October 24th, 2005


Weekend Stuff

Party at rifmeister's Friday. They also have the (rather nice) flaw of having more friends than can easily fit in their place, so it got kinda crowded and noisy. But I got to talk the, well, now he's the ex-submariner, and listen to kirisutogomen pontificate, which is always amusing. Also got to learn that kirisutogomen is unwilling to be nearly as obnoxious to total strangers as he is to friends, which was interesting data. The artichoke dip (a recurring dish from my birthday party) was very popular, apparently due to the presence of Real Artichokes. Fun. :)

Oath run Saturday. mjperson demonstrates that he can write all the details of a small assassin game in under twenty-four hours. The party demonstrates that they violently disagree on whether mind control or drugs are more ethical, but the tone was light enough that I don't think anyone came away with hard feelings. Who would have thought that the phrase "Dr. Kye's reasonable use of Affection" would ever be something other than one of those "colorless green ideas sleep furiously" bits of nonsense?

King Richard's Faire Sunday. Getting rained out last weekend meant we ended up on the last possible day, and then had to go without mjperson. Which is just Not Right. Anyway, it was cold and damp, but still entertaining. Royalty Sings and Dances wasn't one of their better ones - well sung and all, and no real miking trouble, but it was mostly "Introduction to the characters, and some songs about them". The long-ago Hamlet Macbeth production (with the classic Y-M-I-DEAD Banquo song) is still my favorite. As always, I got a bowl (well, this time a very large cup and saucer) from Mahinda's Mad Dog Pottery - a bit ironic, as her studio is in Davis Square. I also got Fancy Boots:

Sunday night was The Keening, an ART show at their new theater, Zero Arrow Street. I am not yet very impressed by the theater - the plastic seats and thumpy stairs make the seating seem to me like well-constructed bleachers, rather than actual floor and furniture. Maybe they are well-constructed bleachers and they'll be able to take out all the risers and seats for other setups, in which case I'll be more impressed. As for the show itself - hmm. The thing it is most like is the Syringa Tree, also a one-woman show, that one making a point about violence in South Africa under apartheid, this one making a point about violence in Columbia right now. But the Syringa Tree was amazing, and The Keening was... fine. The actress was good, though I couldn't make the leap to believing in her as an actual Columbian. I'm not good at accents, but I kept hearing traces of what sounded like New York City in her voice, and that broke that part of the spell for me. One part seemed out of order, the climax of "All funerals are different" coming before the introduction to the idea - mistake in performance or strange writing choice? I'm not sure. But the biggest problem kinda mystifies me. The author's note in the program says that we don't care about the deaths of strangers. This is true, certainly for me, though I do wish it wasn't so. So, the massacre at Chengue in real life leaves me unmoved. The massacre at Aguacatal, in the play, also leaves me unmoved - because it happens to people who the play has not ever bothered making me care about. They are at best, the family of a friend of the main character, that friend being one who is only briefly mentioned beforehand. The Syringa Tree drew me in, made me care about all of the people whose stories are told, before bringing violence to them, and so the violence was tragedy. The Keening doesn't give the dead any story, any character, any involvement at all, until the impact of their deaths on the narrator - so I can sympathize with her grief, but I have none of my own.
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