Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Before the season is entirely over, I though I should tell my reader/s that there is Improv to be had.
Catch 23 - "Wellington's friendliest team on team on team improv cage death match".
The idea is that each team has a total of precisely 23 minutes to create four rounds of improvised goodness.
I'll be performing this Saturday. My team is called 'The Karori Netball Club'. We're the ones with the legs. If we win we'll be back the next week, but that's not a sure thing so it's best to go to both.
Also, The Improvisors are doing Theatresports Sundays at Circa.
Catch 23 - Improv Comedy
Direct from the dirty underground streets of North America comes the newest team on team… on team improv comedy cage match.
Watch as teams from around Wellington fight in this bloody battle royale of improv mayhem to claim the title and defend their crown week after week.
Saturdays @ 8pm
19 April to 31st May
Wellington Performing Arts Centre
36 Vivian St, City
Adults $12 / Conc. $10
Door sales only
1 hour 20 minutes
Featuring Wellington Improvisation Troupe, The Improvisors, Vic Uni Theatresports, Funk Rabbit...
[Above links may be not worky or out of date so here is a comedy fest link]
I seem to have been somewhat more bitter than usual lately. Perhaps it's the change of seasons. It does seem to be well received - but I generally like humanity and try to encourage others to do the same.
In this case, however, the prickliness can be attributed to the way I was channelling Ambrose Bierce.
Readers who thought they'd worked out my source material will have their suspicions thrice confirmed when they read the column. In style, tone, attitude and ueasy balance between pithyness and readability, the result is probably more Bierce than me.
So yes, the other day I finished reading Fantastic Fables in full for the first time. Less famous than The Devil's Dictionary, it does seem to have been compiled in the same way - as a collection of snarky little bites from the humour section of Bierce's newspaper.
The Dictionary has made Bierce famous as a man whose misanthropic cynicism was viciously ahead of his time. Combined with his pervading fascination with the macbre (An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is a based on a rather nasty idea and I understand he also did Cthulu stories and seemed to enjoy reports of spousal murder) I can't help feeling like after his mysterious disappearance he went of to invent modern popular culture.
Fables is a bit less accesible than the Dictionary. I may have a read of Aesop then try Bierce again just to be sure I'm getting all the jokes I can. But a number of them also seem to at least partly reference contemporary events of the US in the 1890s, so I won't panic about it.
The edition I was reading, a facsimilie which came via a web order, appears, by the odd proportion of the pages and the laser-printedness of the text (shiny writing!) to have been made on demand by some people who do all sorts of obscure stuff. Good on them.
There are plenty of gems in the Fable that shine for the ages though. Here's one based on issues I have yet to experience:
The Fabulist and the Animals
A Wise and illustrious Writer of Fables was visiting a travelling menagerie with a view to collecting literary materials. As he was passing near the Elephant, that animal said:
“How sad that so justly famous a satirist should mar his work by ridicule of people with long noses—who are the salt of the earth!”
The Kangaroo said:
“I do so enjoy that great man’s censure of the ridiculous—particularly his attacks on the Proboscidæ; but, alas! he has no reverence for the Marsupials, and laughs at our way of carrying our young in a pouch.”
The Camel said:
“If he would only respect the sacred Hump, he would be faultless. As it is, I cannot permit his fables to be read in the presence of my family.”
The Ostrich, seeing his approach, thrust her head in the straw, saying:
“If I do not conceal myself, he may be reminded to write something disagreeable about my lack of a crest or my appetite for scrap-iron; and although he is inexpressibly brilliant when he devotes himself to censure of folly and greed, his dulness is matchless when he transcends the limits of legitimate comment.”
“That,” said the Buzzard to his mate, “is the distinguished author of that glorious fable, ‘The Ostrich and the Keg of Raw Nails.’ I regret to add, that he wrote, also, ‘The Buzzard’s Feast,’ in which a carrion diet is contumeliously disparaged. A carrion diet is the foundation of sound health. If nothing else but corpses were eaten, death would be unknown.”
Seeing an attendant approaching, the wise and illustrious Writer of Fables passed out of the tent and mingled with the crowd. It was afterward discovered that he had crept in under the canvas without paying.
* correct spelling of the day: prerogative. I may have noticed that before, but it sure didn't stick.
* everybody go meet The Standover Group: grinding down the masses since 2008.
Monday, May 12, 2008
For what it's worth, this morning I remembered a further explanation I meant to include for the term 'grandparenting': "the way, at this rate, those who are currently children will be grandparents before a proper scheme gets implemented".
So, there you go. Director's cut.
Elsewhere - as you may have read in places with more punch than here - The Dim-Post gets a room.
Late Bonus: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0805/S00159.htm
Friday, May 02, 2008
Bit of the old humour there.
More satirical is the return of the Dim Post on Kiwiblog: Violent Bible Book Should be Banned. You can also read the comments for proof of the prose-interpretation skills of some Kiwiblog commenters.
Incidentally, you can still see the squid-cam footage, or if you're still hungry for satiricalness, go find some Tom Lehrer (and thanks to Ms Gracewood for a pointer to some of Lehrer's more obscure work).