Sunday, February 13, 2011

they did at this one

Finally broke some new ground on The Novel two nights ago, and bought some new movies to inspire this semester's plunge into screenwriting. I got a set of four Steve McQueen movies and a mammoth box set of cheap exploitation horror movies. I also found out that Seven Doors of Death is an alternate title of The Beyond, a legendary Fulci gorefest that I only recently pulled off the shelf and watched. I'll admit to not having a huge investment in horror films beyond thinking they're fun and entertaining and often extremely stupid, so I liked Seven Doors/The Beyond on a much more superficial level than someone with actual opinions about Fulci vs. Argento. At some point I'll have to see The Human Centipede to sate my horrible, horrible curiosity for things that no human being should see.

I also finished teching The Trial of the Catonsville 9, a play written by Catholic priest and peace activist Daniel Berrigan, who poured napalm on draft records with 8 of his friends in (wait for it) Catonsville. It's a weird show, very static and cerebral and talky and almost a vanity piece for Berrigan, but the monologues are poetic in that fittingly Biblical, Steinbeck sort of way, and you do get the sense that Vietnam really shook people to their core, even people who supported it or were prohibited by law or duty from opposing it. My ex-bandmates' mom, who was a hippie during that time, once explained to me that very few people's feelings about Vietnam were absolute, and that most people were just scared and lost and didn't know what the hell to make of it, or any of the other crazy shit going on at the same time.

Part of Trial included a panel of Baltimore peace activists, i.e. crusty old hippies who told awesome stories about getting arrested and were/are really nice, genuine people. They're a font of knowledge about Baltimore activism and how it related to what was going on elsewhere, but one guy they mentioned was Abe Sherman, a WWI vet whose newsstand carried, among other things, every subversive publication you could think of "out of sheer cussedness," as George Figgs puts it. Abe also insulted people who read papers without buying them and from all accounts took no shit from anyone. He is now my hero.

I'm rambling now because it's 2:30am and the sleep madness has overtaken me. But I needed to update this thing and now seemed like a good time. I need to give HTMLGiant a shoutout for being such a damn fine lit. community too, but that can wait until I've gotten some shut-eye.

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