Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pence Booed at Performance of "Hamilton"

The concept of Broadway theater is much more appealing to me than the reality of Broadway theater. As far as entertainment goes, Broadway gets considerably more press than it deserves, if one were to work in the number of Amercians who actually avail themselves of the entertainment. But because it is New York, and because New York considers itself singular and because New Yorkers tend to drink their own bathwater, Broadway--or a play in New York--has made the national news.  It seems that both the audience and the cast at last night's performance of "Hamilton" decided to avail themselves of the opportunity offered by the attendence of the nation's Vice President Elect to boo, and lecture, said attendee.

Great. Going to the theater is a political act.

The phenomenon that is "Hamilton" (which I have not seen, but which I think I might wish to see) has exposed an entirely new generation to a man I consider to be -- behind Washington -- our greatest Founding Father. His bootstrap story, his battlefield bravery, his energy, his genius, his ideology--all are worthy of being celebrated in every generation, even if this one's go at it insists on "hip-hop" as the method of transmission. Whatever it takes, I suppose. But it strikes me that maybe too much hip hop and too little substance is being absorbed by Hamilton audiences, and its actors aren't taking the time to understand the man they are dramatizing.

Little doubt that many attendees are now casually dismissing the Electoral College as an instrument of racism--without having read Federalist 68 and its rationale therefor--written by--you guessed it-- Hamilton.

Little doubt that many attendees are now taking to their fainting couches at the prospect of Trump wielding Presidential power--power explained by Hamilton in Federalist 70 . He was in fact, the leading proponent of a powerful Executive throughout the Constitutional Convention.

Putting aside the history and political science, what happened last night was just plain rude. I realize that we are a coarse society, and the recent election did not help that one bit. But we can and should be better.

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