Monthly Archives: April 2010

FYI- For Your Information: my ass!

Life is not measured by the amount of times you breathe but by the amount of times that they take your breath away. (George Carlin)

A vida não é medida pela quantidade de vezes que respiramos, mas pelos momentos que nos tiram a respiração.

Claudio Diet (http://www.blog-filho.blogspot.com/) pays an enormous tribute to my (past) work.

the mooning incident in 2003

It’s really moving to see the flashes and crashes of a collage

of things that I’ve written and staged. I’m in a bit of a shock.

That was an FYI (For Your Information, For Your Improvement or For Your Ignorance), or for your eyes only.

In England, Gordon Brown calls a country woman a “bigot”

Here’s the tape:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/28/gordon-brown-penitent-bigot-gaffe-campaign

Poor Brown. All colors are rather shadowy in this forthcoming election. Labour’s election campaign was in disarray yesterday after the “Prime Minister on hold” was forced to apologize to a pensioner and lifelong party supporter whom he had described as “a bigoted woman” for questioning him over the scale of immigration from eastern Europe.

In the US, after days of resistance, Senate Republicans – “Fyied” – agreed to let Democrats open debate on a bill to regulate the financial system. “Senate Republicans”!!!! I’ve always wondered what goes on in their heads. They advocate for a republic. Strange, whereas the Democrats advocate for a democracy. If we live in a limbo, neither, either of the two, which would be the party that truly represents this system???? Arizonism? AriZonaism? Arizo-zionism? Of do we live in an eternal FYI? Hmm.

The photo posted above  has been circulating around the world. It appeared in the New York Times as well as in the Guardian and all other European and Asian publications. Yes, my ass. My arse. My mule. It now seems part of History.

“Which History?”, you might ask. The history of Rio de Janeiro’s Municipal Theater: the so called, Rio Opera House. It’s a majestic building and it was projected  by Emperor Don Pedro in the 1800 + something. Oh yes, Don Pedro went all the way to see Richard Wagner, in Bayreuth. And his mission was to com-mission a new opera: based on love, the impossible love: Tristan and Isolde.

Yes, Wagner’s Tristan was paid for with Brazilian money. Strange, you might say. But this is a fact. Brazil, in fact, owns the rights to one of the famous operas ever composed (Wagner ended up opening the piece himself, both in Dresden and in Munich because Brazil was too slow to build its theater). Brazil is slow. That hasn’t changed.

So, I was booed. But this was not the reason why I mooned the audience.

Who might have been sitting in that vast audience? The theater sits 2.500

But you could swear that there must have been over 3.000 people there, on that cold August day, the day when Haroldo de Campos died.

I was in a state of rage. I was in a state of complete let down. His death to me was almost like a personal let down to me. I was left in a state of abandonment. I was left in a state of ZERO percent.

The richest one percent, an imaginary figure. One percent is imperceptible to the human eye, ear, all of our senses. The richest people of this country own half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. This is a strange thought.

One third of that comes from hard work. Is there work which isn’t hard?

Yes, there’s easy work. There certainly is that. But what is it? Please, someone tell me what that would be.

Two thirds of the richest people come from inheritance, interest on interest, and interesting interest on interesting interest. That, if you add the percentage that goes to accumulating to widows and idiotic sons, turns out to be a Mount Sinai of sins and signs.

The news, on TV, printed press or the internet, must – absolutely must, be BAD news: war, no peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip, or clipping the oil clip.

FYI

Quantos construíram um vocabulário teatral?

How many artists have actually built a theatrical vocabulary?

Quantos sequer “pensaram” sua arte?

How many have actually thought art in a philosophical or existential manner?

Estamos sendo traídos pelo sistema: talvez seja hora de pararmos de nos acusar uns aos outros e pensarmos na CENA de ORIGEM. Sim, aquela que os filósofos invocam quando têm de enfrentar a GRANDE CRISE, ou melhor,  GRANDE ARTE, ou seja: a morte!

We’ve been betrayed by our systems. All systems. Who knows, perhaps or maybe or somehow….a word that hasn’t actually been coined or scorned yet will make us think of the genesis of things. All things. I mean, apart from the FYI’s, we should rethink art as the GREATEST form Of ART itself. Not as a fearful act of expression, but as an act of eternal transgression.

And that’s a huge question.

I’ll leave it up to Hamlet to solve.

Gerald Thomas

29 April 2010

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extraordinarily beautiful stuff

http://www.blog-filho.blogspot.com/

just pay this site a visit and you’ll be surprised.

GT

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Strange

vomiting ones life away

Strange to think that we’re all about just surviving, winning, paying bills, getting by, meeting people, answering calls, returning favors, making appointments, falling in love, telling the stories that are there to be told (so many, so unreal it seems), thriving, ‘making it’, stepping up to, stepping down, masturbating thinking of the impossible, taking a look from the distance. Taking a look from a distance, it makes more sense to simply vanish.

These are the words: “for to end yet again” Beckett wrote about. But one thing is to stage these words. It’s quite something else, to be pounded with this feeling over the head.

Every arrival, every departure, a tiny fragment of death. Yet,  the idea of having to “be correct”, “behave correctly” so that we can flip out in our metaphorical lives is insane, yes,  “follow the norm”, a voice says: “follow the norm” and take care of the bills and wondering where the next idea will come from: if it’ll ever come….If it will ever come.

Strange.

Gerald Thomas

27 April, another 27 April amongst so many 27th of Aprils that have gone by.

PS: A vida não é medida pela quantidade de vezes que respiramos, mas pelos momentos que nos tiram a respiração. Life is not measured by the amount of times you breathe but by the amount of times that they take your breath away. (George Carlin)

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E-Jakull: Bjorg’s revenge

Eyjafjallajokull, that unpronounceable volcano “Jokull” or “E-jakull” (for E-bay shoppers running to buy some radioactive orgasmic ash), prompted inevitable chatter about nature’s awesome fury and the inadequacy of human invention to deal with it. We have become weaklings and that’s a given.  Our major problem is fear itself, I remember hearing some president say, once upon a time.

REVENGE

This picture, of Luiz Damasceno in Nowhere Man must represent something in this article. But what? Is hethe Nowhere Man (my play, 1996) or is he playing me, after the Topamax withdrawal? Had I predicted the entire episode? Or is a victim of the Icelandic ash?

On the whole, Europeans tend to forget about Iceland altogether until some fresh calamity compels their attention, be it financial- the banking implosion – or a furious volcano explosion, spitting and ejaculating over us all: oh E-Kajull !!! Seriously now.

Europe after the Rain” is a painting by Max Ernst I grew up with. Of course, it’s Ernst’s metaphor for a Europe after a War. A huge war. We have become weaklings and that’s a given.

We have dealt with the worst of ourselves and will never come to terms with our own fury about the “existence of the other”. Wars, invasions, exvasions, brutal murders and The Son of Hamas (a double agent for the Israelis and Hamas), are trivia not so trivial.

TOPAMAX

For those who have taken it, you know.

For those who’ve never taken it: Christ! It’s so damn hard to try and lead a life after a 300mg bombardment of this “mood stabilizer”. Coming out of it is more difficult than having to deal with the over testoronized E-Kajull.

An open forum about psychiatric drugs sounds like a terrible web nightmare. With strong moderation, a supportive atmosphere, and even an over-use monitor, however, the Psycho-drugs seem to be a temporary relief. In Portuguese a psycho-drug is termed “psicotropicos”.

Yes, the Tropical nightmare of Tristes Tropiques, by Claude Levi Strauss.

Max Ernst and Claude Levi Strauss would have made a lovely couple.

Mosab Hassan Yousef (the Son of Hamas, codenamed “the Green Prince” by his handlers), was one of the Shin Bet security service’s most valuable sources. What are our valuable sources?

Where’s your head, Agent Kujan? Where do you think the pressure’s coming from? Keyser Soze – or whatever you want to call him – he knows where I am right now. He’s got the front burner under your ass to let me go so he can scoop me up ten minutes later. Immunity was just a deal with you assholes. I got a whole new problem when I post bail.

Strange thoughts, right?

Yes, strange thoughts for a Sunday.

Gerald Thomas

April 25, 2010, lost in space and in my mind,  somewhere between London and NY.

PS: I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE. What can’t I stand? EVERYTHING and more than Everything. Bye. I’m going for a wilder side of life!

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Isle-landic repetitions: hostages without a cause

The shortest way (sometimes) seems as if it’s the longest.


An oig rig burning out of control in the Gulf of Mexico sank Thursday morning, with 11 workers still missing and the authorities fearing a potential environmental disaster. What are we to make of such things? A few days ago, if I remember a-right, a ship was sinking off the coast of Australia, leaking hundreds of millions of thousands of dozens of tens of billions  of crude oil. Oil. And oil. Oil oil oil. And “our growing dependency on FOREIGN oil” is on the mouth of every president, prime minister, minister, ter or just on every publicly elected  mouth. Mouth. Monmouth.

Yes, we’ve been witnessing disasters like never before. Since the catastrophe in Haiti, so many others followed that …That what?  What? Yes, and Iceland holding us all as hostages without a cause….Strange days. And there is greed. Oh yes, the greed. Not ending, never bending, never minding, always on the foreheads and the forefronts  of our delicious capitalism. So, after the Detroit automotive industry and a daring Health Care plan, Obama now goes to Wall Street and takes on the money guys.

Pushing an overhaul plan for financial regulation on Thursday, president Obama said, “Unless your business model depends on bilking people, there is little to fear from these new rules.” Meaning, “work with us, not against US”.

Speaking in the bankers’ backyard inManhattan (what is a banker’s backyard? What does it grow? Alan Greenspan trees?), Mr. Obama castigated a “failure of responsibility” by Wall Street that led to the financial crisis of 2008, and he pressed his case for what he called “a common-sense, reasonable, non-ideological” system of tighter regulation to prevent any recurrence. He took issue with the claim that his proposal would institutionalize the idea of future bailouts of huge banks. Let me repeat this: “institutionalize the idea of future bailouts of huge banks”. I wonder what all this really means.

Oh yes, the banker’s backyard and the “natural” disasters that have rocked Haiti, Chile, China…the unnatural disasters that make us smaller and smaller by the day, by the hour: the ash cloud pending over our heads for a week here in Europe: a cloud of ash and TEN straight days of pure (I mean pure) sunshine in London. Not a drop of rain. Just police activity, but not a drop of rain.

As I actually write this, the 3 candidates are debating (in Bristol), on British Television. The very 1st televized debate here in the UK. It took the Brits 40 years to repeat or to imitate the US pattern of a Presidential debate: now they’re talking about whether or not to get “closer” to the European Union, or stay away from the Brussel sprouts.

What do the 3 have in common?: President Obama.  Obama has become the number ONE reference for the British candidates. It’s amazing, if not funny, how “the buck stops here” (G. Brown) or “guys, you (Cameron) are either anti European or anti American. Again, Gordon Brown’s words against the constant rhetoric dribbling out of Cameron’s mouth: CHANGE ! CHANGE! . Yes, the “Obama era” is here and it’s staying.

Nick Clegg and the 2 others are good performers. There’s something America can certainly learn. American candidates do not perform well. No education. McCain’s morose speeches were based on GOP cheering and nothing else. Oh yes, there was the POW drill, always: “I was tortured in Vietnam and so on….”. Does past torture a good president make?

But here in the British isles there are no women competing. No women since Thatcher. No women since Queen Victoria. Queen Elizabeth…well, Queen Elizabeth. What can one say? Nothing. That she picked a fight with Annie Leibovitz and???

The level of discussion or, say, the argument is far more intelligent here in England. That is a given fact.

Walk the walk and talk the talk.”

As I was sketching out a column, along with the withdrawal symptoms of the (serious) Topamax effects, I began to write what the candidates then actually said: “Walk the walk and talk the talk.” I don’t walk. I do indeed (seriously now)… talk.

So, please forgive me for any….Well, it’s the lack of Topamax in my system. I’m not on any ‘legal high’ , believe me. Just the wonderful cup of coffee (blended with ice, a sort of coffee shake), from Patisserie Valerie.

Tell me, for real: do we need Jim Cameron  (who makes the biggest fortune with his mediocre films)….do we need him to teach Brazilians just because he spent some days (or maybe more, who cares?), amongst a tribe of Brazilian Indians? How does it sound when a film director  takes on the “save the rain forest” campaign and tells the world what Lula is doing wrong or right?

Everything (or maybe nothing) seems more surreal than a withdrawal.

Zweig. Zweig means twig, branch.

Twig. Stephan Zweig committed suicide.

Branches and twigs, however, is what Beckett meant when he planted a tree in the middle of the set for Didi or Estragon to hang themselves in “Waiting for Godot”.

We have become disaster watchers. Oil.

Change. We have become witnesses to television crews being embedded in tanks in some mountain in Pakistan or something. We’re passive when film directors tell us “what is” and “what isn’t” (remember? Titanic sank!) and when Labour, Tory or Liberal Democrats copy a system which is, as I write, being dismantled. While America is deconstructing its system, Britain is trying to build a version of America (not aversion). An isle-landic version of what America once was. Oh, the colonoscopy! Oh, the colonies!

Is Kafka having a ball? Well, if not, then he should. Is Orwell turning in his grave? Huxley? Are they all meeting silently with Stephan Zweig and talking about the dry tree? The last tree? The last tree on earth?

Sad, very sad update: bombings kill hundreds in Iraq. Why are we there? oh yes, Oil.

Gerald Thomas

London 23 April 2010

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Grounded: no way in, none out

no way in, none out

GROUNDED IN LONDON

No flights in, none out. Imagine that

Sounds like Beckett, looks like Beckett  and plays like Beckett. Including the volcanic ash cloud over our heads”. But it’s not Beckett.

Strange thing, this ‘volcanic cloud’. We’re told to wear masks. But how can I? My face is, in itself,  a mask.

What? Wear one over the other?

My London” isn’t mine anymore”

Better still, doesn’t seem to be. Always safer to speak hypothetically. Why? Because things “aren’t” or things “are”, depending of the time of day or night, depending on so many things that – a City of this magnitude is only (really) nothing but a state of mind. No way in, none out!

London now belongs to muggers, thieves of all kinds. From what I’ve been hearing or overhearing  and actually underhearing whilst eavesdropping amongst the ashes of yesteryear, everyone is having some sort of a problem with ‘identity theft’, actual theft and, pickpocketting and legends of the sort.

“I’m wired wrong”.  I overheard someone saying something like it. A City can be wired wrongly.

Writing or breathing under the spell of a volcanic ash cloud, makes me wonder if people are actually thinking right, in the right direction, in the writing direction. Uh, this is becoming a complicated way to say that….I saw, I witnessed some incredible Police activity.

London is becoming a dangerous town. Over the weekend, six friends have had their bags stolen, their apartments invaded and “cleaned out” and….I saw a scene close to 10 Downing Street that in 55 years on this planet I don’t recall ever seeing.

A white tall half drunk dude, holding a teddy bear in his hands was (literally) grabbed by the police and MI5, and other security agents on Whitehall, where the fingers or hands of the Big Ben sound like the ending of time itself: the un-Big Bang.

What I saw live is what I see on TV in America: cops from all sides holding a gun to this guy’s head. HOLD YOUR HEAD DOWN – DOWN – DOWN I said DOWN!!!!

Strangely enough, his head was down. And with a gun pointed right at it.

Why?

Could the teddy bear be and IED or a proper explosive?

Then, on Sunday (sunny morning, hundreds of thousands of people walking and sunbathing in Hyde Park…), police cars from all sides, sirens ringing, roaring, groaning from north , east, west and south, STOP. They stop a vehicle!

A white car. This white car was right in front of mine.The driver is grabbed by the most aggressive police activity, brutal forced and yanked out of the car and onto the tarmac.

I didn’t overhear a thing: we were told to MOVE!!!

Clockwise and Anti Clockwise

“PORRIDGE, an episode of crassness.”

What a language assault! Porridge! Imagine that. Oatmeal. Much  easier for the ear and the eye.

That will be the next chapter.

Please be patient. Queen Victoria was. Patient, I mean. See what happens?

Gerald Thomas

19 April 2010

London

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Wrong information!!!!

This tiny note says that I will be the curator of Afro Reaggae’s theater or cultural center in Vigario Geral, Rio. It’s not quite that way. They did get in touch with me and I replied: I live in London and in New York and how am I expected to be the curator (virtual, perhaps?)  of a theater in Rio? But the press publishes anything they want, without running it by me. They all have my email addresses and/or phone numbers.Is it really so difficult to make a goddamn call?

not quite true

Gerald ThomasLondon 18 April 2010

PS: in Jornal do Brasil, this Sunday, MORE …

JB online
Em 2008, Gerald Thomas se arriscou em formato híbrido No Brasil, em 2008, Gerald Thomas lançou mão das possibilidades da rede para produzir e veicular uma linguagem teatral híbrida que denominou “blog novela”. A experiência ficou no primeiro episódio, O cão que insultava mulheres – Kepler, the dog (2008), encenado no Sesc Avenida Paulista e transmitido em tempo real no blog que o diretor pilotava no portal Ig. A tentativa de criar uma dramaturgia interativa, esculpida a partir dos comentários que os internautas postavam em seu blog, era motivada por uma insatisfação pessoal. “Teatro é chato pra burro. Blog tá meio chato. Jornal é chato. A internet tem essas possibilidades. Resolvi então criar um híbrido”, comentou o autor sobre a ideia à época. Tempos depois, em setembro de 2009, ao longo de uma série de entrevistas em que anunciava o seu afastamento por tempo indeterminado do teatro, Thomas, um tanto quanto desencantado com a produção artística contemporânea, tomava partido contrário, e insurgia com ceticismo ante à convergência de mídias. “Teatro não é tecnologia, é algo para que o público esteja na presença do ator, a metros dele. Se você tenta transformar em tecnologia, fica pretensioso. Essa integração de mídias é a maior mentira que já houve”, disse. Procurado agora pela reportagem do Jornal do Brasil, Thomas foi sucinto: – Vamos ver se tenho saco para isso. Melhor perguntar para os “outros diretores”. Boa sorte – respondeu, por e-mail.

UPDATE , April 20

Correction was made by Gente Boa:

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