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Iceman Cometh

May 12th, 2013 No comments

Hickey (Dana Hart) 'inspires' his fellow saloon regulars.

Hickey (Dana Hart) ‘inspires’ his fellow saloon regulars.

Peter Roth and I got over to Ensemble last night to let The Iceman Cometh “wash” over us, as Eric Coble put it in a post. It did indeed. Four hours of washing makes for a very good scrubbing. The language does indeed wash over you and sweeps you up and spins you off and out to sea. I was reminded of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood with the powerful language and intense development of many, many characters. The play is truly a mammoth undertaking to see, let alone, I’m sure, to act in, or direct and stage. I can only ponder that effort. I remember going to Stratford one year and watching Night of the Iguana and thinking about how relentless and draining acting in that piece must be. Watching Iceman was confirmation again about the physical requirements of acting in a play that is long and filled with emotional power. Fortunately for Ensemble, the assembled a great cast with many of my favorite actors in Cleveland, including Michael Regnier (who was in my thesis play), Robert Hawkes, Bobby Williams, and Allen Branstein.

I won’t discuss O’Neill’s play that much, as there are other places online that discuss it and do a far better job than can I. All I can say is that I’m glad I got to see it. The folks at Ensemble did a great job.

Another Off-Topic Post: An open letter to my parents (and all others)

March 18th, 2012 No comments

Forks Over Knives

I’m just typing here to let you know that I’ve ordered for you and sent out a DVD called Forks Over Knives. I was recently referred to it by Mike Geither, who was my playwriting professor at CSU.

The conversation came about because I was talking about the movie Food, Inc. which I had just watched, and how the American food system was not only corrupt, but dangerous. I was talking about how Kirsten and I were looking to buy food from local farms and CSAs (community supported agriculture) associations. I was really miffed because in grocery stores you see all this product marketing and labeling that shows sunshine and farms, etc, when really most of the products in stores come from 4 or 5 corporate industrial farms that could give a shit about anyone’s health or safety.

Mike told me about Forks Over Knives. In it there is detailed information that the Western diet POISONS the vast majority of people who ascribe to it. Not by design or malice, of course, but because the evolution of man has not prepared the body for the diet that we have today: high in sugar, salt, fat, and animal protein. There is such a vast amount of data that points to the fact that the eating of meat, dairy, processed sugars, etc. causes cancer, heart disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, allergies, etc., that I just could not ignore the parallels. One of the lead researchers is from the Cleveland Clinic. I am changing my diet for good. Kirsten and I have been talking for a while about changing our diets and the diets of [our children]. This is the foundational change that we will point to. We are going to ease into the transition, and we are not likely to be as radical–meaning we’ll eat, occasionally, some cheese and free-range eggs, etc. But we will be discontinuing the consumption of meat because the evidence points to how devastating it is to the arteries, heart, and how the consumption of animal proteins and by-products causes cancer of the liver, colon, breasts, etc. Not to mention the hormones, antibiotics, and other crap that has been injected into the food supply for so long.

A while ago I asked Dad what he was doing to change his diet in the wake of his colon cancer and he said that he didn’t know and hadn’t seen any resources to help. The DVD I’m sending is a wake-up call for me, and I hope it is for you, too. It is accompanied by a book about diet and has recipes that advocate for an all vegetable, whole foods diet. The DVD talks about cancer and how such a diet REVERSED many of the forms of cancer and other diseases people had, as well as their heart conditions–far more so than prescription medication. Kirst and I are under no illusions about how difficult such a transition will be, especially with kids; and I have no doubt that it will be tough for both of you, given the cultural history of food in this country. I cannot, however, be more convinced of what this DVD has to say and the necessity of making the change.

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