LocallyGrown received a lengthy comment from Beth Benson regarding Brendon Etter’s play, Sex With Seven Women, which is opening at the Northfield Arts Guild on January 11. I had several witty ideas for clever headlines, and could have had a lot of fun with this, but I decided to play it straight for a change, and just publish the comment in its entirety.
For discussion on this blog:
I am writing to express disappointment in the Northfield Art Guild’s choice of the play “Sex with Seven Women”. According to the Northfield News, Etter the playwright says, “How do you know you’re going to offend people if you don’t do it?” Why is the Guild choosing plays based on
We have turned into a society that seeks to be enticed rather than inspired. The things we watch on T.V., the books we read, even the plays we attend have been debased appealing to our lower senses rather than our sense of decency. We seek entertainment that appeals to the lowest denominator rather than learn to appreciate the finer things. A cheap bottle of wine to achieve drunkenness may be what we crave, but a fine bottle of wine can only be appreciated by those whose taste has been refined and taught only by drinking finer wines. I would suggest that the Guild is offering Northfield cheap wine with this play when they can be teaching people to appreciate a finer wine. Someone needs to lead the way in bringing a standard that rises
above a downward spiral of society.
The Guild has an opportunity to bring out the noble and beautiful in society. Why should they waste their time highlighting the perversions of society? Let us as a community inspire their organization to inspire greatness and not sink to a level that only intends to shock with debauchery and push the envelope on what is acceptable. Let us inspire them to become
an organization that finds and supports the future Shakesperes, the Monets, the Bachs of our society; artists that will stand the test of time as those who were truly great. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.” We need to help people to love beauty. Let us inspire the Northfield Arts Guild to fulfill their calling to create
and support the creation of beauty.
Prior to grabbing the links to put into this post, I hadn’t read anything about the play, so I was wondering (knowing playwright B. Etter) if sex and women even had anything to do with it. The answer is, apparently, yes. Ross was very eager to see what image I would choose to illustrate this issue, so in addition to playing it straight, I thought I’d let him down again by using a tastefully appropriate photo of Brendon’s lovely wife, Ann.
After all the other flak and controversy we’ve been dealing with in this town, it’s a relief to me to move discussion to larger messy philosophical questions such as, “What’s art for?”