Sunday, January 23, 2005

Love Charm Song

The Chippewa poem, “Love-Charm Song” is a short repetitive piece from Chippewa culture. The song was sung acappella, in the lower(tenor) register by a woman. This song was sung as a spell and was supposed to be very powerful.
The first line of the song, ”What are you saying to me?” is a question. This is significant because, the singer continues by telling her audience how beautiful she is, “I am arrayed like the roses/as beautiful as they”. This simple three line poem is repeated over and over again, slowly and rhythmically in order to mesmerize and enchant the listener. The purpose of the song is to get the listener to fall in love with the singer.
This poem is a good example of Chippewa culture. It tells us how much they valued music. The Chippewa believed that songs were sacred and were inspired by the spirits (p995). Obviously women where also highly regarded in there society because the singer is a powerful and highly skilled woman. The Chippewa placed a high value on love and beauty, for that is what the song is about. Also the Chippewa must have valued nature, as the woman compares herself to roses “I am arrayed like the roses”, which are a part of nature.
This simple short Chippewa song is more interesting than it appears on first inspection . It is a powerful example of a love song. It also provides insight into the Chippewa way of life.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Art by Yasmine Raza

This incredible Tony Award Winning play was sponsored by both Town and Gown (a longstanding local 'community" theater) and The Georgia (as in University) Museum of Art This dynamic play that explored the questions of "What is Art?" and "Why am I your best friend?" starred the incredibly talented Speedy Arnold as Yvan, Rick Rose as Marc, and Jeff Evans as Serge.

When I read this play I was very impressed with it. I really liked how the only difference between these men (as far as their apartments go) was the painting on their wall which symbolized the man. For Serge it was the white painting, which symbolized how he was "a man of his time" and proud of it. For Marc it was the pseudo-Flemish painting which symbolized how he valued traditional things. And for Yvan it was the "hotel painting" that his father painted which symbolized how he cared more about people than about the values they held.

I could go on and on about this play itself, but I'd rather talk about the particular performance I saw and just leave you with the recommendation that if you haven't already you either see it or read it as soon as possible.

I loved this play when I read it but seeing (as usual) was much better than reading it. For example Yvan was a much more dynamic character than I imagined. Speedy Arnold brought warmth and humor to the character that made me realize why he was as indecisive and easygoing (and unable to form an opinion as he was) . It really impressed me to see such a veteran actor as Rick Rose play a father-figure like Marc. I'm not sure, but I think he and Serge are and were supposed to be older than Yvan. I liked that.

One scene that really stood out to me was where Marc destroys the painting. When I read the play I saw it as a negative destructive act but through the exellent direction of Allen Rowell, the cast brought out how this act was a step forward in reconciling their friendship.

The lighting and set weren't all that impressive, but the GMOA has a small auditorium and limited resources. I thought they did an excellent job (as always) with what they had. The only problem I had a was I couldn't see everything because the stage was on the same level with the audience.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (Tom Robbins)

I wish I had read this book years ago. It was both funny and insightful. After being introduced to me the week after I graduated from highschool Tom Robbins has become one of my favorite authors, if not my favorite.
This book is a feminist manifesto that takes place during the hippie-counterculture vietnam war era of the 1960's. Sissy Giltchen Hall is a women hitchiking throught america by way of her very large thumbs. Acording to Robbins these thumbs are a symbol of american culture.
The book explores Sissy's life, from the time she began hitchiking, until she finished. Sissy becomes a model for a femine hygine company, and as a result ends up living on an all-cowgirl goat ranch, after she has married an Native American who has denied his heritage. Along the way she meets the Chink an oriental man with a very interesting philosophy of life who lives in clockworks that is counting the end of time.
Tom Robbins has some exellent things to say about life. He is obbsessed with lesbians, which is kind of a problem for me in that I really don't care about them one way or the other, since I am a straight female. Its just really distracting. I loved the book anyway, even if (and maybe because) it made me realize why the femist movement has pretty much failed. Tom Robbins has an amizing gift of being able to make such great social statements in such an entertaining an comical way ( much like Kurt Vonnegut Jr. light).

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A Life Aquatic

Great movie. As perfect as it gets. This movie stars Bill Murry (as Steve Zissu, oceanographer and award winner ducumentary filmer) and Owen Willson(his son), both actors I am very familiar with but have not been a great fan of most of their later work. But they have redeemed themselves in this movie. This movie was not really a comedy as Hollywood tried to package it (although we were laughing the whole time), but instead was more of an aligory about a man who is going through a terrible time in his life and trying to make sense out of it all.
I especially liked the creole man who sang David Bowie songs.
Several recent movies such as I (Heart) Hucklebees, Death to Smoochy, and A Life Aqutic all seem to be creating a new genre of movies that I particularly like . While not exactly dark comedies, they are not entirely lighthearted either.