I had considered calling this post "What the Fuck," but I was fearful that it might make some crazed religious nuts march through my front door, up to my computer, at which point they'd pour water all over it, and then storm out silently. I suddenly had the thought, "Well at least we can be glad that's all they did to Mike Daisey," during the middle of his performance of Invincible Summer at American Repertory Theatre, but I don't really think glad factors into it at all. More like, where are the criminal prosecutions against the people who purchased tickets to visit someone's intimate home, where they could then defile it with a silent but disruptive protest of another man's art.
Wait, I don't think protest is accurate here either: there were no words, no comments, no explanation . . . even when the monologist begged them, choking back his anger simply to better understand the situation, to stay and discuss what they had done. This was a premeditated hate crime, violent as anything physical may be, and I'd actually call for the police to try to track down some of these people who purchased tickets (there were 87 of them, and some record of where they came from, or a credit card receipt should be around somewhere) and to press charges.
I'm angry, and I wasn't even attacked, but I don't like what this says about art. We'd press charges if someone walked into a museum and flung water on a priceless piece of art -- the only difference here is that the original text that Mike had composed for his show isn't seen that way. And why not? What makes words any less valuable?
I'm offended too. You can see a YouTube clip of the "protest" on Mike's site, here, and read the following comments about it from Isaac and Matt, though I certainly hope there's more discussion (and as I said above, active prosecution) about this subject over this next week.