Monday, November 28, 2005

Out of Touch, or DON'T TOUCH ME, PLEASE!

The Jr. Questers have had back-to-back releases of the Chicken Pox(wikipedia). Leora was first, and got rave reviews at the box office. I would estimate her pox count at around 300-400. After her 10-day stint Anwyn decided to cash in. She has just released Chicken Pox -- The Directors Cut. It is much more graphic and true to the original vision of the disease. Her audience has been treated to a digitally enhanced fever using 103.8F technology, several never before seen sequences of poc-marks with extra dynamic range in swelling AND Low estimates suggest as many as 600-700 EXTRA pox have been added for general viewing pleasure.

Beyond this exciting time of childhood-rights-of-passage, I have recently auditioned for Off Broadway's production of Little Shop of Horrors(imdb). It was great fun auditioning, but I think I will decline if I am offered a role. I very much want to work with Summer Players again and I was a bit nervous about some of the things I saw at the audition. That and I don't think they will cast me anyway.

The week before that I ran with one of my many sisters-in-law. We each donated $40 to participate in the 5km "Jingle Bell Run." I was really proud of Liz, who has only begun to run since the summer. The bells were a bit noisy, but the cause was one I have a personal stake in (arthritis). Apparently you can collect pledges which I may just do next year--watch out!

So, you probably also know that I am working with James Klenz (of Prince Albert fame) on a little film project of his. I participated in my first shoot with him in Mid November. It was the first film thing I have done and I enjoyed standing out in the cold waiting for automobile, airplane and rooster noise to subside so I could say a couple of hasty lines or take one of the several beatings that he laid on me during our 4-hour shoot. No, it was fun, really. There is much more to happen with this project and I should get to shoot with him again in a couple of weeks.

So, now you and I are almost up-to-date. My only other time committment of note would be preping for the coming x-mas season. Wendy, the kids and I have been busy putting together our usually aggressive selection of cookies, squares and fudge (chicken pox extra). I have also been on a tough schedule in my own version of Santa's workshop making a few things for some of you lucky devils out there. Will it be you? Won't it? You will just have to wait and see.

Do try not to be a stranger, would ya?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hip to be Square

Vin has made the observation that popular music from the year 2000 and on has nothing to offer history. It will not matter in 20 years (the way we now revere our beloved 80s tunes). Maybe this is a complaint against 4/4 time. It could be that the stranglehold that big media has on the production of pop culture has caused it to be sterile. Or, maybe it is a statement that the metaphor is dead. I don't know. And, quite possibly he is right. I don't have a strong interest in pop culture and I can't claim to be an expert in any of its various venues. But I have heard this argument applied in many areas before and I find I inherently rebel against it.

I spent my teens and twenties in a state of rebellion. I think it is fair to say that this is common and part of growing up. Not everyone rebels, but most need to find some way to differentiate themselves from their families and friends from youth. You may wind up being able to reconcile a relationship with these people in the end, but you have to come to find your own identity and have some confidence in its unique status. I think, at least in part, this is the essence of being an adult. And before you start, yes, this means that according to my definition some people will not reach adulthood until their 30s, 40s. Some will reach adulthood by 15 or perhaps they never will. I speak to a particular intellectual state rather than physical.

What do you remember about the adults of your childhood and teen years? They were out of touch. They didn't get IT. Every cliché in the book. Watch The Breakfast Club again to see how alone we all felt as kids. I promised myself, as I suspect did a great many of you, that I would not allow myself to fall into the same trap as the generations before. I wouldn't lose touch. I could stay cool and 'with it'.

Surprise! I never was 'with it'. Coolness was just an illusion to try and help me feel some sense of control and individuality. Hamlet said, “There is nothing either hip or square, but thinking makes it so.” My thinking. That is what has changed. Not so much what I think, but how. The music cannot move me anymore, except by recollection of what used to be. Don't get me wrong. There are still challenges to overcome—painful moments, awkwardness, lonliness. But, I now know that I am not alone in the struggle. I know that I am a good person. I know that my way of being and doing has merit. You couldn't get that into a teenage brain with a sledgehammer.

I cannot judge art that is made for pre-adolecents. O.K. I can, but only on adult terms. And there will always be something missing in my brain that means that I just can't quite get it. I can intellectuallize it, but not really feel it. I like to think of it not as having too little understanding, but of having too much.