Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


What possesses these people?

Monologist Mike Daisey is an acquaintance of mine. I wouldn't presume such familiarity as to call him a friend precisely but we have good friends in common and we could recognize each other on sight. I've been to several of his one-man shows now and I hold him in very high regard. He is quite a talented fellow and I've never failed to be childishly enraptured by his story-spell when he works his craft.

So, when I read his blog today, I was completely taken aback:

Last night's performance of INVINCIBLE SUMMER was disrupted when eighty seven members of a Christian group walked out of the show en masse, and chose to physically attack my work by pouring water on and destroying the original of the show outline.

For those who have never seen Mike perform, allow me to describe the scene: he sits alone at a table in front of the audience; on the table is nothing but a glass of water and the outline for the show. The rest he works from scratch, through well-rehearsed and intimate stories, all personal to a greater or lesser degree. Every night, just him and the audience. In fact, there's a short sample of this show available online here.

Can you imagine if someone ripped the bow from a cellist's hands before walking out of a performance because he objected to the music? How about snatching off an actor's wig or pulling down a ballerina's tutu or tearing the book out of a reader's hands or the pages out of the book itself? It's unthinkable to me and the more I think about the incident, the more disgusted I feel. Insulted. Angry on his behalf and on behalf of all the other people who were assembled to see this talented performer.

What possesses people to behave this way? By what right does one's disappointment or disapproval over an artistic act entitle one to attack the artist?

[EDIT] I meant to link to the rest of his blog, for those who are interested. Fixed now

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