Saturday, September 24, 2005

Urinetown, The Musical

Hilarious, kind of dark. Won a bunch of Tonies back in 2002. Basic plot is that a severe water shortage has eliminated the possibility of private toilets. Now everyone has to pay to use public bathrooms, and one company owns all of the public amenities. Poor people can't afford to urinate. There are laws against going in public. Anyone caught doing so gets sent to Urinetown, a place no one can describe because once someone "goes" they never come back.

Bobby, the main character believes that the provision of basic human needs should not depend on the size of someone's pocketbook and sets out to create a freedom rebellion. (spoiler alert) In the end, the spunky rebels win, but they all die anyway because the regulations they removed were actually protecting (at least for awhile) their unsustainable way of life. And the underdogs lacked the emotional stability and experience necessary to fill the vaccuum left by big business's demise with good alternative solutions.

I think it is amazing when a musical written in the late 90s can so well describe the political climate of today. Of course there is a middle way where the excesses of both sides of the con/lib debate are ignored in favor of creating better solutions, but you would NEVER know it by looking at the uber-polarized U.S. right now.

Believe it or not, this is one reason I do not want the Republican party to screw up so much. The last thing we need is such a backlash that we end up with Democrats in the same powerful position Republicans are now, controlling all representative houses of governement. This is why I wish both the head of the Senate (R-Bill Frist for insider trading) and the Speaker of the House (R-Tom Delay for unethical connections with a lobbyist) and the administration (Karl Rove) were not under investigation as I type. Oh, obviously if they are corrupt they need to go, but don't think it will mean good things for any of us. Why is the notion of moderation in all things so hard for humans? Are we all destined for Urinetown?


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