by Rick Brown
Here for Slide Show
it's the dead of winter and the skies are gray and the wind is
sending a chill up your spine ... what to do? My wife, Yvonne,
and I drove in a sloppy ice storm out to the Franklin Park Conservatory
a couple Saturdays ago to check out "Chihuly at the Conservatory".
Neither of us are strangers to the blown glass creations of Seattle
based Dale Chihuly. Several years ago the Columbus Museum of Art
hosted a display of his famous "chandeliers". We have
also witnessed some of those very same amazing pieces of art nesting
in the vineyards of California's Napa Valley. Yet as impressive
as those two experiences were the warmth and splendor of Chihuly's
work set in the flora of Columbus' conservatory not only bedazzled
our eyes, but also made us both forget about the gnawing wind
top of all this we were delightfully surprised that we had lucked
out and were there opening day for the conservatory's orchid
show! Mr. Chihuly's work seamlessly blended in with the several
types of environments within Franklin Park's meandering greenhouse
complex. The gorgeous orchids on display only add to the visitor's
escape into this fantasyland of art imitating life imitating art
Details I will not bore you with. The less I write the better. Take
time to visit "Chihuly at the Conservatory". Not only
will you be amazed with the art ... but you might just find yourself
wondering why it's been so long since the last time you visited
the Franklin Park Conservatory ... this gem of Columbus, Ohio.
Better still ... wait for a severely cold, windy winter's
day ... play hooky ... and take yourself on a little afternoon
vacation of warm, wonderful escape to a land of vibrant glass and
amazing nature. Wander carelessly through Chihuly's dynamic
colors born from earth's palate. Odds are very good you'll
want to return for a second visit. I know I do.
at the Conservatory" runs through March 21, 2004. Advanced
tickets are not necessary but the longer you wait the better the
idea of getting tickets ahead is. For more information go to the
Franklin Park Conservatory's web site at:
at the Box 04
by Rick Brown
This is my second
exposure to Sex at the Box. Last year I was a virgin…and admittedly…a
little intimidated by the whole experience…albeit enjoyably
so. The ’04 version is…on the surface…well…DIRTY!!
And I suppose some of the skits might be judged by some as sophomoric.
But hell…I’ve been a sophomore most of my life. I’m
a guy with 100 Three Stooges film shorts in his living room. Consequently,
when Miss X (played deftly by Julie Klein), a clandestine X rated
poetess in Brenda Krantz’s Enter …the Poet,
creates haiku titled “The Fluffy Muff” followed by something
called “Craving Cunt”…well…I find it hilarious.
The skit is a perfect example of how pornography looks even more
ridiculous when it tries to take itself seriously. (Read: has a
plot or actual dialogue). I’m no porn expert. (I have so much
more research to do.) But I do have an appreciation for honestly
portrayed prurient interests.Also in the first section of “Sex
at the Box 04” is a wonderful monologue by Grant Gottschall,
I Was a Telephone Gigolo. Jimmy Mak convincingly tells
us the story of how his wife eventually replaces real sex with him
for phone sex (phony sex?).
Curiosity: A Diatribe
A.K.A. In the Event of My Death
by Patrick O'Malley
The following is a
lark, not to be taken seriously, unless you so choose. It is little
more than an attempt to obfuscate myself or others for amusement
and perhaps inveigle some with my pithy opinions using myself as
When I die, all I really
want is this: my body must be donated to science. I don’t want
a casket and to be buried, and I don’t want to be cremated (barring
extenuating circumstances-read on). All my organs should be donated
if they are worthwhile and if circumstances permit. Every part of
my body that is useful to others in any way, science or donation,
should be given away. (I suppose if I must put one limitation on my
expired body’s usage I would have to request no necrophilia
– that is meant to be funny). Cremate or, if you must, bury
any leftovers (read on for burial instructions). There is simply no
excuse for doing anything less. The antiquated notion that our bodies
are sacred or that to ‘desecrate’ them after death is
disgraceful is absurd. What is disgraceful is this: to let perfectly
good human biomass with tremendous life-saving value to others through
science or donation go to waste to preserve some fabricated notion
that our bodies mean anything spiritually after we are dead. But say
there is some spiritual value? Who would challenge me to disagree
that there is anything better a person can do in dying than to give
life to another?
by Cory Tressler
Vinyl is a strange
word to look at, but it is a beautiful thing to listen to. It smells
like a warm Nintendo, it feels like a groovy seashell, and it sounds
like a hot cop of tea for the inner ear. In our modern days of compact
discs, mini-discs, mp3s, and I-pods vinyl records still stand out
as the purest form of mass marketed music media. None of these other
new age music distribution formats have the pure and recognizable
stimulus of vinyl. Having said all of this, here are two vinyl treasures
that I recently had the pleasure of purchasing.
little pity for Saddam”
by David G. Hochman
sorry for Saddam. I really do. When he crawled out of his hole,
disoriented, and then was examined up close and beamed around the
world getting his ears poked and his beard shaved, my instant reaction
- much to my surprise - was pity. I just felt sorry for the guy.
Here he was, a former president of a country, and better yet, a
dictator, who had lost everything, his country, his power, his status,
his sons and who knows how many other members of his family. He
was reduced to hiding in a hole, unwashed, unkempt, destitute like
a runaway hobo.
what many of you are thinking: this guy got what he deserved.
True. And yet—that may be really beside the point. For is
he to blame for being Saddam? Or are we? Was he not just doing what
his simple and barbaric mind was programmed to do? He was just the
result of his environment after all. He was acting on instinct.
He was doing the best he could, in his view, under the circumstances
(same as every other Middle Eastern dictator).
Forget the brouhaha, forget the feigned bravado. Any objective observer
with any insight knew the truth all along. It was staring us in
the face. Saddam was Saddam because we put him there; because we
supported everything he did, including torturing and killing his
own people, as long as it suited our needs. In other words, Saddam
had not changed one iota. It was we who had!
Donald Rumsfeld & Saddam Then
we who said one day, killing your own people and those of other
lands - Iran - is okay; and then the next day saying, but killing
your own people and those of other lands - Kuwait - isn’t.
Can you imagine the surprise on his face? Huh? What happened, he
must have thought. What have I done wrong? I’m just the same
guy I always was. How come one day I am being feted by the likes
of Rumsfeld, and later reviled by the same guy? I can imagine the
dumbfounded shock and dismay on Saddam’s face. That clueless
perplexity, the alarmed simple look in the eyes. Again: huh?
Poor Saddam. But then wasn’t he just one of a long line of
similar pawns in our game of foreign relations? He had missed the
point, hadn’t he?
He forgot to play according to our rules. He forgot to change with
the times. But then, to what extent do people change? Especially
ones like Saddam?
So I say this: Saddam is not to be blamed for acting like Saddam.
That was inevitable. In fact, that’s why we supported him
in the first place. No - the problem lies with us. The problem is
that we support goons like him whenever it suits us, no matter the
consequences. And then, suddenly, we pretend to grow a conscience,
and lo and behold, act enraged and morally outraged, and want to
correct some wrongs (wrongs that we are Responsible for in the first
place!). So why not be honest, at least. Why not say,
We need to correct OUR wrongs, not those of others. Why not say
we won’t support such regimes ever again, no matter what?
ready to face the truth?
got the Blues
by Rick Brown
This year 2Co’s
Cabaret really does have the blues. No shit. Opening with
the classic and disturbing “Strange Fruit”, vocalist
extraordinaire Stephanie Shull set the tone with this song lamenting
the lynchings in the not so Old South. Shull … along with
house band Downtown DFN … manages to make the song smoke with
a slightly uncomfortable immediacy without losing its mood in the
relevancy of the message.
Most of the first half
of “Got the Blues” is filled with melancholy as in Gabe
Smith’s reading of the Charles Bukowski monologue “Nirvana”.
Ann L. Miller recites her own piece “Homeless” and does
so with an earnestness that kept the audience’s comfort level
reflectively pensive. Ironically, Christine Connor’s “Winter”
thawed the atmosphere ever so slightly thanks to a charmingly warm
… and borderline coy … performance by Megan Overholt.
Ms. Shull returned to the stage to thaw things even further with
a lovely reading of Dave Barry’s “A Million Words”
which speaks to all of us who have been given the opportunity…the
privilege…to say goodbye to a dying parent. Finishing on a
more upbeat note Michael J. Nelson’s humorous, Password:
Yawn reminds us all of the foibles of our relationship with
computers…specifically when passwords we have forgotten are
involved. Lynch gives a charmingly self-depreciating performance
that makes Nelson’s work personal to all watching.