from these men is the registration of our belief. The novelist abandons his guiding and shaping narrative voice to deliver that responsibility for point of view into our lap.

I regard willingness on the part of prose fiction writers to write for thestage (and to allow their work to be adapted for the stage), a daring one. Working in the theatre is a collaborative process. A director, the designers, the actors, and ultimately, the audience, move and shape the work of the story according to their various points of view. Acceding that control is genrous (and likely, uncomfortable) for a writer whose principle skill is the negotiation of a point of view. We celebrate these writers in ourseason of new work-they provide us insight into both the telling and the tale. They encourage us to question both the story of how we live now, and the form of the story.

Artistic Director Steppenwolf, Martha Lavey

I MET CORMAC MCCARTHY!!!

Okay, well yes, it's true I met one of my heroes in literature tonight. I am so fucked over and excited about it it's right silly. Very pleased. As exciting as meeting William Burroughs. His play was awesome and challenging and tragic and funny as hell...and I'd love to see it on film. It starred Austin Pendleton and Freeman Coffey. The acting was incredible. I am going to go see it performed again and will be thinking about it for a long time. The actors were wonderful. They were so hardworking and engaging and just perfect.

I took the following half dozen photos just before my camera was confiscated. McCarthy sat RIGHT BEHIND us, right there behind Marc! I could see him in my periferal and it was hard to not think about him during the play.



Stagg, Deana and Marc.



Stagg and Deana.



Tom, Karen and Stagg.



Marc, Kinch, Kinch significant other.






(This is for Dr.K.)



Marty, Wes, Jay, Rick.



Sue, Diane, Rick.



A goof hanging on Jay and Rick.



Sue and Diane.



Marty, Wes, Jay and Rick.



Wes, Jay, Rick.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Open Door Policy

So many washroom doors are broken falling apart, and locks are missing or jimmied that a woman on American Inventor got to the final 12 for inventing a lock for public restrooms. She didn't win, but I could have used her invention today. (her invention was a small lock to carry in your purse and it had a hook on it to hang you purse, very clever!) Sad to see the washrooms in the beautiful Art Institute of Chicago were a disaster.

What I did, I used my purse to weigh down the purse folding shelf to keep the door closed. I also got inspired by blogs that record "street art" and have my camera with me at weirdo times to try finding street art myself. I wonder what the other patrons in washroom must have thought when my flash went off inside the stall...I was laughing very much.