Apparently, I’ve had nothing to say for the last month. After Christmas vacation, birthdays for me & the Clarinatrix, a New Year’s Eve party (attended by a certain blogger) and feeling lazy & overwhelmed by various TONY and freelance responsibilities, I’ve been feeling like the last thing I want to do is post here. Truthfully, I’ve felt blogwriter’s block. I’m not particularly interested in weighing in on escalating ticket prices; reality-TV Broadway auditions; or the war between tragedy and frivolity.
Actually the last item in the first graf above caught my eye. (Isaac Butler engages the topic fully and pugnaciously here.) I have no idea what a tragedy is, outside of a few handsome volumes on my bookshelf. A bus skids on ice and pulps a seven-year-old child against a wall: tragedy or misfortune? Ah, but the bus driver was drunk and the child his illegitimate offspring: is that tragic? But the guy is a mere bus driver: How can his woes, however dire, be the stuff of tragedy, which, after all, is about the mortification of kings? Maybe I’m being lazy and disingenuous. But really, I don’t think there are any more tragedies. Or rather, we’re no longer so primitive as a people to enshrine the concept of tragedy the way we might, say, human sacrifice or other pathetic early religious rituals. To me, embracing this neo-tragedy is just inviting pretension and bathos. Misery, gloom, morbidity, sorrow, pain and grief are modes. Laughable in extreme forms, and ultimately too great a reliance on them obviates humor and desensitizes the viewer. Personally, I’m too much a slave to comedy and grotesqueness to take tragedy or its dour-faced advocates too seriously.