Archive for the ‘Threat Quality’ Category

The prevailing feeling of war, maybe more than fear or dread, is exhaustion.  More than a decade into the longest and most wearying armed conflicts in U.S. history, M. Craig Getting directs a heart-breaking adaptation of the western world’s very oldest war story: An Iliad, at the Lantern Theater.

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There’s seven weeks left in an annus horribilis for the record books, a relentless, daily reminder that the world is not okay, has maybe never been okay, is maybe never going to be okay. The world is not good, but there are still good things in it, and it’s vital that we find them and experience them while we can.

Read the rest at Broad Street Review

How I Mean to Cast My Vote

Posted: November 7, 2016 in Threat Quality

(I know I said this is a theater review website now, and it is, this is a momentary diversion that I’ve been meaning to write for a while, I’ll get back to the real good stuff after the election.)

Got to vote tomorrow, got to make some decisions.  I am going to lay out my position.  I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, or saying a person is good or bad for agreeing with me or disagreeing with me — I think it’s good to vote, because participation in democracy is essential to the existence of democracy, but beyond that I’m not going to say who you should vote for.  You’ve got to do what you think is right, and I hope you’ll take the opportunity to do that.

I’m going to say what I think is the best thing to do for me, and maybe it’ll convince you, maybe it’ll convince you to do the opposite, life is mysterious, but at least we’ll all know where we stand.

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Theater Review: Breathe Smoke

Posted: November 1, 2016 in Threat Quality

(Broad Street Review does this thing where they’ll publish your review if it’s different enough from another review they ran, but they won’t tell you if they’re going to pay for it until after you’ve written it.  I am not *real* happy with this practice, but what else am I going to do, who knows.  Anyway, my review was second, but I wrote it, might as well run it somewhere.)

According to its description, Breathe Smoke, the fourth play from the Orbiter 3 producing playwrights collective, is about a controversial performance artist planning his final show, one that will “merge the boundaries between his art and his mortality.”  In 2016, the idea evokes David Bowie, whose Blackstar, was planned and recorded while the artist knew he was dying and released two days before his death, or Gord Downie, whose farewell tour with the Tragically Hip was planned when he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

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Review: Breaking the Waves

Posted: November 1, 2016 in Threat Quality

(I got about seven months of time left, and without a project my brain is going to start to cannibalize itself, the other day I was so bored at work I started to get high.  I mean, like, really high, like it felt like my consciousness was floating outside my body and drifting away?  Terrible.

Anyway, Threat Quality Press is a theater review blog now.  This is a review I did at Broad Street Review a couple weeks back.)

Opera Philadelphia’s world premiere Breaking the Waves, based on the 1996 Lars von Trier film, opened to some acclaim, with at least one critic declaring it among the best 21st-century operas yet produced. It’s the brainchild of librettist Royce Vavrek and composer Missy Mazzoli, and it certainly was produced in the 21st century. It’s a production, led by conductor Stephen Osgood, of fine performances in service of what might charitably be described as a questionable goal.

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So!  As you know, I wrote a letter to my congressman, telling him that I wasn’t afraid of the dangers posed by Syrian refugees, or at the very least that I believe that the threat to human life was so great that it was worth the risk, and I implored him to have the courage to stand up for things like human decency and compassion and all those gooey sorts of things that comprise what we call “humanity”.

And he wrote back!  Get a load of this letter, I want you to see it.  It’s a form letter, obviously — no one really expects a congressman, especially not a congressman like Patrick Meehan — to give a flying fuck about what his constituents think about anything.  But…well…

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Yale! A-ahh!

Yale! A-ahh!

Every week it’s a new adventure.  This time I would like to break my historic silence on “Things Happening at Places I Don’t Care About” to discuss the Halloween hang-ups that have been occurring at Yale – namely, a ruckus that is somehow ensuing because the administration sent a politely-worded email asking students not to dress up in racist Halloween costumes, and then a professor replied all with a politely-worded email saying that they could have racist Halloween costumes if they wanted.

For some reason, kids got mad about this and started yelling, and internet commentators have gathered like a parliament of dyspeptic hens to cluck with disapproval at kids today and their lack of respect for the intellectual traditions of Yale.

Good gravy.

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