Here Upon this Bank and Shoal in Time
It’s the first night of October, a Saturday and I’m here in the house alone except for Rosie at my feet. She’s our gorgeous Rottweiler puppy who has brought even more delight into my life. Mama Julia and Little Tony are out with her mother overnight and I find myself in possession of unexpected free time, so I thought I would write to you, my neglected loves.
Thanks to Donald Trump the grasshoppers are swarming themselves into locusts and people are only now starting to notice the growing danger they pose. The so-called “alt-right” is nothing new, they’ve just grown bold as hate since Trump dropped the standard of acceptable public discourse into the sewer. A little over eight years ago I attracted the attention of white supremacist websites such as Stormfront and I got a clear look at the crazy racist rage that is fueling Trump’s base today.
I just threw some Zeppelin on. Loud. I’m having a nice big bowl of tea. Green tea. Some artisanal shit called “Bubblemango Haze”, I think. Tasty.
I cannot imagine how anyone who is actually thinking of voting for him would even read this far down, really, so I know I’m preaching to the choir; I will at least try to be edifying. I’ve kept Sarcasticus more or less in his sheath lately because I’ve been fighting the good fight in different ways; making racist trolls cry uncle is fun but it doesn’t make enough of a difference in the big picture. Instead, I’ve been redoubling my efforts in the real world to make the changes I want to see happen, at least in small ways.
I’m directing a production of “Macbeth” that will go up the weekend before the election; it’s themes of power and the consequences of immoral and unworthy people attaining it are especially timely. It is being staged in a very straightforward way that seeks to make the story clear and keeps it in its time and place; there will be no gangsters, Nazis or Klingons running amok. In terms of casting I have taken a ‘blind’ approach to gender and race; my Macbeth is neither white nor male while Lady Macbeth is being played by an actor who is both. This is not an arbitrary decision emerging from my lefty politics but rather an aesthetic choice made from my interaction with the text over a span of decades as well as my own philosophical views in the art of acting, including why I don’t use the term “actress”, instead using “actor” to refer to all of my performers for the simple reason that it is accurate to do so. The role of the actor is to perform the actions of the script as directed by the director. We do not call female directors “directresses” (although to my surprise, when spellcheck did not correct that term I just now discovered that term does technically exist) or women writers “writeresses” (F*** YOU COLLINS DICTIONARY!) and since any well-trained actor should be able to play a wide variety of characters with depth and nuance it makes no sense to discriminate regarding the gender of the performing artist because we don’t call female artists “artresses” (I CHECKED!). Of course, it’s not as if this is first production of a Shakespeare play with women playing male characters (and Lady Macbeth was originally played by a teenaged boy, after all) and that’s why it is being done without comment in terms of the program and marketing; I am not seeking to be avant garde but rather the mere standard of adequacy.
The rehearsals are going well. Maybe I will get to write a little more in the morning about it. The tea made me sleepy and it’s late. I’m going to walk Rosie and let her sleep in bed with me tonight.
My unlimited love to y’all,