I got some shit to say. And I'm lazy.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Band Of Brothers and The Big Shout Out

Friday nite, ramblers. You would think I would be out on the town, making the rounds, shaking 'em down and giving the big what up to to all the ladies, the ladies. Sadly, that's never truly been me and the fact is, I'm a lonely ole' son of a gun. But I'm glad I watched Law & Order tonight. So, so glad.

I would never truly call myself political. I get excited by policy, I follow the news, I vote, donate and recycle. But often times, I can't get my ire up. It's just theatre for the masses and rarely has anything to do with me. I realize what a folly of an age we live in, how our government has essentially been stolen from us, we've lost thousands of children to a war chosen by corporations and our basic rights seem to be constantly in peril. None of this had anything to do with my Friday night, but I decided to hunker down with Sam Waterson and my smokes and a nice cheap bottle of red and I then had my heart torn out.

I come from a military family. My grandfather was a lifelong Air Force Man, my dad did his time, my other grandpa (Paw-Paw, R.I.P.)fought in Korea, and my cousin Regan just got back from two tours of duty in Iraq. I know from military. The episode of Law & Order tonight was all about the shitty way our military treats their wounded. With out giving anything away (like we couldn't write an episode of the show at this point collectively) there was a vet who went crazy and was killing homeless people because he was delusional and being denied his basic medical needs by the government because he had been dishonorably discharged. Needless to say, Sam Waterson got all indignant and decided to put the military on trial instead of the defendant and let those military good olde boys have it. I can't lie ramblers, I got a little emotional. I feel so guilty for tuning out this war as much as I have. The only person I had any interest in during this whole thing was my cousin, who, all praise to Allah, got home safely earlier this month. I know people are still organizing, people are still rallying, people are still trying, but jesus fucking christ, can we PLEASE bring this children home? Who wins in all of this? Dick Cheney? George Bush? Citgo, Exxon and Mobil? If, as Sam Wateson says, we enter into a war of choice, don't we have a MORAL obligation to take care of these soldiers, nay, children? I know I'm just shouting into the ether on this, but motherfucker, I am tired, tired, tired of this war! TIRED. Whose winning? Whose losing? Does anyone even know what we're fighting for? Christopher Hitchens, come back to sanity. Iraq is fucked and so are we. I, and all of us, are totally implicated in this. I hope whoever we pick to run against the Republicans next year gets it going and gets us out.Them out. All of the, these beautiful boys and girls over there fighting for who knows what.

Can you tell I've been devouring Kurt Vonnegut in memoriam?

So if I can change the subject a little bit, I want to take a moment and give a huge shout out to two different guys who have been huge in my life.

When I moved to Austin in 1995, I was a scrawny, sickly, hair dyed orange mess. I wanted to do something big, but I didn't want it to be in Austin. I couldn't go to Chicago, which was were I wanted to be, and I resented having to go to the same school that my parents attended. Twelve years later, I know it was the best thing to ever happen to me, and alot of it has to do with the two bros I wanna call out.

In the fall of 1996, I was introduced to David Bucci. It's no conjecture on my part to say that our chance meeting has had a deep and lasting impact on my life.

Bucci was, and still is, the COOLEST fucking dude I have ever met. He read my first play, Wastes & Pines, on a recommendation from someone, and agreed to meet with me to talk about it. He strolled into the Red River Cafe and told me it was 'really fucking good.' That was all the encouragement I would ever need. If it's possible to say this, Bucci was the older brother I always wanted. He helped my buy my first guitar, he bought me booze when I was under age, he gave me the first mix tape I ever got (and still have to this day) and generally has been there clapping in the background ever since. But more importantly, starting with the play Lynwood Pharmacy, down through Med Vegas, Stranger Desire, and of course my personal favorite Altamont! Now, the man has delivered the goods, writing wise, time and again. He has been an inspiration to me, both with the words, and the rock, and more importantly the walk, for almost eleven years now. He did and does things that I myself am just too chicken shit to do, like front a rock band, write crazy ass brilliant plays, live by his own rules and do it the way he wants it done. Cheers my brother.

I am happy to say that the Buc is moving to Seattle to fuck shit up on June 1st. I am really sad to see him go. But I want to take a minute to toast my brother from another mother. To Bucci! Long live Bucci!


The second dude I need to give the big shout out to is one Dan Dietz. Around the same time I was getting tight with Bucci, I met Dan. How glad am I my parents wouldn't let me go to Northwestern? Who would have ever known that I would have the chance to meet and work with so many amazing playwrights before the age of 21? If Bucci was the rock star, Dan was the shape shifter, taking things like form and dialogue and turning it all full tilt and making it his own. Unlike Bucci, Dan and I had the chance to perform together several times and his diligence as both an actor and as a writer have given me pause and forced me to try and have a rigorous work ethic. If Bucci was my older brother, Dan was very much the guy I very much needed to be friends with in high school. You know, the guy who had read ULYSSES and had all of David Lynch's movies on VHS(it was the '90's).You may not be able to believe it, but San Antonio is not a literary or cultural hot bed, artistically speaking. Dan has gone on and written amazing scripts like DIRGIBLE, TILT ANGEL, tempOdyssey, and of course, my personal favorite, AMERICAMISFIT. He is, in the parlance of our times, or very recent times, (I'm crawling to 30, so I'm OLD) blowing up. His stuff is being done everywhere, the dude is amazing in his output and energy, and one helluva good bro.
He is also moving, from our warm artistic womb of Austin to teach at Florida State University. Those kids are one lucky bunch of bastards. It's a true loss to Austin, but I know we haven't seen the last of Mr. Double D. From all the way up here in Brooklyn, TX I raise a glass to you, Dietz. Cheers, you bastard!

I just want to make clear very quickly that I am in no way comparing Bucci to Dietz and vice versa. I am instead giving praise to two dudes who have had an immeasurable impact on my life all at once. Both of them are brilliant and both of them should be produced all over this great big land. I owe both of them an unspeakable amount, because of how much they have influenced me, and I'm beyond lucky to have been in their presence. I don't feel cheesy saying it either. We should make more of an effort to tell people how much they have helped us in life. Just like all those wounded vets. But that's a whole other pack of cigarettes, ramblers.


Yeah, that's from the STAGE at United Palace Tuesday night. The woman in the center is Regine from Arcade Fire and yes, that's thousands of fans dancing and singing along with the band. ONSTAGE. Jesus Christ, I wish theatre could make us all feel like I felt then.


Yeah, just like ole' David Bucci and Dan Dietz made me feel.

ROCK AND ROLL, ramblers. It stops the traffic.

PS: Mix tape rules and L's gift on Sunday.


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