Big Love by Charles Mee is a modern realization of classic Greek Tragedy loosely based on The Suppliants, by Aeschylus. Mee states: “It’s all about refugees and gender wars and men and women trying to find what will get them through the rubble of dysfunctional relationships, and anger and rage and heartache. ...You know, unlike so much drama on television, where there’s a small misunderstanding at the top of the hour that you know is going to be resolved before the final commercial break. The Greeks start with matricide, fratricide..." In other words, it is perfect for today!
A 40th anniversary edition of The World According to Garp came out this month with a brand new introduction by the author. In it, John Irving describes how he had thought that the book would grow to irrelevance within a few years. A sharp and often funny novel, its themes include feminism, men and masculinity, sex, and respect for LBGTs. He had figured that soon the nation’s attitudes would change and that new laws would be passed to protect those who are too easily looked over, oppressed, or harassed. He figured wrong. All these years later, these themes are more pertinent than ever.
Recently Vanity Fair magazine revisited the story of Lorena Bobbitt who cut off the penis of her philandering husband while he slept. “Twenty-five years ago, one woman’s act of rage against her husband riveted the world. She’s moved on. He hasn’t.” Interviewed for the article, the husband, John Wayne Bobbit, who after his dis–“member”–ment went on to capitalize on his fame, including a pornographic film called Frankenpenis, protests to the interviewer, Lili Anolik: “I didn’t batter Lorena…I’m a Marine. I’m trained to protect people.” To this Anolik writes: “He’s waiting for me to respond and it suddenly dawns on me why his eyes unnerved me so that day. They’re Trump’s eyes – small, blue, panicky. In a rush, I realize how much the two have in common: tabloid covers, The Playboy Mansion, pornographic actresses … It’s the macho swagger coupled with the crybaby belief that the human race has wronged them, that it’s a witch hunt or that they’ve been framed, fake news …somehow John and our President are the primitive men who are, paradoxically, the modern men. “
What’s old is new again. Thank you for joining us!