Time to get political

I try to stick to theatre and art in this blog, and its various inspirations. I can not do that right now. It is time to get overtly political. Time for some Canadian politics. Earlier this week, Alberta held an election for leadership of the province. As of the week-end, polls were showing the right-wing WildRose party in the lead, and the 40-year reign of the PCs in that province looked poised to fall.

As they sometimes do, the voters surprised everyone, and re-elected the PCs to a strong majority - 61 seats - while WildRose saw only 17. Canada breathed a sigh of comparative relief; bloggers and twitter lit up with otherwise left-leaning minds commenting how happy they were for a PC win, something you don't expect ever to hear.

So this morning, reading The Globe And Mail, I was made ill to read Ms Smith's latest.

Now that the WildRose were unsuccessful on their first attempt, they plan to change their policies. Okay, seems like a decent idea, right? Everything needs a fresh perspective after a loss. Sure. But Ms Smith campaigned on core beliefs including smaller government, ignoring climate change (well, arguing that it is still disputed scientifically...which amounts to ignoring it) and personal liberties. She had candidates making racist and homophobic comments in the media, never censured them. Now, upon losing, Ms Smith is thinking of "re-evaluating" their policy on climate change and other contentious issues. Pardon me, but re-evaluating? The party campaigned for several months on this right wing agenda, alienating the rest of the province. This is clearly something they believe heartily in. But a swift turn of the page to the day after losing the election, and Smith is ready to reconsider. Funny; a certain Mr Harper had similar right-wing views some years ago in Calgary. . . but he was deemed too extreme, and toned it down to get elected. Now that he is elected with a "mandate from the Canadian people" he is back to his right-wing tricks, dismantling the very institutions that define our country. Ms Smith appears to be taking a page out of Mr Harper's playbook.

Don't be fooled, Alberta. Ms Smith, it seems, will say whatever is required to get elected, and then do what she wanted all along. Please, have long memories on this one. Please.

Eugene Ionesco - The Chairs

this is a second-read for me while I am trying to nail down the perfect play (!) for my performance-based dissertation. I have an affinity for the absurdists, which in readinig this blog you have likely picked up on. I really love theatre that can be entertaining, frightening, fast, slow, intellectual and bawdy all at the same time.

The frenzy of this play is unreal, despite only 2 "real" characters. The sense of unrecognized despair really stood out; The Old Couple are desperately searching to assign meaning to their lives, actualized through ambition..."you could have been a General" and many other fabulous lines. They are limited through their need for acceptance by the crowd. The Emperor adds a layer to this, as they try desperately to impress and please this arbitrary higher power. But they have no acknowledgement of this absurd state.

Something else that stood out to me was how infantilized the old man is through the play. This rang in simiilarity to the end of another Ionesco play, The Lesson. Going to do some reserch to see if anyone has published on the subject of Ionesco's men as young children.

This stands out as a potential choice. But part of me still feels a strong affinity to Kane......still a month or so before I need to discuss my choice. Keep reading!

image: Public art, couldn't attribute the artist, but found here -

Samuel Beckett - Play

I am a huge Beckett fan. Seeing this on the reading list (assigned for Theorizing the Contemporary) made me quite excited, as it was a piece of Beckett I hadn't encountered before.

Stark. Empty, but filled with 3 people, 3 objects, 3 faces, 3 voices. The sense of detachment, and an acidic take on human attempts at connection are what stood out for me. Hope is absent when we rely on other people.

Interestingly it is 2 women and 1 man. Not 100% decided on what to take from this. All 3 are equally bad, though W1 seems to have been wronged....her actions quickly eliminate her potential as protagonist.

There are no heroes.

image; Alan Rickman in a 2001 production of Play