Staging Self-Consciousness vs. Self-Conscious Stage

H. Blau

H. Blau

I’m in a class with Professor Herbert Blau this quarter. I’m not quite the academic sponge– I don’t know who’s so well known in “circles”, or who’s done what, or whatevers. I barely have my schools of thought down (let’s just say, I have no idea. No. Idea. what this means.), but apparently he’s pretty accomplished. And when I say pretty, I mean very.

He’s my teacher for the dreaded senior capstone us Engrish majors have to take before we gradroolamate, and the class is named: DRAMATIC LITERATURE: THE SELF-CONSCIOUS STAGE.

As an accomplished and historically relevant figure in the explosion of avant-garde theatre during the ’60′s (Beckett’s Waiting for Godot production at the San Quentin Prison), Prof. Blau is perhaps smaller in stature, mild in appearance, but his presence as a lecturer is explosive. I’m terrified; but then I see myself being terrified, and then I’m just skittishly bamboozled.
Miley knows how contemplative we can be

Miley knows how contemplative we can be

It’s a good thing, though: the topic is so interesting to me. Because I am a creepy and mostly introverted person, I spend a lot of the time contemplating life (someone accused this of being an Asiatic trait; quiet and contemplative) and mostly, the existence of people’s lives on same, different, or parallel planes. What makes us run? What makes us click? What happens when spheres of realities collide? And, of course: the subjectivity of any “TRUTH”–! We just read Pirandello’s It is So! (If You Think So) for Wednesday’s homework (Oh gosh, today’s Tuesday– good to know–) and it’s clear that realities are subjected to people’s personal beliefs. Whatever intentions a message may have, the interpretations are completely dependent on the rules of the receiver’s reality.
Mars Hill Church... Sunday Night Live

Mars Hill Church... Sunday Night Live

For example, Mars Hill Church sends me Facebook invites to their services every week, and while they might be thinking of friendly gestures to include me in their group, I have an absolute repulsion for persistence in trying to spread religious beliefs onto others. Which is why I’ve deleted them. The update to do with how Heaven has not gotten very good PR was my last straw. In any case, their consistent agenda (really? I say no EVERY WEEK) makes hostile feelings resurface, and I find myself with thinning patience. But I’m pretty sure they don’t mean it like that. They probably have no idea that I feel so strongly against these invitations. The fact is, their rules and reality– the involvement of religion in their every-day lives and interaction, for example– is on a completely different plane. And no one’s more wrong or right, in my opinion– as for them, I have no clue as to their stance on religious tolerance. On a different note, religion itself is a more obvious of performance of beliefs; otherwise, daily interactions, explicated structures of feelings and thought are more subtle examples of personal performances.
One shade of this concept: the self-conscious stage :: has to do with performance outside the theater. Social cues prompt certain social customs– is that not  a performance? Is the way you behave with family more truthfully “YOU” then they way you behave with a certain circle of friends? But on the other hand, if everything is a performance, then is anything a performance? Would it all become just… “life”? Is performance in theater just a deliberate re-play of our lives, or our multifaceted performances *of* life?
Performance or life as phony?

Performance or life as phony?

Mostly, why does this matter?Is this what drove Sylvia Plath, Holden Caulfield, Franny, and Zooey mad?
There was a moment on the Spanish Steps, when I was watching tourists from all over the world mill and mix about, I realized that they Whys and Wants of the world are too much for any one person to handle, and to try to puzzle out an endless riddle must be a silly thing to do. Rather, we make a nonsensical riddle of things before us through the delusions and poetically romantic aspirations for life to be more than just life! But an unwavering truth, like the myth of unwavering true love, something that surpasses taxes, homework, waking up every day, the angst and conflict of existence, the need to check Facebook for useless information, and the reason for looking twice before crossing a street. The simple quiet struggle of returning home to loved ones after a long day. Professor Blau pronounced this :: “I don’t care if there isn’t a truth, I’ve GOT to have it!” — it’s what propels Mars Hill to spread the Gospel through incredible viral marketing that utilizes young, college social networks and fresh m inds to mold; it’s what pushes students at the University of Washington to be ontime to their 8:30 AM class Monday through Friday, it’s what justifies the weariness of tired parents when they sign another check for their children’s increasing tuition. It’s what makes us explore the world in so many lights– for whom is this alley darkened or brightly lit with welcoming doors of opportunity…?
Thus, life continues to infuriate me. Reasons and nonreasons ravage at my rationality and tie knots in my stomach, until I vomit words onto a blog post that perhaps 10 people will glance at for an average of 48 seconds.
Excellent; carry on– in fact, click HERE for some nice distractions to forget whatever I’m trying to say– for artist Kumi Yamashita does a great job in deceptive distractions with fantastic shadow art…
Graciousss

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