The Study of Genius

From: Edge Effect

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The Study of Genius Laurel and Hardy Convention, LasVegas, 1992 I am passing behind one offiveRingling Brothers clowns, the one with green hair and white piping on billowing outline, as he stands at the back of the convention and watches the film. He is sensing the staircasing in his body, the coiling within thestandstill, while two shadow-and-light gentlemen goof with all the hopefulgrandeur of one's double-fat face and tasty pique— his partner's pencil elementariness and high-pitched sniffling bringing the spat to a damp, shy close. Green Hair follows every movement for the years it takes to bone this costume out as a human if. The act feels so new, of these old two, that he lives to know what makes it so. While, to his right, the transvestite, modeling hisattention, wears his study of thewives, his FortiesSchiaparellisuit, fox stole, wartime entire costume change of earrings,brooch, and hat, his lingerie blouse complementing the gray slender silhouette of rationed jersey (square shoulders 11 12 / ONE: PORTRAYALS mostly his own). And plastic shoes. And those of us who dress up asourselves seem the slackest students, ready-to-wear unscripted as chit-chat, our gesturesflat, our timing countable by neither chimes nor jewels. We can only revere the elderly child actors on the dais, tracking the other definition of genius, that guardian spirit of earlier place and time, watching reels of their creator-child, re-running around, that scrappy,indefatigableguide to the unrecoverable self. ...


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