Download The Chairs Are Where the People Go: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City PDF

TitleThe Chairs Are Where the People Go: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City
File Size654.2 KB
Total Pages152
Table of Contents
                            Title Page
1. People’s Protective Bubbles Are Okay
2. How to Make Friends in a New City
3. The Uniqlo Game
4. Going to the Gym
5. How to Be Good at Playing Charades
6. Don’t Pretend There Is No Leader
7. The Chairs Are Where the People Go
8. How to Teach Charades
9. Miscommunication Is Nice
10. The Gibberish Game
11. The Residents’ Association
12. There Are Some Games I Won’t Play with My Friends
13. Social Music
14. Manners
15. How to Improvise, and How Not to Not Improvise
16. The Crazy Parts
17. Charging for My Classes
18. What Is a Game?
19. Spam
20. Margaux
21. Charades Homework
22. Harvard and Class
23. The Rocks Game
24. Some Video on the Internet
25. People Who Take My Classes
26. Shut Up and Listen
27. Is Monogamy a Trick?
28. The Conducting Game
29. Sitting on the Same Side of the Table
30. Seeing My Friends Drunk for the First Time
31. A Decision Is a Thing You Make
32. All the Games Are Meant to Solve Problems, but Problems Are Unpleasant
33. Home Maladies
34. Keeping Away People Who Would Be Disappointed
35. The Happiness Class
36. The Converge / Diverge Game
37. Going to Parties
38. Kensington Market
39. Keeping People Quiet
40. Feeling Like a Fraud
41. Negotiation
42. Fighting Games
43. What Experimental Music Is For
44. These Projects Don’t Make Money
45. Seeing Your Parents Once a Week
46. Asking a Good Question
47. A Mind Is Not a Terrible Thing to Measure
48. Doing One Thing Doesn’t Mean You’re Against Something Else
49. Get Louder or Quit
50. Why Robert McKee Is Wrong About Casablanca
51. Conferences Should Be an Exhilarating Experience
52. Improvised Behavior
53. Storytelling Is Not the Same Thing as Conversation
54. Introducing People in the Classes
55. Making the City More Fun for You and Your Privileged Friends Isn’t a Super-Noble Political Goal
56. Seeing John Zorn Play Cobra
57. Impostor Syndrome
58. Nimbyism
59. Conducting from the Center of a Circle
60. Why Noise Music?
61. Absenteeism
62. Failure and Games
63. Why a Computer Only Lasts Three Years
64. What Are These Classes For?
65. Who Are Your Friends?
66. Neighborhoods Change
67. Atheism and Ritual
68. Social Capital
69. Sitting Down and Listening as a Role
70. Everyone’s Favorite Thing and Unfavorite Thing Are Different
71. Finding an Ending
72. Wearing a Suit All the Time Is a Good Way to Quit Smoking
About the Authors
Document Text Contents
Page 76

is incredibly loud, and I don’t really understand why people would want to hang
around and mingle in a place where it’s impossible to be heard. I suspect that
one reason for that, again, is that it sells more drinks; if it’s easier to have a
conversation, there’s less need for the activity of going back and forth to the bar.
I don’t know.

Drinking isn’t a big part of the events I run now, and at some events it’s
discouraged if not completely forbidden. Partly, in the beginning, I was
interested in how the participatory improvisation stuff might be an alternative to
drinking and drugs—a way to have a raucous party where the energy came from
something other than intoxicants. At that time in my life, I did go to a lot of
parties and I always wanted something wild and exciting and unusual to happen,
but mostly people would just sort of get drunk, and nothing exciting and wild
and amusing would happen. To me, there was a real contrast between that and
getting people together for theater games or even charades, where people end up
doing things that really surprising. Someone might be crawling around on
the floor pretending to be a dog while other people point and shout at them, or a
hundred people might be getting swept up in a sort of transcendent aesthetic
experience while chasing each other around a room. These all seemed to me, at
the time, like the kinds of things that drugs and parties should produce but that
drugs and parties mostly didn’t.

When I first started doing charades parties, as this sort of house party / art
project with a friend of mine, we played multiple parlor games in different
rooms, and I found that once people had a few drinks, they couldn’t really play
the games anymore.

I think it was the first time in my life I’d ever really seen drunk people. I’d
always been one of them before. When you’re drunk and all your friends are
drunk, you think you’re all really charming and funny, but at those parties I sort
of thought, —so I didn’t drink. But all my amusing friends did,
and seeing them from the perspective of sobriety was kind of awful. It’s not that
you become more interesting and fun when you’re drunk, it’s that your
perception of interesting and fun is lowered to such a moronic level. And mostly
people become bad. The teams fight more with each other, people don’t pay
attention. With lots of the stuff I do, I think people can’t do it when they’re
drunk, and I’m less interested in it if they are.

I used to drink a lot and do drugs the normal amount, because it made things
more fun. In the end, I decided that if these things lead you into genuinely fun,
interesting places, that’s okay, but if they lead you to places that wouldn’t be fun

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if you weren’t drunk, it’s a little bit depressing. That’s one of the many reasons
why drinking isn’t as bad for young people as it is for older people. When people
are nineteen, they get drunk and it really lead them into interesting
misadventure, or they wind up in a new part of town—and that’s what you
when you’re nineteen. The drugs and alcohol help make that more possible in a
number of ways. When you’re older, drugs and alcohol just give you greater
tolerance for a boring time.

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MISHA GLOUBERMAN is a performer, facilitator, and artist who lives in Toronto.

SHEILA HETI is the author of three books of fiction: , ,
and Her writing has appeared in

, , + , and She regularly conducts
interviews for .

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