Rijeka, Croatia. Segal Theatre Center. Thursday 3 October - Saturday 5 October. New York, New York. Howlround Theatre Commons. Flint Repertory Theatre. Flint, MI, United States. Saturday 30 April Boston, MA, United States. Friday and Saturday, April A Quiet Theatrical Revolution. Theatre and Electoral Politics.
La MaMa. Making Theatre in the Season of Trump. Socially Engaged Performance. A Global Conversation.
Another Word for Beauty. The internet had very recently become commonplace in the American home. There has been no retaliation. Memetic warfare is only the latest element of the diathetical struggle that has been ongoing since the arrival of the internet. The cultural front is along every point of the network—television, the press, movies, songs, sermons, advertising, and social media. Everything that gives meaning is a battleground.
This is a new kind of war and a deeply confusing one. Confusion is its purpose. The problems of assessment are substantial.
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Memetic wars, wars of popular culture, are ridiculous. That does not alter their effectiveness.
The occasion is sacred, suitable for solemn reflection. Real people really died. It is a war show that the United States lost and continues to lose. Begin with a basic question: Why the Twin Towers? Before , U. They worried about water systems, transportation networks, and military installations. It featured a pair of large, banal skyscrapers. He would have seen them first in the company of Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind sheik who preached in a mosque in New Jersey. From his neighborhood, the towers rose up across the waters, totems without faces.
Political and Protest Theatre after 9/11: Patriotic Dissent
They were little more than objects of substantial mass. After his arrival in New York, he initially cruised through neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, looking for ways to murder Jews in significant numbers. But he simply could not find a target of the necessary scale. Originally, Yousef wanted to flood the towers with cyanide, to convert them into death camps in the sky. The bomb used in the attack was constructed of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil but Ramzi Yousef also explored lacing the bomb with poison.
A judge in his case assumed he had used sodium cyanide but that it had burned off from the heat of the explosion.
But there was no forensic evidence Yousef ever managed to find the poisons he desired. Generally, his craftsmanship was poor: The cyanide burned off from the heat of the explosion. The specificity of the target had been at the heart of political murder for nearly a millennium. The original assassins were Ismaili Muslims, who killed rulers rather than armies.
The capitalists and fascists and imperialists led subservient masses into meaningless death; the terrorists knew whom they killed. The essential nature of the propaganda of the deed was that it waged war against those responsible for the system rather than those who suffered under it. Russian anarchists believed that insurrectionary acts against the ruling classes would bring about revolution, but their targets were, as a rule, individuals.
There were exceptions, such as the bombing of the Liceu Theater in Barcelona in , but they were rare. The forces of guerrilla warfare attached a strategic as well as a symbolic value to individual life. Their smaller numbers meant they could not waste themselves except at a high price. It is essential to understand the necessary framework for guerrilla informational war: To wage diathetics, you have to belong to the culture you hope to distort, and you have to hate that culture at the same time. Diathetics can only be waged both inside and outside a culture; to know what effects a spectacle will have, you have to comprehend the context into which it will be received.
Lawrence was a prime example of an inside-outside man and so was Yousef. Yousef was not a good Muslim: He drank, womanized, never prayed, and never fasted. On Sept. No one knows why. After the attack, the symbolism of the World Trade Center took on a significance far beyond itself.
Various dreams of its explosion scattered like a billion dark seeds over the global soil.
Because it had survived, the center became a point of pride for U. He had traveled widely and conceived of the rejection of modernity as a calamity of the sky. Planes, like skyscrapers, were miraculous, inhuman, unnatural, and an affront to tradition itself and to the traditions of any people or creed—both tool of and symbol for the radical decentering of modern life. Sometime in the middle of , Mohammed met with bin Laden at Tora Bora, in eastern Afghanistan, and brought a portfolio of schemes, most of which involved a combination of planes and U. For two years, Mohammed and bin Laden worked through the conspiracy in all its grand detail.
These negotiations were similar in scope to those between a director and a producer: a compromise between the grandiosity of vision and the certainty of accomplishment. The audiences needed a supervillain, an evil genius. A face had to be on the urinal cakes. His face suited the blankness of the act, though. For his meals, he would take whole boiled potatoes, skin them, smash the potatoes into a mound, and then for a week consume the cold potatoes, leaving the fork in the mound when he put the mess back in the refrigerator.
The only trait that anyone recalled about Atta was that he was organized and punctual. Yet he left the Comfort Inn in Portland at a.
American Political Plays after 9/11 (Theater in the Americas)
He nearly missed the appointment for his own death. Stage fright. Those closest to the event itself were, in a sense, those most removed from its meaning—distance being one of the defining attributes of informational guerrilla war. Bin Laden, in the mountains of Afghanistan, wanted to watch the scenario unfolding live. The heroism of the first responders was that they went into the catastrophe with all that they did not understand.
The people inside, escaping, look annoyed. For everyone else, the world had changed.
The Globe and Mail
For them, it was still an ordinary day full of ordinary bullshit, such as being stuck in elevators. What are VitalSource eBooks? For Instructors Request Inspection Copy. The subtitle Patriotic Dissent suggests the double stance of many artists-- influenced by patriotic expressions of national solidarity, yet critical of the ways that patriotic language was put to use against others.
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