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Weekly Rochester Events #702 Starting Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

God Bless America at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 5:00 pm (1 comment)

Curiosity got the best of me, I guess, and I headed to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see God Bless America. It's billed as a black comedy "revenge fantasy" although I think the philosophy runs deeper than that. Yes, it's a story that threads the needle of disbelief so we can have a "hero" who takes it upon himself to successfully go on a killing spree of people who, well, annoy him — "revenge fantasy".

Early on, Frank meets up with Roxy — a disaffected teen who hungrily insists on joining him. The mechanics of the plot force the revenge killings to continue unabated, but there's bound to be at least one that's just a little too close to the viewer's own behavior. That, and as Frank and Roxy discuss their guidelines of who to kill, it's clear that it's all way too subjective: each individual has jeir own set of behaviors that jee deems wholly intolerable.

But there is one common thread in it all — one thing that I think everyone can agree on: those people are most responsible for irresponsible and immoral behavior today. You know who they are.

See, the thing we all have in common is the "problem" is with "others", not ourselves. And if we identify some behavior that is part of the problem, we are certainly not the worst offender: we have a plausible justification for our behavior.

So that leads me to three questions: how can I tell if it's me?, are you sure things are bad?, and why am I even thinking about this?

One thought experiment is to ask, "if everyone in the whole world behaved as I do, would that be okay?"

  • If everyone in the whole world used 4,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in a year, would that be okay? Hrmm … probably not.
  • If everyone in the world didn't own a car, would that be okay? That would probably improve things a bit.

Another experiment is to think of how complicated an explanation is necessary to defend your argument. I mean, I don't even see a need to justify holding the door for someone behind me. Or how about, "the other day this guy just walked out into the crosswalk and he almost got himself killed — I mean, what was he thinking? Didn't he know to look both ways before crossing the street? It's not like I could have stopped to wait for him because I was in a hurry because my presence is critical at my destination." And don't you think it's more consistent and straightforward to think that greed is more to blame for the problems in the world than some convoluted logic that somehow leads to homosexuality?

But a lot of times we should step back and think, "are things that bad?" I remember going on the highway with my parents in the 1970's. When traffic was moderately heavy, the whole highway stunk of gasoline, oil, and smoke. I mean stunk — like if you spilled some gas in your garage, only it was hot in the summer and the vapor just lingered there making everyone just a little queasy. But you can barely smell them now (except on a steep race track like the steep grades on I-70 west of Denver) even though there are literally twice as many cars now as in 1972.

And finally, what's the deal with finding someone to blame anyway? Why is our culture so hell-bent on doing that? It seems entirely counterproductive: it's so bad to be "ruining the world" that we are compelled to create convoluted explanations for our own behavior rather than just going, "yeah, that thing I'm doing is doing more harm than good so I'm going to change it."

See, the only way God Bless America makes any sense is if we are fully committed to shame so we feel absolutely justified in targeting someone else to blame.

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    Granite Mills Park (Platt St. and Browns Race) will be hosting The Mambo Kings starting around 12:15 p.m. [source: RocWiki calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick This evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) is a Food Truck Rodeo. [source: Record Archive e-mail]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) at 6 p.m., Weston Naef will present a talk titled Carleton Watkins Places. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at The Lovin' CupMySpace link (300 Park Point Dr., #110) starting around 7 p.m., Stacey Mrva will be on hand for the Opening Reception of her beer-centric metal works with music by The Shadow of the Fro. [source: Lovin' Cup calendar]

    JayceLand Pick This evening at The Jewish Community Center (JCC) (1200 Edgewood Ave.) is a screening of Two Spirits. [source: Gay Alliance website]

    John W. Borek presents an Evening of Albee featuring three short plays by Edward Albee at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) Performances are tonight through Saturday (and same next week) at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. [source: MuCCC website]

    The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing On the Town starting at 8 p.m. in which "sailors Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin are on leave in the Big Apple in search of l'amour." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is Animal PantsMySpace link, and The Moses Jones Band starting around 8:30 p.m. Note rumors that the Bug Jar may still be temporarily closed. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Over at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) starting around 9 p.m. is Cabinet. [source: Abilene website]


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    JayceLand Pick This evening at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) starting around 7 p.m. is Scene and Herd: A Carnival of the Animals by Erika Ruegemer and Co. [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick This evening at 7 p.m. at The First Unitarian Church of Rochester (220 Winton Rd. S.), Jonathan Bates will discuss Edible Forest Gardens: Growing a Food Paradise. [source: Rochester Permaculture e-mail]

    The Space at Hungerford (1115 E. Main St.) will be hosting Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School with Nick Toons Throwback from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. [source: The Space at Hungerford calendar]

    Tonight and tomorrow on Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) is Geva Comedy ImprovMySpace link in Rattlesnake Gulch: An Improvised Western. [source: Geva Theatre website]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Films of the Nicholas Brothers starting at 8 p.m. starring "self-taught African American entertainers" Fayard Nicholas, and Harold Nicholas who "are among the greatest dancers of the 20th century." Bruce Goldstein will present the program. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight starting around 9 p.m. at The Lovin' CupMySpace link (300 Park Point Dr., #110) is a CD Release Party for Garden Fresh with GonculatorMySpace link, and Colin and Evan, hosted by Chet WildMySpace link. [source: Lovin' Cup calendar]


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    JayceLand Pick Girls Rock! presents a screening of From the Back of the Room at 12:30 p.m. at The Little (240 East Ave.) [source: Girls Rock! website]

    Today from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. starting at Mt. Hope Cemetery (1145 Mt. Hope Ave., the South Gate) is a Public Tour of South Section of Mount Hope Cemetery. [source: City Hall press release]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Attenberg starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 5 p.m. From the Eastman House calendar, "a naive twentysomething, whose knowledge of human nature is taken from David Attenborough documentaries and '70s punk, discovers her own developing sexuality while preparing for her ailing father's death. An offbeat new entry in the Greek New Wave from the producer of the acclaimed film Dogtooth." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]


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    Midsummer Day

    Today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) is a Garage Sale and Super Flea Sunday. [source: City Hall press release]

    Today from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. starting at Mt. Hope Cemetery (791 Mt. Hope Ave., the North Gate) is a Public Tour of North Section of Mount Hope Cemetery. [source: City Hall press release]


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    The Dan White Sextet will be at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) today at 12 p.m. as part of The Jazz Starts Here program. [source: City Hall press release] [all ages]

    Today at 7:30 p.m. is Wide Open Mic with Norm Davis at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Over at The Firehouse Saloon (814 S. Clinton Ave., formerly Snuffy Magee's) starting around 9 p.m. is Sound and Shape. [source: Freetime]


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    This morning starting around 8 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is The Artists' Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Trois Couleurs: Rouge (Red) starting at 8 p.m. "A Swiss model (Irène Jacob) meets a retired judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) with a penchant for telephone tapping. Their meeting will affect not only their own lives but — unbeknownst to them both — the lives of a neighboring couple. Kieslowski wrapped up the Three Colors trilogy — and his career — with this powerful look at fate and fraternity." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at Monroe Park Vinyard Community Space (836 S. Clinton Ave.) is Pocket VinylMySpace link, The Sleep Soundlies, and John ValentiMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: City Newspaper]


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    JayceLand Pick The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) will be hosting HuDostMySpace link starting at 7:30 p.m. [source: MuCCC website]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Man in the White Suit starting at 8 p.m. From the Eastman House calendar, "Alec Guinness is flawless as the titular inventor whose formula for a gleaming white (and radioactive) miracle fabric makes him the target of textile manufacturers and his fellow workers. A stinging, often hilarious satire on big business and consumerism." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Today at 12:00 p.m. is a meeting of The Brown Bag Book Discussion Group in the Literature Division's Study Room at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

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    This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, June 21, 2012 (Thu, Jun 21, 2012, 6/21/2012, or 6/21/12) Friday, June 22, 2012 (Fri, Jun 22, 2012, 6/22/2012, or 6/22/12) Saturday, June 23, 2012 (Sat, Jun 23, 2012, 6/23/2012, or 6/23/12) Sunday, June 24, 2012 (Sun, Jun 24, 2012, 6/24/2012, or 6/24/12) Monday, June 25, 2012 (Mon, Jun 25, 2012, 6/25/2012, or 6/25/12) Tuesday, June 26, 2012 (Tue, Jun 26, 2012, 6/26/2012, or 6/26/12) and Wednesday, June 27, 2012 (Wed, Jun 27, 2012, 6/27/2012, or 6/27/12).


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    Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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