The Agony and the Ecstasy of Mike Daisey

21 03 2012

Ugh.  This whole thing upsets me.  As an artist, it upsets me when performers think they have to change a truthful story to make it “theatrical.” There are so many ways to dramatize truth without lying about it.  If you have to lie to make your theatre good or poignant, then you’re just not creative enough.

I’d like to think that Mr. Daisey wasn’t doing this show for only self-serving reasons (as many folks, especially in the theatre world, are opining), but that he truly wanted to make a positive change in the world with theatre.  Perhaps he just wasn’t creative enough to do it.  Maybe I’m being naive, maybe not.   I actually haven’t even seen the show.  I was planning on doing so here in Chicago next month, but no more.

The other thing that upsets me about this is that it seems like PEOPLE KEEP TALKING ABOUT MIKE DAISEY, when what we need to be doing is focusing on the fact that there are SUB-STANDARD WORKING CONDITIONS THAT WE SUPPORT with our silent consumerism.  I can’t control how Mike Daisey reacts to all of this.  Frankly, I don’t really care.  What matters is how I react to all of this; how you react to all of this.  This is only going to be about Mike Daisey if we make it about Mike Daisey.  No offense, but I’m sick of hearing about him.  I’d much rather hear about how we can make the world a better place.

 


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3 responses

21 03 2012
Jen-Jen

I think that’s totally fair. It’s essential not to forget the core issue: There are people subjected to inhumane working conditions in China (And HERE). As Americans, we have a pretty dirty history of taking advantage of that fact, and turning a willfully blind eye

True, we keep talking about Mike Daisey and this distracts from the real problem. But what I’m deeply angered by – in fact disgusted by – is that Mike Daisey himself doesn’t seem to want to redirect the conversation back to the the issue at hand.

21 03 2012
amandarountree

You’re right. I listened to his hour long speech from Georgetown last night (while playing Bejeweled) and although he did finally get to a vulnerable place of a true, “I was wrong; I messed up” apology AND a plea to focus on the real issue, it certainly took him a while to get there. And who knows if he’ll stay there for a while, or if it was only a short visit. Fortunately, wherever he goes, I don’t have to travel with him. I’m going on my own journey, dammit!

21 03 2012
toxicbag

I agree with Jen as well. The more Daisey becomes a focal point of the discussion, the less we’re actually talking about the main issue. Worse, the focus is on the fact that his presentation was riddled with falsehoods, which leads to the position that if you have to make up stuff to bolster your argument, there must not be much to it. By trying to make us aware of an issue with inaccuracies, he’s inadvertently made the issue seem less bad than it probably is–or at least given fuel to the fires of those who would like us to think so.

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