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Amusing that you should say such things beyond a reasonable doubt. In truth, I hadn't read your essay until today.

Having read it, I can say for certain that the equivalence is exactly the same as I originally stated it. The Jackson Pollock analogy stands because, whatever you may think of the difference of type, such a statement is still made by some authoritarian voice who deems himself worthy of definining what is and is not belonging to a category. This is taxonomy by force, as it were, and taxonomy is notoriously fallible--I refer you to discussions of biological phenomena such as Monerans and mollusks. If you are uncomfortable with Jackson Pollock, insert any given Fluxus work, or Marcel Duchamp. Makes no difference.

Art like life is a continuum, not an either/or proposition, which is the whole point of the comparison. Art needs more arbitrary divisions like Mussolini needed more holes in his body to breathe through.

Regardless of what anyone at 14/48 says or the rest of your buds, the truth is that theater, Greek style, was in fact a solo affair based on the dithyramb before Aeschylus included the second speaking actor and Sophocles included the third. This is verifiable through both Nietzsche and Aristotle. Furthermore, Peter Brook's definition of theater is some empty space that *one person* walks across while another is looking. Augusto Boal would go even farther.

You may agree or disagree with both of those fine directors and indeed with Aristotle and Nietzsche if you so choose. That is your prerogative. You may ignore two centuries of theater scholarship. That you hold so doggedly to this notion says far more about you, my friend, than it will ever say about theater. In truth, it makes no difference what any of them or you or I think. Artists will work however they work, and critics seeking to label them will always chase after, and will always be incomplete.


And seriously, god forbid I am *ever* right about anything. The day that happens, I quit. There are so many more important things in life than to be "right." I'd like to experience them instead.

Paul Mullin

I think I understand your instructions. Ignore Aristotle and Nietzsche, which I already do, because they were often wrong, in fact, MOSTLY wrong. But wait. Being wrong's okay. Or irrelevant. And critics are often wrong, or often chasing, but that's okay because artists will do what they do. And I already do that. And I already think critics are essentially irrelevant, except that *that* perspective is wrong, in which case it's right, because it's irrelevant to be right. In which case, we're all good.

I think we're all good.

Am I right?


What you believe is what you believe. What you think is right is obviously right and if it isn't you would make it so anyway. After all, it's just opinion, man, and since yours is as good as anyone else's, why not? Fortunately you can do so with impunity and completely without humility.

Let's call a spade a spade. You hold to your beliefs because your identity is tied up in them. You take umbrage when people say that playwrights are irrelevant, yet you have absolutely no problem saying that other people are irrelevant. If your words are hurtful to others the way theirs are hurtful to you--ah, so much the better! After all, it doesn't hurt you to be called an irrelevant decoration, so sure--why not call others irrelevant decorations, too? They should just toughen up. That'll certainly solve human misery. That'll promote harmony in the world.

The state of awareness in which you currently revel clearly convinces you that you are entitled to say what is and isn't right. You have clearly peeled away the veil of maya and discovered that--behold! Maybe those Aristotelian divisions you piss on are useful after all. A and not A. Art and not art. Relevant and not relevant. Theater and not theater. Ol' Ari is wrong about theater because you say so, but he sure is useful for promoting your vision of the world.

In your currently enlightened state you will cling to those divisions because obviously it suits your ego to do so. Whether or not they are useful or even what they might be useful for--who gives a shit? All that matters is that you say so.

Sadly, I am not half so enlightened as you, because I have serious problems believing that my view of the world is comprehensive or even applicable to anyone else. To be "right" in that way is something I hope to heaven I never am. I happen to lack that level of hubris. I have only my experiences that I try to share, and time in which I try to share the experiences of others. But then, I shouldn't bother with that, either, since that's the very definition of criticism, and it would be irrelevant to do so because, after all, Paul Mullin says so, and who am I to doubt Him? I'm just a fucking critic and an irrelevant decoration.

So, yes, you are right. Of course. Aren't you always? Even if you weren't you would be.

Paul Mullin

I call others "irrelevant decorations"? I "piss on" ? I "cling"? Where and when have I done these things? I haven't even "taken umbrage when others call playwrights irrelevant". I tend to agree.

In the above I said your thinking on criticism was "vital to the conversation." Somehow you ignored that. In the comment below the post I admitted that I am stymied by trying to understand the relevance of criticism. I would add here that your writing has convinced me that I should think more about this.

You're building a straw man out of me to fight with, Omar, perhaps because no one else is engaging you? But certainly *I* won't engage complete and utter fabrications. I never took the stances you suggest I did, so I why should I defend myself against your attacks on them, when they are, in fact, your own elaborate constructions?

Clearly you are not taking my post and my attending comments in the friendly spirit of piquant discussion that they were meant. But they *were* in fact meant that way. And if you can offer clear evidence that they weren't, I'd like to see it.

I'm surprised at you, frankly, Omar. You've never hoisted this kind of invective on me before. Now that you have, what's left? Going forward, are you going to act friendly to me in person like you always have, or are you going heap on more sarcastic vitriol? Frankly, I'd prefer the later at this point. If it was the way you felt all along, then it saddens me that you never brought it up before, publicly or privately, but only now after I dared question you on one of about 100 points you made in your essay.

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