Distribution Automatique

Friday, April 8

"Suppose I was to postulate that being a writer is absolutely ludicrous"

is one of my favorite lines from Richard Foreman's current play
*The Gods Are Pounding My Head (AKA Lumberjack Messiah).*

Another line that makes me think: "In bad times the best that can
be done is to fail (is that what I believe. Even if I believe...)"

I kept jotting lines down from the play throughout, because in
this work, more than in any I can remember, Richard Foreman
appears to want to address the current circumstances
of life, in words, more directly than in any of his plays I can remember, going
back to the late 60's. "How can I activate my heart?" is another
line that surprised me. "Don't touch the big heart. Why can't
I see it?" "The action is elsewhere....Wake up into a world
where people are thin somehow." This line, which repeats
throughout the play, hits the nail on the head of contemporary
existence, for me. Also, throughout the play, two words are repeated
again and again, in varying contexts. These are: "tendency" and

Yet it's important to add that in this work, as in all his plays, words
and statements themselves are problematized. All of Foreman's plays,
perhaps a little less so in this one, make it clear that we
are always saying the same things, but these things are constantly
meaning something else. "We can never go into the future which
is behind us," and, "It's the world itself making these choices
on your behalf," are two paradoxes worthy of the description
"koan." The fact that everything said is also clearly directed to
himself makes this playwright worthy of the title philosopher, and this
line clinched it: "OK Richie, what do we do
with these things?"