the crucible.

i had planned on writing a post about how lately i've been really loving to groove in my elevator. the small, moving, enclosed space is perfect for a one-person-dance-party. to hell with the camera in the corner.

but alas, that post will have to wait. (actually, that was kinda all there was to it).

right now i'm thinking about arthur miller's the crucible.

my favorite time to write is when i head to my beloved bookshelf in search of a reference. quoting shakespeare or shepard (or miller) i feel...important and learned.

i'll never forget the first time i saw the crucible. i was in the eighth grade. we were told it was about mccarthyism. miller wrote about the salem witch trials as a means to shed light on the activities of the house of representatives' committee on un-american affairs. you see, miller refused to name names. but when his friend elia kazan did, miller wrote the the crucible as a condemnation of kazan and the others involved. kazan responded with on the waterfront.

that first viewing was one of those small, but pivotal points in my life that led me to where i am now (well, where i was right before i began to doubt this life as an actor). i mean, theatre and history combined? theatre with a deeper meaning? yes, yes, that's what i wanted. {not to mention, daniel day-lewis is a god and was know...kinda good in the film.}

there's a lot of talk about plagiarism on the internet. and i imagine the blogging world is a veritable play-ground for those who might be tempted. c jane wrote a truly inspired post about it all back in april.

i got an email from a follower one time alerting me of some suspicious posting on another blog. by the time i followed the link the blogger had disabled the site, only to reopen it later with a very vague apology to no one in particular (certainly not me). and i didn't think much of it. in fact, i was somewhat flattered.

but then tonight when someone else posted a link for me to follow and i found myself at a blog with several of my posts i felt... well... not. so. flattered.

it's a funny thing to see your words passed off as someone else's. small changes here and there (which is perhaps the most insulting part), but your words nonetheless.

i have this lovely friend sam who recently asked if he could use some of my ideas as a springboard of sorts for other projects...source material, if you will. and i gladly said yes. i've known sam for many years, i've even blogged about him and i trust him to give me credit and do justice to this silly little blogspot-lover of mine. and to me. to do justice to me.

but i warned him. i told him to proceed with caution. because the thing is... i don't have a job that garners any respect or real money. no alumni magazine is gonna call me up for an interview. i'm not breaking any records here. i'm twenty-four years old and i'm just finding my way. i'm figuring it out. and all i have to show for the last two years are my ideas, my words.

and so they're important.

to me, they're important.

john proctor, miller's protagonist, confesses to witchcraft at the end of the play. but when asked to sign his name to a written confession--a confession for all the town to see, he cannot do it. and when asked why not--well when asked why not, john delivers one of the great lines of american theatre:

Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!

this blog. these words. these ideas. the stories. they are mine. they are my life. my soul, if you will. they are my honest experience, through my distorted lens. and perhaps this is overwrought and histrionic (which my junior ap history teacher accused me of being on more than one occasion), but hell, this is my turf.

so you can post about my giant chewy sweet tart experience. or my love for now and laters. or about how you feel upon waking on your 24 birthday? and you can turn the subway platform into a gas station and make the burp into a cough. and you can change my aunt to a family friend and my uncle into your father. you can make it your 25th birthday and change why exactly it is that you're crushing on a man.

and you can do that all under your name.

and so we've reached the point in the evening where i'm temped to make a snide comment about how exactly it is that you differ from john proctor. but instead i'm going to abstain and ask,

leave me my words. leave me my story. leave me my name.

ps: to make sure i had all of my facts straight i headed over to wikipedia and looked at this site to make sure i had the right name of mccarthy's committee. and i'll admit, they inspired my use of the word "condemnation".