Theatrical Forensics

I lived in Poland for almost eight years, so thats possibly why I find this such an intelligent look at the space and architecture of "oldtown" Warsaw: I also link this because its germane to several other topics I intend to discuss. All of them related, in the broad sense, to theatre and writing. I realized today, after adding several links to the blog roll at the right, that I dont have a single blog pertaining to theatre linked over there. I can't say for sure this isn't just my negligence, but I have a suspicion whatever good ones are out there, are not in English. But I digress... Something stopped … [Read more...]

Dialogue #1: Death of a Salesman

Various discussions with other writers and artists, as well as critics and academics on various topics relating to culture. Some were my idea, some not. JS Namna Norway June 2012 A conversation between a theatre professor at a California community college in the Bay Area and and playwright John Steppling regarding Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. John Steppling: Well, first off, lets focus on the Miller play. I don’t think it’s an accident that this play has retained an extraordinary popularity. I can think of no American play more performed at a collegiate and even high school level.  Something in that fact suggests there is nothing that really disrupts the general public’s … [Read more...]

intimidation, harassment, snitch jacketing, imprisonment, and murder — ‘your’ FBI.

This story contains a few interesting elements, besides the obvious fact that the US government has continued, through the FBI and now Homeland Security, to spy on and terrorize US dissidents-- or perceived dissidents. What is so painfully obvious though, is just how cretinous these folks are. The final sentence is really to the point. The FBI, and state authority, CREATE threats. They do it overtly, but they also do it through the indoctrination of their agents. (A high percentage of Mormons in the FBI is kinda interesting). COINTELPRO (counter intelligence programs) is a piece of history … [Read more...]

Wal Mart culture jamming

My friend Polsby sent me this: So, consider this my small show of support.... … [Read more...]

Authority, Fear, the Performance of Compliance, and Death Valley Days.

Mike Elk tries to ask a question and congressional staffers snatch the mic from him, and a room accepts this Orwellian police state drama because, well, it IS an orwellian police state. People are trained to take the side of authority. The training is very effective. Elk was trying to ask a question of Honeywell CEO David Cote. Obama is scheduled to give a speech today at Honeywell's corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. Honeywell....longtime favorite for the US state dept, and Pentagon. … [Read more...]

Death from Above

I would argue Greenwald is essential reading now. So, speaking of narratives, this one is certainly part of that arc of police state mediation. The welcoming arms of the US populace is very strange. Of course, there are huge numbers not welcoming.!/petition/create-do-not-kill-list/HwqFwRtG and here..... Chris Floyd's tasty critique and this, related, summary of the new Kill-Prez and his change that can drone-bomb … [Read more...]

narrative interruptus

One of the things I noticed while teaching at the film school in Lodz, was that students watched shows on their computers. They watched them, series anyway, in seasonal form. In other words if The Wire was making the rounds at the dorm, it was on a disc with the first two seasons. This allowed the sense of expanded narrative. Obviously, the old network formula, a stand alone one hour show, no longer seemed very compelling. Now of course most network TV is so awful as to be unwatchable anyway, but there was a new wave of cable material that defied the old formula; Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad, and The Sopranos, et al. Putting aside for a second the relative value of any of these shows, … [Read more...]

Vampires, Zombies, Apocalypse

I wrote this a while back. “ Narrative cannot narrate anything significant, or rather it narrates what is of importance by not narrating it. Again, photography began with long exposure time; and this created the ‘space’ of the 19th century photograph. Snap-shot culture grew with the assembly line and with the quick turn around of product consumption. The snap shot, and now the digital photo are there ONLY to wear out the face. Today’s fixation with the Vampire trope is because of the sense people have that technology is sucking the blood from us. The over-photographed face of a super model is always bloodless. That space in the 19th century portrait photograph is the space of Kafka’s … [Read more...]