The new movie version of Dune dropped yesterday and I managed to watch about an hour of it before it was off to the theater with Anne. What I did see was as good as I had hoped for. Vax cards in hand and masks in place we ventured out to COCA’s Catherine B. Berges Theatre (a marvelous new venue in U-City) to see the Reps new production, The Gradient—a world premier satirical look at toxic masculinity, which also manages to poke fun at tech startups and bad bosses in general. The Gradient is a new facility that promises to take men accused of sexual misconduct and rehabilitate them into responsible citizens. Born of the #MeToo movement and fueled by the likes of Donald Trump, R. Kelly and Harvey Weinstein, this play is set in the not-too-distant future and portrays an organization that employs an algorithm, which mathematically and scientifically evaluates candidate men and then delivers an individualized treatment regimen to rehabilitate them. We follow new-hire Tess, as she wrestles with her often less than truly forthcoming patients and a sarcastic boss who is also too often less than helpful. In physics, a gradient is an increase or decrease in the magnitude of a property observed in passing from one point or moment to another. Here the property is toxic masculinity and much to Tess’s surprise, The Gradient doesn’t always lead to its decrease.
In other news, Anne and I went to Target to look at lawn furniture and get our Covid booster shots. Yesterday, the CDC approved mix-and-match boosters. Our original vaccination was the one-and-done J&J shot, which while it was the first one available to us, it also now seems to be the least effective of the three brands that have been approved. At Anne’s behest, I shopped around for Moderna shots, which she has determined to now be the best of the three. I got us appointments for this afternoon with CVS, at their local in-store pharmacy. Here’s to sticking it to the man and the woman—besides my microchip’s battery had died.