Monthly Archives: July 2006

DaveScot saves me from fools

Yes, there it is; DaveScot, former blog czar at Uncommon Descent, has taught me something. And, strangely enough, if he had a lesson in mind it was probably the one I learned: Leave the IDiots alone. I have mixed feelings about letting them be, but I also know that I’ll be happier in doing so.

It was the Kansas Board of Education’s stupid hearings on evolution last summer that really got me active in the EVO / ID uproar. Before that debacle, I had gone through life assuming that reason won out more often than not–at least when it counted. It’s kind of nice to think that the world operates on standard rules that everyone agrees on. Sure, there are cranks that break the rules and do strange things, but what do they really harm? Sure, Bob-from-the-house-on-the-corner can believe that aliens steal food from his fridge, who cares? Ah, the Kansas BOE showed me that real harm can be done by cranks in the right places. So, I started following the matter more closely, and doing what I could to help spread the word about defeating the ID board.

After one year, I have gained an immense respect for the people who fight this battle every day: Ed Brayton, PZ Meyers, Wesley Elsberry, Ken Miller, and many others too numerous to mention. I have also confirmed that I am not in their league in many respects, but patience among them. I do not suffer fools easily and am, therefor, not equipped for the fight. I do not call the ID proponents fools because their “theory” differs from the one I support. I call them fools for their inability to reason. I disagree with many people about many things. Disagreement does not make one a fool. Lying, slander, willful ignorance, and avoidance of discussion on nuetral grounds do.

I firmly believe that we all have a duty to educate where we can and help those less knowledgable than we are in any aspect of life that presents itself. I will continue to do this with students of mine and with those I interact with. But the will has been sapped from me to bring the fight to others (the KBOE, my own representatives, even family and friends). Somehow, even after seeing this in type, it feels as if I am giving up on something important. I thought it might help to type it out, but not so much.

But, thank-you Dave. You’ve shown me the first step on the road to doing more of what I’m good at. I’ll be happier.

4 Comments

Filed under Culture Wars, Education

Blipey’s fillin’ in!

show1.jpgThe Kansas City Fringe Festival opens tomorrow and someone pulled out. The show is advertised, the venue open and people will probably be coming…to see no show.

What to do? What to do?

Well, the organizer of the venue, in what surely will go down in history as an epic blunder, asked me if I could take the stage. The answer I gave? Of course, I can take the stage!

What kind of show was the cancelled one? What will people be expecting to see when they get here? Dark comedy. Good so far; that’s what I’m about. A fairly straight-forward 3 person play. Hmmm. Not so good, there; I’m just me. One hour of show. Hmmm, even worse. I’ve got those shows, but don’t know if I’ll be able tyo polish one up in 1 day. I’ve been doing 45 minute school-assembly type shows recently. Don’t think those will work for an all adult audience. My festival shows are 30 minutes long–doesn’t fill the time.

What to do? What to do?

I’m going to take the opportunity to play around and test out all new material. Use it as a dress rehearsal for next year’s shows. It’ll be great for me. I hope it will work for the festival and the audience. But, hey…it’s what I got at the moment.

For those not familiar with the Fringe Festival experience, it is simultaneously the best and the worst of theatre viewing. Many festivals are non-jurried, which means first come, first on as far as performers. Some are brilliant, some are dreck…you just have to see for yourself and plug into the scuttlebutt about the festival. Many of the best shows also tour the Fringe Circuit…so it’s possible to hear about shows before they arrive in your neck of the woods.

Most festivals run 4-7 days and are pretty cheap to attend. You get to pick and choose what type of shows you’d like to see and when. There are usually jugglers, clowns, music acts, musical plays, performance art, stand-up comedians, straight plays, and things you can’t even describe. If you’d like to attend a Fringe Festival, chances are there’s one near you. I highly recommend taking the time to be entertained. For a partial list of Fringes, see here. If you’re Canadian, you probably are currently hosting a Fringe in your livingroom.

15 Comments

Filed under Entertainment, Theatre

Blipey doesn’t get to go to class :(

I was looking forward to a week-long clown / physical theatre seminar this week. Unfortunately, there were not enough registrants to go ahead with the class. I am very disappointed; an opportunity to work in a general sense has gone by the wayside.

Doing shows and teaching can work your performance muscles and pay the bills at the same time–so performing is good. However, once a show is up and running, it is quite often “set”. This doesn’t mean that the show is staid or boring, or that it doesn’t change a little from night to night–that’s the joy of live theatre. But, the freedom to explore new moments just for the sake of seeing where they go is gone. As is the opportunity to work in different ways: once the show is open and the vision agreed upon, it becomes a little static.

Workshops, seminars, and classes provide an opportunity to explore manners of working that you haven’t exercised. You can experiment with new technique and relationships. And, MOST IMPORTANTLY–you can do it without fear of failing, or of having to succeed or get fired.

We missed a great chance to itch that which makes us curious as actors. The work is fun, but the study is equally so. I wonder if it’s like that with all professions?

1 Comment

Filed under Education, Theatre

If Only My Fantasy World were True!

Quickly becoming my favorite “well researched” blog for the discriminating right winger, Shock and Blog weighs in on the merits of stem cell research.

Many centuries ago, learned men strove to turn lead into gold. Today, learned men strive to turn embryonic stem cells into miracle cures. Obviously, very little has changed in all that time.

Yes! Stem cell research is the same as alchemy! Which puts it on par with ID! An exciting development that biologists have probably been waiting for for years. They can now justify taking their psuedo-scientific Theory of Biology into the schools!

Seriously, can Jason really be saying that stem cell research has produced the same results as alchemy? Namely, none. Perhaps he didn’t look here.

In theory, stem cells can replace the cells in damaged or diseased organs. Now, a collaboration of researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Cornell University and The University of Connecticut have put that theory into practice. They have coaxed stem cells from mouse embryos to develop as types of brain tissue that have cured a Parkinson’s-like disease in mice.

-emphasis added

I can certainly understand how Jason could’ve missed this, as he is most likely completely uninterested in the facts concerning stem cell research.

And it is kind of a pain in the ass to sort through the dozens of papers one gets with a simple search of PubMed.

The most telling part about his claim is that it is not an ethical attack on stem cell research.  Rather, he comes right out and lies about the progress being made in the field. Ah, well. as with many anti-science types:

“The truth is what I want it to be.”

8 Comments

Filed under lying, propa, Science

Do you really need a toothbrush after the Rapture?

Or during, for that matter?  Well you can now put your second coming fears to rest, the good Reverend Jim Bakker will supply you with all you need…for only $150.00!  That’s right, as I read in The Pitch Weekly this week, you can get your own Revelation Generation Packpack!

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with Rev. Bakker, he’s now preaching the truth from that mecca of holiness, Branson, Missouri.  You can watch a live taping at The Studio City Cafe’.  I hope they have good coffee.

Who buys this stuff?  Seriously, if the world is ending around you, are the following items going to help you out of a tough spot:

1.  a loud whistle?  seems to me you might not want to attract that much attention to yourself with demons running loose and all

2.  a set of 4 colorful cups?  uh, can I save a couple bucks if you just give me the army green?

3.  a New Testament?  Now, given the situation you find your self in, this may seem useful.  My question is, why not throw in a copy of the Old Testament for free?  Seems you might learn a little more about your current environment from that particular fire and brimstone work.

4.  a water resistant pouch (for important documents)?  Shouldn’t Saint Peter already know who I am and all…giant guest book, etc?  Will I really have to prove who I am to anyone in the middle of total chaos?  Who’s going to stop and make sure I’m not lying? Who cares?

That’s alright, Jim boy needs all the support he can get; land is expensive in Branson these days.

Anyone have any suggestions of items to improve the pack?

16 Comments

Filed under Religion, religious humor

Blipey’s Theory of Auto Problems

A: one has a car

B: one has a block of freetime

C: car problems exist

The Theory:

(A and B) = ~C

~B = having 2 auditions, rehearsal, and a lunch appointment

(A and ~B) therefore C

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

My Mom Would’ve Killed Me

There was a group at the show this evening that really got on my nerves.  Well, two of them anyway–a father and son.  I guess my first gripe is “why would you bring a 10 year old to a murder mystery show?”  A close second would be, “Why do you allow him to act like that in public?”  The son was unruly, too.

 Granted, we’re professionals; we’re getting paid to deal with the crowd, it is interactive after all.  However, there is a certain line that shouldn’t be crossed.  I believe the dad crossed this line when he tried to pull props away from another actor and then stuffed bread into them when he wasn’t allowed to continue his bad behavior.  Also, when he grabbed my arm and tried to point my gun at my head during the second act.  There are just things that should be totally obvious are not appropriate.

We encourage involvement from the audience (and indeed cast a few of them in our show every night), and have no problem with them taking us off on tangents.  Many times it is these unique additions each night that make the best impression on the audience. It was obvious, though, that this person’s goal was not to create a good atmosphere, but to see if he could ruin our show by pestering & interrupting us throughout the evening.  Obviously in need of attention, he showed himself as the jackass he is.

It came as no surprise that his son behaved in the same manner occassionally.  Why would his parents take the time to teach their children the manners they think are so unnecessary?

My mom would’ve cuffed me in the knee so hard my face would’ve fallen off.  Maybe I can call her and see if she does any outpatient work.

3 Comments

Filed under Social Behaviour, Theater/Stage Plays