Anyone have anything interesting to propose for Friday? We don't have any plans yet.
"1984" - I thought Empty Space did a good job with this piece. A friend and respected theater critic who attended the performance found it too literal and also took issue with the assertion that the play/novel was "so relevant to our current situation." He felt it could only really apply to communist-style totalitarianism, where material want was pervasive. I think we both agreed that we were headed toward capitalist-style totalitarianism, but then we got into a big argument over whether or not the people would unite against "our oppressors" given the fact that "the people" are all happily anesthetized by their giant-screen TVs. Critic guy said not only would "they" (technically we, but not really since neither of us watch TV) continue to sit at home, there was nothing for them to rise against, since our whole society is based upon acquisition of money, and cutting off one head (Bush) would only put another greedy monster in its place. He also said that it's easier to critique a government that pursues power for its own sake, as opposed to power for the sake of getting money, but I disagreed with him, as I believe our current government does want power for the sake of having power.
At any rate, we agreed on the fact that the current administration is using war to distract people from their eroding civil liberties, and things in general feel like they're going down the toliet. I also very much feel that we're living in a time of extreme language manipulation - saying "protect" when you mean "attack," "terrorist" when you mean "political protester." So despite the fact that there was perhaps an actor or two less than needed in the cast (the main actor spent a lot of time talking to TVs - odd but worked very well) and the twenty-minute torture scene was pretty unpleasant to watch, I felt the show did a good job of capturing the dehumanization and desperation of a world in which you are watched all the time. (I also thought Orwell captured well the notion of controlling people's sexuality as a way to control society - long essay on this to follow.) I recommend this show - even if it's not perfect, the discussions it will generate are well worth the ticket price. It warms my heart that they are selling out the house, but what will it take for the rest of America to wake up and smell the coffee?