OWS meets Brecht

Stacey Mickelbart: Brecht’s Imperfect Opera Meets OWS

“If there’s one thing Occupy Wall Street demonstrates about most of us, it’s how desperately our minds seek order in civic affairs.

That’s natural, since politics is the science of government.

We demand clarity, and a movement as inclusive and haphazard as OWS throws us off balance.

But Bertolt Brecht understood, more than eighty years ago, that disorientation is a valuable tool in its own right.

So the timing of Brooklyn Academy of Music’s remounting of The Threepenny Opera earlier this month, performed by the Berliner Ensemble (the company he founded), was serendipitous.

What keeps mankind alive? The fact that millions
Are daily tortured, stifled, punished,silenced and oppressed.
Mankind can keep alive thanks to its brilliance
In keeping its humanity repressed.
For once you must try not to shirk the facts.
Mankind is kept alive
by bestial acts!

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