The upper tier [bankers] is still doing pretty well. But the lower tier of the New Class — the machine by which universities trained young people to become minor regulators and then delivered them into white collar positions on the basis of credentials in history, political science, literature, ethnic and women’s studies — with or without the benefit of law school — has broken down. The supply is uninterrupted, but the demand has dried up. The agony of the students getting dumped at the far end of the supply chain is in large part the OWS.
The OWS protestors are a revolt — a shrill, cri-de-coeur wail at the betrayal of class solidarity — of the lower tier New Class against the upper tier New Class. It was, after all, the upper tier New Class, the private-public finance consortium, that created the student loan business and inflated the bubble in which these lower tier would-be professionals borrowed the money. It’s a securitization machine, not so very different from the subprime mortgage machine. The asset bubble pops, but the upper tier New Class, having insulated itself and, as with subprime, having taken its cut upfront and passed the risk along, is still doing pretty well. It’s not populism versus the bankers so much as internecine warfare between two tiers of elites.
Very interesting breakdown of #Occupy along class lines, but not those that you’d expect from the existing narrative.
In the last decade nearly 2.6 billion people enjoyed dramatic expansions in wealth. It turns out the economic armacatastromeltdown has been a problem mainly for the fantastically rich, overfed, debt-happy, free-spending, spoiled, lazy, infantilized nations of the west. It’s been a different story for people with experience of real rather than academic poverty. In Foreign Policy, the Center for Global Development’s Charles Kenny reports that 19 economies doubled in size between 2000 and 2010
I’ve got a little trouble getting all worked up for the 99% who are really still part of the 1%.
The Rush Limbaughs of the world are very comfortable with a narrative that has Noam Chomsky, MoveOn and Barack Obama on one side, and the Tea Party and Republican leaders on the other. The rest of the traditional media won’t mind that narrative either, if it can get enough “facts” to back it up. They know how to do that story and most of our political media is based upon that Crossfire paradigm of left-vs-right commentary shows and NFL Today-style team-vs-team campaign reporting.
What nobody is comfortable with is a movement in which virtually the entire spectrum of middle class and poor Americans is on the same page, railing against incestuous political and financial corruption on Wall Street and in Washington. The reality is that Occupy Wall Street and the millions of middle Americans who make up the Tea Party are natural allies and should be on the same page about most of the key issues, and that’s a story our media won’t want to or know how to handle.
The idea that the Tea Party and Occupy are allies makes sense on an intellectual level, but falls apart in practice. Occupy is fed up with cronyism, and demand the angels of government send businesses to hell. The Tea Party is fed up with cronyism, and demands that governments proclaiming to be angels be exiled from heaven.
The New Revival of 'Godspell' is the Worst Thing I've Ever Seen, and I saw 'Cats' in Philadelphia
Godspell is not a very complicated musical. The book is almost verbatim from the Gospel of Matthew. The songs, while enjoyable, do not rank among musical theatre’s best. A compelling production could get by with a few black boxes and a superman shirt. It’s a good, solid little rock show that can be ably produced in high schools and community theatres to Broadway stages.
And yet despite all this ease, the new Broadway revival is an unmitigated disaster.
Let’s start with the book. I haven’t seen the original script, but I can’t imagine it made quite as many references to Snuggies, Occupy Wall Street, and classic Oscar moments from the last 50 years. Unless the Godspell script is a series of bible passages with [INSERT CURRENT POP CULTURE JOKE HERE] written in between them, the cosmetic surgery performed on the book warrants a malpractice suit. The show can’t seem to go more than 20 seconds without referencing pop culture for a laugh. They aren’t jokes; they’re just straight up references grafted onto the show. It’s the Gospel According to Juno. THUNDER-POSTLES, HOOOO!
The biggest offense of the book comes midway through the first act; a character makes a hilarious reference (remember, not a joke) to St. Peter checking people into heaven on an iPad, and when the laughter subsides, says, “Because we know Steve Jobs is up there with ya.”
Seriously Godspell? You’re name dropping a recently deceased Buddhist technology iconoclast for an ‘iPads in Heaven’ gag? The audience was split between applause and boos.
The musical numbers fair better, if only because you can’t insert the words “Friend Request” as seamlessly into a 40 year old score as you the book. The singing and choreography fails to rise above “Really Good College” production levels (save for a fantastic Vaudevillian themed All for the Best . Most numbers revolve around some sort of gimmickry, either with props or the stage (more on the stage later). A few players were stand outs with their voices. Most were adequate. A few struggled, most notably an understudy (which is somewhat forgivable) and Jesus (the, uh, lead). I’m the last person who should criticize someone’s singing, but when some poor girl is belting the Wicked score 6 performances a week in the theatre next door, you should be able to make it to the end of a rock musical without sounding like, well, me.
The staging of the production is tricky. It’s being performed in-the-round (because, erm, why not?). The stage has a dozen or so trap doors that are used in an other staid staging. Some of them, like a pool of water, are use nicely in a number of different capacities. Others, like the dozen odd 1-person trampolines scattered about, serve only to spice up the otherwise bland choreography. Your show is in trouble when your Act 2 production number’s secret weapon is ‘bouncing’.
The show’s direction is a directory of annoyances. Any bit of physicality is performed with the hamminess of a short form improv show, and accented with a cartoonish sound effect. The costumes try to update the costumes to modern Williamsburg with a theatrical twist, but most of the performers end up looking like a caricature from a B-movie, ranging from “alternative girl murdered at Prom” to “subway DVD rip-off of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”. Any anarchistic or revolutionary notions about what Jesus actually taught are safely wrapped up in docile, feel-good tones.
In the end, Godspell is saved by the show it almost destroyed. The music, ultimately, is enjoyable. The story is compelling and they communicated enough emotion through the piece that the tourist next to me was crying. But it’s not ‘good’, and those looking for something worthy of the price of admission would do best to look elsewhere.
Hell, I paid nothing and still feel a little slighted.
Okay so for I guess 2 years now, I have thought about being a nun. At times, I have been positive that I was meant to be a nun. At other times, I was positive that it all was a foolish fancy. But still, it’s been on my mind for two years.
But I haven’t told my parents. They want me to be married! And normal! I’m their only daughter!
On Monday I had spiritual direction with Father Luke. I told him about how I was afraid to tell my parents, and he wanted to call my parents that day. Obviously, I refused. And I had excuses not to tell them yesterday.
But today at 4:30 was the theology department “oktoberfest” WITH BEER. So I decided, okay, I’m gonna drink beer and then call my mom.
Throughout the party, I told numerous strangers, when they asked me about my future plans, “Well, I’m thinking about being a nun….” It was important because, other than vague tumblr pronouncements I’ve told VERY FEW people to their face that I think about it. Everyone was totally cool and supportive. Even the Protestants.
I eventually told people my scheme to tell my mom tonight. One guy mentioned that National Coming Out Day was yesterday. I said, dammit. At points in various conversations, I came close to the point of tears at the prospect of telling my parents.
So when I came home I opened an extra beer for good measure and called my mom. I put it off for as long as possible until she asked me about phD applications, and I finally said, “I’m thinking about delaying…. because I’m thinking about becoming a nun.”
She responded with something like: “Really? Well I guess I’m not surprised.” And then when I asked if she was mad, she said no, and then said something like, “I just want you to be happy.” And then something like, “So are there convents you can try it out at without committing to anything?” I said, “but you’re always talking about my getting married!!” and she said, “Well, that would be nice, too.”
I’m honestly shocked.
She was driving when I called and the thought that she would, out of shock, get into an accident and die and/or kill other people honestly crossed my mind.
That didn’t happen though.
:’) :’) :’) :’) :’)
I’m so happy to read this!
I like Natalie for a lot of reasons. She’s a great improviser. She’s a Phillies fan. But she’s also Catholic in a very modern, very radical way. I’m Catholic, but in that waffley “I’ll care about it later…” kind of way (although if you’ve ever talked to me drunk at a bar, I probably left the impression that I was 2 decades of a rosary away from my Deaconhood), Seeing someone really embrace it is for all the beauty and insanity it can be is wonderful. And her parents are awesome for supporting her in what must be a hugely important decision.
But, really, I’m not surprised, She once brought a Jesuit to a bar to watch a Phillies game.