Do you hear the people sing?
"Do you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men..."
Yesterday, a London performance of Les Miserables was interrupted by protesters raising awareness about climate change.
The audience booed.
It seems the audience was unhappy about having to experience protests and unrest during the performance of protests and unrest they wanted to enjoy.
The hypocrisy is rich in this one, but a very well engineered and expected one. But I guess only with the luxury of being detached from the actual event one can afford to enjoy the hypocrisy. I assume that for many people attending a West End London production of Les Miserables aims to be a proper highlight of the year, if not more. It's something that children gift their parents for the 30th wedding anniversary. It may be the reason for a trip to London. In addition, attending a performance like this is an escapist act, that you don't want interrupted with the problems of the real world. And given that it is a life performance, it seems disrespectful to the cast, to the artists, who pour their lives into their roles.
On the other side, the existential dread about climate change, and the insufficient actions by world leaders seem to demand increasingly bolder action and more attention. We are teaching our kids that they should act if something is not right. And we are telling them about the predictions for climate change. And then we are surprised if they try to do something? The message that climate change will be extremely disruptive to our lives and that we need to act much more decisively has obviously not yet been understood by enough people. And we, humanity, our leaders, elected or not, are most certainly not yet doing enough to try to prevent or at least mitigate the effects of climate change that are starting to roll over us.
It would be good, but admittedly unlikely, if both sides could appreciate the other more. Maybe the audience might be a bit appreciative of seeing the people sing the song of angry men in real. And maybe the protesters could choose their targets a bit more wisely. Why choose art? There are more disruptive targets if you were to protest the oil industry than a performance of Les Miserables. To be honest, if i were working for the oil industry, this is exactly the kind of actions I would be setting up. And with people who are actually into the cause. That way I can ensure that people will talk about interrupted theater productions and defaced paintings, instead of again having the hottest year in history, of floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, and the thousands of people who already died due to climate change induced catastrophes - and the billions more whose life will be turned upside down.
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