It’s All About the Drama

“People are basically insane,” playwright David Manet says in a writing class I’m taking. “We miss a connection, we have an evil impulse that wants to lead us astray,” he goes on. “We live on the dark side and the cure is religion. Another word for religion is drama.”

Did I hear him correctly? Yes. Manet is a devoted Jew, and espouses his religion with conviction and fervor.

“All drama is failure and lies,” he says.

You can say that again. Story of my life.

“Don’t be boring,” he warns. FullSizeRender (20).jpg

How can you be boring if your life is full of drama? Everybody’s life is dramatic. It’s so dramatic Hollywood couldn’t invent it, I say. And since you’re the protagonist in your own story, make it good.

“Dialogue is just gossip,” he tells me. Now he’s talking. I’ve got enough for several books.

“Narration is the death of drama,” he continues. No wonder school is boring.

“The live audience in a play are idiots individually, but collectively they’re genius,” he says. “They paid you a compliment by coming to see your play. Drama helps them face the truth and they come for the truth.”

“Movies don’t challenge people, drama does,” he says. I’ve been saying that for years. To prove the point, just listen to a child explain away something he did, like break the TV screen with a baseball. It’s drama at its best.

Calvin says, “It’s drama for me when I go after a rabbit. My nose quivers, my body is on alert, and my singing voice takes over. Better than opera.”  beagle

 

 

The Politics of Illusion

I had always known the Oscars were political, but my convictions grew to the size of Mt. Everest last night.

This year there were more actors of color nominated for awards than ever before. Why? Because public opinion had made a stink.  oscar

Why standing ovations for those of color who won? I think it was a way of assuaging collective guilt for only honoring white actors over the years.

It was good for their collective soul that they had a major blunder at the end. It revealed how choreographed and scripted the evening was, everyone on automatic, with no one paying attention to the details. It also humbled them, made them a little more like us.

The comment that gagged in my throat was Ms. Davis’ that “actors are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” What? You mean playing someone you’re not and have never been is the only way to live life? Really?

Calvin says, “She was in LA LA Land, didn’t you know?” beagle

 

Wow

September 21 was World Gratitude Day. I completely missed it. Probably because I was grumbling. It’s my default mode.

Alf and I were on vacation in Ashland, Oregon at the Shakespeare Festival that week. One night we saw Sully, the Clint Eastwood movie. I can say I was grateful I wasn’t on that heart-stopping flight. You forgot it was Tom Hanks. He was Captain Chesley Sullenberger making life decisions in that pilot’s seat and you were right there next to him.

I was grateful to have seen the best Hamlet and Richard II ever. They rivaled anything you’d see on Broadway. fullsizerender-28

On the drive home we came to a snarl of traffic on the highway. “Now what?” Alf said. “Probably an accident,” the know-it-all in me said.  As we inched closer we noticed a full grown deer splayed dead blocking the four lanes. The lines of cars sat there with engines idling. “Now what?” Alf said again. This time I didn’t have a response.

Suddenly a car closest to the dead animal veered off to the right. The driver, a tall, strong muscled man, got out, his wife too, and he ran across the highway and grabbed the 120 pound animal by the front legs and dragged it to the left side of the road and left it there in a heap. Then he ran back to his car and got in. Nobody honked thank you. Nobody waved. Nothing. In a flash the traffic started up again and began rushing past the deer without any thought to what just happened. Stunning.

I was thankful for that man who took the initiative in front of oncoming traffic. Fortunately the drivers in the front lines acted as a blockade otherwise who knows what carnage could have transpired with man and beast.

Calvin says, “How gutless of the driver that killed him to drive off like that leaving others to pick up the mess. If this had happened in the woods, my tribe of beagles would have surrounded the beast and howled for help.”  beagle

World Classifieds

My computer is old so today I’ve had the services of an expert who has interrupted my work flow all day as he cleans, updates, and fixes all the glitches I’ve been accustomed to work around for years. Now nothing looks or works the same. I have to type in my username and password on everything again and nothing gets remembered anymore. I suppose that’s the price you pay for security. So much for technology. I’m not sure what it buys us except an industry that has given the entire world much of its employment to a people who probably wouldn’t have made it as car salesmen. I guess that’s saying something.

The last time I IMG_4160checked for an industry that spanned the world was aviation. Remember Pan Am? I think in those days it was the only world carrier at the time.

Then came the pharmaceutical companies, most of which have labs in places like China and India.

And let’s not forget Hollywood, except L.A. still dominates as the hub for celebrities recognized and worshiped the world over. I can’t see Taylor Swift hanging out in Istanbul.

The world has become more fluid, with borders being ignored every day. Even the Monarch butterflies defy all boundaries and fly into Pacific Grove all the way from Mexico.

Calvin says, “You forgot the worldwide dog trade. Puppies come from all over the place, some kosher, others not so much. Those you slip into your pocket.” beagle

And the Oscar Goes to…

I watched the Oscars last night. It was your typical gathering of egos swishing in borrowed gowns and dripping in rented jewels waiting with thumping hearts for their name to be called as a winner.

There were no upsets except for the Mexican director who ran away with three Oscars for best picture, best screenplay and best director. What a statement for immigration! cropped-photo1.jpg

Then there was Neil Patrick Harris’ ridiculous display of himself before a world audience. Really? Even though it was a play on a scene in Birdman, was that the best Hollywood could come up with? It disrupted the glow of the show and it made no sense outside of its blatant statement to the gay community.

Lady Gaga should fire whoever put her in that white fluffy dress for her tribute to the Sound of Music. She looked like a stuffed cloud.

Hollywood is so proud of itself for mirroring the condition of the world in its movies. This year’s were either violent, abusive or psychologically deranged. Is that what they think of the country and the rest of the world? Have they spent any time with a farmer in Kansas or a small business owner in Brooklyn?

I find it a shame they have sequestered the live orchestra in another building so you don’t see the musicians anymore. They are an integral part of the show and they’ve been made invisible.

The thing I liked best about the Oscars is that it’s only once a year.

Now I can get on with my gardening. Time to feed the roses.

Calvin says, “Were you expecting normal from a group narcissists who worship at the Oscar idol? Now who’s deranged?”  beagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little of Nothing

On our walkabouts, we see things that capture our attention. Here are a few you might enjoy:

 

bed

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The bed lives at the entrance to a B&B in Half Moon Bay. It’s covered in pink flowers and crawling vines. It’s not a sample of what you’ll find in their rooms. In them it’s down quilts and naked geese quacking their complaints.

The nymph statue is perched on top of water fountain in Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon. It’s an escapee from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Puck harassed it so much, it fled.

The sun hugs a fence to somebody’s garden in Half Moon Bay. It’s Picasso-like expression was the reason it was rejected during auditions as an understudy for the real thing.

Charlie spends his time walking the streets in Niles reminiscing about his earlier movie making days. He’s the silent type. You won’t get a word out of him, but he’s hoping to be spotted by a talent agent who is out antique shopping.

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I think the price of a therapy session has gone up since then, but Lucy is one of best. She’s irritating, impatient, and you’ll get what you pay for.  If you’re desperate she keeps office hours at the Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa.

Calvin says, “That nymph’s spray rivals anything I can produce.” beagle

 

Conversations on the Run3

“There’s something cool about donating blood,” one woman said to another.

“Yes, it goes into somebody else,” the other said.

“And then it makes you look intently at people’s eyes on the street to see if you recognize them,” said the first.

 

“It’s a shame paramedics don’t work on commission.”

 

“Do they use real blood in the movies?”

“Yea, just head into the truck that’s parked on the lot.”

“Is it a Red Cross truck?”

“No, a Paramount truck.”

 

“I couldn’t paint yesterday. The moon wasn’t in the right place.”

 

A friend asked a recent immigrant what his first words in English were. “Paper or plastic?” he said.

 

“I’ve outgrown my hair.

 

“It’s sad that the best compliments I get are from a fortune cookie.”

 

“I sunburned my plums.”

 

“I’m the third generation of wandering souls. I’m real good at leaving.”

 

“She’s in love and she hasn’t met him yet.”