It’s amazing to me that, just when I give up on something, it shows a spark of being worthwhile. For example, when I went to see the movie “Troy,” I almost walked out because it was so bad — and then we got to the scene when Priam (Peter O’Toole, one of the greatest actors ever in the history of cinema) goes to Achilles (Brad Pitt, also not too bad an actor) to beg for Hector’s body. It was so simple and heart-felt, and the pain of losing a child was just there, without being forced, that I was nearly brought to tears myself.
And then the rest of the movie sucked, and I wished I had left anyway.
I feel very much the same way about one of our local “alternative” weekly newspapers, The Stranger. This paper is so famous for its snark and irony that it’s obvious most of the writers are trying too hard to impress. They turn their noses up only because it’s a status symbol, not because they mean it. And they do stupid things like interview Adam Carolla, a comedian who few people like, who is not local to Seattle, and who is not a theatre person, and then put the interview in the theatre section. I guess it was supposed to be ironic, but it just made The Stranger’s staff seem dumb.
So I gave up on The Stranger. And then I see a link via my Facebook that Brendan Kiley actually deigned to write an article about theatre — and not just about theatre, but about a particular theatre producer, whom he deigned to interview. I will grant that Brendan Kiley is a better writer than most at The Stranger (his article on the giant octopus living in Elliott Bay was awesome), but the real virtue of this article is that he let Kevin McCollum speak for himself.
My personal favorite snippet: “On live entertainment in the age of the internet: People in the theater complain about the internet and iPhones, but this age of technology is driving us together. We’re learning that the internet is the tool, not the destination. The destination is to gather together, and inconvenience is what builds culture. We have to go to the river to wash our clothes and we tell stories while we’re washing, and that’s how culture is born.”
YES. THANK YOU.