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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:11 pm
Posts: 415
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Norway is justifiably proud of Henrik Ibsen. After all, the history books call him “The Father of Modern Theatre” (that should be “European” or “Western” Modern Theatre, but who’s counting).
And so, while he was living abroad for decades, building his international reputation by churning out masterpieces that trashed his native land for its philistinism and provincialism (and weather), his fellow countrymen bore it in silence;
when toward the end of his life he deigned to return to Norway to live, they showered him with honors;
when every noon he entered the Grand Cafe in Oslo for his customary midday meal, they rose from their tables and remained standing until he was seated (or so the waiter there assured us when we asked which was his table);
at his death, they established three museums to him in places he’d lived around the country. (And, maybe most remarkably, they saw to it that the commentaries on his life and works in these museums were exceptionally insightful and the tour guides staffing them extraordinarily knowledgeable about his life and personality.)
And, of course, they also erected his statue in front of the National Theatre in Oslo and bade the artists working there keep his plays alive so that (as they love to point out . . . but modestly, ever so diffidently) he will continue to be the second-most-performed playwright--trailing only Shakespeare. And that, unlike the “Father of Modern Theatre” business, is not only in Europe or the West but throughout the world.
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So then: Truly, Ibsen was a remarkable talent, and Norwegians are rightfully proud of his legacy and should do what they can to keep it alive around the land. Most particularly, they should do so at the country’s flagship dramatic institution, the National Theatre in Oslo (where they erected his statue, remember).

Ahem.

About that National Theatre.

But first, about Oslo:

Oslo is, of couse, the capital city of Norway, and many roads lead to it.
And Norway is one of the many countries in Europe that (virtually) shuts down during the month of July and sends (nearly) everybody off on vacation.

And because Oslo is the capital city and many roads lead to it,
and because Norwegians are a really patriotic people,
and also because Oslo is pretty far south (pretty far for Norway, anyhow), so the weather there might be expected to be warmer than most other places in the country . . .
for all these reasons, lots and lots of Norwegians spend at least part of their vacation … in Oslo.

(And lots of other Europeans come there, too, as well as quite a few Americans, because it’s a really lovely city, and because maybe they can learn something--you think?--from the people of Norway about things like . . .

oh, I don’t know . .

things like how to keep their citizens alive longer at less cost
and how to give science a leading role in establishing policies about their environment
and how to discourage drunk driving by taking away their licenses at the slightest whiff of alcohol instead of this “.06,” “ .08” crap,
and how to encourage healthy family life with maternity and paternity leaves at full pay and subsidized early childhood education, paying for college, and don’t get me started. . . .

But I digress.)

Where was I?

Oh, yes:

So the point is--the points are--
(a) Ibsen continues to be really important to Norwegians and to the country’s cultural identity;
(b) there are hoards of Norwegians in Oslo in July;
© Oslo is where the National Theatre, dedicated to the preservation of Ibsen’s works, is; and
(d) seeing a first-class production of one of a guy’s plays--instead of just reading it, say, or, God help us, being reduced to talking about it in a classroom--seeing a play is a really good way of coming to appreciate the work and how the guy’s mind works.
(Can you see where I’m going?)

Conclusion: July would be an awfully good time for Norway’s National Theatre to be busy as hell, doing Ibsen plays as well as they can do them. . . .

But they don’t do it!

The National Theatre is closed.
And not just in July: it’s closed all summer!!

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?


Deep breath. Rant the Second:

(For this particular rant, we need the comedian Lewis Black, master of the slow burn. Lewis Black’s schtick is to begin completely in control, calmly describing a situation; when he gets to a part that he finds really stupid, he gets louder...or his voice explodes on a single word...or he develops a facial tic; finally, losing all semblance of control, he screams with rage.
So, folks, give it up for Lewis Black…)

Lewis Black (calmly, in a ‘let us reason together’ tone):
RVers have a close but conflicted relationship to liquids. Sometimes they are want to find water to fill their fresh water tank--clean healthy water they can drink and cook with and not get sick.

And sometimes (just as calmly), they need to get rid of different liquids, dirty unhealthy liquids that they’ve collected in their grey water tank and even (maybe just a slight momentary outburst here) their black water tank.

(Back in control) And the managers of RV campgrounds know all this, so some of them (happily) provide spiggots for drinking water and drains for grey water and black water.

Like this one: (earnestly teaching) here are the drains for unhealthy waste water
and here is the spigot for clean drinking water.

And the good campground managers keep the spigot for drinking water apart from the dirty drain.

(Joyfully) And look: this campground manager has even provided a hose so you can get the clean drinking water from the spigot to your RV water tank…and it’s even wound up on a spool, so it stays nice and neat and (a momentary lapse, viciously) away from the drain for the black water.
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So (back in control) just one question. (Harder) Here it is. Why, (pause, facial tic) when you’ve gone to so much trouble to keep the drinking water safe and clean and separate from the s--tty water…..(loses it; screams) why do you let the end of the drinking water hose sit on the ground right next to the toilet hole?

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