Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cirque du so Fey



C’est MAGIQUE!!!

Yep, I took in the pomp, circumstance, pizzaz and spectacle – sorry, SPECTACLE!!! – of the Cirque du Soleil Delirium show that toured through Toronto earlier this week. The tickets were part of Alana’s birthday gift, and it’s not something I’d go to normally, but hey, it ain’t that often an event comes along where a clown could possibly get hurt, so it sounded promising. With tickets well over $100 apiece, I was practically banking on some sort of clowntastrophe, in fact.

But before this could happen there were jokes, mainly the one where we paid $25 to park for two hours at the Air Canada Centre. For that price the attendants should’ve been wearing greasepaint and riding unicycles. But I digress…

The show itself was pretty cool, and pretty much what I expected. There were outrageous costumes (like a dress that covered the entire stage), incredible feats of physical prowess (stilt-walkers, high-wire balancing acts, scantily-clad dudes throwing other scantily-clad dudes up in the air, etc.) and enough dramatic gesturing to make a mime jizz all over his glass box.

The best parts of the show were the lights and giant set pieces, though. Some really sublime and often intense effects were created by projecting images on massive screens and curtains, and by bathing the stage, performers and props in an impressive spectrum of colour. The production designers really know how to paint with light. I bet a good chunk of the baby boomer crowd secretly wished they still smoked pot. (Check out the Delirium photo gallery for the evidence.)

Of course, aside from the unavoidable pretension of the New Age-y performances, the worst thing about the Cirque du Soleil is the music, and the focus of Delirium happens to be music. It’s so…what’s the best way to describe it…all dressed up with no place to go. Take the innocuous world beat you’d hear at a Starbucks, mix in some safe adult contemporary, and then add tribal drum beats (they call it “urban tribal beat”) cranked to eleven to make the whole thing seem important. There was even a cliché drum-off! However, even lamer was the cliché-looking rock guitarists they brought out to make things “edgy,” – because they don’t want anyone to think the Cirque don’t know how to rock – sorry, ROQUE!!!

I guess what it comes down to with the Cirque is that some of the style-gestures are just way too try-hard (that and there aren’t enough clown injuries). I mean, they’re not gonna blow my mind by carpet-bombing me with pageantry. At a certain point it becomes kind of innocuous, and I actually fell asleep for part of the show. It’s too bad because those performers must bust their tights-covered asses to pull off that stuff. I can only imagine the choreographer during training:

“More ennui, Henri! More savoir faire, Claire! More je ne sais quoi, Francoise! Let’s see some hustle, you JERQUES!!!

*On a side note, I looked up “fey” on dictionary.com to make sure I was using it right, and it gave this example of the word usuage : “She's got that fey look as though she's had breakfast with a leprechaun” (Dorothy Burnham).” So be warned, the next time you appear fey, people might just think you’ve just had breakfast with a leprechaun.

Monday, February 20, 2006

On the Bus

Literature is where you find it. And literary commentary is even closer at hand, in the rough and ready world that surrounds your local mass transit station. Take the following, composed on the side of the bus terminal in downton Oceantown, for example.You see, the composer, some sort of "gangster" (synonym: teenager who listens to rap) here in Oceantown, is calling out his "homies," the mentioned G-Unit, R-Dizzle, and P-Woods to antagonize the "bloods," "Crips," and "whatevers," as a show of dominance.
I'm not sure who the "bloods" are, but if these gangmembers are riding the bus, then, I think the "crips," an archaic term for disabled people (i.e. circa grade 2) may be the local invalids who talk loudly about how "Richard should shut up because he peed his pants at school today."
But the literary genius is not in the word choice of this poet, but rather in the words of the freelance critic, who we'll call Sharpie. His interpretation is clear to the westside gangsters: get a job. Simple. Harsh.Well informed. He knows they're not gangsters. He knows they're the kids that walk around downtown with long shirts on, bossing around the one girl who hangs out with them.
Sharpie, whose identity is never clear, strikes again on another westside submission.

Again, Sharpie knows these children too well. Perhaps they have gone as far as stealing cassette tapes of rap-musicians from the local convenience store. They may even have stolen all the change from the armrest of my car last weekend. But that being said, Sharpie has them figured out. The only ride they have, despite having a uniformed chauffer, is owned and operated by the Oceantown Transit System. Thus, he adds in, "on the bus." And, perhaps they will ride the bus until they die. The bus service in Oceantown is more than adequate for petty criminals.

And, as a final "found literature" comment, we have a note left to me by my beloved paramour. During a discussion, I suggested that the "retarded people on the bus" might be a humourous post for the literary receptacle we have here. Here is her comment, written in pencil, on the back of a press release.
"You will not become W.P. Kinsella by writing about the mentally handicapped people talking on the bus. -B"
Perhaps, perhaps. But only time can tell. And I may still become Michael Crichton.