Evolution

No this is not a blog post about President Obama’s attempt to re-frame his “late to the party” support of Gay marriage.

Although I am happy that the President publicly endorsed gay marriage, I think it’s a crappy circumstance of politics that we expect every decision to be a static reflection of a public persona. Stop and think for  minute – what if you were held to all the opinions you vociferously expressed twenty years ago? I like to believe that my thinking has not only evolved but become more sophisticated and nuanced, but what do I know.

When you’re a politician, especially a high profile one like Obama, any shift in position, even due to new evidence or information, is viewed cynically as either pandering to special-interests or a flip-flopping lack of consistency. Maybe it is pandering for the president to publicly agree with a position that 60% of the citizens already strongly support, however he did not publicly endorse aliens (60% of Americans believe they exist), so I’m going to assume he doesn’t weigh his beliefs against polls.

In an election year everything the other party does is pandering, calculated and opportunistic. Only 200 days left!

What this post is really about is a show I saw the other night The Rap Guide to Evolution. A clever one-man performance by Baba Brinkman that uses hip-hop as a vehicle for discussing Darwin and evolutionary responses, like aggressive behavior in males increasing with reduced life expectancy. The arguments are pretty sound and based in enough research that the Thug Life sounds like a reasonable expression of a system of natural selection. And Brinkman makes it fun. A little like a benign, non-aggressive Henry Rollins (Brinkman’s Canadian) with a performance structure and diagrams.

This is not a review (although his DJ, scenic design and lighting were all great), what I kept thinking about after the show was 1) how he managed to reject his parents creationist beliefs, and 2) how he managed to blend intellectual discourse, anthropological parallels and a desire to be a white rapper into a living. Its a very Fringe Festival kind of show so I am not sure how much of living he makes, but his bio didn’t list a day job. Either accomplishment is to be admired.

No one in my family came right out and said they believed in creationism, but there is no guarantee some of them don’t harbor a loose belief that Jesus petted dinosaurs as well as lambs. And there were always so many other things to disagree about, like my brother thinking I was only a vegetarian to get attention and ate meat when no one was looking.

The only creationism I am interested in at the moment is the act of individual creation. Without going too navel-gazing, I keep trying to figure out how to blend artistic creation into everyday life again. Once upon a time I lived a theatre life that was in some ways satisfying and in many ways frustrating, but pretty consistently generative and engaging. Now the most satisfying (loosely) artistic thing I do is write my blog. And I have yet to conjure a way to springboard that into a making a living.

So I will, as they say, keep my day job until I evolve through mutation, adaptation or other equally unlikely circumstances.

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