Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Update on the No Show Showcase

(This is a continuation of part 1.)

I talked to L today, and she said everyone is apologizing to her. The three women B, H, and M apologized at L’s party on Saturday. D called her yesterday and fell all over himself apologizing.

What happened is, like I said, B, H, and M were organizing the showcase. But then some emergency matters came up for H and she gave duties to B and M. Then they realized they were not up to doing all the work themselves, so they gave all organizing duties over to their instructor D, but not before B and H got pissed at each other and stopped talking, which explains why B did not sit at the same table as H and M at the party, something I had not mentioned.

Then D, already known as a flake, decided he couldn’t deal with the organizing, so he gave all duties over to instructor T who, until then, had been a fairly minor player in all this. T was far removed from the original populist stance and saw no reason not to inject an exorbitant entry fee into the deal. After all, it’s just business, right?

L understands that this is how people do things. Her own students are out of the showcase and she is cool with everything. Of all the characters in this story, she has the most reason to be pissed, but she never really was pissed. The whole thing just makes her want to do things on her own terms, including having her own showcase sometime. And she says she still will go to this showcase as a spectator, because she knows all the people and wants to support them.

Me, I have not nearly as much reason to be pissed, but I am pissed. I'm pissed that it seems that B, M, H, and D just seemed to let T take over and levy his fees, and nobody really did anything about it until it occurred to them to tell L just 1.5 weeks before the event, and she started asking questions. Then it was like, "Oh yeah, sorry, I guess we screwed you." (But maybe there's more to this and I shouldn't speculate.) And I’m pissed at B for the way she told me about the entry fee, with the attitude that everything was settled and I probably wasn’t going to be performing, but I’d still be coming to watch, right? But maybe I should give her a break. When she first brought the issue up, she probably thought L had already told me. But I’m kind of glad L had not, because that put B in the hot spot of having to explain it to me and falling back on her Bush Press Secretary techniques.

After all those folks apologized to L, instructor T, originator of the entry fee, called L. In his salesperson voice, he said, “I understand you have some questions about the showcase.”

“Oh no,” L said. “No questions. We’re just not doing it.”

He was silent for a moment, then asked why.

She said she doesn’t believe in the entry fee.

He said some blah blah about why the fee was necessary, and he hoped they could work together sometime in the future, and L said cheerily, “Okay,” and that was the end of that.

Now the three women B, H, and M are eating their own breakfast for letting the showcase fall into the wrong hands. Though their entry fee is discounted to $100.00 (an offer not made to L’s students but which she learned about through a leak) it is still $10.00 higher than the $90.00 they used to pay to dance in the other studio showcases that had inspired them to hold their own showcase with no entry fee. So here they go paying an entry fee again. Genius, I tell you. The situation is way beyond my Dirty Dancing analogy. Now, it’s like how we always end up helping the sorts of people in the Middle East we claim to be fighting against. First we helped the Sunni tribes in Afghanistan to kick out the Soviets. Some of those jihadist fighters were the precursors of the Taliban and Al Qaeda who, feeling empowered by defeating one superpower, decided to lure the other superpower into fighting them in Afghanistan where they would be able to declare another “victory.” So we go and give them not one, but two wars -- and in Iraq, our war allows the influx of Al Qaeda into Sunni territory, causing us to empower Sunni tribes to fight Al Qaeda, thereby undercutting the Iraqi army and the Iraqi government that we had said we were working so hard to uphold, and empowering the tribes, which makes the Sunni regions of Iraq look more like Afghanistan, which is where 9/11 terrorism was fomented in the first place.

Meanwhile, in the Sunni districts of Baghdad, the leader of the resistance to Al Qaeda is someone nicknamed "Abu Abd" who was once an officer in the Baath party, then a member of the “Islamic Army” which resisted the Americans before allying with the Americans to kick out Al Qaeda. His three-month agreement with the Americans is about over, but it could be renewed. Read about it here.

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