Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

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Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Back to Blogging

I haven't blogged here since 2012. Why am I making a stab at it again?

I realized two things about social media I wanted to get away from. First was that I was often using it as a journal, which is boring and maybe TMI for those platforms. Secondly I was using it too much for my taste, so that I felt like a tool for marketers rather than using social media as a tool for my ends.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Poor Erato, Mercilessly Used and Abused

So it wasn't much of a poem. I wanted to remember the sight, and playing at poetry serves another purpose. It helps make my writing denser and tighter. The density I want to work on a bit. I've noticed the playwrights I like the best are those with dense text. Lots of meanings to work with. The text stays fresher for the actor, who constantly finds new meaning in lines clear through closing night. It gives the audience a richer and more varied experience, with lots more to discuss and chew on after the show.

Neil Simon is dense. Pinter is dense. Ibsen is dense. In different ways. Farce, absurdism, and drama. All genres I like. They stay very much in their genre's, though not completely. Simon, like Ayckbourn stands out because their characters often have the depth you'd expect in drama. Pinter has a lot of humor and character definition, Ibsen has lots of humor and absurdity. It's part of what makes them stand out.

As I think on it, I wonder if that is what has caused Shakespeare to leap over the boundaries of time, culture, and language. He blends more than most contemporary playwrights. Williams seems close to that class at times, as does Chekhov. I don't expect you to agree with my assessments of specific playwrights, as your experience I'm sure differs. Look for the gist.

My vacation was dense. I lazed, but while doing so I was generally pretty active. I spent most of the time on Denman Island, but on the way there and back stopped off in Duncan, staying the night on the return. Cullen who is three now is getting pretty fun, and is a terror. He's been riding his bicycle for about a year, and moves around like photons in a laser chamber. I took Kali and Jade to Murder On the Nile. I think they are 11 and 17, and both enjoyed the show and the outing. I hope that I can give the positive experience of going to theatre my father gave me to others.

Kali and Cullen were there to see me off. She doesn't cry when I leave anymore. Cullen did though, for different reasons. I was pointing at something on his shirt and he took a swing at my hand which I reflexively moved, and he fell flat on his bottom. His Dad said, "Look at that Uncle Scott, just like Jade, he gets instant karma."

Then, on the way back from British Columbia I stopped in Bellingham for the evening to visit my stepsister's family. My nephew and niece, nearly six and four years old enjoy my visits as much as I do. They are at the age where they are about as tall as my leg, so they like hugging my leg, especially the younger sister. Something they can get their arms around.

While I was reading Dr. Seuss with both Miles and Delaney sitting on my lap, it was in my awareness. It won't be long until they can't give legs bear hugs, and will have to wait nearly a decade before they can give grown-up bear hugs. That and the realization that having both of them sit on my lap at the same time is a short and privileged time for uncles.

Is it having become 50? Is it having become an artist? It doesn't really matter. Being aware of a gift while it happens makes the gift all the more more poignant and lovely. It is a subtle, gentle, immersing wash of joy when a young child says "I love you Uncle Scott."

I always wanted to have children. It would be a long and painful essay to explain why it never happened. It is quicker to say, thank god for nephews and nieces. Which reminds me I need to contact the teachers for whom I hope to read this year.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Embossed, pinned white on late Summer's azure
Thermals dancing, lifting bits beyond care.
Above warmly dying ground lofting pure
The lonely locked heart's aching -- never there.
We see'ums, High Noon's brilliant fireflies
Happily soaring carefree winged lies.
      They don't know.

Summer's end softly ushers their demise
Lofting, floating, fluffing their filling end.
No tears, no fears, ne need of pale denies
Dust o'erhead to dust beneath never pen'd.
Drifting to cycles' end gentle, unfeared.
Terror unimagined, never appeared.
      They don't know.

Riding hemlock's wave never to see me
Nor the dead decomposing office glow
Sharding souls to empty eternity,
Our cycle broken with no where to go.
Riding their air lightly, no need to care.
They'll return in other wings, no despair.
      They don't know.

Tomorrow's detritus soars high today,
Winter's black mud caked thick on heavy soles.
Techno separatists who can never stray,
The monitor's sickly blue glow controls
It's invisible invincible filaments
Deadens seenses to wondrous firmaments.
      They don't know.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Grand Old Homonymphs

We can't draw down troops in Iraq, we can't even talk about it because if 'they' knew we were leaving 'they' would really get nasty. There's a hint of truth there, but we started the blood bath, we are unwilling to end it, as that would be really expensive and would require a draft. There's not enough money or ethical mercenaries in the world to do the job with more contracts, bid or no-bid.

What do the idiots do instead? Make a highly publicised temporary surge, so the 'they' the idiots blithely label as insurgents know it is time to stand down their efforts for a little while until the danger of the surge can be judged, or has passed. They have shown us with vicious attacks of their own that all they have to do is go where the surge isn't.

I would say the surge has been an utter failure and fiasco, and a losing proposition for the US, our troops, and the Iraqi civilians. Even with the highly touted surge the improvement is barely measurable, and then only if done while disregarding every inconvenient statistic. These very narrow and itsy-bitsy improvements are so small that in any valid cost benefit analysis it would seem that the cost was not worthwhile. It is a akin to paying $1000 a month more for your car insurance to reduce your deductible by 12 cents, while expecting your lifetime chances of an accident to decline.

Republicans to the rest of the world:
          Don't talk about withdrawing troops or when we might do so because then the enemy can plan.
Rest of the World should be asking:
          So what?

Republicans to the rest of the world:
          We're going to surge our troops here, here, and here on these days.
Rest of the World should be asking:
          Why did you help the enemy plan for the surge?
Insurgent: a person who rises in forcible opposition to lawful authority, esp. a person who engages in armed resistance to a government or to the execution of its laws; rebel.

dubya: the first illiterate POTUS who rises in forcible opposition to lawful authority (albeit corrupt, well, corrputed by us), esp. a toad who engages in armed resistance to a government or to the execution of its laws and citizens; revel without a cause.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

And dubya Fiddled

Well, I updated my linked blogs. I wanted to keep the active to moderately active blogs I read, and who read mine in return in a distinct list, my personal community. I didn't want to want to nuke any links either, but there are several who don't post anymore and a few others I like to scan though they don't read here. Mostly for convenience, because I link to them from my page for my lunch time reading.

I did add one new link, one of my co-workers. We are both on the same liberal political dl (distribution list) at work. I don't post much there anymore, as it seems most of the group is pretty complacent - "liberals of convenience" rather than any real conviction. I feel out of place. I have no ideas of reconciliation regarding the unchanged republicans, and I'm even angrier with the democrats who seem more interested in maintaining the status quo, picking the corporate gravy train over anything which would make our government accountable to it's own laws or the population it serves in a substantial manner.

I've been building to a big political rant. I think I'll hold my breath a little longer for most of it. Lately I've been irritated more by what is not considered newsworthy. For example, take Tancredo calling the Katrina recovery effort a "gravy train" and making abandoning relief and rebuilding part of his presidential campaign platform. Where's the outrage? No one seems to give a rat's ass as long as tax payers save a few pennies to blow a WalMart.

The republicans screwed up every aspect of handling the disaster and the subsequent rebuilding efforts. So far the only 'gravy train' I've heard of was the republican gift of more no-bid contracts to the likes of Halliburton. Rather than make things right, in typical republican fashion they blame the victims of both the disaster and fraud at perpetrated by the republicans' corporate sponsors, and say "No more help for you." Tancredo is just a (probably unwitting) tool floating this idea for his masters. What help did the people who need it get? Not enough for bus fare I'd bet. How much compared to the fraudulent no-bid corporate welfare? Why the fuck can't the gop cut and run on their disaster which is hundreds times more egregious and expensive? They just can't get it right. "Get out of New Orleans, stay in Iraq." We're the victims of their greed driven hubris. Iraq, NOLA, and the rest of the USA, we're all victims of gop fears. Whether it is social conservatism (aka bigotry), fiscal conservatism (aka greed), or nation building (aka all of the above PLUS cowardice). That is the republican legacy. Will the democratic legacy smell any better?

Let's think about it. Will the democrats be much better? They are corporate owned, but not so flat out loyal to their sponsors. When they get a Katrina on their watch I think about all we can hope for is a sightly mitigated fuck up. There has been no attempt to rein in the depradations of the executive? Why? Only one viable answer I can think of. Not Pelosi's cowardly alibi about not being divisive. Rather their desire to weild the same absolute corruption, er, power?

Good thing I have a vacation coming up...