Thursday, August 03, 2006

Russians in the Backyard

I've often been lukewarm on Chekhov and many of the Russian bougeois dramas of boredom... and then it snapped. Last night really, seeing Ripe Time's Betrothed. The play draws on three stories of women about to be married. The second section is based in Chekhov's story Betrothed.

But what snapped for me were two lines by Sasha:

"It all seems somehow strange to me here, now I am out of the habit of it," he went on. "There is no making it out. Nobody ever does anything. Your mother spends the whole day walking about like a duchess, Granny does nothing either, nor you either. And your Andrey Andreitch never does anything either."


"And however that may be, my dear girl, you must think, you must realize how unclean, how immoral this idle life of yours is," Sasha went on. "Do understand that if, for instance, you and your mother and your grandmother do nothing, it means that someone else is working for you, you are eating up someone else's life, and is that clean, isn't it filthy?"

And then it hit me. This is what the suburbs are like. This is what retirement homes are like. This is what many of us strive for. A place where one does little, and aspires to do less. Yeah, we work... that's what we call it, but how much do we engage with each other, and how much do we fantasize about it. Besides that, what exposure do suburbs give us? Very little, and and aspiring to less. The idea I suppose is that we fill it up with what we want: mTV, fantesy sports, glossy magazine, directTV.

It detaches us from what most people struggle with: lame jobs, crap to buy, severe medical and environmental conditions. Where can it take us? Desperate Housewives, Colombine, Chekhov.

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Blogger Clint said...

How "creative class"-ish of you. :)

Sunday, 10 September, 2006  

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