Thursday, March 30, 2006

creative website, grim reminder

Found this via The Map Room:

Iraq Coalition Fatality Map

A dramatic and effective animated Flash map that illustrates casualties suffered by coalition forces in Iraq over time: “The animation runs at ten frames per second — one frame for each day — and a single black dot indicates the geographic location that a coalition military fatality occurred. Each dot starts as a white flash and a larger red dot which fades to black over the span of 30 frames/days, and then slowly fades to grey over the span of the entire war.” Via Boing Boing.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


jonesin for cable teevee again. wishing i could see last night's episode of south park, "The Return of Chef!"
instead of spending money on cable we spend it on computer which means i have to surf to piece together what happened.

ended up at where he wraps up the whole scientology scathe with this:

"While likening Scientology to a "fruity little club" may be funny in a bratty sort of way, we're wondering if perhaps it's giving them too easy a retaliatory target. They are, after all, a club that helped many a conflicted little fruit kick their dangerous anti-psychotic medication habits, resolve their past-life issues, and maximize their life potential"
ummmmm... is he for real? or do i need to change the batteries in my joke detector?

for a good/better/interesting take on this check out the new york times

Sunday, March 19, 2006

i'm back...

flew back from nyc and hard right on thursday, taught elementary drama on friday, marched on saturday and collapsed today. completely exhausted. shouldn't feel this tired, dammit. is this age or terminal disease? or is that just redundant?

here are some pix from saturday's march:

Thursday, March 16, 2006

one reason i'm an artist...

Off Broadway
Posted: Wed., Mar. 15, 2006, 3:42pm PT
Hard Right (Players Theater; 199 seats; $25 top)
A Billy Humphreys and Dieter Weihl presentation of a play in one act, written and directed by David Barth. Henry - Jeremy Beck Greta - Shayne Dukevitch Barbara - Susan Engbrecht Bob - Dylan Price Phil - Stacy Shane
Dylan Price, left, menaces Jeremy Beck, Shayne Dukevitch and Susan Engbrecht in David Barth’s 'Hard Right.'

Here's proof that "Hard Right," a vicious political drama from David Barth, scrapes some kind of nerve: At the performance reviewed, patrons started yelling at each other across the aisles during the play. "How can you laugh at this? It's not funny!" said one man, reacting to the crowd's titters as a mysterious government agent terrorized a suburban family. But the laughs kept coming, especially when the agent offered absurd rationales for his behavior. "How can you laugh?" the man repeated, until someone retorted, "Don't tell me what to think!"
But the better response might have been, "Don't tell me what to feel." Because although "Hard Right" courts a political agenda, it's less a thought-provoking inquiry than a swift kick in the gut.
Barth, who also directs, has created such a visceral display of violence that viewers could easily be polarized, either shuddering at its power or laughing at its outsized intensity.
That's not unlike the effect of certain Pinter plays, in which terror springs from chatty rogues with unclear motives. Barth's work especially recalls "The Birthday Party," as both plays introduce characters who are subtly cruel to one another and then subject each other to unexplained menace.
But though it traffics mainly in dread, the production's tone is expertly controlled. At first, Barth even invites us to let down our guard. The opening scenes -- in which Henry (Jeremy Beck) returns from school for a Rosh Hashanah dinner with the folks -- have the breezy pace and throwaway jokes of situation comedy, offering no clue of what's to come.
And when Bob (Dylan Price) arrives, saying he's conducting a survey for Henry's college, the script teases us for a long time into thinking something worse will unfold.
The hint of danger, though, is all in the words: Price's engrossing perf keeps Bob collected and polite. Even when he's telling the family they cannot leave their home, his calm makes it chillingly hard to anticipate when his temper will blow. And once he has exploded, he regains his composure so quickly that we can be fooled into thinking he's finished his attack.
Like the rest of the ensemble, Price never seems to be acting. The naturalness of the perfs gives this production the taint of a grisly documentary. Tears, screams and rushes for the door have all been crafted to arise at believable moments.
Such verite violence is not easy to watch, and some might call it lurid. However, Barth applies a touch of unreality with his heightened language, and he gives the play a larger purpose by voicing obvious political biases.
Bob, for instance, justifies his actions by saying they're at the service of right-wing causes. Not that he commits to one over another: He might say he's testing the family's resolve in case a terrorist tortures them for information, only to suggest later that he's trying to get the Jewish clan to convert to Christianity.
Ultimately, none of the reasons stick. The emotional assault overwhelms the messages, leaving the impression that Barth is shrieking against conservative politics in general rather than a specific act or value.
There undoubtedly will be auds who dismiss the play for its lack of ideological clarity. But Barth's ambiguous approach makes his work more unsettling. Without a specific root, oppression becomes a force on its own, tearing through the play unchecked.
Invincible, oppressive violence is an uncomfortable idea. No wonder auds are fighting over how to receive it.

Set, Mark Cruzan; costumes, Jodi B.; lighting, Sarah Jakubasz; dramaturg, Zachary Barton; production stage manager, Billy Humphreys. Opened March 12, 2006. Reviewed March 14. Running time: 1 HOUR, 30 MIN.