DEAR FRIENDS, 1/30/2012

It was another week of sloughing through my rewrite of BROKEN WING. This has become a major rewrite, in fact, I’ve never rewritten a piece of prose this much or this substantially. Poetry, yes, over and over, again and again, but not this much with a piece of prose. But! I’m going to finish the rewrite this week. What I thought would take a week, is going to take six weeks.

Hampshire College and I this past week locked down the date for their production of a staged reading of excerpts from THINGY WORLD! or HOW WE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE, a play I was commissioned to write in 1989 by then Vermont Secretary of Natural Resources, Jonathan Lash, who this past summer became President of Hampshire College. The date is March 13th. If you’re in the Amherst, MA, area, come by. The reading is free and begins at 7:30 p.m.

Through archly satirical send-ups of Television Network News, advertising and a Game Show, THINGY WORLD! or HOW WE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE exposes America’s self-centered, all consuming materialistic way of life and how it has created a culture of waste and destruction which in turn has helped create climate change and global warming. The play also exposes the ways in which racism and the inequitable distribution of wealth are integral parts of “the environmental crisis.”

The play takes place in 1991–immediately after our great victory in Iropistan–on a TV Newsroom set with Tina Newsworthy and all the O.W.O.W. TV News Fantasy 90 reporters and staff, including weatherman–Barometer Bob, Periodicals Reporter–Luigi Magazini, and Fine Arts and High Culture Reporter–Nigel Fitchingfield. They give us the news, special reports from The All American Toy Fair, two exclusive interviews with The President as he discusses the great victory in Iropistan and what it means for the Free Market Economy, an exclusive interview with Mimi Mebaby, Editor-in-Chief of Self Now magazine and so on. The play then moves to the set of THINGY WORLD, everybody’s favorite Game Show–where “you get what you want if you want it bad enough and where we always say ‘The one with the most toys at the end, wins!'”–and starring game show host, Stan “The Man” Fanofferly–with Lily White, Big Guy, Martha Greed and The THINGY WORLD! singers and dancers. The play then returns to OWOW-TV for The Noontime News: What’s New in the News Behind the News at Noon. There are numerous commercials, of course, for, for example, the Elegante Magnifico–“a Luxmobile for you”–McKing Burger, Coaxie, the Operation Iropistan Commemorative Knife and Rifle Barrel, etc. plus a public service announcement.

Finally, I hate to say it, but HAPPY LIFE fell off the poetry.org best-seller list this week. I guess 25 weeks in a row isn’t too bad, especially for somebody who almost never goes out to hustle the book. And–who knows?–maybe I’ll climb back on sometime in the future.

Until next week, I remain,
Sincerely yours, David Budbill