In The Method Gun, the performers of the Rude Mechs pose this question to the audience:
“Truth or Beauty?”
It seems rather easy to answer. Yet when sitting in a theatre, a space predicated on finding truth through artifice and meticulously crafting beauty through forced perspective, the question becomes infinitely more complex. The truth is not objective, the beauty is not natural or spontaneous. And truth and beauty aren’t opposites to be pitted against one another. Who’s to say truth and beauty cannot be experience in the same moment?
Who’s to say what is truth?
Who’s to say what is beauty?
At this point, do I even know what I’m talking about?
It’s probably safe to assume I don’t. It’s probably safe to assume that I never know what I’m talking about.
Unfortunately for you, this is my show. So you have to listen. I won’t lie to you, probably, but I also definitely won’t be probably truthful, probably.
I, for one, am for beauty. At the very least I know what that is. I think. After all, it’s human nature to curate a keen sense of willful ignorance to get through the day. I think. I do think that. That seems true to me, about your life.
Beauty is great because it includes mountains. I love those. Here are some mountains:
I think these are really beautiful. They remind me of home and the leaves change colors every fall. Before they die. Every fall is a constant reminder of mortality. The problem is some people don’t think these are mountains. That upsets me. Some people think these are hills. For some people, these are mountains:
I guess these are nice. Although I think elk are more interesting. Their antler are really furry. I think that’s pretty silly. Although those elk probably don’t think that’s silly. But anyway, these mountains are okay I guess, although they’re not like the other mountains. They don’t have trees that remind you you’re in a constant state of decay. The other mountains, my mountains, are harmonious. Harmony is a defining characteristic for mountains. Without harmony, a mountain is just the Earth fighting with they sky.
But for you these might be mountains. My mountains might just be a series of hills. Who’s to say. They’re both beautiful in their own way. I mean my mountains are definitely more beautiful.
But it’s probably not a competition.
The thing that’s great about beauty is that you always get to decide for yourself.
Truth is a narrative
Back to the theatre!
Who can be trusted? Is part of the theatrical contract that we must implicitly trust the theatre maker? What if they’re not trustworthy? What if they lie? What if they do it on purpose? What if the entire event is built on a succession of lies?
What if we accept them as truth? Are they still lies? Do they become truth in our collective historization of the theatrical event? Is historization even a real word? Does it even matter since we’re all, as the mountains remind us in the Autumn, slowly hurtling towards mortality?