Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Prayers and Potholes

At the theatre to see the second part of Angels in America, I was unable to ignore the two women sitting behind me. One of them spent the time before the play, plus both the intervals, detailing to her friend her observations - which one would have to describe as bordering on forensic (or obsessive) - about the deterioration in pothole filling procedures in the streets around her home. The gist, if you're interested, is that procedures are much more slapdash now than twenty years ago when she first moved there - and meanwhile the rates have gone through the roof, (wouldn't you know it?)

Anyway, I was amused as I was filing out at the end to see the two of them still sitting there, looking livid. They'd evidently squeezed the pothole issue dry, but eventually one of them roused herself to speak.

'I must say, I did not like all that religious stuff', she said to her companion. This struck me as a bit unreasonable: surely one might expect something of the sort - some reference to the spiritual although not necessarily the actual appearance of winged deities - from a play that has 'angels' in its name.

'No', her companion replied, with equal fury,  'and I definitely did not appreciate being blessed.'

I can't imagine ever objecting to being blessed, but I came to religion of my own free will whereas those two, perhaps, had it forced on them. In any case, Angels in America is not really about religion - or rather it is but it's also about so many things that it's hard to say what it's about exactly. If you want to read my muddled attempt to make sense of it, I've written more on the subject here.

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