from the world's big
The Difference Between Theater and Film
Mailer was a founding member of Back House Productions, a theater production company in New York. His play "Crazy Eyes" had its World Premiere in Athens, Greece, in March 2005. From 2003 to 2004 he served as the Executive Editor of High Times magazine. He has lectured at the University of Notre Dame, Wesleyan, and the University of Athens.
Question: What first drew\r\nyou to the theater?\r\n\r\n
John Buffalo Mailer: \r\n You know I grew up in an artistic\r\nfamily where everyone was doing something in one field of the arts or\r\nanother. I was I think 12\r\nyears old when I did my first acting at the Actor’s Studio and, you \r\nknow,\r\nJames Dean once said that the only reason to become and actor is because\r\n you\r\nhave to. I think that you know\r\nfrom a young age if that is a certain rush that you’re going to need to \r\nsatisfy\r\nyou and to make you feel fulfilled—and if you don’t then you shouldn’t \r\ndo\r\nit. It’s just too brutal of a\r\nbusiness most of the time. So I\r\nthink that at the ripe old age of 12 I figured out, you know, I kind of \r\nlike\r\nthis thing. I like talking to\r\nthese people.\r\n\r\n
Question: How is working\r\non a play different from working on a film?\r\n\r\n
John Buffalo Mailer: \r\n Man, it’s apples and oranges. You can’t \r\nreally beat movies. It’s a fun gig. \r\n I mean it’s nice to have a trailer and\r\nmakeup and you know an entire army that is basically all there for the \r\nsame\r\npurpose, which is make the best film we can. Yeah,\r\n when you’re on an Oliver Stone set everybody brings\r\ntheir A game. Everybody brings\r\ntheir A game, from the top to the bottom and in between. \r\n In terms of theater you know there is\r\nno way to really duplicate that rush you get when you take an audience \r\nthat is\r\nlive and right there in front of you through the journey of a great play\r\n and\r\nyou go through these emotions so that they can experience them without \r\nhaving\r\nto go through them themselves. \r\nIt’s a certain kind of human compact that obviously you lose as \r\nsoon as\r\nthere is a screen and a camera there, so I think we’ll always have\r\ntheater. I think theater will\r\nalways be a powerful force because we need that human touch, \r\nparticularly as we\r\nspend more and more time with machines, cell phones, computers we start \r\nto lose\r\nour humanity. I mean the price of\r\nour technology may very well end up being our humanity, so I think you \r\ngot to\r\nhave that balance. Personally I\r\ntry to do one for one if I can. Do\r\na movie, do a play, do a movie, do a play—while at the same time writing\r\n and\r\nbeing in that cycle. Those two\r\nfields are very… Writing and acting are almost diametrically opposed in \r\nterms\r\nof being an actor it’s in your interest to be in shape and to be healthy\r\n and to\r\nhave a strong voice and to be flexible. \r\nAs a writer you’re sitting in this position for hours on end. You get up and you can’t put your\r\nshoulder down. It’s not a healthy\r\nexistence so to speak and it’s probably not healthy for the person that \r\nlives\r\nwith you either, but you do the best you can.\r\n\r\n
Question: What theatrical\r\nwork are you proudest of?\r\n\r\n
John Buffalo Mailer: \r\n You know I’m probably most proud of the\r\nplays that I’ve written just because as the playwright, you know, you’re\r\nGod. You get to do everything. You\r\n don’t make any money hardly at all,\r\nbut you really get to kind of control the scene. As\r\n a screenwriter you’re the towel boy in the\r\nwhorehouse. I mean you know\r\nyou’re lucky if you’re invited to set. \r\nIt’s kind of like here is the blueprint, go and that’s you know \r\nthere\r\nhas been some debate as to whether or not a film should be by the \r\ndirector or\r\nby the screenwriter or by both. \r\nThe screenwriter lost out on that. \r\nDirectors win. In theater\r\nit is absolutely the opposite, but you know I’m proud of all the… Well, of most of the theater acting\r\nthat I’ve done. The thing is, to\r\ntry to talk about a performance that will never be seen again, that was \r\nonly\r\nlived by the people there, it’s kind of like telling somebody about your\r\n dream. You know if they love you they’ll\r\nlisten and smile, but they can’t really get it, so there is a certain \r\ninfinite\r\nquality to film that is nice. You\r\ndo the work and you know it’s always going to be there. The\r\n flip side is if you do bad work\r\nit’s always going to be there.\r\n\r\n
Question: What are your\r\ngoals as an actor and playwright?\r\n\r\n
John Buffalo Mailer: \r\n You know, I just I love telling stories\r\nand as long as I can make my living doing that in all the different \r\nmediums\r\nthat I have been lucky enough to, that’s enough for me. Really\r\n it’s, you know, there's different\r\nscales of stories. Sometimes you\r\nwant to tell one that 20, 30, 40, 50 million people will want to see and\r\nhear. Sometimes you do one that\r\nyou know 150 will want to see on one night. As \r\nlong as you’re telling the right story for the right\r\naudience and they’re getting something out of it it’s essentially the \r\nsame\r\nfeeling to me. Obviously there is\r\nyou know the economic necessity of paying your bills and how do you do\r\nthat. Ten years ago when I\r\nstarted out I was kind of told I was insane for trying to pursue \r\nmultiple fields\r\nat once because in five years everyone who just did one would have five \r\ntimes\r\nthe resume I would if I was lucky, but I took that gamble because I just\r\n my gut\r\ntold me it was the right thing to do and you know as an actor there is \r\nso much\r\ndowntime you want to fill it with something else and as a writer you \r\nknow\r\nsometimes you’re doing a passion project, sometimes it’s a paid gig, \r\nsometimes\r\nthere is nothing, so you can do a journalistic piece. At\r\n this point I think the shift starting about 2008, a lot\r\nof factors as well I’m sure, but whatever the reasons, 2008 it felt as \r\nthough\r\nthe combination of distribution models starting to tighten and the \r\npublishing\r\nand film and music industries having to revolutionize themselves to \r\ncatch up,\r\nand understand how this is going to work in the new millennium has made \r\nit a\r\nlot easier to pursue multi-platform careers. It’s\r\n much easier to hire one person who can do three or four\r\ndifferent things than one specialist in that field, which as I think \r\nabout the\r\ncollege graduating classes and high school classes that are coming up \r\nnow\r\nthey’re in a unique position. I\r\nmean they’re entering one of the toughest economies of all time. At the same time if they’re willing to\r\nwork really hard the ability they have to learn something much faster \r\nthan we\r\never did before is there and it’s really a question of are you willing \r\nto put\r\nin the effort and go that extra mile. Because if you are I think there's\r\nactually more opportunities out there.
Recorded March 30, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen
Theater has more of a "human touch," but telling someone about a great live performance is like telling them about your dream.
Want help raising your kids? Spend more time at church, says new study.
- Religious people tend to have more children than secular people, but why remains unknown.
- Conversely, having a large secular social group made women less likely to have children.
Be fruitful and multiply<p>Scientists in the United Kingdom collected data on more than 13,000 mothers and their children. Most of them were religious, but 12 percent were not. The data included information on their church habits, social networks, number of children, and the scores those children achieved on a standardized test.</p><p>In line with previous findings that religious women have more children than secular women in industrialized countries, a connection between at least monthly church attendance and fertility was confirmed. However, religious parents showed they could avoid the pitfalls that having more children can bring. </p><p>Typically, more children in a family leads to reduced cognitive ability and height in each <a href="https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/37/6/1408/729795" target="_blank">child</a>. Some studies find that children do less well in school for each <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13524-016-0471-0" target="_blank">additional sibling they have</a>. This makes a kind of intuitive sense, as parents with more children would have to divide their time, energy, and resources among more people as families expand. One would expect that the larger families would also lead to things like lower test scores. </p><p>Despite the expectation, the children of religious parents didn't have lower scores on standardized tests. There were small positive relationships between the size of the mother's social network, the number of co-religionists helping out, and the children's test scores. However, this association was small, didn't show up in all of the testings, and was unrelated to other variables. </p> These effects might be explained by the size and helpfulness of the social networks around the more religious. Women who went to church at least once a month had more extensive social networks than those who never go or who attend yearly. These social networks of co-religious people mean that there are more people to turn to for help with child-rearing, a point also demonstrated in the data. The amount of aid women got from their fellow churchgoers was also associated with a higher fertility rate. <br> <br> Conversely, an extensive social network was associated with fewer children for secular women. This finding is in line with <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1207/s15327957pspr0904_5" target="_blank">previous studies</a> and suggests that the social networks comprised of co-religious individuals differ from those found elsewhere.
So, how quickly should I join a local religious group?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="6RrmYM8M" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="9eb4740a7d1e10108a75fd2ed627a90f"> <div id="botr_6RrmYM8M_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/6RrmYM8M-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/6RrmYM8M-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/6RrmYM8M-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The study is not without its faults, and more investigations into the relationship between fertility, childcare, ritual, and social networks are needed.</p><p>These findings all show correlation, not causation. Though it might be said the results point towards causation, various alternative interpretations of the data are apparent. The authors note that most religions are explicitly pro-natal. It is possible that religious women have internalized these values and simply choose to have more children than secular women do.</p><p>This idea is similar to a potential interpretation of why large social networks have the opposite effect for secular women. The authors suggest that, in some cases, these more extensive social networks are associated with work and exert an anti-natal influence. Again, the people who build such networks may be people unlikely to have large families under any circumstances.</p><p>However, the researchers' hypothesis endured. The help religious women get from their church-based social networks allows them to have larger families than those who lack these support systems. In some instances, these support systems also prevent the adverse effects of larger families. </p>
The community religion offers<p>As we've mentioned <a href="https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/what-is-secular-humanism" target="_blank">before</a>, religion offers a community, and a community provides social capital. As religion continues to decline in the West, the social bonds of faith communities that used to tie social communities together begin to decay. However, as has been noted by a variety of observers for the last few decades, fewer and fewer new organizations appear ready to replace religion as a source of community in our lives.</p><p>While many different organizations might offer social support that religion once provided the whole of western society, this study shows that different social circles can differently affect the people in them. This finding must be considered by those trying to find new communities to join or the authors of future research. </p><p>The community offered by religious groups provides real benefits to those who join them. As this study shows, having the support network religious community offers allows some parents to avoid pitfalls that bedevil those lacking similar support. It suggests that previous studies demonstrating that group ritual offers benefits like increased amounts of <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797612472910" target="_blank">group trust</a> and <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1069397103037002003" target="_blank">cooperation</a> are onto something and that those benefits have a variety of applications. </p><p>While this study is not without its blind spots, it offers a strong starting point for further investigations into the nature of ritual in our modern lives and how local support networks remain vital in our increasingly globalized world. </p>
What would it be like to experience the 4th dimension?
Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>