Monday, June 9, 2008



We are in rehearsals for a play I wrote a dozen years ago. Pretty wild. I am hearing actors unfamiliar with
Soiree Dada or the original production discussing things never considered the first time around. In the play, there's is a scene where the dadas are debating - more like lamenting - about whether or not to take an offer to go to The New York. They are eventually swayed by their mutual hatred for futurism embodied by an ass of a man named Haliday played in the original production wonderfully by Lori McClain(!).

Last night we talked about Futurism and why they should care about what this guy thinks.

Furturism started in Italy about a decade ahead of dada. It was art in all classic forms with a disdain for the past and an embrace of the modern, especially in architecture and technology. In the 1920's, they were strongly linked with fascism and Mussolini.

There was a natural antagonism between Dada and Futurism not unlike Oscar Madison (Messy Dada) and Felix Unger (Anal Futurism). Futurism also glorified war where Dadaism was born, in part, out of distaste for such nasty things. Dada, being newer, also might be accused of stealing Futurism's thunder of being the hot, new thing. Both forms wrote passionate manifestos about their art, but only the Futurists took them seriously. Dada manifestos would even call out Futurism.

futurism wants to mount in an artistic lyricism-elevator WHAT DOES DADA DO?

The Futurist is dead. Of What? Of DADA

Speaking of Art

My cousin Nate's exhibition runs through July 13th. I mistakenly thought it was June 13th. Go see it. He is prominently featured at the Jack Gallery and images on the web don't do his artwork justice. It is all hand painted and very vibrant. His latest work is right in the main window at the entrance.

It was great getting caught up with Nate, his girlfriend and his parents. And I was proud to hear that Nate was stirring up some controversy in my home town by being outspoken about the long overdue change to the name of the high schools sports teams - The Redskins. When you grow up with it, it's hard to see it. Even I have been late in thinking that Port Clinton High School should consider another name. But, seriously, the redskins? It really is as offensive as calling them The Chinks or The Coloreds. There's concern that the alternative is the most obvious choice for the region and not necessarily a good one, The Walleyes. The Fighting Walleyes. I can see the point. Sounds like the team is made up of special needs students.
Go Walleyes!


Michael Brownlee and Karyn Morris (now Brownlee) tied the knot this last Saturday during rain and tornado sirens in the humid jungles of south central Wisconsin. Regardless of the weather, everyone was in good spirits and it was a touching ceremony. Even if the minister looked like Snidely Whiplash. Julie and I got a hotel room about an hour away and, even though we dealt with some torrential rain, didn't have any difficulty getting there or leaving. Unlike Don, who played trumpet for them.


On Friday, I asked...

"Graduates of Westlake High School in Ohio got a surprise when they noticed which misspelled word on their diplomas?"

40% said "gradation"
- What they really meant was de-gradation.

10% said "diphloma"
- Fortunately, they have a vaccine for that.

10% said "satisfartorily"
- Nope. That's just me trying to work the word "fart" into my blog.

40% got it right with "educaiton"

According to The Associated Press,
Westlake High School officials misspelled "education" on the diplomas distributed two weekends ago. Principal Timothy Freeman says he sent back the diplomas once to correct another error. When the diplomas came back, no one bothered to check things they thought were right the first time. The publisher has reprinted the diplomas a second time and sent them to the 330 graduates. All a part of George W. Bush's "No Chid Left Behind" program.

FYI - The name of Westlake High School's sports teams? The Demons. Or is it, the Demins? Go evil!


Pop ARF said...

Hey Joe! It was great seeing you at the show and getting to talk a bit. We definitely need to hang out and chat again. I'll see if Mel & I can make it for your show in July.

About our talks on the Port Clinton Redskin, here is a link to a message I had published in the Beacon and on local forums in Port Clinton.
I hope this link works:
Redskins.....Blackskins....Yellowskins?? Redskin is about as affectionate as the word “Negro."

In case the link does not work, this is what I wrote on the subject:

Hey there Port Clinton students and Alumni!
I think it's been long over due, that we should be called the Fighting Walleye. Come on people what would you rather be the Blackskins or the Yellowskins? Haven't we done enough injustice to the Native Americans? Our school needs to get with it and quit being ignorant, it's embarrassing.
It just makes sense that we should be called something to do with Walleye's because isn't that what this town prides its self on? (To all the naysayers, what would you rather be called the "Truckers?") Come on now........

Think about it?

I find it hard to believe that Port Clinton High School continually refuses to change a name that is offensive to Native Americans across the nation, as well as to many concerned people of other races. Redskin is a racist moniker originally used by pale Europeans to degradingly refer to Native American skin color. Although the Washington Bullets were forced to change their name because of “violent connotations," the clearly insulting and racist “Redskin," is still considered acceptable by its supporters.

“Anyone who’s against discrimination should agree with [a name change]," “I think it’s wrong. I think they should change it, because we invaded their land…and changed their way of life. So we leave them with nothing and use types of names that are derogatory. It’s similar to persecution of other races."

Like I said think about it.........I bet we couldn't go one day if our name was the Blackskins!! Pretty ignorant, I hope you will agree...

Cleveland apparently is thinking Walleyes are cool since they are thinking of naming their Hockey team the "Fighting Walleye"

Joe Janes said...

Thanks, Nate. I guess if Ohio State can be Buckeyes PCHS can certainly be Walleyes. A walleye is more likely to be an advantage in the sports arena than a tree, I think.

Pop ARF said...

Good point!

I really think people just have a problem with "Change." They like the thought of it, but if you describe in detail the "Change" it's always rejected....because it's change- something different.

Pete Best said...

Redskins must be an Ohio thing. My high school team was the Crestwood Redskins. Not only is the name racist, but none of the communities that are part of the school system are named Crestwood. And that's why I moved to Canada.

Anonymous said...

Joe thanks so much for the quick tutorial about futurists and dadas. I think for a double-company publicity day, we should grab the neo-futurists and do a west-side story dance battle. Each group can express their feelings about war in an epic dance.

p.s. 'm so glad you wrote this play. I'm having the time of my life. - xoxoLisa F