Goodbye “Sesame Street”, Hello “Avenue Q”!



I’m under the “Avenue Q” spell! Yes, my three to five loyal readers. Two years after watching the cast of the musical perform “What Do You Do With a B.A. in English” on the Tony Awards (on cable, of course), I finally have the soundtrack. Thanks to tech-savvy lover, I now have the songs (e.g. “The Internet is For Porn”, “Mixed Tape”, “You Can Be As Loud As Hell As You Want”, “I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today”, “If You Were Gay”)! (claps, jumps in glee…then pauses to look at readers) Okay, I’m seeing blank stares and cloud-callouts saying “What the hell is he talking about???” Forgive me. Introducing…(cue fanfare)…Avenue Q!!!

“Avenue Q” is a musical which tells the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He soon discovers that the only neighborhood in his price range is Avenue Q; still, the neighbors seem nice. There’s Brian the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fianceé Christmas Eve; Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his roommate Rod — a Republican investment banker who seems to have some sort of secret; an Internet addict called Trekkie Monster; and a very cute kindergarten teaching assistant named Kate. And would you believe the building’s superintendent is Gary Coleman?!? (Yes, that Gary Coleman.) Together, Princeton and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life (lifted from www.avenueq.com).

The good thing about the musical is that it combines performances of actors and actors with hand-held puppets. It has been described as “South Park” in motion, and “’Sesame Street’ meets MTV’s ‘The Real World’”. Deliciously witty and funny! One of the funny songs where I can’t help but roll in laughter is, “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist” where the characters rant about racism and finally accept the fact that they are “a little bit racist”. It actually knocked me off my high horse! Here’s my high-riding, sanctimonious blog about segregationist attitudes:

BLAME IT ON CHARLES DARWIN
Friday, October 15, 2004

I read this article posted on Friendster about Globe’s promotion of the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy show. The writer basically said that it was gay-bashing and gender insensitive. Then there’s this article about a group of Christians enraged on the impending relocation of Moslems in their area. And if I’m going to mention issues concerning “isms” that aim to exclude, blogger.com will have to kick me out for overloading their system. People who give their views about equality and condoning these acts of “isms” should be commended—or should they be, myself included?

As an advocate of justice for all, I am really fascinated with people who propagated the idea of “excluding” people because of race, religion, and personal preferences. The Ku Klux Klan, Adolf Hitler, Al Qaeda, Jews, African-Americans and Christians have experienced first hand exclusivity, as implementers or as recipients of such. But these are tragic pieces of history where we can say that a milieu hungry for and in the process of change fuels the need for and resistance to change. But let us fast-forward to current times. People say that the human race has come a long way from its barbaric, medieval, pre-industrialization, conservative views and undertakings. Have we come a long way? The sins of our fathers have seeped through an insatiable generation who constantly pushes the envelope as far as it could. History plus current times equals chaos. People shout justice and equality but we are all guilty of exclusivity and segregationist acts. I feel that it is our need for categorization and labels—an offshoot of the “convenience” modern technology offers to us. Categorization facilitates ease. But in the end, there are too many categories that are one and the same. Example: in filing, accounting files are categorized in sub-files labeled vouchers, invoices, receipts, etc. It is easier, yes. When translated in the context of sociological concepts, it is somehow aligned because it is “easier” but to the detriment of equality. Come to think of it, the influx of “movements” advocating equality are promoting exclusivity. Women having a special caboose at the LRT station (with a sign “PARA SA MGA BABAENG PASAHERO LAMANG” which reminded me of the “COLORED” signs in African-American history), gays and lesbians having their “own” sub-culture, homosexuality having a sub-classification of its own (i.e. COMMONLY SEEN TAGLINES IN GAY DATING WEBSITES/GROUPS: gay and bi men welcome but no effems. Hunky, straight-looking gay and bi males, no effems and chubs allowed), religions factions demanding for their own rights but refuse to recognize other denominations’ rights, rich-poor division, African-Americans feeling discriminated because of the absence of a black person in a corporation, Halle Berry being accused of a racist when she thanked all the black actresses who were nominated in the Oscars but never won because they were “black”. These are a result of categorizations. I wish we could just have one “file” that says PEOPLE and just remove sub-files like MEN, WOMEN, GAY, STRAIGHT, MOSLEMS, CHRISTIANS. The question is: can it be done? I guess equality will remain elusive for it is an absolute concept. The mere fact that the core of our existence as human beings is that we are unique from each other—man as his own microcosm—equality is no longer elusive but unobtainable with this premise. My suggestion is we need to learn to live in a state of co-existence and co-habitation in the midst of an undeniable and infallible diversity. To find that middle ground where we can all stand as people who are different from each other but recognize the fact that we are human beings who breathe the same air and live in the same world—too much to ask but a more realistic and doable challenge.

In the meantime, just for kicks, let’s blame Charles Darwin for this brouhaha over injustice and discrimination for coming up with theory of classification and natural selection. Modern day (pseudo-) intellectuals picked up where he left off and all hell broke lose.
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Blah…blah…blah… He he he…

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