Here’s what we’re reading and working on this week at Epsilon Theory.
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Rusty published this note – Deadly. Holy. Rough. Immediate. – right after we launched the Epsilon Theory website three years ago, and I think it’s still my fave out of all his work. Ostensibly it’s about a book: The Empty Space, by Peter Brook. Really, it’s about Narrative World. It’s about the water in which we swim.
“Peter Brook’s 175-page masterpiece seeks to categorize and define the ways in which theatre – which he defines as ‘a man walking across an empty space whilst someone else is watching him’ – is performed. In all, Brook identifies four varieties of theatre: deadly, holy, rough and immediate. Each of them is a pitch-perfect description of the ways in which any performative use of language interacts with an audience, whether it’s a theatre troupe performing a play, a politician giving a policy speech or a CEO discussing earnings.”
I thought about this note a lot this week, as we were inundated with examples of our modern Zeitgeist: Deadly Theatre.
What is Deadly Theatre? It’s corporate signaling on Pride Month, with feel-good rebranding pop-ups in all the geographies where this is a marketing advantage … and silent cowardice in geographies where it isn’t.
What is Deadly Theatre? It’s a “fireside chat” in “executive leadership” … with an on-the-make political celebrity who is neither.
What is Deadly Theatre? It’s the legal and public relations performance art in service to these honorable men, these Lions of Wall Street … when in truth they created the SYSTEM of Jeffrey Epstein and his ilk.
What is Deadly Theatre? It’s the scourge of the modern Zeitgeist. It’s institutionalized mendacity. It’s the antithesis of Full Hearts.
What is the only proper response to Deadly Theatre? Root it out. Call it out.