Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baal


German Modernist plays? Why yes! Ich bewundere es! They rank quite high on my list of "dig-ables" - (like Japanese meta-fiction or listening to a swarthy man in tight uniform pants speak Farsi while watching Mrs. Doubtfire and applying lipstick to the nipples of a Ukranian Priest upon receiving a blumpkin whilst playing "Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn") - and Bertolt Brecht's piece "Baal" blows my skirt up, literally, up and over my head.

The story traces the decline of a drunken and dissolute poet, Baal, an anti-hero who rejects the conventions and trappings of polite society. This honors the German Sturm und Drang tradition which celebrates the cult of the genius living outside the conventions of society that would later destroy him. "The outcast, the disillusioned tough becomes the hero; he may be criminal, he may be semi-human," argues John Willett, "but in plays like Baal he can be romanticized into an inverted idealist, blindly striking out at the society in which he lives." Baal roams the countryside, womanizing and brawling. He seduces Johanna, who subsequently drowns herself. He spurns his pregnant mistress Sophie and abandons her. He murders his friend Ekart, becoming a fugitive from the police. Defiantly aloof from the consequences of his actions, Baal is nonetheless brought low by his debauchery, dying alone in a forest hut, hunted and deserted, and leaving in his wake the corpses of deflowered maidens and murdered friends.

Wholesome fun for the whole family!
Here is my absolute favorite piece from the play, the beautiful and melancholy "Remembering Marie A."

It was a day in that blue month September
Silent beneath the plum trees' slender shade
I held her there
My love, so pale and silent
As if she were a dream that must not fade
Above us in the shining summer heaven
There was a cloud my eyes dwelled long upon
It was quite white and very high above us
Then I looked up
And found that it had gone
And since that day, so many moons in silence
Have swum across the sky and gone below
The plum trees surely have been chopped for firewood
And if you ask, how does that love seem now
I must admit, I really can't remember
And yet I know what you are trying to say
But what her face was like, I know no longer
I only know I kissed it on that day
As for the kiss, I long ago forgot it
But for the cloud that floated in the sky
I know that still and shall forever know it
It was quite white and moved in very high
It may be that the plum trees still are blooming
That woman's seventh child may now be there
And yet that cloud had only bloomed for minutes
When I looked up
It vanished on the air.


Wasn't that lovely? Here's a toast to those that suffer for the arts!

Gefrorene Blaurisse

4 oz Everclear alcohol

1 oz Absolut vodka

2 oz Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps

3 oz Blue Curacao liqueur

16 oz pina colada mix

Pour all the ingredients into a large blender. Blend with enough ice to give the cocktail the consistency of a frozen margarita. Pour into a margarita glass and garnish with as many bitter tears as you see fit.

Sing along with Miranda Sex Garden!

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man