Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Vote for Comment of the Week

Put your votes in the comments.  Voting closes Friday at lunchtime...

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Hollywood Diversity Report Reveals a Grim, Obvious...":

Reading this is extremely sad, and reinforces how deeply ingrained the patriarchy is in our interconnected systems of government, media, and business, among surely other places. The information that makes it all the more difficult is that, even those few females artists who have the opportunity to be employed in Hollywood are backed and controlled by production companies also run by primarily white males, many of whom may actively seek to continue the interests of white, capitalist, imperialist control.

The question that I consider as I think about this, is how to make this type of news more widespread. How can our work light a fire underneath its audiences in order for someone who has the ability to, to actively seek to break down the institutions of the patriarchy and move us into a greater world of equality. While I recognize that that seems idealistic and without planning, the fact of the matter is that without considering these things in an idealistic way, we will simply continue to read articles such as this and continue to bemoan the state of our world as a patriarchal society that is out of our control.
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "The Oregon Shakespeare Festival Focuses on Diversi...":
Theatre is about life, and as such, should be accessible to everyone who experiences life. The sad truth of the matter is that commercial theatre plays largely to a white, upper-class audience, and is an industry run by white, upper-class men. I applaud the efforts The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, because it can be very difficult to diversify an art so steeped in its backwards traditions. The fact that soon the majority of the actors will be people of color is incredible, and having a company that is so well known taking these steps sends a big signal to the rest of the theatrical world. I’m also very glad that The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is promoting women playwrights, as it is one of the other major flaws theatre has presented. The other point I found very interesting, and hadn’t really thought of before, was the lack of diversity in the audience. I’m glad that the festival has recognized this issue and taken steps to remedy it. The whole point of diversifying theatre is to make is more accessible to minorities, and if they aren’t even attending, then there’s no point. It also serves to mention that the lack of diversity in theatre is probably what turned the minority crowd away from it in the first place. I hope that simply by making the diverse casting choices, the festival will draw a more diverse crowd. Theatre is by far one of the most enjoyable, and should be one of the most accessible art forms available. The fact that a large part of the population is being underrepresented and turned away is horrifying. The work that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is doing to combat this should set an example for other theatres across the country.
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "Part of Your World: On the Arts and Wellbeing":
I found the inner debate of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and GNH (Gross National Happiness) to be quite intriguing. The aim of both of these indicators is to quantify how well a society is doing, GDP in terms of economic success and GNH in terms of the overall well-being of a country. We are slowly approaching the dawn of a new era, a time when computers and machinery are doing the vast majority of the jobs once held by the middle class. With these jobs being taken by inanimate objects, what jobs are left for these people? The human race continues to grow in terms of population; every day there are more humans on this planet than there ever were before. So what do these people do to survive and sustain themselves, especially when there are fewer jobs to be had? If you’re good at reading between the lines you can sense the undertone of this question in the article, yet the article just kind of mumbles over the handful of GNH indicators that have been formulated instead of actually addressing the issue. Then at the end, the article wraps up with it’s “arts are good for happiness” argument. Personally, I believe there is an untapped answer lying between the success of the arts and the downfall of jobs which produce goods/services on an economically minded scale. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "David Bowie, Aerosmith, Flaming Lips Pen Songs for...":

Nobody on Earth knows how excited I am for this. I feel like after this, we all may as well quit theatre, there will be literally nothing left to do that could ever top this. This musical will probably end up beating out Phantom of the Opera for the longest running musical in America. I'm surprised this show isn't a CMU grad's thesis, because of how influential and classic it will become.

Think about the SpongeBob costume. What the HELL is that going to be? Is it going to be like the guys you see at sporting events, in a suit with an unmoving, plastic smile? Dead eyes, grabbing hands reaching out for children? Or will they make it meta, strip a guy down, paint him yellow, and teach him how to do the voice REALLY well? Squidward is a SQUID. He has FOUR LEGS. What is the plan there? I am hoping someone will invent fully independently functioning prosthetic limbs just for SPONGEBOB: THE MUSICAL. The whole thing takes place under the sea. Possibly the first ever fully aquatic Broadway performance? What about the character Pearl, who is 1) a whale, 2) a high school cheerleader, and 3) 30x the size of her own father?

Also, addressing the more obvious point, where else is this musical line up going? I am hoping they throw in several Nicki Minaj dance numbers.

I know this is just a sad grab for cash riding off the success of the movie, but SpongeBob has always been a show that made NO SENSE, and that' why I love it. I can see this musical becoming like every other Disney musical, flashy with nothing new. Or, I can see the creators going, "Why not make this weird? No one takes it seriously anyways, let's have Sandy be played by a REAL SQUIRREL." I am desperately hoping for the latter, and will be following this production closely. 
 Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Bad Singing and Fire Eating: Actors on Their ‘Spec...":
With a bachelor's degree (or higher!) now a fairly standard requirement for many openings in the modern job market, it no longer serves as the same distinguishing marker it did in decades past. With college graduates an ever-increasing population, the successful application of novel ways to distinguish oneself is not just a nice touch, but an unspoken requisite. While these unique talents featured in the article are showcased in an arena more hospitable to such bizarre special skills, their individuality speaks to the new quest for a resume to truly tell a fulsome story or carry an applicant's voice.

As someone mere years away from entering the punishing cycle of job applications and career questing, it feels as though I - and my peers - have been handed the task of making ourselves special in a pool where everyone is special. Toss air quotes around the word "special", and we might as well be back in kindergarten, fighting for the teacher's attention. While it was disheartening to hear about those who caught the attention of potential employers, and still walked away without a job, it was nice to know they weren't quite empty handed, having gleaned valuable feedback and a better sense of what stuck with those in charge of casting.

No comments: