I’m exhausted. Nocturnal by nature, the Sun tends to lull me to sleep…Ahh, the breezy warmth of a Los Angeles winter. Like snuggling up in mamushka’s queen sized bed while she makes me cafe con leche. I’m waiting for my fish ceviche tostada and taco de pescado empanizado.
I spend nights awake & alert: working on art projects, writing, reading, scheming, watching movies, saving the world one conversation at a time till’ 4 in da’ mornin’ with a besty, or trying desperately to sleep “like a healthy person” for hours upon end. This is why I LOVE the weekends. I don’t have to feel any guilt, fear, or negative physical repercussions over my internal clock’s odd nature. Friday night, Saturday, & Sunday are idyllic: Sleep in until 2p or 3p, run around and do stuff in the light of the world until it wanes (errands, brunches, exhibits, plays), and then when the sky turns the blue black it won’t shake for hours: I work on my art projects, write, read, scheme, watch movies, and save the world one conversation at a time til 4′ in da’ mornin’ with a besty.
“Besty” and/or “Besties” refers to dear friends I profoundly enjoy. I learned the term in junior high. I use it often since then. Although I must admit, I like saying the word more than seeing it written.
So on Sunday at 10p, the night solidified its stay and my eyes wouldn’t close for even a blink. My eyeballs were dry, meyng. My tooth cavity hurt too. So, I logged into Baby Dewds’ netflix account and watched some celluloid.
First, I saw the Comedy Central Bob Saget roast, which was more of a “hug/I really love you, man aka john stamos/you’re such a GAY jew dewd, huh huh” Fest than a “haha” fest. It was no Pam Anderson roast. Also, watching Norm McDonald’s face puffed up by wet brain was not funny. At all. Only drunks at the brink of wet brain who get sloppy and have some sort of “rock n’ roll” background are funny. Like Courtney love on the Pam Anderson roast. No, wait. Her slow death isn’t really that funny either. Just Jeff Ross’ take on it. Man, Comedy Central Roasts are so depressing to think back on.
After that, I watched what brings me to blogging yet again at “Ceviche Loco” — The documentary Theater of War. It dissects German playwright Bertolt Brecht’s renowned 1939 play Mother Courage & Her Children — and follows its NYC adaptation with Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Tony Kusher during 2006. I clicked on it because 1) The play starred the dynamite dame Meryl Streep & 2) I’d never before seen a documentation of a single play’s “behind-the-scenes” process (playwrights and their plays — yes, but not one specific play)… So I thought, “HEY! Let’s do it.”
I knew nothing of Brecht or Mother Courage & Her Children so I was excited to learn more about the whole bada-bing.
It was a fascinating documentary. Not for the cinematic artistry as the cinematography, editing, and sound design were amateur, but more for its multi-angle approach to exploring the play material.
You could tell the doc had been pieced together by someone who loved this play. Not someone wowed by the hollywood fame of Streep and Kline or the pretension of comprehending THE THEATAWR, but by a collection of someones who wanted the audience to UNDERSTAND the play’s significance — its pivotal meaning to society — especially today. The doc inspires one to reflect on their ideological beliefs not just theoretically (e.g. conversations with besties till’ 4 in da’ mornin’), but in the flesh.
How deeply do you embody your political loyalties? Would you die for them? Sacrifice your limb, your sight, your child? Your business? Are the virtues of youth exploited by war?
Without having read the play or seen it performed, I can only discuss the contemplations aroused by the documentary and its reflections on Brecht’s Mother Courage & Her Children.
Mother Courage & Her Children‘s Quick Overview courtesy of Amazon.com:
Anna Fierling, an itinerant trader during the seventeenth century, becomes known as “Mother Courage” after the constant warfare gradually claims all of her children.Play by Bertolt Brecht, written in German as Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder: Eine Chronik aus dem Dreissigjahrigen Krieg, produced in 1941 and published in 1949. Composed of 12 scenes, the work is a chronicle play of the Thirty Years’ War and is based on the picaresque novel Simplicissimus (1669) by Hans Jakob Grimmelshausen. In 1949 Brecht staged Mother Courage, with music by Paul Dessau, in the Soviet sector of Berlin. The plot revolves around a woman who depends on war for her personal survival and who is nicknamed Mother Courage for her coolness in safeguarding her merchandise under enemy fire. One by one her three children die, yet she continues her profiteering. — The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
Kattrin: The mute daughter “who is killed as she attempts to warn a town about an imminent siege.” – Empathy killed her.Eilif: “Mother Courage’s eldest and favorite son, he is something of a thug, though she thinks him “dashing” and “brave.” He is recruited by the Recruiting Officer in the first scene, and he seems after that to really enjoy the war. Much praised by the General in Scene 2 for slaughtering peasants and stealing their livestock, Eilif is executed for committing the same deed in Scene 6 in peacetime. Mother Courage never knows of his death.” – Fearlessness killed him.Swiss Cheese: “Mother Courage’s younger son. Swiss Cheese is, according to his mother, too honest. He is painted by Brecht to be rather stupid. He takes a job as paymaster of the Second Finnish Regiment and attempts to hide its cashbox so that he can return it to his general after the Catholics have gained power. He is caught with it and shortly executed.” – Honesty killed him.