Tynan's Anger: The Top 10 Quotes from English-language Drama This Decade: 10-6:
Each month, I will be unrolling a top 10 list regarding English-language drama this decade. This first month starts with the best lines from English-language plays this decade. I have admittedly taken a more mainstream angle on this list, because my aim is to gauge which lines will resonate the loudest for the longest period of time in the future.
“If you let a standing army stand too long...it will find something to do.” – Mike Daisey, If You See Something Say Something.
Mike Daisey’s legacy at this point is still tied to his immensely influential diatribe How Theater Failed America, but with this line, Daisey framed the dangers of the military-industrial complex in a succinct manner better than anyone, be it Eisenhower, Bill Hicks, or Naomi Klein. The first time Daisey used the line, he was describing the Cold War change in the Presidential cabinet from Secretary of War to Secretary of Defense, and the line served to show how the military-industrial complex has created a perpetual need for global conflict over the last 50 years. The second time he used it, he put the words in the mouth of George Washington, which added a universal element to Daisey’s view on history, politics, war, and even theater. Daisey validated that the problems that plague our world today are not that different from what they’ve ever been. That Daisey accomplished this without a proper script only makes this achievement that much more impressive.