For months and months four major non-profit organizations across the US (Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Woolly and the Public Theater) worked to put “The Agony And The Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs” on the stage, bringing the story we all felt was so enormously important – a story Mike told at least me time and time again was true. He insisted that “This is a work of non-fiction” be printed in playbills. This was to be a work of activist theatre. Staff at Woolly handed out sheets of paper to every audience member that left our theatres, per Mike’s insistence, that urged them to take action on this matter. (I and other staffers would get nasty emails from him the next day if even one audience member slipped by without collecting this call to action.) As the head of the marketing staff at Woolly, my staff and I worked hard to get butts in seats, and it worked. We sold out our houses. As in the other cities where Mike appeared, we got Mike in every major news outlet in DC, and the buzz, hype and importance of the show only grew along the way.
And then what happened? We learned from a radio producer, a year later, that Mike’s facts weren’t true. And what Mike did was apologize to him, to Ira. But he never apologized to us, and he never apologized to our audiences. In fact, what he did in his retraction interview was say, “I believe that when I perform it in a theatrical context in the theatre that when people hear the story in those terms that we have different languages for what the truth means.” My answer to that is that “This is a work of non-fiction” is pretty clear language.”
“If Daisey had claimed the theatrical exemption in the theatre for his inventions then I would be just fine with those inventions. But he didn’t, he’s all along been claiming that this is not simply theatre, this is nonfiction, something which we hold to different standards,” Worstall writes. “At which point… I withdraw my partial defence of his actions.”
Worstall writes, “One more thing to reiterate: I still insist that Daisey’s been wildly wrong all along about the implications of the conditions in those factories. Quite true that they’re not conditions that we would like to be subject to but that’s not the point at all. The comparison is to what else is available to those who do voluntarily work in them. As their alternatives include 12 hours a day staring at the southern end of a north moving water buffalo perhaps assembling iPads isn’t so bad?”
Read more in the full article here.
Read also “This Is A Work of Non-Fiction” – recommended – here.
Also of interest, via China Law Blog, read Dan Harris’ “Mike Daisey Is A Liar-Asshole” here.
MacDailyNews Take: The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. – H. L. Mencken
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "krquet" for the heads up.]
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