Among the things I did this weekend was read a short one-act play by Howard Zinn, Marx in Soho. It's a very quick read, and it does what a good activist play should do: it informs and entertains at the same time. The premise is pretty simple: Marx returns to the living for a short time, but through a "bureaucratic mixup" he's returned to New York's Soho rather than London's Soho. Zinn's Marx deftly glosses the "dictatorship of the proletariat" concept and counters the pervasive (yet utterly uninformed) attempts to link Marx's theories with the authoritarian police states that called and continue to call themselves Marxist (seriously: does anyone with half a brain actually think North Korea is Marxist? Or China?).
It's the sort of play that can be produced on the cheap: it's a one-man show with nothing but a few chairs, a table, some books, and some beer as props. Back in the 1930's, it's the sort of play that would have been produced in the union halls and by small acting companies and college students in whatever space was available to them. Today, of course, to speak the name Marx is to cut oneself off from polite company, yet Zinn's Marx declares that it's really a strange thing to consider him dead when his analysis of Capitalism continues to hold up in the present time: the wealth gap between rich and poor continues to grow, and wealth concentrates itself in a smaller and smaller percentage of people.
But the weekend wasn't all work. Both Saturday and Sunday were great days in the park, and today my son and I opted for wiffleball, which I think was far better than the foam bat and ball we used on Saturday. This week is looking like the warming trend will continue, so let's hope next weekend finds us out without our jackets.
Oh, yeah, and on a final note, I've noticed someone's been posting stuff in the neighborhood about "missing the kickball registration deadline": obviously a cheap-o advertisement for the kickball leagues that infest the Adams Morgan area in the summer. My question is why are they advertising in the city rather than out the orange and blue lines in Clarendon, King Street, etc.?