Enterfornment was a success. I hadn’t slept the night before, the game show didn’t work, I expected I was going to fall asleep, and was basically fueled only by panic and caffeiny energy drinks. Some segments got cut at the last minute because it was decided they “weren’t ready.” (Like the complete history of the split between Sunni and Shi’a Islam in 60 seconds or less, and the overthrow of Hawaii.) I didn’t have anywhere near enough memorized, and I didn’t even have all of my notes at the podium to read. And, all in all it was a success. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but the show certainly proved the baseline concept that it is possible to pull off an entertaining, funny educational show for adults. Even if you use a subject which is assumed to be extremely dry.
It wasn’t exactly a comedy show. When you talk about Osama bin Laden, and our support of the repressive Diem regime in Vietnam, the whole show can’t be 100% funny. It did have some funny parts. The audience did laugh a lot, and they got a lot of the jokes. I think one of the best laughs was showing a picture of Eric Estrada when talking about a Mr. Estrada who was important in central American politics around the start of the 20th century. Go figure, eh? A similar joke about Mr. Diaz with a picture of Cameron Diaz was found to be more confusing. Mostly because I botched the delivery.
The first act had First Barbary War, War of 1812, Opening of Japan, Spanish American War, and the Philippine American War. It ended right before the start of the 20th Century. The band, “The Moment” played in the middle of the act to break things up, right after Opening of Japan.
The second act featured American meddling in Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, a note about Sayid Qutb and his role in creating the ideology that inspired Bin Laden while he lived in Colorado, Iran, Nicaragua some more, Panama some more, our role in the 1980′s Iran (again) – Iraq war, and Iraq again ( in Operation Desert Storm aka “The second first Gulf War” ). The overall theme was the importance of understanding our enemies, and how it can save us money, time, and lives. Almost every war, revolution, and overthrow included a line about how “it was then that we as a nation finally came to understand the vital importance of understanding our enemies.”
So, since the show ended with a brief mention of the Iraq-America war in 1991, the closer was a note about how thankfully, we finally acted according to the one lesson that was learned so many times over. We finally understood our enemy and acted accordingly (at least for a while). And, we closed with the infamous clip of Cheney talking about what the results of invading Iraq would have been. It would have been a Quagmire, because Iraq isn’t a unified country, but a collection of chunks which could not all simultaneously be controlled by us, and chucks would have fallen out of our control. It seemed a fitting and poignant end. The audience seemed to appreciate the irony.
So, I never adressed the current Iraq war directly, but in a sense, the whole show (and basically all of American history) were basically a setup for it. The show had enough historical examples to allow the audience to understand the current war in a different context, even though there wasn’t much discussion of Iraq. (Except for a few pictures from modern times used as an ironic means of explaining past events. Like how the water torture in the phillipines over a century ago was just the work of “a few isolated individuals,” in almost the same way that things like water torture and psychological torture is officially the work of a few isolated individuals in our current global war on terror.)
So, all in all. The audience says they liked it. They laughed during the show, and the vibe felt good. There is plenty of room for improvement, but it went well enough that I am planning to do more educational shows when I get a chance.
As for upcoming stuff, the 24 hour film contest is in a few months. Dunno if I’ll participate. I am doing some private dinner theater in July. Iraq War: The Musical is coming to town, and I missed my chance to audition. And, the Regional Championships for competetive air guitar will be taking place in Denver. I certainly won’t be competing as I have no musical inclination, but I will probably be a supporting member of the Rock a Feller entourage. (Who I insist ought to dress up as John D. Rockefeller.) No word if Bjorne Turoque will be there.
I think this lolcatz picture is funny, and makes me want to do an economics show