scarlettina: (Reality Check)
[personal profile] scarlettina
A couple of remarks on Facebook this morning got me thinking about contrasts and distinctions.

1) An acquaintance of mine posted a single phrase: I need a girlfriend. The conversation that ensued was . . . enlightening. A couple of his female friends advised that he work on himself and that love would come. (This has been my occasional thought about this acquaintance, as it has often been about myself.) Some of his friends asked him what he could possibly need a woman for; girlfriends, they said, were all whiny, needy and expensive. And this acquaintance of mine said, "You mean it doesn't get better? At least the last one had the body of a goddess." At which point, I thought, "Ah, you're not looking for a girlfriend; you're looking to get laid." There's a difference. It also made me remember one of the many reasons I've never dated this acquaintance of mine. He reveals himself too often to be exactly the kind of man who doesn't see women as real people. We are useful for particular things, but mostly we're adjuncts to men, from his perspective.

2) I saw a production of "Cabaret" last night, and remarked upon the fact that a couple of people laughed at the end of the song "If You Could See Her," with its horrifying, deliberately anti-Semitic punchline. I said that I wasn't sure whether or not they laughed because they were shocked or because they actually thought it was funny, that in the current political climate it's hard to tell. A friend responded that it's an old show, and that when he saw it in the 1980s, people laughed then, too. I responded, "I don't think the age of the show has anything to do with it. It's a shocking moment, signaling a major cultural shift in the play." He said, "The age of the show was in reference to your thought on current politics." But the more I think about this exchange, the more I think he really didn't get my point. Did he think I thought the show is contemporary? Is he not aware of my more than passing interest in theater and awareness of at least some of its history? Possible, certainly, but I'd be surprised if that were the case, given how long we've known each other. Art--good art--remains relevant despite the passage of time. It will provoke different conversations in every era. Either he missed my point, or he really thought I had no idea what I was talking about. The longer I know this man, the more we butt heads about particular issues, the more I think he hasn't been paying attention, which is . . . disappointing. Or maybe it's just that we've lived such completely different lives that we don't know how to communicate with each other--a thought that has never occurred to me until just now.

Date: Fri, Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:53 pm (UTC)
ironymaiden: (mind)
From: [personal profile] ironymaiden
It was a night for such things; I stumbled across the 4th Street drama and it led to a conversation with C about the men who live to tell someone they're wrong on the internet.

Re: Cabaret, I think it relies on having an audience who is aware of the history and able to recognize what is coming. Perhaps to a fault. I wonder if it's responsible in 2017 to perform Cabaret without a history reference in the program and the lobby (a preshow talk maybe), even though that spoils the build through the course of the play.
I like to think that laughter was discomfort, the kind that comes during a horror film. I share your concern that a different segment feels free to laugh with the MC, that they don't have to be ashamed. Then there are the ones who have no idea that moment is supposed to be a gut punch, who are fully oblivious. And that scares me, because it's on that attitude that you build a fascist state.

The day Cabaret stops making us uncomfortable is a black day indeed.

Date: Fri, Jun. 23rd, 2017 05:17 pm (UTC)
ironymaiden: (Gir/piggy)
From: [personal profile] ironymaiden
also, this might be a rueful laugh. (for context, the number is at a family bar mitzvah and she's brought along her Catholic boyfriend.)

Date: Sat, Jun. 24th, 2017 01:01 pm (UTC)
garyomaha: (Default)
From: [personal profile] garyomaha
>>A friend responded that it's an old show<<

Perspective. When I hear of "Cabaret" the word "old" is not one of the first references I attach to it. I can think of some truly "old" shows, generally created before Rogers and Hammerstein (who, I'm sure, your friend also thinks are "old" but their shows are timeless, in my opinion). That's similar to music, where I don't consider 60s music "old" at all -- probably because I was around back then -- but, yes, these songs are called "oldies."

Harrumph. I can sense my argument crumbling.

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