Justification for Putting the Audience Through a Difficult Evening [response]

"...but how can we start to change our attitudes or our behavior if we haven't first thought about why we must change and in what direction?"

---Wallace Shawn, Author of Aunt Dan & Lemon, April, 1986

 

In this writing, Wallace Shawn goes on to discuss how people today love to watch films that are based on past racist and discriminatory times as they feel better about their liberal and progressive mindset and how "superior" it is in comparison with the mindsets of the older times. But, he goes on to speak of how "if we are, in fact, a uniquely benign and harmless group of people, blessed with unusual clarity of vision -- then our moment of over-cautiousness will have cost us nothing. Whereas if it should happen to turn out that we're not superior, our self-examination might save a lot of people -- possible all people -- from being harmed by us." 

That quote raises the question of if people today are truly aware of the underlying issues still going on? If their believe that they are superior to the past is actually ignorant and could lead to harm of the oppressed people.

He then goes on to describe how theater gives the audience the opportunity to analyze characters and their similarities between them. This is useful in observing society as it requires the audience to take a step back from a world that may be similar to their own, and observe it with a much more critical eye.

Wallace's points remind me a lot of today and the way people continue to operate. People want to feel liberal and seem "woke" and anti-oppression. But their mere existence in certain spaces can stand against that. The things they are funding and supporting, without even realizing, are harming people. --- I think a lot about the Women's March and how popular it was. Though I was proud of women for standing up for our rights, I was disgusted at the actuality of the situation. It felt mostly like a bunch of White women finally taking a stand when something effects them, specifically. But all this time of Black bodies being murdered by police and Black families being systematically destroyed and the general human rights of people of color being stolen just never seemed to aggravate them in any way. They stayed comfortably in their own homes and didn't fight for anyone else's problems. It's incredibly annoying to say the least. But, if you ask the general American, they would say that they are liberal and progressive and believe in equality. Where are the actions?