On Saturday night I went to Shakespeare in the Park--a special performance that was about one-third the Bard and two-thirds community outreach.
Before the performance, Oscar Eustice, the heir to Joseph Papp spoke. As did New York's new mayor, Bill DiBlasio. They spoke of the non-elitist, egalitarian nature of the theater, how it represented the true spirit of liberal New York. They thanked various pre-schools for helping to supply young talent. They thanked the Domestic Workers Union who added also to the cast. They thanked everyone in creation, it seemed for the diverse and color-blind interpretation of Shakespeare.
Then they put a knife in it.
They thanked their sponsors.
Including Bank of America.
You know, the bank that foreclosed on millions of mortgages and nearly brought down the global financial system. The bank that was just fined $17 billion for those crimes.
Of course I booed.
I hate Bank of America. They are the "Malefactors of Great Wealth" that Theodore Roosevelt warned us about. (People heard him 100 years ago. They are deaf today.)
My daughter turned to me when I booed and said, "If you don't approve of Bank of America, stay home."
I thought about all those super-patriots who used to spout "America. Love it or Leave it." As if protest and amendment were somehow un-American (this from a nation founded on protest.)
My daughter hurt me. I felt cut, censored and tongue-tied.
Then yesterday at lunch I noticed that the napkins in the company cafeteria are from the Georgia-Pacific Company. Owned by the radical right Koch Brothers. Heirs to the founder of the John Birch Society and against everything I am for.
What, now I can't take napkins in the cafeteria.
Both incidents made me feel beaten.
The system of powerful moneyed interests have so taken over our lives that we are rendered mute.
Of course, without mentioning names, agencies or anything else, because I can't, shit went down at work that appalls me.
I can't say anything.
I can't do anything.
I'm not even allowed to think without being excoriated.
People will say I'm negative, angry. You name it.
A blog is only worth writing if, in my opinion, you can be honest. Utterly honest.
I don't feel I can be.
I feel they have robbed me of my voice.