We should be thankful that even though the theaters are closed we still have an alternative opportunity for “the willing suspension of disbelief.”
But what kind of alternative is it? Is it traditional tragedy? Is it comedy? Is it maybe the return of the satyr play — the last play in a Greek tragic cycle that featured all forms of bestiaries like farting and gross sex jokes to send the crowd off to the exits laughing?
This new form of theater doesn’t need a gathered audience. It can be dispensed through the endless dark web, Twitter and other social media, supplemented by Fox and MSNBC.
It’s brilliant. We all watch it. We can’t take our eyes off of it. It has merged “reality TV” with “enlightened self-interest,” but it doesn’t quite work.
It’s not Oedipus Rex: A former president meets democracy at the cross roads and brags the Statue of Liberty loves to be goosed.
It certainly is not like Julius Caesar either, where the Senate rises up to save the republic from a tyrant.
Wait one minute — what if it’s for a new kind of audience?
What does this new kind of theater provide?
It’s not just surround sound, it’s surround reality. Can’t get much better than that. Who needs those big crowded noisy theaters when you can keep your headset on and go to your own bathroom?
Regrettably, this new kind of theater may not be good for traditional theater. In traditional theater, the producers fight for money to put up their shows and maybe one out of five return a profit to investors. But with the recent “Trump Bump,” polarization is making everybody money, including MSNBC and Fox News.
This new audience is happiest when it is angry at somebody else because that’s what keeps the political parties flush with money and the audience shoveling more and more into campaigns, congressional healthcare, and retirement.
If you don’t know who is running the Republican Party, don’t ask — just watch the impeachment proceedings. But please don’t expect an answer, because right now I’m not sure if the Republican Party knows.
The only thing for sure is that the audience will be “hangry” — hungry for anger — the perfect couch potato entertainment.
After the Super Bowl and maybe “60 Minutes,” I’m sure they will let the lions out of the Colosseum and we can watch Rome burn.
It is a satyr play and we may be the actors, not the audience, but we are still free… to leave laughing.