I had announced about a month ago that I was going to stop reviewing theater. I then decided that I was going to pursue something I had wanted to do for a while and get the education to become an epidemiologist. Meaning that I’m not going to have theater be my primary career field.

I’ll still write plays and occasionally write posts about theater, but I realized one day that I could not see myself spending the rest of my life working in theater.

I would like to thank the people that have been very supportive of me after I made this decision. While other people were questioning my sanity because biology and epidemiology are polar opposites of theater, my mom, sister and my friends in Chicago have been there for when I’m frustrated and they haven’t questioned my decision at all. (My mother also put it this way, “When you go to the CDC’s website often and are frustrated by the website being down, you might want to rethink your career.”)

At this moment, Fragments feels a bit in limbo. I still want to have an outlet to write thought pieces and interviews or articles on topics other than theater; that is something that still interests me, but I don’t want to do it full time. So the focus of Fragments will be more of a culture blog that focuses on music, movies, books, food, and theater. Those are all things that interest me greatly and I think I can easily write about now and then without feeling obligated to do so.

Because another problem was that I was feeling obligated to write posts for this blog and I don’t want to constantly talk about theater. It’s a very bad sign if you feel obligated to update your blog and that’s why the focus of Fragments is going to change.

I hope you continue to read this blog despite my decisions.

Thank you.

Some Thoughts on “The Kids Are All Right”

Since I said that I would have some thoughts on the movie The Kids Are All Right, I’ve decided to take a break from drawing to give you those thoughts.

The aforementioned film is about Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore), two married women that have raised Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), both of whom were conceived by artificial insemination. Joni is 18, ready to go off to college and Laser convinces her to try to find their sperm donor, a restaurant owner and chef named Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Although at first hesitant, she calls the sperm bank and the two kids meet Paul, which then leads to him having dinner with the entire family. (He accepts the invitation by saying, “I love lesbians!”) His entrance into the family life causes chaos and problems for everyone. Although Nic and Jules relationship has been strained at the start of the film, the presence of their sperm donor only makes this shakier.

The wonderful thing about Lisa Cholodenko’s film, which she co-wrote with Stuart Blumberg, is that it presents the relationship of Nic and Jules and their family in a manner that does not make the film into a political piece. The two experience problems could easily happen in a heterosexual relationship. Yes, two of the central characters are lesbians, which does facilitate the key plot point of the sperm donor entering their lives. Never do we see the Nic and Jules suffer harassment from being in a same-sex relationship, nor do Joni and Laser get bullied for having two moms. If anything, Cholodenko’s film presents an idealized world, which prevents other topics from getting in the way of telling the key story in this film.

The film also presents sexuality as being fluid during a conversation between the two moms and their son. (This is the part where you have to skip over a paragraph if you haven’t seen the film because of a SPOILER ALERT.) This presentation causes the affair that Jules begins with Paul to feel less uncomfortable. Cholodenko and her partner have had a child, so the chances of her suggesting that “Oh, women can’t resist a hunky guy” is probably not the point. Paul is the opposite of Nic. While Nic is the leader of the family and the stereotypical controlling and worrying lesbian, Paul is a laid back person who is there and she already has a connection with. This is something that could happen in a heterosexual relationship as well.

There is also a discussion that occurs between Nic and Jules after a confrontation about the affair where Nic asks, “So, are you straight now?” For me, this reminded me of 1). the typical belief that you’re either straight or gay, you can’t be bisexual that is even believed by members of the LGBT community and 2). of a Dykes to Watch Out For strip where one of the characters, Sparrow, has been dating a man. Another character asks her if she’s straight, to which she says she isn’t. The conversation goes on between the prior characters and a third character, where Sparrow discusses her confusion and how the others aren’t helping. (In a later strip, she refers to herself as a bisexual lesbian.) Yes, I realize that I just summarized almost an entire Dykes to Watch Out For comic, but it is relevant to this. That very exchange gives the idealistic world of the film some realism; the chances that someone might say that to their partner is very likely because of their distress and because of the stigma of bisexuality. (Spoiler alert ends)

The Kids Are All Right is overall a refreshing film on many levels. It features gay characters without pushing a political agenda, it is a natural comedy that doesn’t rely on forced humor, and portrays lesbians in a way that is seldom seen in mainstream American media. The entire cast—notably Bening, Moore, and Ruffalo—give terrific performances that show the emotional depth and vulnerability of the characters. It left me feeling happy in a way that a film hasn’t done in years because it has substance. That Cholodenko has managed to create a comedy that manages to be so successful in telling a story is terrific.

A Few Things

1). Proposition 8 was repealed on Wednesday! The ruling has this notable sentence:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite- sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.

2). Eleana Kagan was confirmed and sworn in, becoming the fourth woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

3). I saw The Kids Are All Right which is good and I’ll elaborate on later.

4). I successfully moved from Iowa to my new apartment on the North Side of Chicago, which, yes, is nowhere near UIC, but an apartment in my neighborhood on the North Side is more affordable than an apartment in University Village or Tri-Taylor.

5). In this morning’s New York Times, there’s a profile of Ryan Murphy, who is the director of the upcoming Eat, Pray, Love—which is not to be confused with Eat, Vomit, Salmonella—as well as the creator of Nip/Tuck and Glee. In the profile, there’s this sentence that confused me a bit:

Additionally, he will get a financial piece of “Glee” soundtrack and touring sales — considerations that could add another $15 million — and has the option to mount “Glee” on Broadway.

That brief sentence makes it sound like it would be a musical based off of the series, but that confuses me because I thought that what made Glee a unique and different show was that it utilizes musical numbers in every episode and is on television. Maybe it could work if Murphy would decide to mount it on Broadway, but at the very least, it would definitely sell.

6). And, via Amanda Palmer’s blog, this might just be the most amusing picture I’ve seen all week.