Sunday, 04 June 2006

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CHAIN LETTER MY NAME IS SUMMER. I AM 15 YEARS OLD WITH BLONDE HAIR AND SCARY EYES. I HAVE NO NOSE OR EARS I AM DEAD. IF U DO NOT POST THIS ON YOUR BLOG AND SEND A TRACKBACK BAD WILL HAPPEN. I WILL APPEAR AT YOUR BED WITH A KNIFE AND DENY U TENURE. DEBBIE FROM MONTPELIER DID NOT POST THIS AND SHE GOT NO INTERVIEWS NOW SHE TEACHES COMPOSITION AT NORWICH AND HAS A LONG COMMUTE. VINCENT FROM LONG ISLAND POSTED IT BUT FORGOT TO SEND A TRACKBACK AND I APPEARED AT HIS BED WITH A KNIFE BUT HE WAS MODERATING A PANEL AT A CONFERENCE IN WEST VIRGINIA SO I WAITED FOR A WHILE AND what? Not right now. No. Amanda. Amanda. This is my chain letter. Fine. Go ahead and kill yourself again. See if I care. Now where was I? That's right I STARED AT HIS BED WITH MY KNIFE AND STABBED HIS DOWN COMFORTER I LEFT A NOTE BLAMING IT ON THE CAT AND THE HIS INABILITY TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. JESSICA FROM OREGON SHE UM UH CRAP One second. Bill! What happened to Jessica? No, the other one. From Oregon. Two? Really? That's damn confusing. NEVERMIND ABOUT JESSICA. RACHEL FROM TOLEDO POSTED THIS AND SENT A TRACKBACK AND THEN SHE CLOSED HER BLOG BECAUSE SHE GOT 15 INTERVIEWS AT THE MLA AND HAS A TENURE-TRACK POSITION AT COLUMBIA SHE HAS NO TIME TO BLOG NOW and Jesus Christ Amanda would you kindly shut the fuck up? Nobody cares. You and Brian were only going out for like a week. You barely even knew him. I know you wanted to spend the rest of your life with him. Now you're stuck here with me and Bill. Don't start—seriously, Amanda, I can't take another night of this crap. Bill! She's at it again. No. Why should I? It's my chain letter. Why can't the blubbery bitch write her own? I called her a bitch 'cause she's being a bitch. No I don't want to spend the rest of the evening dealing with this either. Fine. SO LISTEN AMANDA WANTS TO TELL U SOMETHING. I BET MY TWO SCARY EYES IT'S ABOUT THIS GUY SHE MET AT PIANO CAMP HIS NAME WAS BRIAN AND IF I DON'T LET HER TELL YOU ABOUT HIM SHE'LL WAIL AND KEEN AND RATTLE HER CHAINS WHILE BILL AND I ARE WATCHING SURVIVOR SO HERE SHE IS: HI EVERYONE! LIKE SUMMER SAID I'M AMANDA. WHAT'S YOUR NAME? REALLY!!! I KNEW SOMEONE WITH THAT NAME AND THEY WERE AWESOME! SO YEAH I MET BRIAN IN FINGERING CLASS HA HA HA I KNOW WHAT YOUR THINKING BUT IT'S NOT LIKE THAT. WE HAD THE BEST PHRASING THERE AND HE WAS HOT SO WE STARTED HANGING OUT AND THEN HE ASKED IF I WOULD GO WITH HIM AND I SAID YES. SO YEAH THEN THIS WHORE JESSICA WHO HATED ME BECAUSE SHE WASN'T PRETTY AND HAD TO WEAR THESE RETAINERS WHICH LIKE TRAPPED HALITOSIS AND MULTIPLIED IT...
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The World is Waiting for You People with a Club; or, Yes-And Stephen, That's a Seminar By now you've already read Stephen Colbert's Commencement Address to Knox College's graduating seniors. You're familiar with his definitive refutation—via Matthew 14:22-33—of Jorge of Borgos' claim that although "the Son of Man could laugh . . . it is not written that he did so." However, his deft description of how to succeed in certain graduate seminars may've slipped your notice: So, say "yes." In fact, say "yes" as often as you can. When I was starting out in Chicago, doing improvisational theatre with Second City and other places, there was really only one rule I was taught about improv. That was, "yes-and." In this case, "yes-and" is a verb. To "yes-and." I yes-and, you yes-and, he, she or it yes-ands. And yes-anding means that when you go onstage to improvise a scene with no script, you have no idea what’s going to happen, maybe with someone you’ve never met before. To build a scene, you have to accept. To build anything onstage, you have to accept what the other improviser initiates on stage. They say you’re doctors—you’re doctors. And then, you add to that: We’re doctors and we’re trapped in an ice cave. That’s the "-and." And then hopefully they "yes-and" you back. You have to keep your eyes open when you do this. You have to be aware of what the other performer is offering you, so that you can agree and add to it. And through these agreements, you can improvise a scene or a one-act play. And because, by following each other’s lead, neither of you are really in control. I've sat through countless seminars in which thirteen people yes-and for three hours with nary a thought to how what they yes-and now flatly contradicts what they just yes-anded. An hour of improvised thought distorts the original thought into a recognizable amalgam. Another hour and it jiggles as a million maggots gnaw their way out. By the end of the third neither the maggot hoard nor the yes-anders can stand to look at their creation. All leave the room in utter disgust and pledge never to participate in that foul ritual again . . . at least not until next Thursday. (This obviously doesn't pertain to all seminars. But boy oh boy does it pertain to some.) P.S. This conversation has only improved since last I pointed to it. Some have even foresook their studies to partipate in it. I'm almost unfrazzled enough to stop posting about comics and comic books to throw my $3.50 into the ring. Maybe tonight I will.

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