Museums, Votes Left, Silence and Class war. Evidence of our time.

Links for May 27th through June 27th:

  • Museum 2.0: Memo from the Revolution: Six Things I've Learned from our Institutional Transformation - This past weekend, I had the opportunity to give one of the closing talks at the Theater Communications Group annual conference in Dallas. TCG is the industry association for non-profit theaters, the way AAM is for museums.
  • Not Enough | Parliament of Things - Today we launched a simple protest / art event / action that we have called Not Enough. It is a simple expression of a feeling that is becoming increasingly common amongst people, particularly young people around the world.
  • Debates - Issue 151 - April 16, 2013 - "a larger story, one where the Harper government is trying to systematically silence individuals and organizations who dare to challenge it publicly.The story began with an attack using — or more accurately, pulling — government funding. Women's organizations were among the first to feel the heavy knife of the Harper government slashing their funding. That was back when this government still was enjoying the healthy surplus it had inherited from previous Liberal governments.Women's organizations were told that if they dared to engage in advocacy — in other words, if they came to Ottawa to speak up for the causes that their members believed in, subversive causes like child care or equal rights under the law — their funding would be cut.

    International development organizations then came under fire. We all remember KAIROS. That organization engaged in such dangerous activities as social and economic justice projects with local partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Its members included radical organizations like the Anglican Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Canada, the Quakers, the Mennonite Central Committee Canada and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. The funding to KAIROS was eliminated."

  • Senator shows why ‘sober second thought’ matters: Goar | Toronto Star - "Since 2006, the government has systematically cancelled funding to groups that question its priorities; women’s organizations that promote gender equality; the Canadian Council on Learning, which advocates education beginning in early childhood; foreign development agencies that side with impoverished Africans and Asians against western development of their resources, and anti-poverty groups at home."
  • The Wire creator David Simon on what's behind the US war on drugs - extended video interview | Media | - The war on the poor.

2 things to help in the rough patch.

It's been a bit of a rough patch. Broke and getting more No than Yes. Or at least it feels that way.

Many things are exciting and feeding me. The struggle is to focus on that. So inspiration is very helpful.


Listening to Nature Theatre of Oklahoma's podcast is always good for the confirmation that others are fighting the good fight - but the most recent one with  Oskar Eustis, director of The Public Theater, is especially good.

A bold and honest conversation that is a must listen for every creator and artistic director everywhere. Great aspirations about bringing fairness and integrety back to not-for-profit theatre (hint: artists get more of the money, the cost of admission has to fall to turn away from elitism) and the search for a populism we can stand behind.

LISTEN HERE. Or download from ITUNES


The new episod of the MADE HERE series (a HERE project) is also helpful - just to hear others say it out loud. It's also another example of a theatre institution doing important work on the internet.

Brecht and Urlacher - Evidence of our times from May 22nd through May 24th

And I always thought And I always thought: the very simplest words Must be enough. When I say what things are like Everyone's heart must be torn to shreds. That You'll go down if you don't stand up for yourself. Surely you see that.

- Brecht. Last poem in Poems 1913-1956

Links for May 22nd through May 24th:

The Spice of Omnivore.

WWAS-photo My calendar is prompting this post.

It’s the kind of variety that is the gift of Toronto and this current moment in history and that gift is important to appreciate.[1]

Watching / Attending

Last Tuesday to next Tuesday:


This week: office work, taxes, research, pitching and prep for 4 different Small Wooden Shoe projects:

Next week:

This isn't to brag, complain or fall into the busy trap. It's to say that I like when I remember to take advantage of the possibilities. I also like my garden and kittens.

Garden1 Kittens-13-05-23

  1. It’s also unsustainable time-wise and financially - only possible because I am exchanging labour (box office, documentation, reflective writing) for tickets in every case and being supported as a teacher and consultant. The balance of finding what works and what can sustain. But these are ok problems, cause there’s some great art and great people there.  ↩
  2. I almost went for a Nova Scotia “b’y” joke but decided to pass.  ↩

Evidence of our times from April 29th through May 21st

Links for April 29th through May 21st:

Centres and rootstrikers - Evidence of our times

Links for April 20th through April 24th:


Coming up:

  • (Mostly) Viewpoints Workshop - Sunday April 28th and May 5th CLICK HERE for more.
  • Context Seminar at Videofag - Starts in June. CLICK HERE for more

Bad math and desire - Evidence of our times

I'm starting a new series "Evidence of our times." Every couple days I'll post links that got my attention and I think need to be remembered.  Signs of the times. Most likely a mix of arts related stuff and political / social stuff. Old fashioned web logging. The unlabelled mix of topics is purely intentional. Links for April 18th through April 19th:

Other people's podcast

After a "podluck" at the Academy of the Impossible on Thursday, I am inspired to share my podcast list - partly because I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and sometimes people ask and so other people might be interested - and partly because I would like to know if there are any obvious missing ones for those that know me, or can make some assumptions from the below list.Leaves tips in the comments…


  • National Theatre (UK) [RSSwebsite
    • Good interviews with people working at the National.
  • 2amt Podcast [RSSwebsite
    • Occasional posts from USA hashtag turned theatre movement.
  • OAC podcast [RSS] website
    • Some primers on grants
  • The Traverse Theatre [RSS] website
    • Occasional posts from the Traverse.
  • Anne Bogart and SITI Company[RSSwebsite
    • Very occasional posts from SITI.

Culture and ideas

  • This American Life - NPR  [RSS] website
    • Classic.
  • Radiolab - NPR [RSS] website
    • Science show that is very very well edited.
  • Spark - CBC [RSSwebsite
    • Nora Young hosts one of the best CBC shows. About society and technology.
  • Writers and Company - CBC [RSS] website
    • Eleanor Wachtel is one of my favourite interviewers
  • The Thing Is - NPR [RSS] website
    • Alec Baldwin talks to interesting people.
  • Planet Money - NPR [RSS] website
    • This American Life spin off on money. Not revolutionary, but clear.
  • On the Media - NPR [RSS] website
    • USA media gets talked about by USA media.
  • 99% Invisible [RSSwebsite
    • Design and the world.
  • Front Row - BBC [RSS] website
    • Culture reporting from the BBC
  • Arts and Culture from Nightwaves - BBC [RSS] website
    • Interviews with people about things they do.
  • In Our Time - BBC [RSS] website
    • Smart British people talk history
  • Decode DC [RSS] website
    • Good politics. Not very frequently.
  • Ideas - CBC [RSS] website
    • Not as good as it was. Especially now that David Cayley retired.
  • Roderick on the Line [RSS] website
    • Merlin Mann and John Roderick weekly phone call. Might not help, but sometimes does and I like hearing friends talk.
  • Savage Love [RSS] website
    • Dan Savage talks about sex and relationships
  • Studio 360 - NPR [RSS] website
    • Interviews with artists and other people.
  • Tapestry - CBC [RSS] website
    • Religion and spirituality.
  • Thinking Allowed - BBC[RSS] website
    • British people talk about academic things.
  • You Look Nice Today [RSS] website
    • More Merlin Mann and friends. More comedy focused.


  • The World Exists [RSS] website
    • Roundtable storytelling. Funny and friends talking.
  • Old Time Radio Drama [RSS] website
    • What it says.
  • Old Time Radio Comedy [RSS] website
    • What it says.
  • All Songs Considered - NPR [RSS] website
    • Good music. I mostly listen to their year end, and that way, I'm only a year behind.
  • The Truth[RSS] website
    • Podcast radio drama or "movies for your ears"

Deep geekery in tech and work flows (I feel shy about sharing the depth of these. But I find this "how to work field interesting and have been a Mac geek for a while [previous geek posts])

  • Back to Work - 5by5 [RSSwebsite
    • Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin talk, nominally sometime and sometimes more focused-like, about issues of working. Mostly for tech world, but I like.
  • MacPower Users - 5by5 [RSSwebsite
    • Mac geekery. Workflow episodes are my favourite.
  • Systematic - 5by5 [RSSwebsite
    • Brett Terpstra - crazy coder for the text people - talks to other people.
  • Crossover - 5by5 [RSSwebsite
    • 5by5 hosts talk.
  • Let's Make Mistakes [RSSwebsite
    • Nominally about design.
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders - Stanford [RSSwebsite
    • Fancy people talk about things. Sometimes good. Always a little troubling and telling
  • The Talk Show [RSSwebsite
    • John Gruber of Daring Fireball talks Apple and other gear/software stuff.
  • Work Talk Show [RSSwebsite
    • A new one. More on "how to work"

Oh and of course

  • Minor Expletives - my regularly irregular podcast [RSS] [iTunes]

All emphasis, editing and formatting is mine.

I'm in with Public Recordings at the Theatre Centre working on an Encyclopedia, so that's where most of my writing energy is going,
but I came across this and it doesn't fit there, but I wanted to share.

Brecht on Realism:

Now we come to the concept of realism. This concept, too, must first be cleansed before use, for it is an old concept, much used by many people and for many ends. This is necessary because the people can only take over their cultural heritage by an act of expropriation. […]
We must not derive realism as such from particular existing works, but we shall use every means, old and new, tried and untried, derived from art and derived from other sources, to render reality to men in a form they can master. Our concept of realism must be wide and political, sovereign over all conventions.

Realistic means: discovering the causal complexes of society / unmasking the prevailing view of things as the view of those who are in power / writing from the standpoint of the class which offers the broadest solutions for the pressing difficulties in which human society is caught up / emphasizing the element of development / making possible the concrete, and making possible abstraction from it.

These are vast precepts and they can be extended. Moreover we shall allow the artist to employ his[sic] fantasy, his[sic] originality, his[sic] humor, his[sic] invention, in following them. We shall not stick to too detailed literary models; we shall not bind the artist to too rigidly defined modes of narrative.

We shall establish that the so-called sensuous mode of writing where one can smell, taste and feel everything - is not automatically to be identified with a realistic mode of writing; we shall acknowledge that there are works which are sensuously written and which are not realistic, and realistic works which are not written in a sensuous style. We shall have to examine carefully the question whether we really develop a plot best when our ultimate objective is to reveal the spiritual life of the characters. Our readers will perhaps find that they have not been given the key to the meaning of the events if, led astray by various artistic devices, they experience only the spiritual agitation of the heroes. By adopting the forms of Balzac and Tolstoy without testing them thoroughly, we might weary our readers - the people — as much as these writers often do themselves. Realism is not a mere question of form. Were we to copy the style of these realists, we would no longer be realists.

For time flows on, and if it did not, it would be a bad prospect for those who do not sit at golden tables. Methods become exhausted; stimuli no longer work. New problems appear and demand new methods. *Reality changes; in order to represent it, modes of representation must also change.* Nothing comes from nothing; the new comes from the old, but that is why it is new.

The oppressors do not work in the same way in every epoch. They cannot be defined in the same fashion at all times. There are so many means for them to avoid being spotted. […] What was popular yesterday is not today, for the people today are not what they were yesterday.

Anyone who is not a victim of formalistic prejudices knows that the truth can be suppressed in many ways and must be expressed in many ways. [...]

[Read the whole thing]

I am not in agreement with everything or at ease with the language or thinking that what was funtioning in the late 1930's is the same as what would funtion now (since that would actually be the opposite of what B is suggesting.) I find it a compelling and provocative.

Emotion Populism and How Mindmap

Here's an interactive version of the map I used last night in my talk at Dancemakers. Video coming soon.

Scrapping around with ways to get Freemind documents on the web - the best seems to be in a browser window with a Flash player (sorry iOS users.) If anyone has better options, especially regarding formatting and showing links inside the document (there are a ton in the original and it's sad that they don't show up on the flash) - and of course if there's a way that doesn't use Flash.