Michael Daniel Core C: NYT, “Throw a Bucket of Ice Water on Your Brain”, B1 2/5/2007 2/6/2007 Richard Foreman has

a new play out titled, “Wake Up, Mr. Sleepy! Your Unconscious Mind is Dead!” It is an experimental hybrid film-theater play. The thesis of the play is that people put too much trust in the surface features of art. Foreman thinks that we need to look beyond surface appearances because if we don’t then our unconscious mind will die. The play and the film happen at the same time and Foreman purposefully makes it difficult for the audience to see everything that is going on at once. There are actors, disembodied voices house lights that sometimes bleach out the movie screen, and an extremely complex, moving set that includes things like doors in the movie screen that are sometimes opened up. The audience is overwhelmed by the stimuli and does not know where to look. The motif that stuck in the journalist’s mind is, “It can’t be fixed.” The journalist does not say whether it means that the elements of the play must be dynamic, as opposed to fixed, or if it means that the unconscious mind can not be fixed. If Foreman is correct, then lack of critical thinking would cause the unconscious mind to cease to function, which would cause automatic brain function to cease in a subject. Some of the problems this would cause would be cardio-respiratory and digestive failures. Critical thinking is not necessary for survival (for people outside the honors college), therefore Foreman is incorrect in his assumptions that lack of critical thinking causes the death of the unconscious mind. The article gives me the impression that, “Wake Up” is full of non-sequitir sequences intended to awaken the unconscious in the audience. I enjoy that style of

performance; however, in my experience, it does not awaken the unconscious. To the contrary, I believe that it has more to do with the conscious mind. A friend and I found a copy of, “The Principia Discordia,” which is the bible of Discordianism, a joke religion (free online at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~tilt/principia/ ). Its absurdist non-sequitir writing inspired us to come up with our own form of disjointed, illogical discourse. We can sit for hours and amuse ourselves for hours with it. For example, I might say, “It’s a nice day for a five today. Too bad you’re a zebra.” He might respond with, “My shoes are untied. How many pancakes do you stack on a dog house?”, to which I might respond, “A pair of pancakes beats a full house of dogs.” It is absurdist in nature and is done for it’s comedic value. In order to engage in this kind of activity you must concentrate. It is not easy to come up with statements that make no logical sense at all. When we drink together or are too tired we can’t do it because alcohol and lack of sleep make it harder for us to think clearly enough to make no sense. I believe that this is a sign that it is our conscious mind doing this, not our unconscious mind.