Safe to say the memo about the new civility and tone didn't make it up to Mantana before this clown stepped in it.
On Sunday night, MCT Community Theatre wrapped up its two-week run of Gilbert and Sullivan's satirical operetta, "The Mikado," with a frolicking performance at its home theater on East Broadway in Missoula.Uh, what's Obama got to do with this? Nobody's been making plays with him being beheaded.
On Monday morning, MCT executive director Michael McGill set about the hard business of mending all that had gone awry over the weekend, when word spread across the Internet that MCT's production advocated the beheading of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
What began with a single letter to the editor, published in last Friday's Missoulian, quickly erupted into a nationwide controversy after dozens of political bloggers picked up the thread and ran with it - some adding their own colorful (and inaccurate) amendments to the story.
In the face of it all, McGill had one simple message on Monday.
"In retrospect, we made a mistake," he said. "Anybody that gets singled out in such a way as that, whether it might be (President Barack) Obama or Palin or whomever, it's inappropriate. I take full responsibility for that."
At the center of the controversy was a single couplet, inserted by director Curt Olds into a song sung by the character Ko-Ko, a pacifist executioner. Listing off those people whom he intends to behead, the singer in the Missoula production noted, "That crazy Sarah Palin needs a psychoanalyst / She never would be missed, no she never would be missed." "It's very common practice to amend those lyrics," said McGill. "It's how they were amended in this case that's an issue. There's a lot of misinformation about what happened, but I don't want to shirk our responsibility for what did happen.Oh, sure, there was misinformation. Sure, play the victim. That should work.
As to the specific criticisms leveled at MCT, he said he was particularly concerned by those that confused the community theater production with the company's activities as a provider of educational children's theater programs.Wrapping yourself in hatred was the first mistake. Typical, though, how he shields himself behind the children. What a worm.
But he said the best thing he and his company can do at this point is move on and learn from the experience.
"We made a mistake," said McGill. "Oh man, we made a mistake."
Needless to say, the comments section there is overwhelmed with seething, visceral hatred for Palin. We've really got a serious mental health issue in this country. I've never seen such rage and anger by such a large swath of the public toward anyone and it worsens by the day. Psychiatrists and psychoanalysts could make a fortune off this.