Side effects may include …

We go to theatre and movies and tv for what?

We go for everything from entertainment to enlightenment, insight to instruction, diversion to diversity. But, let us be frank, we also go – to buy and sell …!

Frederick Pohl and C M Kornbluth co-wrote a predictive novel called The Space Merchants first published in 1958. For prescience I rank it with the great 20th century handbooks-of-the-future, Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984.

Pohl and Kornbluth’s book tells how super elite executives preside over all social, commercial and political processes, where the majority forms an underclass of enslaved, exploited, short-lived drones; where speakers of truth-to-power are a sidelined fragment punished without due process.

I had the good fortune to shoot a commercial recently. I’ve done half a dozen or so in my three and a half decades as a servant of Dionysus, and they sing charmingly sweet – I mean that for 9 hours work in one day, plus travel time, I was remunerated at almost exactly the rate of the total for two months of US regional theatre work. A similar ratio applies in the UK. – And this is at today’s hamstrung rates. Yes, the global trend of more work for less money applies as stringently amongst actors as anywhere we care to look.

I’d like to tell you about the shoot but no. I have signed a non-disclosure agreement. These amusing documents are becoming prevalent, which, in a forum of promotion is counter-intuitive to say the least. Suffice to say that if you scour the Internet over the coming months you may catch a glimpse of the author in role.

In the same month, I have, as an American citizen, voted in the New York State primary. It wasn’t particularly easy. But then compared to some parts of the world it was a walk in the park, requiring only the merest determination and persistence. I registered with my party of choice, checked with the Electoral authorities that I was on their list and was told that they had never heard of me.

I asked if there was any remedy as the deadline for registration had passed. I was told I could go before a judge. Accordingly, the day of the poll, I was directed to and made stops at 5 counters and offices at the local courthouse before finding the correct one. Once there I filled in some paperwork that I had also previously completed, was granted an interview with the judge who told me that it was a busy day.

With a sworn affidavit in hand I went to the correct polling station, completed another set of similar paperwork and finally exercised my democratic right. I heard on the radio that the Attorney General’s office had received 4 times as many complaints of registration irregularities as in 2012.

We know from the new double-speak, that any inference of causal connection between executive control and the dwindling of democracy is radical, liberal, extremist and (worst of all) socialist.

None of these labels apply to your author. No, no, no … All I will say is that I confidently expect an award for best side-effect sometime soon … Meanwhile, is it surprising that actors line up for the chance to go crazy in public about somebody’s toilet paper and other goods?

3 thoughts on “Side effects may include …

  1. David Verrey

    Hi Col, Good news about the ad. – I haven’t had one for a dozen years or so!
    “Mammon, how I love ya’, how I love ya’
    My dear old Mammon.”

    All the very best matey,
    David

    Reply
  2. Barbara Dirickson

    Ahhhh commercials….! We all love the sweet benefits. I have found the directors to be the crankiest and meanest however. In my opinion you EARN EVERY PENNY when you do a commercial!!! I hope it plays FOREVER!!! Sending lots of love to you both!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply

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