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Anthology: Ten Years of TQ – Guy Zimmerman

At a time when progressives are afflicted with incrementalist ideas and a sense of retreat and resignation, I wrote these essays to promote the idea of radical transformation. By grounding this work in the personal, I wanted my own limitations, biases and presuppositions to be as clear as possible. What links these essays is the idea that the normal operations of the self are inadequate to the vivid complexity of experience, and entail suffering for all involved. Engaging with the work of artists, theatre-makers, film directors, writers, musicians and philosophers, I make the case that and that the social world urgently needs to be re-made. In my view, the artists and thinkers I write about — Marcel Duchamp, Samuel … [Read more...]

Bring on the Clowns

Paul McCarthy, Wallace Shawn and a Mountain I Know – There are beefy guard rails now on the road up Mount Lemmon, outside Tucson. When I was a boy the drive was more of an adventure, the steep canyons littered with the skeletal remains of cars that had lost control on the tight curves. Often my grandfather would have been at the wheel, bent hands steering the pickup or, at other times, the big Cadillac he’d earned with hard labor and quick wits. I’d watch as the topography outside the windows shifted from saguaro and mesquite to pine forest, and the big rock formations came and went, spinning majestically as the road took us around and upwards toward Summer Haven near the summit. Today my father’s wife Elena is driving and my father, … [Read more...]


About SNOUT (2008) I tend to find “one person shows” somewhat deadly. The deadliness is not rooted in the banality or the narcissism that have characterized many (but not all) such spectacles. What I have always objected to most is how inert and unexplored the theatricality often is. For me, as for many people who work in theater, the stage is really a big deal – a sacred space – and it’s really not good to just plunk something down in that space and simply uncap it. I have always thought that most one-person shows would be vastly improved by simply placing on stage a second person, a listener. Suddenly, there’s tension, a sense of danger and also allure. The question, what will happen?, begins to animate the moments as they pass. By the … [Read more...]

Wallace Shawn and Our Planetary Fever

Material and Mystery on a Bathroom Floor –  Ignoring their embedded-ness, complex systems relate to the environment with greed and aggression. If world religions are based on any one experience, it’s the kind of night Wallace Shawn documents in his play The Fever. We’ve all had them. The harsh inner judge shows up with his clipboard and his tilted scales demanding full access to the heart. In flashes of self-recognition we glimpse the demonic patterns that have covertly governed the course of our lives. Cherished self-images collapse in on themselves as the mind swirls around in a soup composed of everything it feels disconnected from. Delivered as a single long monologue, The Fever manages to link an experience of this kind to material … [Read more...]