Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mea Culpa

Dear Theatre Blogosphere and especially Fellow Bloggers,

I may be stubborn and dense, but when enough people hit me in the head with 2 X 4s, eventually I get the point. While many of you had a hand in the process of getting through to me, the ones who pushed me over the tipping point were Allison and Isaac with a good assist from Joshua.

To cut to the chase: I was wrong.

I felt that I had figured out a way to remove a point from abstract theory and give it a dramatic, emotional life. I didn't expect that others would have such a sense of personal betrayal, and at first I thought expressions of this sense of betrayal were simply an attempt to shift the conversation away from my point. Such is the effect of tunnel vision.

And while I tried to maintain a sense of objective calm, I know that the personal insults made me dig in my heels even more, and defend myself from accusations that I thought were not only unjust, but really hurtful.

But this morning as I walked across campus, I realized that I was wrong.

I was wrong from the first post on. The blogosphere is not a place for social experiments, and you don't use Invisible Theatre on people who have come to trust you over a period of months. That is betrayal.

So I apologize to you all for behaving like a stubborn ass.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

From someone who is an outsider I don't think you caused emotional damge. Sure maybe to those who know you personally, well, then yeah don't play tricks on them. Me, I don't know you, but I read your blog because you have interesting things to say. Crazy or not. B.S. or not. Your simply throwing thoughts out there. It's a blog.

So, I'm note sure how wounded these folks should be. If you toyed with them, because you knew how they would take it, then yeah, ya kinda suck. Me, I say keep posting.

Also - sam shepard... made the History Books, but does that mean we should live in his shadow ? I'm not knocking Mr. Shepard, I'm just kinda going back to your "academics." Who decides what should go in the History Books that eventually educate us and inform us that "these are the guys that have set the bar."
How do we know that they aren't the lucky ones that the critics saw and the people went and saw because word of mouth. I wonder how many others missed out because Shepard got the lucky break ?

Buddha Cowboy - NYC

Mac said...

Thank you for this, Scott. As I was not directly involved in the incident, I am not in a position to accept your apology, but I do honor it, and I'm glad of it because it allows me to deal with your actual point and not your methodology.

Many months ago, I indicated here

http://slowlearner.typepad.com/weblog/2005/10/monday_roundup.html

that I agreed with some of your ideas in the broadest strokes. I missed a lot of the ensuing months of conflict that I've been hearing about because I have been through an unusually (and unhealthily) busy year, but I suspect that I may share some of your beliefs about the urge to shock and the need to meet an audience halfway, if possible. Since I haven't read most of the conversation from earlier this year, I don't really know what everyone has written on this subject, but maybe after my current show closes I can go back and catch up. I'd love to become a real blogger again at some point.

I do understand your reticence about offering specific examples - it's a lot easier to discuss a play we all like, like "Buried Child" - but unfortunately if a conversation on this subject is to proceed productively, we have to have them. Otherwise, we should probably talk about something else.

parabasis said...

Scott--

Thank you for this. I have an answer up on my blog where I try to grapple with this last week and just what the hell happened to all of us. But let me just say, apology accepted and I myself apologize for my part in this whole malarkey.

Isaac

Joshua James said...

I'm glad you did this, Scott - my feelings were never endangered or damaged, but I'm glad because I think it was the right thing for you to do.

Anonymous said...

I, along with Buddha Cowboy, thought you had some interesting things to say, Scott. Now I read you crying mea culpa - I'd thought the forum for comment, discussion, experiment and dialogue was broader in the theatre blogosphere. Ah well, lesson learnt. But I do wish you hadn't dropped to your knees before the mutual admiration blogger lot.

Marly Jenks said...

I too thought you had some terrific points, and I found your "experiment" funny and provocative. Enlightening? No, not really. But you duped a bunch of whining self-important blow-hards, and that earns points in my book.

To think, George Hunka trying to launch a campaign to get you fired from your job! From YOUR JOB! Because of a blog post! What a jackass. It's not as if you were peddling kidie-porn! No, you just rocked the boat around here and made The Hunkster look a little foolish, so he had to whip out his dick and do what he could to slap you around with it. Careful Scotty, you mustn't anger Papa. It's like the fuckin' mafia around here.

I'm sorry to see you crumble under the pressure.

Marly

Mac said...

Man, Scott just can't win, apparently. Everybody who had his back on this thing stayed quiet and didn't defend him when they liked what he was doing, and have now only come out of the closet to castigate him.

Marly Jenks said...

Well, I would've jumped in sooner to give Scott a big ol' thumbs up, but he expressed such mocking derision of bloggers who rally around each other, cheering each other's ripostes and applauding each other's opinions, slapping one another on their cyber butts and butting chests, that I saw no point in congratulating him. He's obivously above that sort of thing.

Marly

Joshua James said...

Which is why he apologized, right Marly?

Marly Jenks said...

Only Scott can say why he apologized. Though that doesn't necessarily mean he's telling the truth. (He's already admitted to telling more than a few whoppers on here after all.) I suspect he apologized because being a pariah is exhausting, and after a couple days of getting shit on, he wanted the whole thing to go away. Scott is obviously an incredibly opinionated and willful guy with an enormous ego. And while I'm sure he wishes he could've changed how he did things, or even wishes he didn't do it all, I find it very hard to believe anyone has actually changed his opinion about anything. I think, rather, he just cried uncle to make it go away.

Marly

Scott Walters said...

Jeez! Now we're going to discuss why and how I apologized?

OK, let me try to lay it to rest:

1. Has anybody changed my mind about the value of provocation in the theatre? No.

2. Why did I apologize? Because how I approached illustrating my points was not fair to those who read my blog, and because the way I approached it was the catalyst for a brawl.

Scott Walters said...

P.S. My ego isn't any larger than any of my fellow bloggers. It TAKES a big ego to believe that anybody "out there" actually gives a damn what you think about anything.

P'tit Boo said...

scott, my thought is in the comments in isaac's post .
thought you should at least know what i said.

Anonymous said...

It seems the responses to Scott's Bah! blog proved his point. Is that the sin for which he must atone by apologizing?

Scott Walters said...

Dorothy -- Thank you for the heads up. While I understand your desire for a promise of honesty and integrity, and I would have no problem telling you privately just that, I don't really feel that it is necessary or appropriate for me to do so in public. If, after a year of reading my blog, a single post is enough to undermine your or anybody's trust of my integrity, then there isn't much I can do about that -- apparently, there wasn't much trust to begin with. I apologized -- I don't think my method was ethical, and I said so clearly and without hedging. Nobody as yet has apologized to me for their words, which in many instances crossed some pretty serious lines of civility, propriety, and democracy. Now, how is my trust of their integrity and civility supposed to survive? No, I've gone as far as I can. If that isn't far enough, I'll live with the consequences. I'm not cutting out a pound of flesh for the blogosphere.

P'tit Boo said...

I hear you Scott and i did not insult you. So you gots to take it to the ones who did.
I simply took you off my blogroll for now and chose not to partake.
I need to confess though, I had sent your original post ( the first one which was fake) to the chairman of the theatre department of the school i went to. I don't email him very often and i thought he might want to read that post. then i had to write him and apologize for sending him a fake post . that was kind of embarassing. the man is busy and i felt like an ass, ,when you were the one who was being an ass.

the story is done.
but see, it did cause damage.
sometimes cheating once can indeed break trust in a marriage and break that marriage. i know this isn't a marriage but there was still breach of trust as far as i am concerned.
call me sensitive , but that's how i feel.

i'll still read you but it's gonna take me some time to trust you again and honestly i dont know right now if i ever will be able to .
that's just where i am. wanted to be honest with you.

Anonymous said...

Apologizing so soon?
Are you not tenured?
I for one felt the little experiment was far more revealing of the festering pit of vipers that apparently infects the grant sucking theater world. I thought theater people were open and broad minded?! Remind me never to get involved in theater professionally, I couldn't work surrounded by such knee-jerks. I'm an engineer by trade and we are required to accept criticism as a matter of routine review, but then again it's human lives at stake, not just the culture this country bathes in.

Scott Walters said...

*LOL* "Festering pit of vipers," anonymous... well, maybe a LEETLE bit strong. It is a tight community, and so there is a strong desire for people to be "nice." Sometimes, this means that we condemn those who question firmly held beliefs. In this case, there was a sense that I had crossed a line as far as misrepresenting myself. Perhaps so. What wasn't dealt with, however, was that a large part of the abusiveness came when people were simply responding to my original post, before they knew it was an experiment. Nobody has yet apologized for those posts, and I don't expect that anyone will. But I do think that it wasn't fair on my part to approach making my point in that fashion. I would love to see some self-reflection on the part of other people, but so far...