Chimera Song Mosaic
Sunday, May 18, 2003
Still tumbling, devil, snake and Cupid
on stage are thumping without cease;
[ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]
the audience still is busy stamping,
still coughing, hissing, clapping, champing (22.1-2, 5-6).

I'm including this quote from Pushkin's Eugene Onegin (translation Charles Johnston) because it occurs to me how stange & disciplined the process of observing, of being an audience. It's much more active than it sounds, and requires much more effort than we might think. Of course, we all know, & are used to it. Few of us are Britney Spears and see it from the angle of being watched. Anyway, this voyeurism is so diffiuclt for the audience, made up of blood-strong, intelligent, active people--viewers who are just as alive and bursting with ideas and passions and philosophies as their entertainers or tutors. So why do we remain in the audience? What is keeping us there--social decorum, shame, and a healthy dose of rigidity, intractability, paralysis? What can we learn from them, and they from us? A teacher is just a frustrated actor. I can't take credit for this idea; it was hoisted on me during a job interview. I am so transparent.

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