Review: My Terms of Surrender

Michael Moore’s My Terms of Surrender, his one-man piece on Broadway, closes today and I waited until the last minute to see it but I’m damn glad I did. I’m a fan of Michael Moore’s documentaries, although some truth’s may be hard to believe at times, he’s coming from a good place. They are slanted, yes, but all documentaries are. Documentaries are made subjectively, not objectively. Anyways, I felt it was my patriotic duty to see this show at least once.

I have to give Moore props for standing onstage for two-hours-and-fifteen-minutes, without an intermission. I expected this to be 90-minutes-no-intermission so I was stunned when I left the theatre and it was 10:15pm. Anyways the audience was pumped and the house was buzzing. I even spent $15 on a sippy cup of wine and wore my RESIST tank top. I was excited.

My Terms of Surrender is half-memoir and half-how-to-activism. I knew absolutely nothing about Moore’s life, like the fact that his speech about Abraham Lincoln and the hypocrisy of the Elks Club got the ball rolling on Capitol Hill to change the loop hole in the 1964 Civil Rights Act so that private clubs couldn’t keep discriminating. He was 17 at the time. Or the fact that he hated being slapped with a paddle by his principal so when he was 18, he figured out how to run for president of his school’s board and won (and 11 months later he had the principal and VP fired !!!!).

He realized when he was 17 that someone who was seemingly without power wasn’t necessarily powerless. He realized that somebody small, like him, could get shit done and it only took a little. Not doing anything big.

He talked about the beginning of the Iraq War when he was one of the only ones speaking out against it and he was ostracized for it. He said that when (not if) Trump declares war on North Korea, we have to speak up and speak out against it, and until we see North Koreans marching through the arch at Washington Square Park, there’s no reason to go to war with North Korea. “I can’t do this alone again,” he pleaded. I got you, dude. As a 17 year old I was against the Iraq War, and I’ll be against a North Korean war, too.

He also talked about the poison water in Flint, ridiculous TSA standards, and how we ended up with Trump. His post-show to-do list in the Playbill includes: 1) Make the Daily Call (go to 5calls.org); 2) Make the Monthly Visit (to your local reps office), 3) Show up at townhalls (duh); 4) Help Flip Congress in 2018 (oh yes, we must – we need 24 seats in the house); 5) The electoral college music go (another duh); 6) Join, join, join (the ACLU, BLM, Greenpeace, etc.); 7) Help form blue regions of resistance (help keep your blue state blue!); 8) YOU must run for office (what office should I run for??); 9) You must become the media (use our social media for good); 10) Join the army of comedy (#mockhimup) because he is thin skinned AF.

This closes in a few hours and I’m tempted to go see it again just to get inspired, but if you have the means and the time, GET THEE TO THE BELASCO THEATRE! The entire balcony is $29.

Winning in 2018 and 2020 is not an option. Let’s do this.

 

 

Advertisements

Drama School 101: Read the Fucking Play

I never made it to Shakespeare in the Park last year. I don’t know why but the entire season just flew by before I could decide whether or not to go line up one morning. And truth be told, their current (well, it’s closing tonight) production of Julius Caesar almost did, too. Julius Caesar isn’t one of my favorites and I didn’t think there was anyone in it of note. THEN the media on the right started kicking and screaming like the little snowflakes that they are and I was like, “OKAY, I’VE GOTTA SEE THIS.” I tried playing the lottery via TodayTix all week and finally had last night free and decided to take a little sign down to the Public and try to get a ticket.

When I asked where the stand-by line was, they said there wasn’t any because the show was sold out. So silly. There are always extra tickets. Anyways, there were already protesters there (protesting IN favor) when I arrive at 5:15pm and it only grew while I waited with my little sign (almost getting ticketed, multiple times, because apparently you’re not allowed to “solicit” in Central Park. Sorry, dudes, I just wanted a ticket, not soliciting for sex).  I read Imogen Lloyd-Webber’s, “The Intelligent Conversationalist” while I waited and watched the cops arrive as the counter protests (pro-Trump, anti-production) arrived – two old, white senior citizens – and the barricades went up. There was a blonde girl protesting in support of the production screaming her head off. I wanted to tell her to STFU because she was our side look bad because she looked like a lunatic, but I decided not to.

Around 7:10pm, a woman around my age was walking by when she saw my sign and said, “Oh, I think I might have an extra ticket. I don’t think my friend is coming, hold on.” And after she went to the box office, another guy came up to me and said he might have an extra one, as well. The woman came back first, and I gave my sign to another guy who was waiting around for a ticket (who I think was given the ticket that the second person who approached me had. Yay, teamwork). I grabbed a chicken wrap and a beer from the concession stand, watched some more of the protest, and then took my seat.

The audience was allowed onstage, to sign banners, and it was all pretty awesome. Then at 8:10, Oskar Eustis’ voice came on the PA system and told us about who was sponsoring the show, and added that despite his statement in the program, there was one line that was changed and we’d all know what it was when it came. AHHHH.

Continue reading “Drama School 101: Read the Fucking Play”

Link

U.S. Energy Department balks at Trump request for names on climate change

I think it’s a real stretch to compare Trump to Hitler. I don’t think Trump hates any one group of people enough to exterminate them. Even the Muslims and the Mexicans. I think he’s a narcissistic pathologically-lying businessman who’s gotten in over his head. I am, however, questioning the people he’s appointing to his cabinet. 

And doing things like this. I don’t think it’s really him, per se, but the people in his transition team. Hence the questions. You know what moves like this one is reminiscent of? World War II. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, they gathered all of the university professors (and doctors, and lawyers, etc) and publicly executed them, or sent them to concentration camps to die. Their goal was to get rid of the Intelligentsia of Poland. 

The courtyard at Jagiellonian University in Krakow where the intelligentsia where rounded up before being executed. 

I feel like what’s happening in the energy department is akin to that. They are trying to find out who opposes them and who needs to be gotten rid of (fired, not executed this time) when the regime takes powers. 

And that’s some scary shit. 

U.S. Energy Department balks at Trump request for names on climate change

Image

Turn Off Your Facebook Feed

J doesn’t use Facebook. It’s not on his phone and he doesn’t log in. I haven’t had it on my phone in forever, but I sure as hell logged in way too often on my Macbook. Our bartender at brunch on Sunday told us how he hadn’t logged in for 10 days and had never felt better. I was inspired to do the same, so I logged out of Facebook yesterday afternoon and haven’t seen my feed in 24 hours. How many times have I clicked on the link for it reflexively out of habit? Too many. And instead of scrolling through my feed last night, I wrote cover letters. 

Every other link that’s on my feed is about how we’re screwed and the KKK is running the Trump regime and about how Trump is Hitler. I watched The Pianist on Saturday night and, holy shit, I guess it just takes a little reminder to refresh just how awful and unimaginable the Nazis were. No one in the administration so far is a Nazi. We’re getting “nationalist” confused for “white supremacist.” These are not the same things.

But my question is why the hell are we letting the media scare us so much about the future? They were 100% goddamn wrong about the election and so many other things. Why are we not fact checking their fear mongering headlines? The site snopes.com has been incredibly useful lately.

Remember when Mike Pence tried to pass a law forcing women to hold funerals for their miscarried or aborted fetuses? Yeah, that was a mostly false headline. The women were not responsible for the discarding of the tissue, the clinics that performed the services would be. And he didn’t actually support the use of electroshock therapy for gay conversion therapy either. I’m pretty sure there won’t be gay conversion therapy clinics opening anytime soon.

Is he still an ass-backwards religious turd that I would rather he was a farmer than a politician? Sure, but let’s not spread blatant lies about people so that people freak out for reasons that aren’t true.

This holiday season, please don’t reflexively repost “news” articles you see on your feed without reading and fact-checking them first. Let’s not be, as Green Day so eloquently once put it, “one nation controlled by the media.” Let’s save our sanity and our blood pressure. 

Oh, Hello! (aka We Laughed So We Wouldn’t Cry.)

image

Little did Kristen and I know that when we purchased our tickets to Oh, Hello! how much we would need a laugh that night. It was the day after the election and we were in shock, like much of the country. I’d been told that it was about two old guys talking about theatre for 90 minutes. I thought this sounded great – like The Drowsy Chaperone minus the plot line with Sutton Foster. Just perfect. 

I have to say, we laughed our asses off. The irreverent, inappropriate humor written by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney was just what was necessary to end such a depressing day. Now before you come at me and ask why it’s OK for a Broadway show to include crude and somewhat-racist humor but not our President-Elect, I’ll tell you: These comedians weren’t (and aren’t) running for president of one of the most powerful countries in the world. Thank you very fucking much.

It’s the day after the election and Donald Trump has just won. LET THAT SINK IN.

I can’t remember any of the jokes now, and I’m pretty sure at least 50% of the show is improvised. They commented on the election apologizing in advance to people who thought they’d have a night of escapism after it, but no such luck. They categorized the audience as theatre nerds, New Yorkers, tourists, and “old men who haven’t admitted to their wives who they’d voted for yet.” They played two old men who shared an apartment on UWS, one of whom is a “Tony Award-viewing playwright.” 

I had no idea that there was a special guest that they interview each night, but there was and it was Geraldo Rivera, who is a friend of Trump’s and it was perfect. 

I had no idea what kind of humor I was getting myself into when I walked into the theatre that night but I’m sure glad I walked in because I needed it. Mulaney and Kroll were fucking incredible at improv comedy, and acting, too. I hope to see them again onstage in the near future. 

This is the one show on Broadway that had me walking away thinking, “You know, I really want to see that AGAIN,” because I’m sure it’s different every night. As are all shows, because that’s what’s so amazing about the theatre. 

Gallery

Election Day 2016

My polling place on the upper west side was busier than it ever has been before! I went by around 8:45am and luckily, I only had to wait around 20 minutes or so, but I hear it got bad in certain parts of my ‘hood. Hopefully everyone voted!

I spent my day in meditation, then a kundalini yoga class, then I cooked lunch, followed by catching up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, and then we went to an Urban Zen yoga class. Everything was about stress reduction and it was lovely.

This election has been awful. Donald Trump is an atrocious excuse for a human being with some (emphasis on the word some) of the most awful, racist, misogynist supporters out there. But for those supporters who aren’t the bottom of the barrel, I get it. Sort of. You want lower taxes and you don’t want the country flooded with immigrants from cultures that don’t easily or at all assimilate. I don’t agree with the lower taxes for all. I believe that the super wealthy should start paying their fair share (again). But we’ve been seeing how loads of immigrants haven’t been assimilating into European countries and so it’s understandable and reasonable that some Americans don’t want that here.

That said, I’m not giving the nuclear code to a man who is so volatile that questions about his statements regarding a beauty pageant winner send him on Twitter rants at 3am. He is attention deficit disordered narcissistic misogynist fuckwit. I know people like him because he has no experience in government, but that is not a plus for me.

So, I empathize with the other side, but truly, I hope he loses. I hope we can wake up tomorrow to a world where it is no longer unimaginable for a little girl to dream to be president one day. HRC has a ton of baggage and is not perfect by any means, but she’s what we got so I hope she wins.

Now watch your alcohol intake tonight, please. 

Look, I know.

I know the convention is this week. I know it’s going to be a shitshow and I know Trump is the biggest, most bloated and asinine waste of human life since Hitler. I know all of this and yet I still think I’m going to stay off Facebook while this Cleveland rodeo is burning down everyone’s dreams of sanity. 

My Facebook feed is one meme after another trying to show off how much they hate Trump and how stupid he is. We all already know this. If you don’t, there’s no longer hope for you, as far as I’m concerned and I’m not wasting my precious time concerned with you. I’m not trying to change anyone’s minds. Clinton is super qualified to be president of the United States, but I would’ve rather been given the chance to vote for Bernie. Will I not vote in November? Nah, I’ll go and cast my pointless vote (for Clinton, and pointless because, come on, this is New York) and hope for a better candidate next time around and that we don’t get fucked with a Trump presidency.

I’m taking a break from Gawker, too, because it’s all so negative, just like my Facebook feed. I haven’t been reading Gawker regularly since I restricted my internet access during the day and I haven’t missed anything important. I don’t need updates on the candidates every move. I won’t even pay attention to the Democratic Convention because unless Clinton starts killing kittens, she has my vote.

A quite frankly, I don’t give a shit who can out-hate whom on Trump. 

Rant: Count Me Out

There’s so much vitriol on Facebook during the presidential campaign this year, and also much reflexive meme re-posting (it’s all my family does, sigh). I’m not even talking about between parties – I’m talking about between Bernie and Hillary fans. It’s sick and I’m over it. I want none of it. Count me out. Who are we kidding, I will vote for whoever is running for the Democrats in the end.

After taking Facebook off my phone, I started posting a lot less. Do I still post too much? Probably. But not as much as I used to – also, yes, I was totally a reflexive-reposter, which was so stupid, and I’m trying not to do this anymore. 

I’ve had to unsubscribe from some acquaintance’s feeds because of all the anti-Sanders shit they’re posting. Sanders keeps saying he’s running a campaign based on the issues, not on personal attacks, and I wish Hillary groupies would do the same. I’m almost 100% sure I’ve posted at least a few things that are ‘Bernie yay, Hillary nay,’ but I’m trying to tone it down and knock it off. I refuse to post memes about who’s more pro-choice or more pro-woman. They’re Democrats, they’re all going to be pro-choice to the extent that they don’t want to reverse Roe V. Wade and blame it on Jesus.

The cyborgs running for the Republican party are a bunch of assfaced clowns who aren’t worth exerting the effort that I’m using to type this, so I’m not even concerned with stating why I don’t like them. Especially on Facebook. It’s obvious. The worst thing about Ted Cruz, besides being a sociopath, is that he makes Trump look not so bad. Because let’s face it, Trump isn’t a real Republican.

I might install a widget on my computer at my new job that doesn’t enable me to access Facebook between 10am-6pm. Facebook has become a place to brag and a place to spew bullshit. And post photos. I’m just a little bit over it.