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Death and The Maiden

2008-02-09 19:40:54.828327+00 by topspin 2 comments

I've been hanging out with Kat for a few days in Nashville and we saw Death and The Maiden last night at the Belcourt.

The production disturbed us, as we thought it would, with thoughts of retribution and how far we would go if we had the chance with those who've wronged us. On a larger scale, the program notes featured an article from the author, Ariel Dorfman, penned just 22 days after 9/11/01 in which he harkened back to Chile's 9/11/73 when Pinochet bombed the Presidential Palace to begin his coup. It shamed me that I somehow felt America "owned" tragedy on 9/11 and the day was blameless before 2001.

The excellent introspective conversation which followed was wonderful, but left me up early delving into more writings by Dorfman concerning America and the world's view of us:

Beware the plague of victimhood, America.

The finger I point at you, pointed back at my own self. I know that thrill, I have sweetly sucked it in, I have felt the surge of self-righteousness that comes from being unfairly hurt. Anything we do, justified. Any criticism against us, dismissed.

Beware the plague of fear and rage, America.

Nothing more dangerous: a giant who is afraid. Projecting power and terror so the demons within and without will not devour him, so the traumas of the past will not repeat themselves.

Beware the plague of amnesia, America.

Or have you forgotten Chile? Not just a name. Chile? Democratic Chile? Demonized, destabilised by your government in 1973? Chile? That country misruled for 17 years by a dictator you helped to install?

And other countries, other names. Iran, Nicaragua, the Congo, Indonesia, South Africa, Laos, Guatemala. Just names? Just footnotes in history books, your creatures?

continuing toward....

Where is that America of mine? Where is that other America? Where is the America of 'as I would not be a slave so would I not be a master', the America of this 'land is our land this land was meant for you and me', the America of all men, and all women, everyone of us on this ravaged, glorious earth of ours, all of us, created equal? Created equal: one baby in Afghanistan or Iraq as sacred as one baby in Minneapolis. Where is my America? The America that taught me tolerance of every race and every religion, that filled me with pioneer energy, that is generous to a fault when catastrophes strike?

Dorfman spares neither the love nor the disgust with America. A VERY interesting read for this good ol' boy.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: This is where we are heading made: 2008-02-09 22:28:38.740866+00 by: BC

If you want to know where American is heading just watch Zeitgeist.


#Comment Re: made: 2008-02-10 08:29:30.829614+00 by: spc476

And for some background on the September 11, 1973 coup, there is The Allende Myth, by Vladimir Dorta.