note: i tried to break this into paragraphs to make it easier to read, but it’s not working. i asked the web master about it and he “had no clue” why it wasn’t working. thanks;)
So I have been listening to the Rent soundtrack lately for the first time in about 8 years or so. Stella sometimes has her “witching hour” late in the day before Tim arrives home and sometimes the only thing that keeps her entertained is me putting her in the sling and singing and dancing around the living room. This is not to say that she’s happy, just no longer crying. And the girl seems to really love musicals, although, to be honest, I also find them more fun to perform than regular old rock n’ roll. So we pulled out the Rent soundtrack Wednesday and now, of course, I have all the songs on constant repeat in my head. And I am realizing that 1) the characters in Rent are really whiny, 2) they really don’t have any talents, and 3) they are hypocrites.
1) Evidence they are really whiny: well, just listen to the lyrics, “how do you start a fire when there’s nothing to burn and it feels like something’s stuck in your flue.? How do you generate heat when you can’t feel your feet and they’re turning blue?” So they are supposedly concerned about the homeless people living in the tenement city down the block, but yet the Renters, who actually have a semblance of shelter, are whining about their feet freezing off. Have you guys heard of blankets? Coats? Space Heaters? (I realize their electricity has been turned off, but come on, couldn’t they use battery-powered ones or a hot plate or something?)
2) Evidence that they have no talents: once again, let’s turn to the songs. In “Santa Fe”, Collins says that Angel could “make the menu sparkle with rhyme” and that he would “chat not about Harbinger (or something like that) but wine.” So they are going to open a restaurant and no one can cook? Good luck with that one, Bohemians! Again, referencing Angel’s talents, in “La Vie Boheme”: “And, on the ten gallon pickel tub, Ms. Angel….” I realized that all this person can play is a plastic tub like it’s a drum. Lame-o! And Mark is a “documentarian” with tons of expensive equipment. Uh, hello, want to get out of that freezing quandry? Sell your fancy gear. And how did you pay for this gear in the first place, anyway? My guess, Mommy and Daddy, who he so rudely ignores. How dare they call on Christmas Eve! So what does Mr. Talented film? His friends. Yep, his roommate trying to tune his guitar, his ex-girlfriend doing horrible performance art, etc. What was it with the early 90’s and filming your friends and then calling it a documentary (also see Lelaina, Winona Ryder’s character, in “Reality Bites”)? What did they teach at film school back then anyway? And a sidenote: Collins is a TEACHER! 1) how does this qualify as a “Bohemian talent” and 2) doesn’t he make money from doing this? He teaches at a college, for Pete’s sake! I’m not saying he’s rich, but come on, he could afford to help his friends buy a battery-powered space heater or a tasty beverage now and then (see Mark’s declaration that he couldn’t pay for a tea at the High Life Cafe in “La Vie Boheme”)
3) Evidence of hypocrisy: Roger wants to write one song that will bring glory, aka money and fame. And you bet your boots that Mark is filming his documentaries in hopes of selling them and making the big time. None of these people are doing their art to stay poor. And another thing, can’t they have day jobs? Does Mark really NEED to spend all day long filming his friends? Maybe he could film his coworkers. Do not one of these, other than Mimi the exotic dancer who doesn’t take her clothes off, have any skills?
Perhaps I’m just bitter because as a teen I planned to starve on the streets of New York to make it, then took a detour and decided I liked heat and food better. I actually told my parents, “I’m going to go to New York to be on Broadway. I don’t care if I have to eat out of a dumpster like Madonna to make it. I think film is trash, Theatre is the real art.” I could have been in Rent, I was such an asshole. Of course, I still agree with the last statement. In fact, my theatre teacher in high school had a t-shirt: “Theatre is Life, Film is Art, Television is furniture.” Cute, huh?
Oh, well, that’s enough diatribe for a Friday morning. Besides, I’m a hypocrite. In the time it took me to write this bitch-fest, I could have gotten started on the play I am supposed to have finished by January. Ha!