Tuesday, October 25
Pride Goeth Before Destruction, and a Pleasant Evening Before Picking Glass Shards Out of the Carpet
Forget to use it one day, use it the next.
Sunday night the Flying Karamazov Brothers were in town with their show "Life: A Guide for the Perplexed". It was the first time I'd seen 'em live. It was a fun piece about midlife crisis, which I enjoyed because, um, I'm a juggler.
When you juggle, even with very slight proficiency (I can do a lot of the standard 3-ball repertoire, got a few cigar box tricks, and I can sort of handle three clubs but I haven't practiced enough) mere technical brilliance is seldom that impressive. Yes, my jaw drops watching Sergei Ignatov handle eleven rings, but seeing someone do fairly simple tricks with panache is easily as satisfying, and the Brothers have that in spades. Roderick Kimball, who, without his beard, looks like a kid and played one part of the time, did a nice routine that rarely ventured beyond three. They worked in plenty of their patented four-man club passing, which included a fairly spectacular wipe-out that reduced it to two-man club passing at one point. The best routine of the night started with them seated at a table, and was more rhythmic than showy. In between there was plenty of music, bad puns, and some terrific choreography. I'm pretty sure that's the first time "terrific choreography" has appeared on this blog. I apologize for any unintended Google hits.
There were two problems. The sound was over the top for a fifteen-hundred seat theatre, and since we were sixth row center and the speakers were 35 feet over our heads it took some time before we understood everything that was said. And the crowd sucked.
It was like a dinner theatre crowd had gotten bad directions or something. I was probably in the 50th percentile based on age. Which there's nothing wrong with, of course, but the Brothers did not get the sort of enthusiasm they deserved, and the two Iraq and two Halliburton jokes were met with an audible intake of breath around us. There was a kid seated next to me, who'd been drug in by parents who couldn't risk leaving him home with his Playstation, who never applauded once. I hogged the armrest just to spite him.
Still, I got home in a wonderful mood, only to find that Larry, the Tax-Deductible Kitten, had managed to knock over and smash the lucky bamboo and its glass vase our neighbors gave us. My Poor Wife was nice enough not to remind me that she'd suggested locking him in his room before we left. She's slipping.
Of course I'd made the aesthetic decision to replace the river rock they'd originally rooted the stuff in with some lovely black/grey/red stuff the size of aquarium gravel, so I spent a good hour picking it up. Which seems to have had a slight effect on the David Brooks piece I wrote, because I forgot to point out he never mentioned the word "Iraq" nor the fact that the Mysteriously Disappearing Republican Agenda in the late '90s was right where it had been all decade, inside Bill Clinton's trousers.
And I forgot all about the picture. I wanted to post a short series of the Louis Wain cat paintings (see above) which used to be (maybe still are) used as an illustration of progressive psychosis despite the fact that the chronological arrangement was more-or-less fictitious. The point being that this time there's no mistake.
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Sympathies on the show's audience and sound system. I find that the audience is something that can be made into part of the show itself, if you're in the proper frame of mind; but lighting and acoustics issues are simply annoying, no matter how you try to view them.
Unless you're sixteen at Lazer Eminem at the Planetarium, of course. In which case it's apparently just All Part Of The Experience.
I Told You Sos can be wonderful weapons. Though they're often at their best when not actually used. Red Green holds that nothing good ever followed the words "I Told You So", and I suspect he's right, though I think he may miss the better reasons to avoid it.
The thing is, they *know* you told them so. And you know they know. By not saying it, you get to appear generous and even-tempered, almost saintly, depending on the provocation. And yet, it still gets said.
Not by you, since you're being kind and understanding by not adding insult to injury. But by the person who you told in the first place. Even if you never say the words, they are emblazoned on the brain of the person who knows you did indeed tell her so.
And there's guilt, and resentment, and embarrassment and disgust all packed into those four words you haven't said, and that person, who so richly deserves shaming, is doing it to herself.
If my housemates do something stupid, after I told them not to, and I remind them of that, they get to snarl at me for being mean and thereby relieve some of that resentment. If I didn't say it, then they have to feel stupid for not heeding me, and guilty for resenting the fact that I did tell them so.
The only time it doesn't work is with the Bush Kool-Aid drinkers. They don't know you told them so, you see, because they are too fucking clueless to get it. Temptation to get a t-shirt with The Four Words Of Shame on it has never been greater than this last year, I may say.
It also doesn't, of course, work on cats. But then, what does.
There's something lightheartedly Kit Smart about your picture up there, for the record. Clearly something for me to look into, being in a progressively psychotic phase myself.
And my goodness, you a juggler. Why doesn't that surprise me? The Poor Wife is a lucky lady, unlucky bamboo and gravel on the carpet notwithstanding.
Now let's see if I can read your verification word on the first try...
Strange to think of the Karamazovs as middle aged. I remember them quite fondly from their early career in the late seventies when they were regulars on the science fiction convention circuit up and down the East coast. I must have seen them a dozen times live. They remain as much of a hoot now as they were then.
I Told You Sos can be wonderful weapons. Though they're often at their best when not actually used
Well said, D, speaking not only as one who has been begged to just say it and get it over with, but one who has done the begging.
"I can afford to be charitable, sir"
--Seab Cooley, Advise and Consent
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