Is it ART or Wishful Thinking? The Last Supper raises eyebrows

@Rollo1 (16691)
Boston, Massachusetts
February 8, 2011 9:48am CST
The new tone in politics has made its way into the arts. A theatre in Wisconsin has put on a new play "The Last Supper", but don't be fooled by the title. It's not a religious play. It's a political one. As the play unfolds, the audience discovers that it is "The Last Supper" for some conservative dinner guests invited over by liberal grad students whose plan is to kill the conservatives after the meal. Apparently, the play is just expressing the frustration of liberals over all the anger and violence of the right wingers: "Liberal grad students have a plan for right wingers, 1/21-2/12, Bartell Theatre’s Drury Stage, showing 8 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 6 pm Sundays. $15 (talkbacks with playwright Dan Rosen & actress Nora Dunn follow 1/28-29 shows). 661-9696 ext. 5“The Last Supper is a perfect Mercury fit. Mercury strives to keep our art current, poignant, radical and a bit raw — so does Dan Rosen’s The Last Supper. If you have felt helpless and unheard through the outrage of our own culture right now – through Arizona, through the Tea Party, through Madison’s own political turn – then this is the show for you!” said Mercury’s Artistic Director, Rachel Jenkins-Bledsoe." http://pushbacknow.net/2011/02/05/come-watch-us-kill-some-conservatives-says-madison-theatre-company/ The director is getting hate mail and has contacted the police about the tone of the emails she's receiving. I guess they aren't as civil as the play she's directing towards where you just kill people of opposing viewpoints. Honestly, I think this is okay. Plays, books, all of it - they've got a right to artistic freedom and freedom of speech. My basic problem is that no one would allow this if the victims and killers roles were reversed. No one would stand up for a play where conservative students invite liberals over to dinner to kill them. Actually, I would object to that scenario more myself, because I wouldn't want conservatives to portray the political conflict that way, wouldn't want anyone to associate me with that sort of attitude. But no one from the other side would say "it's artistic freedom". How about you? Regardless of which side you fall on, can you support the rights of people who disagree with you to put on a play about killing people whose politics they dislike, even if you belonged to the intended victims' political party?
3 people like this
7 responses
@jb78000 (15178)
8 Feb 11
you should read christopher brookmyre's latest. you'll get beautifully confused by that one. anyway since i, like i suspect everybody else in this discussion, haven't seen the play in question i won't comment on it. if you want free speech though obviously you can't stop things like this being shown. if you want only stuff you agree with perhaps you should try a right wing version of communism?
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16691)
• Boston, Massachusetts
8 Feb 11
You haven't seen the play but you could read the discussion in which I support the free speech of those putting on the play.
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15178)
8 Feb 11
i reread what you wrote. i thought *i* was bored. anyway i think i'll start some exciting new konspiracies - really slowing down in here isn't it?
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16691)
• Boston, Massachusetts
8 Feb 11
That's okay, sorry to disappoint you by not being as reactionary as you expected. But there are others who are willing to post reactionary comments, just look around. I am not too worried about boring anyone, seems to be a few responses here so I feel the interest level is sufficient.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31298)
• United States
8 Feb 11
I support free speech but I do wish people would use some judgment. Just as you shouldn't shout "fire!" in a crowded theater, you should not talk about killing people with whom you disagree. The problem is hypocrisy. Those people, as you said, would have a fit if it was conservatives talking about killing liberals. Have you heard the sound bites from a Code Pink rally where people are talking about lynching Clarence Thomas? I've heard so much violent speech from the left while they accuse the right of being violent and want to shut down talk radio and other outlets that are conservative. I do support the right of that theater to put on that play. It's not like they're not forcing anyone to go see it.
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16691)
• Boston, Massachusetts
8 Feb 11
The racist attacks on Clarence Thomas are being downplayed and ignored by the MSM. Even the NAACP refuses to comment or call out the racists and there is no Al Sharpton anywhere to be seen. These are liberals attacking a conservative, he will get no protection or comfort from the left-owned organizations whose stated purpose is to combat racism. The liberals know that Obamacare is doomed in the Supreme Court and expect it to fall by a 5-4 decision. Make no mistake, the attacks, both personal and political, against Thomas will continue and increase. They see him as the best target. They will cite his wife's political activities as reason to have him recuse himself from the Obamacare review. They need to do this in service to Obama and his agenda. I don't feel like I know my country anymore.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26634)
• United States
8 Feb 11
I don't and never, EVER would support calls for "lynching" anyone but I fervently believe Thomas needs to recuse himself from the health care bill case. His wife is a lobbyist against health care reform, if that's not a conflict of interest, I don't know what is. He's an UNELECTED Justice with a lifetime appointment and he could be the deciding vote on something that will affect the lives of millions. Also, are you kidding me that he "didn't understand the question" on the financial disclosure forms he filled out every year - "Spouse's non-investment income"? Annie
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16691)
• Boston, Massachusetts
8 Feb 11
Of course, all conservatives should recuse themselves for holding conservative bias. While Sonia Sotomayor tells a bunch of college students that she doesn't really see her job as being to rule according to the Constitution - but that's just because she's so above it all. And conservative men shouldn't allow their wives to consider themselves as separate entitites from themselves, they should be property and be controlled. But Rep John Tierny (D MA) didn't know that his wife was doing taxes for his fugitive brother-in-law and helping him hide illegal income from the Feds because only liberal wives lead their own lives (she's leading her own life in prison, currently). I think the hypocrisy is chokingly thick and yet so transparently thin. Elena Kagan
2 people like this
@laglen (19783)
• United States
8 Feb 11
I agree, they have every right to show the play. I would hope most thinking adults would not pay for it therefore closing the play. But I have no problem with them showing it. But I also think the director should not be surprised by the flack she is receiving. It is one thing to be brave in your speech but you should be prepared to handle the outcome.
• United States
8 Feb 11
I honestly cannot stop laughing! I've been laughing for 20 minutes now. Liberal: I will murder you if I disagree with you! People angry about the play: I'll murder you! Liberal: OMG! What did I ever do? You're so mean to me for expressing innocent art that doesn't mean anything. See how mean you are!? That's like someone walking up to Mike Tyson, threatening to punch his lights out, and then running to the police crying if he flexes and scares the little coward's bowels loose. I guess it was their free speech to tell Iron Mike they'd punch him, but it's just a cruel assault if he gets pissed about it. Gotta love these morons. They're certainly further out of the clock than anyone this side of terrorism.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19783)
• United States
8 Feb 11
This type of behavior is the liberal MO. Do as I say and not as I do.
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15178)
8 Feb 11
since when is a play, which we have established that nobody here has seen and so is not a position to comment on what it actually was about, a threat? this is a threat: 'I will kill you' this is not a threat: 'Bob murdered a supporter of the opposing football team..' novel continues for 200 more pages
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26634)
• United States
8 Feb 11
I noticed the article you posted didn't mention that "The Last Supper" was also a 1995 movie, starring Cameron Diaz. Obviously, it wasn't written with today's political climate or tea party activists in mind! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113613/ What it is is very dark satire with all of the characters, both the extreme liberal murderers and the extreme right victims being basic caricatures. Trust me, the liberals weren't portrayed as "heroes" by any stretch of the imagination. Annie
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16691)
• Boston, Massachusetts
8 Feb 11
I forgot what a bastion of conservative thought Hollywood is. But whatever the movie portrayed or whatever climate it was made in or however the characters were drawn or the motivations revealed, we know this about the Mercury Theatre production from their own publicity: "If you have felt helpless and unheard through the outrage of our own culture right now – through Arizona, through the Tea Party, through Madison’s own political turn – then this is the show for you!” said Mercury’s Artistic Director, Rachel Jenkins-Bledsoe." The play is being produced specifically to relieve the frustration of the left over the Tea Party and the shooting in Tuscon that we wouldn't let them blame on Sarah Palin. If I start a discussion about the movie, I will call upon you to write a review. But then, you probably didn't see it, just found it while googling.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26634)
• United States
8 Feb 11
Where the F did that come from? Of course I SAW THE MOVIE, I wouldn't write about how the characters were portrayed if I'd just read about it by googling. I'm sorry but I really don't think remarks like that are necessary. I must say, it sure is amazing you're making this play into yet another way in which Sister Sarah is a victim. Annie
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15178)
8 Feb 11
i've seen the film too (dark satire i seem to remember). anyway since rollo has obviously seen the play, or she wouldn't be starting a discussion about it, perhaps she should provide a review of it?
1 person likes this
@dark_joev (3043)
• United States
8 Feb 11
Well personally I don't care which side is doing the killing or is being killed in this play as well it is a work of Art and falls under the Protection of the First Amendment as a freedom of speech thing. So I say let them make as many plays as they want on this type of subject matter. It is artistic expression and anyway if you where to listen to the news it is the liberals turn anyway.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16691)
• Boston, Massachusetts
8 Feb 11
It is the liberals' turn for what?
1 person likes this
@dark_joev (3043)
• United States
9 Feb 11
The AZ thing if you believe that Sarah Palin had something to do with it and it was the right wingers that caused a crazy person to go shoot the congresswomen then it would be the liberals turn to get some revenge.
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
8 Feb 11
I don't care that they're doing it; I just happen to find it endlessly hysertical that they're so oblivious to their "side" showing any hate - the we're-RIGHT-so-we're-allowed-to-do-it crap is just really as over the nest as you can possibly be. I seen this on Red Eye last week or something. I just couldn't help but to laugh. These evil righties with their harsh rhetoric about...well, what? Tougher immigration, no massive healthcare SNAFU, controlling spending, questioning Obama's experience, leadership and sometimes even his legitimacy as a president, stealing a democrat move and putting a target on a campaign poster - this is as rough and tumble as it gets. The left's response to that: we will murder you. This is exactly why ideologues make me sick, regardless of which side they stand on. Thinking that you're right about EVERYTHING somehow justifies anything. But I'm all for the rights of people to do this and pretend that it's "art." It sorta reminds me of the "art" of Avatar, in a small way. Everyone was making a fuss about Cameron's big statement (supposedly) that we're bullies and greedy murderers and will get ours in the end. Well, I saw right through that vision and to the heart of Cameron's heart. Through it all, he still had zero faith that a poor, humble (colored) people could do anything for themselves, so he inserted his white, do-gooder hero to lead them and right the wrongs. I don't know if they're related, but it seems to me as if this crap masquerading as art is always awfully transparent and allows you (level-headed folk in general) to see how flawed their vision is. This play simply shows the true leanings of some. And to me that makes perfect sense. Every big-spending, big-government buff wants people imprisoned and ran into exile and murdered for not toeing the line. Nothing's really changed throughout history in that regard. It's like once you're so set that the way you see the world is absolute truth, anything outside of that is pure evil. And then I laugh some more to think that they'll simultaneously champion the Muslim Brotherhood and the Weather Underground and Chavez and Castro and Che and Mao and on and on (and probably even Hitler secretly!). Ahh... That's a whole lotta rambling to basically say that I don't care about crap like this. I fully expect it. It's a sentiment shared by many, I'll assume, as 1: I haven't seen it spoken about much and 2: it would definitely be a crime against humanity were liberals the supper attendees. So I hope people enjoy this play and enjoy thinking that capitalism is destroying the world, Americans cause all of global warming, and that organics and high food taxes will save us all. They're a special breed.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16691)
• Boston, Massachusetts
8 Feb 11
Avatar worries me more because those who couldn't sit still long enough to watch a play, those people for whom the word "theatre" is always prefaced by "movie", these people won't ever see such a play. But they do all love to go to the movies and they all have cable. A moral wrapped up in stereo and played out in bright colors by brightly colored aliens is going to have a huge impact on these people. The bright spot is that they probably don't have the intellect to "get" the moral from Avatar. They just want to date the alien girl and ride one of those cool bird-like things. In a perfect world, everyone is free to write and perform plays like these, they have the right to thoroughly excoriate their political opponents in public and even be gleeful about the prospect of bad things happening to them, but they wouldn't do it. They would take the high road. To me, the high road is NOT never being critical. It is being critical of the politics, speaking the truth and not descending to the other guy's level. The weird thing is, the liberals really think the right is violent and they really think they are not even as they speak euphorically about how they would laugh as they watched Rush Limbaugh die of a heart attack, etc. The examples of liberal love and kindness are too numerous to mention.
@sundream (18)
9 Feb 11
I agree.Everyone has the right to live in the world. Killing is absolutely a bad and cruel way to solve problem except where someone intends to lead the country and its people to destruction!