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Even The Fabric Of Life!!!

I enjoyed the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, and apparently I have George Bush to thank. That is, if I am to believe the rantings of a seriously unhinged Village Voice theater critic. He sets up the question: "So why, given what a problematic work Assassins is, has it now found the approbation it didn't get in 1991?", then spews:

What's changed that now helps validate Assassins isn't art but our national political climate. The grievance-nursing mentality of psychopaths who shoot presidents now belongs to the party that runs the country; the assassins have, so to speak, moved into the White House. Only today's unforgiving bullies, far from the have-nots and failures who make up Assassins' character list, are the haves, the people who've benefited most from the opportunities America offered, and are now busily hauling the economic ladder up behind them to keep others down. They've shaped this world, yet they're as angry and unhappy about it as any ranting Byck or ulcerated Zangara; their misguided solution is to stand behind a fraudulent president and take aim directly at the body politic, wounding in the process even the fabric of life itself. Today the Republican Party is nothing but a worthless collection of Dylan Klebolds, and some good therapist should take them in hand before it's too late for the rest of us here at Columbine High. Their temporary dominance clarifies both Assassins' current success and its perturbing hollowness: The real convocation of America-killers will not be at a shooting gallery, but this coming August when the GOP meets in Madison Square Garden.

Wow. I suppose I should have expected some sort of reference to current politics in a review of a show about people who have tried to kill U.S. Presidents, but that was breathtaking. If there were a Pulitzer Prize in Overblown and Baseless Invective in Otherwise Non-Political Journalism, that'd have to win at least an Honorable Mention.

(I'd find it funnier if I didn't have the sinking feeling that probably many thousands of my neighbors here in NYC read the review and thought "Right on! Stick it to those damn grievance-nursing, fabric-of-life-wounding Republicans!" Sometimes I hate living here.)


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