Sometimes, we at City Pages like to play a little game called Future-Past Daydreaming. The idea is to imagine that an oracle from some forthcoming era has traveled back in time to meet with a younger version of you that existed in some moment long ago. She reveals one very specific, random detail about how your life will be many years later in 2004. You determine whether the teleported traveler's information makes you happy, sad, angry, confused, fearful, ashamed, lustful, or maybe just very anxious to watch Star Trek.
This is a good way to create some distance from your current life so that you can better gauge whether or not you're living it to its full potential. This is also a good way to discover that, if a space-suited siren from 3045 had nothing better to do than play Nostradamus with you circa 1982, you may be advised to pray that tomorrow never comes.
All of which gets us thinking: What will happen when today is the past? What would you do if an oracle from the distant future approached you in September 2004 to reveal what happens in the near future? Say she says that you'll forget to buy tickets for next month's screening of the controversial film Michael Moore Hates America (see p. 17), in which local director Michael Wilson suggests that any film made by America's most booed Oscar winner is a weapon of mass delusion. Or maybe the oracle will chastise you for not remembering to attend local painter Chris Mars's Severed Stream exhibit (see p. 22), which brings the former Replacements drummer's grotesquerie of grimacing faces to the Kellie Rae Theiss Gallery. Or perhaps your future friend will scold you for missing both the publication of Shut Up Shut Down, poet Mark Nowak's melancholy ode to forgotten steel factories (see p. 21), and Rebecca Gilman's woman-meets-stalker play Boy Meets Girl (see p. 24), which will be performed by leading local women's theater company Theatre Unbound.
That just wouldn't do. So in the interest of Future-Past Daydreamers everywhere, City Pages has decided to provide you with so much information about upcoming film, music, dance, theater, and visual art events (see listings, p. 27) that we feel equipped to make our own prediction about your life: You will become a totally obsessive arts junkie, frequenting cultural gatherings and getting out of the house two, maybe even 2.5, times a week. One day, when you've attended as many events as you can handle, you will keep this Fall Arts Guide as a fond remembrance of things past. But for now, turn the page, and let us get back to the future.