The following is what writer and radio talk show host Colin McEnroe said about the Mike Daisey incident in Cambridge. I'd never heard of Mike Daisey until I read something McEnroe wrote about his appearance recently at Yale Rep. It's interesting. What many people know of Daisey now is what they learn from the video he posted on his own blog. The video shows him riffing about Paris Hilton. He uses the F word. This is a mere slice of the large Daisey pie; it's out of context. He is so much more than what appears on the video. But it is that part of his act that preceeds the protest. So that's what thousands of folks, unfamiliar with his work, are seeing. I've added this McEnroe post, from his blog, because it sheds some light on the subject.
Daisey Chain Reaction
I became a Mike Daisey believer a few weeks ago, watching him perform the monologue "Invincible Summer" at the Yale Rep. I can't tell you how astonished I am to read and see that Daisey's monologue was disrupted in Cambridge by imbeciles apparently persuaded that they are doing the work of Christ. I feel a Lloyd Bentsen moment coming on. "I knew Jesus. Jesus was a friend of mine ..."
I believe Jesus would have been drawn to Daisey's work, which basically asks the question: do we get anything out of all our love and suffering and vanity and striving. Is there anything worth fighting for? He asks those questions in (mildly) shocking ways. But remember, Jesus was a shocking person. He was an epater le bourgeois kind of guy.
Even the segment that seems to have ignited their prissy little Christian consciences was, in fact, a critique of heedless venality and vanity, not an endorsement of it, which they might have noticed if they weren't so committed to relentless stupidity.
Also, at the risky of being inflammatory: if you're gonna walk out, walk out. If you're gonna throw down, then really throw down. But pouring water on somebody's outline is kind of a p---y move. I'm talking to you, bald spot!
April 23, 2007 in Social Criticism Permalink
Having lived in New York, and having been involved in producing my fair share of "incendiary" and angry theater, walk outs are among the most useless things in the world. If you don't like the show, or if it's too loud for instance, leave. Don't leave because you think you're better than the material, the actors or the subject. Mike gets it right...before you come to see a show, know what you're seeing. Kudos to him. I'm sure those that walked out went right home to their glass houses.
Posted by: Joe D April 24, 2007 at 08:09 AM
Why is it that people are so willing to work in groups to do destructive things but are so hesitant to come together to build good things?
Posted by: Kimi April 24, 2007 at 02:22 AM
I first heard of this from Terrence McCarthy, who posted a comment about this here a couple of days ago. He's got a good eye.
I watched the video, and it brought me back to New London in the autumn--to the CT Senate debate at the Garde--