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the macguffin has commented on (2) products.

Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges
Death of the Liberal Class

the macguffin, February 22, 2011

Hope is small. Hedges makes this clear in his work time and again. But it's there, it's all around us, and in our small opportunities to act . . . but it is going to be in those minute traces of kindness in our everyday lives. In Portland, I see 'Random Acts of Kindness" on bumperstickers. But that might be all we have become, as Hedges would argue. A bunch of walking, talking slogans without tangible action. If we could not somehow advertise these virtues we flare on facebook for our own esteem, would we have anything to do with them?

Others have warned of a pending demise of this Empire. All are marginalized as being 'gloomy'. Hedges will no doubt be right up there with them, but it's sad to say that he may very well be correct. The 'sensual man on the street' Auden mentions in a poem Hedges now and then cites. This book is about them and their need to perpetually look away. "The lights must never go out. The music must always play."

This book is inspiring in a sense. A call to arms against all the futile purchasing power we have in buying Teas to Save Tibet - as our neighbors get sideways glances in an age of self-absorbtion and fear.

Hedges is often critiqued for not posing a solution. I argue he does. Find those little moments that are within your power. When you might otherwise look the other way. I assure you they are there. And act. The more seemingly stupid and random and peacefully the better. An authoritarian State does not know what to do with that. And we are there.
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Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama by David Mamet
Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama

the macguffin, January 3, 2008

I first bought this in its lovely hardcover edition upon its first publication. It is one of those books I keep having to find again and again. I lend it to people with no intention of getting it back - besides, so much of it rings true in my blood. It is simple, inspiring and a gift.

What is the protagonists journey is the artists journey.

The usual Mamet common sense is used throughout. It is in many cases truly sublime. If you miss this, you may be chomping through this too quickly. Chew it slow. It's all there.

As you read, perhaps highlighting passages as I did, look for statement which concludes "In goats, it is leaping. In humans, it is art."

As a theater artist, in the now and then wariness of this starving life and calling, it is a work to return to. I remember the nobility of what we do and why we do it.

A slim, beautiful work.
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