Monthly Archives: October 2014

Karma is a pain in the ass, or “How I learned to stop worrying and love my parents.”

I’ve always had a great love and respect for both of my parents. Even in my teenage years, when most kids are rebelling and yelling, “I hate you”, I thought my folks were pretty cool. But, nobody’s perfect, and, of course, even I had a some complaints here and there along the way. But, now that I have kids, even most of those complaints have been painted over with a patina of understanding. Kids don’t tend to think of their parents are real human people with their own internal lives, emotions and needs and all. Now that I’m a parent, I’m recasting a lot of my memories with my parents in the starring role, instead of little me. I could probably give a thousand examples, but one is freshest in my mind. I remember very clearly, as a child, my parents being impatient with my various very creative stories. Now, I struggle to pay attention when my own son is telling a story. One of his stories this week lasted over an hour, and that was while I was driving! It’s simply not possible to pay attention that long. I probably over indulge him because of how I felt as a chlid. In turn, he’ll probably be a little too snippy with his own kids, and the cycle will go around and around.

A very novel play: a review of “Smokefall” at the Goodman Theatre

In short, let me say that “Smokefall”, showing right now at the Goodman Theatre, is a wonderful wonderful play. You should see it if you’re able.

I’m currently reading the “Aspects of the Novel” by E.M. Forster. It’s an interesting book. From what I gather, it’s based on a series of lectures given at Oxford sometime in the middle of the last century. Professor Forster argues pretty persuasively that the novel is unique among the arts in its ability to express our inner lives directly to the audience. Other arts, he says, rely on sensory evidence, just like we do in life. If someone is sad, they must look sad, or say that they are sad. But, in a novel the narrator can directly tell us that the person is sad. And so we peek into their secret inner life.

I was fairly convinced by this book I’m reading. But, by happy accident I saw “Smokefall” last week. The play uses a narrator, you see. So, it operates in much the same way that most novels do, giving us direct insight into what the various members of one extended family are thinking and feeling. It uses this tool very effectively. I felt coming out of it, as though I had been on a journey at once spiritual and intellectual. Indeed, I had been wrestling with all sorts of questions about forgiveness and sin, and without giving too much away, I’ll at least say that this play provided me with some very powerful answers to these Important Life Questions. Plus, it’s hilarious. Seriously, go see it if you can, whether for the entertainment, spiritual, or technical artistic value.

A random superhero

Ian Smithdahl is able to transform his body into crystal. Also, he has mastered the ability to confuse the smell of an enemy, however doing so drains his immunity to weather for one minute. Ian Smithdahl can take control of bulls and he has learned to steal defenses of his antagonists and use it against them. Shamefully, Ian Smithdahl becomes night-blind in the presence of steel. (via Random Superhero Generator!)