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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays-Week 8-Rent

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Mark is actually being pretty cool here. He was dumped by Maureen less than a month ago and now she's dating this new person. That doesn't say that she was cheating, but it is a pretty quick turnaround. Despite all that, Mark is willing to help out and it doesn't ever seem like he has any ulterior motives. Never once does Mark imply that he is only being nice to get Maureen back.

 

That's interesting. I thought Mark seemed to be still hung up on Maureen, at least until the end of Tango Maureen. Maureen didn't have to twist his arm too much to get him to help with the sound system for free. Adding insult to injury, Collins does that "whipped" sound at Mark and Mark couldn't deny it.

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There are too many posts I could and should quote so I'll just start a new one.

 

First, yes I did use a slur in calling them sluts and that was completely wrong. I was trying to make a reductionist argument and went for the lowest level, making it personal instead of commenting on the circumstances. As has been said we never see anyone actually sleep with other people and there are plenty of reasons for the various behaviors. I liked each of the characters just fine on first viewing/hearing. It was just as I would listen to the soundtrack or watch the performance again that something struck me as off. I tried to raise the issue but did so in a completely inappropriate way. I apologize and will never use slut again.

 

I had a long talk with my very good therapist and figured out what I was really trying to comment on. What was actually going on was each woman working to get their very real physical and emotional needs met. In the societies of Kiss Me Kate (both the 1950's of the play and the much older time of Taming of the Shrew) women could only get their needs met through or in concert with a man. (Taming of the Shrew's whole premise is based on this. Bianca can't get married until her older sister does! Kate's not completely free to marry whomever either. Her father schemes against her with several men, promising them all kinds of things if they would take Kate "off his hands". Just that quoted phrase alone is problematic.) Unfortunately that is often in effect today as well.

 

To get done what was needed, each woman understood the society she was in and decided to use it and not be a helpless, hapless victim. Each woman dances on the line society drew without going over. They might use other people occasionally but it's only because they have been used far worse, expected to meet others' needs with little reciprocal concern for their own.

 

Kiss Me Kate/Taming of the Shrew

As was reminded to me Lois' boyfriend Bill was a degenerate gambler (emphasis on degenerate). I had forgotten that he had put himself physically in danger. The two gangsters were sent to collect on the IOU that he fraudently signed, putting another actor in mortal danger. On top of that the song I Hate Men is quite accurate as to the common excuses and games men have played through the years to take advantage of loving women in their lives. To top it off he writes a love song for Lois but writes it to Bianca!!! He can't even bring himself to honestly address the woman! What a louse.

 

I can see Lois' behavior as looking for someone else because the person she's ostensibly in love with is in no way worthy of her. She refuses to settle and finally commits to Bill once he has (hopefully) come to his senses and will treat her as she deserves, to be a partner and not an anchor. (Don't get me started on I am Ashamed that Women are So Simple. Even in Shakespeare's time that concept shouldn't have seen the light of day.)

 

La Boheme

I have seen the opera twice and both times I thought Musetta had been with multiple men. She is the ex of Marcello and is with Alcindoro in Act 2. However, the Wikipedia synopsis leaves it there. She is seen in Acts 3 and 4 and is lively each time so I assumed she had gone off with someone else each time she and Marcello break up. That was never a valid assumption. She keeps coming back to Marcello and trying to reconcile with him. It's his jealousy and insecurity that keeps driving her away. (Definite parallels with Mark and Maureen here.) As with Bill and Lois in Kiss Me Kate, Musetta wants to be with Marcello but he has a lot of growing and changing to do in order to be worthy of her.

 

Rent

I am glad several people have responded while I was unavailable as they brought up points I missed the first time around. I can see both sides and that just means I can't decide if that means you shouldn't be friends with your exes or there should be strict limits to the relationship. It may be honestly trying to help commiserate over a shared experience or it may be more. If it was this one experience I would leave it in the air. However...

 

He shouldn't have asked Joanne to be the lawyer in negotiating the deal with Buzzline. That just further drove a wedge between Joanne and Maureen and seems intended to play them off each other. I don't think he realized Maureen would feel so strongly about not being included. Asking Joanne to take part and not include Maureen is problematic even in the best of situations. There may be secrets to necessarily keep or time spent together with one and not the other.

 

When the meeting is taking place at Buzzline Maureen is talking to the receptionist. I'm thankful to whoever pointed out that we never hear the conversation. I see now that is the entire point. It doesn't matter what was said because Maureen isn't serious. She was feeling slighted by not being included in the meeting and she wasn't going to sit there quietly. Maureen knew talking to the receptionist would push Joanne's buttons and would distract Joanne a little from the meeting. Maureen was asserting her presence without harming anyone. I'm not sure how this plays out with the engagement party so I will refrain from trying to analyze.

 

Final thoughts

As with all of the shows as with real life, a happy ending is never assured. As Rent states each person comes to a relationship with their own baggage, their own viewpoints, their own agendas. Building a relationship is a never-ending dance where the two orbits circle each other, each one fully independent as a person but choosing to look to the other and be there for the other. A simple answer is neither possible nor should it be looked for.

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That's interesting. I thought Mark seemed to be still hung up on Maureen, at least until the end of Tango Maureen. Maureen didn't have to twist his arm too much to get him to help with the sound system for free. Adding insult to injury, Collins does that "whipped" sound at Mark and Mark couldn't deny it.

 

I think being hung up on her and actively trying to win her back are two different things. Both he and Joanne are whipped.

 

I think my problem is there seems to be this line of thought that Mark is this treacherous figure trying to mess up Maureen and Joanne's relationship and I don't get that. He had his heart broken, but somehow what's going on between Joanne and Maureen is his fault? If, after the tango he was constantly whispering in Joanne's ear, then I would agree, but after that song Joanne and Mark are friends. It never comes up between them again. And seeing as they are all friends, I think you have to take it at face value.

 

No, we don't have any evidence of cheating, but Maureen's partners have absolutely no problem believing she's capable of cheating. And since Maureen is not a POV character, we have to go with what M and J are telling us.

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I think being hung up on her and actively trying to win her back are two different things. Both he and Joanne are whipped.

This is an interesting conundrum as well. If Mark truly believe he was cheated on by Maureen with Joanne, why would he still remain so friendly with her? In my experience with friends that have been cheated on the last thing they want to do is be friends with that person after the fact. Unless in the rare case both parties knew the relationship was in a bad state and they shouldn't really be together. So is he whipped because he's a friend/former lover or is it because he thinks he can win her back? Again this is hard because Mark is a horrible selfish self centered person, but I do believe he does care about his friends. So are his action motivated by his self interest in getting Maureen back or is he being a good friend? I think he's being nice in the hopes they can get back together, until he bonds with Joanne. Even then if Maureen came on to him he would pounce.

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I think my problem is there seems to be this line of thought that Mark is this treacherous figure trying to mess up Maureen and Joanne's relationship and I don't get that. He had his heart broken, but somehow what's going on between Joanne and Maureen is his fault? If, after the tango he was constantly whispering in Joanne's ear, then I would agree, but after that song Joanne and Mark are friends. It never comes up between them again. And seeing as they are all friends, I think you have to take it at face value

 

I tend to agree with this. Mark doesn't have the chutzpah to win anyone back, let alone "steal" someone.

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This is an interesting conundrum as well. If Mark truly believe he was cheated on by Maureen with Joanne, why would he still remain so friendly with her? In my experience with friends that have been cheated on the last thing they want to do is be friends with that person after the fact.

 

I can't say for sure, but I think it would be easier for me to accept my wife or girlfriend leaving me for a woman than another man. If I really love her, and she's attracted to women, then I don't want her to be living a lie--it wouldn't be fair to either of us.

 

I just thought of something...does the Buzzline negotiation even happen ITSF? I don't think it does. That really muddies things up doesn't it?

 

If there was just more something more explicit, I'd be happy to buy into the Mark is just after Maureen scenario or trying to sabotage Joanne' s relationship, but Mark's really such a non-entity. He doesn't even have a scene alone with Maureen.

 

 

 

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I just thought of something...does the Buzzline negotiation even happen ITSF? I don't think it does. That really muddies things up doesn't it?

 

If there was just more something more explicit, I'd be happy to buy into the Mark is just after Maureen scenario or trying to sabotage Joanne' s relationship, but Mark's really such a non-entity. He doesn't even have a scene alone with Maureen.

I'm no expert on the stage version but I know the Sarah Silverman part was made up for the movie.

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I think being hung up on her and actively trying to win her back are two different things. Both he and Joanne are whipped.

 

I think my problem is there seems to be this line of thought that Mark is this treacherous figure trying to mess up Maureen and Joanne's relationship and I don't get that. He had his heart broken, but somehow what's going on between Joanne and Maureen is his fault? If, after the tango he was constantly whispering in Joanne's ear, then I would agree, but after that song Joanne and Mark are friends. It never comes up between them again. And seeing as they are all friends, I think you have to take it at face value.

 

No, we don't have any evidence of cheating, but Maureen's partners have absolutely no problem believing she's capable of cheating. And since Maureen is not a POV character, we have to go with what M and J are telling us.

Excellent points.

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I just thought of something...does the Buzzline negotiation even happen ITSF? I don't think it does. That really muddies things up doesn't it?

 

No, it doesn't. Alexi leaves a series of voicemails instead.

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No, it doesn't. Alexi leaves a series of voicemails instead.

Just kiddiiiinnnnnng.

 

I love the horribleness of those voicemails

 

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Okay to lighten the mood on the Rent talk here's a bit that I thought was their order at the beginning of La Vie Boheme. The waiter shows up and recaps their order which were five miso soups, four seaweed salads, three tofu burger diners, two tofu dogs and one spaghetti with meatless balls. They scoff at the tastelessness of meatless balls which is just tofu which is what everybody else has ordered. Also they all get french fries too? Is this some weird Japanese fusion place?

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Okay to lighten the mood on the Rent talk here's a bit that I thought was their order at the beginning of La Vie Boheme. The waiter shows up and recaps their order which were five miso soups, four seaweed salads, three tofu burger diners, two tofu dogs and one spaghetti with meatless balls. They scoff at the tastelessness of meatless balls which is just tofu which is what everybody else has ordered. Also they all get french fries too? Is this some weird Japanese fusion place?

 

They also say they taste fine if you "close your eyes." I get what they're saying, but I can't help thinking, "You don't taste with your eyeballs!"

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They also say they taste fine if you "close your eyes." I get what they're saying, but I can't help thinking, "You don't taste with your eyeballs!"

The first bite is with the eye

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Okay to lighten the mood on the Rent talk here's a bit that I thought was their order at the beginning of La Vie Boheme. The waiter shows up and recaps their order which were five miso soups, four seaweed salads, three tofu burger diners, two tofu dogs and one spaghetti with meatless balls. They scoff at the tastelessness of meatless balls which is just tofu which is what everybody else has ordered. Also they all get french fries too? Is this some weird Japanese fusion place?

Did anyone else think the "meatless balls" joke was a setup to a gay/trans joke? Because then Tom says, "It tastes the same."

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but given that - as Taylor pointed out - they use "she's a lesbian!" as a joke a few times, I wondered if it was another joke that maybe hasn't aged very well.

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Okay to lighten the mood on the Rent talk here's a bit that I thought was their order at the beginning of La Vie Boheme. The waiter shows up and recaps their order which were five miso soups, four seaweed salads, three tofu burger diners, two tofu dogs and one spaghetti with meatless balls. They scoff at the tastelessness of meatless balls which is just tofu which is what everybody else has ordered. Also they all get french fries too? Is this some weird Japanese fusion place?

 

Life Cafe closed a few years ago, but it served regular food.

 

So, I lived in the East Village and Alphabet City for 6 years and for a while there I lived 3 blocks away from Life Cafe and my laundromat was a block away from Life Cafe, but I never dined there.

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So, I lived in the East Village and Alphabet City for 6 years and for a while there I lived 3 blocks away from Life Cafe and my laundromat was a block away from Life Cafe, but I never dined there.

 

Speaking of braaaaaaags :)

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So, I lived in the East Village and Alphabet City for 6 years and for a while there I lived 3 blocks away from Life Cafe and my laundromat was a block away from Life Cafe, but I never dined there.

Way to bury the lead

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Did anyone else think the "meatless balls" joke was a setup to a gay/trans joke? Because then Tom says, "It tastes the same."

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but given that - as Taylor pointed out - they use "she's a lesbian!" as a joke a few times, I wondered if it was another joke that maybe hasn't aged very well.

 

balls.gif

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They also say they taste fine if you "close your eyes." I get what they're saying, but I can't help thinking, "You don't taste with your eyeballs!"

 

I thought maybe the meatless meatballs were visually different from regular meatballs to where you might turn up your nose at them, but a quick Google search shows they just look like meatballs.

 

So yeah, if you're ordering freaking tofu dogs and burgers, you got no right to scoff at someone's meatless meatballs. Wtf.

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I had falafels for lunch today, which are technically meatless balls. Didn't close my eyes though.

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I had falafels for lunch today, which are technically meatless balls. Didn't close my eyes though.

 

But think of how much better they would have been...

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But think of how much better they would have been...

 

It would've also helped if there was WINE AND BEER!

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It would've also helped if there was WINE AND BEER!

 

Well, the beer better be from local breweries or no dice!

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Well, the beer better be from local breweries or no dice!

I actually did pick up a 6 pack of locally brewed beer and some wine and sang to myself the entire time I was purchasing them lol.

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