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This Blog Post Will Make You Understand Why Amanda Palmer Is The Worst

I’ve established a bit of a reputation for myself as a Professional Amanda Palmer basher, ever since I wrote an angry little parody poem in response to her “Poem for Dhzokhar” which ended up exploding onto BuzzFeed and The Guardian UK. I was never particularly fond of her, even before that — some of her music is fine, sure, but her Neutral Milk Hotel Jukebox Musical left a very sour taste in my mouth1, and her production of Cabaret at the American Repertory Theatre was the single worst (not to mention most masturbatory) professional theatre production I have ever experienced — but it wasn’t until recently that I really started seething at the mention of her continued existence on our shared plane of reality. That might sound a little extreme — she hasn’t, you know, killed anyone or anything — but the cognitive dissonance between the message that Amanda Palmer conveys and the things that she actually does fills me with such vehement anger, that I feel the need to articulate the ongoing problem that she continues to present.

I’m choosing to write about this now is because I’ve had a number of people bring my attention to her latest blog post about Justin Bieber’s arrest, all saying that they awaited my snarky response to it. And while sure, I could do that (hell, maybe I still will), I thought it would be better for me to take the Amanda Palmer approach and express my feelings in a rambling blogpost which I can then in turn proclaim to be “art” and thereby diminish any and all criticisms of my own shortcomings by blowing a raspberry at my detractors and say “IT’S JUST ART YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND I’M JUST TRYING TO EXPRESS MYSELF AND THAT IS BEAUTIFUL.”

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Wow. Our Town. Wow. Okay.

I say this with no personal bias — not because my wonderful girlfriend, the producer of this fine production, has been busting her ass for 10 months to make this show as a reality, and not as an employee of the theatre company that is presenting the show.

David Cromer’s production of Our Town at the Huntington is one of the Desert Island All-Time Top 5 Most Moving Shared Communal Experiences I have ever had in my entire life.

Perhaps it’s especially poignant for me when I think of the friends that I’ve lost in recent years, but I watched the show on both Tuesday and Wednesday night, and I couldn’t stand to watch it for a third time last night for our opening because I was already so overwhelmed with emotion. Three days in a row, and I think I would be eternally reduced to a sobbing puddle of flesh lying in fetal position on the floor. Yes, this show is so good that I literally could not watch it a third time (although I will probably go back at the end of the run, and hopefully catch some things I missed the other 2 times, because there’s so much to see in the nothingness of this production, and as the play itself suggests, we can’t possibly appreciate all of it when it’s happening).

Anyway, there’s a video I made up there about the show. I cannot stress enough how powerful and poignant this production truly is. Our Town might be seen as hokey and sentimental and high school-y to many people (though oddly I grew up in Thornton Wilder’s hometown and never read or saw the show once, although I did play lots of shitty punk rock shows at Thornton Wilder Memorial Hall), but man, David Cromer just gets it, in a way that’ll just blow your mind.

(Also don’t read the review in The Boston Globe because [a] it’s douchey, [b] IT SPOILS THE END OF THE PLAY, and [c] it’s douchey. Yes, Our Town has been around a while, so there are certain spoilers that are now beyond the statute of limitations, but to spoil what makes this production so remarkable — and to spoil it in such a nonchalant manner — is awful. If this guy had reviewed The Sixth Sense when it first came out, he would have said “And then it turns out that Bruce Willis was dead the whole time which was totally brilliant and stunning — I mean, that is to say, if you’re one of those people who enjoys brilliant and stunning things or whatever. But otherwise, meh.”)

Song of the (Bi-)Week, Week 4: “Alive”

Yeah, this is totally the song that Alyssa sang at the lesbian bar in Chasing Amy before Ben Affleck realized she was gay. What of it? It’s a good tune! I tried going all Neutral Milk Hotel* on the chorus, which sounded great in the cans, but sounds a little thin on laptop speakers. Oh well. You’ll live.

Enjoy!

*Also? Their first and only concert in 10 years just sold out this morning in under a minute. You can bet I’m pissed.