05w10:4 Darren O'Donnell's 'A Suicide-Site Guide to the City'

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 10 number 4 (Darren O’Donnell’s ‘A Suicide-Site Guide to the City’)

Because this good read is unusual, it needs a bit of an introduction, especially for people outside of Toronto.

Darren O’Donnell is a local playwright who’s currently showing his latest work, A Suicide-Site Guide to the City which I reviewed here, and if you read that you’ll see that I really loved the work. Darren performed it last year at the Edinburgh Fringe, during which time he kept a blog (here) and which he’s updated during the Toronto show with a link to a discussion he had with a friend of his named Stef Lenk on her blog. This good read is that discussion, but because it was all very direct and unformatted, I got Stef’s permission to put it up so that I could clean it up for readability.

There you will find a link to the original, where you can contribute, continue, and catch up on more recent postings.

While for obvious reasons being highly Toronto-centric, this discussion focuses on the problem of what it means to be creative in North America. Are artists being exploited? Are they lackey’s for the status quo? These are questions Darren attempts to raise with his play and attempts to get at in this highly, must-readable discussion.

It is frankly one of the most sane and considered things I’ve read in a long time, and insightful in ways that most articles and press fail to be. – Timothy

Ex-lefties and Suicide-site Guide to the City | Stef Lenk, Darren O’Donnel et al
“[O’Donnell writes] You : ‘the Us vs. Them scenario is getting us nowhere’. Okay, well, I’ll tell you what. If you can arrange it so I can spend some quality time with one of the world’s 300 billionaires so I can really understand where they’re at then I will consider changing my position. If you can get me into one of their gated communities so we can have a heart-to-heart then I will really open myself to this person. Let me know. I’m busy until the 20th but after that I’m free. […] [Barker writes]There is an enormous potential to have a positive impact on the lives of our community, and our peers (as you identify them) through our artwork, action and example – but it is more the maturity we express as people and citizens, then as artists, that will determine that impact, peer-to-peer. We have some social power, with power comes responsibility, our social power is ours to use or misuse. But artists seem to have a tendency, at least in our subculture, towards self-centredness – perhaps no more, or no less than other kinds of subcultures – but it is the particular ways in which it is expressed in the art scene that makes me a little doubtful of the potential for rallying to goodness around the identification as artists. In any case, I don’t have any real disagreement with the opinions expressed here, just alot of personal frustration with some tendencies in my peer group! I’ll freely admit to that!”

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emailed by Timothy on Wednesday 09 March 2005 @ 10:36 PM

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