Friday, April 15, 2005

What an Ordeal!

what a trying tax day it was. Just when I thought I'd paid enough, there was more to pay. As usual, looking on the bright side, I was happy when I made it at 6:30 to the 8th avenue post office, that I at least to meet up with some people taking signatures right next to the large banner that said, "Make Your Deposit to the New Stadium here" with a big arrow leading to the mail drop. Of course I'm not against taxes, I think we should pay them. It's just not fair that the system has become so damn regressive. Expropriate the expropriators, I say.

Speaking of righteous indignation, I just got done seeing Andre De Shields captivate an entire theater full of people for an hour and a half. His indignation was visceral. Towards the end of the play, he seduced audience members out of their seats and onto the stage, cajoling, "come, get in the cosmic pool.." As most most of us stayed in our seats, after a while, his invitation changed abruptly to a command, "Come, get in the pool!" That step from seduction to rejection and reaction was one of the realest single moments I've seen in theater in a long time. Even if I felt that parts of the play were more theatrical or burlesque than I really liked, I left so affected by it, and am more and more impressed each time I think about the performance. DeShields was not only amazing simply because of his physical strength and endurance: he wrestled, danced, joked, sang, and generally projected a larger than life character for the entire show. He was also amazing for the nuances and subtley of his performance; his character in the midst of a completely self-conscious, ironic, post-modern and hilarious "variety show/theater/spectacular," felt real and human. Like everything I've seen at the Classical Theater of Harlem, the show was completely polished, professional, and topical. While George Bush may say he prefers Jesus to incest and bestiality, and may demonstrate a piety that Caligula would despise, the two men share an intense narcissism, and in other ways as well, CTH's "Caligula" feels very much modeled on our modern Empire and its emporer.

And for left-wing commentary, at its utmost topical, tomorrow begins the second day of the 2005 "Left Forum." Tariq Ali, Frances Fox Piven, and lots of other great folks will be speaking. In case you were wondering, the conference is a response to a call for a replacement of the Socialist Scholars Conference, usually held at Cooper Union in April, after "7 of the 16 members of that conference's Board of Directors resigned last spring in protest of the lack of democratic and participatory governance procedures." (Global Left Dialogue). The NY Sun, perhaps seeking to gloat and giggle over left wing divisions, actually has an article about the original break up and the current conference that is fairly descriptive,and potentially at least partially accurate. I recall when the split happened and wondered what it was all about. If you're reading this and have corrections, make them by all means.
But ah, my fellow procrastinators..It's time to get cracking, or at least to get napping. There are intellectual treats to be had in the morning, intellectual treats that will, no doubt, fill me with anxiety and dread about the coming apocalypse, and it's a bad idea to try to boldly face the future without a full night's sleep.

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