We get to choose what to talk about.

Peggy Baker There are more interesting things to talk about. Part of the problem with the side bar to the article on Peggy Baker that people are talking about, is that it deflects from some of the very important and difficult things about gender and dance production that Baker raises.

Baker made a point in her speech about embracing androgyny and deploring gender stereotypes. … “I think that’s why I’m not a ballet dancer,” she explains. “Ballet is about dividing men and women. Women dance on pointe shoes, boys and girls don’t take class together. You also see it in folk dancing, where women do one step, men do another.”

And about producing on a "minor" scale (minor is my word and will continue to be developed here - hence the title):

When I mention a dream gig – say, choreographing a piece for the National Ballet of Canada – she smiles and shakes her head.

“I’d rather show things in more intimate settings – the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre rather than the mainstage. I’m talking with the AGO about creating dances for different galleries. And I loved my recent Nuit Blanche experience.”

Small-scaled, then, but never small-minded." RTWT

Both of these quotes are worth spending a lot of time with. They’re thoughts of an artist who has deeply considered her craft and the world it exists in. They’re deeply challenging to the status quo of dance discussion in this city and country. Way more interesting then a writer under a deadline spicing up a story with false comparisons. And yet, they’ll go under-discussed (except maybe in study group or late night in a bar) — again — unless we decide to talk about them.

We get to choose what to talk about.

Not just America, not just journalists

99 Seats is talking about media complaints about the media in Most Everything That's Wrong With American Journalism.The specifics are helpful and the analysis right on - and connects with a thread I've been thinking about for a while.

In a large group discussion about, I think, politics and theatre from a year or so ago, we got to complaining about how the "media" told stories a specific way, creating identities and fault lines, how they were responsible for keeping the "people" down.

I think there's a lot wrong with various media types and modes and I think it's useful to name the damage they can do (see 3:15 - an oldy & goody)

But when we, as people who make things for others to see, talk about media as not us -  denying that it is something we participate actively in by creating events that create meaning - it drives me a little crazy.

Of course small scale theatre is a different, less broadly influential than networks or newspapers - but that doesn't change my responsibility to make work for the world  I want to live in - to resist trends in other media and power structures that create fear and alienation. Because of our scale - because of the freedom it can give - we can speak towards a better, different way.

It is an amazing trick that even Newsweek writers seem to take part in, and the CBC does it all the time (with questions like "Do you think the medias reaction [to the story we've spent 3 hours in a row talking about] is overblown?") –  so I guess it's no surprise that we on the margins can  play too.

But it doesn't make it better. And I'd like to think that we can do better.

Is this unfair?