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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Abject Stupidity of Bank of America and Delta Airlines in Withdrawing Support from New York Public Theater

One of the stupidest, saddest pieces of news in the past week was Bank of America and Delta Airlines withdrawing their sponsorship of the New York Public Theater's production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar because ... the production presented Caesar with an orange, Trump-like wig, and, the corporations claimed, glorified Caesar/Trump's assassination.

The people at Bank of America and Delta Airlines are obviously stupid, or maybe ignorant is the better word, because Julius Caesar is not the villain (note to Bank of America and Delta - "villain" means "bad guy") in the play with his name, and neither is his killing glorified.  To the contrary, Caesar is the victim, and the villains - not the heroes - are the Senators who stab him to death, most especially the conflicted Brutus.  His assassination is presented not as something to be done or emulated, but avoided, if only because it is the undoing of the people who plot to do it and do it. That's the essence of the play.   Don't they educate executives at big corporations any more?

But their withdrawal of support for the NY Public Theater is also sad, because it follows the cowardly actions of CNN in firing Kathy Griffin and cancelling Reza Aslan's documentary series because of their criticism of the President.   Is this the society we've become, in which we can't tolerate politically lacerating humor (Griffin), cursing out a President (Aslan) - and, by the way, both did this not on CNN's air but their own time - and political commentary in art (NY Public Theater)?

People who believe in freedom of expression should do something about this.   I decided last week to watch CNN now about as often as I watch Fox News - almost never.   Fortunately, I don't bank with Bank of America, and I'm certainly not going to start.  As for Delta, I've flown with them many times, but now I don't intend to do that again.

Americans should stand up and call out these crypto fascists, wherever they rear their heads.

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