Friday, December 26, 2008


I'm not a theater person. Perhaps you can tell that by my insistence on spelling it "theater" rather than "theatre." Anyway Harold Pinter has just died, and somehow my first recollection is a line in Sondheim's "The Ladies Who Lunch." But at my dose-of-socialism blog, Lenin's Tomb, from the UK, there is an awesome Pinter poem cited, which I reprint here. Thanks, as it were.

American Football by Harold Pinter

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.

We blew the shit right back up their own ass
And out their fucking ears.

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
They suffocated in their own shit!

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew them into fucking shit.
They are eating it.

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew their balls into shards of dust,
Into shards of fucking dust.

We did it.

Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.

I had no idea. That is some shocking fist-in-the-gut critique of what...American imperialism? Male dominant culture? I read it and winced.


What I am is a music person. And the other sad passing of this holiday time is Eartha Kitt. I was lucky enough to see one of her cabaret shows at the Hotel Carlisle in New York City just a few years ago. In a small intimate room we had seats quite up to the front. She had the energy (and body) of a twenty-two year-old; and this insane magnetism that swept up everyone in the room with a combination of love and terror. Love, at the open flirtation she displayed and the musical ability to make a song weep or laugh. Terror, that her eyes would alight on you and draw you into her act, reducing you to a quivering prop in some larger show. She made everyone in that room fall in love with her; I will never forget it, and rue the passing years for not scrounging up the money to go see her again. I remember dancing and singing and laughing along with her disco hit in the eighties, "Where Is My Baby Where Is My Man." My friend David and I even composed--but never debuted--performance art to complement this song (entitled "Recitation/Suscitation"). May we all end up, eventuallllllly, at our own Monte Carlo in the sky. Purrrrrrrr. What a classy classy lady.

Who, it turns out, hated the Vietnam war as much as any decent person, and said so.

Ibaye, Harold & Eartha.

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