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Invincible Summer “Protest”

A Hyjacked Performance of “Invincible Summer” at The American Repertory Theatre: An (In)Appropriate Form of Protest?

On April 19, 2007, Mike Daisey performed his spoken word piece, Invincible Summer in Boston. A group of 87 audience members, described as “members of a Christian high school visiting from Northern California” got up and walked out because Daisey was using the word “fuck” in his performance. One decided to pour water on his script. I’m not even going to bother talking about the water thing. (Here is another account of the incident)

This is from Daisey’s account of his investigation into the incident.

The group responsible for the incident is from a public high school, though they identified themselves to me as a Christian group as they fled the theater–it’s barely audible on the YouTube clip, as an adult tells me they are a Christian group, then flees for the door, refusing to engage with me. Then in the lobby of the theater and on the phone to the box office they identified themselves again and again as a Christian group–I don’t know what that says about the division of church and state in Norco, California. As a group, the people in charge freely identified themselves as a Christian group, until reporters call and they remember they are from a public high school.

Daisey’s account of the evening at:

And here is his very classy discussion of what happened when he confronted the superstitious jackass who led the whole thing.

First of all, I’d like to know what the hell was so “offensive?” Lets do an experiment, read this: Fuck, fuck, fuckitty, fuck. Fuck the fucker, the fucking fucker’s fucked. If you really want to know what I think about the word “fuck,” then read this: In re Cybernet.

Look outside, the sun is still shining. Life is going on. Puppies are being born and rabbits are getting soap in their eyes in animal experiments, and yes, every minute another sucker is born. In other words, this “magic word” didn’t change anything.

I would love to learn more about this event – as in which hosebag “teacher” told these kids, “hey, I have a great way to make a statement that I believe in, lets try to wreck a performance because the guy says fuck in it.”

I could understand if the performance had some anti-christian theme or comments. I don’t know if I would approve of trying to screw up the performance even under those conditions, but I could at least understand. I don’t claim to speak for god, nor do I claim to be a theologian. Nevertheless, I’m certain that any being who created all of eternity and infinity can get along just fine with the use of the word “fuck” in a performance about New York City and Paris Hilton. The priests and ministers that I know would probably say that these 87 kids’ time and money would have been a lot better spent a mile away from this performance, showing compassion to the homeless, ministering to the downtrodden, or doing any number of positive and constructive things. This was just idiotic.

The cool thing about this is how Daisey handled it. He challenged them to engage him in a dialogue, and they reacted as most hypocrites and morons would – they just kept walking. These 87 little brainwashed mindless idiots don’t have the first idea about what god wants, and neither do I. But, I will say that any god who would be offended at this performance is way too insecure for the deity job.

And any “teacher” or “minister” or whoever else came up with this brilliant use of 87 brainwashed idiots is no more a “christian” than Marilyn Manson.


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