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Tag Archives: satire

Speed the Plow

Another David Mamet play seemed a fitting read as I’m currently taking his MasterClass online. I’d seen Speed the Plow performed  at the Remains Theater in 1987, with William Peterson in the lead.

The play is a satire of show business. Charlie Fox brings a movie deal consisting of a hot star and a blockbuster-type script to his long time buddy, Bobby Gould, who’s career is on fire since he’s gotten a promotion. He’s got till 10 am the next morning to get a producer to agree to make it. So he trusts his pal to make the deal, which will earn them boat-loads of money.

They talk about the business and their careers.  They dream of what they’ll do after this life-changing film is released. In the background a temp secretary bungles along with the phone system. Eventually, she comes into the office and winds up having to read a far-fetched novel as a “courtesy read” meaning she’s to write a summary of a book that’s not going to be adapted to film.

After she leaves the office, the men make a bet, a bet that Bobby Gould, whom Karen is working for, will succeed in seducing her. Karen’s not in on this but she agrees to go to Gould’s house to discuss the book she’s to summarize.

Karen finds the book about the end of the world life-changing. Like many 20-something’s She’s swept up by its message. What’s worse, when she goes to Gould’s house she convinces him to make the crazy book into a film and to leave his pal in the dust. The book and play are brisk and, as you’d expect, contain rapid-fire dialog. I enjoyed this book, but can see how some would find problems with Mamet’s portrayal of women. I think he portrays Hollywood quite realistically.

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Posted by on February 11, 2018 in drama, postaweek

 

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Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics

If you want to understand economics better without actually taking any economics courses, read Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics.P.J. O’Rourke does the heavy studying for you. Or actually he gets someone else to. He does read some dense economics texts and pushes them aside deciding there are better ways to gain understanding.

So off he goes in search of answers. The results are chapters like “Good Capitalism: Wall St.,” “Bad Capitalism: Albania,” “Good Socialism: Sweden,” “Bad Socialism: Cuba,” “How to Make Nothing from Everything: Tanzania,” and “How to Make Everything from Nothing: Hong Kong.” In each country O’Rourke seeks to find the reason behind its success or poverty. He talks with experts, examines the markets, chats with the man in the street and makes sense of statistics. After reading, I feel smarter and it was a painless experience, quite unexpected when I think about economics.

This is from the ethernet archives. I doubt we can still call Wall St. “Good Capitalism.”

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2011 in humor

 

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Inspector General

My book club’s play for June was Gogol’s Inspector General. This farce is a very quick read that lampoons corruption in the provinces of pre-Revolution Russia. In its day, it probably packed quite a punch. Now it seems too far-fetched. I could predict the ending right from the set up. None of the characters grabbed me. I could appreciate the boldness and importance of this play in a previous era, but it’s not as enduring as Chekov. I wish we’d have read one of his plays. I need compelling characters.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in classic, drama, Russian Literature

 

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