We're not in the United States

Date: Thur, 15 March 2001

The rights of Free Speech and Assembly do not apply to us. Hereís our latest ridiculous controversy:

Jen Shaw, an RPSC employee like me, decided to put on a play. The play she chose is a series of monologues collected by a playwright who interviewed a whole bunch of women about their relationships with their genitalia. Itís called [WATCH OUT, POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE WORD AHEAD] "The Vagina Monologues." Jen sent out email to all the women on station looking for cast, techies, set crew, etc. Next thing you know, Jen is called in to HR and informed that somebody on station complained to RPSC headquarters in Denver - about the title, nobody on station has read the script yet. Tom Yelvington, the head of our Raytheon division, had the opportunity to shrug and say "Well donít go then," but instead declared that THIS PLAY IS OFFENSIVE and will not be produced in a McMurdo facility. Whereupon Scott Base, the NZ station 2km up the road, invited Jen and the production over there. End result? The play will happen anyway, with a guaranteed audience, and whoever complained about the word in the first place must be miserable right now because I have never heard the word "vagina" used so much in my entire life. Itís been an almost universal topic of conversation in the galley - you can hear it spreading from table to table - there are inflammatory signs on the walls, people are wearing hastily-stenciled shirts with catchy vagina-related sayings, and even the DJ at Saturdayís disco dance interrupted the music to say "VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA."

I think weíre a little bit too connected to Denver.

Not too much to say, otherwise. Most departments are sorting through their clean-up-after-summer sludge and getting into winter tasking. The season is changing: sunset is early now, and the light is still low when I walk to work in the morning. Last sunset isnít too far away. Iíve been trying to take advantage of our last light, there are some good short walks just out of town. This place is still insanely beautiful. Low light on the mountains, fewer seals out on the sea ice, skuas almost all gone. Iím getting a couple of personal winter projects started - so far, just learning guitar and starting a regular workout schedule (donít want to turn into a blob while Iím here). Renaissance Woman is going to have to wait a bit.

Best to all,


ps - Anybody want to help with a CD project? Music dude here has 750Meg of McMurdo summer music recordings he's trying to get off-continent to a friend with a CD burner. Anybody running a friendly FTP server?

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