As our democratic project gains momentum, it might be worth it to pause a moment and reflect on our dialogic roots. The art of dialogue, of course, stretches all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Socrates roamed the Athenian city square and engaged total strangers in conversation—a concept hard to imagine in our I-podded-to-the-gills, hyper-competitive, alienated modern culture in which turning away from the stranger is de-rigueur.
One wonders, too, if America’s rapid rise in wealth inequality over the past 30 years isn’t linked to the erosion of community over the same time period: what Robert Putnam calls the “bowling alone” effect. Less people talking to their neighbors means less political resistance to the greatest wealth transfer (from the poor and middle-class to the rich) in our nation’s history.
This week at the Living Theatre I attended a tribute to the late Tuli Kupferberg, noted poet, activist, bohemian character, and founder of the musical group the Fugs. The amazing spirit of creativity, humanity, political integrity and humor in that room (a last bastion of New York’s famed downtown counterculture scene) was an anachronism in our anti-intellectual age dominated by Tea Parties and the exploits of Lindsey Lohan and Snookie. I felt an epiphany in that room, an inspiration to make space on TV for the edgy mix of art and radical politics that made the 1960s such a transformational era.
With that, I’m happy to announce that we’ll be joined by Brooklyn rapper Jerms Black on our panel next week. Mr. Black’s music is heavily influenced by his progressive political values and desire for social justice. So come and be part of our unscripted, transformational dialogue. Let the music of your public voice sing out to the world!
RSVP John at firstname.lastname@example.org to be on our 8 member panel, or studio audience.
Free Writing Workshop for Teens – Oct. 19 at 5.30 pm
Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, contact Steve Campos at 201 537 1429