Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What is Viral Heroism?

Last week we discussed the concept of Villainy within the Theatrosphere, how frequently conversation turns to debate... turns to irate disagreement... which turns into accusations of Villainy. Don pondered if the perception of Villainy was plausible, positing that it's opposite, Heroism, within the Theatrosphere was an absurdity and therefore so too Villainy.

Whether or not Heroism is achievable within the theatrosphere depends upon what you consider to be heroic. It also is tied in with what you envision as the purpose of blogging.

Does one have to break a non-virtual sweat to achieve something heroic? I often have been criticized in the past for demanding more action within the theatrosphere, being told that as a form in itself, it is not the appropriate vehicle for action. But action does happen in and around our blogs. Here in this virtual arena we are capable of more than mere rumination and disagreement.

The sphere to whom I'm speaking with on a weekly basis is a grouping of storytellers. That is what they do. Hows, Whys, Goals, Destinies are multifarious, but most of us are invested in storytelling. We are at our most active and our best when we are actually adding value and improving the lives of others who are as invested as we are in the telling of stories.

Using that perspective, I can point to the most obvious collective heroism which was the confrontation of a certain alderman's proposed ordinance. Here was a potential threat to the ability of local storytellers to perform and promote. Through the efforts of many, we members of the Chicago theatrosphere did our part to sound the alarm. Some of us led the clarion call. Others took the initiative in smaller ways. And the ordinance was removed from consideration less than 24 hours before it was to be proposed to City Council. The reason cited was public outcry, and that outcry was due in no small part to many bloggers.

Hence heroism even if collective in nature is achieved. Or maybe viral...has anyone yet coined the term "viral heroism"? (Patent Pending...wink)

There is always opportunity for Viral Heroism online...

When one of us finds ways to inspire, captivate or enable others to reconsider

When we provide possibilities that empowers others.

When we overcome cynicism without turning a blind eye to the most arduous of our obstacles.

When we whine less about our exhaustion and rather invigorate ourselves and each other

When we discover and follow through on ways to collaborate as storytellers, methods that were unavailable to us previously

When we illuminate something powerful, novel, useful

When we help elucidate our value as storytellers

When we do these things with intelligence, with an eye to the future, while being aware of historic...these things allow us to direct focus and energy...to better our lot and lot of others.

We should be aware and diligent about cynicism and exhaustion, not only others but our own. It is not enough to merely say to the others or to oneself "Get out of the way. If you are so tired and exhausted then go home." We must find ways to inspire not only those among us who see the vision, but those who are desperate for some kind of hope. If we achieve that...I think it is heroic.

So the creation of sustainable, contextualized hope for the storytellers out there tuning in...in that lies opportunities for heroism Digital heroism. Viral Heroism.

Nourishing the hope of others while sustaining your own ambitions...I have to believe that this is achievable. If I didn't then, I'd probably stop blogging altogether.


A Post Script - Perhaps an unnecessary one

I will not say that our capacity for heroism is tied into the content of our stories on stage and on the page. I am still cautious about this notion because of some recent accusations about the true nature of Avantism (something I attempt to champion). Content be it within the blogosphere or on stage that makes the world a better place is achievable (if not verifiable in a direct sense) But... I want to clarify...that does not mean putting up "happy stories" or "speaking with a peaceful voice". In today's environment where we are so used to being mislead or ignored by the establishment while they perpetrate illegal foreign destruction...in such an environment, we can forget that not all calls to peace are beneficial. Sometimes the profane can be heroic. Sometimes the tragedy enacted on stage helps to curtail perceived inevitability of a similar tragedy in real life. Not every play, story, and song has to end with resolution or a wedding. Not every tale told incorporating subversion, experimentation, or dissent is for lack of better term degenerate art.




Related Links

Regarding Theatrosphere - Is Villainy Inevitable?

The City Busted the Little Guy Again

Greyzelda's Post regarding savechicagoculture.org
Chicago Promoter's Ordinance is Tabled for the Time Being
One Step Forward...

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