I may be stepping in it here, because I admit to never having seen “The Vagina Monologues” performed live. I’ve read the essays/stories that form the heart of the play, but so far, I’ve never been so hard up for entertainment, even in the depths of February, to attend a performance.
Here’s my prejudice: It always seemed so… calculated. It’s one of those plays designed to be something the squares don’t get and the hip get too well. It’s just so easy. There’s hardly any rehearsal needed. It’s a just-add-water theatrical event: Recruits some local actresses for the heavy-lifting monologues, mix in a few famous faces, dress everyone in red, light the podium from below and curtain up. Everyone reads from a three-ring notebook. The performance itself is a benefit for a sexual-assault treatment center or a domestic-violence shelter or wherever, so everyone feels good about being there. And before you know it? There’s Mrs. Mayor McSnoot, talking about her pussy! It’s Famous Anchorlady, saying cunt! And that? Is entertainment!
I remember when they did it in Fort Wayne the first time; you’d have thought the theatrical community was performing “King Lear” as a nuclear warhead made its way toward the city. So brave! Standing up for Art is a city full of Philistines! Because isn’t that what matters? And is that Famous Anchorlady up there, talking about her vagina? Have you ever seen such a thing?
Just so you know. This is my prejudice. I prefer my plays with plots, snappy writing, maybe some decent costuming, definitely some good acting.
When Rep. Lisa Brown spake the V-word on the floor of the Michigan House last week, and her male colleagues responded by silencing her from speaking for a day, it was probably inevitable that they would arouse the publicity-seeking spirit of Eve Ensler, always looking for a fresh angle for her now 16-year-old franchise. So, as Eddie Murphy used to say, they brought this shit on themselves.
And what shit it was! Three thousand people, carrying signs about bushes and ladybits and whatever other euphemisms you can think of. And Ensler herself:
“I’m over dudes who can’t even say vagina,” she said. “I’m over the Michigan state Legislature … censoring and rebuking and removing Lisa Brown. My vagina’s got decorum.”
She called on all women to participate in “One billion Rising,” on Feb. 14, 2013. On that day, she urged women to leave their jobs and their schools and go to the streets to dance.
“I want you to take over this place,” Ensler said. “I want you to dance for vaginas and life.”
Call me a cynic, but when someone tells me to dance for vaginas, I’m so far outta here, they need another name for it.
But I did find this giggle, deep in the Wikipedia entry. Shoutout, LA Mary:
Harriet Lerner, renowned in the field of women’s psychology, points out the “psychic genital mutilation” embedded in the play’s title, which ignores the clitoris and labia, and should more accurately be called “The Vulva Monologues.”
So, to the bloggage:
I meant to post this yesterday, but forgot: Simon Dumenco on the fly in the Facebook ointment:
Zuckerberg might argue that the concept of “cringeworthy” oversharing is meaningless to digital natives, and that personal privacy/boundaries are fuddy-duddy notions that will diminish as everyone gets more comfortable with their lives becoming open (Face)books — and as old fogies who still care about privacy/boundaries shuffle off this mortal coil. Fine. Maybe that’s true. And maybe a lot of people won’t log out of Facebook on their Apple devices for fear of oversharing.
Then what? Well, that’s where the Law of Diminishing Returns comes in. Because a massive flood of new Facebook “shares” from iOS users will become a nightmare in another way: The noise will increasingly drown out the signal.
I know I keep saying, in regard to Mitch Albom’s Sunday column, “this is a new low,” but folks? Srsly? This is a new low. If it took him 10 minutes to write, he spent three of them scratching his ass.
Hey, Nancy Friedman and other Nancys who read this: Did you know there’s a Nancy Tumblr, and it apparently uses only panels from the Bushmiller era? Nancy is Happy — go there now.
As you might assume, being Bristol Palin means a life of continued anguish and suffering. In her somnolent Lifetime reality show, “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp,” which premieres Tuesday night, we keep hearing about the painful glare of media attention that snapped on nearly four years ago when her values-preaching mother, Sarah Palin, ran for vice president on the Republican ticket just at the time a teenage Bristol was pregnant with a son. That glare never ended, mostly because Bristol keeps reaching to turn the switch back on.
Yeah, yeah — like taking candy from a baby, but what else are you supposed to do when the baby just hands it to you?
And now the week is under way. It’s supposed to be in the mid-90s for the next two days. I hope I hold up. You, too.