Monday, October 29, 2007

Out in the Streets

The Red Sox win the World Series!

I was home from the last performance of our ghost stories in time to see the end of the game last night, but went to sleep before some of the mayhem started in the streets. Unfortunately students went a little nuts again and some ended up causing serious damage. (It is reported that an officer had teeth knocked out by a rock thrown by a reveler.)

The level of rioting was nothing like a few years ago, but after the unfortunate death of Victoria Snelgrove, the actions of the students seem almost irrational. While I am all for celebrating, I would hate to see another death like that.

As the game was finishing, news on other stations was already cutting away to the phalynxes of riot police starting to face off with potential celebrators. It was almost, in a sick way, as if it was the pregame show for another battle that was going to take place once the baseball game was over.

This celebratory rioting will dominate headlines and talk radio for a day or two, but contrast that with Patrick Gabridge's report from the front lines of a different type of public expression this past weekend:

I was left feeling that I'd at least done something. But maybe it's
fortunate that I also don't feel like it's likely to make a big difference in the outcome. Not this one thing. But it was encouraging to see 10,000 other people willing to take time out of their days, away from college football and Red Sox pre-game shows, to let the world know they think this war is a bad idea. If all of those 10,000 people keep at it, keep raising their voices, maybe it'll make a difference.

I checked the Boston Globe this morning to try to find coverage of the
march. The first page featured a big photo of the Red Sox game from last night, of course. I don't have a problem with that. The column of news roundup gave no mention of the rally. The other front page stories were: Michelle Obama revels in Family Role, a piece about mostly unused HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes in the Big Dig, and a story about a suburban physician who did bad things to seven patients.

Hmm. No protest coverage.

Well, how about the local "City & Region" section? ....

As another note, while I was driving home from Chilling Tales last night I heard Christopher Shinn being interviewed on a local radio station. Mr. Shinn's play Dying City is currently playing at the Lyric Stage.

The host and Shinn were talking about Larry Kramer's plays and how speaking out about the state of the world almost seems like an obligation. I was flipping back and forth between the Sox and the interview, but it was invigorating to hear theatre discussion on the radio.

In the blogosphere there has been some talk about apathy. Isaac Butler posted about it recently, and Scott Walters, theatre professor in North Carolina, has a long response:

I don't know that any of these musings have anything to do with Isaac's questions -- I suspect it is a middle-aged riff on a young person's struggle. But I would offer that waiting for The System to change, and the people within that system, is a red herring. There will always be a System, and most of the time it won't support what you believe in. Ignore the system; focus on yourself. Determine what you believe in, and then follow that star.


Thomas Garvey said...

Where were these comments from Patrick Gabridge (I assume this is Gabridge the playwright)?

Thanks -


Art said...


It is Patrick Gabridge. I will put up a link to the post on his blog.

I thought I did that.