I Wanna Be Like …

I Wanna Be Like …

i wanna be like mikePublication is instantaneous. So blogging means that there is no Editor between you and your readers unless you place one there.

Boal’s term, Cop-in-the Head.

I know I am on to something if I begin to experience that distinct trepidation that occurs when my writing begins leading me, instead of me leading it.

The Cop-in-the Head is also known as the Peer Panel. I never really completely recognize the authority I have allowed the Peer Panel to assert over my writing. It’s not that I desire to be ostracized, it’s just that I hate that the small pretences necessary for civil relationships in life also creeps into my writing. You want a place where truth will not be compromised. There is no such place. But that’s the struggle.

Oh yeah, and that other struggle, the one against self-righteousness. So that even when you have found the truth, it’s not the only truth, and you have been acting the bully or the asshole with your version.

Mike Daisey’s version of the truth in the scandal he initiated has not just gone stale but has decomposed into a state of rottenness. Whatever truth he may have originally attempted to uncover with his publication of the incident has long ago disappeared. What he is doing now stinks. Rather, what he is not doing stinks. Mike seems unable to swallow the small dose of humility necessary to correct the record on this incident.

Perhaps there is more to it than just an accidental misrepresentation. Mike is now in contact with the Norco kids and promises a report. But the longer he waits to correct his original assumptions and representation of “the group,” the more he invites speculation on his original motive for publishing the incident. One observer and critic of the scandal, Jim in the comment section here at Rat Sass, suggests that Mike was not at all confused about the identity of “the group” he labeled as Christian at the time he published the YouTube video. He places the events in a chronology in an attempt to support his view. I do find it both interesting and telling that Mike has blocked this critic’s comments at the YouTube site.

Although Mike Daisey has had his Dilettante web site and blog for years, it is only over the last two weeks that he has become Theatre Blogger Supreme. Mike’s blog doesn’t allow comments and prior to the current scandal involving his performance, he never appeared in any of the comment sections of other theatre blogs. But during this fracas, Mike became a full citizen in the theatre blogosphere , a virtual social gadfly, joining in the comment section of any theatre blog here, there, and everywhere that critically portrayed and/or discussed the incident and the ensuing scandal.

Mike, the Celebutante from Dilettante, has since retreated from the comment sections of the theatre blogosphere. From his bunker today he posts a link to a new story on Paris Hilton, one of many in the Dilettante archives. Mike’s obsession is likely not so much with the socialite as it is with the nature of celebrity itself. Celebutantes like Paris Hilton are always suspected of leaking the scandal tidbits that keep them “famous for being famous.” Similarly Mike’s debut into the comment and “critical” realm of the blogosphere is likely a calculated study of his own celebrity, not some search for truth or understanding about the incident. Probably more self-deceiving than disingenuous, he bizarrely claims that the YouTube broadcast of the incident is not self-promotion, but is actually detrimental to his serious work as an artist. As if some entity other than Mike himself controls it.

6 thoughts on “I Wanna Be Like …

  1. Its weird you put this in a public space but the incidents you refer to are entirely internal to your world. Cool, what does Richard Foreman think of things like that? That article on Foreman is sort of the best thing on this blog as far as just one tiny little winkle of implication about how blogging acts as a foil for pre-meditated dramatic dialogue. Incidently there’s no such thing as a ‘Fake Ad’ only a guerilla one – and those are more epistemologically orthodox than commercial ones because they use a familiar visual language to confound the ‘construction’ of an expected commercial message. They assume therefore that commercial ads actually do convey commercial, inducing messages that are possible to undo and re-direct. As we all know of course advertising doesn’t actually do that, it acts as an after image reconfirming our choice to buy into or not. Sort of like re-visiting foreman after the world of blogs…

  2. The artist on why he did it:

    “The Hilton Hotel presents itself as a paragon of excellence and class. The brand’s image badly needed updating.”

    So you’re right, it probably shouldn’t be considered a fake ad. I fixed that for you.

  3. Thanks for that. This is great I actually saw the Mike Daisey video and his website through links here. What a vain goof! I was lucky in that my sound system wasn’t working as he was giving his performance and the image of people pouring water over his work reminded me of some fluxus performance – Yoko Ono with scizors or Gustav Metzger blowtorching things in London in the 1960’s (If anyone sees this little man today at openings in Hoxton or at the Tate spouting off some rubbish, please remember he was a survivor of Auschwitz – as were a few fluxus performers.) Joseph Beuys once amplified his objections to a German gallery that used his childhood bathtub to store beer during an opening. This conceit of reaction can carry the work further – I wonder how Mike Daisey could be surprising or unpredictable in harnessing the indignance of his reaction into means to carry the work to a higher level of art, or to sharpen the aesthetic acuity of the conceit, instead of just appearing like a vain moron.

  4. Re: Image of Hilton, the guerilla ad:

    See “Ironia: Medieval and Renaissance ideas of Irony” by Dilwyn Knox at University College London (pub. Brill). Practically no new concepts of irony operate in culture but some of the older ones can provide means to rethink new ways to design it. This book is largely bibliographic references as well – years of looking through the Vatican library to examine sources of writing on irony – also look at Samuel Beckett’s notes on Teofilo Folengo – the Renaissance writer who wrote in Latin but with an Italian grammar – hence the language appears stream-of-consciousness as well as being somewhat Rabelaisian… Irony comes from certain incurable features of language rather than a desire to be sarcastic … and on …

  5. Sometimes you fudge the Pimp. And sometimes the Pimp fudges you. Watch out! -R

  6. Ralph, just wait to you get your blog. I’ll fudge your pimp until he’s working working for me.

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