I was going to simply post a photo of Barack Obama today, but I worried about using someone’s photo without their permission. I see far too much of that in blogland; grabbing photos and graphics from Pinterest or elsewhere online, with no attribution and seemingly no sense that it isn’t right to use someone else’s creation without permission.
So I decided not to do that. Then I thought that I simply wouldn’t post because this day is a dark day for me and for the majority of Americans (by 3 million votes) who do not want that man in office. I am not watching the television. I am not reading anything about the events unfolding in Washington, DC.
But then I thought you might want a wee distraction.
So. Don is going to Washington DC in the wee hours of Saturday morning. He managed to get a space on a bus leaving at 4 a.m. I’m relieved that he’s on a bus because I worried about the mechanics of driving, finding a place to park, finding a way into the city. I briefly considered chucking it all and going with him, but I feel I should be here.
May I say how proud I am of this man? He’s marching for women, for our nephew, for the equal rights of all, for everything we hold dear. It will be stimulating and inspiring and exhausting – all of that and more. So when I arrive home tomorrow, Don will be in Washington. I won’t see him until the early hours of Sunday, I imagine.
The Ghostlight Project was powerful. That is Darko speaking to all of us in the photo. We gathered in the lower lobby of the theater, actors, theater staff and a host of people who love the arts. There were songs sung, quotes from Shakespeare, speeches by the managing director and the artistic director. Since we had just heard that The Demagogue-in-Chief wants to cut the funds for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, we were reeling. Isn’t that what dictators and fascists do? Cut any support for the arts, for theater, for music, for dance, for literature, for the visual arts, for public television and public radio? They have to. Because artists of all kinds speak up, speak out, save our souls, give us beauty, make us think, and challenge those in power. They are threatening to demagogues because they speak truth to power.
Do you know how many people I know and love who work in the theater? Who depend on the theater for their employment, their living expenses? (Including my husband and me.) This leaves me shaken to my core.
There were forms for us to fill out. Here I am with mine:
I will keep fighting.
Everything we hold dear, everything that has changed and improved, all the gains we have made, are in danger.
I will miss the Obamas.
As of noon, I will no longer have a President.
Tonight is Opening Night. I will spend the day reading and packing some of my things. I’m proud, as always, to be a part of Hartford Stage and the brilliant work they do. I’m proud of this production of The Comedy of Errors. This is what we do. We bring light and sadness and humor and thoughtful, considered work to our audiences. This particular production has benefitted from a grant from the NEA.
We need the Arts. A society without them will quickly collapse.