The '50s originals are fascinating documents of a period remembered for its zealous promotion of propriety and conformity. That makes them a good target for the terminally contrary Foster. "I have deep mistrust of groupthink whether it comes from the left or from the right. I'm just as uncomfortable at rodeos as I am at Gay Pride," says Foster, who is gay. (The obvious compromise: gay rodeos.) Foster, whose T-shirt says "Fuck Off" in rainbow lettering, is amused by Ministry's success in the Fringe's queer-content category. "We've had the number-one queer-content show for two years running. It's really funny because I have nothing good to say about gay people as a group. Gay people don't really give a shit about gay people, they just want it to be straight women singing to them." (The obvious follow-up question: "Do you have anything good to say about straight people as a group?" Answer: "No.")

For future MoCW projects, Foster doesn't rule anything out: musicals, serious drama, multimedia experimentation. (I would recommend a golfumentary.) "If it's fucked-up enough, we'll do it," he explains, but later adds that such an aesthetic may not bring financial security. "I don't really think that I could write the kind of stuff I write and do it as a career unless I expatriate," he says, mentioning a possible move to Canada.

How do they get them little people in those pictures? Prodigious comic talents Nathan Surprernant and Leigha Horton
Courtesy of Ministry of Cultural Warfare
How do they get them little people in those pictures? Prodigious comic talents Nathan Surprernant and Leigha Horton

If our emphasis on Mr. Foster overstates his role, let me stress that the Ministry of Cultural Warfare is by no means a one-man affair, as the Ryder Cup effort at Richfield's Lilliputian links demonstrated. It's hard, though, to picture the Ministry without Foster, just as it is painful to envision our metropolis without the Ministry. If Foster ever does flee to Canada--like some unkempt draft-dodging shrimp (that's one for you, Mr. Hope)--may he at least have the decency to let us carry him there on a sedan.

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