Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Sometimes, I bike to work without my helmet. I’m not sure why. I do know better.
The show over the weekend went well…the script was fairly well-received, and everybody really liked Donna’s performance as a harried film producer. Saturday’s crowd was small but laughed, often, at things that didn’t seem that funny to us either when I wrote them–or after ten rehearsals. Saturday’s crowd, then, spoiled us for Sunday’s crowd, which was much tougher on us. Donna suspects that part of it was the fact that the show before us, a one-man confessional entitled “The Happiness of Schizophrenia” was heavy stuff. I think there are plenty of reasons, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Sunday night crowd was a harder sell. Also, the actors accidentally skipped five pages of a thirty-page script, getting rid of a few of my favorite comic moments, but oh well. I’d very much like to remount the show, perhaps with other shorts of mine, which would make it the umpteenth time I’ve done a showcase. BZ is right, I need to really start hammering away at those full-lengths.
And now, a long, involved thought on animal priority.
Yesterday, to the horror of the American newsreading public, CNN released shocking (shocking!) videotape of dogs being gassed to death, discovered at an abandoned al-Qaida base in Afghanistan. While nothing can be said to defend these actions, especially as it is clear that the dogs were a test run for the eventual use of either sarin or cyanide–what two experts believe the gas may have been–on a human population, I found myself eyebrow-raisingly interested in the undertones of the reporting I read. What I sensed beneath the articles themselves was horror that anybody could do this to a dog. Man’s best friend, the loyal, cuddly companion.
And again, nothing excuses what was on those videotapes. But here in America, we have something of a reputation as bunny torturers, in the name of cosmetics and hygiene. And it leads one to wonder which is worse; killing dogs in the name of a (twisted, violent, unholy) political cause or killing rabbits in the name of vanity.
Furthermore, it’s noteworthy that in the Islamic culture, especially in that of the (twisted, violent, unholy) extremists, dogs are not considered a companion animal. Dogs are filthy creatures, so the culture says, and should not be touched by any man, woman, or child who intends to pray to Allah. Which is not to say that Muslims go around killing dogs–and by the by, many people, including Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf, ignore this so-called tenet of the faith –just that dogs don’t have the same place in that culture that they do in American culture. It’s a similar thing to the accepted fact that there is no beef in India, that the French eat horse meat, and the Vietnamese eat dog. Gassing these three poor dogs was despicable, no question, but to these (twisted, etcetera) terrorists, it probably wasn’t worth much more than cutting off a chicken’s head to begin with.
“You’re a baseball mitt. Get on the truck.”
 Indeed, Musharraf’s a pretty progressive Muslim leader on several levels, not just because he was willing to do the right thing and speak out against his country’s hardliners , but also because he’s reported to take the occasional glass of scotch at the end of his day, even with alcohol being a major no-no in the Islamic faith .
 What a sad thing that few in this country will be taught how brave that was, to do the right thing in a nest of political and religious vipers–Musharraf deserves a place in American history as a hero of our people for allowing us the area to stage the offensive against the Taliban and al-Qaida, moreso than anybody in our current administration deserves. Some may say that all he did was cave to the bullying of the American military, but consider which requires more bravery: refusing to acquiesce to the whims of a nation across the world who you had spare or prickly relations with at best, or refusing to acquiesce to the whims of murderous thugs in your own country–which you took over in a coup to begin with–and the supporters of a regime who you only now realize is evil and wrong. We would not have attacked Pakistan to get to Afghanistan. Musharraf lives each day under the threat of assassination for the choice he made.
 In fact, from what I’ve learned from my father, it’s not even that alcohol on its own is the problem…it’s anything that causes you to lose control. And for that matter, it’s moderation. In other words, it’s not the glass of scotch that Musharraf has, it’s if he has enough to make him drunk. Cultural translation turned this into prohibition, which is something I’ve always had a problem with in terms of the cultural foibles of the religion. For example, I’m not supposed to be left alone in the room with another female, even if there are people next door and the door is open, because it might lead to sex. This includes, sickeningly enough, my own sister. A woman in Pakistan was gang raped because her brother was seen walking–just walking–with a woman not of his family, and we all know the harshness of Islamic law. My mother argues that this does keep such crimes as theft and such unfortunate circumstances as teen pregnancy from happening, but Gods, what a price. In conservative Islamic culture, one is taught that the surest way to never be burned is not to buy matches, that to avoid drowning you must avoid the ocean. And that’s where I disagree.
Current music: MP3 list, Counting Crows, “Einstein on the Beach”