Monday, February 8, 2010

Bill spews on the Arts Fuse

There's a little back-and-forth going on between me and Bill Marx right now on his blog "The Arts Fuse." I was surprised that Marx even printed my first response to his comments, which were basically his usual dated, pseudo-progressive mix of pique and dyspepsia, but as he apparently isn't going to print the second, I thought I'd provide it for you here. I do wonder when, exactly, he's going to realize that he's not up against the likes of Carolyn Clay and Ed Siegel anymore, that he can't slum through with his usual sloppy thinking. At any rate, if you're interested, read the post over at Arts Fuse, then wrap up with:

Oh, Bill, I will always bow to you when it comes to self-congratulation! You are the undisputed master.

But just to respond - you claim that via my "all-knowing intuition," I'm sure that no playwrights today are delivering a better picture of "the way we live now" than Arthur Miller. Okay, true, that's an assumption. But you, of course, are merely peddling an equivalent assumption - that there IS, currently, a better piece of writing about war profiteering out there than All My Sons.

And I think you're out on a limb there. In fact, I think you're waaaaaay out on a limb. Because it seems to me that a closer match to Blackwater-era crime would be yes, a minor artistic plus, but a new playwright would also have to match Miller's obvious dramatic power to make the comparison you envision possible, and there are only maybe half a dozen playwrights alive who can match Miller, and none of them has written on Iraq War profiteering. So nice try, but no cigar. And of course, if your claim proves true, and there IS a "non-brand-name" playwright out there with the goods, then he or she can look forward to your review two months after the show has closed to houses of six people!

As to your silly snark about my "vaunted omniscience" missing "A Question of Mercy" - uh, it's more like their publicity machine missed me. I heard about the show at the last second, and I was already booked - because unlike you, I'm constantly seeing and reviewing plays. And seriously, if you can't figure out the meaning of a neologism like "academic-theatrical complex," it's past time for you to throw in the towel.

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