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POETRYETC  October 2008

POETRYETC October 2008

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Subject:

Re: Desdemona

From:

Kenneth Wolman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc: poetry and poetics

Date:

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 15:54:29 -0400

Content-Type:

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Judy Prince wrote:
> Agreed, completely.
> Stand-up, Barry?  Surely you jest.
>
> Judy
>   
>> More "hooks" available than ever before--why not use them.  Which
>> reminds
>> me of the border between stand-up comedy and performance art, along which
>> I've been
>> known to walk.
>>
>> Barry Alpert
>>     

Of course the original statement plus attacks on non-Japanese Haiku are 
the acts of an agent provocateur looking for a fight.  Maybe they are 
themselves a form of performance art. That said, Barry's comments are 
provocative because of the weird line here that I gather David Antin 
also walks or walked: when are you performing and when are you doing 
stand-up Something?

I had the experience--for it was that--yesterday of viewing (finally) an 
extremely odd documentary film called The Aristocrats.  Few people will 
admit to knowing the film or the joke itself.  In one version or another 
it probably is the dirtiest story ever told. For myself, an old friend 
of mine told me ONE version of The Aristocrats back in 1962.  It was 
tame compared to the joke as it's evolved over the years.  Nevertheless, 
I'm not sure how I got home.  Stand-up *and* performance art...both, I 
suppose.   The dancer and the dance?  I can't tell a joke to save myself 
but yesterday I heard/saw the joke told AS a joke and then, via other 
performers, as performance art.  I was particularly entranced by Sarah 
Silverman, an exquisitely beautiful young lady with a potty mouth that 
beggars description unless you quote her, which I will not.  She was 
reclining on a couch or loveseat like a Goya Maja--the posture was 
certainly not like Gilbert Gottfried's classic schtick-worthy foul but 
riotous delivery at the Friar's Club. Silverman was playing instead of 
just telling a dirty joke. She said the joke was about her and her 
family. "We ARE The Aristocrats." It ended with her whispering of an 
encounter with an old-time radio broadcaster, Joe Franklin, concluding 
with "And then he raped me." She went about as far from the original 
story as you could go--the one requirement for the story is to end with 
the words "The Aristocrats!" Instead her ending was both absurd and 
truly grotesque.

So you tell me: when to schtick turn into performance art or shall the 
twain never meet?

Ken

-- 
Ken Wolman	http://bestiaire.typepad.com	http://www.petsit.com/content317832.html
-------------------
"I have been watching you; you were there, unconcerned perhaps, but with a strange distraught air of someone forever expecting a great misfortune, in sunlight, in a beautiful garden."--Maurice Maeterlinck, Pelleas et Melisande

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