Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fringe 2009 - FFA 2 - The Problem of the Body

"This is shaped like something we don't see in public very often."

Prof. Rudman

The Problem of the Body: Why is our society ashamed of bodily urges?

Like John Waters channeled through Sir Kenneth Clark, Prof. Damon Rudman examines contemporary American attitudes toward bodily urges by comparing today's US media with jaw-dropping imagery from other times and places.

"I'm not really a performer. I'm just up here on stage pretending to be one."

Truer words were never spoken, Professor. As we watched the fellow in academic cap and gown burn through the first thirty seconds of his time praising the Fringe staff and his fellow performers, I wanted to tell the poor guy, you don't get extra time at the end just because you're nice to people. Get to the point. There's a difference between conversational and merely rambling. The red light and friendly but insistent audience applause, plus Robin Gillette's reappearance, to usher him off at the end reminded him of this.

He certainly wasn't shy about whipping out his penis-shaped water pistol and using it liberally as a prop. But a Fringe audience is the wrong audience to try and "shock." Trust me, we've seen worse. (Some would argue that we saw "worse" at that very Fringe-For-All. Yes, LICK, we're looking at you.) If you've got fascinating facts from a myriad of world cultures having to do with the wonders of genitalia, by all means, bring it on, Becky. But don't try to impress on us how much we should be scandalized, or how puritan we all are. We're a Fringe audience. We didn't wander over from the Ordway or the Guthrie by mistake. We came here deliberately. Perhaps even looking to be provoked. So, you know, go for it.

Good luck, Professor. Remember to keep that penis gun loaded.

His blog -

His show page

His facebook page

The Fringe's YouTube page should have the Fringe-For-All clip up in the coming days, so check back there to see for yourself. Meanwhile, we have his own video trailer...

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