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Preview: Much Tumbling About of Brains

The Loosefishery

There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method. Follow @jaybushman var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-30286137-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createEl



Tue, 13 Mar 2018 19:26:13 -0700




#onlocation w/ @experienceit @vpisteve1 (at Sycamore Cove,...

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 16:22:46 -0800


#onlocation w/ @experienceit @vpisteve1 (at Sycamore Cove, California)

turnabout: valencing: so exodus says that aaron stretched out his hand over the waters and the frog...

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 18:20:23 -0800



so exodus says that aaron stretched out his hand over the waters and the frog came up and covered the land of egypt and while english translators usually render “frog” as “frogs,” today at shul the rabbi challenged us to consider whether it could in fact have been one giant frog so we spent literally forty-five minutes arguing about whether there were swarms of frogs from the beginning or rather a single monstrous godzilla frog that split into multiple frogs once people started trying to destroy it and the congregation got so worked up that even after we’d sung aleinu and were heading out of the sanctuary people were still excitedly debating the moral implications of one frog versus many so what i’m trying to say is @judaism never change


Would you rather fight one Egypt-sized frog, or enough frog-sized frogs to cover the land of Egypt?


Sat, 24 Feb 2018 15:27:45 -0800


have you ever had a "monreal-style" bagel? i'd never heard of them until i moved to vermont but now i live right across the street from a montreal-style bagel place and i can't get enough of them.

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 15:24:27 -0800

Okay so this is going to sound very Jewish but. A member of my very extended family (my mishpokhe, if we’re going all in on this) runs a bagel place and their closest rivals brand their bagels as “Montreal style” and we were raised to like the New York style and dislike the Montreal style. So I do like the texture of the New York style much better (especially at my relative’s bakery where they’re boiled in whey rather than water) but I am super biased here.

turnabout: coupdefoudreylo: coupdefoudreylo: So. Today in class we assigned Macbeth roles to...

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:36:03 -0800




So. Today in class we assigned Macbeth roles to students to read. When I asked the class who wants to be Lady Macbeth, a young man raised his hand. I kind of stared at him like “Lady Macbeth,” and he nodded like “I know what I’m about ma’am.” So then the student who ended up as Macbeth raised his hand and said “HE’S THE ONE, HE’S MY WIFE!” So I said “yeah sure why not,” and the entire class period they were blowing kisses to each other and winking at each other, and every now and then Macbeth would say “I’m the luckiest man on Earth” and Lady Macbeth would put a hand to his chest, and be like “BABE!”.

I just stared at them, knowing that they CLEARLY have never read ‘Macbeth’ before, so… all this lovey dovey… I don’t know if I have the heart to tell them the truth.


  • Macbeth is absolutely willing to fucking throw down for Lady Macbeth. Has already threatened a wall, a desk, a few students, a textbook that was neither his nor Lady Macbeth’s, and me
  • Lady Macbeth is enjoying the attention and has begun to use this new connection to his advantage. I’m starting to suspect he’s read ahead in the play.
  • Macbeth is going to end up living in detention at this rate.
  • Macbeth has no idea that he is the tragedy of the story. Claims to be the hero of the play, fails to see the irony in this
  • Macbeth slowly scooted his desk across the classroom to hold hands with Lady Macbeth. He was not subtle.
  • Macbeth has proposed on several occasions. Lady Macbeth just laughs and says they’re already married.
  • Macbeth’s girlfriend is in the class with them and is “totally not jealous or anything just thinks this whole fucking play is a waste of time”
  • Lady Macbeth should probably be a theatre major at some point, he fucking rocked Act V scene I
  • Other teachers and staff are emailing me about the “lovely lords”. Lady Macbeth now refuses to answer to anything other than Lady Macbeth and is always very upset when people don’t call him by his proper title.

I mean. This relationship does feel dramaturgically consistent. 

I ship it.

"I’ll be curious to see how consensus shakes out on Star Trek: Discovery, the first new Trek TV..."

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:38:20 -0800

I’ll be curious to see how consensus shakes out on Star Trek: Discovery, the first new Trek TV series since Enterprise. In the hours since the season-one finale ended…I’ve seen mostly expressions of disappointment or outright hostility, mingled with affection for certain characters, moments, and episodes.

This baffles me. To paraphrase what people tell me every time they disagree with one of my reviews, I feel like we saw two different shows. I thought Star Trek: Discovery delivered the strongest first season overall since the original series, which premiered on NBC almost 52 years ago, and that, on evidence of this first run of episodes, it could be one of the all-time greats if it plays its cards right.


Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Finale Review

With the exception of a smidgen of Kirk Drift, this review is SPOT ON.

Fun with old memes and new Disco

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 09:31:20 -0800


Fun with old memes and new Disco

Burr, slavery, and why I’m hating all the history books

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 16:15:57 -0800

Rant time.As I’ve alluded to, I’ve been working for a while on a script about Aaron Burr.  When this project began, it was definitely about the things that went down in all those metaphorical rooms where it happened. But it quickly became clear that if I stayed there, it would just be yet another Great White Man History and zzzzzzzz.  So I widened the scope to try getting out of those rooms and into the other places of the time where perhaps other kinds of folks were trying to live their lives. Absolutely the right choice. But it leads to some other kinds of problems. Because almost all our history is Great White Man History and Here Are The Important Things history, there’s very little actual record of all the stuff that was happening to all the Not-Great White Men at the same time. Because the job of a historian is to paint the broad brush, and give us the sweep of history.  But the job of the dramatist is to create living, breathing characters, who do things, for reasons, that have ramifications.  So many times, a person will be mentioned in passing and then never again, and I shout WAIT! WAIT! I NEED TO KNOW MORE. There are so many basic, simple facts that are just missing, or fragmented, and of course its all the stuff that I need.To wit, here are some facts:–As a State Assemblyman in New York, Aaron Burr introduced a bill to outlaw slavery in New York, It failed.–Aaron Burr owned slaves.–New York gradually emancipated slaves over a period from 1799 to 1827.–Aaron Burr died in 1836.When you put all of these facts together, you get is the following:  Aaron Burr opposed slavery on some level, but not enough to renounce the practice himself. But at some point in his life, he made the decision to emancipate the slaves that he held. When did he do that? Why did he do that? How many slaves did he have at the time? What made him decide at that point to do it. What happened to the slaves he emancipated? Where did they go? Did any of them stay in his service? Why? And most importantly WHO WERE THEY?If you read all the Burr bios, you get these little glimpses of people like Alexis and Peggy and Peter Yates, slaves and servants who are always around and in the background, but nobody cares enough about them to tell us who they actually were.But I need to have all of that in my script. Because who they are - and how Burr treats them - is essential information for this story. The fact that Burr held slaves, and the way he treated them – these are essential windows into his character. (@linmanuel skirted this whole thing my making the choice to show Hamilton as an ardent abolitionist - which, HELLO? NOT! Both Hamilton and Burr were members of the Manumission Society who also owned slaves and helped other buy them. I imagine if the 3rd Cabinet Battle song had stayed in, that would have added some nuance. But because of the frame of Hamilton The Musical, it’s less problematic. Or, to be more precise, if I were to try the same tactic, it would be much MORE problematic.)   And every piece of wiring that I’ve picked up from living in our culture is inviting me to frame it in a “well, he did hold slaves, but it was New York, so it wasn’t as bad as the south, so it could have been worse” way. Which, frankly, is a bullshit cop-out, and I am resisting.  So I’m basically going to have to make it all up. Which, fine, okay, that’s my job.  But boy, oh boy, do I not want to get this part wrong.  These people have been erased from history already, and I feel a responsibility to not further that erasure.  The only thing I’ve found that directly addresses this issue is one passage in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 that says:“Burr emancipated his slaves just before the enactment of the bill instituting gradual emancipation in New York[...]

"Sloan, whose debut novel, Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore explored the future of the printed word,..."

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 09:09:25 -0800

“Sloan, whose debut novel, Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore explored the future of the printed word, clearly believes the traditionalist and the futurist need not be locked in combat. That may seem a little optimistic, and yet there’s something so unjaded about his story, and so plucky about Lois that I found myself captivated by its tiny dramas despite myself. Perhaps it’s that Californian can-do spirit. Or perhaps it’s just a relief to read a novel about breaking bread rather than broken humans.”

- Sourdough has almost converted me to novels about baking | The Spectator

dailyaliens: Oh, Vasquez! You’re just too bad.

Sat, 03 Feb 2018 20:32:38 -0800




Oh, Vasquez! You’re just too bad.

grossnational: grossnational: 50 Shades of Dune Much ado about...

Sat, 03 Feb 2018 10:13:34 -0800











50 Shades of Dune

Much ado about Guilds

a work-in-progress

"[Congress], I need not remind you, is a sanctuary; a citadel of law, of order, and of liberty; and..."

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 15:23:41 -0800

“[Congress], I need not remind you, is a sanctuary; a citadel of law, of order, and of liberty; and it is here – it is here, in this exalted refuge – here, if anywhere, will resistance be made to the storms of political frenzy, and the silent arts of corruption; and if the constitution be destined ever to perish by the sacrilegious hands of the demagogue, or the usurper, which God avert, its expiring agonies will be witnessed on this floor.”


Aaron Burr’s Farewell Address To The Senate, 1805

I’m not going to tune in to watch tonight’s expiring agonies. 

ms-demeanor: emilysidhe: dont-spoop-yourself: emilysidhe: Baby It’s Cold Outside discourse is...

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:55:21 -0800





Baby It’s Cold Outside discourse is the same as Macbeth discourse. 


OK, so one of the big debates in Macbeth involves the scene in which Lady Macbeth talks Macbeth into killing King Duncan.  People debate strenuously over whether it’s a scene of Lady M pressuring her reluctant husband into it, or whether it’s a scene of her sensing, due to their emotional intimacy, that this murder is something her husband secretly wants and has partially internally decided to do, and is arguing him into it in order to help him give himself permission to do it, in the same way that people see their loved ones wavering over the dessert menu and jump in with things like, “Go on, get the cheesecake, it’s your birthday!”  Readers and scholars disagree strenuously about this - we even studied an incident in college in which two 18th century illustrators attended the same performance and happened to draw the scene the day after, producing two images that advanced opposite interpretations even though they’d seen the exact same actors do the exact same performance.  It’s a big deal.

In the same way, the Baby, It’s Cold Outside discourse is about whether this is a song about sexual harassment, or whether it’s a woman singing about how she wishes she could spend the night with the guy she just had an excellent date with if only the neighbors wouldn’t talk, and him responding, “Stay, baby, it’s cold out!  No one could expect you to go home in this!”

I really don’t know (baby stab his side)
King Duncan’s a bro (baby cut through his hide)

I like him a lot (That decrepit old sot?)
This plan ain’t so great (But what a king you’d make!)

The guards might worry (Darling, do it in a hurry!)
His sons will rush the door (So knock them on the floor.)

I’m not such a knave (Bash his head with a stave)
But I’d be a good king (Now you’re starting to think)

The dukes might all talk (But their chatter means naught)
Say, love, what do you mean (You’d make such a king)

I simply must go (baby cut through his hide)
There’s a war on you know (baby cut through his hide)

But what of his wife? (And what of his life?)
It feels like bad luck (But that don’t mean much)

I’ve got a bad premonition (And I’ve got a mission)
But that’s just superstition (My love, you’re a vision)

The witches said I’d rule (If they lied they were cruel)
So baby let’s stab
Stab his siiiiide!

jaybushman: clubfincher: Creed (2016) | directed by Ryan...

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 08:24:43 -0800









Creed (2016) | directed by Ryan Coogler 

I don’t care who the Academy gives it to, this is my Best Actor award winner.

I haven’t written about Hashtag Hamlet publicly in a while, mainly because there’s not a lot to write about. Development can be like that – we’re exploring a lot of different potential paths forward, talking with a lot of different potential funders and distributors to find the right partners who will make this happen on the level and scale that we want.

One part of those conversations is always some variation on the question, “if you could get anybody you wanted to play Hamlet, who would it be.”

And my answer is usually Michael B. Jordan. 

Because, I mean, look at this guy. Torn up inside, not knowing what he should do next, but knowing he has to do something.

There’s a famous story about Franco Zeffirelli going to see Lethal Weapon, and when he gets to the scene where Riggs puts the gun in his mouth but can’t pull the trigger, he said to himself, “THAT’S Hamlet.”

I had a similar moment when I saw Fruitvale Station. And I saw it again in Creed, in scenes like above. Michael B. Jordan has an amazing ability to convey active indecision, the physicalize an internal conflict between lashing out at the things in his way no matter the cost and holding himself back because it’s the smarter play even though it means swallowing his pride.

You know, to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or take arms against a sea of troubles. 

Michael B. Jordan is now an A-list movie star, so the odds of him agreeing to do my weird internet show are practically nonexistent. But the larger point is that the requirement to play Hamlet should be the ability to PLAY THE ROLE. Not skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or anything else.

And if you think that a woman can’t play Hamlet, then you’ve haven’t seen the LA Women’s Shakespeare Company play Shakespeare the way it was meant to be played.   


The other name I’d usually give when asked if I could get anybody to play Hamlet?

Daniel Kaluuya.



Y’know, when I would say that name in those meetings, the response was usually, “Who?” Not anymore. 

winterbythesea: I was watching Empire Strikes Back and I never noticed this before, but in the scene...

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 08:38:54 -0800

winterbythesea: I was watching Empire Strikes Back and I never noticed this before, but in the scene where Leia briefs the pilots on Hoth? You can see Han in the background, working on the Falcon Leia begins the briefing and he’s still welding in the background still welding… but the Hobbie asks about two fighters against a star destroyers and Leia turns to talk to him meaning she’s now facing the Falcon and when we cut back to the wider shot… look who suddenly found something better to do, and is in fact not even pretending to work anymore, he’s literally just standing there (it’s almost like he perked up when Hobbie questioned Leia’s plan like he wanted to see how she’d respond to it aka reminder that Leia’s “calm facade concealed an impressive temper” and Han “enjoyed watching it in action” and how the hell did he even notice this with the noise and the sparks from the welder, eh Han? Eh?) anyway as soon as it’s clear that she’s turned away again, it’s back to the welding … at least until the commander guy yells “okay, everybody to your stations!” and Leia turns to go at which point he’s back to just standing there, although this time he remembered to at least pretend to be engrossed in work so basically Han Solo notices when Leia Organa turns towards him halfway across the hangar, stops what he’s doing to watch her give orders when she turns so he can see her, then hurriedly goes back to pretending to work once he realises what he’s doing [...]

The Problem of Reylo: A Meta, by Flourish

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 08:40:45 -0800

The Problem of Reylo: A Meta, by Flourish:


Looks like I wanna get flambéed so here is a meta I wrote about Rey and Kylo Ren, their problems, and why I am still into them despite my best judgment and all critique

Okay, so I’m not done reading this yet, but I had to stop and reblog just for this crystalline sentence:

When presented with a highly mannered, symbolic canon, the first instinct a fan has is to get into its guts and root around for people.


10,000 points to Slytherin

"So, it doesn’t matter how much we love a thing – if we think what we’re doing is meaningless, if we..."

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:03:08 -0800

“So, it doesn’t matter how much we love a thing – if we think what we’re doing is meaningless, if we think what we’re doing is being taken apart in front of us – we will stop doing it, no matter the money being offered.”


The Keynote | Liza Palmer

Read Liza’s amazing keynote. Then go buy all of her books. 

Frankenstein200 Educational Experience Trailer from L.I.F.E. on...

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:25:30 -0800

src="" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0" title="Frankenstein200 Educational Experience Trailer" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen>

Frankenstein200 Educational Experience Trailer from L.I.F.E. on Vimeo.

New from No Mimes Media, a modern re-imagining of Frankenstein as a “digital narrative paired with hands-on activities happening in January and February at museums and science centers across the United States.” Featuring the wonderful Rose Abdoo (Gypsy from Gilmore Girls!) as Dr. Tori Frankenstein. 

I had a ton of fun working on this one.  

Check out the Frankenstein Laboratory for Innovation and Fantastical Exploration, or L.I.F.E. at