File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 183

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 00:17:38 -0500
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Bread Puppet addition

>I have volunteered with Bread and Puppet during their summer program and
>while on tour for the past three years and I have never experienced anything
>but a loving and open atmosphere from the theater. I wonder how many here
>who are spouting negativity about the theater's work have actually worked
>with the company.

All art, including art that prides itself on making political 
pronouncements, is a legitimate object of diverse and sometimes 
hostile critique.  What difference does it make whether or not the 
critics have  worked with the artists and whether or not the artists 
are loving people?  What is being discussed is the work and how it 
presents itself.  It is a bit gauche and uncouth to try to manipulate 
its critics into a position of bad-conscience, by branding critical 
views of B&P's work and its professional decisions as "spouting 
negativity" - as if criticizing B&P was defeatist or politically 

><but have always parted favor with their over the
>>  head with a sledge hammer method of delivering a "message">
>how is it that mainstream culture and politics do not beat Americans over
>the head with their "message" whether it's patriotism or the sexuality of
>pop singers?  Bread and Puppet circus acts, although they do represent an
>alternative political view, are extremely tame compared to most television
>that I can recall.

Melissa, so what?  Is mainstream culture a yardstick for the art we 
should make?


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