Post-Lin 2

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ho-ly shit. Emergency vehicles driving along Houston and Bleecker have this habit of — instead of just letting their siren run normally RRRRRREEEEEEEEooooooorrrrrrrrRRRRREEEEEEE-etc. — they, like, flip the siren switch on-and-off quickly, causing it to emit a tremendously annoying REEE-rREEEE-rrrrRREE-RREE-REE-rRE sound that absolutely 100% makes it impossible to think straight in the apartment. Of all of the various noises that drift up into our apartment from the city below, this is by far — by far — the worst.

This just happened a moment ago. Kevin went out onto the balcony to see what could possibly be going on. Nothing. Just an ambulance cruising east on Bleecker.

I just got back from a run from Washington Square Village down Houston to the Hudson River and south to the WTC site. About 2¼ miles. It’s about 40°F out — nice — so I had to take advantage even though I’ve just been feeling so crunched for time this past week back in New York City.

But the larger event of the day was, I suppose, the second session of Douglas Rushkoff’s Post-Linear Narrative Lab class.

So last week we made groups and were given this odd scenewriting assignment. Create a scene using somewhat random phrases we were asked to write down (not knowing what the assignment would be) and using a prescribed blocking. The Jacques Lecoq Knock-Knock exercise.

Our lines, by the way:

  • Person 1: “How’s the weather out there?”
  • Person 2: “Get that out of your mouth.”
  • Person 2: “Even the cat shouldn’t look like that.”
  • Person 3: “The world revolves.”
  • Person 4: “I’m hungry.”
  • Person 1: “Shut up!”
  • Person 3: “Where is it?”
  • Person 4: “I want to eat sushi tonight.

Okay. So now try to make that into a scene that doesn’t involve people who are either all on drugs or insane. Using just those lines in that order.

Rebecca Bray, Angelina, [another girl whose name I keep forgetting — ack], and I met on Saturday at 1pm to figure out what to do with this. Our solution (based on Rebecca’s good idea): Persons #1 and #4 are kids. #1 is sick. #4 is hungry (obviously). Person #3 is a distracted parent, under some kind of unknown stress. Person #2 is the housekeeper or butler who has the unwanted duty of trying to make the parent pay attention to the kids. Or something like that.

We showed our scene in class today and Douglas pulled it apart a bit. Our class reading (and the focus of the discussion for the first hour-and-a-half of class) was Aristotle’s Poetics, so he kind of used that as an angle for analysis and tried to compel us to tighten the scene, allowing each character to have an engaging turning point in the short story. The point of the exercise, I guess.

Anyway, now we have to work it again to show again next week. Redoing this assignment doesn’t really thrill me all that much — I’d rather move on to something else. But. So it goes.

Oh, and Michael Harari returned the jacket I left at the party on Saturday night. So that’s a relief.