I have a great idea! Let’s write a play where a business man has a family and a seemingly perfect relationship with his wife. But (and here’s the kicker!) it turns out he is having a sexual affair with a goat. Yes, as in “baaahh.”
Dadgumit! I just got word that the idea is already taken. LAB! Theater, a UNC student organization, has produced the play “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia,” a drama which seeks to shock. The playwright, one Edward Albee, denies this, however. According to him, the play was written in order that the audience may “imagine how they would respond if they were in such a situation.” Um….
And, as exciting as the whole goat sex thing is, the depth of the art does not stop at that. No, that would be much too urbane. The business man’s son has recently announced that he is gay. But, that’s not all folks! There is an awkward scene in which son and father exchange a kiss. Albee expressed in a Los Angeles Times interview that he was surprised that it was at this moment that people began to walk out. In other words: sex with goat, okay; making out with the son, not okay. Well, at least we’ve got that going for us as a society.
Imagine if this play had been one that made light of homosexuality or some other obsession dear to UNC. Imagine the review that it would receive in the DTH and the offense that would be taken by the general student population. There would be much investigation. The Young Dems, the BSM, and the Campus Y would probably all protest the play. There would be a call for an ethics query due to Student Congress having supported the organization. And, after a week of hoopla, the director would apologize and resign, be charged with a hate crime, and end up in prison. But sex with a goat? Eh. Whatever, dude.
Now, I have it on pretty good authority that student fee money was not used to fund the play, but that is irrelevant. Lab has been funded by student fees before and it has asked to be funded again next year. I also have it on pretty good authority that the acting by our fellow students was superb. I do not doubt that it was. Actually, I helped out with LAB! once last year, serving as an assistant stage manager. During my time there I was very impressed with the talent of those whose acquaintance I was pleased to make. Nevertheless, when I think of the lack of outrage and offense taken by the student body over events such as this one ( the “I Heart Female Orgasm” event is another example), I cannot help but feel rather like I live in a parallel universe.