Monday, March 08, 2010


So I just spent about an hour writing a detailed response to this, and then...well, I just started laughing. I laughed about the idea of Don "you're a douchebag" Hall addressing a class at Columbia College about "arts journalism." (What next? Tiger Woods giving a seminar on fidelity?) I laughed about what kind of overblown sense of self-importance leads him and XXX to think that they can serve as judge and jury about another blogger. But mostly I laughed at myself for getting upset over this.

In the interest of what Don calls "transparency," here is my policy regarding commenters:
Any person who comments on this blog, known to me or not, is treated with the same level of anonymity. That anonymity is set by the commenter, not by me
That has been my policy since I started blogging, and will continue to be my policy in the future. If the commenter wants to be completely anonymous, that is their choice (my blog allows anonyous commenters); if the commenter wants to provide their name, address, and social security number, that is their choice; and every variation in between is their choice. As much of a hassle as it is, I am going to leave comment moderation on in the future, so that if someone from outside this blog wants to identify a commenter, their comment will not be posted until I have permission from the commenter for that to occur. I didn't do this when I received the opening email from XXX (apparently, Don feels the need to protect the identity of only those who are his friends): "Dude, either you can tell everyone that laura sue is your wife, or I can.Talk about deception." I should have. Threats that start with "Dude" deserve comment moderation...

If you believe that following the above policy is duplicitous, dishonest, deceptive or any other unflattering d-word -- well, I suggest that you either get counseling for your sense of paranoia, or remove this blog from your feed and spend your time with Don, devilvet, and Joshua .

The fact is that that trio has spent years trying to undermine my work, and for some inexplicable reason they think this is the issue to do it. They have spent years complaining that I don't pay the proper respect to Nylachi, and to every artist who works there. At the same time, they want the right to insult people who live in small and rural communities, dismiss regular audience members, and attack me for the unforgivable fact that I am a professor and an NEA grant recipient. What really gets them angry, as the comments on Don's post make all too clear, is that I didn't "apologize" for...I don't know what...having the temerity to think that the theatrical world doesn't revolve around Nylachi, I guess.

Tellingly, Don writes in his comments, "until he can openly admit that his argument for more funding for rural theaters is fueled by his disdain for the kind of stories we "self absorbed, contemptuous" urban artists tell, his argument will always be disputed as nothing but an old college professor's screaming at the kids to turn that music down." Right... My argument for more funding for rural theatres is fueled by a sense of justice and equity, and in order to create greater equity and justice, the first thing that has to happen is wrenching some money out of the grasping, greedy fingers of the Big Nylachi and Nylachi-fed institutions, and addressing the mindset that allows it to happen. And that takes more than polite words and deference.

This blog stands for respect:
  • Respect for people who live in and create in small and rural communities as well as metropolitan areas.
  • Respect for the power of the arts to communicate.
  • Respect for the idea of the artist as servant to the Greater Good.
This blog does not respect:
  • The Nylachi mindset that believes in a hierarchy of value based on geography, class, and budget size.
  • The idea that artists are somehow superior beings whose sole job is to express themselves.
  • Artistic obfuscation.
I hope that is "transparent" enough.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some actual work to do. I just got back from SETC, where I saw about 500 high school students and undergrads being encouraged, lemming-like, toward the Nylachi precipice, lured by the dulcet tones of Tituss Burgess singing that he will believe in them.

If you want to discuss this non-issue more, Don's comment section is wide open. But here, we're moving on. No comments, either for or against, will be approved on this post.

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