Saturday, May 9, 2020

More On The Shame Of Elite Catholic And Ivy League Education

Kayleigh McEnany is the most disgusting of the skanks Trump has had as his lying, amoral, shameless Press Secretaries.   She sets a new low for a job that you didn't think could get lower after the ones Trump has had. 

Asked why President Trump didn’t wear a mask while honoring WW II veterans in their 90s—just a day after one of his personal valets tested positive for COVID-19—press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “They made the choice to come here”

That is a skank I hope to see given a long prison sentence for crimes against humanity.   Just thought I'd mention that these are the institutions that gave her her credentials.

Georgetown University (BS)
University of Miami

Harvard University (JD)

Harvard is an oligarchic whore house,  Georgetown is a shameful institution that the Jesuits should shut down or turn into a free college for the poor.  It is a moral abomination.   The Whore of Trumpylon went to a Catholic prep school too.  

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Campfire Radio Theater

Thought for a change I'd give something for those of you who like something I'm not the biggest fan of, the horror genre, a link to Campfire Radio Theater.  

I might not like horror much but I do like the effects they get, a lot.   I've posted one of their plays before to give you an example of what can be done with fairly inexpensive recording equipment - I assume they're still using the Zoom H2 on location with the actors standing around it,* the reason I posted about them before.  Yuri Rasovsky, in his book I gave a link to yesterday, talks about the quality of live performance that the old radio shows done in front of an audience can get.   I do agree that it can be a real plus.  

John Ballentine does a lot of things I like, like posting full credits and using an ambitious number of cast members while doing a good job of separating characters, not always easy when you are dependent mostly on the way they sound.  And, as I said,  I like the live, on location feel of and I love the idea of doing so much with minimal equipment and expense. I think that the creator is the one who sets the rate of their production probably helps in quality.  I think theatrical production is probably best done on adequate but not absurdly expensive resources. 

Like me, he also was turned on to radio drama through the CBC . I live close enough to Canada so I can get radio from there using an antenna on a good radio.  Though I preferred their non-horror, non sci-fi productions to Night Fall. 

Unfortunately, the fine radio drama department of CBC radio was closed by the damned Harper government - conservatives are essentially crooks,  goons and vandals everywhere and every time - , but the memory lingers on.  I doubt the funding of broadcast radio drama is coming back (though I'll bet you could get good stuff on community radio).  The future of that as other arts is in the hands of the artists.  And those hands usually don't have much cash.  And the whore house of Hollywood isn't likely to be interested in art, anyway.  

* I wish I could link to an interview which seems to have been taken down,  of John Ballentine talking about the production of "Hungry Hollow" in which one of the male actors read the lines of the female lead because he hadn't found the right actress to voice it, putting her voice in months after the male characters had done their roles on location. I didn't hear that interview until after I heard the production.   I don't recall having suspected that was how it was done at the time.  

Note:  I'm posting this early because the wind is howling and I don't know if the electricity here will stay on.  

Confusion About What I Mean By "Workers-Own-The-Means-Of-Production" or Why I Really Don't Like Using The Word "Socialism" Anymore

If this pandemic should have done one thing to the socialist left, it should be to force them to see that the Marxist-communist expropriation that goes by the name "socialist" is as legitimate a discrediting of the word as the Nazis expropriating the same word.  As I said, any "socialism" which isn't thoroughly egalitarian and democratic* is going to be just another species of gangsterism and Marxism is an anti-democratic ideology.  I am entirely skeptical of any and all leftists who have an unrepudiated association with Marxism in their past, that's what the Bernie Sanders cult has done form me since 2008. 

Any government which can lie about something will lie about it if they want to, whether the Trump gang in the US. the Boris Johnson government in Britain, state governments, the various other governments, from China and the Putin regime to those nominally democratic and "social democratic".   I have every confidence there will be loads of lying in Sweden as the choices that government made come home to roost in a way that even the contented, compliant Swedes face the disaster it was. 

I have come to be entirely skeptical about the chances of decency being the result of government ownership and control, I have as much skepticism of that as I do the control of capitalists to produce that result.  Capitalism inevitably does the same thing that state ownership does, only it does so through the corruption of governments and elections, why American conservatives who are concerned about the evils of government ownership are not equally troubled by the government being the servant of capitalists is, in its most charitable interpretation, a delusional oversight.   A regime of strict regulation may ameliorate that to an extent, temporarily, but it relies on the enduring ability of governments to avoid the corruptions such as our regulations have fallen victim to through lies spread by the corporate media. 

There is all the difference in the world between having the state own everything, the central and incredibly stupid core of Marxism, and having the workers own the means of production - what socialism should always have meant but so seldom does.  

Does anyone think that the companies that have been the worst at treating their mostly blue-collar workers like disposable supplies would be risking their lives if the workers, themselves owned them?   Does anyone think they would be putting out lies like the Trump regime,like the Republican-fascist governors have, like Republican fascist minor state officials and legislators and Republican-fascist members of Congress, the right-wing and supposedly centrist media, the PR departments of companies and corporations have?  

I don't think when the state owns the means of production you are going to have a situation that is any better than the one that prevails in officially capitalist countries, countries with state-capitalist and state-"socialist" systems or those who are governed by a Communist gang of gangsters who have retained the Communist crime gangs in power as they become billionaires practicing Victorian era capitalism on the kind of steroidal power that comes with such a parody of "socialism". 

Years ago when I wrote about the kind of socialist I was,  Echidne of the Snakes related that with some of the economic activity that is, I think, misnamed "anarchist".   I am not an anarchist, knowing what happens when there is no civil authority, gangsters will provide one to fill that vacuum.  But my kind of socialism isn't what,effectively, everyone means when they use the word so I am reluctant to use it.  

What my socialism is is merely the economic utilitarian outcome of those two things I am before I am any kind of socialist, an egalitarian and a democrat.  I would say the same thing that Franklin Roosevelt said when a reporter asked him if he was a communist,  "I am a Christian and a Democrat, that's all."  It would mean the same thing I mean,  Christianity being the common source of egalitarian democracy based in the moral teachings of Jesus.  I think that is due to Christianity being the most pervasive elucidation of such things as the Golden Rule, doing to the least among us as we would do to God, and the other sayings of Jesus.  I think it's possible to hold to equality and democracy even if you find their source elsewhere, though I don't know where that has really been done.  I don't think you can do that with materialism or atheism.   Over the past two decades of thinking very hard about the failure of egalitarian democracy since the 1960s  I have come to have absolutely no faith in any alleged secular source of it.   I am thoroughly unimpressed with the moral character of Sweden, right now, and that's after a lifetime of absorbing the image of it as some kind of social-democratic paradise.  

* By "democratic" I don't mean one free election and then a dictatorship, not even one allegedly of the majority, I mean one in which real equality is the governing and central law, something which the American system thwarts from its founding. 
I have decided to turn off comments altogether.  This pandemic has focused the mind on time limits and I don't want to waste my time wading through troll crap anymore and answering lies.  To those who posted substantial comments and had real questions,  I'm sorry but I'm quickly realizing I don't have time for that anymore.  I'll spend the time I spent on that on writing more.  

Friday, May 8, 2020

Blah, blah, blah - I'm beginning to think I'll stop looking at the comments altogether

Eschaton is such a has-been blog that its owner hardly bothers to post anything on it anymore, he hasn't for more than a decade.  It stopped being anything much after about 2006 as the adults fled and drifted away, the perennially adolescent geezers remained.  There are long wave radio stations that probably have more of an audience and all they want are QSL cards, which is more than the waste of time the Eschaton regulars get.  There are probably counting stations with more of a dedicated following.  There are probably blogs so long ago put on "hiatus" by their owners never to be restarted by them which have more up to date content.   Is that still a thing?  Putting a blog "on hiatus"?  

There are people who were born after Eschaton's glory months and who have successfully surpassed the jr. high mentality during the years since then,  teenagers who have achieved a level of adulthood that eludes most of the remnant Eschaton regulars, even those four and five times older than that.   There is nothing more ridiculous than a college-credentialed geezer acting like a seventh grader. 

It used to annoy me that I was being accused of antisemitism by a pathological liar there - because I called him out on a vulgar racist joke he made and which a couple of his buddies joined in on -  I quickly learned that none of those who interacted with him ever bothered to see what I'd said so I lost interest.   I'm not interested in what people who don't read what I said mistakenly believe they think about it - the rump resident Eschatots don't think much about anything, they regurgitate.  

A few, a very, very few adult level commentators go there, I suspect ever less frequently.  If they can't be bothered to find out the truth and refute his lies, they're no one I'm going to worry about too much, anymore.   

I do know that my accuser regularly steals material from here and passes it off as his own.   They say that copying is the most sincere form of flattery.  I don't have enough respect for him to feel flattered.  

Tara Reade's story is exactly the kind of dubious claim that has damaged other women who have really been sexually assaulted

I have always made the distinction between alleged sexual assault which is tested with evidence in a trial and accusations that are never tested with evidence, I've done that repeatedly here, with pre-indictment accusations made against a number of men, including Bill Cosby, one of the few of such men who has had the accusations tested in a court and been found guilty in a trial where his lawyers got to question witnesses and evidence.  The only proper means of determining guilt is by the presentation of evidence in a judicial setting in which the accused faces their accuser and the evidence is fully questioned by their attorney.   

I have also talked about instances of that in which long-standing multiple accusations have been made against individual men in which the accusers tell a consistent story of sexual assault but who never get their accusations before a court - either because prosecutors don't bring a case or police prevent that from happening or botch an investigation or because the one making the accusation never presents their accusation in a form that is testable.  In those instances it isn't possible to determine the guilt of someone who is accused, though it is possible to decide, for yourself what you believe.  No one can stop you from doing that.

It is also possible for someone to decide if the accusations are not true and the accuser is NOT telling the truth, to make that decision, though it is one of the casualties of informal trial by media and internet that one is not supposed to make that determination, even if the accusations made are burdened by everything from impossible time lines, lack of credible verification to the accuser not being credible for any number of reasons.  No one, no man NO WOMAN has the right to demand being believed on the basis of their gender anymore than a white person has the right to demand being believed because of their race. 

I think the shifting and shifty story told in the context of Bernie Sanders second campaign to get the Democratic nomination for president, by Bernie Sanders supporter Tara Reade is not credible because she has waited almost three decades after the loosely defined time-frame in which she claims Joe Biden semi-publicly embraced and finger-fucked her and because her story has seemed to evolve to fit the requirements of getting it into the news stream, in this case a stream that is more like an open sewer of unsupported claims and innuendo.  

No one should be answerable to a claim that the self-proclaimed victim - WHO WAS AN ADULT AT THE TIME OF THE ALLEGED ASSAULT, NOT A CHILD - waited through decades of the accused holding public office - which the self-proclaimed victim supported - including as a powerful senior senator and as Vice President of the United States and, lest it be forgotten, as a man who ran a previous presidential campaign during which his now accuser could have made her claims public in a far more timely fashion.  I don't know when Tara Reade's mother, one of those she claims to have confided in, was still alive when Joe Biden was running for President or Vice President or for reelection to the Senate but it's mighty convenient to Reade's narrative now that her mother isn't around to tell us what she may or may not have been claiming in the early 1990s.   The alleged phone-call to the Larry King show allegedly by Reade's mother mentions nothing about sexual assault and rather remarkably seems to indicate that the unnamed daughter in question respects the unnamed man whose behavior is the subject of the call.  

I don't believe her because what she claims is not matched by other women making claims of similar behavior against Biden, though there has been at least one claim made subsequently which is known to be false because Biden was not in the place where the claimed incident took place at the time it is claimed to have happened.  

And I don't believe her because she shows every sign of being a nut case.  Her fawning, public, lusting after the pasty-white dad bod of the Russian dictator Putin would seem to contain evidence that she maintains a very sick, very vivid stream of sexual fantasy.   She is hardly alone among the Bernie Bots to have shown a sick attachment to Putin but none of the others I'm aware of have gushed about him in such masturbatory prose.  

Tara Reade's recent sit down with the right-wing former FOX sex pot, Megyn Kelly is nothing that couldn't have been expected.  It shows that the (non-Democrat) Bernie Sanders cult and the Trump cult have a heck of a lot in common, destroying the real progressive party of the United States foremost among those.  I have come to believe that there are more than a few of them in the pay of the Russian dictator or who have some tie to him or his American allies, both Republican and "socialist".   Reade choosing to tell her tale to Kelly only adds to  the case against her credibility.  I doubt she'd choose to sit down with a real journalist who could be counted on to question her closely on her political identity, her claims, her inconsistencies and her bizarre public sexual fantasies about the dictator of Russia, Trump's owner, Putin.  

Tara Reade deserves none of the benefit of the doubt that might rightly be given to women who make more credible accusations without the baggage of political expediency and obvious embroidery that she has given to her claims.   Her story is exactly the kind of dubious claim that has damaged other women who have really been sexually assaulted and who have, AS ADULT VICTIMS, done the responsible thing of reporting those assaults in a timely manner.   She, as credible victims have not, has burdened her claims with baggage which must be unpacked and which I doubt her claims could survive.  

I don't believe her, I think she is lying because I think she has a fantasy of being the one who delivers the Democratic nomination to Bernie Sanders and being the hero of the play-left.  That or maybe she figures Putin will notice her if she delivers Trump to him.   If she would complain about that last sentence, I'd never have even wondered about that if she hadn't publicly slobbered over the shirtless photos of the well-larded Russian dictator. 

I think among the victims of Tara Reade's three decade old claim is, ironically, the Me Too movement.  While that movement has had some notable good come of it, it has also made it clear that the informal, biased standards of judgement of claims of sexual assault are hardly uniform in their credibility.   It is clear to me that it is being gamed by the Putin-Billionaire-Republican-fascists in exactly the same way that the play-left has been, to benefit them by destroying Democrats.  I may support the goals of Me Too, of holding actual sexual assaulters accountable but not at the expense of American Democracy.

Tara Reade stands a good chance of going down in history as the woman who put Trump back in the presidency as Bernie Sanders will as the man who helped put him there to start.  

I will say that nothing in my lifetime, nothing in the decades of me being a workers-rightfully-own-the-means-of-production socialist that has put me off of socialism more than Bernie Sanders and his supporters, including the "Democratic Socialists".   Before I am a socialist I am a democrat, socialism without democracy isn't not only not socialism, it's just another form of gangsterism.  I have no suprise in 2020 that Bernie Sanders has given some of the worst gangster dictators in the world another opportunity to destroy democracy.   I don't have any residual respect for him or for the "socialism" that supports him. 

A hierarchy which has forfeited moral authority should expect that their services won't be needed by those who want to lead moral lives

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has forfeited any legitimate claim made by him or on his behalf of moral leadership, the man is instead an example of the worst kind of hierarchical hypocrite and seeker of worldly power and money - it's always mostly a matter of money.  As one of the higher profile appointments of Benedict XVI he is a good example of the moral lapses and lapses of judgement in that disastrous papacy, a continuation of the equally bad if not worse papacy of John Paul II.   His career as the Archbishop of New York has been one of crass power seeking and opportunism, his most recent scandalous political activity openly becoming a part of the effort to cement the completely amoral dictatorship of Trump in place not only risks dragging the entire Catholic Church into scandalous turpitude, he has, in fact, accomplished that.   If he had reached the age of 75, an age at which, I believe, bishops are required to give the Vatican a letter of resignation,  Pope Francis should immediately retire him.  He should reassign him to some place his ignominy has warranted, and I don't mean as the rector of one of the big churches in the Vatican like the equally degenerate Bernard Law got when he took it on the lam from the pedophile priest scandal during the Bush II regime. 

In this column Jamie Mason analyzes what Dolan is getting for trying to reinstall the biggest moral degenerate of the modern American Presidency 

But what has the cardinal really gained through Trump's support of his anti-abortion and religious freedom crusades?

Dolan and his church have won the right to deny loving same-sex couples the chance to adopt children; the ability to flout employment laws and fire ministers and teachers at will for any reason; the freedom to deny women, both Catholic and non-Catholic, access to contraception; the privilege of blocking millions of dollars of critical funding to international aid organizations if they even dare to advise poor and victimized women about the option of abortion; the chance to obstruct women from their constitutional right to reproductive choice.

And in order to achieve these goals by ingratiating himself to Trump, think about who and what Dolan has thrown under the bus. Consider the refugees on our border who are treated like they are in concentration camps, their children put in cages; the people of color and Jews living in fear of the white supremacists and anti-Semites who feel emboldened by this president; the poor and hungry Americans who have had their food stamps programs gutted.

Also sacrificed are those who are suffering or dead from the coronavirus because this president in his hubris closed the office of pandemic preparedness and presided over one failed federal response after another. As The Huffington Post reported, the president also used the shock of the outbreak to push forward callous rollbacks on our environmental protections, suspending the enforcement of bedrock clean air and water laws and pushing forward a proposal to open a portion of an Alaskan National Park to copper, zinc and other minerals mining.

That is just the tip of the iceberg of the ravages that Trump has unleashed on the American people and our planet. What a "great friend" the cardinal has in this president.

Yes, Dolan and other bishops are probably desperate for funding for Catholic schools, but prostituting the church to Trump is the worst possible solution to save an institution that is supposed to teach morality and hope to our children.

Rather than pander, why not just peddle one of the dozens of parishes he closed down in Manhattan to keep these entities afloat? Some of these properties are worth tens of millions of dollars.

After Saturday's call, the mutual smarminess oozed into Sunday morning, with Trump attending the livestream of Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. The president, via Twitter, encouraged everyone to join him.

Dolan opened his homily by playing cutesy with Trump, saying he heard we have a "former neighbor worshipping with us," alluding to the fact that Trump Tower, the Mordor of 5th Avenue, is just blocks away from the cathedral.

Dolan, for good measure, heaped a bit more mendacious praise on Trump, thanking him for "working so hard to see that we can safely return to church as safely possible."

In his media appearances, Dolan often likes to put on an aw shucks, simple servant kind of image. (Those of us who watch CBS News were subjected to three such appearances by the cardinal on Easter Sunday.) But this latest episode reveals that this shepherd of the church is also a cynical, political operative, as willing to manipulate as he is to be manipulated. This might be easier to bear if he were just another one of Trump's dupes, but Dolan has shown too many times that he is eagerly complicit.

Long after the president finds his rightful place in the trash heap of history, one question will still linger over Dolan: What did it profit you to gain Trump's utterly corrupt world?

A good application of the principle that Jesus stated about gaining the world to lose your soul.   It is clear by his recent actions - though I think it was clear a lot earlier than that - that Dolan joins a long list of hierarchs of the Catholic Church and other pseudo-Christian leaders made that choice a long time ago.  

If the Vatican will not dismiss or force the resignation of such moral degenerates as Timothy Dolan, they should not be surprised when Catholics dismiss the moral authority of the hierarchy and seek to find it in dissident priests and Catholics, in their own congregations and groups which are not formally authorized by the hierarchy, which hold Eucharistic services and masses presided over by former priests, by ordained women, by lay Catholics and in some cases by clergy from other denominations.   A hierarchy which has forfeited moral authority should expect that their services won't be needed by those who want to lead moral lives. 

As valuable and necessary as it has been for Pope Francis to try to reestablish the democratizing features of Vatican II that Dolan's patrons  JPII and Benedict XVI tried to revert to Vatican dictatorship, allowing the likes of Dolan to stay in office harms the entire Catholic people and the entire world.  Timothy Dolan should be removed from office and publicly dressed down for this.   Considering that priests have been kicked out of the priesthood under the two preceding papacies for following their conscience in the pursuit of justice, some of them having more moral credibility than the hierarchs and Popes who dismissed them, it's a big mistake for Pope Francis to allow someone as morally compromised as Dolan to remain in office.  It leads me to question his leadership.  

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Hate Mail - The Delusion That Reestablishing The Status Quo 2015 or Even 2008 Will Protect Us

The idea that you can take the same road that got you to hell a second time and avoid going to hell is probably one of the most widely held delusions in the United States at this time. It would seem to be most strongly held among those with college credentials, so it is clearly a delusion that people have been educated to buy without thought.   

We cannot travel the road of the mass media being allowed to lie with impunity and get anywhere except where that got us in 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1986, 2000, 2004, and 2016, the three short, all too short pauses in that march to depravity only prove the delusion of thinking that is something you can depend on to save us.  It took less than two years for the lessons learned in 2008 to be overturned in the 2010 "Teaparty" election.  Though Obama was lucky in having an ineffective opponent (as Clinton was in 1996) that the Democratic administrations did noting to get us off of the road of "free speech - free press" lies which is why we have Trump after the quarter of a century of the media lying about Hillary Clinton. 

The ACLU is among the groups most destructive to American democracy even as they championed "civil liberties".   We got to the disaster of 2016 with the freest press in history, Jefferson's romantic notions about that have been definitively disconfirmed in reality as opposed to philosophical sounding platitudes.   

We have to take the chance of punishing the media for lying us into fascism, we have little to lose considering what the regime of "free speech - free press" in which lies are allowed leads us to even more peril than taking that chance to achieve and maintain democracy by preventing that road to ruin being taken would.   It's a guarantee of depravity moving fast to fascism under the current status quo. 

Playtime In 18th Century Costume Is Over

The Blitzkrieg of total, criminal depravity that the Republicans have unleashed on the United States is clearly intended to overwhelm, if there is any organization to it.  It is overwhelming if you don't take short breaks from it, coming back with the full knowledge that if you take four hours away from it, some new attack on decency and morality, the American People, the People of the world and the very basis of life will have spewed from the Republicans, from Trump, from some Murdoch or Sinclair or other source that it flows from like poison out of an unregulated farm or other factory.  

I have tried to find aspects of that for focus that aren't as widely known, yet.  If something deserving of the name democracy is ever restored there isn't a day of reckoning for the criminals, even if that means the fucking Supreme Court and even the Constitution be damned,  it is only an invitation for them to try it again and not on a very long lead.  It took them eight years from the Bush II crime spree to the Trump crime spree, the "free press" the institution that conveyed the country over the narrow bridge of the Obama years, weakening him as much as they could.  The play left did its part too, mostly through the pathetic little slice of media it controls.  

No, we can't go back to what was before, many if not all of the assumptions and even platitudes of "freedom" that are held by Americans either totally failed or they virtually ensured this disaster was coming.   And it all began when the courts, using the sacralized First Amendment and at the behest of the "civil liberties" industry said the mass media could lie with impunity unless you could reliably show they were lying with a malign intent - something which is as absurd a standard as the one that says you have to show someone knew they were lying before you call even the most obvious lie a lie.   

No, all of that stuff will have to be basically altered or this will happen again, probably within the decade, certainly within the lifetimes of the survivors.  

This is damned serious stuff.  Playtime is over.  No matter what the idiocy of Hamilton lies in rap and boogy, that was the source of our trouble. 

What, Yet More? - Not Hate Mail For A Change

There's no romance in television: it's just the Wal-Mart of the mind. Radio is infinitely sexier - Garrison Keillor

The National Audio Theatre Festivals, probably the premier organization dedicated to audio theater in the United States is having its annual festival-workshop, etc. The Hear Now Festival,  online this year due to the pandemic.  Which seems especially appropriate for an audio theater festival, to me.  I've never participated in one, I'm an interested listener, not a producer. 

They have published and made freely available the late Yuri Rasovsky's The Well Tempered Audio Dramatist:  A Guide to the Production of Audio Plays In Twenty-First Century America which is very interesting reading, covering everything from the best (alas some of it no longer extant) production facilities and departments to far more modest attempts - keeping in mind that as the book is now 14 years old, some of the technology has moved on, it seems to me to be a good book to look through, especially the chapters on writing and producing plays, acting in audio drama, and where to look for further reading.   

His list of radio drama worth listening to leans a bit heavily on the "golden age" stuff which isn't my favorite, by and large, but that's one of the good things about this, there's so much of it, so many plays I've read about which I can't hear or find the scripts for, wish all of it was there to be tried.  I suspect over the years there were a lot more of those written which, even accounting for the 10 or lesser percent of anything being good, must have some real jewels in the dross.  That's what you find if you pour through the scores of forgotten or largely forgotten composers.   With TV it's more like a bucket of quarters dumped in a cesspool. 

There are a few other online resources: 

From Radio Drama Revival

So You Wanna Create a Radio Drama?

From the BBC

Ten tips for writing a play for radio

Tim Cook's website (where I got the Keillor quote from) is worth looking at.  I haven't read his book, not yet. 

I wish I could find the video of some of those who were involved with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's audio-drama department in the early years, one of the things they talked about is how the head of it demanded that everyone behave themselves, conducting themselves formally while they were working.   If there is one thing that is bound to lead to failure it's a lack of adult behavior among those who participate.  As I recall he insisted that everyone call each other Mr. and Mrs-Miss (it was before the reform of second-wave feminism took).  It's something I surely wish we'd done in music rehearsals, it would have cut out a lot of the tantrums and histrionics and, worst of all, wasting time, none of which helps you make better stuff.  I'd never agree to work with someone who wasted time doing that, now.  Not twice, anyway.

Maybe I should look into radio opera. which I haven't.  If there's an art form that is not going to get much done with the expense of sets, costumes, makeup, etc. it's opera.  Especially if you are not a very conservative, "safe" composer.  Some fine composers never got to see their work staged, some very good ones only got one production, more rarely, more than one.   

You'd think, all these many decades that the performances from the Met have been popular that more people would be writing operas for radio performance.  Or the even more readily available online posting of it. It's not as if there's much hope for most opera to get a staged or even concert performance.  Given how many people never get the chance to hear their orchestration except as they can manage to simulate that with synth (yech!, mostly) or Garratin (somewhat better) or some other simulation,  you'd think they'd like to at least do a simulation with real singers.  You might be able to do that if you don't plan on visuals to support you.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Timothy Dolan Is A Trump Fascist Asset He Should Lose The Archdiocese of New York Its Status As Tax Exempt

Timothy Dolan is just one example of the moral degeneracy of so many of the incumbent members of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, of those appointed during the JPII papacy, there are many others, but he is one who should be universally rejected as any kind of moral leader.  He is even more openly a Republican-fascist hack than his fellow degenerate Cardinal Raymond Burke who I have castigated so often that I think justice requires me to risk a cease and desist and post this entire piece by  Heidi Schlumpf from the National Catholic Reporter.  

Let's play a game. Who said it, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan or Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump's former chief of staff?

Trump is "fascinated by people of faith and very interested in the Catholic faith" and has "surrounded himself with Catholics at every level."

That's Mulvaney, trying to convince Catholic voters on a recent campaign call that the president, himself not a regular churchgoer, is a deeply religious man

Trump seems "particularly sensitive to the, what shall I say, to the feelings of the religious community."

Similar sentiment, but this time it's not Mulvaney, but Dolan on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" show.

Trump is "working so hard to see that we can safely return to church as safely possible."

Mulvaney? Nope.

Trump is "great gentleman" whom Catholics need "more than ever."

Again, the cardinal archbishop of New York, not someone paid to promote the president during his reelection campaign.

We get it. The Catholic vote — historically important in presidential races — is crucial in 2020. In 2016, Catholics were evenly split, with white Catholics going for Trump, while Latino Catholics favored Hillary Clinton. Trump's presumptive opponent this time is a Catholic, former Vice President Joe Biden.

In the wake of his bungling of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump's poll numbers have plummeted — even among people of faith, according to a new PRRI poll. And campaigning in time of coronavirus further complicates things.

Which explains why we're seeing a rash of virtual events aimed at voters of faith, especially Catholics.

The call with Mulvaney, a Catholic who served on Trump's cabinet as director of the Office of Management and Budget and currently is a special envoy to Northern Ireland, was hosted by

A "digital town hall," it was billed as "an inside look" from a "trusted insider" about what it's like to be a Catholic working in the White House on "the issues we care about," according to a blog post by president Brian Burch.

In it, Mulvaney described a man virtually unrecognizable from Trump's public persona these past three and a half years — a problem Mulvaney blames on a biased press that pushes an inaccurate narrative.

"The media wants you to believe that the president hates immigrants ... that he's this xenophobic monster in the White House," Mulvaney said, repeating the administration's drumbeat of attacks on the press.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," he said.

Instead, Trump is a man of "fortitude and strength" who will "defend what he believes," Mulvaney said.

Although Trump doesn't often talk about his faith publicly, "it certainly does carry a certain importance in his heart," he told supporters., NCR readers may recall, received attention last fall for its controversial use of "geofencing" — which involves surreptitiously gathering location data from cellphones — at Catholic parishes in key battleground states, all in an effort to reelect Trump.

That tactic, however, lost its effectiveness this spring when states issued stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus.

Gone, too, are massive campaign rallies, such as the one planned by the group "Catholics for Trump" in early March in Milwaukee. That event was replaced with an online broadcast in April.

Instead, the president himself has reached out to Catholics and other faith leaders on at least two group phone calls. The first, on April 17, was ostensibly about reopening churches during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the second, on April 25, was supposed to be about government funding for Catholic education.

Both turned into mini-campaign rallies, with Trump both soliciting support from religious leaders and bragging about his success, even saying he has been the "best [president] in the history of the Catholic Church." (And it turns out the bishops were warned that the call might have campaign connections, as our columnist Michael Sean Winters learned.)

Participating in both calls were Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and New York's Cardinal Dolan.

Dolan, more than any other church leader, seems hell-bent on delivering the Catholic vote for Trump. He not only kissed up to the president on the two calls, but helped him out with more praise during a livestream Mass from St. Patrick's Cathedral the next day and on "Fox & Friends" the day after that. To top off the week, Dolan again defended Trump during a Facebook live interview with America magazine editor Jesuit Fr. Matt Malone on Friday.

In response, NCR editorialized about the danger of church leaders being "masterfully manipulated" by Trump to bolster his reelection prospects — a position I reiterated to National Public Radio this week.

Rather than fawning over a president whose policies and rhetoric are hardly what could be called "pro-life" with a straight face, the bishops could have stuck with one message from Mulvaney and the virtual town hall host Timothy Huelskamp (former congressman from Kansas, now an employee of that Catholics should get out and vote.

On the call, Burch noted will be spending $10 million to make sure that the 30% of "devout Catholics" who didn't vote in 2016 get to the polls.

"You put the Democrats in charge, and the values that you carry as a Roman Catholic are going to suffer," Mulvaney said. "If you want to see your values reflected in policy, there's really no choice. You have to not only vote for the Republican Party, you have to help them get elected."

Dolan all but told voters the same thing with his appearances and comments in support of Trump. While religious leaders should, of course, be able to communicate with and try to influence politicians, we should be able to tell them apart.

The Archdiocese of New York should lose its tax exempt status as long as that fascist is the head of it.  He has put it in clear violation of the terms under which it is granted.  And he, as its leader is only one example of many around the country.   

When A Lie Is Held To Be As Good As The Truth Freedom Does Mean Slavery, Ignorance Is Strength

We Americans have turned freedom into a meaningless word because we have made it both too abstract and rendered it meaningless by trying to consider some non-existent pure entity as the thing itself which only exists in the context of lives lived and lives impacted in contact with other lives and circumstances.  

The foremost example of that I've dealt with here is "freedom of speech" which includes some real freedoms of individuals which inhere to them as an endowment of God,  to tell the truth or to give their sincere interpretation of reality .   But, in Constitutional terms, that is made to include the phony and ineptly called "right" of the corporate entity called "freedom of the press" which is artificial and was made for only one serious purpose, to enhance the legitimate personal right of The People to know what is real, what is true so they can exercise their right to form a government which will serve the good and not corruption, that will serve all instead of the few, that will protect the destitute, the poor, the ordinary against any and all dangers to them and their welfare - the foremost of those dangers being people who want to rob them, imperil them and destroy them for the benefit and gratification of those who by ability or corrupt laws have the power to do so.  It was stupid to use the same word to describe both a real right, which only a living being can have and a privilege granted for a specific purpose to enhance the real rights of real people, that verbal elegancy of late 18th century prose has unleashed a lot of the evil that we are swamped with now, our lawyers being trained to twist words divorced from context, in a quote from Edwin Armstrong which opened my eyes about that, "Men like to substitute words for reality and then argue about the words," said after the courts put their stamp of approval on the theft of his life's work, his intellectual achievements by a rich man who didn't even understand it, a mogul of the "free press".  

That is only a brief description of "free speech" in the context in which the freedom to say what you think is beneficial, morally, personally but also in so far as it benefits the entirety of the population and preserves the environment in which we live.   What it is good to say isn't governed by what you want to say,it's governed by whether or not it is true and whether or not what you say serves the general good of all.  

Which it is astounding might need to be said but the words of freedom, the very conception of it has been made so much a mish mosh of vague, non-contextual assertion of the will instead of moral purpose and a  spoiled toddler's will, at that, that without really thinking, really considering what freedom, what liberty and what rights are in the contexts in which those become real in the actions of people and the people and animals and other living beings which those actions impinge on for good or evil.  That is either sincerely taken into account in a way in which the effects of the speech are what determines its right to continue or malign speech is privileged with a right to exist which any rational person holding morally valid positions will acknowledge is wrong.  

Our legal system, judges, "justices" lawyers, have often pretended that that acknowledging moral purpose in the law is wrong, that it has no place in the consideration of whether an assertion of a "right" of a freedom to do something or to say something is valid or invalid.  Our legal system has far too consistently been an exercise in which version of let's pretend wins out in the end, not infrequently used by judges, by "justices" by lawyers and juries which privileged or favored criminals are allowed to get away with everything from lying and theft (often through lies) up to and including murder.  In the past when the legal system in many places summarily allowed white men, especially rich white men, to lie, steal and murder those not so favored, that made a mockery of the reason that the law is supposedly established and administered, only that past isn't past, it's a perpetual feature of legal and political life. 

The law won't ever be perfect, perfection isn't something that is attainable by human beings in human life but trying to do the right thing is attainable, something which it's been shocking to see in things like the Senate Judiciary Committee in recent years is something that lawyers educated and trained in elite universities, who got their educations in Catholic and other allegedly Christian institutions of learning were certainly trained to set aside with verbal gymnastics of a not very impressive kind.  As long as the words are applied, the reality behind them is held to be unimportant.   That is a practical demonstration of that abstraction from reality that I talked about at the start of this, the kind of thing that a Gorsuch can fucking lie through his teeth to hold a trucker had a legal obligation to freeze to death in order to keep his job and which other, especially Federalist Society fascists regularly spout and, due to the idiocy of our Constitution, is held to be "the law".  

Rights, freedoms, liberties exist in a context and when you ignore, summarily dismiss or deny or reject the context in which those will be exercised you turn freedom and liberty into a mockery in  which power, money and strength means that the privileged and favored will have "rights" they have no right to and they will be had at the cost of the rights of those without power and money and the favor of the elites or the majority or even the effective margin of the many who they can maipulate to achieve that end.   "Democracy" is another word which is divorced from its wider context with stunning frequency as well, not that the Constitution is set up to allow that to happen very often,  democracy, that is.  As interpreted by most of the Supreme Courts we have been saddled with, the Constitution is anti-democratic.  The one we have now will likely do everything they can to make sure self-government by an accurately informed People of good will never happens as long as they hold power.  The Republican Party is dedicated to destroying that and setting up as malignant an oligarchy as can be made.  Its total adoption of Trumpian degeneracy, of going out of its way to be as malignant as it can manage to think up proves that.  And they do it through the language of freedom and liberty and rights.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

College Credentialed And The Ass Doesn't Know How To Look Up A Word In The Dictionary

two-hander noun 

Definition of two-hander
1: something that is done with both hands
Her tennis backhands are always two-handers.
2: a play that is written to be performed by two actors.  

Merriam Webster 

And I'll point out again, the ass who doesn't know that has a degree in theater arts from an accredited university in New York but the music major from a Land Grant university in a small state knows what it means. 

Update:  And now the idiot is saying knowing the meaning of a word makes someone stupid.  You can't make up this kind of stuff, I'd never have thought to.   I never realized how many college credentialed Americans are as ignorant as that, made so by TV until I went online and read and heard the college credentialed in such numbers, directly expressing themselves.  And on which subject:

So, I'm guessing that unlike in my resource starved, rural high school, they didn't teach Orwell in the "progressive school" that graduated you in the lesser greater NYC area.  How pathetic does it get, to only get of Orwell what got filtered through Jefferson Airplane.  

But, then, your type think West Side Story is "Shakespeare" and My Fair Lady is Shaw.   

I'm guessing that because I'd imagine that CliffNotes on 1984 - the closest you seem to have gotten to reading assigned books - had already been published by your Junior year, though we read it our Freshman year.  I never bothered with CliffNotes,  more bother than just reading the book and no where near as good.  I suspect my English lit teacher would have spotted the contents of one being regurgitated on a test, though I never tried that.  She was the product of a Land Grant university, too.  And, Geesh, Orwell.  Who would read a reduced form of his writing?  I mean other than an idiot with a show-biz developed taste for the stupid and vulgar. Someone more like Trump than he'd ever want to consider. 

I understand New Jersey didn't have Regents.  Not that New York was immune from TV induced mental retardation, it has plenty of that in that generation and subsequent ones too.  Voluntary, media induced stupidity, the most dangerous and widespread form of intellectual impairment and it's entirely voluntary and entirely preventable.  

Wanting More? Remembering I'm A Musician, Not An Actor . . . Not Hate Mail For A change

I'm not an expert except having listened to hundreds and hundreds of radio dramas and audio dramas and read and watched lots of plays and read a fair bit about them.  And I'm a musician who once worked in an electronic music studio, back in the tape and patch-cord era who occasionally does some recording work even now when it's so much easier to do so much better with digital recording.  

If I were setting out to try it I'd start short and try to really do complete pieces on a time schedule.  10 minute plays are a thing.  Some of them are surprisingly good ones written by real writers.  There are lots of radio dramas I've liked, especially comedies, that are fifteen to twenty minutes long.  If you cut out the commercials and text free visuals, lots of TV shows are about that length.  Only being TV they're more likely to be stupid  and entirely more likely to just be a copy of something else. TV likes what is safely proven to have sold, before, it seldom tries anything new.   I think if you can't get it together to work through a few of those, this is probably not your thing.   I'd certainly try to do it unrecorded before spending any money on it, it's stupid to buy equipment before you try it to find out if you're willing to make the commitment. 

I would stress trying it on a set time schedule.  There are few things that are more of a guarantee of getting nowhere than leaving the completion date into an infinite future which no one has.  If you couldn't do a two-character 10-minute play in two weeks, forget it.  If I had a student who couldn't learn one of the 2-part inventions in a week I'd be worried.  If they couldn't learn one in a month, I'd advise them to stop trying.  The deadline is your friend, at this point, it will tell you if you're wasting your time before you put too much of an investment into it.  If you're working with someone else, it will tell you if they are not going to work out. 

If you are going to have music, which easily five times out of four isn't done well by non-musicians, DON'T USE THE FREE CRAP THAT THEY RUN BEHIND SO MANY YOUTUBES.  It would be better not to use any than to use that.  Make your own or get a musician friend to contribute something.  It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, it just has to not be obnoxious or stink too much or get in the way.  If you imagine you're going to make money out of this (dream on) you should write out an agreement.  

I have no experience with and know nothing practical about sound effects so you're on your own with that.  

For recording I like the Zoom H1N and Zoom H5 that I've got.  A friend of mine who does production work for a local radio station gets fantastic results from a Zoom H2 that she uses for live recording of events, or used to up till now.  I have heard audio-dramas that are recorded live with the cast standing around a Zoom H2 which were quite effective, though they were the horror genre that doesn't interest me much.  One of my nieces who does some audio work swears by her Tascam (can't remember the model number) and she makes some good recordings with it.  It's a heck of a lot cheaper to get excellent sound than it was forty years ago.  I would go with WAV format instead of mp3, you can always cheapen the sound quality later but you can't improve it. 

I have used this kind of set up to do two-channel recording of music on the Zoom H1N with lav mics, though the audio quality is quite good - better than just about any recording I ever did on very expensive tape machines -it's slightly less life-like to my ears than the mics on the device.  It's good for recording duos.  Using the H5's built in multi-channel capacity with good mics does the same thing if you need to have two separated channels.  But you might not need the sound fidelity for the cost,  one good basic quality mic costs almost as much as the Zoom H1N.  

I use the, sadly discontinued, extremely simple to use and very good, Acoustic Labs Audio Editor, which I hope to continue using as long as I am doing this - I'll always keep an old Windows machine to use it on, I hope.  I have also used the pretty much universally available and free Audacity software which has a lot of features I don't need.  I have tried trial versions of very expensive software (those came with the Zoom machines I bought) and didn't find them superior for what I do.  The full cost of one of those cost more than the entire setup described above, including the equipment .   I haven't tried to use them on the single-board computers I've been making the shift to.  I might try that in the coming weeks and report on that.  If it would work on a Raspberry Pi, that would be sweet. 

Anyway, I USED to do that kind of thing.  I am falling into hard times as fast as anyone else is, now and I'd never try to get together with someone to do something live.  If I were writing something I'd have it take place on a phone, right now.  You could certainly go through 2-handers on the phone.  

Hate Update:   Someone can do both, Bunky.  I heard the Canadian actor who started out and continues as a song-writer, singer, Hugh Dillon, once make the connection between being a musician and being an actor in that songs are generally telling a story.  The skills and experience transfer, if someone is smart enough to use them.  Maybe that's why you don't think someone else can do both.  He'd know more about that than I would.  I like his acting work that I've seen and I like his songs.  He's done a bit of pretty unconventional acting work, some of which he's produced, too.   I will admit my limited experience with working with theater productions in college was awful - my advisor practically commanded me not to get involved, my advisor was right - but that doesn't mean it can't turn out better than that.  You can certainly do both. There are musicians and singers who have done well in both. 

Monday, May 4, 2020

Hate Mail

A man in his senectitude who had his mind made up at the age of ten has the mind of a ten-year-old.  It's funny how many atheists are proud of that status and brag about having attained it.   It's hilarious that one can gull his girlfriend into sharing his pride in it.  I guess she likes them dumb and immature. 

Update:  I used to figure she was more to be pitied than censured but then I said, hell with that, she's an adult, no one made her choices but her. 

Update 2:  A man who would base his views of religion on what Woody Allen said is an ass.  It would be like trying to learn about the demographic character of New York City on his movies and concluding it's lily white, affluent and college credentialed and fucked up. I'd guess someone who would do that would figure ol' Woody has it all together, as demonstrated by his life and how his kid thinks of him.  Used to like his movies, can't watch them anymore, not now that I know they're too much based on life.   Ol' Woody replaced religion with psychoanalysis, and look where it got him.  I have to say the reporting on how Woody and Mia's analysts (and the ones they subjected the kids to) conferring about what to do with their clients pretty much put an end to my respect for him. God an underachiever?  Ha!  Psychoanalysis is one of the most disgustingly stupid god replacements ever invented by atheism, one that has been successfully peddled as "science", no less. 

We Need American Scientists To Set One Of These Up Right Away And To Force The Media To Cover Its Open Meetings

The scientists who know what they are talking about should stop depending on Dr. Fauci and Brix who have to worry about getting fired by the criminally insane baby, Trump. 

Update:  If you wonder why we need this  Elizabeth Warren Is Calling for An Essential Workers Bill of Rights BECAUSE THEY ARE GETTING KILLED.

Jared Kushner Deserves To Be The Alfred E. Newman Of Trump Criminality

Watching John Oliver's show, I suddenly wondered why Jared Kushner isn't as ridiculed as OJ Simpson's household pet,  Kato Kaelin was after people found out he was.   Why isn't he as universally disdained and despised as the totally innocent, actually admirable,  Louis Freeh era FBI- cabloid TV convicted Richard Jewell was?

Jared Kushner may not be the most abominable of the abominable Trump era figures but I have absolutely no doubt that he will prove to have gotten many, many people killed, including heroic health care workers and first responders who are dying as he steals and hoards protective equipment and, I have a very strong feeling, was in on the for-profit American test scheme.   If I am at the point of death during this thing - have been exposed,still cannot get anywhere near being tested and who knows if I might be one of the many false-negatives the Kushner-Trump test is giving -  if I am gasping for breath in the terrible way we can now hear happens,  I will have a will to live on the possibility that someday I will see Kushner and his skanky families, Trump-Kushner perp walked on orange on his way to a long if not life term in prison.   But he's only one at the front of the list of those I want to see imprisoned and fined into the flames of hell. 

Freedom From Morality Is Death

Television and other media have brought us to the state we are in where we have not only a criminally insane but a criminally senile chief executive who is not only laying waste to our institutions, our elections, our minds but the very soul of the United States and TV and other media are doing nothing to stop him,  FOX and Trump using the Lincoln Memorial as the backdrop for one of the most degenerate scenes in the history of the decay of American Democracy is of vile insignificance compared to the totality.

This is the definitive disconfirmation of modernism in so far as modernism is the abandonment of morality which inevitably ends up in privileging of lies as "free speech," the privileging of ignorance as savvy, the privileging of pleasure as opposed to hard truth.  It is a disconfirmation of pretty much the all of the freedom from the moral content of monotheistic religion, which, unsurprisingly, produces never ending atrocities, hypocrisies, lies, delusion and a total dissolution of all that is humane and all that is good and even all that is real instead of make believe.   Television has in hardest fact, created Trump just as it and the movies created Reagan before him.  The New York City media, including the august New York Times, in its feuillerton pages helped make him into the all too real monster that ate American democracy. There is absolutely no mystery in that.   The Republican Party which has been the political entity that the wealthy who own and staff the media have promoted is the other leg that the trashy Trump tyranny stands on.  I would say the billionaires and millionaires but the Republican Party is a department of that clique so it would be a tautology.  

It is the total degeneration of culture that would follow on the degeneration of morals under modernism that Nietzsche foretold and gloried in, though that idiot believed that art could survive it.  

The election in November followed by action bolder than a Democratic Congress and President would be able to or dare to take is the last, dim hope for American democracy.  And if we achieved that it would almost certainly lead to widespread armed insurrection against any attempt to even reestablish the status quo of what got us into this.  Any attempt would certainly have to pack the court with enough anti-fascist justices to render the McConnell-Trump packing of the courts moot, a radical enough action in itself that I am certain Biden wouldn't attempt it and, other than Elizabeth Warren, I haven't heard anyone say they would do that.  And, though it would certainly violate nothing in the Constitution, as something unaccustomed, though essential to save democracy,  it would be met with a chorus of disapproval of the media, including the New York Times, I am sure of it.  

And there is the pandemic that will, I would not be surprised, give us a Vietnam casualty rate a month.  

We are in dire straits because the Warren Court told the media they could lie with impunity on behalf of the secular left in a period when the secular left miscalculated wildly and believed it was in a permanent state of ascendance.   I have come to believe that, Board v. Brown and a few other decisions apart, the Warren Court was no where near as wise or good as we were all required to believe.  That is something I am absolutely certain of in the "free speech" "free press" rulings that freed the mass media to lie us into this catastrophe and which I doubt more than a tiny fraction of Americans see. the slogans used to sell that regime of lies and pornography being so salable.   That's the problem with enabling lies, lies are easy to package to be readily bought, the truth is almost always a far harder sell - little wonder that our media loves lies so much, they're so profitable.  And show-biz helps with that.   

We aren't in a crisis of knowledge - most of those spouting lies for the suckers to by have educations from top-notch schools - so much as we are in a crisis brought on by the abandonment of morality, of freedom from moral inhibitions, of consequences for immorality, of a belief that there are things that are not to be done no matter how much you want to do them, no matter what it gets you, no matter how willing the courts and regulatory bodies, the Congress are willing to allow you to get away with it with impunity. And that whatever you can get away with, you should be free to do. 

We are in this crisis as we have been in virtually every human caused crisis we have been in because of the abandonment of morality, by which I don't mean that people are having sex they shouldn't be, though that is certainly relevant and a related matter, it would turn into a distraction.   We are here because lies and theft are now the freely permitted laws of the land, lies magnified by mass media which lie on behalf of the thieves and plunderers and, with this pandemic, those who get people killed for their profit.  And, since it began in the meat industry, as so many pandemics have - it is a product of human choices made with the permission of a government, through that most beloved thing of all for American conservatives, deregulated market action.  All of this will turn out to be entirely OK with the Republicans on the Court as it is with the ones in the Congress, in governorships and legislatures and those who control and staff the media.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

If that dumb arithmetic teacher wants to address what I said the stupid bint should read what I said.   A college teacher who doesn't know that you've got to read something to know what it said,  there was a time that would have shocked me, sometime before I went online and read the thinking of the college credentialed and even some of the college credentialing. 

Update:  My guess is he couldn't get work acting because he was lazy and obnoxious, not too bright and didn't have anything much to offer.  

What I said was essentially what Imelda Staunton said, what Judi Dench said, what Derek Jacobi, etc. said, that without learning the skills all of them said they learned during their apprenticeship in repertory theater that some people in theater crash and burn.  That's not any great shock.   Unless you don't know anything about it. 

"What would you suggest someone start with?" - Not Hate Mail For A Change

Off hand?  How about trying the late, very great Brian Friel's American Welcome, it's effectively a monologue with, essentially, no physical action or much of a set, the other character being more or less part of the set.  If you can't learn that and play with it, it might either show you've got no hope but it could mean that you just need to try something else.  If you try recording your performances, you'll learn a lot about recording and finding out what you like and what you don't like about your own work. 

If I were an actor, which I have no intention of being, I'd find someone and go through a lot of 2-handers with them.  And if it didn't work with them then trying it with someone else.  If you could do a bunch of them on the schedule of the repertory theaters described in that video, the two-week or one-week schedules, it would probably be a good sign. 

That's translating my experience as a musician, we do that kind of thing all the time without anyone's permission or expecting anyone to pay us or even listen to us. It's just what you do.  It's a lot of fun, especially if you're working with someone who's good and who you like.  Sometimes it's even good when it's someone who's good (or not) and who you find a challenge.  Challenge is good. 

Update:  Imagine that, me, the musician, the non-actor, the person who has no aspirations to act knowing enough about the theater to know what a 2-hander is and knowing who Brian Friel was, one of the most significant playwrights of our lifetime as he, the holder of, if you please, a degree in "theater arts" doesn't know either.   American Welcome seems even more apt now then it did when I posted this post. 

Update 2:  THIS is a 2-hander, as its author, the actor in it with Judi Dench, Alan Bennett called it before one of the performances of it that I posted once.