Theatre, arts, culture, politics, and snark from a practicing playwright and recovering journalist.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Goodbye to the Real Deal
Once upon a time, in a weird country called the United States, there lived a devious, a paranoid president named Richard Nixon, who nobody really liked and who really never liked anybody, and who was so criminally insane that kept a secret list of “enemies”—those he felt were out to get him and his administration.
And, once upon a time, being a journalist on such a list was considered a badge of honor because it meant that you had the fortitude and integrity to stand up to a man who would practically stop at nothing to control the flow or shape of information, and did things like threaten to jail journalists and sent burglars to ransack a psychiatrist’s office to defame an “enemy” or the rooms of his political opponents at Washington D.C.’s Watergate Hotel and whose National Guard troops blew away students at Kent State with M-16s.
One of those guys sufficiently fearless and fierce to land themselves on Nixon’s enemies list was Daniel Schorr, who never let up, and pretty much always called them as he saw them. Today, he filed his last dispatch at age 93. That’s a pretty good run for anybody, but especially for a tough old guy in a witheringly tough business.
Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian.