Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Duct tape and cover.

Back in high school, the majority of my involvement in theatrical productions was as a member of the stage or prop crews. I even managed to earn myself the tougher-than-it-was nom de guerre of “The Stage Demon”–although I’ve never been sure if it was because I was always an eager stagehand or because my name sounds superficially like that of Belial, one of Dante’s archdukes of Hell. Likely, it was both.

Although officially speaking the light, sound, and stage crews were a unit bound by our role as the real power behind the show; the fact of the matter is that light and sound stayed up in the booth, pulling switches and pushing buttons, while those of us in the wings found ourselves closer to the trenches, and as such, we bemusedly cultivated an internal illusion that we were the leathernecks, the rough riders, the infantry of the operation. In the Tech office of the auditorium, the following sign was on the fresnelle closet:

Mess with the Light Crew and you dance in the dark.
Mess with the Sound Crew and you dance with no music.
Mess with the Stage Crew and you dance with two broken legs.

Yeah. We bad.

While working on the stage crew under much more competent carpenters and set designers, I learned two things. One, gaffer’s tape will solve any problem. Two, whatever can’t be solved with gaffer’s tape can be solved with even more gaffer’s tape. This was a joke. We understood the importance of nails and bolts.

Orange Alert, Day Four. The Department of Homeland Security can’t tell us what to be afraid of in the event of a terrorist attack, only that al-Qaida is set to strike again, and that in the event of this undetermined attack, we should be ready to run into a sealed room with duct tape around the edges. All this announcement does is lead me to wonder what kind of attack is considered by hateful bloodthirsty terrorists that we nonetheless feel we can save ourselves from it using duct tape?

Little known Fight Club-style fact, which I may have previously mentioned in this journal: Airplane Crash Position is not designed to save your life. It’s designed to break your neck against the seat in front of you, upon impact. Airline lawyers determined that in the event of a crash, the chances of survival were minimal no matter what you as a passenger did, so Crash Position was created, both as a means of mercy, and to minimize lawsuits from family members who discovered the suffering of their family members being cooked alive by jet fuel.

I’m starting to worry that our leaders simply don’t have any real plans in place to prevent or minimize whatever’s being planned against us, so their solutions amount to what 1950s America was told to do in the event of a nuclear strike: Duck and Cover. Because although the explosion inflicted on Japanese civilians was so great that it killed people twenty years removed from the blast, although the flash burned shadows onto the wall and melted eyballs in their sockets, it all could have been avoided if only the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had had more desks.

My only hope, for what it’s worth, remains that the administration is again crying wolf.

On a less grim note, I’d like to take this opportunity to point people in the direction of my great-aunt, Parvin Shere. She is a cultural ambassador from Canada, and sits on the film advisory board for that increasingly enticing immigration station. As the resident artist in my family, she remains my biggest supporter, and the very least I can do for the seven or eight people who read these ramblings is share with them my great-aunt’s paintings.

Current music: MP3 list, The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil”

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This entry was posted on February 11, 2003 by in News of the World, Politics, Theatre.
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