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What: San Francisco Mime Troupe’s “Los Medios de Produccion”
When: Saturday, July 31st, 2010 – Doors Open 7pm – Performance at 8pm
Where: Mateel Community Center
Tickets: At the door.

The Mateel will host the Tony Award-winning and SoHum favorite, San Francisco Mime Troupe on Saturday, July 31 this year

Anything but silent, the Mime Troupe’s brand of mime takes its meaning from the ancient understanding of the word: to mimic. Political satirists, they create and produce socially relevant theater. Their plays seek to makes sense out of the headlines through close-up stories that make the audience feel the impact of political events on their personal lives.

This year’s original play, “Possibilidad, or Death of a Worker” tells the story of workers at a small U.S. factory that is shutting down, causing them to lose their jobs, their last two weeks of pay, and their retirement funds, which were raided over the years to pay stock dividends. Despondent, they put in their last shift and raise a glass to their years together. As they are leaving the factory for the last time, one of the workers gets snagged on a machine. Interpreting this as an act of defiance, “The Boss” calls Security, the situation escalates, and before anyone has a chance to think, the workers have accidentally occupied the factory!

All “heck” breaks loose as the negotiation process begins and The Boss tries intimidation, patriotism and Red Scare tactics, while the workers just try to figure out what they’re doing. Some say wreck the place. Tea Baggers say it’s all the government’s fault. Others blame the Union. When one worker an Argentine ex-pat says they should consider running the factory themselves, he is immediately labeled a Commie.At night as they occupy themselves with songs and stories, the Argentine comes forward again and tells the tale of a similar strike back home.

As more of the Argentine’s story unfolds, the parallel plights of the American and Argentine workers play out side by side. While the Americans struggle to keep their factory occupation from becoming politicized, the Argentine strike is deeply political. In the end, both the American and Argentine workers are victorious, but which resolution will ultimately keep the power in the workers’ hands?

Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 31.  Doors open at 7:00pm with dinner available for purchase.  The Mime Troupe band plays a set of live music beginning at 7:30pm and the performance starts at 8:00.

For more information about the play or the troupe, visit www.sfmt.org.

Bout time.

Addendum: It didn’t end there.

A blast from the past. Quiche anyone?

Guest essay by Bruce Brady.

The social history of Laytonville High School is of interest to almost no one except (maybe) Beva. Beva, it is said, owns a copy of every yearbook that ever chronicled the exploits of a senior class at Laytonville High. Beva graduated in 1941 and went on to marry a redwood logger when he came back from the war, had two girls (who both died before they started school) and was the president of the Garden Club for years. At this point, Beva can’t hear and can barely move without hurting and so watches her snowy old TV without the sound as she forever, it seems, strokes Smokey, her cat, and takes little nips from her other constant friend, the bottle of Old Grand Dad tucked-in close to her hip.

The school Beva graduated from was new the year she tipped her tassel and stepped daintily down off the stage. These days it broods over its slow deterioration across from the junk yard and beside its low-slung replacement beyond the wire fence. With updated earnestness, the new school, like the old, and like most of its ilk, somehow suggests a medium security prison. The gym looms over everything, its cost presently a few thousand dollar a win, but this will doubtless drop over time.

On the whole, Laytonville High School remains an unlikely place for revolutionary change, and, indeed, none ever happened there. But happen it nearly did almost a generation ago.

To judge by the standard of the sheer amount of energy, emotion, and money expended, it would not be unreasonable for an outsider to conclude that the purpose of the contemporary public high school is to turn out kids who excel at sports, especially the traditional American sports of football, basketball, and, to a lesser extent, baseball, softball, soccer, track, and wrestling. When you add salaries and transportation to the requisite equipment and the necessary expenses of the needed facilities, the amount of money expended per student is startling: at Laytonville, it usually amounted to about twenty percent of all the money the high school ever had. But this extravagance just so Shelly can play shortstop and wear a uniform is not precisely the subject here: education and its purposes are. Besides, high school sports provide training for patriotism of the proper sort.
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The story. I’ll post some thoughts when I have time.

Deja vu.

Kos often annoys me, but he makes an excellent case for Obama to choose this moment to energize the base and maybe make a difference.

Addendum: Found this clip of Warren grilling Tim Geitner, who at the time was apparently for some sort of end to the “too big to fail” policies, though he slithers through the question to leave plenty of ambiguity.

Second addendum: Dodd is fighting the Warren narrative. Obviously he doesn’t like her.

Got this link from Woods.  Some very graphic and disturbing photographs of the aftermath of a shootout between rival drug gangs in the Sonora province of Mexico near the US border.  My Spanish is a bit rusty, but the blog entry notes 21 deaths in the fight, and I think 9 arrests.

Found an account in English.

While I was gone, Fox News reported that Afghan soldiers were going AWOL in the US with the help of “Big Mexican Women” whom “may be illegal immigrants.”

How did you all deal with the fear?

Addendum: Rachel Maddow on Fox’s “scare white people” strategy.

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