Saturday, April 21, 2007


There has been so much ugliness this week. It's been almost unbearable. From Virginia Tech, to the Supreme Court ruling, to me deeply wounding the feelings of a friend, and now this:

Youtube: 'Christian' audience walkout at Mike Daisey

I found it in the Stranger blog. Basically, this solo performer was giving his monologue and used the word "fuck" a few times - and then his performance was interrupted with a throng of people in the audience getting up and walking out. And then some guy came up to the performer and poured water on the handwritten manuscript he was reading from. I felt sick.

But the guy was really full of class - he really wanted to have a conversation with the angry folks. And later he posted this all to his blog - and what he wrote about it gave me shivers. It was graceful, principled, outraged, compassionate, and insightful all at once. Please read it.

1 comment:

Karl Smith said...

I'm not sure I can entirely agree with your portrayal of the Mike Daisey incident, my friend. To be sure, the actions by the audience members were inappropriate (without doubt as to the pouring of the water and, given that the high school group was reportedly warned of the language and adult themes, the disruptive walk-out was inappropriate as well). That said, it was more than him saying "Fuck" a few times - the theme of the material, even apart from the language used, was racy. Again, no excuse given the warning, but no sense in mis-portraying the circumstances. Second, I find it hard to suggest, while maintaining a straight face anyhow, that he "really wanted a dialogue" with those leaving. At least not at the time of the incident, for he shouted that they could come back and talk or "leave like cowards." That is, of course, calling the group of high school students and parents cowards. The tone and the language employed are not inviting. Such a reaction did not strike me as particularly classy either. Justifiable? Absolutely. Classy? No.

I am certainly impressed that afterwards he sought dialogue. That's important; that's what's missing in our society. But at once, did he seek dialogue? Or did he merely allow the "angry man" to speak, and then preach to him? (Yes, atheists, can preach too.) I find it interesting that Mr. Daisey's discussion engages in almost no introspection. Maybe he is simply certain he has the moral high ground. I may agree that he does, but can you have a meaningful discussion with such an assumption? Isn't that his one of his chief complaints about his antagonizer?