But the play is not all philosophical argument, as important as this is: it also is a love story, a family tale, and an account of the ‘band of brothers’ that was Gay Men’s Health Crisis. And like most great playwrights who turn their attention to public events, Kramer maintains a tight relationship between these stories. Kramer’s artistic control of the huge canvas on which he paints is in the end what makes the play so powerful.
Archive for February 2016
This was a substantial play that dealt thoughtfully with a host of issues. There’s feminism: the story of a woman fighting her way through a male-dominated profession, rising from a little paper in Battle Creek to a national byline with the Associated Press. There’s journalistic ethics: what happens when a reporter gets too close to a subject, and the tricky line between reporting and public relations. Then there’s the problem encountered by an involuntary archivist: what to do with a trove of letters that reveal a historical personage’s private life? And most of all, there’s a strange love triangle: on the evidence of the play, Hickok was nearly as smitten with Franklin Roosevelt’s policies as she was with his wife, going so far as to serve in his administration.
Sideways chimed with my updated Dantean thinking. Clearly, if there was a God at the helm of the universe, He was a devious Bastard. All the bad things there were, all the pain and sickness and terror, all the death, somehow – or so my faith urged me to believe – were unimaginably transfigured into agencies of providential good. And I believed they were.
Unless we pass laws that restrict where drone-users may take their craft, and what drone-users may photograph when they get there, we are in for a drastic diminution in what we may call private. We may need to expand the notion of curtilage, the area others cannot enter without your permission. However, air travel has not been kind to that notion. Once it became technically possible for airplanes to overfly your property, it also became obviously absurd to maintain that you owned all the airspace above it. The question instead became where the boundary would be drawn. Something akin to the notion of navigable waters became the standard. If the sky above your neighborhood could be safely flown by fixed-wing craft above a certain level, then basically you didn’t own the sky above that level – and could be observed from it. But drones can usually safely fly far lower than that. Carrying the logic of this old compromise to its logical conclusion, then, drones should not only be able to look in your windows from the other side of the boundary line, but should also be able to hop your fence. After all, the air on the near side of your fence is also navigable. To a drone.