Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Apple Turnover From Mike Daisey’s Oven | The SunBreak:

As an ethicist, Daisey first paints a glowing picture of obsession’s gifts, before speaking up for the niggling doubt, and here he enjoys himself contrasting Apple’s advances and sophistication with its laggard, Borg-like competitors. This also is where the Woz enters the narrative, and where Daisey starts to count the cost of a singular, overriding priority (it’s a point he’s made earlier with an investigation of WalMart’s “always low prices”). Given Wozniak’s treatment as Jobs becomes Apple’s avatar of amazement, the working conditions at Foxconn look like ramification of a founder’s principles, not an accident.

Daisey and Gregory’s gamble is that live theatre can be an adequate container for the emotional and cognitive dissonance he’s stoking–he doesn’t offer catharsis, as such. He’s circumspect about keeping the outrage his outrage, it’s never assumed. Maybe you share in his upset, maybe you don’t. But in an ironic way, the show recapitulates Apple’s “1984
ad: a lone figure disrupts the carefully produced image, and–though you don’t think of this at first–the audience is left with the sharp slivers of what used to be belief in the way things are.