Monday, April 23, 2007

McBeefy Dreams

I had a dream last night. Cho was talking to me. I made him put down the guns and then I would listen. He said “what the fuck? Could I have possibly have been any clearer? I wrote TWO plays about children being raped and the adults getting away with it and squashing the children. I said in my note to NBC that this was for the all the kids who were being fucked. And then I shot a LOT of people to make sure the message got out, and still they can’t imagine what went wrong. Do they think I was upset cause I didn’t get that puppy when I was six? What the hell? If I was alive now, I’d REALLY be frustrated. I thought I was a martyr for the cause, but I guess it’s going to take an army of children rising up and shooting fuckers for people to understand that you can’t keep fucking the kids and think you’re going to get away with it forever.”

Then I told Cho that he was an idiot and he should’ve just killed perpetrators and then it might’ve been clearer (and a better thing to do, though he still would’ve been punished – like Aileen Wournos). He said it was everyone’s fault cause they all went along with it and acted like everything was just fine. I disagreed and he aimed his gun at me. I roundhouse kicked his hand and the gun went flying. I have a yellow belt in tae kwon do. He got mad because it’s a Korean martial art and he didn’t think I should be able to use it on him because I’m not Korean and I don’t eat kimchi. It wasn’t a good kick, but I had the element of surprise, plus the fact that it was my dream. Then I took his guns away and told him he couldn’t shoot anyone else cause he was dead, and that if the FBI statistics are right then he probably shot like ten other people who had been sexually abused as children. Then he said “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I was never abused.” And I said “what do you mean? You wrote all about it.” And he said, “yeah, but those were just words, I have no memory of being raped as a kid – in fact I don’t remember anything at all before age ten.”

Then i woke up.

4 comments:

Rhea said...

I am posting comments all over the web that have the same message as yours: From time to time, some of the kids (male) who are shoved, kicked, raped, beaten and shamed will end up doing stuff like this from time. What is the line you are referring to: dren. I said in my note to NBC that this was for the all the kids who were being fucked. And then I shot a LOT of people to make sure the

Ethel Spiliotes said...

“Thanks to you,” he writes, “I die like Jesus Christ to inspire generations of the Weak and Defenseless — my brothers, sisters and children — that you f***.”

Vane said...

I can't believe you don't like kimchee.

Carolyn Gage said...

I just want to make the point again that Cho's plays, in spite of the mommy-shocking rhetoric, did two remarkable things:

1) He identified himself with anally-raped little boys. This is not a way to win friends and influence people, ESPECIALLY among young people. He is standing with one of the most invisible and despised groups of victims in the world. Statistically one-fifth of the male population, but you would never know it. He did not do a "Brett Easton Ellis" thing, like American Psycho, which made Ellis a millionaire many times over... graphic violence in the form of sensational mutilation of innocent women and "comedic" cooking of their body parts. Made Ellis "the" Gen X author. He did not try to score points for "arch humor" like David Mamet did with the first play to get him on the radar of national prominence: Sexual Perversion in Chicago... remember that hilarious little scene where the prostitute is set on fire? The language is just as crude. the graphic violence is more creatively framed but MORE horrendous. And these two men are iconic novelists and playwrights today.

2) Cho directed all the anger, appropriately and courageously, toward the perpetrator, a male father figure in both plays. Most male anger is directed inappropriately toward children and toward women, because we cannot retaliate.

The story of child sexual abuse is difficult to tell. Few can hear it, and even fewer can respond appropriately when they hear it. I have found that no matter HOW I tell it, the response is nearly always the same and universal: rejection on the grounds of being inappropriate. Everything that has been said about Cho's plays has been said about mine, and I suspect for the same reason: The subject matter.

And to stress my point, I would ask anyone who had issues with Cho's plays to take a look at this clip on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSm4ySIQYxI

It deals with a nationally prominent, shock jock DJ who has built his reputation on making jokes, on the air (Clear Channel) about sexually abusing little girls. This man is still making hundreds of thousands of dollars and he is still promoting the sexual assault of children. He cannot be stopped. Even the FCC is protecting him. True story. Check it out. This is the context in which Cho was attempting to tell a story that NOBODY wanted to hear.

This is a boy who had difficulty even saying his name, never spoke . . . and then suddenly, these two plays, with astoundingly taboo subject positions. What if the teacher had stopped the class to talk about how this culture supports child sexual abuse, had pointed out that in a class with twenty boys that four of them were probably survivors like the protagonist in the play but would never tell anybody, about the staggering censorship of this issue and the corporate financing of the perpetrators, about the difficulty in achieving credibility . . . had noticed the most significant aspect of these plays: the story, and had addressed the courage of the author in identifying with this intensely marginalized group, giving them voice, and having the courage to confront the perpetrator?

I was grateful for the piece on "bezerkers" pointing out that having been victimized by sexual sadism was a common feature in their backgrounds. I think that when we all decry male violence, we need to be asking ourselves, who are those one-out-of-five boys and how can we identify them, how can we encourage them to come forward and tell their stories, how can we support prosecution of the perpetrators . . . and especially pay attention to the silence, secrecy, and isolation of boys and girls in immigrant populations who are victims of sexual abuse within their communities.

I cannot imagine why Cho would have chosen the subject position of a child victim of sodomy, unless that it was his story. I can well understand the rage bottled up behind it, and I can also understand the use of strong and off-putting language to counter the vulerabilities inherent in the narrative. If Cho's teachers and classmates responded to his work as folks on this list, if this was his first attempt at telling the story and he was slammed for it with no recognition for the courage and difficulty of telling that story, if he was told this was inappropriate when, to survivors, it is the most important story on the planet, and if he made the not unreasonable deduction that he should never try to tell it again . . . then what other kind of story WOULD the world understand? Probably the much-lauded, highly lucrative story of directing anger toward the innocent. Because the innocent are not as scary as the perpetrators.