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Thursday, March 30, 2006
hehe heh
celeste: well, I knew it wasn't shank or shenk (gasp) because that's your dad. so I gave myself props for at least not naming the wrong person. I should've remembered Emily's name... after all, I worked with her on 2 movies. I'm such a dolt. geez louise.

rini: Mr. Johnny's email address is in the following coded message:
jello on hairy navels explains icky colored hemorrhoid excavation rules

anyone else:
boy oh boy, there's another great movie showing with my name in the credits, Game 6, and it's playing at a theater near you! (maybe)

anyone know how to get a hold of 1) mister John Eicher?
if you could post it here, or get it to me at: erincs AT goshen dot edu...

make that Emily Stoltzfus
Ahem, Meg. I'm going to have to stick up for my sweet second cousin once removed, Emily, in that her last name is Stoltzfus, not Kauffman. Shesh, it's not like most Mennonites have one of 20 last names or something. Emily is awesome, and loves hamsters. We had an excellent conversation once about what a coincidence it was that I had named my childhood hamster Fluffy, and that was what she named her hamster. Kudos to her for making it on the silver screen.

And of course, dear Meg, kudos to you. I'm so glad you're having such great experiences in a field that you enjoy.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006
I know it's trivial, but holy-smackerole!
Ok, ok, I know you all are tired of hearing it, but: I JUST SAW MY NAME ON THE BIG SCREEN!!!! sooooooo cooool. and it wasn't even that far down, they put my name in with the camera department!! I'm in the same group as the guy who did that Rob Zombie movie, sweeeeet! I'm soooo famous! heh heh, just kidding. I was just very excited. Someday guys, someday I'll be the cinematographer instead of the camera PA, or maybe just the gaffer. Oh, in case you didn't know (self promotion follows), I've got two 16mm shorts coming up that I'm gaffing, which is great because I love working with film. And I just gaffed a 35mm commercial this past weekend which was even cooler because 35mm is so awesome (and it's easier to make things look good).

Back to Lonesome Jim, I'd give the movie a C, maybe. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't really that good. There was a lot of grain in the print, which was understandable considering we shot on miniDV, but there were times in the middle of a scene where one angle would be mildly grainy and then another angle would be crazy grainy! Unacceptable. The acting was ok, although sometimes the timing was a bit off. The kid, Jack, was adorable. The story was decent and the sound mixer obviously was awesome. DLC didn't make the final cut, but Duane Kauffman's daughter did. Jim (Strouse)'s dad's acting came out better than I thought it would, so congradualtions. Sorry, I didn't see any other goshenites as extras (other than that lady, esther, who drew unicorns in ART 202, yipes!) Ok, well that's my anti-intelect installment for the evening.

Update on Moral Maze
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. They worked. This morning they called me up to say they didn't need me anymore because they'd got Bruce Kent (right), veteran disarmament campaigner, friend of Norman Kember and elder statesman of the peace movement. I've gotten to know Bruce fairly well over the last few months as we've worked together to plan vigils and actions towards the release of Norman and co. So I was delighted to have him speaking on behalf of Norman and CPT on this wickedly difficult talk show. This afternoon I called him up and briefed him on some of the talking points about CPT I'd put together.

So how did he do? Judge for yourself. The 45 minute show focused entirely on the question of the morality and effectiveness of Norman Kember's mission and Christian Peacemaker Teams vision. The debate was raucous and challenging and toward the end, way way more abstract and intellectual than anything you'll ever hear on American radio, even NPR. I had to stop the playback twice and rewind it just to follow the arguments going on. These British folks are serious about their moral ponderings. Favorite quote: "Jesus is an awkward figure for people like me" from Allan Billings, a Christian professor of ethics who wholeheartedly supporter the Iraq War. But the trumper is this: when the producer mentioned him to me she said, "he's unusual among clergy in that he supported the war". If only some day back home. If only...

It's been around for a while. It's a nifty little site that lets you find people with similar interests (music, dumpster diving, religion, etc..) who live near you. I've taken the 'map' feature from frappr and added it to the blog page. So if you're already on frappr, join the shoup group so we can see, via little gender-specific icons, where our members reside. If you're not a member of frappr, you should join. if only so that we can see you on the map.

another little random post by me!
product review!
so.. this is all a result of my new little South African friend who came home with me--a lovely little parasite that's been making my life and mornings hell. (still worth the trip.. still want to go back).. see Robin for an impersonation of the little guy (the parasite that is)..
So I'm eating non-processed, non-additional sugared foods..
welcome Koala Crisp!
Basically organic Coco Crispies. They're by EnviorKidz. I've always been interested in this brand, what with their Gorilla Munch and Peanut Butter Panda Puffs... plus, they donate to wildlife causes..
Just out of the box, this cereal's not that bad. Sort of like any other plain cereal--light and crunchy, and a bit of that organic cocoa taste..
Add in the milk.. a little different. You need to let them get a little soggy before the cocoa flavor really comes out. Granted, I'd suggest not using vanilla flavored soy milk like I did. But the vanilla does add the sweet taste that's missing from the low-sugar cereal (only 10g! seriously!)
So basically... I give this product the.. "ehh... it's edible" But will probably not turn into a snack and just remain solely a bfast meal..

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Sorry, I've been meaning to respond to your earlier post about your radio interview. I agree with Josiah, make sure to point that out. But I think your earlier reflection was also a good and you were getting at the fact that CPT is about a deeply held religious belief in the power of good to overcome evil without committing evil in the process. While I'm not sure I could make this claim for myself, I do respect CPTers' willingness to testify to and demonstrate the belief that Christian's are called to make different sacrifices. It is clearly an inherent message in the gospels. I'm not sure it makes a good defense policy analysis however, and I suspect that's what everyone will try to behead you for. I encourage you to make clear that this is not CPT's claim. It also strikes me as valuable that Iraqis would see some foreigners who are calling their fellow citizens to higher standards. It is something that has long-term, not short-term implications for reducing terrorism (I hope). That's an extremely un-thorough Ra-ra-sis-boom-ba cheer from Goshen. Will pray.

Seems to me, Tim, that your best arguments are the polls that show that most Iraqis want US forces to leave, and the history of systemic torture by US forces, something that CPT pointed out before nearly anyone else.

Googling the big questions
Google is a great way to answer all those big questions you've never thought to ask. For example, who sponsors Christianity?

In other news, the British media is having a field day with the Kember story. See the shoup newsvine feed on right for some examples. Tommorow night I'm scheduled to be grilled on The Moral Maze by a panel including Melanie Phillips, who wrote The Phony Pacifists and Naive -- or treacherous?. Pray for me.

P.S. Download this free song by Billy Bragg about Rachel Corrie.

Sunday, March 26, 2006
Mr. Weiss:

I would recommend the "Your Lordship They Was Drunk" Bib It's a popular item at The Schrock Store for newborns. The art is taken from magnetic poetry on the Brick House fridge.

I have a new cousin. He lives in Atlanta. His name is Levi.

I'm looking for gift suggestions here, people.

Friday, March 24, 2006
Jésus de Montréal

"Damn, I could realy go for a french-canadian version of the passion play right about now... especially if it had some rockin' late-80's beats"

If that sounds like you, then I've got the perfect movie for you, Jésus de Montréal.


Q: What's cooler than Google Earth?

A: GOOGLE MARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I'm wondering...
who will be in Chicago on april the 7th and who will be in Goshen? See I'm coming up for the whole David and Phil wedding bash and I'm trying to decide where to spend friday night. Good old Goshen or Chicago? Little help here please.

Feel my ballet technique

Thursday, March 23, 2006

CPTers Freed

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Glaucoma Hymn
Glaucoma, Glaucoma, Glaucoma
Constricting vision slowly
Halted by progress of science
Vision of a world united
Beyond all science knowing

New blog features!
Aight, Shoup Radio and Shoup News are now live!

Log onto (email:, pass: shoup), create a seed to a news article and tag it "shoup" ... the link will show up for all to read in Shoup News!

Log into (name/pass: shoup) and add a link to a song ... the song will play for all to hear in Shoup Radio!

And as always,
Log into with your own account, upload some pictures and tag them "shoup" ... they will show up for all to chuckle at in Shoup Pics!

As for Quote and Question of the Week, submit your ideas by using the form at the bottom.

Keep on Shoupin'!

Blog update
Please note two new features on the blog, Shoup Radio and Shoup News!

In addition to being more quality Shoup content, I think there'll be a way to make it entirely Shouper-generated (ie, we add our songs to the playlist and articles to the news page). Kate & I will find a way. Until then, stay tuned to Shoup and enjoy the new features!

ps: Also notice the FOAS headlines at the very bottom, to let you know what's happening on other Shoup-ish blogs.

pps: Happy belated 3rd birthday, Blog!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Go! Team show pretty awesome. I mean, it got me to buy their CD.

Sunday, March 19, 2006
Tough Questions on a Sunday morning
So today I got up at 7:00 am to answer a few questions from Sally about Christian Peacemaker Teams. I was actually less nervous about the interview than I had been about previous interviews. After all, it was radio, not television and I should be fine. But as I should have learned by now, radio interviewers have to make up for the limitations of their medium by actually asking real, challenging questions. And while I was ready to explain about Christian Peacemaker Teams and tell a bit about our work in Iraq, I was not ready for Ronnie, a smooth talking Catholic PR man. Very nice chap, and quite affirming of CPT's general aims. However, Ronnie is concerned that CPT is portraying Christians as pacifists and he felt it important to point out that many Christians actually believe in just war. I must say I wasn't prepared for the giving Christians a bad name by claiming we were only peace folks and had nothing when asked what pacifists have to say about Nazi germany. My only excuse if 7 am on a Sunday morning. I mean, really...

So I spent the whole trip home in the taxi thinking up what I should have said, and since its still too early in the morning to do much else, I'm going to inflict those answers on you. Maybe you'll find them handy someday:

1. First of all, given what the two of the most powerful Christians in the world are up to these days, is there really any danger of CPT or any other pacifists "misleading" the world into believing that Christians have to be pacifists? Don't worry, Ronnie, you're not alone.

2. We too want to get beyond the image of Christians as passivists. We want to remind people that Jesus called us to be active and engaged with the world and working for justice, peace and love and all that improbable stuff. Christians are not called to be passivists.

3. In 1930's Europe, part of the problem, the treaty of Versailles aside, was that people were stuck in this dualism of war or appeasement. The whole point of CPT is that we're about active resistance. What would have happened if the Christian church in Germany had joined Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the confessing church and actively resisted the rise of the nazis. Stood by the Jews on Kristallnacht and made sure their story was heard by the world? CPT is about exploring these "What ifs".

Anyway, that's enough of a rant for now. Keep on praying for Norman, Jim and Harmeet. And in memory of Tom, let's keep on imagining a different world, no matter how much people think we're naive do-gooders.

Friday, March 17, 2006
I'm Amazing!
What am I doing up at 4 in the morning? Oh yeah, that's right, I'm pulling an all-nighter. Why am I not crying and moaning and propping my eyelids open with my fingers? I propose several reasons:

1) I mastered Uberman's sleep schedule and now I only sleep in six 30-minute napping sessions to maximize my productivity
2) I suddenly transformed into superwoman
3) I am legally insane (i've been up since 5 this...uh...I mean, yesterday morning, although I'm sure this is nowhere near Ben Beachy's record)
4) I've had too much caffeine
5) I'm really proud of the work I've done on my paper thus far and I care enough about finishing the job that I'm not sleepy. The paper is an analysis of Deborah Wong's book, "Speak It Louder: Asian Americans Making Music." I recommend it to everyone!

Hmmm... it's probably one of the last two.

Thursday, March 16, 2006
b-mail: using the blog as e-mail
Meg, I totally know exactly where that trapeze school is! You can sit up on Federal Hill, overlook the tall ships in the harbor, and watch people do trapeze. I'm definitely game for a little schooling but you have to visit me first.

I went to school today...
Trapeze school!! It was absolutely amazing. I hung by my hands, and knees and I even flew from my bar and another trapeze-guy caught me, (nearly missed! my fault). Definitely awesome. The school also has places in baltimore and boston! So Julia, I know what we're doing next time I visit you.

Non-Christian perspective on Tom Fox, GW, and Pat Robertson
The Parasites of God is an intriguing piece built around a quote from Tom's Fight or Flight article:
"The French theologian Rene Girard has a very powerful vision of Satan that speaks to me: Satan sustains himself as a parasite on what God creates by imitating God in a manner that is jealous, grotesque, perverse and as contrary as possible to the loving and obedient imitation of Jesus."
It's quite fascinating to read someone from outside the Christian tradition looking at Tom's theology and applying it to the broader Christian scene. He doesn't mince words in pointing out who he sees as the "Parasites of God" today.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Game 6, another movie I worked on, has finally gone to theaters! score.

I got a job offer today, which I accepted. I called all of my family. Abigail asked me if I was happy. I told her I was beside myself. I'll be starting at the beginning of June.

w ord

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
really bad and really touching
Meg, egregious does mean really bad, as in: The pixellated cupcakes on Friendster are an egregious use of clip art.

Megan, I'm so honored by your post and wish you all the best with your application.

They've taken the next logical step
Let me tell you a story friends. On Saturday night sometime around 2am guy 1 and guy 2 get in a fight ( no idea why, perhaps guy 1 didn't like the quality of some illegal materials he purchased or something). Guy 1 slashes the tires of Guy 2's SUV. Guy2 is pissed off and beats the crap out of Guy 1. Thus when I came home a 2:30 there was a ambulance, Guy 1 on a stretcher and several flashing police cars. I'm confused but whatever. I go upstairs chat with my housemates eat some food and we go to bed. 3:30 in the morning and I'm still awake and hear noises in the parking lot, car doors slamming and scurring around but no talking. I look out my window. I see a woman in a white tube dress carrying one of those square red gas cans that you get at wal-mart to the trunk of her car. Than there are flames, lots of flames in the SUV. They jump in their car and drive away. Shit there is a burning SUV in my parking lot! (which is actually kind of cool but not really). So I called 911 to get the fire department to put it out and got to talk to the police and the arson investigators. I'm the Witness. Oh and the woman is guy 1's wife and she's pregnant. I'm not sure that commiting arson is safe for the baby.

Monday, March 13, 2006


as a faithful shoup reader, and besides commenting that seeing a china 05 link is really cool, i wanted to tell celeste that i am in the process of applying for Record editor in chief for next year, and i'm putting her down as a chief influence when i was on her staff.

congrats on getting into medill!

Honoring the Defenders of our Freedom

You Louisville folk might want to attend a memorial service for Anne Braden, an organizer who worked for 81 years against racism, sexism, and heterosexism. The rest of you should check out "Freedom's Daughters: The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement from 1830 to 1970" which chronicles women such as Braden whose struggles to freedom for all people in this country rarely make it into the history books.

It's 2am and I'm a little buzzed on coffee
I've spent the last few hours reading through Not a terribly impressive site, but there were a few gems. Notably:

Around 2am, bored and restless, I checked back at the shoup blog to see if anyone had posted between then and midnight. No one had. Searching for nothing, I arrived at the new 'lonesome jim' website. ha. It took all of a minute to get through the website. Unsurprisingly unimpressive. It did have one small glint: the "interview with steve". With questions on par with a middle school newspape and mr. buscemi's answers curt and mildly sarcastic, I enjoyed the brief moment of where I wondered whether he was being purposefully obstinate or inadvertently callow. More so, I enjoyed the following half-hour when I wrote this post about that moment. The entire endeavor ultimately resulted in:

Sunday, March 12, 2006
Bad Friendster! Bad!

Seriously Friendster, pixelated cupcakes? I think you can do better than that. Really, it's inexcusable.*

*I considered using the word "egregious," but I wasn't sure if it meant it was really bad or really good. Celeste?

Newsy McNewsers
CPT news:
A touching profile of Tom Fox
Official CPT release

Lonesome Jim news:
Website launches
James Strouse signs John Cusack to his next movie. Strouse is directing

GC news:
Sylvia Shirk-Charles resigns, takes position at Manhatten Mennonite Fellowship (Landon, did you know about this? What do you think?)
• It's John Leigh's birthday today. He's 27, and still playing videogames.

Tool news: TOOL!
• "I'm working on a tan that will soon be the envy of North America. Seriously. All right, that might be pushing it a bit, but we'll let it slide. So, I'm in Death Valley. Park service internship, 6 months, GPSing illegal offroad activity, working solo. It's a sweet, sweet deal. Most days I take a park service truck, drive around backcountry dirt trails, stopping to GPS if I find illegal tracks. I make my own schedule, have no supervisor, and am kind of under the radar. This morning I've been in the office just looking at maps and emailing, not a problem. I work Mon-Thur, and have been hiking/exploring 2 days every weekend. The scene could not be more noseley, short of Kanags finally coaxing a drunken Ben Friesen to show the trouser snake some love. Damn."


Saturday, March 11, 2006
very sad news
One of the kidnipped CPTers has been confirmed dead.

Friday, March 10, 2006
Smashy Smashy Fun
Well one of my car windows got broken again. 2nd time in 5 months, 4th time that one of our houses cars got smashed in 5 months. If I report it to insurance my rates will go up... but it is costing $206.31 to fix. AHHHH. I just love how the system works. Especially in my neighborhood where a majority off the kids are without supervision unless you count the early teen sibling that is "taking care" of them since the only jobs that their parents can get are 2nd shift and both of them, IF (if the size of Mt McKinely) the US allowed both into the country since we dislike giving visas to black men, have to work to even attempt to make rent. Not to mention the ones who hang out in my parking lot and sell stolen goods since they can't get those other crappy jobs. So many social problems.

Oh and some boy scout leaders approached the Community Center about doing activites with the kids. Sweet idea except that they want to teach them how to shot a bow and arrow (accident waiting to happen), knife shapening (really not a skill that they need) and target shooting with bb guns ( can you say post tramatic stress disorder that pretty much all of them suffer from. Yes let's bring guns around kids who have seen relatives shot or been shot themselves in war torn countries). I mean it was a nice gesture but the two WASPy guys who wanted to do it just couldn't understand Americanas hesitance about those particular things even after repeated explanations. And they don't think it is approriate to adapt the program so I guess aren't going to do it now. hmmmm...

Biking through New York
Yep, it's definitely 75° outside right now. soooooo awesome!

itscomingitscomingitscoming! oh yes, it's coming!!
spring! spring spring! I love spring! spring for me! spring in nyc! hooray! sweet sweet spring!

it'll be 66°F by friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh happy happy!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Well, I don't actually believe that, I just thought that it was funny that it came out the same day that I caught the show (thanks ticketbuyers!).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This week's frederator was particularly good and warrants mentioning. Check out episode 20.

Other entertaining shorts:

Weiss: "is" but not "was". A critical distinction. But greater travesties are upon us!

Taking a stand

Check out this fascinating article on a Turkish family who can't stand.

And, for women and men standing up for International Women's Day:

by Anasuya Sengupta

Too many women in too many countries
speak the same language of silence.
My grandmother was always silent -
always aggrieved ?
only her husband had the cosmic right
(or so it was said) to speak and be heard.

They say it is different now
(after all, I am always vocal
and my grandmother thinks I talk too much).
But sometimes, I wonder.

When a woman gives her love,
as most do generously ?
it is accepted.

When a woman shares her thoughts,
as some women do, graciously ?
it is allowed.

When a woman fights for power,
as all women would like to,
quietly or loudly,
it is questioned.

And yet, there must be freedom -
if we are to speak.
And yes, there must be power ?
if we are to be heard.
And when we have both (freedom and power),
let us not be misunderstood.

We seek only to give words
to those who cannot speak
(too many women in too many countries).
I seek only to forget the sorrows
of my grandmother's silence.

As I was visiting my own grandmother over the weekend, I expressed again how proud I am of her for being a pioneer as a Mennonite woman writer (she wrote a column in the Parkesburg, Pa. paper using both her maiden and married names - not as tame then as now.) She nodded and smiled, and later asked my grandfather if she should wear a covering when we went to lunch, because he's "the man of the family." I sigh, and continue living in the tension of honoring the love and gifts my family has cultivated and working bit by bit among them for transformed attitudes about gender.

Also, thanks so much to all those who have congratulated me on getting into Medill. You'll always be welcome to visit in Chicago!

Rachel's Words initiative to stage Theatrical Reading on March 16 in NY
A week ago I wrote about the "indefinite postponing" of the opening of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie in New York. Since then an inititative called "Rachel's Words" has come together to support the staging of the play. The Rachel's Words website includes a statement that has been endorsed by groups and individuals around the world. Consider adding your name.

Rachel's Words is also are organising actions around the world on the 3rd anniversary of Rachel's death and hosting a staged theatrical reading of her emails in New York on March 22, the date when the play was scheduled to open. All y'all over there should check it out!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006
More videos, More Hope
As many of you may have seen by now, Al Jazeera broadcast a new video of Norman, Jim and Harmeet today. I was very happy to see our friends and I think its a real sign of hope that no death threat accompanied this video release. Each video released seems to be progressively less threatening and dehumanising.

If you haven't seen the videos yet, Democracy Now has a segment which includes the videos as well as footage from the vigils we've been holding regularly here in London for the last few months:

For Meg
Four cultural coffee traditions! But no Ethiopian recipe, yet.

Monday, March 06, 2006
sweet sweet espresso
So saturday night I drunkenly offered to take the opening shift at murky on sunday. I don't know why I do these things, but man oh man was it fun to be back playing on an espresso machine. I forget how good espresso tastes when I'm away. It's a shame to leave it again. I also had a conversation with a friend who confirmed that there isn't any good espresso in nyc. There are some good coffee shops, but the espresso is lacking. Actually, there is one exception, ninth street espresso... but I have trouble paying for something that comes out of a triple-shot basket. or paying at all. I've figured out what I need:

my own espresso machine.... just another thousand dollars or so and I'll be set. donations, anyone?

ok, back to new york! I've got a job on tuesday where they hired me because they wanted a "more experienced gaffer" which is funny, because I'm not experienced at all. I also use the term "hired" very liberally... it's a student short, so I'm getting a few free meals and some toys to play with. I'm also an gaffing a spec commercial on sunday. Which is great, except that two murky friends and my mom are coming into town that weekend. oh well. I'm just super excited because I'm doing a lot more gaffing that I ever expected! Unfortunately what I really want to do is land a couple of electric jobs on some lengthy films so that I can save some money. oh well.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Just curious if anyone has noticed the merchandise link at the top of the page. Pretty sweet swag.

Congratulations, Celeste!

This is a graphic for the Pitchfork Music Festival.

So I was reading about the Pitchfork Music Festival and I totally bought into the hype. So I checked my calendar and I'll already be in Chicago that week for the bar exam (assuming that I end up taking the Illinois bar) so I might as well just hang out for an extra weekend and rock out!!@!

Tickets go on sale on Monday. Who's in? If DCers want to rent a car for the trip, you can count me in for the way back.

Friday, March 03, 2006
Y'all best be representin'

YO!! MY little bro's film, "What We Do Is Secret," is showing at the DCAC tomorrow night at 5 (across from Pharmacy Bar bar where kate used to work). I want to see everyone in DC at the show. It's only $5 and you support...well, I don't know who it supports. Go early because seats are limited (really!) I'm making a quick trip down there myself early tomorrow morning just for the event... and maybe to see some friends...

Come by early this day to catch the premier of ?What We Do Is Secret,? a skateboarding video made by Kevin O?Dell, starring: Mike Butler, Sean O'Dell, Jack Beckett, Erich Bielefeldt, and Andrew Shrock. Featuring Richmond, VA and Washington, DC. Including: Gilbert Crockett, Josh Swyers, Peter Hackett, Jimmy McDonald, Bobby Worrest, Jackson Curtin, Zach Lyons and many many more...

--Nanci Raygun

Mr. Eicher has a blog!
Add it to your atom/rss feeds:

It this just me, or is George Clooney posing as a member of Hamas on the BBC?

Isn't church propaganda wonderful?

(I also find the use of the word "lame" to be rather politically incorrect.)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Celeste is too humble to tell you this herself, but she was accepted into Medill yesterday. Does this mean we're moving to Chicago? The answer to that is a resounding "probably."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

In the past, I've criticized cartoon protestors for their failure to distinguish between a Danish newspaper and the entire nation of Denmark. To be ideologically consistent, I'd like to criticize Howard Dean for his conflation of the U.A.E. and a Dubai corporation. There are other things to be said, of course, but I just wanted to avoid any appearance of hypocrisy.

"My Name is Rachel Corrie" censored
A few months ago, I raved about the play "My Name is Rachel Corrie" here on Shoup. I said "I don't know if the production will ever make it to the U.S. given the political climate, but if it does, you should all go see it."

It seems that New York Theatre Workshop was about to put my cynicism to rest and run the play in the Big Apple. Tickets were advertised, the production schedule delivered and the arrangements for cast and crew complete. And then, when everything was nearly in place, the possibility that the play could be POLITICAL raised its ugly head. The NYTW site says,
"We found that there was a strong possibility that a number of factions, on all sides of a political conflict, could use the production as a platform for their own agendas. We were not confident that we had the time to create an environment where the art could be heard independent of the political issues associated with it."
And being the good theatre company that they are they "always try to minimize the distractions around the production so our constituency can hear the artist's voice." So they just couldn't have messy politics ruining their pristine dramatic landscape. Especially not when the play is about a young woman who traveled to one of the hottest political spots on earth and dared to get her hands dirty and get involved. The idea that art, and especially a piece like this, can and should be set apart from political issues is not only absurd, but downright dangerous.

Katharine Viner, who co-edited the play says it most articulately in an article in today's Guardian:
It makes you wonder. If a young, middle-class, scrupulously fair-minded, and dead, American woman, whose superb writing about her job as a mental health worker, ex-boyfriends, troublesome parents, struggle to find out who she wanted to be, and how she found that by travelling to Gaza and discovering the shocking conditions under which the Palestinians live - if a voice like this cannot be heard on a New York stage, what hope is there for anyone else? The non-American, the non-white, the non-dead, the oppressed?
So for those of you living in the U.S. and especially in New York, for goodness sake, email or call up the New York Theatre Workshop and express your distaste for this blatant political censorship. Or better yet, show up with a sign and march around outside. Isn't it about time that right-wing fundagelicals lost their monopoly on theatre picketing?

I, for one, hope that you will never be able to create an environment "where the art can be heard independent of the political issues associated with it."

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