Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"Mistakes Were Made"

Just wanted to point out a large error I made in my blog yesterday. ("Hurricane Tango Continues.") I referred to the Arthur MILLER Dance Studios. Ha. It is Arthur Murray. Miller is the playwright. I have a good reason for Arthur Miller on the brain. I just read an article on him in the New York Times Magazine. At age 88 he is still writing plays, has one in pre-production as we speak. (I left the mistake intact in that post so you can stare at it.) Unlike CBS News we don't dance around our mistakes here. No! We embrace them. Revel in them. Tell you more than you ever wanted to know about them. I found the article interesting so here's the gist: Miller was married to Marilyn Monroe in the early 60s. He wrote a movie screenplay expressly for her, titled, "The Misfits." This turned out to be an okay movie, I guess, but the creation of it was a bit of a trainwreck. Monroe was berating Miller on the set. She was late all the time. I guess her problems were evident. They ended up separating by the time the movie was completed. So in 1964 he puts on a play called, "After the Fall," which is about a saintly playwright and his ultra-demanding and ungrateful wife. Well critics felt it was self-serving and cruel. It was revived on Broadway for the first time this past summer, and the critics had the same reaction this time around. A New Republic reviewer called it "an endless stream of self-justification." Which I guess you can get away with if you're a legendary playwright. So NOW he's come out with a new play called, "Finishing the Picture," which is a thinly disguised re-enactment of the making of "The Misfits" and casts the Monroe character in a harsh light. It's set to debut at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Heck, I wasn't even sure he was still alive, much less working up a literary sweat trying to make Marilyn Monroe look bad. Since everyone knows she had a very famous and pathetic life (and I mean that in a sympathetic, not critical way), he is sort of tarnishing himself with some End of Life Pettiness. That's my theory. I haven't seen any of the three productions just mentioned, so I could be totally wrong and these are masterpieces. I wish Arthur Miller, playwright, had the grace to waltz out of this life having left well enough alone. To switch gears to the present, I saw a conglomeration of people on the side of the road on the way to my 5-year-old's school today. It looked like an upscale garage sale, or perhaps an early morning cocktail party. What were all these cars doing pulled over? Well I didn't figure it out until I saw the LAST car in the line. It was half the size of the other cars, due to its unnaturally shortened hood, which was crumpled, jack-knifed toward the sky. Obviously a chain reaction collision. But there were EIGHT cars involved. Which seemed like a lot for a minor road. It was near the yellow blinking school signal that is located in front of a house. There is no school anywhere in sight. If you weren't aware of this oddball thing you might have no idea why people have to slam on the brakes there every morning. I think some dog might be taking obedience lessons at a private home. I'm not sure what's going on with the signal. So by the time I was on my way back from the school dropoff, everyone was still there milling around and exchanging insurance information. We never have enough time to drive carefully and obey the speed limits, but we always have enough time to deal with police reports. Funny how that works.

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