Friday, June 12, 2009

ON ACTING: Conflict

An alien comes to earth. She is dropped by her Deity-of-Space into a football stadium filled with fans watching a football game. She sits among the cheering people. She is amazed and confused. She sees humans running around in all directions: a mish-mash of activity. To her, the activity doesn't seem to any clear linear logic to it. Bodies are running in all directions, slamming into other bodies, A brown oblong object seems to be the center of every one's attention: it is being thrown forward, backward and lateral, kicked and carried

She finally asks the man next to her: “What is going on?” The man answers: “Conflict.” The alien blinks. The man continues: “All that activity, the great expenditure of physical emotion...including all the energetic actions of all the humans on the playing field…including the whistle blowing men in black and white stripes who seem to be organizing the in the service of resolving a conflict: One team is trying to cross the other team’s goal line with that brown oblong object more times than the other team can do it. Football is simply multidimensional attempts—tactics--to accomplish a simple conflictual task: defeat the opponent by greater interpersonal goal-achievement.

That night the alien is invited to the theater. She asks the same question. She gets the same answer.


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