(Feingold’s article appeared on Theatermania, 1/16.)
Every day, the news seems to bring evidence that life on this planet is getting worse. It takes me an effort, after scanning the headlines every morning, to convince myself that life is full of good things and that there may actually be some hope for the human race. While many small things gratify, major events — like the recent horrific slaughter in Paris — all tend to confirm that humanity seems hell-bent on destroying itself, and the rest of the planet along with it.
The consequences of global climate change surround us, so we elect politicians who deny its existence. Violence increasingly riddles our daily lives, so we make weapons easier to obtain. The great religions, created to succor the needy and bind communities together in peace and love, get hijacked by bigots and mobsters who use them to spread only fear and hatred. "A cold dark place where sorrow cries all day": That's how Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill described life on earth in the last line of The Threepenny Opera back in 1928, and I defy you to tell me that matters have improved in the 87 years since. The Internet just helps us get the bad news faster.