Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fannie and Freddie Busking Bit

Square Dance Intro 1:
Now that the housing bubble has burst
Those who had money now are cursed.
Like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Who came crashing down flat on their back.

OR Intro 2:
The housing bubble has gone all black
Those on high fell flat on their back.
Like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Begging for change on the subway track.

As square dance prelude song ends, The sound of Subway doors closing as Fannie and Freddie meet on the platform.

FMae: Heya Freddie! How's it going? How much money did you make on the trains today?

FMac: Oh Frannie, I'm strugglin'. I made five measly dollars, and that's only 'cause a CPA from the SEC recognized me as a GSE POW and felt sorry for me. I tried to charm the rest of 'em, but nothin' doin' - most of 'em won't even look at me...

Mae: Now you listen here Freddie. You're very likable, but honesty goes a long way. I just tell 'em that the whole reason I was around in the first place was to give the poor a fighting chance and to put a roof overhead for those that might not otherwise have one. And now that the tables are turned I, too,  must 'depend on the kindness of strangers.' And then I croon a little and make 'em swoon a little and the dollars start droppin' in my hat.

Mac: Ooh, Fannie, I think you're on the right track...no pun intended.

Mae: Dang right! But there's more potential out there. Freddie I think we need to combine our strengths!

Mac: Yes! With my charm and your sincerity we're sure to rake it in!

Mae: Ooh, I've got an idea! Listen to this: "(clears throat) Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, we're sorry to bother you...

We're GSEs and we're down on our luck
We've gone MIA
On the MTA
Busking all day for a lousy sawbuck
(Freddie joins in) We're FHLMC
Making our way through the mud and muck
But look out CBS and ABC and CNN and NBC
And you too, FOXNews
Cause she's Fannie Mae and he's Freddie Mac
And we're going to make a comeback...! (beat.)

Mac: So...A/C/E?

Mae: Nah...N/R/Q.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Poverty and Plutus - posits and process...

Hey all,

Some food for thought...

Been thinking a lot about Poverty in a parallel context to our show: less the character and more the state of being and its presence and its effects and causes...and its essence.  The character fights and pleas that she,it, Poverty, is essential, right?  It's always seen so negatively and exemplified as the nadir, the bottom, the line which we shouldn't cross.  But, she points out, that line is beggary, a point beyond poverty.  And without the poor and the hard-working, the world would not operate.

So that got me to thinking about the law of opposites, action and reaction, cause and effect, balance.  Our Edie is right, but since this entire world primarily runs on commodity or money, then all that labor and production from the poor people, for the most part, is a function of a larger process -  a larger scheme which all starts and finishes with spending money to make money, raising capital to gain capital.  So, it is logical then:
If there is a line you shouldn't cross at the bottom, there is probably a line you shouldn't cross at the top.  If beggary is the extreme on one side, what do we find on the other side of the line at the top?  The 1%?  Yes, undoubtedly.  But that does not evoke or provoke action, sensation, or emotion (but beggary does!)(and there's just got to be a handful of those 1 percenters that are good and just, I have to believe it in my heart...).  I'm not sure that the opposite is greed - not sure if it is extreme enough.  So I ask you, what is that thing on the other side of the line so forceful that it at once lures, no, sucks people in, and repulses the rest?  Maybe hoarding...?

I keep being drawn back to our training and our vocabulary.  "Always balancing, never balanced..." It's always action and never stasis.  Even when we are static, we are floating, treading, searching, waiting, hoping, expecting.  There is a constant movement, a to and fro, a rise and fall, an expand and contract, a push and a pull, a give and a take.  Poverty and Plutus.  Is Contentment ever achieved?  It is, of course, this expectation of satisfaction and/or justice that proves to be our downfall, on either side of the equation.  Are we escaping Poverty or capturing Wealth?  Perhaps there is no answer, no destination to that journey, but there does lie some inkling of satisfaction (good or bad, I don't know...) in knowing that the world cannot exist without money, and the two extremes of that are Wealth and Poverty, and one cannot exist without the other...

So I have questions.  I have written some of my recent brainstorming questions and thoughts below, along with some facts about poverty.  Please feel free to comment or respond to any of this...


* Where does poverty come from? It’s a second-hand state of being, right?  It cannot generate itself – or does it? – it’s always the result of something else…big business, government, economy…so there is an inherent need and dependence that is built into poverty…into the state of poverty.

* How did poverty come into existence? When currency came into existence? Who was the first poor person?  First rich person?  How could one possibly know that?  

* What is the relationship between Absolute poverty and Relative poverty? The line between maintaining dignity and giving in to beggary?

* Poignant that the objective is to equalize wealth, but no matter who is affected, or how, the ultimate super-objective is to: Escape Poverty or Capture Wealth?  Survival vs. Desire!!!!


Poverty, as defined by Merriam-Webster:
1. the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions 2. a scarcity or dearth

Poverty, as defined by Google:
1. The state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount.

Poverty, as defined by Wikipedia:

United Nations: Fundamentally, poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation.

World Bank: Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being, and comprises many dimensions. It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity. Poverty also encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one’s life.

Now, the World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than US$1.25 (PPP) per day.  But, each nation has its own threshold for absolute poverty line; in the United States, for example, the absolute poverty line was US$15.15 per day in 2010 (US$22,000 per year for a family of four),[17] while in India it was US$ 1.0 per day[18] and in China the absolute poverty line was US$ 0.55 per day, each on PPP basis in 2010.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

List Rants

Hello Everyone,
Here is the space to post your "List Rants" ... work from the other night of what monologue was generated from reading all the lists in succession.

Character Rants

Hello Everyone,
Comment here with your character rants... feel free to sign in with your chorus character's name!

How Corporations Became People

Brief history of how Corporations became people explained by Occupy Gainesville Street Theater Skit:


Occupy Olympus-- The Donald

Hey folks,

So per my assignment from Tuesday, I've been delving into the disturbing black hole of Donald Trump's Twitter feed. No matter how you feel about the Donald, one thing is clear-- he doesn't self-censor, and he's not afraid to attack.

First, here's the story of the "bribe" I mentioned on Tuesday night.
On October 24, 2012, Trump released a video (and Tweets, and Facebook postings, etc etc) promising a donation of $5 million to Obama's selected charity IF the president would release his college and passport applications and records (this, of course, is despite the fact that Obama presented his Honolulu birth certificate in 2010). The deadline for the "offer" was Oct. 31.

The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MgOq9pBkY0I

Naturally, Obama didn't respond to the "offer." The Donald's response: “Obviously he wasn’t born in this country or, if he was, he said he wasn’t in order to receive financial aid and in order to have a clear and very easy path into a college or university. Only a very stupid person would believe otherwise.”

And finally, some of the more interesting tweets about the financial situation:


1/5 households is on food stamps http://bit.ly/13GnPNY  We must do better. Americans need to have a work ethic.

Many people look at successful people & don't see anything but the end result. They don't see all the work that went into getting there.

It won't stay a buyer's market forever. If you can, take advantage and buy property ASAP. You'll thank me!

Remember the golden rule of negotiating: He who has the gold makes the rules.

I went to Wharton, made over &8 billion, employ thousands of people & get insulted by morons who can't get enough of me on Twitter!

My fragrance--"Success"--is flying off the shelves @Macy's. The perfect Christmas gift!

China's Communist Party has now publicly praised Obama's reelection. They have never had it so good. Will own America soon.

A 'confidential source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama has added over $6T to the new national debt & ruined US credit.

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.