Wednesday, January 22


on New Year's Day I read this little post about the congealing associations we sometimes make when we have time to ingest plenty of culture and art and loveliness all at once. I have blogged about the author of this little post--the really interesting Russell Davies before, a few times. and in one of those previous ponderings (this one to be exact) I allude to the draft of the post you are now reading. at last I have sat down to write about all the overlap between Shakespeare + The Cardigans.

or something.

enjoy this grainy old music video of the song in question as a prelude:

almost three summers ago I saw Utah Shakespeare in the Park's performance of All's Well That Ends Well. my memories of the plot are stiff and frosted-over, but a quick review of the cast list reminds me that poor Helena here, she could have sung her own cover of "Lovefool" to this Bertram fellow and it would have matched so mournfully and beautifully and achingly.
it's a crazy hopeless mess of a story. what else would we expect of Shakespeare? this particular performance seemed to hover around that hopelessness, underlining all the trembly desperation of Helena's unrequited attachment to this arrogant, distant man who only reluctantly, and after plenty of trickery and chastisement, consents to act like he's married to her.
what kind of match is this? not quite a fairy tale, despite the rags-to-riches beginning and the magnanimous blessings of the King of France. will Helena be happy? is what she's dreamed of really what she wants? will she not care if he really loves her, as long as he can pretend well enough?

really this isn't quite what Davies was talking about. I've thought too much now about the play and the song, and since the pairing has sat for nearly three years collecting virtual dust, that means it lacks the casual, hey-look-at-that-ness of any more authentic, more serendipitous match.

but Davies's post struck a chord of sorts and this summers-old memory is only one example. I get it. sometimes certain things bring out little touches of nuance in each other at just the right moment, whether for obvious reasons or less obvious. kairos, those ancient Greeks might call it.

I recently finished proofreading a manuscript about 1960s college basketball and racism. my dad and brothers were watching O Brother Where Art Thou in the basement however many weeks ago that was. two stories set decades apart, tugging at each others' themes. one making the racist South into an easily knocked-at joke, the other using it for an important, relevance-boosting scholarly backdrop. the book and the film both mean something a little bit different when you put them next to each other.

so what else? I notice and want to match up the correspondences between Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat  + Wilco's "Summerteeth." between the games Plato's Socrates seems to play so brutally in his dialogues + videogames like Portal. between the poetic but philandering character of Dr. Lyman in Bus Stop (which I saw and enjoyed at the local theatre last week with friend Liz) + the poetic but shallow character behind Nein Quarterly. maybe between everything and everything else. this, that, then, now.

that's what I think plenty of these little blogposts are--congealments of sort-of-hmmm-maybe-not-really-but-yeah-related-ish thoughts. I write them into togetherness. sometimes they stick. sometimes they stretch off into too-subtle-for-actual-text-but-just-right-for-hypertext directions. other times they are all so sticky I can't help but put them down in the same set of paragraphs.

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