Friday, April 17, 2020

The Vagina Monologues Revisited (Yet Again)

The Vagina Monologues was originally written by Eve Ensler (left), who based the show on the findings of her personal interviews with more than 200 women. The first draft was completed in 1996 and has since been rewritten in over 45 languages and performed in over 120 countries.

In January 2002 theater-lovers in Kuala Lumpur were treated to a Malaysian version of The Vagina Monologues. The production enjoyed a packed-out five-day run and I was assigned by to review it. The audience response was so enthusiastic the producers decided to restage The Vagina Monologues in February.

This time around, however, they were refused a performance permit by City Hall. Apparently, some ultra-conservative ulamaks in Kedah had heard reports about this dangerous and subversive play which threatened the very foundations of Islam's patriarchal mindset. So they issued a public condemnation - and that's all it took to put an end to what must have struck fear into them as a massive feminist uprising in Malaysia.

As a special tribute to the Sacred Feminine (coinciding with International Women's Day), I reproduce my January 2002 review below, along with a BBC news report that puts Malaysia in the medieval light in which it repeatedly and stubbornly insists on being seen...

Clamorous and Clever Clams
Antares is tickled pink by THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES

"Evolution began with Eve when she took the first bite of the forbidden fruit."
~ A.N. Onymus (actually I just made it up)

My mind is exploding with ribald puns after watching Joanna Bessey, Jerrica Lai and Renuka Veerasingam hurl themselves holeheartedly... I mean wholeheartedly... into Hari Azizan's boisterous dramatization of Eve Ensler's phenomenally contagious Vagina Monologues. At the Actors Studio Box (where else?) - under the aegis of the Director's Workshop program conducted by Krishen Jit and Joe Hasham - novice directors like Hari Azizan have found a dynamic springboard from which to launch themselves into a promising new career in professional theater.

The Return of the Goddess has long been prophesied and now she is back and angry as hell!

Angry with the outrageous oppression of the feminine, the intuitive, the emotional, the artistic and nurturing aspects of the Life Force by a senescent but still warlike patriarchy. Angry with the hypocrisy and double standards that allow satyrs to be hailed as conquering heroes while nymphs are labeled whores and sluts. Angry with the patriarch's schizophrenic fear of and fascination with sex, which has led to the association of female sexuality with shame, the commercial exploitation of man-made taboos, and the public denial of private pleasures.

Home truths are often generalizations that come across as simplistic when expressed in language. However, dance and poetry are ambiguous and fluid enough to stir the passionate imagination into an evolutionary leap of courage, born of despair and generations of quiet suffering. And it is through Eve Ensler's polemical poetry and Judimar Monfils's evocative choreography that Hari Azizan has chosen to voice her rebellion on behalf of the sheeplike silent majority of Muslim women who accept their submission without a whimper of protest.

Only four of Ms Ensler's original monologues were selected for this 60-minute dramatization. Excerpts from esoteric publications like an academic dissertation on Gender, Culture and Religion (by Noraini Othman and Cecilia Ng) and Siti Zulaikhan Mohd Nor's Kedudukan dan Peranan Wanita dalam Islam ("The Role and Responsibility of Women In Islam") were inserted as text fragments.

The three actresses were in fine feline form as they launched into their tightly orchestrated business of confrontation, provocation, and group therapy. Ms Bessey was in admirable control of her delectable body and voice; Ms Lai, intense and wonderfully uninhibited, generously gave her all; but Ms Veerasingam was the bravest one, in view of her relative inexperience on stage (this is only her third public outing) and the fact that Indian girls generally have a harder fight against deeply ingrained cultural traditions when it comes to voicing controversial issues. A special round of applause for Mr and Mrs Veerasingam, Renuka's extraordinary parents, for supporting their daughter's bold venture into self-liberation!

The Mystery of Mysteries, reverently named al ghaib in Arabic, and worshiped as the Vesica piscis (the fishy vessel) in esoteric Christianity has long been the source of inspiration and the brunt of risque jokes. What Eve Ensler has done for the vagina - and the raising of planetary awareness through her V-Day Campaign about the brute violence that the rampant (and ever insecure) male ego has inflicted on women for thousands of years deserves much more than an Obie award.

Much as I enjoyed the performance and lauded the cogency and timeliness of the cause, I had reservations about a few stylistic elements that the young director seems to have borrowed from Five Arts productions like Skin Trilogy and Family. The angst-ridden melodramatization occasionally verged on hysteria, lending the poetry a militant, strident edge that grated unnecessarily. But in a close-minded, tight-lipped culture such as we have in Malaysia, subtlety may be a luxury accessible only to the well-heeled. As a female member of the audience remarked afterwards: "I didn't really like the show but I'm pretty glad I saw it."

In the final analysis, I found The Vagina Monologues vastly enjoyable and supercharged with meaning. And judging from the packed houses it has drawn since its preview, KL theatergoers are certainly titillated by the promise of anything that pushes the envelope - well, in this case, the sheath - in terms of self-expression. Never before have local audiences been treated to the sight of three women sitting on the floor with their legs wide open, spouting rude words while stitching up their labia with imaginary needles and thread.

All power to the Almighty Chibai, the Evermoist Cunt of Artistic Innovation, the Glorious Pudendum of Cultural Breakthroughs, the Numinous Nonok of Novelty that restructures and revitalizes the human condition.

If you haven’t yet seen The Vagina Monologues make sure you get to The Actors Studio Box early so you won’t miss James Lee’s hilarious video prologue. That alone is perhaps worth the effort of driving through KL traffic to catch the play.

26 January 2002

'Monologues' banned in Malaysia

A second run of the hit show The Vagina Monologues has been banned in Malaysia.

Authorities in the capital city Kuala Lumpur have ruled the show cannot return because of "complaints from a number of people."

The work, written by Eve Ensler, had a brief Malaysian run in January, when three local actresses played to packed houses.

It is not known exactly what the complaints were about.

The play has been performed around the world and has featured a variety of stars including Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon and Whoopi Goldberg.

Previous productions in London have included models Jerry Hall and Sophie Dahl - the new cast features Anita Dobson, Lisa Stansfield and Cecilia Noble.


Marion D'Cruz, executive producer of Kuala Lumpur's Five Arts Centre which staged the first run, said she was disappointed that the show would not be coming back. 
She said: "The play stands as an important piece of theater, dealing with some serious issues of oppression and some things which are a little more funny.

"We do not choose to do controversial things because they are controversial. We have always done work we feel is important."

Originally produced in New York for a brief OBIE Award-winning run in 1996, the show has since travelled the globe.

[Source: BBC News]

The Vagina Monologues are anti-Muslim propaganda

I'd like to comment on the Editor's statement that the license for Vagina Monologue [sic] was probably refused on the grounds of sexual connotation. I beg to differ. I'd like to think that it is the insensitivity of quoting some Quranic phrases off the Quran by non-Muslims and interpreting it out of context that made them do that. I'm no Saint here but I believe that we should draw a line between what is truly artistic and what is just plain propagandist. I think the same would have been done if one were to put up a play and have people quoting the Bible and deconstructing it as the play flows. Tit for tat. How's that?

Zue Nell
7 Feb 2002


Be not quick to anger and lash out at external "enemies" - the "enemy" is ALWAYS within and it is called FEAR!

I ask you all to quietly ponder this: which is more "sacred" - books of scriptural admonitions designed to program your behavioral responses through semantic encoding - or the living, luxuriant forest that was cut down to print these books?

Book religions inevitably lead to the desertification of the planet and the desecration of the sovereign human spirit in the name of appeasing a punitive and bloodthirsty deity. What the Earth urgently needs is the demise of institutionalized religions and the resurrection of true spirituality - which is beyond the contamination and control of exploitative and manipulative forces.

In recent years we have witnessed a massive resurgence of the feminine principle - and Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues" is merely one more manifestation of this breakaway from patriarchal control mechanisms (which usually take the form of political ideology and religious dogma).

It takes a fearless spirit like Hari Azizan to rock the boat of unthinking, unquestioning conformity with any social programming which imprints taboos against bucking the status quo. Concepts like "treason" and "blasphemy" are man-made Catch-22s to prevent the untamed spirit of future generations from overthrowing the parasitic coalition of feudal and ecclesiastical vested interests that has secretly ruled our destinies for hundreds of generations.

Socrates offers us a very simple test of authority's authenticity: True Authority, he says, never resorts to coercion or compulsion; true authority is self-secure and allows all views. False Authority invariably ends up pointing a gun at your head (or burning you at the stake or banning your artistic output)!


[Originally posted 8 March 2013]

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Let the Anarchy Begin... Again! (repost)

From "Joan Danvers' College Years" (

A TV TALKSHOW HOST* once asked me point-blank during a panel discussion if I were an anarchist.

“Of course,” I unhesitatingly replied, which took him aback. He quickly changed the subject. I guess the talkshow host, like most people I meet, was unaware what “anarchy” actually means.

My Oxford Concise Dictionary tautologically defines anarchy as “a society or political system founded on the principles of anarchism.” And how does it define anarchism? “Belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis.”

The Concise Oxford Dictionary is a bit off the mark here. It fails to distinguish between internal and external government. There’s a vast difference between self-imposed discipline and discipline enforced upon us by those who claim to know what’s best. The true anarchist is a self-governing entity who attains freedom from external dictates through rigorous integrity and transparency. As Bob Dylan wryly observed: “To live outside the law you gotta be honest.”

And how does one become honest?

Very simple. First you have to replace the concept of a judgmental and punitive parent-deity with an essentially loving, non-judgmental and extremely friendly notion of divinity - sort of a best buddy and trusted confidant(e). The problem is that souls evolve at different rates – and at this point in time the grossly immature ones appear to outnumber the ones who have made it through to self-governance.

(Incidentally the word “govern” comes from the Latin gubernare - “to steer or rule” – borrowed from the original Greek word kubernan, which simply means “to steer.”) This makes anarchism a difficult, if not impossible, ideal – and that’s why the word “anarchy” has been commonly misinterpreted as “disorder and general unruliness.”

In truth, anarchy is the final state to which monarchy aspires. How so? An enlightened ruler’s essential function is to be a shining example of dignity, nobility, and self-control for his or her subjects to emulate (just as a real teacher would be fulfilled to watch his or her students graduate as teachers in their own right).

Governance begins with monarchy and evolves through a whole gamut of isms before it finally achieves anarchism – the glorious state wherein “political parties” are defined as grand public celebrations at which everybody eats, drinks, and makes merry – and the human race transforms into the human dance.

As children we learn to lie in order to avoid punishment from grown-ups who would never understand why we do the things we do. Remove the punishment and – voila! – the crime disappears. But... but... but... I can hear the vociferous objections from the peanut gallery.

My old pal Socrates postulated that one sure way of telling true from false authority is simply this: false authority inevitably resorts to coercion, while true authority has all the patience in the world, since it emanates from the timeless realm.

Politics is fond of posing as a self-improving system of governance but we all know it actually boils down to who calls the shots. People mistake FORCE for POWER. If you disagree with me, I’ll nuke you! That’s FORCE of the crudest order. If you criticize my management style I’ll throw you in jail! That’s FORCE too, even if it takes the form of a threat.

So how does TRUE POWER reveal itself?

It encourages and inspires. It loves and loves. Note that the words "encourage" and "inspire" have powerful etymologies. Courage derives from corage, to give heart; and inspirare means to “breathe or blow into” (and that’s how we get the word spiritus).

To inspire is to fill others with spirit, semangat. That’s the proper definition of TRUE POWER. Love as a verb, not just a noun.

In short, politics as it is practiced on this planet is largely a grotesque travesty of real (and royal) values. Look what’s happening in America (“Home of the Brave, Land of the Free”) – electoral fraud and skullduggery got Dubya the presidency twice. And when Barack Obama replaced George W. Bush as POTUS, did things significantly change? When business jumps into bed with politics guess who gets thoroughly screwed?

Taxpayers of the world, start governing yourselves! George Harrison once sang about the ones “who gain the world and lose their souls.” Well, do you fancy being governed by the soulless? I bet not! However, no need to rush out into the streets to get water-cannoned, tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, bludgeoned, finger-printed, incarcerated and tortured.

Evolution, not revolution!

Deactivate your reptilian fear programming in the privacy of your own mind! The fewer fears you cling to, the more you’ll be able to empathize, understand, and love. When you mature as conscious souls, you’ll find you actually have no enemies. You’ll outgrow the need to scapegoat, to pin the blame on somebody else. You’ll no longer create demons to appease, obey, or be tormented by - or a Big Brother to protect you from your own shadow self.

For a start, wean yourself off your addiction to that lethal dose of daily news from the mainstream media – you know who controls the programming, don’t you? The stuff is psychically toxic, designed to slowly, imperceptibly poison your sense of well-being like arsenic mixed into the paintwork.

When you finally locate the innermost core of your being, you’ll find your sovereign self regally seated on your own throne. You’ll know the meaning of dignity, integrity, nobility – and, above all, compassion. As each individual attains this blessed state of divine sovereignty, the brutal stupidity of politics will be expelled like so much stinky flatus by the transmutative power of internal, chromosomal, genetic change – the only real (and royal) change there is.

*That TV talkshow host, incidentally, was a smooth-talking young fella named Khairy Jamaluddin, who subsequently married a former Prime Minister's daughter and became an extraordinarily rich shit-stirrer in Umno Youth (the Malaysian version of Mussolini's Blackshirts).

[First published in VIDA! - January 2005 © Antares. Originally posted 16 May 2007, reposted 23 June 2014 & 1 May 2016]

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Ben Fulford on "Psychological Radiation" (reprise)

"If you need a bodyguard, it's too late. You have to make them not want to shoot you." ~ Benjamin Fulford

The son of a Canadian diplomat, Benjamin Fulford rebelled against his upbringing and at the age of 17 made his way by boat into the heart of the Amazon to live with a tribe of former cannibals. Continuing to seek answers and better understand Western society, he spent time in a self-sufficient community in Argentina before heading to attend university in Japan.

Principled, brave, and still a diehard idealist after all these years, he resigned as Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief of Forbes Magazine after investigating a scandal which the editor refused to report. As he researched global affairs further in his own time, he uncovered for himself the complex web which is global financial control at the hands of the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds - and also the existence of racially targeted bioweapons such as SARS.

It was these plans for global depopulation that upset some important and powerful factions in Japan, Taiwan and China. After being approached by a real-life, present-day Ninja, matters came to a head in 2007 when Benjamin became the first Westerner for 500 years to be admitted into the ranks of the Eastern Secret Societies, a vast group with six million members. Acting as their spokesman, he stepped up to the plate to deliver a simple message to the Illuminati:

Recognize that your time is over, step down without a fight, and allow the world to thrive as it should - or face the consequences from up to 100,000 professional assassins for whom no love is lost towards the self-styled ruling elite of the planet.

This was first communicated through Dr Henry Makow and Jeff Rense in July 2007. Project Camelot has now traveled to Japan to meet with Benjamin Fulford personally. Our comprehensive interview presents the far-reaching and literally incredible background story - and will also enable the Illuminati, who we have every confidence watch our videos carefully, to be reminded that the ultimatum is real, serious, and still in force.

Armed also with a contagiously optimistic vision of the future, Benjamin is fully prepared to be the next Finance Minister for Japan. His plans for how he would spend Japan's $5 trillion of foreign reserves to eliminate global poverty are plausible and inspiring as practical steps, way beyond rhetoric, to repair the generations of damage done by a ruthless ruling elite. This is a man with a deep understanding of both East and West, a global economic historian who thinks way outside of the box, a lover of peace who is unafraid to speak warrior words.

This video was brought to my attention by Olivia de Haulleville. Read transcripts of Project Camelot's interview with Benjamin Fulford here

[First posted 15 April 2011]