February 29th, 2004

you think you know...

(no subject)

I got a call from some Shakesperean Troupe at 2am on a school night. They reciting some lines from Shakespeare and then ask me to rate them and blah blah blah.
-"kiarascura" in a Jolt Thread about the Whispering Woman
That’s the kind of Whispering Woman thing i find tempting to do. (Also, i have yet to get a call from the Whispering Woman. This makes me sad.)

I slept hardcore and then spent most of the day staring at my computer screen. I think i overloaded this week or something. And i keep thinking Spring Break begins next weekend, but it doesn’t. Just taking a break from staring at Michael’s paper yesterday helped immensely in my ability to finish it, so after hours of staring today i called an intermission and worked on my fic that’s due Mar. 5. Of course, it’s still far from done and then i went to see Equus with hedy and i just finished this entry and looked at the time and bugger.
While the role of the “professionally menopausal” therapist Martin Dysart is associated with stage legend Anthony Hopkins, the gender switch for this production makes for a “different but equally valid play,” said Meg Flaherty ‘05, who plays “Margaret” Dysart. While women and men auditioned for the role, [director Shannon “Max” ‘04] MacMillan believed a woman actor “could embody the passion” of the character more credibly. The change also eliminated any potential homoeroticism between doctor and patient, which has “cheapened” the show’s themes in other productions.
-from “Sexuality, gender and horses questioned in ‘Equus’ ” by Elizabeth Van-Houten in The Sophian, Arts, February 26, 2004
My first thought upon reading that paragraph was “Because clearly viewers only read in unintentional eroticism between members of the same sex,” followed by “Yes, the eroticism of the therapist/patient dynamic absolutely cheapens the drama of a play which is about the psychology of the twisted - oh wait, it’s because the gay eroticism, my mistake.”

I read the play in high school (Petersen... junior year i wanna say?) so i had forgotten some of the details.

The play opens with the deeply, textually, erotic boy/horse scene. And they’re worried about the possible eroticism between therapist and patient? (A relationship which is almost inherently erotic by its very nature, no less.) And for the record, there was no eroticism between Dr. Dysart and Alan in this production. Mostly the gender switch was moot (in part because Dysart was almost neutered what with the pantsuit and hair pulled back and all). The stuff about having children would have had a different resonance if it were textual, but knowing that it was a change i knew not to read into that. The only real problematic is that Mr. Strang says a line dissing women which you know he would only say to another man, that he wouldn’t say it to a female doctor, but it’s only one line and again, i knew the sex of the doctor had been changed. The only real change i saw (and this was a positive one) was that it rendered any sexual thing between Dysart and the magistrate moot. Because they were both women it was just a friendship, a relationship between equals, but with all the talk about marriage and stuff, it could easily be complicated by a man-woman dynamic, because of course we read sex into everything.

I almost didn’t go to this because i wasn’t thrilled by it in high school. Watching it tonight, with the sex and religion and sadomasochism i thought “This is fascinating.” There are so many interesting discussions one could have about these themes. (And yes, i totally channeled Angelus during Dysart’s final speech.)

“The premise is kinda like Fight Club.” -people in front of us as we left the production.
Um, in that not at all kind of way. I mean, given the statement i can make arguments about sadomasochism and sexuality and what it takes to fit into society. During parts i was thinking about Gibson’s The Passion of Christ and wondering if they purposefully placed Equus at the beginning of the Lenten season (i really doubt it) but Fight Club would so not come to mind.

Apparently there are a slew of theatre productions at Hampshire this weekend. I always go to stuff by myself and will be reserving tickets Monday evening, but if anyone actually wants to go to anything with me, lemme know.

Cabaret: March 4,5,6, and 7 at 8:00pm (student tickets $3)
All’s Well That Ends Well: March 2-6, 8 p.m. (student tickets $5) [edit: my mistake, this is at UMass]
Cloud Nine: March 4-7 and March 10-12, 8 p.m. (student tickets $3)
The international modern classic from renowned playwright Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine is an innovative theatrical, political comedy. It offers a biting critique of sexism, racism, and imperialism using satire, gender-bending, and music. Cloud Nine "unlocks the imagination, liberates the mind, and leaves you weak with laughter," says Time Out Magazine. While we are taken to Victorian Era Africa at the height of British colonialism and to the 1970's in post-sexual-revolution London, the play asks us to question how far we have really come, both as individuals and as a society.
Stuff at Smith this week:

Monday at 8pm: showing of Philadelphia in Wright Hall
Tuesday at 7:30 in Graham Hall (Hillyer): “Inventing Michelangelo: The Myth of the Creative Homosexual,” a lecture by James M. Saslow, Ruth and Clarence Kennedy Professor in Renaissance Studies, City University of New York, Queens College
Thursday at 7:30 in Seelye 207: Meredith Michaels reading from her new book: The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined Women

Hopefully i will have as little interest in this week’s Rec Council movie as i did last week’s ‘cause i much enjoy the free movies but haven’t the time. (Though i watched 3 Snow White films for my UMass class. I watched one of them and said that while i'm not sure i would actually recommend to anyone, it does a lot of really interesting stuff, but despite saying it didn't fascinate me as some versions have, i wrote 4 pages without breaking a sweat. [The response paper was to be 2 pages, so i went over what i had written and cut it down to focus on one particular theme -- the women and the glass, if you care.] If I thought anyone would care, i would go through all the symbolism and ambiguity and stuff in the film.)
hermione by oatmilk

(no subject)

It occurred to me that i have enough time between econ class and lunch tomorrow in which to bus it over to UMass, turn in my paper, and come back. This is good because my body/brain was rebelling yesterday and i got almost no work done on the paper, and i still have to tweak my Sophian piece today. "Consider adding another paragraph to the end of your editorial-- or at least a couple of lines extending your thoughts on Prohibition and connect that to your outlook on trends in U.S. legislation (from Prohibition to Gay Marriage...). I could see something very smart coming out of that one."
small girl in big world [_extraflamey_]

(no subject)

The story of the Transfiguration of Jesus is in the Bible not just to give us information about Jesus or data about Peter or details about God. We hear the story of the transfiguration of Jesus in the hopes that we might become vulnerable to our own transfiguration; susceptible to our own transformation; being changed as Paul says, into new creatures.
     William L. Dois
That was the Prelude meditation last week, and i was really intrigued, but the readings... the Transfiguration story is lame, yo.

Exodus 34:29-35
Luke 9:28-38
II Corinthians 3:12-4:1

The sermon was “Bringing Faces to Light.” Eh, it was okay. During one part i thought of “to love another person is to see the face of God” [Les Mis], and during another: with a glory in his bosom, that transfigures you and me [“The Battle Hymn of the Republic”] so that was cool, and we sang “All Shall Be Well” which of course made me think of you.

“We believe that God is present in the darkness before dawn; in the waiting and uncertainty where fear and courage join hands, conflict and caring link arms and the sun rises over barbed wire. We believe in a with-us God who sits down in our midst to share out humanity,
     -from the Iona Abbey Worship Book
That was the Prelude Meditation today, the first Sunday in Lent. I really like that. I really want to finish my post about Lent.

I actually liked the hymns today (this is somewhat rare for me).
“Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley”
“Seek Ye First”
“O Savior, Hear Me”
“There Is A Balm in Gilead”
“Is There Room for a Sinner?”
“God of Grace, and God of Glory” - this contains one of my favorite hymn passages: “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour, for the facing of this hour.... Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days, for the living of these days”
“In the Midst of New Dimensions” - this was a 1985 hymn i had never heard before, but which is now one of my favorites.
Julian Roth, an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, has spent more than a decade as director of the Colorado AIDS Project. He wrote this hymn on the theme of “diversity” for a meeting of the Rocky Mountain Conference (United Methodist).

In the Midst of New Dimensions
Gen. 9:12-16; Exod. 13:21-22; Num. 14:14

In the midst of new dimensions, in the face of changing ways,
Who will lead the pilgrim peoples wandering in their separate ways?
God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar,
We your people, ours the journey now and ever, now and ever, now and evermore.
Through the flood of starving people, warring factions and despair,
Who will lift the olive branches? Who will light the flame of care?


As we stand a world divided by our own self-seeking schemes,
Grant that we, your global village, might envision wider dreams.


We are man and we are woman, all persuasions, old and young,
Each a gift in your creation, each a love song to be sung.


Should the threats of dire predictions cause us to withdraw in pain,
May your blazing phoenix spirit resurrect the church again

Luke 4:1-3; John 14:8-12
The homily, given by area minister Peter Wells, was “Greater Works!?” on how Jesus said we would do greater things than he did. He talked about how we think and act as if there is a scarcity but that in fact the world contains enough resources to provide for the basic needs of every human walking the planet.

It’s that kind of sermon that makes me wonder what i’m doing reading about fairy tales, why i’m not out building houses or something.

First Churches is doing a Lenten book study with Edwards church again. 7pm every Monday of Lent, beginning tomorrow. No Philadelphia for me. This year’s book is Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels. Minuteman’s listing says: "Contents: From the feast of Agape to the Nicene Creed -- Gospels in conflict: John and Thomas -- God's word or human words? -- The canon of truth and the triumph of John -- Constantine and the Catholic church."  *looks at lilithchilde*

I like that First Churches is sponsoring a trip to see, and then come back and talk about, Mel Gibson’s Passion movie.