We had a little get-together here for poker and Guitar Hero II on Friday night. I cleaned up pretty well at poker, helped by what may be described as the loose style of play of some of the participants. But GHII was the main draw for most of the attendees. The new cooperative mode (one player on lead, the other on bass or rhythm guitar) was the perfect way to make a fun game even funner. The first game gives you a great feel for being a guitar hero; the new game gives you a feel of being a band. So there was much furious out-rocking into the wee hours.
Early Saturday morning, Becca and I went out car-shopping, due to the the nefarious late-night smooshage of her previous wheels. To make a long story short, she's going from this to this (but red).
AA very kindly took us to see Waiting for Godot at the Frood. We met up for a tasty dim summation at Scallions and then got our Beckett on. Coincidentally enough, Harry Teplitz was in the row in front of us. We hadn't noticed him and his companions, but as they filed past us at intermission, I distinctly overheard the phrase "Crystalline Entity," which clearly called for closer observation.
As for the play, the surface level is abject nonsense, but one senses the themes and currents that stir behind the scenes. The viewer's brain attempts to make sense of the activity and this somewhat automatically forces one's brain into searching for meaning. What few nuggets of philosophy that I sifted from the play could, I think, be much more cogently presented in an essay. But I suppose, if one is a playwright, one wrights plays.
I think the more interesting thing was the reaction of the audience. A significant fraction were clearly intimately familiar with the play and laughed at all the places they had been taught to laugh. For whatever reason, Godot has come to have the aura of greatness about it. Beckett himself declined to offer any explanation, so the theorists have gone bananas constructing their interpretations. Either the play is loaded with nuance and humor that requires a certain amount of preparation, refinement and intelligence to perceive, or the emperor has very scanty habiliments.
I was struck by the verbal and thematic similarities to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. R&G (er, um, G&R) are clear descendants of Didi and Gogo. Stoppard's work is superior on every level. Perhaps Godot allowed playwrights the freedom to do the absurd and unconventional; for that, perhaps, it has historical importance. But on its own merits, I found it very lacking.