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Buddhist Drama

Plot is about the elements that make up a novel or story or film.  Structure is about timing.   To the ever-lasting gratitude of most of Hollywood, Aristotle analyzed what makes drama work and came up the three act structure.  Why does the Act I, Act II, Act III structure still work after all these years?   […]

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Stepping Onto a New Path

P.L. Travers, the creator of Mary Poppins and a founding editor of Parabola, once wrote that mythic heroes (and she stressed that potential heroes are everywhere) were not so much setting out on voyages of discovery but of rediscovery; “that the hero is seeking not for something new but for something old, a treasure that […]

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The Price of Free

A “Naked Lunch,” said William S. Burroughs is that “frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.”     Since I saw Robert Kenner’s  Food, Inc. last weekend (at the excellent Jacob Burns Film Center  last weekend), I’ve been reflecting on the way even well-intentioned people can look away from hard realities.  […]

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May All Beings Be Free

Happy Independence Day!   This is how mine is going to go.  A small group of us is going to one of the colonial manors around here where a canon will be fired and the Declaration of Independence read.  We will mill around among people in colonial dress.  My 19-year-old daughter is likely to provide a […]