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From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park, winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize in New York and Olivier Award in London, is the play I’ve been waiting for since the 1980s. Although Norris previously wrote six dramas for Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Steppenwolf will finally stage his masterpiece beginning September 8th. 

It’s a bitterly funny two-act play set in the same two-bedroom house on Chicago’s Near Northwest Side in white-flight 1959 and then in gentrifying 2009. Norris is superb at writing dialogue in How We Talk Now. While most playwrights live for eloquent speechifying, Norris’s 2009 characters converse realistically in interrupting, overlapping, and apologizing snatches. Moreover, Clybourne Park is the first work I can recall to capture precisely what urbanites talk about most obsessively (real estate); how they converse (euphemistically); and why (the 3Ls of real estate are “location, location, and location,” which in Chicago means, above all else, race).

In my 18 years in Chicago, I was involved in innumerable conversations that included the phrase, “It just needs a little tuckpointing.” Yet how many famous plays or movies center around real estate? Real estate and race?

Read the whole thing there.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
 
• Tags: Culture, Real Estate 
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This week, everybody is writing about the end of The Sopranos, but is smart TV the wave of the future? For example, the triumph of the medical diagnosis show House, with Hugh Laurie’s spectacular portrayal of a Greg Cochran-like doctor, is highly gratifying. But, which way is the market really heading?

At the same time, Gov. Schwarzenegger has come under fire from the usual suspects for advising immigrants to turn off the Spanish-language TV in favor of English-language TV:

“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger demonstrated his ignorance on immigration issues once again by perpetuating the myth that immigrants have to reject their old culture and language in order to learn English and assimilate,” said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Clearly, the Governor “has demonstrated his ignorance on immigration issues once again.” After all, what would Arnold Schwarzenegger know about how immigrants can learn to be successful in America?

So, what’s the cultural future look like? Let’s check out the Nielsen ratings in the Los Angeles market, the best harbinger of the demographic transition of America. The LA Times doesn’t seem to put Nielsen ratings online, so here’s the previous week’s ratings as transcribed from the June 8th LAT I retrieved from my recycling bin:

LA Rank

US Rank

Show

Day

Network

1

39

Destilando Amor

Th

Univision

2

60

Destilando Amor

We

Univision

3

57

La Fea Mas Bella

We

Univision

4

67

Destilando Amor

Mo

Univision

5

50

La Fea Mas Bella

Th

Univision

6

70

La Fea Mas Bella

Mo

Univision

7

59

La Fea Mas Bella

Tue

Univision

8

55

Destilando Amor

Tue

Univision

9

1

House

Fox

10

87

Destilando Amor

Fr

Univision

Here’s a fraction of the plot of the dominant show, the new Mexican telenovela Destilando Amor, according to Wikipedia:

Rodrigo and Gaviota rapidly fall in love and believe that they are soulmates. One late night, Rodrigo and Gaviota sneak into the agave fields and passionately make love to one another under a large tree. After a night of unforgettable passion and love, Rodrigo packs his belongings and returns to Europe so that he could continue with his studies. However, before Rodrigo left, he made a promise to Gaviota that he would return to Tequla in exactly one year…so that he could make Gaviota his wife. Shortly after Rodrigo’s departure from Tequila, Gaviota discovers that she is pregnant with his child. Gaviota is too excited to wait for an entire year to give the news to Rodrigo that he will soon be a father, so, she makes a bargain with a photographer. The bargain was that if Gaviota would let the photographer take photographs of her as she modeled for him, he would send her to Paris, France, where she could model for clothing lines. After the photographs are taken, Gaviota is introduced to Madame Colette, a woman of elegance and refinement, and is immediately sent to Europe. While in Paris, Gaviota discovers that she has been viciously tricked by both the photographer and Madame Colette. She was not sent to work as a fashion model…but as a prostitute.

Gaviota successfully escapes from the whore house and with the help of a kind gentleman she is able to travel to London, England. Once Gaviota arrives in London, she instantly begins to search for Rodrigo. On her way from Cambridge University, Gaviota sees Rodrigo walking in the streets. She begins to shout his name, but he does not hear her. Because Gaviota was so excited to see Rodrigo after such a long time, she crossed the street without looking, and was forcefully struck by a car. Rodrigo notices the accident, however, he does not it is Gaviota. Thanks to Mother Felicity, a kind and generous nun, Gaviota was rushed off to a hospital and was performed surgery on. Fortunately, Gaviota’s life is saved.

The Mexican telenovela La Fea Mas Bella is based on the same Colombian source as Ugly Betty, so it doesn’t sound as dire. Nonetheless, the future looks tacky.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.


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