Saturday, October 31, 2015

Jonathan Reynolds: still a right-wing asshole

I have been reading the Dramatists Guild's latest issue which includes The Count, a review of the lack of production opportunities for women and non-white men, and they included responses to The Count, including one from the contemptible right-winger Jonathan Reynolds. Not surprisingly Reynolds is against The Count. After all, Reynolds has had a very comfortable life getting white/male privilege and naturally he isn't in any hurry to end that comfort.

Reynolds isn't only an asshole because he's a rightwinger, he's an asshole because that's his essential personality. As I noted five years ago:
First as to the douchebag part - he admits he is one on his very own blog, in so many words: 
Now, what does this have to do with GIRLS IN TROUBLE, my play currently in rehearsal at The Flea which consumes about 23 1/2 of my 24-hour day? Just this: we have a vegan in the cast, and I am trying to persuade her of the error of her ways. I've instructed her to stand upside down and then told her she could only have meat and dairy products for a week with the occasional snack of fish just to show her the borderline fascistic rigors of the flip side. She's thinking about it. I didn't have the spirit to bring her the slow-roasted pork, fearing charges of unfair competition: surely she would buckle at the knees and succmb, because there is no denying the pork shoulder. Besides, we need her in the first and third acts, not as a giddy, overfed pig convert too pleasured to make her entrance.

First I presume that as a good conservative he would never try to convert someone who refused to eat pig for religious reasons. Because there is political correctness for conservatives too - it just isn't called that.
Putting aside the hyperbole about standing in the corner, I don't doubt that he is trying to persuade her of the errors of being a vegan, since, according to several reviews of the play he makes it clear that he holds vegans in contempt. 
And she told him she's thinking about it. Well what the fuck else would she say? She's one of the very very few actors in this town who has a paying gig of some prestige. And as the playwright of the production she's doing, as well as a grand old man of the arts and a former NYTimes writer from back in the days when that actually meant something, Reynolds pretty much has total power over her career. If he decided to have her removed from the play he could do it - the Dramatists Guild is very clear about the right of playwrights to influence casting decisions. So unless she's a moron zombie, I'm sure what she'd prefer to say was "get the fuck out of my face you disgusting right-wing asshole" but the only thing she COULD say was that she'd think about it. 
Reading what Reynolds wrote about the vegan still pisses me off - what a smug, self-righteous bully. But then, that's what right-wingers are. So now he's worried about the political correctness of pointing out that although men and women make up roughly equal numbers of humanity, women's plays are only produced 20% of the time. In the Dramatist Reynolds writes:
The moment an art form takes into consideration any criteria for artistry other than merit - such as the race, gender, sexual leaning, ethnicity or age of the artist - it signifies the starter's pistol for the devaluation of that form from art into the data-drive, quantifiable, and much less inspired arenas of politics and sociology.
Naturally the notion that white males have been favored doesn't cross Reynold's mind - since in his mind white males are the default human beings and how could they possibly be getting advantages of gender or ethnicity? In his understanding of the world only women have gender. Only non-whites have ethnicity.

Also in the Dramatist, Lisa Kron and Madeleine George write:
unless we believe that white men are inherently better playwrights than everyone else, we have to accept that the numbers are the result of an implicit, systemic bias on the part of producing organizations...
I think that "white men are inherently better playwrights" is EXACTLY what Jonathan Reynolds believes. He's just too coy to come right out and admit it. And anybody who believes otherwise, in his view, is simply being "politically correct."

You also have to laugh at his pretend concern about "politics and sociology" over pure art since he is obsessed in his work with "political correctness." 

Add transparent hypocrite to bully, douchebag, etc.

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