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Casa Manana in Fort Worth had a production of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and I went to see it with my parents and kids for my mom's birthday. I've never seen a live production of it before, though I've seen the tv movie with Donnie Osmond, and Brent went through a period where he was watching it daily.

Joseph is one of those musicals where when I first saw the movie I wasn't sure what I thought of it, but after hearing the music on my Pandora Broadway station and watching it a ton of times with Brent I've comes to enjoy and embrace it's quirkiness. And the Casa Manana production was extremely good and enjoyable, even the children's chorus was very nice and it wasn't annoying.

The actors were very engaging with the audience, and Casa Manana is set up with a lot of aisles that they come down and dance in. We were right at the front of the stage and twice an actor sat next to Brent or Gwen and started talking to them (and where met with stone face silence). All of the singing was great, it was well choreographed, and the set designs were fun. I also liked how during the encore they did a remix and let everyone do a section of their big song. It was a very well done production and I have no complaints or nitpicks.

Brent really liked it. He has the live theater passion. Gwen enjoyed it, but wasn't able to contain her excitement, so my dad had to take her to the lobby for parts of it. I think in another year she'll handle it better.

Fanfic Update, What Comes Next?

Sep. 10th, 2017 09:28 pm
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I had some major tunnel vision with The Storm. I wanted it done, and I was not going to focus on anything else until it was. So what's up next?

Read more... )
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The Mass Psychology of FascismThe Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Written in Germany in 1933 after Hitler’s rise to power, this book is still very relevant today, so much so that many passages could easily describe our current political climate in the US. That said, this book was written in 1933 Germany for people living in 1933 Germany, and there were many passages where I did not feel as though I had the historical background to fully understand Dr. Reich’s ideas. The translation I had was completed in 1970, yet only had a few footnotes. This book could really use a reader’s guide for the modern reader.

This book alternated between being fascinating and difficult to get through, for the reasons listed above. Dr. Reich attempts to explain a question that liberals are still struggling with: why do working class people vote against their interests? He posits some interesting ideas, and ideas that I believe warrant further testing. He argues that authoritarian governments rise and model structures in authoritarian families. He also argues that a lot of this control is done through the suppression of the sex drive, which causes people to act irrationally because of the shame that they feel.

While it could be easy to dismiss the focus on sex as psychoanalytic drivel, Dr. Reich makes a lot of good points, though I will admit, some of these ideas need to go through rigorous testing and some of his claims, such as all pre-historic societies were matriachical, do not withstand the test of time. At the same time, given the effort that the right has put to inhibiting access to affordable birth control and to LGBT rights, one does have to wonder why such private, bedroom affairs matter so much to people on the right that they want the power to legislate what goes on behind closed doors with consenting adults. Dr. Reich’s chapter on The Sex-Economic Presuppositions of the Authoritarian Family sounded so relevant to our modern struggles that it was jarring to consider that this was written nearly 80 years ago!

Quotes: “The wife must not figure as a sexual being, but solely as a child-bearer. Essentially, the idealization and deification of motherhood, which are so flagrantly at variance with the brutality with which the mothers of the toiling masses are actually treated, serve as a means of preventing women from gaining a sexual consciousness, of preventing the imposed sexual repression from breaking through and of preventing sexual anxiety and sexual guilt feelings from losing their hold.”

“The ideology extolling the ‘blessings of large families’ is necessary for the preservation of the authoritarian family” (I could just see the Duggars here).

Interestingly, even then there was the contradiction between women being in support of having birth control yet voting for politicians who would restrict their access to it, and Dr. Reich argues that this is due to fear of responsibility. And fear of responsibility is the reason Dr. Reich argues that the Soviet Union failed.

Dr. Reich calls out other socialists who assume that the people will wake up one day and demand a socialist government, and talks about how people must first shake their authoritarian upbringing and sexual shame. Given I have noticed that authoritarian families tend to be conservative (there are exceptions), while authoritative families tend to be liberal, I do think it would be interesting to see if anyone has done a survey of parenting styles and political affiliation. But regardless, I believe Dr. Reich is right in his argument that people who vote for fascist leaders are not acting rationally, they are acting emotionally, and will not be swayed by rational arguments. Basically, I wish a lot of well-meaning Bernie supporters had read this.

This is a challenging read, and I do hope some historical society out there decides to release a new addition with footnotes and a readers guide for the modern reader. I also think for any psychology or sociology grad students there is a wealth of potential research material here to mine. Recommended.

View all my reviews

Fanfic: The Storm, Epilogue

Sep. 9th, 2017 03:58 pm
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Title: The Storm, Epilogue
Characters/Pairings: Lina/Gourry, Zelgadis, Sylphiel, Luna
Warnings/Ratings: Themes of death
Plot: Lina feels compelled to join the fight against Shabranigdu again when her children befriend a girl who she believes is the reincarnation of the daughter she lost. Sequel to Beneath the Portrait. COMPLETE!


The short version is that they all get eaten by a giant slug. Really!


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