rants, reports, raves, and embarrassments from eric trules

academia

TEDxFulbright 2015 in LA, Sept 26 @ the Broad Stage

I’ve had the good fortune and privilege of traveling abroad twice as a Fulbright Scholar – once to Islamic Malaysia in 2002 shortly after 9/11, and a second time to Bucharest, Romania in 2010. The first time I was a Fulbright Senior Scholar, the second, a Fulbright Senior Specialist in American Studies (Theater).  Unlike most academics, I was not  a “lecturer” per se; rather I was  a teacher of theatrical workshops in solo performance, improvisation, and clowning. Both Fulbright grants offered extraordinary experiences, for me personally, and I hope too, for my students and colleagues in each of these unique…

The “R” word

5/13/14 It used to be the “C” word. C-c-c-ommitment. Normally a young man’s word. Why ever get married, settle down, have a family, limit your (sexual) options? What about freedom? Opportunity? Spontaneity? Improvisation? Living in the moment? Be here now? What about the 60s? Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll? I’ll tell you “what”. Life is what. It has a way of catching up with even the best (free-est) of us? Leaving us older, lonelier, less and less healthy and attractive with each passing year. Maybe even sadder, wiser, but more isolated… eventually, if we don’t make the effort, we…

ripples in the pond

may 17, 2013 beware. this is a story of curmudgeonliness turning into beatitude. let’s start with the first. it’s the merry month of may. time for college graduations. i never go. never went to my own, never will. you know the routine: 1969… the me generation, protest, stick it to the man. my parents made me go to the college i never wanted to go to, just to save the dough. i certainly wasn’t gonna go to make them happy. i was socially inept, volcanic, and generally, i had a hard time making it out of adolescence. i didn’t need…

mountains and ocean and hollywood sign… and yet?

look to the right, exactly 90 degrees from the terraced hillside back deck of lucretia gardens, and there are — the san gabriel mountains — gently looming over the hazy glendale flats. turn 180 degrees back to the left and there’s — the glassy silver rim of the pacific ocean, dividing the big sky of another multi-colored california sunset from the slightly high-rise sprawl of snarky century city and the equally-hazy flats of LA’s toney west side. turn back another 90 degrees to the right, and there, straight ahead, is the white dome of the griffith observatory, the shrubby tree tops of tom mix hill (of legendary silent film cowboy lore), and lo and behold… the iconic hollywood sign itself.

confessions of an ageing rage-aholic, part 2: the mad prof

and… i aim my RAV 4 directly at mike. he sees me coming and his eyes start bugging out of his head. captain of industry, huh, mike? mike tries to maneuver out of my way, practically falling off his tan beach cruiser. i hit the brakes to a full stop… about 2 inches from mike’s front wheel. mike looks terrified. he should be.

lenny, me, and the “N” word

“well, you see, ms jones, i was using a metaphor for the disempowerment of the gypsy people of romania. a metaphor for the dispossession of the entire roma people. i was actually standing up for the underdog people of the world when i said that “the gypsies were the niggers of europe”. just the way john lennon and yoko ono said that “women were the niggers of the world”. just the way lenny bruce used the words, ‘nigger. niggger. nigger. fuck fuck fuck. nigger nigger nigger. fuck fuck fuck.’ they’re just words, ms jones. understand? nigger, fuck, cunt, pussy. words! just words! but we load them like guns. and we shoot them off at each other. and some of us can use them. and others of us can’t. how are we supposed to know, ms jones? who’s to say who can say which words to whom? i didn’t call anyone a ‘nigger’. i don’t hate black people. i didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, ms jones. if i did, i’m sorry. i already apologized to everyone i could think of. why won’t fucking white liberal rachelle get the fuck off my case, ms jones?”

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