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DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN

December 27, 2000

I’m having a hard time defending the caveman. It’s the title of a show we went to see last night. Rob Becker’s 90 minute one-man show is apparently knocking ‘em dead all over the world. It holds the record for the longest running one-man show in Broadway (beating out Lily Tomlin and Jackie Mason), it’s been on tour to sold-out crowds since 1997, it’s a similar sell-out in England, Germany, South Africa, and, of all places, Iceland. The sold-out crowd in Sacramento was rolling in the aisles at the jokes, which focuses on the difference between men and women. (Women spend a lot of time choosing clothes for an evening out, for example, while men root through the laundry to find the thing that smells the least offensive.)

I’m trying to get a review written and my main problem is that I just plain don’t like humor like this. Oh he has some very funny bits, but they depend on the basic assumption that men are only slightly evolved Neanderthals while women have always been superior beings, able to do many things at once, highly verbal, sociable beings. It’s easy to make jokes when you start out with that premise. But the men and women I meet rarely fit into such a handy stereotypical niche. In fact, I told Jeri, who was sitting next to me throughout the 90 minute show, that I found out last night that basically I’m a man in drag. I suppose that should come as no surprise to anybody. I’ve often been described by my gay male friends as “a fag in a dyke’s body.” OK. So I like Judy Garland. You got a problem with that?

Speaking of Ms. Garland, the caveman around here got the new DVD player (thank you, Santa) set up yesterday and I was finally able to see the DVD of A Star Is Born which I bought when it was released in September. Some may think that buying a DVD of a movie when I don’t own a DVD player is a little silly. But anybody looking at the collection of Garland crap around here wouldn’t be surprised at all. I first saw Judy Garland in 1954 right after A Star Is Born was released. I fell in love with the movie and have probably seen it more than 100 times. When videotapes came into existence, I began to record Garland movies off of the television. Through the years I have acquired all of them. Years ago, I visited a guy here in town who had a VCR years before they became commercially popular. He somehow was able to videotape the old Garland TV shows and I coveted his collection (I never knew how he found anything because his house was one gigantic mountain of videotapes, all seemingly tossed into a heap in the middle of the living room. One of the rare people who make me feel like a “housekeeper.”)

But then the TV shows began to be rerun, and released on video, so I acquired those as well. Somewhere around here I have 8 huge scrapbooks of stuff I collected about Garland during the years I was doing such things. (I am a woman and, according to Rob Becker, a “gatherer.”) Unfortunately I was not only a Garland collector, but a stupid one. At one point I was able to pick up a whole slew of theatre posters for her various movies. But my scrapbook consisted of 8 x 11 pages and the posters were larger than that, so I cut them down to fit. Now, of course, the full size posters would be worth a small fortune. But I had no such foresight when I was a teenager.

But I digress. This isn’t getting the review written.

A friend just sent me my horoscope for today, part of which says, "Step back and use your fine mind to analyze anything that appears too frustrating. Creative situations require some research and planning. You can come up with the perfect solution for public situations or your career." I’m not sure that this little stumbling block is a career situation, or even that I could do any research and planning for it, but it is a momentary frustrating creative situation, for sure.

I wish I could figure out how to put into words what I did not like about this show. I suppose it’s what bothers me about a lot of humor to begin with. I don’t like humor that gets its laughs at someone else’s expense. I’ve always admired comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, who can be very funny without any sort of put down whatsoever. I suppose when you grow up a fat kid, you get so much teasing during your formative years that it just makes you super-sensitive to put downs of any sort--even if the people who are being made fun of are laughing along as well. Don’t ever invite me to a Don Rickles show!

Well, somehow I have to convey that message and get the review to the newspaper this morning.

I’ve just had a interesting “intermission.” I agreed to drive my one-to-one, who had to appear in court at 8 a.m. this morning. I got up early, got out at sun rise, drove through the thick fog to her house, and there was no answer, to either my loud knocks on the door, or to my telephone call (I parked in her driveway and called her on the cell phone). So I turned around and drove through the thick fog again back home. Kinda makes you rethink being a do-gooder sometimes.

OK...time to get back to that review. This has been a very strange journal entry. It’s kind of a cross between a journal entry and e-mail.

 

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created 12/26/00 by Bev Sykes