Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Within this bastard’s carnival, this vicious cabaret.

“But the backdrops peel and the sets give way, and the cast gets eaten by the play. There’s a murderer at the matinee. There are dead men in the aisles. And the patrons and the actors too are uncertain if the show is through, and with sidelong looks await their cue…but the frozen mask just smiles.”

– Alan Moore, “V for Vendetta”

Am experiencing a mild case of serendipity at the moment that is perhaps only serendipity in the same way that fortune tellers are accurate–in that vague way that you can project your own life and interpret your own connections. I am currently rereading the above graphic novel (which, all told, I still consider superior to Moore’s more-touted works of genius, “Watchmen” and “From Hell”), which includes the above lines from a song within the story. The story also includes a reference to the Milgram Experiment, an attempt to discern how far people would go beyond their own humanity if told to do so by a figure in authority. I reread the reference last night just as I received an email from my old friend Eric, whose recent one-act play, “Ode to Milgram” is in contention for On The Rocks performance (On The Rocks being my old college stomping ground, playwright-wise).

So further speaking of plays, last night I discovered something rather interesting about drama and about myself, when my group workshopped the first scene of “Flash,” a play based on something OJ Simpson once said about finding a real killer. About drama, I discovered that there is an imperfect commutative property between Ridiculous and Serious. One can write a Ridiculous Play about a Ridiculous Circumstance, or a Serious Play about a Serious Circumstance, and they can even write a Ridiculous Play about Serious Circumstance, but it is damn near impossible to write a Serious Play about a Ridiculous Circumstance. About myself, I realized that “Flash” is never meant for an audience, as it is currently being written–it is a play for myself, to try and make sense of something I hadn’t realized I still have strong feelings about. But I am trying to make sense of something that makes no sense in a rational world. And because of that, the play fails as a drama. I can rewrite it as a farce, but then I lose the opportunity to examine a few things I’d intended to examine–namely, race, fame, and the justice system–from the perspective I’d intended. I can possibly write this play someday, but even five years later is too short a time. I am still angry. I hadn’t realized that.

So, for now, “Flash” will remain on the back burner. One day I may finish this play, but it cannot be performed. The guitar cannot be played. Don’t even look at the guitar. One day I may write a second version of the play for other people. I’m young yet. Perhaps my anger will get out of the way. Perhaps it never will.

For Danielle to mention that OJ’s current girlfriend is missing is another fine point on the serendipity. I won’t even point out the obvious about her LJ name.

Too much work these last few weeks, but am nearly done with the biggest project of the bunch, a 366-page Baseball Almanac. After that, there are only answer keys to type and a book on the Chicago Bears to proofread.

Speaking of which, Go Rams, I guess.

Tonight is poker night. I have a large cappuccino mug filled with change, just waiting for drainage.

In a joint venture from the Departments of Louis Armstrong and Bittersweet Victories[1], I recently took second prize in the Writers’ Digest Short Short Story competition, an achievement that nets me $750 and, since the work is not being published (only 1st prize gets that), I can get more mileage out of sending it elsewhere, with the added cred of having won something. So huzzah for the shopkeep.

Not sure why I’m quoting British comedy today. Perhaps because “V for Vendetta” is set in Britain. Perhaps because of who I’m listening to at the moment.

[1] Louis Armstrong blew his own horn. Bittersweet Victory, because my parents are proud of me for once; and I wish they’d show that same sort of pride even when I haven’t won anything.

Current music: XTC, “Wasp Star”

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This entry was posted on January 24, 2002 by in Comic Books, Plays, Theatre, Writing.
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