This is it, guys. It’s the final post in the four-part series known as “The Dialectic.” It is what it is. I’m moving on now. I’ve done my part, as best I can. The rest is up to God.
Q. Do you know who I am?
A. At this point, you’ve basically been reduced to a literary device that makes it easier to get my point across.
Q. From superego to literary device in one blog alone? I’m crushed.
A. Join the club. I’ve been crushed for thirteen years.
Q. So what’s your point?
A. My point is that $50,000 is not a whole lot of money to somebody. Maybe not you, and certainly not me — but somebody. Maybe not one person. Maybe a group of people. Maybe someone wants to invest? Fine. We’ll start talking about a return. Maybe someone’s a patron of the Arts, and would simply like to be a donor. Or maybe somebody just likes me — believes in me — and would like to see me succeed. One way or the other, the $50,000 is obtainable, as long as we draw the right people to the cause.
Q. And what is the cause?
A. The cause is to produce the musical Eden in Babylon, which deals with the effects of homelessness on the youth of today. I have placed within this piece a persistent suggestion that the solution to homelessness lies in better communication between those who are sheltered and those who are not — between those who have not yet seen the streets, and those who are forced to live there. I know it’s sounds like I’m dreaming, so let me ask you this: why not? What do we have to lose? It just might be that if we embrace our common humanity, whether we be rich or poor, sheltered or homeless, we will bridge the Class Gap while it still glares, before it tears us apart.
Q. Why Musical Theatre? Why did you choose that genre?
A. Largely, because that’s where my proficiency lies. But also, the classic view of the traditional musical is that it is intended to present life, not as it is, but as it ought to be. Man of La Mancha. Carousel. Camelot. See a show like that — a show like mine – and you don’t leave for home in despair.
Q. Well then surely there must be patrons of the Arts somewhere who will resonate with such a cause. But who will be these people be?
A. Well, they certainly won’t be poor people.
Q. But isn’t Eden in Babylon an exposé on classism?
A. It is. So what?
Q. Well, don’t you think that the people who might have the kind of money to back you are the very people whom you have often antagonized?
A. They are. But fences can be mended. In fact – they must be mended. It’s what the play is all about.
Q. But won’t you run the risk of antagonizing them again? Or antagonizing people like them? The kinds of people who tend to piss you off?
A. There are always risks involved in an enterprise of this scope. Take no risks, and you get nowhere. Besides, they no longer piss me off.
Q. They don’t?
A. Not often. Not for the reasons that earlier got my goat. You see, I am not in the state of demoralization in which I often found myself when I was destitute and frustrated, earlier in life. In those days, I actually lived in all the indignity and insanity displayed in this show. Today, on the other hand, all of my personal needs are met. I’m in a decent living situation, in a secluded setting, with solitude — the kind of environment a Writer dreams of attaining. I enjoy a fixed income, payable rent, eatable food, and lots of nice running trails, where I work out, and work things out, and sometimes let off steam. I’m in a good place in life today, on a day that — though beautiful — cannot promise to last forever. Best to strike while the iron’s still hot.
Q. But what about the way that the wealthy are portrayed in the story itself? Are they not the antagonists?
A. Wherever did you get that idea? None of the three main antagonists are wealthy. Two of them are only what you might call “mainstream” – those who are hired to serve the needs of the wealthy, to promote their interests. I used to do that myself back in the 90’s with in a studio apartment with a Toyota Corolla, driving from one large home to another, giving piano lessons to children, cracking jokes with the parents, and sitting behind a baby grand piano at night in a three piece suit at a five star restaurant. Did that mean I was wealthy? Heavens, no! I made about $33,000 a year before taxes. There’s a big difference between having money to hire, and being hired by those who have it.
Q. What about the third antagonist? The really, really bad guy whose name is Johnny James?
A. You’ve got his number already, buddy boy. J.J.’s a homeless drug dealer — my own antagonist, as it were, on the streets.
Q. So the wealthy side with the protagonist? With Winston Greene?
A. They appear to oppose him, but at the same time, they love him. They are only misguided as to how best he might be loved. For they are those of his birth family, and his original community. They have sheltered him his whole life long, in an effort to shield him from that which they fear. Naturally he rebels, and in so doing, learns that what they thought was so fearful, need not be feared at all.
Q. And he succeeds in getting this revelation across to them?
A. In the end, he does. And then, those whom they feared, they at last embrace. Those from whom they hid their eyes, they now see with eyes opened wide with clear vision. So they let them in, to share in their privilege, and never be homeless again.
Q. So there is a happy ending!
A. Of course. Why would there not be?
Q. But don’t they sing an elegy to Winston Greene? At a jailhouse memorial, in Act Two, Scene Two?
A. Let’s just say, as Mark Twain once put it, that the reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated.
Q. And what about that horribly demonic, death metal Opening, the song Intervention, which depicts psychiatric intervention followed by techno-torture, in the song The Age of Nevermore, in the terrifying second scene?
A. It has been adjusted accordingly. In the Opening, it still depicts psychiatric intervention. As the Finale, it now shows divine intervention.
Q. A pleasant twist! How did you arrive at it?
A. In a flash, as though given by an Artist Greater Than Myself.
Q. An Artist Greater Than Yourself?
A. Yes. For I have made a decision to turn my will and my life over to an Artist Greater Than Myself.
Q. And this Greater Artist is — on your side?
A. God’s not on my side. He’s on our side. Together, we’re going to win.
Q. Andy, let me ask you one more question.
A. Be my guest.
Q. What will it take, besides money, to get this show off the ground?
A. Divine Intervention – and Love.
LET’S PUT AN END TO CLASSISM.
LET’S PUT AN END TO HOMELESSNESS.
LET’S ALL SPEAK THE TRUTH
Please donate to Eden in Babylon.
Anything Helps – God Bless!