Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let me get this straight... you're dissing the Wild and Crazy Guy?

For reasons that should be obvious, I get a bit twitchy whenever someone suggests banning a book or play or tries to impede others from access to artistic materials. For instance, a school superintendent in Oregon shut down a high school's impending production of Steve Martin's play, PICASSO AT THE LAPINE AGILE, after 137 community members signed a petition stating their "concern" about the show's adult content. Similarly, across the country, other high schools have faced similar opposition to their proposed stagings of the musical, RENT.

In the case of the Oregon school, Steve Martin himself has stepped up to the plate and offered to fund a non-profit production of the show to be produced off-campus in an effort "to prevent the play from acquiring a reputation it does not deserve."

I'm always happy to see parents taking an active interest in their children's activities and I firmly believe it is every parent's right to steer their children away from anything they feel might be harmful (based on personal values, of course). That stops making sense to me, though, when this "protective" nature expands to the children of other parents. Isn't it just easier (and more responsible) to tell your kid "I don't want you to have anything to do with that show" than it is to attempt to block other people's children from having the experience? Or am I missing something?

Anyway. Yay on Steve Martin. I hope the director of the show takes him up on this offer.

7 comments:

Ara Burklund said...

Wow...No one's touched this one yet? Not even to say, All I need is this toothbrush, and this chair, and this remote control (or however it goes)! Good for you, Brian, for calling out the reactionaries. It's unfortunate how anxious some folks are to censor art in the name of parenting.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Yep, I'm with you - steer them away, but leave others with the option to do what they like.

Satima Flavell said...

Can you please let me know how to get review copies of your books in Australia? (satima (at) specusphere dot com)

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toothbrush, and this chair, and this remote control (or however it goes)! Good Ugg boots clearance for you, Brian, for calling out the reactionaries. It's unfortunate how anxious some folks are to

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