Oxford, England, that is: a city stiff with history, bristling with dreaming spires, and teeming with writers. You can hear the scratching of their metaphorical quills even over the patter of the rain (and in Oxford, that’s saying something).
I’m talking about literary elitism. That’s what’s worse in Oxford.
Well, it shouldn’t surprise me too much. I have a background in history, and I ought to know that writing has always been an occupation for the privileged. In the Middle Ages literacy was virtually a form of shamanism, and could only be acquired by those adepts who had the money or the time – that meant churchmen and the nobility. Everyone else was too busy scraping a living and staying warm. The ability to write conferred and preserved power among those who mastered it. Continue reading “Shakespeare Wrote Murder Mysteries”
Social Networking is weird. No doubt. I hate to spam and promote. I do it because I like to eat. But I hate it. When I first started putting music on the internet (years ago), I wrote a sonnet for my 100th ‘fan’. I have done this with songs and stories many times on FB and beyond; it is a good way to make a real connection. I am constantly searching for ways to humanize the internet. This is a fun one.
While discussing the great nation of Scotland recently, in these very pages, I was reminded of something. Undoubtedly, Scotland has bestowed upon our world some fine gifts, including the telephone, television, penicillin, caber tossing, Billy Connolly, the Glasgow Kiss, the Bay City Rollers and the words “bampot”, “stoater”, “drookit”, “hackit” and “blootered”. (I discern a visit to the Urban Dictionary in your future, dear reader.)
There’s an ironic exchange in the great film, My Dinner with Andre, in which Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn talk about the demise of theater. I say it’s ironic because this movie was made more than 30 years ago and if they thought live theater was in the crapper back then, well… they had no idea what they were talking about!
Any playwright worth their salt is probably aware of a theater that is going through hard times or one that shut down because it couldn’t raise money. And yet, year after year, I run into playwrights who act as though it has nothing to do with them.
I believe they think they are somehow removed from the economic reality of theater, which is simply not true. I believe they do this because they simply do not understand who their competition is, who they’re playing against. It would be like an NBA player, LeBron James let’s say, feeling he was doing a fine job if he could beat the kids at the local elementary school. Continue reading “Knowing your competition… by Ken La Salle”