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The Agonizing Agony of Mike Daisey’s Agony

this man is an agonizingly mad peanut, you can tell by his wingspan!

Little Mikey Daisey truly believes in a fantasy land named China (my first suggestion would be that if you’re going to make up a country, at least give it a far less ridiculous name. What next after China? “Welcome to the land of Polystyrene, may I see your rainbow passport?”) And, Daisey’s insanity has convinced him that poor Chinaist workers are being exploited by an evil empire known only by the ominous title, APPLE (Oh, I’m the CEO of Pomegranate, Inc., would you like a magic wand?). And further, (oh chuckle chuckle) the leader of this fascist regime is known (to Daisey) as Steve Jobs (if you’re going to fabricate cruel dictators, don’t make them sound like characters Roald Dahl invented on a week long tequila binge).

So, why am I not dismissing with callous alacrity this jovial, self-proclaimed large man?

Because this gentleman’s conviction is sadly palpable.

He screams and barks his pontifications like a recently circumcised adult merman sans anesthesia. At times he weeps sodium-chloride infused prisms from his unblinking eyes while relating his sky high fable! I have a soft spot for the mad, their struggles seem somehow close to me. Onion garbage meow woof plonk.

In spite of my initial reservations about the fantastical weave of his tale, to watch him walk upon the boards and rely on nothing but a table, a chair, some flashy blink blink lights, and a large glass of vodka, I found myself convinced by his loopyness. Cheering him on as he struggled to fight the evil Fox Cons (the half fox, half con-artist alien robots who control the factories where APPLE’s magic boxes are built). And by the end of his piece feeling we should all, as he surely wanted us too, rail against the evil exploitation of the mystical land of China.

I decided to keep listening to this tragic case of delusion, because, if there truly were a land of China, where hundreds of thousands were having their hands ruined by the work demands of evil robot foxes, all to provide our sorcery machines, and we chose to ignore these revelations, well, that my friends, would be unforgivable, no? Thank goodness it’s all lies! Still, it serves as an important reminder to fight the good fight. I was steeled to continue my fight to end all of you after all, and I call that a rousing success.

My understanding is that Mr. Daisey has been reprimanded for his fairy tale. Well, I say continue your lie sir. In fact if you were to add more lies about your personal connection to this tale to solidify the emotional impact of your saga, you would be in my mind, in the right. Now, I know we live in a world where no one ever embellishes stories to lend to their emotional impact, where the “non-fictions” we present are completely based on the factual truths we experienced, and it would be naive of me to ask you to be an exception. But your story is so bizarre, so insane, so dry-mouth-inducingly zany that you deserve if nothing else our pity and attention.

So lie, Mr. Daisey, lie unapologetically! And if you are chastised by the powers that be, remember, to pillory you for your lies simply allows them to ignore their own, and to scapegoat your flowery name. If the theatrical artists of the world castigate your words, know that they often love little more than the opportunity to knock others down, especially if that work has potentially achieved what they have not: an honest, albeit fictitious theatrical moment.

I wish there were a China, and an APPLE, and con-artist foxes because then surely we’d see that your loony story were simply a noble request for us to genuinely regard the exploited other, the downtrodden, the wretched. As it stands, all anyone will ever care about is pointing out your foibles that they themselves relate to so closely it makes their genitals ache. They will jump upon you like famished hyenas to a recently discovered gazelle cadaver. And they will win, because they scream the loudest.

Lest anyone think I’ve gone soft, I must say I hated everything about my experience watching your show, but that is my nature Mr. Daisey. I am constructed of distaste, and I too lie, but in that lie, like yours, there is an essential kernel of truth. What Xander Strange says, what you say, is like everything else: ephemeral dust. It is only how you and I (and the Chinaists, crazy Daisey!) respond to these mirrored truths.

Or else we’re all simply fools.


About xanderstrange

orphan and arts critic

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