Tonight I enjoyed Berwyn’s 16th Street Theater Company’s rendition of Mike Daisey‘s 2010 play, directed and performed by Lance Baker through February 9. The monologue + Powerpoint, famously “fabulated” by Daisey with less than journalistic rigor, raises important questions for the modern user of technology, but it does so with considerable humor and nuance. The indisputable truths of the show–that Steve Jobs was a difficult genius to work for, that his insistence on mass marketing his Bauhaus-influenced computers led to exploitative global sourcing–are delivered in user-friendly fashion, so that both the long-time Apple user and the casual user of smartphones is equally implicated in the show’s condemnation, yet they can equally enjoy an engaging night of entertainment.
When Baker finally delivers Daisey’s conclusion–that “1st Worlders” recognize the Chinese “blood” on their MacBook’s keyboards–it comes after the script has garnered identification and appreciation from the tech-geek and non-technical alike. Daisey’s arguments for conscientious computing are all the more effective thereby. Good job, 16th Street!
Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, let me share one of my LoL moments from this season of SNL, in which the players skewer the hypocrisy and moral blindness of the techno-cogniscenti vis à vis the very same issue surfaced in the 16th Street show tonight: