Author Archives: PlayFair

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Dear Representative Paulsen – I write that merely to be polite as you certainly are not “dear” to me, and with a frown and a shake of my head as you represent everything I find most troubling about the current political environment.   I’ll spell it out, not for your benefit,  because I’m quite convinced you don’t care, but for my benefit.  I want to be able to say that I, at least, spoke up when our American civil liberties and quality of life were threatened.  I cried out as our Democracy died. If you were deserving of your job, you would not continue supporting a political party more invested in maintaining power than in engaging in good governance.  I’ll begin where I begin as there is nearly no end to your party’s objectionable behavior and all are nearly equally abhorant. Gerrymandering:  “Partisan gerrymandering has become a tool for powerful interests […]

Playwright, Lauren Gunderson, currently the most popular playwright in the U.S., was quoted in The Guardian, saying, “I think it’ll be hard to write this moment until this moment is a little more processed.  I think we’ll have great Trump era plays in about 10 years.”  I understand her thinking.  She may be right but all I could think was:  In ten years we may be ten years too late. In the Preface to Hate Unleashed: America’s Cataclysmic Change, Edward Dunbar, author and professor of psychology at UCLA whose specialty is hate, says, “I had been running out this line in the first few days after November 8, 2016, when Donald Trump became the president-elect of the United States: ‘Be close to those you are close to, and become active in some cause you care deeply about.’ To the writers, film professionals, and artists, I knew, I said, ‘Consider how […]

I was, once, a respiratory therapist, back in the days when I was searching for a way to support myself as an aspiring writer….  That sounds as if I’ve since become Minnesota’s Salinger or had possibly met Garrison Keillor.  I haven’t succeeded in either of those arenas although my brother did graduate from high school with Keillor and I played in the school orchestra with Keillor’s third wife’s sister but let me not put on airs which is different from being attached to a respirator.  None of this has anything to do with what I’m trying to convey here. I was a respiratory therapist at a point in my life where from I was looking for a way to support my habit, i.e. hooked on eating something and sleeping somewhere.  Also, for my twenty-third birthday, the man I had married when I was seventeen changed the locks on our apartment […]

Send Them God Damned Australian Children’s Book Authors Back To Their God Damned Kangaroo Ridden Island Have you read Koala Lou?  Night Noise?  Wombat Divine?  Wombat Divine – what a great book title! How about Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge?  One of my absolute favorite books!  I swear – all of them are right up there with Sense and Sensibility.  All of the above, except, as you might have guessed, Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen), were written by Mem Fox, award winning children’s author and educator, frequent visitor,  esteemed guest, and suspected despicable threat, nefarious menace, and unreasonable risk to the security of this great land.  Stand, if ye be patriots!  Hand on Heart!  Do not question!   Sing!  America, America, God shed His grace on thee…  And shed those friggin’ visitors, too.  We don’t need ‘em.  We don’t want ‘em. Mem Fox, invited to the US as an honored guest, was detained […]

I’m doing research for a ghost story to take place in Savannah, Georgia.  In the past or in the present?  Maybe both?  I don’t know yet.  I’m still stumbling in the dark, banging into trees that leap out at me, dragging my booted feet through the muddle, swearing at myself for ever venturing into this murky world of fiction.  I don’t write short stories.  I’m a playwright.   But I’m not having great success beginning my next play, either.  So, what the Hell… I do know the plot will revolve around the African American and Jewish communities of that southern American city.  I’m writing an email to the rabbi of Mickve Israel, Robert Haas, whose blog I came across while looking for his address. I am re-posting it here to thank the Rabbi and the other religious leaders of Savannah for their humanity and honorable solidarity as they make clear they […]

Yes, Lady Gaga!  But If I Were You – I’m Not; I Know – But I Would Have Added One More Song In her interview with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Jered Kushner’s Grandmother Rae said that if there had been an Israel during Hitler’s reign of terror, perhaps 6 million Jews would not have been murdered.    I think she was right.  So did a lot of people. After World War II, after the reality of the Holocaust hit the world’s nervous system, the stroke that signed Israel into existence was thought to be a blessing and an absolute necessity.  For the first time, in a long time, the Jews were no longer without representation, without refuge, with a nation.  And should it ever happen again, and Jews find themselves running for their lives, they will not wander the world, dying for want of few buckets of water, a slice […]

In 1899, Mincie Fidelman, nine months pregnant, boarded a train, leaving behind her Russian home, most of her family, and everything she had ever known.  She was running for her life and for the life of her child.   I only know this because my husband’s mother, Molly, was born on that train, somewhere in Germany by then, a day or perhaps two at most, after Mincie had handed her ticket to the conductor and relinquished her life to whatever lay ahead.  Between 1880 and 1910, nearly two million Jews fled Russia, desperate to save the lives of their children, born or, as yet. unborn. At that time, Amos Elon writes, “Russian was the only European country that banned foreign Jews from entering…,” (The Pity of It All – published 2002).  It was also the only country where “recurrent anti-Semitic pogroms were government-inspired diversions from the miseries of daily life.”  Pogrom […]

Take a look at the website referenced below.  Go down to where the women speak.  Silence Senator Warren?  At your peril, Senator McConnell. http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/2/7/1631253/-Mitch-McConnell-Silences-Elizabeth-Warren-Women-Respond-We-Will-Not-Be-Silenced-LetLizSpeak By the way, Senator McConnell, have you seen this website? https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/05/trump-regrets-twitter-voters-election-ashamed This young woman, Erica Baguma, a student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has been compiling the tweets on the Twitter account @Trump_Regrets.  She told The Guardian, “I was curious as to what his supporters thought…, and so I was searching and I was really surprised to find that there were so many people who were already regretting voting for him, for lots of different reasons.”   Eyes are on you, Senator McConnell.  In service of the Orangutan Trump and his Master Bannon, how stupid can you make yourself look?

Old Devil Time, you soften our pain and bless us with forgetfulness. The horrors we’ve been party to are finding firm footing in denial. Now that most of those victims are dead, We’re free.  Follow the fruit-faced fascist.  Ahead lies blessed darkfulness.   Old Devil Time, you’re a svelte con-man, convincing us we don’t need to know history. In fact we don’t need to know anything, neither math nor science. We have the Committee for Lies and License Exchanging knowledge with alternate reality; conjoining truth with ignorance and mystery.   Old Devil Time, we aren’t all the fools you would have us be.  Some of us remember. This go-round, no disappearing our neighbors into train cars and horse stalls. No matter how long and high the wall, We, with pink hats, cardboard signs, respect for life, not merely birth, but life.  We remember.   Old Devil Fear, we aren’t afraid […]

I’m the mother and so one might suspect me of prejudice but I will deny it.  I have no reason to inflate falsely.  The facts stand for themselves.  The person stands for herself and stands tall.  She asks the same question so many of us are asking:  What can I do to resist the rise of distrust and hatred?  What can I do to defend the values I hold dear? What she doesn’t do is give herself the credit she deserves.  Miriam’s head holds one of the most creative minds I’ve had the pleasure and honor of knowing well.  I am often in awe. As you ask yourselves, “What the Hell can a person like me do against a Hellish person like that?,” don’t deny your abilities.  Don’t cut yourself short.  Each one of us is a wall against which those who spread fear and hatred and suspicion must pass.  […]