Thursday, December 7, 2006

Melbourne's Finest

The black dog has nipped me, I'm afraid. Personal and temporary reasons bear the main blame, but a big reason is both public and ongoing. George Hunka has done a good job of negotiating the ethics of the situation from a distance. Alison Croggon has navigated the whole affair here, and is moderating a good discussion. I am speechless. Gutted. Gobsmacked. Ashamed.

A person without any power has spoken out about a perceived structural illness and she has been lynch-mobbed. There is no other word for it. Alison points out that this is another chapter in Melbourne's history of small-mindedness (and believe me, I know of theatre-workers who have been "punished" for "not playing nice") but this is a new low.

I don't blame Minkshoe for folding, for self-censoring. She started her blog with a very clear statement of vulnerability. As an actor, she had nothing to gain and something to lose. Her aggressors have borne out her fears. I'm grateful that while I am speechless there are more match-fit bloggers who are saying what needs to be said. I'll pull myself together soon.

Elias Canetti's Crowds and Power surely has an apposite quote about the mob (damn that library in a box!). All I can bring to mind is another of his aphorisms, "There are enmities that must be met. Silence is rot."

I only post this if others are using it as a portal. Check it out, follow it up and consider this a very temporary silence on my behalf. 'Til then, I'm going to go and cheer myself up by listening to some Howard Barker.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Daniel, for articulating my reactions so well. I have read all of this with growing horror, and I haven't posted anything in response because I thought saying something like "What is WRONG with you people?" would not be productive. Have we become so parochial, so frightened, so spectacularly self-serving and stupid that dissent, even if not 'nicely' phrased, even if slightly 'personal' (which Ming-Zhu's post was not) must be countered with adolescent invective, threats and flame wars? And for what? ten minutes in the Fairfax?

Anyway. Thank you for expressing my outrage. And prompting me to do it myself. As my grandmother would have said, better out than in.

Nice to see you back, by the way.


Theatre Queen said...

Now Daniel we just have to turn that frown upside down. You can't let the nobs get you down, saddle up big boy there's plenty of fun to be had.

Sorry cliche overload, but we bang on all the time about the necessity for vigourous (and hopefully coherent) exchange. After too long in the dark the light is too stark and many are discomforted by the glare, but they will get used to it and the debates will improve.

But a certain lass (not all of whose comments I agree with) has been incredibly brave (fuck isn't that a nonsense that speaking your mind can be seen to be piss weak we can be) and it requires all people of largeness of mouth to come to her aid. Not I hasten to add to dimiss those who have in good temper debated her position but those whose vitriol demonstrates that (cliche alert) it is the empty vessel that makes the most noise...

Alison Croggon said...

Too right, TQ; and yes, don't let it get you down, Daniel. Btw, TQ, I owe you some thanks for classing up the comments when they were in danger of turning into drivel...though I'm not sure this is the place to do it...

Theatre Queen said...

a pleasure Alison but no thanks required...but always accepted and printed on tee shirts