Tuesday, 15 December 2015


Hey, it's that time of year when I make resolutions that I have no intention of keeping. Instead of smoking and drinking and taking drugs - funnily enough, the only thing I've managed to actually give up in the past five years is sex, and that was no resolution just an inevitable consequence of my attitude, looks and poor hygiene - I'm going to tell a few things I love to get tae fuck.

Yep, this'll be a challenge for someone who works in criticism and  is doing a PhD in dramaturgy. But honestly, theatre's just a bourgeois weaponisation of performance, which uses the human desire to watch to indoctrinate audiences with the values of the dominant culture.

See, I read Diderot and I realised that the philosophers of the Enlightenment developed an intellectual foundation for the revolution against the monarchy. It's like what happened in the 1970s: when most politicians were happy with the post-war consensus (featuring such wild ideas as The NHS is a good idea and it's probably worth having social security), a bunch of extremists got together in think-tanks and worked out the Big Idea that would later become Thatcherism.

Diderot did the same thing, making up ideas like 'the genius', 'naturalism' and 'engaged theatre'. Until someone comes up with a new set of ideas (and Brecht does not count, son), theatre will continue to dance to the tune of capitalism. 

Aware as I am of the power of the patriarchy as a distorting force within both male and female lives, and the necessity of confronting the casual sexism that belittles us all as human beings, I'm not doing feminism unless it is accompanied by an adjective.

While I can't think of anything worse than becoming either a MRA or a Red Pill fruit-loop, feminism is not a catch-all that justifies shouting at academics or poor research. It's not that I deny the importance of a continued movement towards equality, or the brilliant work done by many activists: it's just that the internet has turned feminism into a playground for angry shouting and I'd rather support specific issues and people than align with a general ideology that has some disappointing spokespeople.

I am deeply indebted to Marx's dialectic process, and respect the changes socialism has encouraged in the UK (back to the NHS again). Having said that, socialism seems to be angry all the time, lacks a sense of its own history and... sorry, that socialists. Socialism is not a snake oil that will cure all of society's ills...

Hang on a minute, I sense a theme here.. it's not the idea that I dislike, it's the people who espouse them... am I blaming them for failing to live up to the abstract standards of their beliefs?

It is supposed to be a scientific and rational approach to the Universe, not a bunch of loud mouths dealing with daddy issues. Note again: gap between intentions and advocates.

They are such a drag, man.  


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