Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"...to work their whole lives away at dull, stupid, routine, anesthetizing jobs for just a little more than the necessities of life."

Tennessee Williams remarks:
“How did he think the human situation could be improved? I asked. He looked as though the question had startled him.
“It’s a social and economic problem of course,” he said, “not something mystical. I don’t think there will be any equity in American life until at least 90 percent of our population are living under different circumstances. The white collar worker, for instance. Most people consider him pretty well off. I think his situation is horrible.
“I’d like to see people getting a lot more for what they invest in the way of effort and time. It’s insane for human beings to work their whole lives away at dull, stupid, routine, anesthetizing jobs for just a little more than the necessities of life. There should be time-and money-for development. For living.””
Jean Evans
Interview 1945

Friday, March 15, 2013

The American Dream Is Quickly Dying

"WASHINGTON — Pearl Brady has a stable job with good benefits and holds two degrees, a bachelor’s and a master’s. But despite her best efforts, she has no savings, and worries that it will be years before she manages to start putting away money for a house, children and eventually retirement...

Because wealth compounds over long periods of time — a dollar saved 10 years ago is worth much more than a dollar saved today — young adults probably face less secure futures for decades down the road, and even shakier retirements.

“In this country, the expectation is that every generation does better than the previous generation,” said Caroline Ratcliffe, an author of the study. “This is no longer the case. This generation might have less.” The authors said the situation facing young Americans might be unprecedented.

A broad range of economic factors has conspired to suppress wealth-building for younger American workers; the trend predates the Great Recession. Younger Americans are facing stagnant pay — the median income, when adjusted for inflation, has declined since its 1999 peak — as well as a housing collapse and soaring student loan debt.

In interviews, a half-dozen young adults — men and women, with families and single, in a broad range of industries — described economic conditions that left them just barely keeping their heads above water...

Others said they had put their money into a home only to fall into foreclosure, or were struggling to pay for child care.

Strong and sustained job and wage growth would cure many of the ills facing younger workers, experts said. But their delayed or diminished wealth accumulation might still have a lasting impact on their finances.

“It’s a little bit of a tipping-point moment,” said Signe-Mary McKernan, an author of the study from the Urban Institute, a nonprofit Washington research institution. “If we don’t address it today, they might never catch up.”...

 “I just don’t think about it,” said Mr. Ross, of his student loans. “I push the thoughts out of my mind, and when I do think about it now and then I kind of just think that maybe I’ll have to work indefinitely. And I hope I can find a career that will allow my body to do that.”...

With the wage and jobs picture bleak, and fixed pensions largely gone from the private sector, the answer to the conundrum of shoring up savings for younger workers might lie in new government policies, the Urban Institute scholars said. They suggested encouraging retirement accounts by making them automatic unless an employee opted out, or modifying the home mortgage interest deduction to push more money toward homeownership for lower-income workers.

For now, millions of younger workers are on their own. “We both had vanilla lower-middle-to-middle-class lifestyles,” said Christopher Greer, a 32-year-old who works in astronomy and lives in Arizona, referring to himself and his girlfriend. “I’m not sure how that’s going to play out for us.”"


The New York Times

Younger Generations Lag Parents in Wealth-Building

Monday, March 4, 2013

"Maybe I did not live as I ought to have done,"

""Maybe I did not live as I ought to have done," it suddenly occurred to him. "But how could that be, when I did everything so properly?" he replied, and immediately dismissed from his mind this, the sole solution of all the riddles of life and death, as something, quite impossible."


Friday, March 1, 2013

"...so quick to make fun of something without any understanding of the project or its intentions."

"In today's world, we're so quick to make fun of something without any understanding of the project or its intentions."

John Pierson

News In Brief

American Theatre/October 2011

", not workshop plays to death."

"What else can we do? We artists must stand up and demand that programming in our theatres be more inclusive. We have to insist that the way to attract younger and more diverse audiences is to program work that speaks to an evolving consciousness transformed by technology. We have to look at our communities and engage with them in more meaningful and broader ways. We have to acknowledge that we are not all wired the same and that abstraction, while it may be uncomfortable for some, is home for many.

For the sake of the survival of our art form, we have to find ways to be a part of the global conversation by doing multilingual, multidisciplinary and adventurous work. We need to encourage and support singular voices, not workshop plays to death. We have to stop surveying these works as if creating theatre is like making a good bar of soap, in which the value of the work is based on the number of audience members that like it. We need to create international collaborations that help move us to a more central place in today's global culture.

Most of all, we need leadership in our theatres that truly reflects our communities racially, ethnically and aesthetically. It's a tall order, but the time is now. The future is already here."


At Home with Another Kind of Diversity: Abstraction

By Marissa Chibas

American Theatre/October 2011