Thursday, March 09, 2006

Huffington Asks How To Dramatize the Already Absurd

The title of Arianna's Column really says it all:

The White House's New Iraq Messaging Team: Ionesco, Beckett and Genet

Huffington's piece doesn't live up to the juicy premise promised by the title, (despite including a link to a 1962 New York Times article about Absurd Theatre by a "33 year-old playwright," Edward Albee, who "is "working on a new play, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' for fall production.")

The money quote from Huffington's piece is this gem:
And check out this self-contradicting, media-bashing Rumsfeld gem: "The impression that one gets from the media that [Iraq] is in total disarray simply isn't accurate. That is not to say that what is being reported doesn't happen. It does." And: "I think that people do understand that [the media] dramatizes
things. But that's not to say it's inaccurate."


Got that? It's not that what reporters are reporting "doesn't happen" or is "inaccurate", it's that what they are reporting is "exaggerated" and filled with "a steady stream of errors". Ionesco would have been proud. I half-expected Rummy to turn into a rhinoceros in mid-sentence.

Amen.

Albee makes Huffington seem like a cub though when he writes: "In the end--and it must always come down to this, no matter what other failings a theater may have--in the end a public will get what it deserves, and no better." And concludes, with this appraisal of the absurdist theatre:

The avant-garde theatre is fun; it is free-swinging, bold, iconoclastic and often wildly, wildly funny. If you will approach it with childlike innocence--putting your standard responses aside, for they do not apply--if you will approach it on its own terms, I think you will be in for a liberating surprise. I think you may no longer be content with plays that you can't remember halfway down the block.

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