team spirit smells

From a Deborah Solomon interview with Wallace Shawn in Sunday's NYTimes Magazine":

[The brilliant, solidly- Lefty author had just admitted that while he had no use for musicals, he was nevertheless very fond of "American popular songs in the cabaret tradition".] So you take some pride in American culture.

To be honest, I see myself as a citizen of the planet. Even as a child, I always found it mindless to root for your own team. I was puzzled by the fact that people said their own team was better than other teams simply because it was theirs.
Later in the article he described his delightful idea of utopia, and responded to his interviewer's odd introduction of the subject of marriage:
In an ideal world, people would be preoccupied with reading and writing poetry and having love affairs, as people were in the Japanese court in the 11th century, as described in ''The Tale of Genji.'' If people were involved in that type of life, maybe there would be no war.

But it wouldn't be great for sustaining marriages!

I was never married.

Don't you live with the writer Deborah Eisenberg?

Yes, we're having a love affair. If I wanted my personal life to be public, I would be married. Marriage is public. That's what it means.

Have you ever desired the comforts of marriage?

I would say it is hard enough to make a plan for how you are going to spend an evening with somebody else. So to make a plan for how you are going to behave in 25 years seems based on a view of life that is incomprehensible to me.

But you must have some hopes for yourself in the future.

We're in an emergency situation. The United States has become an absolutely terrifying country, and I would hope that I could participate in some way in stopping the horror and the brutality.

Good man.

Barry and I have tickets for Wednesday night's performance of the New Group's revival of Shawn's "Aunt Dan and Lemon". Somehow I missed it the first time around, in 1985, but I swore it wouldn't happen again.

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Published on January 19, 2004 12:22 PM.

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