A jam-packed, eclectic weekend. But first things first. My teammate did some fantastic internet research and has identified Don Gregor. He’s a spider beetle.
Beyond finding out that I don’t have bed bugs, the weekend was full of activities I’d like to briefly note. However, since the heading “Briefly Noted” is, I believe, currently in use by the illustrious New Yorker, I’m trying “branding” and calling mine “Short Spells.” I know–I’m so witty!! It’s no wonder all the spider beetles are trying to get into bed with me.
Friday 10pm: Theater
You Will Experience Silence by Dan Fishback
“In ancient Israel, at the dawn of the Chanukah war, the “chosen people” are bored and horny. Judah Maccabee (Dan Fishback), a surly queer teenager, travels to Jerusalem one day with his best friend Ezra (Max Steele). When they encounter a sexy Greek soldier (Joseph Keckler), they must reckon with their responsibilities — to their people, to their libidos and to each other.” Erotic, neurotic and dorky, performance artist Dan Fishback is fiercer than ever in this absurdist meditation on citizenship, imperialism and sexual ethics.
I made this my away message on Friday afternoon trying to get someone to go with me (The show’s producer is a good friend) and while no one volunteered, some people did inquire if I ended up seeing “the weird gay Jewish Hannukah play.” Well, I did. It was actually pretty funny. I don’t know what it’s like to be a gay man, but Fishback definitely had some hilarious things to say about Jews, and demonstrated an ability to write a very tight show. I was most impressed with the flow, seamless integratation of seemingly disparate parts and overall slick execution.
Saturday 10am: Philosophy
Nietzsche’s Reconception of Science: Overcoming Nihilism
I volunteered to chair a talk for the CUNY Graduate Philosophy Conference. This sounds more impressive than the “Our speaker today is Justin from University of Illinois…” it actually required. Also, “Overcoming nihilism” sounded a lot sexier than it was when explicated with words like “ontology” and “indeterminancy” which I have been meaning to look up since I started grad school in the fall, and still haven’t looked up after dropping out three months ago. But there was one line that struck me: “One cannot endure the reality of becoming.” In other words, potentiality is dynamic, but we are actually annihilated when we achieve our goals.
The good news is, if you’re capable of understanding the Nietzsche talk, you find that, apparently, there are ways of overcoming nihilism. Nice. If you’re not, my “Happy Birthday Nietzsche” is probably at your level (and has nothing to say about nothingness.)
Saturday 1pm: Baseball
Mets v. Brewers. All I have to say is: Citi Field-OMG-I heart you. The stadium is intimate, aesthetically old world and yet sparkling with “Huh? Recession” new-ness. Our seats were on the field level, cushioned, leather and could get Shake Shack burgers delivered to them. (I abstained.) Also, the Mets won. Rating: Better than Disney World!
Saturday 7pm: Art
Eric Zener opening at Gallery Henoch. There was a painting of that consisted of post-dive-off-diving-board after-splash with the diver submerged–not in the painting. Just water. It made me think that if I’d understood the Nietzsche talk, I’d have insightful things to say about how this paining addressed our epic “fear of becoming” and offered a stance on overcoming nihilism. Zener also displayed some new mediums, such as art inside “kalifeascopes” and told me over dinner that he’s working on large-scale alternatives to canvas.
Sunday 4pm: War
Breaking news: The Holocaust was definitely a bad thing. Oh, and the movie premiering today about Holocaust heroine Irena Sendler, “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler?” That was also bad. But please remember to blame Anna Paquin, and not Sendler, who was definitely a superior human. And yes, the Holocaust really happened. And yes, it was definitely very very tragic.
In short, Americans shouldn’t watch the movie, and the President of Iran shouldn’t read my Irena Sendler article, because he’d probably accuse me of making up the Holocaust. I am pretty creative (yet another reason why spider beetles want to be near me), but I am rarely creative enough to invent even small solutions, never mind Final Ones.