Hats off (no, really) to Committees

“A camel is a horse designed by committee” – Vogue, 1957

Mayhaps you’re all watching what is happening on The Hill… a room full of (mostly) men are sitting firm on their political high-horses, battling over what IS and IS NOT good for the American public…  They’re making decisions based on what they deem “right” (OR) “left” and the rest of us restlessly sit and wait.

Anybody else find this macrocosm representational of the more mundane parts of life?  Anybody ever scratch their heads at the “people in power” and wonder just “How in the hell” they became the megaphone for our “Voice”?

I’m interested in the parallels in politics between “their” and “here” – the White House to Theatre House -because it seems that I’ve been privy to a few conversations lately that make me wonder just when it was that these people lost touch with the world and began, for lack of classier language, touching only themselves.

I think it has something to do with hats.

You see… I’m broke.  And I live IN the world.  I’m not shoveling gravel, or hauling garbage… no, those blue-collar citizens might look at my liberal artistic self and roll their hard-working eyes.  But I am struggling, I am walking around in the shoes of the well-traveled and hungry.  And I’ve got about a dozen or so hats to juggle as a result.

Which means I can’t ever get too comfortable in just one.

I write, I teach, I tutor, I am the web-master/social media maven for my current employer – I also blog (for my own sake and as the occasional guest) and edit a LosAngeles centric webzine.  I am a daughter, friend, and (yippee) girlfriend – which means I am involved in the lives of those around me and I have a stake in their happiness as well as my own.  I work with students and faculty, and I do my own friggin’ laundry… I drive a beat up little Hyundai and my “grand” dreams of upgrading involve another… wait for it… Hyundai.

So, you see, I wear a lot of hats…

And I live a pretty down-to-earth existence.

But the people in “power” seem to have forgotten what it is like to live like this

It requires compromise… it requires flexibility and ingenuity…

It requires the ability to put oneself in other’s shoes.

But instead, we get people wearing their “Control” hat (the one that shoots you the whammy if you disagree) and folded arms, standing atop their pillars of salt as though it’s all going to go their way or no way at all.

Mayhaps, and here’s the theatrical segue, the answer is to tear down and start over.

Whoa, whoa, wait a minute!  WHAT?

Just hang in here with me a moment longer…

I hear a lot of chit and a lot of chat about theatre companies NOT producing enough: new work, work by women, culturally specific work, devised work, political work, etc.   I hear a lot of theatre companies turn around and bemoan the lack of quality in said work, the lack of faith, and the lack of $$…

The people in charge, are dealing with budgets and spreadsheets, and trying to read the minds of their paying audiences and benefactors and otherwise worrying about keeping the “business” afloat, while the people creating the art are dealing with paying rent, trying to get produced, struggling to be relevant, and worrying about keeping their lives afloat.

What would happen if the two switched places for a while?

Probably something on par with what would happen if our Congress and Senate switched places with some “real folks” for a while:  Total and complete madness, followed by a (gasp) revolution of thought and of practice.

I mean, I am talking about some good old fashioned Freaky-Friday changes in perspective here, people!

Might we not all be able to head back to our “tired, stuck-on, and stubborn” hats with a little more perception?  Might we possibly come back to our “positions” (as power-player or peon) with a little more flexibility and ingenuity?

Or would it only strengthen our resolve to lock ourselves away in our tight little corners, unwilling to trust or listen to those we stand among, atop, and for?

(sigh)

It’s all really a bit of a mess, isn’t it?

Kind of like the camel…

3 Comments

  • By Nancy Beverly, December 9, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    I have an additional thought: if women were in charge of governments, I’ll bet we’d have a lot less of what men seem to love to do: fight and fight wars. Just a thought 🙂

  • By TiffanyAntone, December 9, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

    YES! Haha, excellent point Nancy!

  • By Jean Colonomos, January 7, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

    It seems to me that the American imagination has been dead for a long time. I appreciate Barack Obama for trying to revive it but you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

    Jean

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