"Words & Pictures" - volume 1 #3

"The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!"

by Jim McDonald

In Steppenwolfe, the posters read "For Madmen Only". For the patrons of the Mt. Royal Tavern, and for the students of the Maryland Institute, the posters read, "Studio 203. April2. Midnight". It was on that Friday night that reality juxtaposed fantasy; the latter becoming more authentic for the former, and conversely; reality losing a lot of its authorityby the sheer audacity of a crazed few daring to dance and play in the face of fear. The residents of Studio 203 went to Harrisburgh, went to the very edge of the river that separates Three Mile Island from its five, ten, ever widening radius. And there, in front of the strangely pyramidal (almost sacrificial) looking nuclear reactor towers, they danced, paraded, mimed, and even, I understand, directed traffic. All of which was video taped. All of which was very funny. And because it's funny, it becomes revolutionary. Revolutionary, in by making us laugh, lessens the emotional hold of the Three mile situation, exposing like the child in the Empire's New Robe, the fact that the king is naked, and breaks the grip of officialdom. Or, from a song written in the pre-nuclear (they had Vietnam then) control days, Suite: Baby Blue Eyes; "Fear is the Lock, and Laughter the Key."

What made Studio 203's video tape so effective was its strangeness, its other-worldlyness. The costumes and dialogue was every bit as esoteric and uncomprehensible as anything the authorities had to say about the "situation" at Three Mile Island. What makes Three Mile Island so interesting to me is the unknowns, the unseeables. We can not see radioactivity. Christ, a four foot concrete wall shields us from seeing the bubble. There is, in short, no empirically substantiated evidence of either the urgency or authenticity of Three Mile Island. We know only what they tell us, and that is I believe a unique situation for authority to be in. The cards are stacked, it is their movie. Unless you play with it. The residents of 203 are saints, they fought the dragon with their individuality, and restore faith in the old democratic belief that no ones fantasy is more important than our own.


to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page

to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page

to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience

to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important

for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..

for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH

to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)