Thursday, January 27, 2011
The "story" hits the basic plot points: Peter Parkre (Ray Tagavilla) is handed a drink by Radioactive Steve Winwood (Mark Siano) and so develops another personality, Spidermann (Osebold). He falls for a hot redhead named Mary Jane Taymor (Erin Jorgensen on Saturday, though the role was played by a different actress every night) and interacts with his Uncle Ben (played by Evan Mosher, holding a box of Uncle Ben's instant rice), Aunt Jemima (Mosher again, holding a bottle of maple syrup), and a villain named Spidermensch (Mosher, refreshingly prop-free). After getting the contextual jokes out of the way (Uncle Ben has a compulsive need to say "With great power comes great responsibility" all the time, including in the bathroom), the center of the play is a series of dream sequences, toying with the characters' relationships. An assholish Spidermann has a coke-fueled sex party with Mary Jane; Spidermann and Parkre are gay lovers, about to host Parkre's homophobic Uncle Ben for the first time; Parkre is a mad scientist who clones Mary Jane when his powers drain the life out of her.
Sinbad Pulls a Huge Crowd to Macworld Keynote [Macworld 2011] | Cult of Mac:
Here’s a panoramic pic of the huge crowd that just went into the main auditorium at San Francisco’s Moscone Center West to hear what the comedian Sinbad has to say about, well, Macs presumably.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
For another, he's got a good story to tell. Not just the saga of Steve Jobs' rise and fall and rise again at Apple, which, after all, has been told before. But the story of his trip to Shenzhen, China -- that "Special Economic Zone" with a population 10 million that he describes as looking like Blade Runner threw up on itself.
For unlike nearly every journalist who covered the Foxconn suicide story -- and accepted Steve Jobs' declaration last year that his beloved products are not being assembled in a sweat shop -- Daisey actually went there, breathed the toxic air, and met some of the people who make our iPhones and iPads.
In the presence of scowling guards carrying machine guns, Daisey talked to Foxconn workers who told him they were 14, 13 and 12 years old. "Do you really think that Apple doesn't know?" he asks rhetorically.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
China is Washington state's biggest foreign customer, with a shopping list long dominated by Boeing planes and aerospace parts worth close to $4 billion annually.
Yet the nature of that trade is subtly changing, reflecting China's appetite for materials to feed its booming industries.
What we're shipping from Seattle to ports such as Shanghai are more raw materials, food and basic commodities, things such as timber, copper and silicon.
"It looks like we're a Third World country," said Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle President Bill Stafford.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
As a new year dawns, we are delighted to announce a national tour for our monologue, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS, which opens this week in the Bay Area at Berkeley Rep, and will go on to major engagements in both Washington DC and Seattle, running from now until late May.
This is a very special show for us—I don't think Jean-Michele and I have ever worked as hard as we have bringing this piece to light, or have poured as much of ourselves into the work as we have into this story. This monologue is the apotheosis of years of journalism, travel, research, investigation, sweat, and tears...and I believe it tells an untold and deeply necessary story for our time.
On the one hand is the story of Steve Jobs—his genius, his egotism, and his vision, a real life Willy Wonka whose obsessions have shaped our daily world. It explores the mysteries of the cult of Apple, the dream of a laptop so thin you can cut a sandwich with it, and the idea that if you control the metaphor through which we see the world, then in our age now, you can control the world itself.
This story of technology and its pleasures is told against the landscape of southern China, where I witnessed firsthand the true human cost of creating all of our marvelous tools. This behind-the-scenes journey into the heart of the forges where iPods, iPhones, laptops, and all our technology spills forth illuminates a place where workers throw themselves to their deaths from high-rises in modern-day workhouses, where workers die on the production line of overwork, where they sleep in cement cells with dozens of women and men crammed in rooms like labor camps—a landscape of our own making.
Today Steve Jobs announced he is stepping down from Apple for health reasons. It is almost impossible to imagine Apple without him, and there's a palpable sense of loss and change as the tech industry struggles to know what this will mean for its future.
We stand at a crossroads, and it is my sincere belief that this story, capturing both his genius and his stubbornness, his brilliance and his ridiculousness, can help turn our attention to how the tech industry can grow up and begin to take responsibility for its decisions. Now is the best moment for us to look deeply and actually begin to see there's something more significant than the next iPhone's release, the next keynote presentation. Now is the moment to start waking up.
This is the best work I have ever created, and I hope you'll consider coming to be part of the story.
Be seeing you,
Obviously. Obviously! Yes, it obviously means "being falsely accused of having blood on your hands," if you are Jewish, and the context is that someone is falsely accusing of having the blood of murdered children on your hands, as you perform religious rituals. I can't believe the nerve of some liberals, insisting that a term used to describe a specific and pernicious anti-Semitic myth not be hijacked by a narcissistic failed sports reporter as part of her eternal victimhood parade.
Friday, January 14, 2011
It may be the New Year, but sadly, it appears that the mere turning-over of the calendar isn’t enough to put a stop to the slate of Foxconn suicides: last Friday, a female engineer leaped from her brother’s 10th floor flat to her death after being insulted by a superior, ordered to quit, then sent to a psychiatric hospital on Foxconn’s orders.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The Last Cargo Cult at Berkeley Rep:
Mike Daisey, first-person journalist and one of the finest solo performers of our time, takes full advantage of this emotional spectrum by guiding the audience through his deft arguments and witty commentary like a master puppeteer, benevolent yet incisive.
Sitting alone at a desk in the center of the stage, Daisey describes his travels during the financial crisis to a remote island in the South Pacific where American commerce is worshipped beneath an erupting volcano. Playing the two cultures off one another, Daisey illuminates our relationship with the vast machine of world finance. Struggling with dilemmas about what the collapse implies about our collective cultural values, The Last Cargo Cult has been called one of the best in Daisey’s impressive catalogue. It’s playing alongside The Agony and the Ecstacy of Steve Jobs this month.
Friday, January 07, 2011
Monday, January 03, 2011
Yesterday, after 48 years of business, the Fun Forest at Seattle Center quietly ceased operations. Plagued by financial woes, mismanagement, and cultural change, the Fun Forest has been limping along for years. For many, it had become an eyesore, located on some very expensive property.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Mayor Bloomberg spent yesterday getting finger-wagged by angry taxpayers over the snow removal failure, and he let everyone know just how lousy he's feeling about it on his radio show this morning. "This year is not ending the way I would have preferred, but it's still been a good year. Nobody has a career that goes straight up," he glumly pronounced. He also added that the city's failure to plow the streets days after the blizzard was "character building." We're sure those disgruntled people stuck on unplowed streets are very pleased to know that this is all about your personal growth