Monday, June 20, 2011

Bruins parade, maybe. How about a parade for the arts?

We've seen the pictures and the video of the Vancouver hockey riots on the night of the Stanley Cup final game. There's no need for me to repost them or even go through Blogspot's clunky procedure for posting rich media onto this blog. (Though, Blogspot, it has gotten better.) We've all gawked. It's embarrassing for Vancouver. Move on. Show's over.

Wow. All over a hockey game. Scenes we saw from that night are usually reserved for places that are trying to overthrow a dictator or win civil rights. I'm not even sure what it was all about. I'd be willing to bet they didn't even know either. Were they mad? At whom? Frustrated? By a hockey team? You're kiddng? By the economy? By their spouses? Man, there is some deep-seated anger in Vancouver. Who knew?

Still, deep, deep, deep in one of my darkest places, I might be mildly thrilled if I wrote say, a play, that infuriated or touched people so deeply they were compelled to storm out of the theater and riot. Turn over a few cop cars and set them on fire. But that ain't going to happen. Not in the United States, at least. That only happens with sporting events. And in Europe.

And I would love if I, or maybe I and a group of fellow artists, were given a huge Duck Boat parade through Boston like the victorious Bruins were. Or if I was given a trophy, maybe. A trophy would be cool. I could put M&Ms in it, to show I was still just a regular guy. Or I think it would be neat if people held up signs with my bespectacled face reading, JGF for president. Or I'd even take an on-camera interview by a blonde Barbie of the like who interview middle-aged, fat coaches, who I resemble more than just a little, on ESPN. I'd nonchalantly mumble some cliches, because if we've seen one thing from this Bruin victory, these guys can't really say anything articulate. Sorry, they can't. Maybe they are star athletes and really nice guys to boot, but they effing flunk public speaking. Hey, take it from a word guy.

We're too sports-crazy in this nation. We are. And I know it sounds like sour grapes, but we don't value artists--at all. I even heard someone in my current class ejaculate (yes, it means something else beside that; what are you?--a hockey player or something?) that she is tired of hearing about artists. And she was sitting in a room with artists and I'm assuming self-professed that she was the same. Talk about your low self-esteem.

When my kids were little and I'd sit in an auditorium watching a school play, it would amaze me what parents would put up with. Those very same parents and relatives who would groan at a dropped pass on the football field or a miffed play on the baseball diamond were willing to put up with the sloppiest productions. Excruciating-long set changes, missed lighting cues, mixed up sound cues, bad blocking were totally acceptable, yet these same people would blow a gasket if a team didn't perform up to snuff. I figure they a) didn't know any better, and b) didn't care.

What's up with all this? I'm not saying nixed sports. I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying we should, like the ancient Greeks, embrace the arts equally with sports.

Funding for the arts is one of the first things to get cut. But in my opinion, given the economy and general disarray of the country, the fractured nature of our country for years, we need the arts more than ever. Politician every election year say they are going to bring the country together, but politics divide. Politics promotes debate, which can be good, but I'm not so sure it's what we need right now. We need dialogue--something completely different, and I'm a word guy and if you don't believe me look it up--but the arts promote dialogue. Conversation. That's what we need now.

Yeah, dialogue. Conversation. That's worth a parade.

No comments:

Web Analytics