July 2007 Archives

Where might one begin speaking of Derrida's deconstruction and grammatology? Strangely enough, this essay will commence with Scholastic metaphysics in the hope of providing a necessary backdrop to the following discussion. Reading Derrida, one is confronted with the captivating notion of an anti-metaphysic , a critique of and proposed remedy to the entire genealogy of Western metaphysics from Aristotle onward. This essay will explore Derrida's anti-metaphysic as a central principle from which his more characteristic applications derive.

500 Clown : MacBeth at Steppenwolf Theater

Although Edie and I had already been dating about three weeks at this point, our first theatrical night on the town was to see the 500 Clown rendition of MacBeth. Given the fact that the last time I saw a 500 Clown performance a burly clown shoved my head up his kilt, I wasn't sure whether this would be the best way to impress her. So when the overly vigorous performers chose some other poor schmuck in the audience to abuse and humiliate this time around, I sighed in relief and faked a yawning stretch as I put my arm around her.

As always, the clowns' attempt to eke out something resembling a classic play turned out hilariously. Edie said she kept waiting for the actual tale of MacBeth to emerge, but alas, the rowdy clowns could barely get past the opening scene before all hell broke loose and things crescendoed into chaos. Before long they were arguing amongst themselves as to which should play MacBeth and then began beating each other into bloodied and abused pulp -- Suspender wearing, big-shoed pulp.

Despite the highly questionable cultural value of this deconstruction of MacBeth the evening turned out well and needless to say Edie agreed to go out with me again regardless of my apparent penchant for low-brow shenanigans. As they say: All's well that ends well and therein lies the rub, except perhaps when the rub involves the sweaty thighs of a kilt-wearing clown.

500 Clown is a Chicago-based performance troupe specializing in raucous physical performances of various "classic" works in theater. Of course, at the hands of the self-proclaimed clowns they are, these classics quickly devolve into hilarious and impressive episodes.

My first experience with them was at their rendition of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein". This scenario quickly proves that clowns and science do not mix, as each character finds him or herself battling laboratory furniture.

Two other things that do not mix are clowns and the "fourth wall". This was proven to me in no small terms when I soon found my head up the kilt of wildly gyrating clown. Yes, I'm sure the other audience members got a big kick out of it (hardy har har!), but as I sat there stunned and all alone in the dark interior recesses of that clown's kilt, my humiliation was surpassed only by my fear of what might appear should I inadvertently look up. To my great relief, the age-old question of whether a clown opts to go au naturale under his kilt remains a mystery.

The skill and entertainment value of this show was really impressive. It was a perfect fit for the Steppenwolf Theater and I promptly purchased tickets for their upcoming dramatic rendition of MacBeth.

The Police at Wrigley Field Chicago

An aging version of the Police played at Wrigley Field over the July 4th weekend. The place was packed with middle aged fans screaming like girls every time a favorite tune was performed. This was the first concert I had seen at Wrigley and found it had both positives and negatives.

On the positive side, the outdoor venue in the heart of the North Side really added to the experience, and the weather that night was great. On the negative side, the distance from the bleachers to the stage was rather enormous and had it not been for the several jumbo-trons, there was not much to see other than an amazing variety of fans.

The Red Line runs a few blocks from my home and drops you off at the doorsteps of Wrigley, making the transportation issue a breeze, though the train ride home was packed.

A friend of mine is a die-hard Police fan, so attending this concert was her idea. She certainly had a good time and I enjoyed the experience, but I doubt I'll bother to see many more 80s band / reunion tours in the near future.