61. Front Row, Back Row

Where do you sit when you go to the theatre--up close? about halfway back? near the back? The size of the theatre certainly makes a difference. In smaller storefront theatres all seats may be about the same, but in mid-size and larger venues you have these choices. How about a movie house? Do you sit with your feet up on the screen or farther back? Do you ever purposely sit in the back row at a movie house? I’ve done that--it allows me to see everything going on. There are visual connections in the background you can miss when you sit too close or watch a movie at home. The top show this season has been the Presidential election. It is easy to get sucked in. All of the talking heads with their grandiose proclamations. Is it possible for a mega-millionaire to be for we-the-people? Do you get to be a mega-millionaire by playing fair? Is it possible for a candidate on either side of the aisle to be for we-the-people and not we-the-oligarchs? Which candidate is the lesser evil do you think or are they both so evil you're disgusted with the entire process? It is easy to get sucked in, isn’t it. What happens is we forget politics is above all things--theatre! Who can out dumb the other candidate? Who can be so stupid no one can imagine how either of these two people can be in the position they are in. But we like the show, don't we? We must--they perform it for us. The talking heads begin spewing about one candidate or the other's lunacy and we get all riled up and pull our chairs up close to the TV and we get angry--how can he say that?! or how can she mean that?! If you would bother to put your chair back where it belongs and go out into the kitchen or maybe the backyard or the neighbor's yard three blocks away--you'd see this is theatre. We love to get riled up. We love get drawn in. We love to think we know better than they do, but do we? The talking heads talk and talk. The politicians talk and talk. But is anyone saying anything of any importance? As a playwright words are the building blocks of my craft--the words that are spoken and the words that are not spoken. Silence or the absence of certain words is what is being spoken so profoundly this election. There is one major issue in this election for me. There is only one thing I think is truly important for the short-term and long-term health, welfare and security of our country. There is only one thing we need to be dealing with and absolutely no one is saying anything about it--the trade deficit! All of these theatrics are designed to distract us from realizing no one--not one Congregational candidate, not one member of Congress, not one Presidential candidate--is or has been talking about the trade deficit. No one is talking about the unsustainability of the trade deficit. No one is talking about what she or he is planning to do to bring the trade deficit down. When we get drawn into nonsensical issues, such as what dumb thing this person or that person said, it is easy to keep us divided and keeping the 99% divided is the main objective--to keep us divided against ourselves and to keep us divided against our own best interests.

originally posted October 2016
reposted March 2018

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