Thursday, April 15, 2010

This just in: Huntington subscribers are kind of like Nazis, although that could be misinterpreted!

Wow. Lisa Timmel just keeps going and going. I noted yesterday the strange race-baiting implicit in a recent post from the Huntington's Director of New Work on the theatre's blog.

Now, over at Isaac Butler's Parabasics site, I see that local playwright-blogger (and friend of the Hub Review) Ian Thal was also struck by Timmel's language ("Wow. Really poor word choice here," Ian mused). Only Lisa wrote back that no, a connection to Nazi ideology was precisely what she had in mind:

I did intentionally invoke Nazi terminology because I'm writing for (tweaking?) an audience that has very rigid racial and gender categories but absolutely no ability to acknowledge it. Racism/racial discomfort up here tends to hide under some pretty high-falutin' language and ideas about what what is proper form, but it's racism all the same. At the same time, if you are familiar with the art works the Nazis labeled as degenerate, then you also know it's all the best art/artists of the early 20th century which is also what I'm trying to evoke.

Oh, my. Remind me to tell the next nice little old Jewish lady I meet at a Huntington matinee that she's kind of like a Nazi. ("And don't give me any of your high-falutin' racist backtalk, bubbie!") I also like this idea that Gina Gionfriddo and Lydia Diamond are up there with Schoenberg, Brecht and Chagall.

Alas, in a last-minute spasm of common sense, Timmel does add:

But you are right that it's probably a bad [word] choice for a blog post as it will get misinterpreted. I'll be interested to see if anyone else has the same reaction.

To which I can only add: Oh, don't stop digging now, Lisa! This is just getting good! I mean seriously - this woman thinks she's going to connect with her famously Jewish audience by telling them they're like Nazis? Although I have to admit, Timmel's not really insulting - because she's just so silly. I get the impression she thinks she's bravely facing down Goering in 1937. Instead she's preaching to the choir in Obamatown. That is when she doesn't have her foot in her mouth.