Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Unemployed at last

It’s a good week to be sitting in front of the box; with “Angels in America” a six-hour telemovie, on for the next three nights, and “Miriam” going into the "Big Brother" house on Friday. I was going to add Mark Latham’s being interviewed on “Rove” tonight (a first for a major party federal leader, as far as I know), but since his gutless cave-in on the “Gay School” controversy, I’m now quite sure that Latham is a man altogether bereft of a sense of humour, or perspective. Just like Rove (the TV persona, not the live stand-up), in fact. Bland and blander can go fuck each other, then.

As far as “Angels in America” goes, I read the two-volume play in 1994 – and thought it fantastic. Here is a rah-rah American take on the telemovie; in today’s Oz, Peter Craven offers – as would be expected – a more muted, although still quite favourable, assessment.

Craven, who is gay himself, obviously needs to get out more – in both senses of the word – what with lines like this:

It's as if AIDS has impelled Kushner to create his gay characters, but he has nothing much to do with them – at least when they're interacting – except play ring-a-ring-a-rosie with the actuality of their homosexuality.

So there’s actually something else out there, other than playing the game of self-referential poofter-dom? If you’ve actually stumbled on such a thing, Peter, you owe it to gay humanity to share the secret. Oh, and does it come in magenta boucle?

Not content with rewriting the laws of physics as they apply to gaydom, Craven’s review goes on to even dogier ground here:

Compared with “Angels”, Stephen Sewell's terrorism play “Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America” – a play which some people thought was over the top – is a masterpiece of sophistication and political intelligence brought to life. It comes out of more mature vision and Sewell knows how to dramatise his politics.

I saw “Myth, Propaganda and Disaster” last year, and it was a crock. This review by Tim Richards picks up its main weaknesses, but personally, I would have been much nastier. Here, it’s not that I don’t see the prospect, post 9/11, of state power being abused under the guise of “security”; it’s just that I find it ludicrous that universities - cowering and gutted as they are by two decade of undermining by the Right - would be central stage in such a crackdown. As Tim Ferguson alluded the other day, the reality would/will be much less prosaic – and a lot scarier.

Plus, "Angels” is, of course, set in the 80s. Again, if Peter Craven knows a single instance of "mature vision" from (or about) that decade, then stop press - the history books are going to have to be rewritten to the effect that the 80s weren't, after all, time of big hair, big lunches, and naive undergrads, oblivious to the fundamentalist revolutions happening all around them.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?