December 16, 2004

Sending the Wolfe

Over the weekend I finally finished Tom Wolfe’s novel “I Am Charlotte Simmons.” While I’m a huge Wolfe fan, and the book held my interest, it just didn’t quite live up to most of his previous work, I guess because Wolfe couldn’t relate as well to the college students of this novel as he could to “masters of the universe” so brilliantly detailed in “Bonfire of the Vanities.” Besides- a few of the supporting characters (namely, the bitch-princess roommate and the PC-mad newspaper editor) were considerably more interesting than the main characters.

And speaking of PC madness in college… you would think a campus production of “The Vagina Monologues” would be in clear from rampaging hordes of the PC police. You would think. But there’s an outrage brewing at the University of Oregon, after last year’s annual production drew protests –yes, protests- because the cast was lacking in representation of ” The queer community, the women of color community and the plus-size community.” As blogger David Kaufman pointed out when this first flared up in February, “Apparently, when advertising for the woman-only cast, they didn't put up a sign, ‘free milk and cookies for fat black lesbians.’”

They’re even forgoing auditions for this year's version of the show, in favor of “nominations” of cast members from various campus identity-political groups. Because if anything, I know the theater community has always had a blatant bias against the casting of non-actors, and the non-talented.

I think I’m going to have to head to Eugene and start a protest of my own, because the "Vagina Monologues" cast- race, sexual orientation, body tape, and acting experience aside- excludes men entirely.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 16, 2004 05:15 AM
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