Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Sweat: There are no successful victims

“They took our jobs!”

Can you spot the victim in this picture?
Can you spot the victim in this picture?

Sweat is a great example of a play written for people who go to the theater but about people who would never go to the theater. In other words, this is a “blue-state” playwright writing about “red-state” characters for a “blue-state” audience. That’s not completely fair, but it’s one-hundred-percent true.

Sweat

The setting is a factory town in Pennsylvania — yet again. We know this scenario well. Factory jobs are being moved to Mexico, and the whites aren’t happy about it. Then a black woman gets a promotion instead of a white woman. Bring on the victim narrative.

During the performance I kept thinking about an ancient South Park episode which featured the rallying cry, “They took our jobs!” That episode does, essentially, what this play does. It demonstrates the willingness of blue-collar Americans to play the victim, to their own demise.

The play covers familiar ground, but it’s ground which needs to be constantly rediscovered. What is that familiar ground? There are no successful victims. Everybody should know this by now, but it feels as though the social tide is running contrary to that.

Personal rights and the victimization of said rights are becoming the foundation of our social discourse. How many discussions start off with, “As a [fill in the blank] I feel like I’ve been mistreated”? (Read: victimized).

Here’s what you won’t hear very often: “As a person who bases his or her life on personal responsibility, I refuse to be victimized.” That’s the end of the discussion. There is no issue to be discussed if there is no victim.

Sweat addresses racial relations and I, as a white male of ultimate privilege, felt that the script was flipped in a most appropriate way. The black community and some elements of black leadership have been criticized for fostering a victim narrative. Sweat argues that a victim narrative can be found within the white community as well. Some might say we have a president who won an election off of a victim narrative which appealed to white America.

Sweat plays at San Diego Repertory Theatre through May 12.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Music follows nature – the Moldau, Central Asia's steppes, the Alps, the Appian Way , cliffs of Cornwall

We find Siegfried resting under a linden tree
Next Article

“I Come From the Andromeda Galaxy”

Alfred Howard, James Brady, Me, Myself and Eye, Orchid Mantis, Puttin’ on the Fritz
Can you spot the victim in this picture?
Can you spot the victim in this picture?

Sweat is a great example of a play written for people who go to the theater but about people who would never go to the theater. In other words, this is a “blue-state” playwright writing about “red-state” characters for a “blue-state” audience. That’s not completely fair, but it’s one-hundred-percent true.

Sweat

The setting is a factory town in Pennsylvania — yet again. We know this scenario well. Factory jobs are being moved to Mexico, and the whites aren’t happy about it. Then a black woman gets a promotion instead of a white woman. Bring on the victim narrative.

During the performance I kept thinking about an ancient South Park episode which featured the rallying cry, “They took our jobs!” That episode does, essentially, what this play does. It demonstrates the willingness of blue-collar Americans to play the victim, to their own demise.

The play covers familiar ground, but it’s ground which needs to be constantly rediscovered. What is that familiar ground? There are no successful victims. Everybody should know this by now, but it feels as though the social tide is running contrary to that.

Personal rights and the victimization of said rights are becoming the foundation of our social discourse. How many discussions start off with, “As a [fill in the blank] I feel like I’ve been mistreated”? (Read: victimized).

Here’s what you won’t hear very often: “As a person who bases his or her life on personal responsibility, I refuse to be victimized.” That’s the end of the discussion. There is no issue to be discussed if there is no victim.

Sweat addresses racial relations and I, as a white male of ultimate privilege, felt that the script was flipped in a most appropriate way. The black community and some elements of black leadership have been criticized for fostering a victim narrative. Sweat argues that a victim narrative can be found within the white community as well. Some might say we have a president who won an election off of a victim narrative which appealed to white America.

Sweat plays at San Diego Repertory Theatre through May 12.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Kahlee310’s snitch rapper reactions

“He’d literally do anything for the money or fame”
Next Article

Building paradise in San Diego

Mission Valley, Tijuana gardens, Otay Mesa, downtown skyscrapers, One Paseo, Rancho Santa Fe mansion
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close