Monday, March 30, 2009

Daisey Be-Dazement

I told my friend I was at a loss at how to begin to describe the Mike Daisey monologue I saw Sunday afternoon. I finally just decided to embed a YouTube excerpt above from a show that was protested in 2007, and to repeat below what I told her:

He's like an extremely hyper fat-geek version of Spalding Gray, but with elements of Laurie Anderson and Firesign Theatre thrown in (I don't mean with the latter two that Daisey uses music or audio gimmicks, he just has the same sense of taking banal images and making them seem ominous and apocalyptic that Laurie and FT do). And if you Google him, you'll find a YouTube video of Christian students walking out on his set and a parent pouring water over his organizing notes. Interesting. Makes it brave for him to play seven shows in an evangelical town, but the sellout crowd yesterday was going wild.

Favorite lines (This one a repeated one like the stanza of a song): "What can we do to enable your vision?"

"There were two of me bifurcated at the nose. This half was saying, 'Tell her it doesn't have to be that way. Tell her this is illusory, and all she has to do is stand up and say something.' This half of me is saying, 'Bite your fucking tongue. There is nothing you can do. If you say something, it will simply reinforce her feeling small and powerless, and she'll give you that shrug, and you know you can't bear to see that shrug.' "

"They wanted me to put up a Tesla coil in the main stage after their performances with live rabbits, with each rabbit dressed as Sigmund Freud or Benito Mussolini, wearing little inward-facing vid cams so that their little rabbit faces were projected on giant screens, sporting spontaneous and unexpected relations between the figures of history, as live rabbits often tend to do. When Mussolini died of some plague infesting many of the rabbits, he was dragged off stage. The Village Voice said that this was a metaphor for Mussolini leaving the stage of world history. This is how art is made in America."

"I understood why Ray (Ozzie) wanted to de-featurefy Microsoft Office, but this puts people out of work and makes them feel useless. The way people are given gainful employment is by giving them pointless tasks - repetitive ones in heavy industry, feature-adding ones in the information industry - none of which actually help matters. I would much rather see a simple "Stop All This Shit" click box at the top of Microsoft Word - don't do anything, let me be a fucking typewriter. OK? It won't happen."

1 comment:

Ruth said...

And I'll just post what I had written you in response:

Ha! Just as he was gawking at the Christians walking out, I was thinking, 'and they didn't know what he was like??' And then he said the same thing.

I do think that describing fucking Paris Hilton is different than saying the word 'fuck.' My own latent Christian sensibilities were bouncing back on that one. But being pushed to discomfort is part of the value of comedy . . . so, I was ok with it.

We absolutely absolutely absolutely need these guys, the George Carlins, to shake our noggins loose. I support what he's doing 150%, but if I were a staunch Christian, why would I go?

Thanks for telling us.