Sunday, April 4, 2010

Seavey Rand Speech, Seavey on Google Voice, plus an "Atlas Shrugged" Sequel

Ali Kokmen tells me this April Fool’s announcement of sci-fi authors writing an authorized sequel to Atlas Shrugged got some people in a tizzy. Let’s hope only people with senses of humor show up to hear me read Rand’s speech “Faith and Force” today (disembarking at 10am from the western steps of Bryant Park to take the F train to Brooklyn College, where I’ll declaim at 11am on the library steps facing the main green, if all goes as planned).

Speaking of sci-fi, Friday I greatly enjoyed the play Samuel and Alasdair, a postmodern but poignant show briefly being put on at the Brick Theatre, about Russian radio hosts and country musicians broadcasting in the face of humanity’s annihilation by giant robots. Like that time travel/postmodernism play I saw a few months ago, it was more poetic and less campy than I’d expected (this after all being a theatre that recently ran a play about monkeys beating each other up).

Marc Steiner (my old college sophomore roommate, visiting New York City with his wife) also enjoyed the play and, as it happens, informed me that same night that I must talk like a robot myself — or at least that I am the one person he knows whose voicemails appear via the Google Voice function on his cellphone perfectly transcribed, coherent, correctly-spelled, and properly punctuated. Well, good. I know my speech sometimes sounds a bit stiff and my prose a bit colloquial, but I’ve always thought the two should be interchangeable instead of wholly different modes, and it appears that I’m pulling it off, according to technology.

How would Sarah Palin fare under such a test? Bostonians get to find out next week when she addresses a Tea Party there — and more about that tomorrow. But this Easter morning, consider coming to hear me at Brooklyn College.

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