It Can't Happen Here
Blogger Christy Rogers goes deep on the parallels and ironies bursting out of Sinclair Lewis's 1936 classic, as performed last week by the SF Mime Troupe. A very thoughtful, frightening piece. An excerpt from Dissident Voice:
Last week, while Occupy movement encampments across the US stared down eviction or were smashed up by police attacks, a number of theater companies around the US held readings of Sinclair Lewis’ 1936 adaptation for the stage of his bestselling novel It Can’t Happen Here. The play, which was commissioned by the Roosevelt administration’s Federal Theater Project, a part of its massive Depression era public works program, is the story of the rise to power of a good ol’ boy country lawyer who wins the presidency through a combination of charm, demagoguery and threats, and then cements his power with terror and violence, ultimately creating a police state....It gave me pause the next day to realize that as a small group of us sat in the Mime Troupe’s darkened rehearsal space in the Mission District, across the bay in Oakland, police from eighteen different local law enforcement agencies (yes, you may well ask why there are that many to begin with, much less why they were all were involved) must have been mapping out a pre-dawn assault on the Occupy Oakland camp that would end up being one of the most violent in the nation so far. Hearing the Mime Troupe read Lewis’ play gave me lots of food for thought, but most of it was in the form of questions on just exactly what kind of relevance we’re talking about—or not—right now.
Read the complete article here.