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Past Due

the final resting place of my old crap. 


Beer - a one act play by C. Valenza

Beer - by Chaz Valenza - a play in one act - copyright 1976 - searchable PDF

Beer was originally performed at the Olmstad Theater at Adelphi University in December, 1976.  It was my "thesis" small stage project of my senior year toward my BFA in theater.  It was performed later at a college play festival in Manhattan and after that at the Broom Street Theater in Madison, WI. 

One Act - two scenes interupted by a poem, 51 pages, runs appoximately 1 hour, 20 minutes if the actors are on top of their game.  Two college aged male characters sitting around drinking beer and talking. Set in 1975, it's a period piece now.

I always thought it would be nice if other college students of the dramatic arts might perform this again, but until the internet, there was really no way to market it cheaply, even if I was willing to forgo any royalties, which I am.  Then there was the duplication problem.  Beer was written on a typewriter.  Today we have the Searchable PDF!  So, here it is, and here's the deal, student performances of Beer are royalty free.  Please tell me where and when it will be performed. 

Okay, you, yeah you two guys who think you're hotshot actors, the next whomever... I dare you to do this piece and do it well.  The characters are your age; it's just your fathers' period.  Good luck.


Crossing Main by C. Valenza

Wonder how much discretionary power the police have over you? Would you believe they can give you a ticket for crossing the street, at the crosswalk, with the green light and the ticket would be a moving violation: obstructing traffic (a violation that can only be had if you are operating a motor vehicle) and there's really not much you can do about it? Oh, yeah, and this was before 9/11!!!

Crossing Main, Tri-City News, Asbury Park, NJ Volume 3, Issue 28, September 6, 2001


Was Margaret Sanger a Racist? by C. Valenza

Family Planning Perspectives, Volume 17, Number 1, January/February 1985.

The answer is NO, but it took about 1,200 referenced words to prove it.

What we called the "radical right" in 1985 was bombing abortion clinics and threatening to kill doctors.   I worked at an abortion clinic, Planned Parenthood of NYC, which at the time was located on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan.  We had bomb scares.  The ATF came and talked to us and told us there wasn't much they could do and showed us how easy it was to plant or mail a bomb, and scared the shit out of us.  We stayed.  Are we living the 1980's all over again?  I hope not, most of the music was terrible.

Anyway, the radical right wanted to turn people of color against us and they decided they could make paint Margaret Sanger, the woman who paved the way for legal contraception in the U.S. and founder of Planned Parenthood, as a racist.  I did the research to debunk their bullshit.  Today, the dishonet right takes passages of this piece out-of-context to continue to make the case that MS was a racist.   This piece was on serveral family planning website for a while, but they all took it down and now just use my work as needed and never give me credit.

So, here it is in PDF format from the original publication by unpopular non-demand:

Was Margaret Sanger a Racist? by Charles Valenza, Family Planning Perspectives, Jan/Feb 1985 PDF



Video Contraception by Alfred F. Moran (C. Valenza ghost writer)

This piece was published in the New York Times on Wednesday, December 8, 1982.  At the time I was working as Mr. Moran's flack.  I based the piece on some comments he made in a speech.  He liked the idea and eventually put his name to it after about thrity-two drafts, plus the draft done for the NY Times Op-Ed editor.  I couldn't find it in the New York Times archive.  Twenty-seven years later, with the recent moves of Bristol Palin and the movie Juno, it's still fresh and relevant today.  Al is dead.  The NYT lost the piece.  I hearby claim my due.  Video Contraception - NYT - 12/8/82   PDF file.


One Big Happy Corporate Family (November 8, 2003)

A friend at Lucent, who will remain nameless because he or she still has a job and would like to keep it, sent me this quote circulated via email:

“However reluctantly it may be done, it is past time for Lucent to give up

the "family" metaphor. While there is certainly some loyalty and

cohesiveness at all levels of our company, the past few months have

demonstrated that we are, unfortunately, not a family. After all, when was

the last time you heard about someone telling their spouse or kids that

the realities of the economy made their continued presence unfeasible?”

Raphael Lasar, Murray Hill, N.J.

I think it was in a Monty Python movie, Mr. Lasar. I don’t know Mr. Lasar. So, if he’s not a Lucent employee, has no right to make such comments, or is fictitious, don’t call. But, I believe this person has a point.

Many, many years ago there may have been lots of big friendly companies that really cared about their people, like they were family, but not all of them and not all the time. Certainly, those who work for businesses less than the corporate mega size will know work places where employees are “treated like family.” I am lucky enough to work at such a place (and brown nosing here can do no harm, right?). However, such businesses are not where most of us work, have worked, or will work.

Many years ago, they (“they” meaning most American and foreign multinational corporations) stopped caring for their employees, but not all of them and not all the time. (See recent “Human Resources Management “ literature). I figure they had a big, high-powered meeting and made a collective decision, but didn't tell anybody.

Employees, especially unorganized white-collar employees, tried to remain loyal to their companies even though they were made responsible but, at the same time had no authority. Often, though it wasn’t our fault, it was our problem and we took the blame for and shouldered the risks of corporate business, often paying with our jobs. Such situations are, to this day, called “empowerment.”

Just a few years ago, “they” fessed up that they really didn’t have “a whole lot” of loyalty to their employees, but believed in their heart- of-heart’s and from the bottom of their Guccis, that employment was so precious they still deserved the total loyalty of those in their employ. This period of labor relations has come to be known as “The Wonderful One-way Street Days.” That’s about how long it lasted.

In still more recent years, “they” have made full-blown, mass media announcements to let us all know, as if we didn’t already considering most of us had now experienced several lay-offs, reorganizations, down-sizings and, get this “right-sizings,” that they didn’t really expect employees to be loyal at all. No!

Why? Well, because they had another meeting at which they decided they wanted carte blanche to be totally nasty bastards. The only way to get that kind of power was making a clean breast of it, which somehow made it okay by making us all part of the conspiracy. Corporate employees are currently all on notice: it’s "every person for him or her self." The business of the world is a jungle, and it’s about damn time we all understood the rules.

Fair enough, but then in the same breath, they also suggested that it was still in the employee’s best interest to be loyal or… be fired.

More recently, they have insisted that employees pledge their loyalty in “non-compete agreements” (agreements?) before employment.

Result: We are now all members of the victimless corporate individual responsibility movement and do declare our loyalty. Repeat after me:

“I, under totally voluntary binding contractual duress, do hereby give-up my right to make a living with my primary skills, which were honed through years of expensive education, off-hours training, and job experience at minimum or entry level wages, anywhere else save where I am currently employed or will be employed, for an unreasonable period of time, as defined by those who employee the majority of the industrialized world, just 5 or 10 years without a paycheck should do it, while taking total responsibility for my life and livelihood. Further, I promise to give two weeks notice, or however long it takes to train my replacement should I find some other way to afford food and shelter, or should I become expendable, useless, or less than entertaining to my present employer, I agree to be escorted out of the building by armed guards like a criminal with no notice what-so-ever, because them’s the rules, so help me God. “

Gosh, it almost makes our real families seem less dysfunctional.