Salt Lake City 3

Oct. 17, 2006


I get picked up by Greg, and Sheri, another remarkably helpful person, and this time we are off to be one the local conservative talk radio show. why they are having us on, I don't know. Even Greg is a little nervous about it. He keeps telling me we have to do this show... it's the biggest show in the area... since all the conservatives listen to it, and since almost everyone is conservative, this will reach just about everyone.

We walk into the station, all wearing these "Thought Police" buttons Greg has printed up, and the woman behind the desk says "Thought Police - now there's a good idea! Police to make people think! Sure could use that!"

This is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard in my life.

The host of the show looks like a much more fit, not addicted Rush Limbaugh. I see on the list of shows the station plays O'Reilly is positioned. There is one of those little mechanical American flags on the console - not waving, probably because the noise would get picked up by the mics. Now this is the Utah I've been waiting for! Bring it on!

But there was no bringing of it on. First thing the guy says is that one of the most depressing days of his life was 9/12- because of how eagerly Americans were to give up their rights for security. The guy had doubts and questions about the Patriot Act, both the war on Terror and Iraq, the whole Administration power trip. Another Red Stater lost to Bush. We talked about the eroding of the Constitution, and how Americans have to take back our government from those who use fear to cow the citizens. We're all quoting 1984, talking about Big Brother. Man. Turns out Utah has really suffered under lots of Bush's idiocies, especially "No Child Left Behind," so even the conservatives in the state are sick of his incompetence. And show ticket sales went through the roof!

I had some time off this afternoon, so I went out to see a little of the town. That's when I took the pictures of the Tabernacle. It was a little creepy. It's not, in my opinion, a very attractive or impressive building on the outside. It looks like a cheap castle. But I guess the real nacle of the Tabernacle is inside - which you have to be saved to see. I went down into the entrance, though, and was meet by the whitest people I have ever seen. And i don't mean that in the Lawrence Welk way - I mean white! White people, with white hair, white, pants, dresses, down to the white buttons and white bows. I think the idea is entering the Tabernacle is like entering Heaven - white Heaven, and everything is spotless. I just wondered how you got the gig. Do you bleach yourself, or do you have to age into the job? And what if you are young. but prematurely white haired... is that like cutting in line? And is there some second team, dressed in all gray with hair to match, in another room, just waiting to move into some white shoes, and get that much closer to the pearly gates?

And these people were close. When I walked in there was a guy next to the door, seated in a big comfy chair, curled over so far his spotless white hair was brushing his spotless white pants, and he was spotlessly dead asleep. I walked past him, careful not to disturb, and saw three ancient snowballs looking quizzically at me. " Can I help you?" the biggest, and snowballiest asked. I said I was just looking around, and he directed me to some exceptionally dull pictures of Jesus touching some animals. And in that room, watching over the paintings, a man almost translucent in his whiteness - and also dead asleep. No wonder these people have a choir! Apparently the sound fends off narcolepsy, and the "going into the light" they are so whitely dressed for.

Back to the 1984.

Another thing the presenters in Salt lake did was create a for the show.

Man, they are good!

It's got a comment board, talks about all the discussions, and community events going on about the production - and there are alot - most of which I will miss.

Now, up till today I haven't had much contact with the cast - I've just seen them in passing in the halls, or at breakfast. But tonight we have a Book Club event that should be very interesting. Contrasting and comparing scenes from the novel and the play. I've given up on being pilloried, and assume it will be fine.

(Michael Exits. Time passes. Michael Re-enters)

It was fine. Good crowd, and it's unendingly cool to see one's work come to life like that.

I know, I wrote "one's work," which sounds kinda pompous, but when I put "my work," it sounded narcissistic, and when I put "your work" it sounded dumb - I don't know you.

Now, this cast is different from the cast that opened the show back in February, and different from the cast I saw toward the end of the run in May, and still different from the one that went to Greece, or Melbourne. So each time I see the show the dynamic is a bit different, too. And that takes some getting used to. The ages, for instance. This cast is younger than the first cast, so the idea that some of the Party members are veteran interrogators ( you have to see the show) doesn't work, unless they went into the torture business in grade school - but given the world Orwell created that quite possible. And one of the questions was how each of this particular troupe felt about the novel, and the chance to work on the play. The actor's were very eloquent, and got across the importance of the whole thing to them. I think everyone - audience, too - understands how critical this moment is in the history of our Nation, and Democracy. Will we all stand aside and watch our rights destroyed? Will we simply blush as the innocent are tortured in our name? Will we sacrifice what we are fighting for to protect it, and condemn as traitorous anyone who points that out?

"We had to destroy the village to save the village" is the old quote from the Vietnam War. Are we just going to replace the word "village" with Democracy, Civil Rights, or the Constitution?

Don't get me started.

The book thing was fun. I was especially impressed with the new actor who was playing Party Member Three. It's a tough part, and tough I won't get to see him perform this time, I am looking forward to seeing him in some production down the line.

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Earlier this week I got a Google alert about “1984.” The show has a couple of productions going on and coming up, and is touring, so I figured it was a press release for one of those. So I didn’t open