For the first time in my adult working life, I just voted to strike. Sometimes I forget that I’m in a guild, as I don’t feel like a laborer. Writers’ work happens mostly in our minds, but we still need a guild to protect us from tomfoolery, like, say, the fact that tv and film producers’ income has DOUBLED in the last eight years, while writer’s income has decreased by 30 percent. Our pension is suffering, we’re working for less money, and we’re expected to do it with gratitude that we are working at all. The problem with this is that writers are dreamers by nature, which is super easy to take advantage of. I’m still sort of shocked that I get paid at all to write, but I have to put that aside and stand up for fair pay — especially given the INSANE amount of money that is being made off of what we write. And so, STRIKE! I’m choosing to hope that this is just a bargaining tool for the negotiators, but either way — see you on the picket lines, or back in the writer’s room with what we deserve (SNACKS) (AND HEALTHCARE)
Today, on White Girl with Blog, I spent some time this morning reading through some of MLK’s best quotes, just to hang out with his memory for a few minutes, acknowledge all that he did. Inspirational quotes that are memes waiting to happen are only a PALTRY SLIVER of what he contributed and made happen, but I will leave a few favorites here, all the same. They transcend issues of race and tap into even larger questions about humanity. WE BASICALLY NEED EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM APPROXIMATELY RIGHT NOW.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”
“Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.”
“I have decided to stick to love … Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
An already irate group of theater people got to get EVEN MORE IRATER Friday night when Pence attended Hamilton. He was briefly booed by the audience, but was then given a kind and gracious message by the cast, asking that he, as VP, serve the country’s people. TRUMP THEN TOOK TO TWITTER SCOLDING THE ACTORS, DECLARING THAT THE THEATER IS A SAFE PLACE AND SHAME ON THEM FOR MAKING IT NOT SO. I would like to issue my two prong response that is now surely being felt in every actor and director and playwright there ever was.
1.) SAFE PLACE? OH, BY WHICH YOU MEAN, UNLIKE AMERICA NOW FOR MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, WHO WILL NOW LIVE IN FEAR, YOU BIG DUMMY? YOU WALKED RIGHT INTO THAT ONE JUST AS YOU DO YOUR HAIR EVERY MORNING AS YOU PEEL YOURSELF FROM THE ABSURDIST COLORING BOOK AND STEP INTO YOUR HAIR
2.) I keep mulling over this idea that the theater is a ‘safe place.’ I mean, is it? I mean, sure. Yes. It’s a place where people are meant to come together and hear stories. But also, it’s a place bravery and exploration of difficult ideas. That’s what it should be, especially now. I say we strive to make the theater less safe. Less and less and less until he finds himself in a Box seat and cannot look away. He is forced to see.
Today, in your Undergraduate Philosophy Class that actually ends up lasting for every semester of your entire life: is there really such a thing as truth? And Is truth the same as fact? And with the infinity of fact in the internet, is there such a thing as Fact anymore? It is human nature to find evidence to support our belief, and ignore everything else. Isn’t then truth just fact + pre-existing belief / life experience = truth? I keep coming up against this question in my adult life, when I find myself torn between two existing schools of thought. In an effort to try and place myself on a certain side, I scour the internet for Truth. More and more I realize the insanity of this quest. IS THERE EVEN SUCH A THING ANYMORE? AND IF THIS IS QUESTION IS TRUE, IS THAT NOT TERRIFYING?
After seeing my play last night, a friend told me that it was ‘so Bekah.’ To which I said, thanks! But. What does that even mean? What are those qualities? Do we all have a personality / nature that everyone else except ourselves can perceive? Qualities that are so ‘us,’ but that we ourselves could not even list? It’s like when we see a picture of ourselves and recoil. That’s not me. That’s not what I look like. But what you are most likely looking at is the most You picture of You that has even been taken. CAN ONESELF EVER KNOW ONESELF / TAKES LONG CONTEMPLATIVE DRAG / PASSES JOINT
The writers milled about The Broad –the incredible new contemporary art museum in downtown LA — searching for story, for color, for inspiration.
They were dismayed to see the teenagers not even fully looking at the art, not taking it in, but instead just posing for pictures next to the art, then grabbing their phone back from their friend, inspecting the picture as if it were art. “How sad, that they are not even fully appreciating what they are seeing, that to see something fully, they must take a picture of themselves looking at the thing, and then the picture itself becomes a remnant of the moment, and the moment itself disappears,” the writers thought, above and annoyed, while waiting patiently for the teenagers to clear the frame, at which point, they themselves stepped next to the art, For a Picture.
I’ve been reading some Old Norse poems from the Elder Edda, YOU KNOW, LIKE YOU DO. My favorite so far are from Sayings of the High One, which is basically an advice column penned by Odin the God of War and also star of American Gods him very self. He’s gruff, practical, amicable, and definitely thinks you should eat before you hang out with friends so that you’re not starving.
Some personal favorites:
A stupid man stays awake all night pondering his problems; he’s worn out when morning comes and whatever was, still is.
Moderately wise a man should be — don’t wish for too much wisdom; a man’s heart is seldom happy if he is truly wise.
….NO WAIT ACTUALLY I JUST CHANGED MY MIND.
I love how This American Life forces me to think and ponder humans and life all before 9 AM. This morning: Unconditional Love. Apparently, pre-1950s, Love wasn’t even a part of psychology textbooks. Love was not considered an integral part of a parent / child relationship. In fact, parents were warned to not kiss their children more than once a year, lest the children become ‘overkissed,’ which I figure means too needy / fragile / sensitive. Then Harry Harlow came along with his monkey experiment which proved a baby’s need for its mother’s comfort and warmth. Sixty years later, after sixty years of our mothers loving and kissing and complimenting and cuddling and coddling and hugging us aggressively, opening, warmly, I’d say that people are more open to their feelings, more comfortable expressing themselves and expressing love; but also, crazier, driven to therapy, to broken relationships, to bad poetry. Basically, we have like 7,000 more feelings. I say this with the authority of a person who was not alive in 1950, and has never taken a Psychology Class, and who just yesterday learned how to put air in her tires. I of course had to call my Daddy about it, who talked me through it, after assuring me that I am the most incredible person who has ever lived throughout all of time.
Pardon me while I note something that I’m sure NO ONE HAS EVER NOTED BEFORE.
Note: I’m noticing that every urban area has a Williamsburg. In Brooklyn, it’s, well, it’s Williamsburg. LA: Silver Lake and Echo Park. Chicago: Wicker Park and Logan Square. Ingredients include fixed gear bikes, old cocker spaniels with limps, girls in funny shoes and vintage dresses, 2 dollars PBR’s, at least one American Apparel, and very expensive sushi. And while I have no tattoos and, let’s be honest, have spent the Summer in the rainbow flip flops of Southern couture, I find these things familiar and comforting.
Fans, meet Colonel Alfred H. Terry, or, I’ve decided, Steve Buscemi’s Grandfather. I stumbled across his likeness while searching for a picture that properly represented studying for the bar (Friend is taking the NY one today, and I was going to say something to the affect of, I could never do that.) but instead, I think we should all take a moment and celebrate this funny looking person, and reflect on how funny looking we all are. (But some are just moreso than others.)