Friday, 22 April 2011

Stop. Look. Listen.

By now you all know of my love for Amanda Palmer. Her music speaks to me in a way few other artists do. I may not listen to her stuff as frequently or as openly as i do other musicians, but if I'm feeling down, or angry, or in any way diminished then she is the one who i know can set me right. On her blog yesterday she wrote a post about a play she saw, and this part I thought was really beautiful.

This is something we do together. This is what theater does, what it’s for. Catharsis.
We’ve been doing it for thousands of years.
We go to the darkest places to feel things to the marrow, and think about them in a space made for thinking, feel in a space made for feeling.
Where it’s safe.

It was part of a post she wrote about seeing a play based on the Columbine school shooting, which happened 12 years ago yesterday. The play was a highschool play which the school banned the students from performing, until a local theatre allowed them to perform on their stage.She went on to write about the importance of allowing young people to express themselves through the arts. The end of the post i found particularly moving.

after everything we’ve learned….really?

really, shut the kids up?
shut them up for trying to tackle real art? for trying to say real things?
really, try to stop them from making art that doesn’t apologize and pander, art that swears, art that’s dark and mean and reflects like a jagged mirror?
really clamp your hand over their mouths when they decide to put on a play about the things that are ACTUALLY meaningful to them?

marilyn manson said, when asked by michael moore in (“Bowling for Columbine”) what he would say to eric harris and dylan klebold if he’d had the chance to talk to them:
“I wouldn’t say a single word. I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.”

do not stop listening.
if you don’t listen, they notice.
if you don’t listen, they get angry.
if you don’t listen, they turn the darkness inside out.
eventually, if you don’t listen, they shoot at you.
all the time.
until you fall dead in the ground, until your fingers fall off and your head hurts:
give the darkness an airtime, a venue, a canvas.
you will hear what you what you need to hear.

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