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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: September ::
Re: The Power of Words
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1754  Tuesday, 19 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 Sep 2000 14:57:10 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 11.1750 Re: RSC Macbeth to be Filmed

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 Sep 2000 15:16:59 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 11.1751 Re: The Power of Words

[3]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 Sep 2000 19:29:04 -0700
        Subj:   Fw: SHK 11.1751 Re: The Power of Words

[4]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 Sep 2000 23:01:23 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1751 Re: The Power of Words

[5]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Sep 2000 09:15:32 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 11.1751 Re: The Power of Words


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 18 Sep 2000 14:57:10 -0700
Subject: Re: RSC Macbeth to be Filmed
Comment:        SHK 11.1750 Re: RSC Macbeth to be Filmed

Charles Weinstein now claims he did not make bigoted comments, writing:

>No, just forthright comments about a mismatch between an actor and his
>role.

B. S.  You stated clearly, and more than once, that homosexual actors
could not play this role effectively.  I'll stand by the archive of your
comments.

Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 18 Sep 2000 15:16:59 -0700
Subject: Re: The Power of Words
Comment:        SHK 11.1751 Re: The Power of Words

To Paul E. Doniger and other concerned list members,

The comment was mine (I'm surprised you did not approach me off-list,
Paul), so I am obviously the best person to explain my comment.  It will
get a more specific airing in another of Tuesday messages, but one
member made a small minded comment about gay actors not being able to
play certain roles well.  He singled out Sher's Macbeth, which was his
main point, but went out of his way to mention other homosexual actors.

Maybe it is because I was twisted by growing up in Berkeley in the 60s,
but I can't let that kind of bigotry go unchallenged.  I shall stand up
to it wherever I find it, now and in the future.

I like you for your desire to keep things friendly, but I believe the
other member's comment broke that rule, and conscience dictates not
letting him get away with it.  I hope you can understand.

My wife and I recently had to pay a high social price for standing up
against similar bigotry when there was a ballot measure here in
California this year.  It was worth it.  I hope I shall not suffer a
similar fate from listmembers, but if I do, that too shall be worth it.

All the best (to everyone but the bigots),
Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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Date:           Monday, 18 Sep 2000 19:29:04 -0700
Subject: 11.1751 Re: The Power of Words
Comment:        Fw: SHK 11.1751 Re: The Power of Words

To Mike Jensen and anyone interested in this thread,

Thank you for the clarification. I was not aware of the issue, probably
it appeared on the list before I joined. I appreciate your responding to
my concern.

I agree with you at least 100%! An actor is an actor -- and I have found
several instances where an actor's sexual preference came as a surprise
to me, anyway (when I found out at all) -- good acting having nothing to
do with private lifestyle (are alcoholic actors unable to perform
straight-laced characters?!). Bravo to you and your wife for your
courage.

Paul E. Doniger

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Monday, 18 Sep 2000 23:01:23 -0400
Subject: 11.1751 Re: The Power of Words
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1751 Re: The Power of Words

I agree generally with Paul Doniger's observation that the word
"bigoted" is devalued if used to apply to any fiercely held belief:

> As lovers of Shakespeare, we all are sensitive, I am
> certain, to the depth of meaning and power of words, especially to the
> connotative power they hold.
> [snip]
> I cannot remember seeing anything on it that struck me as an
> expression of racial, religious, economic, social, or other bias -- only
> the occasional free expression of personal opinion [to which the word
> "bigoted" was aplied].

But isn't Mr. Doniger himself guilty of a little abasement of the
language in making his list so long?  Shouldn't "bigot" be applied to
ethnic or religious bias only; and isn't "snobbery" a better choice for
a similar sort of preference with respect to economic or social class?

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Sep 2000 09:15:32 -0400
Subject: Re: The Power of Words
Comment:        SHK 11.1751 Re: The Power of Words

Paul E. Doniger's pious remarks, a perfect example of the new
sentimental 'liberal' bigotry, can only be deeply wounding to bigots of
the old school like myself. We await his apologies.

Terence Hawkes
 

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