Monday, October 23, 2006

Theater and politics

Yes, it did snow here last week, can you believe it! It was beautiful, though, looking out over the Genesee River at the huge Rush Rhees Library dome on the UR campus, covered with a light dusting of winter flakes. All this looking, of course, was done from the warm confines of my tenth story apartment.

Otherwise... NOT soooo gooood for a California boy, ha!

So, now that outdoor activities are at a premium, it's time to enjoy the indoors. On Sunday I went to see my friend Nikola in The Lower Depths at the UR's Todd Theater. He did some nice work! I thought he was talking about a bit part when we used to chat late at night after he got home from classes. But he played a much larger role as Michael, I was impressed! Nice looking stage wife he had, too, that Virginia. Still, I think he could have taken the Walter character during an altercation in the first act—Nikola looked much bigger (he lifts weights for entertainment). Kidding aside, all these young actors did a great job, some real talent for a university level act. I especially enjoyed the way they set the stage, so you ended up seated at the front porch of the house (an entire replica of a house) after the intermission. It was hilarious when two cops blowing whistles madly came rushing in at the end of the third act and made all of us exit the area, to go back to the other side of the stage where we started, what a surprise.

Then Thursday night I participated in a student political forum sponsored by the Black Students’ Union and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity here on campus. I was nicely welcomed by Raymond, Marquis and Porshea, valued and integral members of BSU, and I admire their efforts. It was a little disappointing that there wasn't more diversity in the crowd; this was a really cool event, lots of discussion, experimentation and polling thrown into the mixed. Plus, everyone appeared to have a good time!

The audience was part of the form and had a chance to comment on six issues that had two slants, then we were polled on each issue to see how we stacked up personally and as a group. Curiously, I found myself in the majority each time. I commented on most issues, of course, and soon they were calling on me by my first name. On the last issue of the night, "gay marriage," the crowd was pretty well split when I offered the last comment. I stated my position! "I wasn't for party one or two, because both were discriminatory against people 'choosing not to marry' and that I would be voting in the undecided column—of which I hadn't done all night—for that reason." I got some immediate but quiet nods from the crowd. Up til then, the undecided column hade received only 0-6 votes max per issue...

Final tally: Largest majority of the night voted Undecided!

Not including my bit, I was impressed with what I heard during the forum; all sides were well represented by some serious, active students and I walked away feeling that America and the world's future was in good hands. I'm doing some volunteer work for the "Ant-Hill Cooperative" on Sunday. The Ant-Hill people get together monthly for a brunch and work-party and I've been keeping in touch.


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