Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Men Willingly Believe What They Wish

How Outrage Built Over A Shakespearean Depiction of Trump:

All over the country, from Oklahoma to Oregon, theaters have been staging “Julius Caesar” this year as a way to chew over politics, power, democracy and authoritarianism at a moment when a populist leader with a fondness for executive power has moved into the White House.
Most of the productions take place without incident, but Mr. Eustis’s, which opened Monday night in New York, has been engulfed in controversy ever since a bootleg video of the assassination of Caesar, who is styled and performed to suggest Mr. Trump, began circulating on the internet last week and some who had seen the performance started to complain.
The production is also explicit and graphic, featuring a blond, Trump-like Caesar in a red tie, whose bloody stabbing is seen as offensive and inappropriate to some who have seen it. They, along with Breitbart News and Fox News, have driven a campaign on social media against the Public that has prompted two corporate sponsors — Delta Air Lines and Bank of America — to withdraw their support of the production, and a third, American Express, to distance itself.
Sidebar: Bank of America pulling its funding of this is almost laughable. I guess when you're still forking out $17 billion in settlement fines to the Justice Department for having defrauded your customers and investors, it's kind of difficult to pony up for the arts.

But we digress.
“It was appalling,” Laura Sheaffer said in a radio interview. “Shocking.”
Ms. Sheaffer, a sales manager for Salem Media, a conservative-leaning media group, saw a performance on June 3. Three days later she described her dismay over the production in a conversation with the conservative radio host and comedian Joe Piscopo, then voiced her concern again to the media and politics site Mediaite, declaring “I don’t love President Trump, but he’s the president. You can’t assassinate him on a stage.” Mediaite made the most of the story, posting it with the headline “Senators Stab Trump to Death in Central Park Performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.”
Talk about the proverbial snowflakes. If you know anything about Julius Caesar, you know it's Shakespeare's cautionary tale against political violence...about what happens in the aftermath of political assassinations (Caesar is whacked about mid-way through the play; the second half is about said disastrous effects).

And another sidebar: is that what happened to former SNL star Joe Piscopo from back in the 80's? He became a conservative radio host? I guess you can only make a living doing Sinatra impersonations for so long.
Still, the wheels of conservative media — as well as some other outlets — were already in motion. Breitbart and The Blaze jumped in, citing Ms. Sheaffer, along with Newsbusters, a conservative media watchdog. Television’s “Inside Edition” quoted an unidentified audience member on camera saying, “I didn’t like that they made this person who looks like Trump get assassinated.”
On Sunday, “Fox and Friends,” the Trump-friendly morning show on Fox News, gave the outrage its largest platform, running multiple segments on the story. “Notice, nobody has a problem with it on the left,” said Pete Hegseth, a “Fox and Friends” host who appeared with Mr. Trump during his presidential campaign. “Nobody seems to care. It’s only us talking about it.”
That is odd, isn't it? I wonder why they are talking about this production, but they weren't talking about a similar staging of Julius Caesar back in 2012 which featured Caesar as Obama, replete with bloody assassination and everything?
Five years ago, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis staged a production featuring the assassination of an Obama-esque Caesar by a group of right-wing conspirators.
Hmmm...so "their side" getting over on Obama as Caesar is good, the "other side" getting over on Trump as Caesar bad. Got it. 

Say what you will about the "libtards," at least they were/are consistent on this one: support for the 2012 production, support for the 2017 production.

While Julius Caesar is considered one of Shakespeare's "tragedies," this reaction to it is nothing but comedy. The entire brouhaha shows how bizarrely hyper-partisan, politically-correct, and intellectually dumb we've become as a country.

And say what you will about Bill Shakespeare, but is there another writer who, 420 years later, is still mixing it up and getting in people's grills?

Veni, Vidi, Vici...talk about a career!

No comments: