Once upon a time, there were wandering minstrels: They'd travel from place to place and entertain folks, wherever they were. It was a good system. But as the vast conspiracy of entertainers grew, the art morphed. Audience members had to put on scratchy clothes, leave their homes, and travel to the "theater." As the plan for world domination by greasepainted harpies continues to gain momentum, an evil new plateau has been reached. Operating under the innocuous-sounding name of Popcorn Anti-Theater
, this group compels innocent civilians to perform difficult gyrations, just to see the show. Calling it all "fun," the PAT requires audiences to board a vehicle, become intoxicated, and fearlessly follow performers to deserted piers, empty lots, forest glades, and other easy-chair-depleted areas. The nerve! Popcorn members just want us to become mindless, tequila-dependent, do-anything-for-a-laugh drones.
Having escaped prosecution for several years now, the ever-changing cast of conspirators continues to scout locations and order spectators to wear warm clothes and flat shoes. Ringleader Hernan Cortez corrals musicians, poets, fire-eaters, and, distressingly, actors. The next episode of this travesty openly admits, on its Web site, to "Starring Ken Taylor and Andrew Bancroft from The Ken and Andy Show," for example. Past performances have featured snake-oil salesmen, a White Trash Opera, and Pervo the Clown. Befouling Green Tortoise and other tolerant buses wherever it goes, insulting boring lifestyles everywhere, this tawdry troupe is a huge inconvenience to those of us who much prefer to fall asleep on the couch.