Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This Is A Normal Picture Of A Business Meeting (Or How Too Many Folks Seem To View Them)

Little-by-little, the world is closing in on - and warming up to - this blog's theme:
Please be advised: No updates on the health of Steve Jobs are contained in this article. Nor, despite its title, are there any in the piece being reviewed herein. Mike Daisey's "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," which opened Sunday at Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage, is much more concerned with the moral health of a society hooked on the products of Jobs' company.

And with the physical health of the labor that produces them.

Which is not to say that Daisey doesn't like Apple computers, iPhones, iPads and the rest. Or that he doesn't regard Jobs as a genius, with a particularly good eye for design. Quite the contrary. In one of the indefatigable raconteur's most tightly constructed, passionate and socially engaged monologues yet, Daisey's anger and biting comedy stem from his heartbreak as a former longtime "worshiper in the house of Mac."

Together with "The Last Cargo Cult," which Daisey is performing in repertory with this piece, "Agony" fills out a trenchant and funny critique of what might be the most deeply held, if unacknowledged, beliefs in our culture. In "Cargo," he visits an actual cargo cult in the remote South Pacific, juxtaposing its overt worship of material goods with a look at the depth of our faith in money. In "Agony," he takes on the worship of technology and its high priest, because religion is, in essence, "the way we see the world."
So, if "religion is, in essence, 'the way we see the world'" - and considering how shitty everything's been lately - what would happen if we stopped looking at the world that way? You know, dropped all the "spiritual" and "intuitive" nonsense and went with what we actually know?

Yea, yea, we're waaay ahead of you,...that's crazy talk!