Mercury in Retrograde

Things have certainly changed financially. The era of the stand-alone investment bank is over. Cash is still king and Asia still has it. Will they freak out and leave us completely? The 85 billion dollar bail out of AIG is crazy. Do we have that? How are we financing our wars? How can we do all this and not have better infrastructure, schools, and access to health care. Call me naieve but I think it’s time we get back to fundamentals here. Part of the big problem goes back to our education system. We don’t understand government, our civil rights or civic duties, money and finance, or how to rear children. America is like the house that gets trashed when the parents go out of town and say, “Don’t have any parties while were away….”

If we did understand the fundamentals, we wouldn’t be having an argument right now about who is best suited for the Oval Office. Scratch that, if Americans could actually argue and not get into childish screaming matches, it would be clear. I’m seeing a lot of trash talk. It plays on the “don’t get caught with the wrong people” mentality from middle school.

On top of this craziness, there’s a lot going on with people in my life. My buddy Alex had a motorcycle accident a month ago in the Czech Republic and busted his hip. I hear he’s doing better and his latest show is going up at the Metropolitan Playhouse. My friend and brilliant clown/actor/writer Abraham has a bad disc in his neck so he’s bedridden. My friend from high school, Roland, lost his father this week. My yoga, movement, contact improv, viewpoints, t’ai chi, physical theatre teacher from college has had a couple of strokes. The World Market Center is effectively killing the furniture markets in San Francisco, Dallas, and my hometown of High Point, NC by making a huge one-stop complex like the World Trade Center in Las Vegas. My girlfriend’s Mac laptop went silent. My brother says he’s found enlightenment. The Mets are beating the Nationals. A guy is doing an orchestrated evening of music from video games at NJPAC this fall.

In other news…

I’m doing a reading of American Badass (or 12 Characters in Search of a National Identity) this Saturday 9/20 1-3pm at 939 8th Ave. (btw 55&56) studio 3c. The Dentons have generously decided to publish it in Plays and Playwrights ’09 through nyte small press. I only have a couple more weeks to tweak it. It’s weird now since both parties have swept Bush under the carpet. I’ve changed it a bit so it’s more of a document of where things are at the moment. I’ve added an evangelical preacher and a Karl Rove character to it. I’ve taken out some of the in-between pieces and replaced them with other small monologues. I imagine it will get produced at a few colleges so I thought I should have the bits between the bigger monologues be able to funtion in a high or low tech way. The way it is now feels more like a full album. The way people made albums in the 60s or 70s. Where you’d put the vinyl on and sit down and listen to the whole thing.

I think is where I part company with other writers and performers. The thing that’s in these days is a sensibility. It’s not about rhythm, punch, or surprise as far as comedy is concerned anymore. People have stopped laughing unless there’s some kind of assault on someone’s crotch. Attention spans went out with grunge music so there’s no point in bemoaning that.

Anyway, if you enjoy laughing and, at the same time, looking at some of what’s horrendous about human beings come down to my reading on Saturday. I’d to hear what you think. Coincidentally, because of what’s happened this week, the reading is free.