February 25th, 2018

To Bits

David Mamet has written a new play, about Harvey Weinstein. He has been talking to reporters in recent days, I think as part of a book tour for his new novel. Anyway, I found this paragraph from the Chicago Tribune interesting:

'He long ago and powerfully explored the matter of sexual exploitation in his 1992 two-character play (later a movie) “Oleanna.” “I think about this a lot now. I have a bunch of daughters, a young son,” he says. “Every society has to confront the ungovernable genie of sexuality and tries various ways to deal with it and none of them work very well. There is great difficulty when you are switching modes, which we seem to be doing now. People go crazy. They start tearing each other to bits.”'

"Ungovernable genie" is a nice phrase, and it does seem like people are tearing each other to bits lately. And the joining of the 2 ideas in a sentence makes me wonder if he was thinking of The Bacchae, the ancient Greek play in which the god of wine inspires a mob of women to literally tear a man to bits.

It's just a jest to declare
That a genie is involved,
But there may be puzzles here
That really haven't been solved.