Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lord What Fools These Mortals Be. . .

Arizona's an interesting place.  The elect governors like Jan Brewer and support legislation that practically legalizes bigotry and discrimination, and yet they also elect legislators the calibre of Gabrielle Giffords.

Right now, there are few places in this country where a struggling artist can live and find work, and it's especially difficult in the theoretically enlightened Northeast, whereas in Arizona, programs like government adoption of art therapy as a prevention for recidivism, or publically funded theater programs, ahead-of-their time majors in all kinds of arts specializations at the public universities and colleges, et cetera, make ARizona a magnet for some of the country's brightest and most creative.  What Arizona is is a microcosm of paradoxes and dichotomies that defy understanding.

What makes Arizona most interesting is the sense that pundits have that in Arizona we see a wave of the future of America.  When the State legislature ignore public outcry and Presidential criticism and legislation to curtail illegal immigration, they seemed to be setting a precedent that would enable similar enactments throughout the heartland.

Which could be true.  More than many states, Arizona is a melting pot of our own nation.  People move to Arizona from all over the US, hoping to find more affordable housing, wider variety of jobs, fairer weather, more congenial lifestyle, and they arrive to find that they face there the same problems they left wherever they emigrated from.  And that makes for some distinctively American malease.

So it's interesting to watch what's happening there.  And to consider what the ramifications are for us nationwide.   Over the next few weeks, I am going to look at some of the seeming exercises in self-contradiction.  I'll interview some Arizonans and bring some of their projects to this website, and perhaps you'll respond with your reactions.

To begin, this item that about banning The Tempest in Tucson schools.

Could it be a harbinger of dread things to come, or is it naught but a flash in the desert?

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