Wild world

just an idea: house dark, lights up.  guy enters.  has strong personage, has guitar.  starts playing verse.  when gets to the chorus, busts out with ‘oooooh, baby, baby it’s a wild world.  hard to get by just on a smile.

ooooooooh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world.  i’ll always remember you like a child, girl’ he is reminiscent, sad, melancholy, who knows.  whatever.

the rest of the scenes are him and a girl.  they are married and breaking up.  it is dance and acro and hand to hand.  very minimalist.  they are dressed drably.  last scene, she is in alone, and you hear guitar starting offstage.  he enters.  she does not look.  somehow they interact, his focus on her, her not reacting.  maybe a little gesture to him, but never looking.  lights.

Commercial Break

a guy waiting for something.  talks about stuff like waiting for something.  maybe there is a bench.  there are many scenes.  in first scene, he is on bench.  in another scene, he has moved away from the bench.  he does things away from the bench.  in many scenes, that is. 

then, there is a scene.  a girl is sitting in the bench, he is just looking at her.  she took his place.  it is cool.  now he is upset that she took his place.  what happens now?  i like one scene where it is just him looking at her in his seat.  now, think of this:  there is a number or thread or whatever of dance.  now we have set up the whole thing of the numbers being set up around each other.  but what if the guy looks at girl scene is actually in the middle of the dance number; like a commercial break with costume change and everything, as if it is totally inserted into the dance piece.   

now here is the thing; it is the perfect time in the dance piece to have something like that; it makes the dance piece make perfect sense!  do you see?

Stage Image Idea

two people dressed similarly going through a mundane life.  things happen to them that we normally do, i.e. the barber comes to cut their hair, the banker comes to give you money, whatever.  variation on the old hanna-barbara trees moving behind you when you run sort of thing so you stay on stage instead of changing places.  first it is the guy’s scene, then the girl’s scene.  whoever is not the main character in the scene plays all the other parts.  perhaps the main character speak about something as things go on, like a documentary crew the audience) is following them around everywhere.  then the two meet.  what do they do?  i don’t know.  that is the good ending to find.  maybe they are matter/antimatter and they explode when they touch.  maybe they decide to fly plane into wtc. 

Notes on “The Misanthrope”

good play, a little too much written here to be useful.  people talk about what they think.  boring.  at least one interesting speech, as follows.  taken out of context it makes little sense, but utimately it can be reshaped into a discourse on the unfair quality of the world that seeing it as it is is ultimately a damnation and that one possible way to get out of it is to run away from the real world for eternity.  maybe a preface or first chaper to piece about a man on a quixote-like quest for something.

Alceste. You may talk and argue till doomsday if you like, nothing can avert me from what I have said. The age we live in is too perverse, and I am determined to withdraw altogether from intercourse with the world.

What! when honour, probity, decency, and the laws, are all against my adversary; when the equity of my claim is everywhere cried up; when my mind is at rest as to the justice of my cause, I meanwhile see myself betrayed by its issue! What! I have got justice on my side, and I lose my case! A wretch, whose scandalous history is well known, comes off triumphant by the blackest falsehood! All good faith yields to his treachery! He finds the means of being in the right, whilst cutting my throat! The weight of his dissimulation, so full of cunning, overthrows the right and turns the scales of justice! He obtains even a decree of court to crown his villainy. And, not content with the wrong he is doing me, there is abroad in society an abominable book, of which the very reading is to be condemned, a book that deserves the utmost severity, and of which the scoundrel has the impudence to proclaim me the author. Upon this, Oronte is observed to mutter, and tries wickedly to support the imposture! He, who holds an honourable position at Court, to whom I have done nothing except having been sincere and candid, who came to ask me in spite of myself of my opinion of some of his verses; and because I treat him honestly, and will not betray either him or truth, he assists in overwhelming me with a trumped-up crime. Behold him now my greatest enemy!

And I shall never obtain his sincere forgiveness, because I did not think that his sonnet was good! ’Sdeath! to think that mankind is made thus! The thirst for fame induces them to do such things! This is the good faith, the virtuous zeal, the justice and the honour to be found amongst them!

Let us begone; it is too much to endure the vexations they are devising; let us get out of this wood, this cut-throat hole; and since men behave towards each other like real wolves, wretches, you shall never see me again as long as I live.

Alceste. No, I shall leave it as it is. Whatever cruel wrong this verdict may inflict, I shall take particular care not to have it set aside. We see too plainly how right is maltreated in it, and I wish to go down to posterity as a signal proof, as a notorious testimony of the wickedness of the men of our age. It may indeed cost me twenty thousand francs, but at the cost of twenty thousand francs I shall have the right of railing against the iniquity of human nature, and of nourishing an undying hatred of it.

Philinte. No, I agree with you in all that you say. Everything goes by intrigue, and by pure influence. It is only trickery which carries the day in our time, and men ought to act differently. But is their want of equity a reason for wishing to withdraw from their society? All human failings give us, in life, the means of exercising our philosophy. It is the best employment for virtue; and if probity reigned everywhere, if all hearts were candid, just, and tractable, most of our virtues would be useless to us, inasmuch as their functions are to bear, without annoyance, the injustice of others in our good cause; and just in the same way as a heart full of virtue

Alceste. I know that you are a most fluent speaker, sir; that you always abound in fine arguments; but you are wasting your time, and all your fine speeches. Reason tells me to retire for my own good. I cannot command my tongue sufficiently; I cannot answer for what I might say, and should very probably get myself into a hundred scrapes. Allow me, without any more words, to wait for Célimène. She must consent to the plan that brings me here. I shall see whether her heart has any love for me; and this very hour will prove it to me.

Alceste. No, my mind is too harassed. You go and see her, and leave me in this little dark corner with my black care.

Philinte. That is strange company to leave you in; I will induce Eliante to come down.

ha ha.  leave me in my dark little corner with my dark little care.  ha ha ha.

i like the idea of a journey born out fo hatred for the human spirit and ending up in a sort of redemption through the eyes of the character who took the journey.  tis dark and bitter prologue can clearly not start a feel-good play.  note to us.

oh, it might be cool for it to be a misplaced businessman who transforms into a nomadic wanderer.

it is just that the dialogue and subject matter of this play is too mundane.  people in love with poeople who don’t love them, etc.  in “the miser,” the mundanity was so mundane as to be absurd, and this is the tone that works.  how do we capture this in all ways to make a thoroughly absurd and enjoyable experience?

Célimène. Solitude is frightful to a widow of twenty. I do not feel my mind sufficiently grand and strong to resolve to adopt such a plan. If the gift of my hand can satisfy your wishes, I might be induced to tie such bonds; and marriage …

Alceste. No. My heart loathes you now, and this refusal alone effects more than all the rest. As you are not disposed, in those sweet ties, to find all in all in me, as I would find all in all in you, begone, I refuse your offer, and this much-felt outrage frees me for ever from your unworthy toils.

Alceste. May you, to taste true contentment, preserve for ever these feelings towards each other! Deceived on all sides, overwhelmed with injustice, I will fly from an abyss where vice is triumphant, and seek out some small secluded nook on earth, where one may enjoy the freedom of being an honest man.

man.  did moliere write any plays other than the miser that were happy endings?  these are so damned dark!

Zen Koans

Love these.

Every Day Is a Good Day

Unmon said: “I do not ask you about fifteen days ago. But what about fifteen days hence? Come, say a word about this!” Since none of the monks answered, he answered for them: “Every day is a good day.”

 

No Cold and Heat

A monk asked Tozan, “How can we escape the cold and heat?” Tozan replied, “Why not go where there is no cold and heat?” “Is there such a place?” the monk asked. Tozan commented, “When cold, be thoroughly cold; when hot, be hot through and through.

 

The Short Staff

Shuzan held out his short staff and said, “If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?”

 

Seijo’s Two Souls

Chokan had a very beautiful daughter named Seijo. He also had a handsome young cousin named Ochu. Joking, he would often comment that they would make a fine married couple. Actually, he planned to give his daughter in marriage to another man. But young Seijo and Ochu took him seriously; they fell in love and thought themselves engaged. One day Chokan announced Seijo’s betrothal to the other man. In rage and despair, Ochu left by boat. After several days journey, much to his astonishment and joy he discovered that Seijo was on the boat with him!

They went to a nearby city where they lived for several years and had two children. But Seijo could not forget her father; so Ochu decided to go back with her and ask the father’s forgiveness and blessing. When they arrived, he left Seijo on the boat and went to the father’s house. he humbly apologized to the father for taking his daughter away and asked forgiveness for them both.

“What is the meaning of all this madness?” the father exclaimed. Then he related that after Ochu had left, many years ago, his daughter Seijo had fallen ill and had lain comatose in bed since. Ochu assured him that he was mistaken, and, in proof, he brought Seijo from the boat. When she entered, the Seijo lying ill in bed rose to meet her, and the two became one.

Zen Master Goso, referrring to the legend, observed, “Seijo had two souls, one always sick at home and the other in the city, a married woman with two children. Which was the true soul?”

 

Bells and Robes

Zen Master Unmon said: “The world is vast and wide. Why do you put on your robes at the sound of a bell?”

 

Returning to the Ordinary World

A monk asked Kegon, “How does an enligthtened one return to the ordinary world?” Kegon replied, “A broken mirror never reflects again; fallen flowers never go back to the old branches.”

 

Manjusri Enters the Gate

One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him, “Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?” Manjusri replied, “I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?”

 

Where to Meet after Death

Dogo paid a visit to his sick fellow monk, Ungan. “Where can I see you again if you die and leave only your corpse?” Dogo asked. “I will meet you where nothing dies,” Ungan replied. Dogo criticized his response saying, “What you should have said is that there is no place where nothing is born and nothing dies and that we need not see each other at all.”

 

The Turtle in the Garden

A monk saw a turtle in the garden of Daizui’s monastery and asked the teacher, “All beings cover their bones with flesh and skin. Why does this being cover its flesh and skin with bones?” Master Daizui took off one of his sandals and covered the turtle with it.

Notes On Moliere’s “School For Wives”

‘what do you like of this city?’ 

‘there are a lot of people, the buildings are built, and its amusements are fun’

-Horace, School For Wives, Act 1 scene 6

interesting idea of keeping someone locked away and isolated for the purposes of preserving virtue.  also, nice dialogue between a person who will not change his mind and a person who has decided that arguing is both necessary and futile.

a guy changes his name just for fun, and it makes all kinds of everyday problems.  i like this idea.  that a person might make a little change just to suit himself, and it causes havoc in his life but he is willing to accept all that for the greater good of self-martyrdom.

i like the pot calling the kettle black in a self righteous way.

a guy offering everything he has politely.  the next guy saying “i need a hundred dollars”  guy has to oblige.  ‘take the purse too.’

 

maybe we can make the setup and the description of the girl into the same guy who likes her… it would be easy enough to do, i think.

two halves, yes, but by no means equal!

the old cliche of having a person deep in soliloquy and having an uninformed party enter.  the soliloquizer does not see the other and continues.  the other thinks he is having a conversation with the soliloquizor.  in order to me most effective, this conversation must reveal some dark side of everyday interaction.  this is a great way to have a deep, dark, and arty monologue that still gets its point across, but never takes itself too seriously.  think of this as a possibility for zen koans?  we need to get some books on this; i think an online search for koans will suffice.

‘cuckold in embryo’ is funny.

i like the idea of a person saying the alphabet so as not to be angry.

out loud.  a person continues the vexation with obvious results.  ha ha ha ha ha.  ha.

holy god that is a dark play.  interesting read.  i would like to do it one day.