Author Archives: Jay Menard

Political Disengagement? It Comes Not with a Bang, but with a Wonk

By Jay Menard,

What’s the sound of political disengagement? Wonk wonk.

And, for most political wonks, that suits them just fine because for all the false indignation and professing for greater involvement, for the most part the goal isn’t better government – it’s winning. And no one cares if the country, as a whole, loses.

Wonk wonk is not a sad trombone sound, but it’s truly a sad noise. It’s the simple reality that the overabundance of self-professed and self-involved political wonks aren’t just fostering a negative political atmosphere on-line — they’re actively discouraging the casual political observer from becoming involved and learning more. Continue reading

Get Out and Vote? Only If You’re Willing to Add the Most-Important Word

Get out and vote! It’s a catchy, cute, and simple saying. Unfortunately, it glosses over the incredible responsibility that voting represents — and it omits the most important word: informed.

I generally find that these are a few good rules of thumb:

  • If you’re voting because an infographic says you should — don’t;
  • If you’re voting for a candidate because of something you heard once by someone, somewhere — don’t.
  • And, most importantly, if you’re voting because someone told you to “get out and vote” and you think that’s all there is to it, please stay home.

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FRINGE 2015 – Bitte Schon Die Roten Punkte

By Jay Menard

Musical parody can be a sketchy proposition. It can grow tired quickly, it can descend into absolute silliness, and the music itself can leave much to be desired. But when it works, it’s magic — and the “German” power-punk duo Die Roten Punkte weave a show that’s so magical it must leave Siegfried and Roy* weeping in envy. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 — A Divine Comedy

By Jay Menard

John Lennon once sang, “God is a concept by which we measure our pain.” Thank goodness Mike Delamont’s God is a Scottish Drag Queen — currently in its second iteration — wasn’t around in 1970, because there’s no way the Bard of Mersey could have sang those words with a straight face.

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FRINGE 2015 – A Show Mature Beyond its Years

By Jay Menard

A Life Within is a presentation of youth dancing. But by no means is it superficial or immature. It is a performance that features performers who embrace a maturity of performance and attitude that is well beyond their years. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 – A Show for the Birds that Lets Your Imagination Soar

By Jay Menard

Art can move. It’s a simple statement with so many connotations, and Mind of a Snail’s Caws & Effect Is a production that reinforces the idea of art that is moving. And moving.

It’s described as large-scale shadow theatre, but that description is nowhere near encompassing enough. Most people think of shadow theatre in black and white – or, at best, shades of grey. Caws and Effect is a production that is richly and heart-warmingly hued with a moving rainbow of colours, effects, and emotions. Continue reading

Ready? Yes. It’s Another Incredible James & Jamesy Show

By Jay Menard

James & Jamesy are Fringe veterans who have built up a sizeable – and passionate – following thanks to their two “Tea” productions. This year, they’ve stripped their production down to the absolute basics: black, white, and light. And the result is something magical in James & Jamesy In the Dark.

It is a comedy, yes. But it can be better described as performance art. Continue reading