It’s Time

April 23, 2017

What happens when a natural actor ages? What is his grasp of mortality? To answer such a question and help uncover a fruitful redolent moss underneath a stone that has been left unturned by humanity would be a triumph. It may, however, not be in the repertory of an actor to be so dedicated to such grandiosity. There may be a catharsis and achievement in simply the act itself.
 
How telling though when a baby boomer decides to take a stab at it! And that is the case here, where an audience member outside of that age range can, for a brief 75 minutes, peer into the psyche of this population as the reaper’s steps are heard ever louder. They now have to cope with death and grief in such a manner that the stark realization by the one-act show to “get help” when it will appear (if it hasn’t already) in their lives left several audience members in tears.
 
It’s quite a bizarre ritual then: is It’s Time a narcissistic indulgence or a salubrious biopsy to help this narrow band of people understand their reality? The play, after all, does get extremely auto-biographical, to the point where it can be arguably rendered a pointless show-and-tell; not that his is not a life worth living, but the mediocrity and quotidian drum of daily life leaves a monotonously perplexing tone in the mind of the audience of what is the rhyme or reason for sharing? No doubt the baby boomer can find some resonance in the biography, but the fact that this draws meaning from the play is terrifying. It legitimately verifies that this population is entirely self-absorbed. Even the handling of grief, for instance, is approached as if no human in history has ever had to deal with such emotions before. Just because it is a novel thing to have experienced, much like the distasteful licking of a toddler with the world around him, to treat it in this way elucidates the abandonment of tradition and history by these people.
 
This logic leapt to by the fact that there is no reliance on an outside order for being human. It is as if on the fly, the handling of this emotion has to be resolved without turning to the eternal succor of dealing with inexplicable suffering: religion. I say religion as it is a compact form of grasping the more mysterious imperceptible transcendent, the realm infinitely beyond what man will ever be. History, Western History especially, has reserved such a realm which propitiates every waking hour, every savory minutia (even celebrated by the play), and influences its direction more than one man can in his entire lifetime, with a sacredness; a precious installment; a presumption of its benevolence and goodness and its direction that man has to more or less conform to if not obey. It is not to necessarily say that the lack of reliance on this outside order is a negation of its benevolence within the baby boomer consciousness. But it does suggest that its ignorance of examination such an order poorly reflects on how they operate within it. And historically speaking, we can see how disastrous the group has been in influencing the direction American society has taken, with its genuinely malpractice government policies and immobilized youth who possess no ability at humanely functioning.
 
Alternatively, the life put on display could be a celebration of the preciousness of being human. Which, undoubtedly the play explicates as such. This is a positive egalitarianism, as every life possesses within it some sacred spark of Creation. Yet once more, this preciousness is not related to anything higher to itself. It just is good. It relies on nothing for its goodness which is a dangerous creed for a contingent being to predicated upon.
 
Aside from the charmingly ingenious use of theatrical production which can only come from the mind of an actor who appreciates appropriate staging to garner thematic engagement with an audience, the play fails to hit the mark of what it could have been. Yes, it is a hard task. But quality, legacy, glory which comes from aiming high is what makes for a better humanity by leaving posterity something it can build on top of. The Baby Boomers have never seemed to be concerned with anyone else.

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