Tag Archives: OWS

The 99 Report: Gun Discussion

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Just finished up a discussion with the ever-delightful Allie McNeil (@watergatesummer) over on her podcast/internet radio show, “The 99 Report.”  Check it out if you have the time – I call in about 8 minutes into the broadcast and we chat for the full show.

There’s a brief technical mishap midway through, but we got things back up and running within a few minutes, so don’t let that put you off the rest of the show.

Take a listen – we discuss gun violence, Gabby Giffords and her new SuperPAC, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Breaking Bad, Columbine, my award-winning first play (1999’s POST), connections between art and violence, conversations on twitter and more.

Finishing Something

I’ve nearly made half a dozen blog entries in the last couple days. I want to post about Julian Assange, I want to post about Ecuador, I want to post about Pussy Riot, I want to post about climate change, I want to post about Playing it Cool, I want to post about theater (this, at least, is out of my hands till next weekend, when I have a show booked).

I want to organize the things in my living room, put the books with the books and sort through the clothes and sweep and swiffer and take out the recycling and clean up my emails and work on my novella and read my friend’s novella and brag about having just finished copy editing another friend’s novel.

I have a to-do list as long as my arm full of things I don’t feel passionately about starting, and every so often I think, “Breakfast would be nice.”

But mostly I want to lie in bed and think about the play I saw earlier this week: Coriolanus at Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, a New York City institution currently being nurtured by The Drilling Company, whose Mangella I very much enjoyed when I saw it last year.

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot takes place down on the Lower East Side, at what must be one of the last publicly-owned parking lots in the city. Plastic chairs were set up in traverse-style, and there was a huge swell of blanket-dwellers beyond that.

I’ve never seen Coriolanus before. The imagery/rhetoric of Occupy was used to draw distinctions between the commoners, their representatives, and Coriolanus himself – a soldier returning home triumphant after long wars, whose utter disdain for the lower class would make Ayn Rand (and probably a Romney or two) proud. I was never quite sympathetic to Coriolanus, except in brief scenes with his mother, but the actor played him very well (and my apologies for not grabbing a program and therefore being unable to call out his name).

So now I’ve spoken about the theater stuff I saw the other night, at least.

Maybe breakfast isn’t the worst idea I’ve had all morning.

Speaking about Hot Mess on The 99 Report

At 3pm EST today, March 20th, I’ll be speaking about HOT MESS: speculative fiction on climate change on the Earth Day episode of The 99 Report, a weekly podcast. You can access the podcast here.

The show starts at 2pm, and features some interesting guests who’ll be discussing the condition of the post-oil-spill Gulf of Mexico. We’ll also talk about how fiction can inspire conversations about real-world issues.

This is my first podcast appearance – so as you can imagine, nerves are high and your support is appreciated!

THEATER REVIEW: “Righteous Money” at the Kraine Theater

As a latter day Jim Cramer, CJ (Michael Yates Crowley) hosts “Righteous Money,” a blinged-up version of Cramer’s own Mad Money. The audience sits amidst the trappings of a TV studio (a monitor, a camera, and references to an off-stage producer), but the events taking place on stage would have any TV show cut off within minutes. The conceit falls through almost immediately, and from there on out Righteous Money (also the title of the play) is hard to take seriously.

There’s no throughline of sociopathy in Crowley’s character, thanks to a bizarre breakdown that includes his confessing to an one-night-stand-with-some-meaning-thrown-in with one of the interns. Not for a moment did I believe any of CJ’s confessions regarding having true feelings for “Nathan,” the intern, and given the enormous dose of self-confidence Crowley has given his character, there were times when director Michael Rau could have brought greater depth to the material – for example (and not that I was hankering for nudity), after CJ spends time bragging about his physical appearance and noting the fact that he sleeps naked, why does he only strip to his boxers when spanking himself for the camera? This lack of logic extends to things like CJ’s producer allowing him to remain on the air, and even to the sort of things he says while railing against his assistant. His “freakout” may be realistic, but it fails at providing a cogent dramatic through-line to the play.

CJ’s philosophy of money is entertaining – he wants his audience to have access to what he calls “righteous” money – money they deserve, and money beyond what they dream possible – but his repeated references to a non-present “woman guest” Suze Orman soon grow tired.

Righteous Money features a rich topic, perfect (metatextual) timing, and a lead performer who we very much want to like. In the end, though, it never quite achieves liftoff.