Friday, July 11, 2008

Scott Walters posts on the dumbness of the  perniciously dumb "theater = blackjack" meme. In the comments, someone says:

"I've learned that no analogy is perfect, so I'm going to have to say it's a pretty good analogy, all things considered. It demonstrates the sheer luck required and the sheer odds against you when you enter the profession."

This is precisely why it's such a shitty analogy—it's deceptive. It FEELS true because fighting to survive in the arts FEELS like being a professional gambler--you're unsupported, a free agent, tryng to hustle and make things work, and the vast amount of people who do it, especially ones who are just starting out, fall by the wayside as the going gets tough.

If that's all it takes, I'll be waiting for blogospheric posts on theatre artists as oil derrick riggers, foreign war correspondents, and prostitutes.

But it's not enough for an analogy to FEEL true—it needs to actually illuminate, and this is horseshit for all the reasons I enumerated yesterday, so I won't go into them
again. Just remember that if people keep liking this analogy, it's because it's sexy and fundamentally meaningless, not because it has anything worthwhile to say.

12:26 PM