Crucial Minutia
it's the little things...
Cristina PippaCristina Pippa is an award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced by the Hangar Theatre, Gallery Players, The Looking Glass Theatre, and Axial Theatre. She writes the All The World column, which appears on Thursdays.
Cristina Pippa
All the World: Spread the Word
1 Comment | posted April 19th, 2007 at 09:40 am by Cristina Pippa

Court's book

“She really inspired me. I still call her Professor.”

So many of us thought of women and girls we know, and maybe ourselves, who too easily identify with Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body. If only we could have fit hundreds more of them and the men who love them into the narrow Lower East Side bar where one of our favorite Crucial Minutists read passages from her newly released book.

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Cristina Pippa
All the World: Here on Earth
7 Comments | posted April 12th, 2007 at 11:34 am by Cristina Pippa

Darfur“Oh,” a woman in a thick overcoat whimpered outside a market. She was covering her mouth as she look over a bed of lifeless tulips. I joined her at what might as well have been the seen of an accident, at which point she said, “I know how they feel.”

“Me too,” I admitted to this stranger, although I didn’t go so far as to tell her that I had once googled Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately nicknamed “SAD.” Surely there are bigger things to worry about than when the sun will come out and the temperature will spring up again.

Yesterday I discovered that Google Earth and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have teamed up on a project called Crisis in Darfur. 200 million Google Earth users (a group which can include you if it doesn’t already– since it’s free to download and you must have some access to a computer if you’re reading this) have the ability to coast over an almost 3-D depiction of our planet to Sudan. There, they will find a bevy of red flames, signaling which villages have been destroyed. They can also click on camera icons to see photos and read stories of genocide.

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Cristina Pippa
All the World: Origin of Love
5 Comments | posted April 05th, 2007 at 05:09 pm by Cristina Pippa

This time eavesdropping was the last thing on my mind. I was about to cross the street when the conversation behind me brought me to a halt. I had a walk sign, there were no cars coming, but I stood there on the corner for you, Crucial Minutiae, snatching a bit of real life soap opera on a park bench. Okay, I’ll admit it. It was my own curiosity that caused me to turn and look at the preppy kid whose hand was inching toward the neck of a wide-eyed brunette.

“Oh, my girlfriend. She’s just mad because I’m taking you home with me. But I said I would, and I’m going to. You know? I mean, she should know I love her.”

Love. On the tennis courts, it means zero. Off the courts it can mean everything– or still zero. It’s a word packed with meaning and forever open to interpretation. Some use it frivolously while others are scared to use it at all. Many believe it can never be conveyed enough and make a habit of ending every phone call with a mention of it. Americans throw it around as a compliment or an expression of taste too. “I love that sweater!” “He loves pies.” “Don’t you just love it when she says that?”

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Cristina Pippa
All the World: Then Jesus was like…
4 Comments | posted March 29th, 2007 at 09:24 am by Cristina Pippa

PRIEST: So the Pharisees brought this adultress before Jesus, and they were like, “Adultery is punishable by stoning. Are you gonna break that law?” And Jesus was like, “Yo, whoever is without sin can be the one to cast the first stone.” Then Jesus was totally alone with this woman and he was all, “Who are your accusers?” And she was like, “No man, Lord.” So Jesus was like, “I won’t accuse you either. Go, get outta here, and try not to sin.”

Most of my experiences with the Catholic Church have been in Sardinia– where my cousins still celebrate saints’ days because the solemn parading of the saint and his/her relics is usually accompanied by a carnival with giant blocks of torrone and fun houses pumping techno music. So maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised last Sunday when I visited a very liberal Catholic Church (yes, it seems that those actually do exist in America) where amid full regalia of cloaks and candles, the priest spoke like he was reporting on a tailgate party the night before.

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Cristina Pippa
All the World: Persian New Year
2 Comments | posted March 22nd, 2007 at 07:20 pm by Cristina Pippa

All the World is a weekly column on the drama of life appearing Thursdays.

“Happy Vernal Equinox!”

“I was just thinking– Wait, what?”

“Vernal Equinox. First day of spring? Makes me giddy.”

“You just want an excuse to get naked.”

“I was going to say, we’re having a party tonight.”

That was a conversation at my gym. And it’s true. The sun has crossed the celestial equator. It only happens twice a year and it does something to us, doesn’t it? Perhaps we’ve gotten a little frisky or started shoving sweaters to the back of our closets. Some of us can’t help staying up later, even though we’ve set our clocks forward. And even if we don’t exactly identify with the Onion’s article about the “Area Pagan Dreading Big Family Vernal Equinox Celebration,” this is a significant time of the year around the world.

In Iran, the new year begins with the first day of spring.

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Cristina Pippa
All the World: Soldiers on a Plane
2 Comments | posted March 15th, 2007 at 10:08 am by Cristina Pippa

GATE AGENT: We will now begin boarding flight 4081 to San Francisco. All first class passengers and uniforms (pause) meaning (long pause) all soldiers.

The best-dressed business types in the crowd step back as four soldiers approach the gate. One is a woman. One has dark skin. One has a fresh scar on the back of his neck.

A man fearlessly reading an article entitled “Anatomy of a Plane Crash,” looks up at the soldiers from behind his copy of Popular Mechanics. A woman lowers her New York Times to her side, covering the picture of a war protest at which a woman lifts a giant sign reading, “Give me back my husband!”

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