Monday, September 22, 2008

some of these things are not like the others

Two timely items from the ongoing list of

Doc Nagel's Top 100 Things

18. Live theatrical performances. I just love 'em.

As advertised, we saw Cabaret in San Francisco Saturday night. It was terrific. At the end of August we hit the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for A Midsummer Night's Dream and Othello, which were also terrific.

But indeed, I have a history of enjoying theatrical performances even when they're not any good. Way back in college, UNC Charlotte hosted the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival every summer - the only free professional theater in the US at the time. Mainly the plays were excellent, the performances excellent, but every once in a while there was a stinker. There was a completely useless and bizarrely inept staging of a Tennessee Williams play one summer that I probably should have been thrown out of. It was great.

Live theater always gives you something. Sometimes it's of questionable intrinsic quality, but you still get it. And it's all happening right there in front of you, so if it's a train wreck, it's a train wreck, and nobody can stop it. That's thrilling.

17. Ironic political comeuppances. I just love 'em.

Turns out that John McCain's chief of staff is gay. So McCain, who is in favor of states passing constitutional amendments forbidding same-sex marriages, and whose choice for vice-president is a devotee of a bizarre hate-mongering religious cult, apparently either doesn't know, or doesn't mind that Mark Buse, his chief of staff, is gay. (It's unlikely he doesn't know, if, as has been reported, McCain has attended dinner parties thrown by Buse and his partner.) It's a level of hypocrisy that most people find objectionable, and frankly difficult to reach. But McCain is a talented guy.

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