Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hi diddle de dee!

Well we went back to Clonmel and played our tragic tale once again to a higher but by no means incalculable number of patrons.

They gave us many compliments, many compliments indeed, and so I need hardly point out that they were a particularly discerning audience of unparalleled good taste.

Next week we'll be in Cork, but for the moment, I am as idle as the superannuated man. The end of ' Five kinds of Silence ' is in sight and I'm already grasping desperately around for some project to distract my brain and fill up my empty existence as soon as 'Five' is kindly silenced permanently.

I had hoped that the act of simply being in the room with an audience might give me an idea or two but so far, nada; nor have my e-mails R.E. Bloomsday in Oslo born fruit and so.... what to do, what to do?

I did have an idea before to organise a performance of 'The Beckett Lebowski' where nine characters ( trapped inside bowling pins in a similar fashion to the three people trapped in urns in Samuel Beckett's ' play' ) would act out all the dialogue of the Coen Brothers film: I love the way that phrases (beginning with George Bush Snr's "this aggression will not stand") reverberate from conversation to conversation in a constant language-echo-effect that I thought would suit the Beckett treatment,— but now that a chap has brought out a Shakespearean re-working of the fillum, well, The Beckett Lebowski looks like a load of copycat crapola.

The fact that Two Gentlemen of Lebowski is really quite well-written and works way-way better than my malformed idea does nothing to help matters.

Nothing at all.

Here's a sample where Sir Walter of Poland entreats Jack Smoke to "Mark it Zero":

Nay! I do protest, and draw my sword;
It shall teach thee to disobey my word.
Mark none but none into that bowler’s frame,
Else thou shalt enter to a world of pain.
A world of pain, think upon’t; unhappy world!
A lake of fire, rich with damn├Ęd souls,
Gulfs of anguish ‘twixt vales of agonies.
Mark me; we stand at twisted, jealous gates
Of cast-iron, above which, in vulgar tongue, reads

“Here is a world of pain, thou enterest thus.”

My steel before thee, ‘tis the last of keys
I' faith, could lock these doors, and keep thee
From this world of pain, or with one flick
Ope its mashing maw, and summon winds
To cast thee down within; an excellent key!
Farewell to earthly delights, farewell to friends,
To fellowships and follies and amends.
The choice to spare thy passage through these trials
Is thine alone; take heed, I entreat thee,
And turn thy back upon this world of pain!

Walter, put up thy sword; tarry a moment.

Hath this whole world been mired in madness?
Remain ye men of faculty complete,
Of full arithmetic and prudence fair,
Attending to our noble bond and contract?
Or does here stand the last remaining man
To give a fig for rules and order yet,
No noble savage, but a stave unbroken
Who loves the law and bids it no misdeed.
I’ll not be bent to lawlessness. Mark it nought, if we be men of honour.

Walter, too long we have tarried on public fields; the constable is notified. I pray you,
sheath thy piece.

Mark it nought, else I’ll none.

Good Sir Walter, speak with reason!

Dost thou think I tarry idly? Mark it nought!

Yea, I shall yield, and leave it to your pleasure.
Mark as thou wilt, in full and legal measure.


In sooth, Walter, thou hast wounded me horribly.
Jack Smoke is cut of cloth alike my humour;
Peaceable men we, for peaceable times,
And Jack Smoke is a man of soft conscience.

That he is conscious, I mark thee; I attend well.
In tender youth I dabbled in a course
To seek and hear moral philosophy.
Encount’ring pacifism on that road,
Though ne’er in Orient jungle, beshrew me; yet
I thought upon’t e’en on fields of war.

Thou markest that Jack Smoke hath woes of mind.

Faith, beyond pacifism?

He is a man of fragility, sir, and like to shatter.

“Like”; yet I mark not his fragile dust,
Nor saw him break, nor melt, nor cleave in two.
The heated moment passeth, river-tide
Below a bridge in Exeter. Speak, Knave,
Are we not victorious in our sport?
We progress as do rakes; or be I wrong?

No, thou speakest true—

Be I wrong?

No, sir, thy speech is straight and true. But yet thou speakest not, for thou hast not spoken
but brayed, in the manner of an ass.

Fair; then I am an ass; let it be writ down that I am an ass. Then, mark well; the Knave
and his partner, an ass, shall play again at ninepins in half a fortnight, their skills match’d
against Joshua Quince and Liam O’Brien. They worry me not; they shall be o’er-pushed
with certitude.

An we play again in seven days and seven nights, I pray you, be of good humour.

“Be of good humour!” ‘Tis thine answer to everything.
Mark: thy peaceable nature, while conceiv’d
In upright spirit, meant for noble deeds,
May cited be by devils for their purpose.
Mark the Arab king in foreign land,
The base Mesopotamian, who lieth with steed.
Thou present’st to me a wall to hide behind
‘Twas born of truce in fear and frighten’d mind.

I pray you, be of good humour.

I am as calm as still waters, Knave.

As steel waters, I’ll warrant; put up thy
Icy blade! Crack not gory tales of war!

My calmness exceeds thine.

Be of ease, I pray you! Be of good cheer,
And let us not repeat what happen’d here!

My calmness exceeds thine. But hark; here comes a visitor.

[Enter BRANDT]

It really is quite good.
Two Gentlemen of Lebowski site.


  1. That Fucker Next DoorApril 12, 2011 at 4:32 AM

    Since you are already grasping desperately around for some project to distract your brain and fill up your empty existence as soon as 'Five' is kindly silenced permanently", then why not start a Community drama group using the Matching Parish Grant money you were awarded to do just that? That would keep you suitably distracted don't you think?

  2. I said distract my brain not eat away at my soul.
    Seriously TFND, as you know,- I have tried very hard just recently on a project like this and gotten nowhere and the combination of that plus the news that this money was ear-marked for an under-12's group has put me right off the possibility of acheiving anything with it.

  3. That Fucker Next DoorApril 13, 2011 at 5:48 AM

    I thought you didn't believe in the existence of the human soul and that the project you were working on was not the kind of thing you had in mind. The apllication you made to start a drama group was approved by a committee that I was on. Your application made no mention of under 12's so the letter you recieved stating otherwise was incorrect. You could still do your original idea.

  4. *Sigh* You are quite right Mr Fucker, I don't believe in souls.
    As far as a magical in-bit of your personality or 'life-force' living on after the rest of you is gone... I just don't see much to go on,— other than it's a nice idea.

    And yet I see nothing wrong with describing an activity as soul-destroying; I don't believe in spirits and yet can find information dispiriting; I think of revelation as a worthless source of information and can still find the news, that there's no mention of under-12's in the application, positively revelatory: it's just a turn of phrase, and just because I might say 'For Christ's sake stop bothering me with these semantics!' doesn't make me a Christian either (For Christ's sake!).

    Your news is good news and you're right I should really get the finger out and start organising summat. May I converse with you in the real world on this topic sometime soon?— you know what I'm like for organising things.