Sunday, January 13, 2008

I love me some Carl Forsman

He is saying exactly what I've been saying for years. People like Forsman are the true radicals in a theatre culture of mindless zombie Mamet imitators and admirers who insist that theatre must be brutal, violent and cruel.
And for him beauty is more than just pleasantry. "I've thought for a while now that maybe true theatrical rebellion isn't saying, 'And then a guy raped a 4-year-old and shot his mom,'" he said. "That’s not radical anymore because we're so desensitized. Now I think true rebellion is saying anything optimistic or positive about humanity. Hope is radical."

Mr. Forsman said his attitude has been met with skepticism. "I was at a fund-raising cocktail party once," he said, "and a man said to me, 'You're a Pollyanna.' And I said, 'I'm a Pollyanna because I'm championing these virtues?’ It doesn’t seem Pollyanna-ish to believe in compassion. It's only Pollyanna if you believe the reverse isn't also possible."

He continued: "There's no question that the cynical viewpoint is viewed as more sophisticated. There's a real fear, especially among the intelligentsia, of generosity and compassion because they look like the acts of someone who’s na├»ve."

I would hasten to add - they fear they look like someone who's not manly enough. We live in a culture where telling someone they "have balls" is the highest compliment. And the equation of bravery with masculinity is done without any self-consciousness whatsoever. And yet there's still so many idiots who won't STFU with their endless whining about "political correctness."

I believe I will go and subscribe to the Keen Company.

More at the NYTimes