Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Bruce Norris likes to imagine he's some kind of rebel

I thought that Clybourne Park sounded like bullshit and had no desire to see it - and although I can't really decide until I read it (I will not pay to sit through it) I think this article makes some excellent points: Guthrie Theater's smug and offensive "Clybourne Park" perpetuates the illusion of a "post-Civil-Rights" society .

But Domesticated sounds even worse. I thought it sounded like standard evolutionary psychology bullshit when I read this pre-opening article in the NYTimes a couple of weeks ago, and the reviews make it sound even more obnoxious:
I’m not diagnosing Norris, as the harpies diagnose Bill, with “you just don’t get it” disease. Domesticated is a play, not a manifesto. But with its biological framework and Big Picture perspective, it does sometimes seem like a treatise. Near the end, Bill offers the topic sentence: “In the last 50 years, we’ve reached a remarkable turning point in history where, in a precise inversion of how we treated you … anything a woman could possibly want is universally construed as good, and all of a man’s desires — for all intents and purposes — are bad.” 
Sounds like Rush Limbaugh or some Men's Rights Activist.

Norris's belief, which is absolute gospel in evolutionary psychology circles, is that men are naturally polygamous and women are naturally monogamous. And the history of the world is women forcing men into marriage.

But actually the history of the world is the history of the sexual double-standard: wives and mistresses and prostitutes for men and extreme punishments for women who stray - or even wear the wrong clothing at the wrong time. And this is in fact true in some places in the world right now. And the only way for anybody to buy into the bullshit tenets of evolutionary psychology is to deny that reality.

So Clybourne Park was about race, and Domesticated is about gender, so when is Bruce Norris going to write about homosexuality? Of course a straight white man would be the perfect playwright for that topic too. By all means give him another commission.

And here's that asshole dissing Angels in America:
When I received the Steinberg Award, Tony Kushner made the introductory speech and talked about the greatness of theater and so forth, and I realized as I was sitting there, that my father— 
But Tony Kushner didn’t introduce you, John Guare did. 
Tony Kushner went first. 
Right, but then John introduced you, and he called you a suicide bomber, which I have a feeling you’re about to demonstrate. Go ahead. 
I’m just saying, my father, who lives in Texas, is not in any way related to theater. Not only has he never seen Angels in America, ostensibly the most important work of theater in the past twenty years, as we’ve all been told, he’s never heard of it. So if the most important work of theater goes unheard of by a hard-working citizen of the U.S., what does that say about how important theater is? 
I think it says more about your father. 100 years from now, more people will remember Tony Kushner than your father. 
I suppose so. I’m not sure Angels in America is that important. I certainly don’t think the plays I write are very important. Angels came and went in a cultural moment and it excited a lot of people, and it probably led to other things like Will and Grace, but I don’t know if it’s “important.”
100 years from now more people will remember Tony Kushner than this douchebag and his ignorant Philistine of a father. I guarantee it.

This is him again:
“I would say it’s not about a mission to unmask the privileged bourgeois hypocrites,” he says of his oeuvre, “and it’s not a campaign to bring down the American way of life. I guess, if I were to be really pretentious about it, it’s a campaign to bring down the species. I think as a species we have some big problems that are insurmountable. I think we are kind of doomed, and our responsibility is to just be perpetually vigilant to our worst tendencies.”
Oh brother.

Of course he's worshipped by the idiots who run theater. Because he's so macho and manly and uncompromising. And a suicide bomber. Jesus fucking Christ. I realize that in order to make a playwright cool you have to emphasize how his work will be painful and how rigid and uncompromising and macho he is, but really? "Suicide bomber"? He must be the best playwright of them all. 

And it's not like evolutionary psychology is such a taboo - most of the writers for the NYTimes, and plenty of other so-called liberals, completely buy into gender essentialism. Bruce Norris is not a rebel in the slightest. 

Not surprisingly, professional racist Steve Sailor loved Clybourne Park. I bet he's going to love Domesticated too.