approach, but still invests the pieces withnthe phrasings and subtleties of jazz.nThere is no mistaking where her hean isnwhen she inflects “One for My Baby”nand “Over the Rainbow” with blue notesnor makes “Ding Dong the Witch isnSTAGEnThe Epistemology of ReportingnHow I Got That Story; Written bynAmlin Gray; Directed by CarolenRothman; Westside Arts Theater.nby Robert R. ReillynAmlin Gray’s How I Got That Storynopened off-Broadway at the WestsidenArts Theater on February 17 to rave reviewsnand wide acclaim. The generalnfeeling seemed to be that Gray has writtennthe Vietnam play, a definitive statementnon our misconceived, nightmarishnmilitary venture in Southeast Asia. ThenNew York Daily News expressed itsnsatisfaction with sophomoric platitudes.nThe New York Times went no further inninvestigating the meaning of the playnthan literally reiterating its plot. Bothnmissed the none-too-subde point of thenplay: its savage attack on the press, ornrather on the particular mind-set or pointnof view that the press, during the war,nadopted as its own.nTheir myopia is as natural as goiternamong the mountaineers. The topicalitynof the Vietnam War was similarly distractingnto the deeper purposes of thenfilm Apocalypse Now, which reviewersninsisted on seeing as a “statement” onnthe war. In an attempt to shed that topicality.nApocalypse Now took its audiencenon a long trip “up river,” with increasingndegrees of unreality, to reach anlevel of abstraction at which a universalnMr. Reilly is with the USICA in- Washington,nD.C.nDead” a romp reminiscent of a hornnplayer riding the crest of exhilarationncreated by a fine rhythm section. Shensings in tune; her diction is clear but notnfiissy. Her choice of material and accompanistsnis impeccable, all rare qualities.nstatement could be made about the humannsoul, about trying to live beyondngood and evil. That Gray is talking aboutnmore than just Vietnam is obviously indicatednin his choice of a fictional name,n”Amboland,” for the Southeast Asiannlocale of his play’s action. A young reporternarrives in Amboland to cover thenwar there with the hope that “If I keepnmy eyes open, I can understand thenwhole world.” He is confronted by “ThenHistorical Events,” thirty-some individualncharacter incarnations cleverly playednby the only other actor in the show. Thenfirst talking incarnation is the Americannhead of Trans Pan Global news service innAmboland who tells the reporter he isnsure the reponer will view all sides andnstate the truth “as he believes it.” Tonwhich the reporter responds, no, “as I seenit.” His confident objectivity is basednupon his own faith that in reporting then”facts,” he will be able “to find reality innhistory.” It soon becomes apparent thatnthe young man’s impartial way of viewingnreality will guarantee that he understandsnnothing, rather than everything.nWhen he admits his growing confusionnto Madame Ing, the dictatorial ruler ofnAmboland, she reassures him, “Be patient.nSoon you will understand evennless.”nThrough a series of vignettes, thenyoung reporter is brought low by thenepistemology of reporting and is left atnthe end living in an abandoned refrigeratorncarton, eating off a nearby pile ofngarbage, entranced by the glare of fallingnnnmagnesium flares. Gray passes an unabashednverdict on the self-destructivennature of the news’ neutrality towardnreality. It is futile to try to learn anythingnof value from “facts” alone; such a notionneven makes it impossible to live as anhuman being. The reporter fails on everynlevel of human engagement—whethernhe is proposing marriage to a bar girl, servingnas a drug courier for a corrupt armynofficer, attempting to adopt an Ambolandnorphan or simply living as a peasant.nThe absurd nature of “news” is made explicitnby a photojournalist with his leftnarm missing and his leg in a cast who isnproud of “this incredible shot of this armnflying off (it was a little underexposednbut…)” that he took after stepping on anland mine: he later insists on going downnwith a crashing jet because “When’s thenlast time you saw a plane crash shot fromninside the plane?”, and is last seen as antriple amputee on a pushcart, still takingnpictures with his remaining limb.nThe pilgrim’s regress of the reporternbegins with his reaction to the self-immolationnof a monk: “No, I’m notnwatching, I’m not here, I’m a reporter.”nDuring a fire fight, the panicked reporternblurts out: “If I’m not getting facts therenis no purpose to my being here.”nHis final raison d’etre is defined asn”imprintment” by the Trans Pan Globalnchief and sounds like an epitaph: “thenreporter goes to cover a country and thencountry covers him.” We have everynreason to believe that it’s exactly whatnMr. Gray thinks happened to all then”aces” from the Times, Post, NBC, etc.nnot long ago.n”News” is a stepchild of the fact/nvalue dichotomy which peremptorily assumesnthat the only certain, objectivenknowledge available to man’s mind isnthe empirical data of “facts.” All supposednknowledge by which man holdsnone thing higher than another in moralnworth or goodness is illusory and totallynsubjective. This distinction, whichnserved as the foundation of modern socialnscience, has been totally discreditednby philosophers like Leo Strauss and Ericn^^S^ilnMay/June 198Sn