Showing posts from October, 2012

Acting Crazy: Doug in a New Show

. Last week I opened in a new show: Harold Pinter’s (Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature) “The Homecoming,” a very famous play (and which now looks impressive on my theatrical resume).   In it I play the mentally unbalanced head of a very dysfunctional lower-class English family, in what is a dark comedy that sends the audience out of the theater arguing about what it all meant.   For this role I had to learn a new accent, which was difficult, and, since I have the largest part, pages and pages of dialogue that ramble disconcertingly from one topic to another.   My character, Max, is a 70 year-old retired butcher, who has three sons, one of whom comes back suddenly from America with his new wife (hence the “homecoming” of the title).   Max has dialogue like this one as he talks about his deceased wife with his newly-discovered daughter-in-law, while pointing to his three sons: Mind you, she taught those boys everything they know . . . Every single bit of the moral code th

Mitt Romney: A Mormon President?

.   As an atheist, I’m leery of any presidential candidate who makes much of his/her faith.   While I certainly respect the right to believe, I also don’t want religious beliefs about how the world works clouding the judgment of public officials.   A president who believes that God is talking directly to him/her scares me.   When presidents affirm their faith, I always hope they’re not such fervent believers that some religious book will be dictating public decisions. Mitt Romney is a fervent believer in Mormonism from all accounts of his life, and, frankly, that bothers me for many reasons.   Mormons must do exactly what the Church demands or face expulsion, and the President of the Church is considered a prophet who receives revelations directly from God, which, while not infallible, are determinative.   These “revelations” have sometimes been steered by political concerns, as when the Church abandoned bigamy in 1890 (in order for Utah to become a state), or finally allowe

Atheists Visit the Creation Museum

. Last Saturday I joined a small group of Ohio atheists who’d decided to visit the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky (just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati) to see what we would see.   The museum is dedicated to presenting the traditional version of the Bible’s creation story in dioramas, videos, books, a petting zoo, and exhibits of all sorts.   Much money has gone into this endeavor and it is—frankly—quite impressive.   We had lunch before we went with Edwin Kagin, National Legal Director for American Atheists (who has himself visited the museum in the past), and he sent us off with the instruction “Prepare to believe!”   That’s the motto of the museum, and, indeed, I now own a refrigerator magnet bearing that legend. Said Refrigerator Magnet As one enters the museum there is a large sign warning visitors that this is a privately-run enterprise, and that the views expressed herein are to be respected and not subjected to scorn or criticism. Throughout the facili