The Agonizing Agony of Mike Daisey’s Agony

this man is an agonizingly mad peanut, you can tell by his wingspan!

Little Mikey Daisey truly believes in a fantasy land named China (my first suggestion would be that if you’re going to make up a country, at least give it a far less ridiculous name. What next after China? “Welcome to the land of Polystyrene, may I see your rainbow passport?”) And, Daisey’s insanity has convinced him that poor Chinaist workers are being exploited by an evil empire known only by the ominous title, APPLE (Oh, I’m the CEO of Pomegranate, Inc., would you like a magic wand?). And further, (oh chuckle chuckle) the leader of this fascist regime is known (to Daisey) as Steve Jobs (if you’re going to fabricate cruel dictators, don’t make them sound like characters Roald Dahl invented on a week long tequila binge).

So, why am I not dismissing with callous alacrity this jovial, self-proclaimed large man?

Because this gentleman’s conviction is sadly palpable.

He screams and barks his pontifications like a recently circumcised adult merman sans anesthesia. At times he weeps sodium-chloride infused prisms from his unblinking eyes while relating his sky high fable! I have a soft spot for the mad, their struggles seem somehow close to me. Onion garbage meow woof plonk.

In spite of my initial reservations about the fantastical weave of his tale, to watch him walk upon the boards and rely on nothing but a table, a chair, some flashy blink blink lights, and a large glass of vodka, I found myself convinced by his loopyness. Cheering him on as he struggled to fight the evil Fox Cons (the half fox, half con-artist alien robots who control the factories where APPLE’s magic boxes are built). And by the end of his piece feeling we should all, as he surely wanted us too, rail against the evil exploitation of the mystical land of China.

I decided to keep listening to this tragic case of delusion, because, if there truly were a land of China, where hundreds of thousands were having their hands ruined by the work demands of evil robot foxes, all to provide our sorcery machines, and we chose to ignore these revelations, well, that my friends, would be unforgivable, no? Thank goodness it’s all lies! Still, it serves as an important reminder to fight the good fight. I was steeled to continue my fight to end all of you after all, and I call that a rousing success.

My understanding is that Mr. Daisey has been reprimanded for his fairy tale. Well, I say continue your lie sir. In fact if you were to add more lies about your personal connection to this tale to solidify the emotional impact of your saga, you would be in my mind, in the right. Now, I know we live in a world where no one ever embellishes stories to lend to their emotional impact, where the “non-fictions” we present are completely based on the factual truths we experienced, and it would be naive of me to ask you to be an exception. But your story is so bizarre, so insane, so dry-mouth-inducingly zany that you deserve if nothing else our pity and attention.

So lie, Mr. Daisey, lie unapologetically! And if you are chastised by the powers that be, remember, to pillory you for your lies simply allows them to ignore their own, and to scapegoat your flowery name. If the theatrical artists of the world castigate your words, know that they often love little more than the opportunity to knock others down, especially if that work has potentially achieved what they have not: an honest, albeit fictitious theatrical moment.

I wish there were a China, and an APPLE, and con-artist foxes because then surely we’d see that your loony story were simply a noble request for us to genuinely regard the exploited other, the downtrodden, the wretched. As it stands, all anyone will ever care about is pointing out your foibles that they themselves relate to so closely it makes their genitals ache. They will jump upon you like famished hyenas to a recently discovered gazelle cadaver. And they will win, because they scream the loudest.

Lest anyone think I’ve gone soft, I must say I hated everything about my experience watching your show, but that is my nature Mr. Daisey. I am constructed of distaste, and I too lie, but in that lie, like yours, there is an essential kernel of truth. What Xander Strange says, what you say, is like everything else: ephemeral dust. It is only how you and I (and the Chinaists, crazy Daisey!) respond to these mirrored truths.

Or else we’re all simply fools.

A Strange Meditation #1

While I was  away at my mountain hermitage I came to numerous conclusions about humanity’s existence. I was going to keep these revelations to myself, but I felt the generous thing to do would be to share my enlightenment to aid all of you in your path to being far less incompetent.

This video that I have created for all of you expresses quite clearly what I have now learned. It speaks louder than any words, though a few choice words were necessary for clarification of the overall point as you will see.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy/cry.

not yours,
x. strange

Strange at Fringe, part the trois

The reviews continue. I warn you these accounts are not for the faint of heart.

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DREAMS IN THE ARMS OF THE BINDING LADY

A man said to me after this performance, ‘Well, it’s not every day you see a woman turn into a horrific spider, or watch people’s faces fall off, all accompanied by an atonal nightmarish soundtrack.’ To which I replied ‘Well, maybe not in YOUR every day’.

Everyone around me seemed to be shocked and amazed by this production, as if they’d never seen a man grow an extra leg and then have it ripped off by ululating dancing girls. Personally, I wanted to nudge the person next to me and say ‘Yawn, am I right?’ but he was covering his eyes and muttering words of protective incantation.

The plot: a strapping young man is tormented by women in his dreams, so he has to run in place while they dance around him, strip him naked, generally abuse him, and present him with horrifying image after horrifying image. Or basically what I would commonly refer to as ‘Tuesdays’.

Watching a ghostly pale woman grow spider fingers, tear her chest open, and pull strings of silky web from her twisted body did remind me I need to check in on my great aunt in the near future.

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GORGEOUS RAPTORS

This is a play presented by The Disreputables about a truly despicable boy with an impressive head of hair (Yoni Gray) who masturbates to thoughts of dinosaurs, I think. That’s what I got from it anyway, but your guess is probably slightly less good than mine.

At the beginning of the play this depraved boy started directly talking to me about Jewish mysticism. I was tempted to say ‘I have no interest in being your friend’, but before I could interject two of the girls in the play were flapping their harpy wings and almost accidentally kissing each other.

The healthy-flowing-locks boy is impotent and has to think about ancient Jewish texts and the cretaceous period to maintain any sexual vigor. This is of course understandable, personally I find the rise of the Holy Roman Empire and the Tibetan Book of the Dead to be particularly bracing.

The two girls Kaballah (Kathleen Alvania) and Elise (Tiffany Garfinkle) are the best of friends because they both wear glasses. They pretend to be birds of prey together and this helps them deal with the terrible difficulty of still being in high school in their 20’s.

But readers, I must confess, my thorough distaste for this production arises from Lee Mikeska Gardner (director) and her troupe of miscreants making drops of salty emotion-brew form in the corners of my eyes. Kaballah and Elise are using their bizarre games of ‘I’m a Kestrel’ to struggle through the most unimaginable pain, and while thankfully on this particular note I am free from their suffering, I couldn’t help but feel for their anguish. And for that Disreputables I will never forgive you. You made me FEEL, you artsy yogurt hounds!

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THE CLOUDISM PROJECT

Graham Pilato who apparently directed this exercise in brain torture is the kind of human being I want to wrap up in a blanket of cat hair and roll down a bowling alley. He and his fellow cloud cult members have devised an evening of insanity that I can only describe as ‘Pppppfffqqqq’.

There’s no play, no actors, no audience, because they made us, “the audience”, into actors or no actors as the case may be, all accompanied by the maddening strums of a ukelele played by an infuriatingly adorable curly-haired demon! They pointed at me. Tried to make me sing. Tried to make me hug people. HUG PEOPLE? Do you have any idea who I am? If I were to hug someone I would have to shave off all my skin, burn it, and then eat myself.

A group of people force you to question every life decision you’ve ever had by toying with everything you’ve ever understood about anything. When a girl picked up a book and exclaimed for the ninth time ‘What is this?’ and her fellow torturers replied “I think it’s a [something other than a book]”, if not for the terror in my soul I would have leaped to my feet and screamed “No, you satanic harridan, it’s a book, A BOOK, why can’t you see it’s a book? And why are all these people sitting here delighted to watch you NOT know.” But then I would likely have collapsed into a dribbling pile of confusion and waste.

You don’t know who is part of the performance, who isn’t, everyone around me became suspects in this artistic crime. Even the nice gentleman sitting next to me started to sing at one point, and I glared at him with such hatred, while he smiled through refrains of ‘Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer’.

You have been warned. Graham Pilato is trying to make you into a puddle, a puddle of sadness rained from his cloudist borealis monsoon palace! Don’t evaporate my children, stay cold!

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Tomorrow there will be further castigation of this artistic orgy known as Capital Fringe!