Oct 222002
Authors: Ken Hamner

I typically don’t write reviews on movies, plays or concerts because, hey, that job belongs to “The Dish.” Yes, I’m a scientician, someone who would normally define “culture” as a bunch of cells growing in a goopy mass of liquid, but even scienticians know when they are entertained by a play, song or circus midget, and I must open this column talking about such entertainment I saw last weekend.

There is a play that has been going on for almost a month called, “Road to Nirvana,” by Arthur Kopit, put on by the Soon To Be Famous Productions group here at CSU. The “theater” they are using is actually the ASCSU senate chambers, which is the first time in a long, long while that the facility has actually been utilized for something useful.

I believe the setting is beneficial to the overall effect of the play. From the time you take your seat, you think, “This is something that normally doesn’t happen here. This is going to cool. Or at least different.” The opening second certainly delivers on these thoughts, and not just because of the very pretty, talented and, yes, beyond scantily clad actress who is first on stage.

Kopit’s play is a test of the audience. “What will make them uncomfortable? What will be shocking? What will be funny? What will be shockingly funny? How can I push the audience even farther to see my message?” are all thoughts Kopit may have had while writing the play. He also may have been wondering, “Where is my crack pipe?” but that is neither here nor there.

Without giving too much of the storyline away, the plot is in essence about recruitment of a failing movie producer, Jerry (whose excellent portrayal by Tyler Davis is the heart, spleen and pancreas of the play), for the purpose of filming the “life story” of Nirvana. Nirvana as in Kurt Cobain? No. As in cocaine? Yes. This Nirvana bares, shall we say, just a slight resemblance to Madonna, including a complete lack of what psychiatrists might call a “sanity badge.” As Jerry finds out, the road to Nirvana is not paved with good intentions but rather sacrifice. What are you willing to give up for success? Who are you willing to screw-over to attain your goals? How much booze must you consume in the process? These are just some of the ingredients that make this comedy/drama/shock-fest a “must see.” In other words, if you don’t see this play (Lory Student Center, ASCSU Senate Chambers, 9PM, October 25, 26 and November 1,2) you’re an idiot. Enough said.

Speaking of idiots

I got a call from Gov. Bill Owens last week – sort of. I came home and found on my answering machine an automated phone message. His message was simple — every vote counts, Republicans are cool and please vote Republican in the next election — to which I immediately shouted into the answering machine, “F*** you!”

Yes, I don’t like Bill Owens, and it’s a shame he has soured the Republican Party’s name

(mainly with his ignorant higher education policies) by his association to it. This makes me want to vote Democrat out of spite, and spite isn’t good for democracy.

Then there’s all the negative adds in the Senate races. My favorite is one going something like, “Wayne Allard is a veterinarian; Tom Strickland is a 17th Street lawyer.”

So bloody what? The day we give voting rights to chickens and hamsters is the day I’ll care about a veterinarian running for Senate. Until then, shut up! “…Tom Strickland, who can’t even remember which corporations he represented…” is a stupid quote, too. Does Allard remember the name of every cat he spayed/neutered. I don’t think so!

Whatever. Continuing the theme for sacrifice, politicians have it too easy in our system. Heinlein had it right in “Starship Troopers” only people who have demonstrated overwhelming commitment and sacrifice towards preserving democracy deserve to be able to take part in it. What levels of sacrifice do we see coming from our politicians? Even more important, what are they willing to sacrifice in order to demonstrate their commitment to their constituents? There should at least be some accountability.

Something like, “you must give up one kidney to serve and, if you forget your campaign promises, the other will be removed too.” Then maybe we’ll get people who truly care about the posts to which they are elected and are committed to the people they serve.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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