Friday, July 11, 2008
Summertime--and the Liberals are Easy
Finally it's summer and I'm almost nervous about being this giddy. When the sun pours into my kitchen, and I can wear flip flops instead of boots, I'm already cheery, but these last few luxious days have been the best. Lying outside reading, listening to my favorite talk-radio show, a home-made cherry Italian soda by my side, is deliciously decadent.
The weekly fairs and festivals tumble one after the other (I blogged about many of them last year) and this weekend is our community's homey celebration, complete with a parade, boat rides around our island, and fireworks, none of which I (ever) get to enjoy, as they're on Shabbat. But on Sunday I look forward to once again greeting my fave artisans, in their white plastic booths lining a closed-off street in our little "downtown," and strolling among the polished Chevys on the car show's row. Then I'll head over to another neighborhood for their even funkier festival.
And tonight, with my son, I enjoyed another summer tradition: Shakespeare in the park. The outdoor stage nestled in a ravine allows for hillside seating on the lawn, and this year the Wooden O Theatre group put on Romeo and Juliet. Like many such productions around the country, the classic dialog comes with a twist--mod costumes, innovative sets, unexpected effects.
We certainly didn't expect the twisted message that my 15-year-old son found distractingly embedded in this rendering of the Bard's drama: that the US and Iraq are two needlessly feuding "families" whose enmity, like the Montagues' and the Capulets', ends in tragedy. The Montagues wore camouflage with "UN" armbands, blue berets and bayonets. The Capulets, in my son's words, wore "traditional Arab robes" and carried knives. The story began and ended with air raid sirens reminiscent of World War II newsreels. Other than that, we got the familiar soliloquies, poisonings, stabbings and what-have-you. I found the acting superb, the experience on the lawn glorious, and the message a reminder that we live, after all, in waaay liberal Seattle.
Okay, I'll conclude with another quick anecdote. The other day, a chipper college-age young woman with a clipboard rang my doorbell. As I opened, she smiled: "I'm here for change! We all want our country to be better and I'm collecting for Barack Obama!" I chuckled.
"Sorry, but I'm not for Barack Obama!" I smiled back.
Her face fell. "What?" she asked, clearly never having confronted such a response.
"I'm not for Barack Obama," I repeated, still grinning amiably.
"You mean--" she puzzled, "You mean," she stammered. "You mean--you're a Republican?"
"Yes," I replied.
Her eyes still wide with incredulity, she stood there a beat. "Well, then," she pondered aloud, "I'm sorry." And she turned and walked away. No attempt to engage me; no literature left at my feet. And now I'm sure our house is marked on her list of addresses with a scarlet "R."
Have a great summer!