The Boal reading was interesting, and while I found the prison story at the start to be interesting, I was left skeptical as to how it would be put in practice.
Sure, in theory we can say “we are all just people” as we sit back and watch a tear jerker play. But where the rubber meets the road?
After class the other day I was talking to Jonathan about issues surrounding police brutality in the general “Occupy” movements. Members of law enforcement are really put in an unfavorable situation. There are many people out there who don’t like cops, and having a uniform on literally puts a target on your back.
On top of that, law enforcement is reactionary. It’s illegal for a cop to “make the first move”. In an unregulated crowd full of people angry at “the system”, and cops as enforcers of that “system”, it could be very likely that there could be people targeting cops in that crowd. And if a cop has to wait for someone else to make that “first move”, that “first move” could be to use a knife or a gun. Which means that cops in those situations are pretty on edge.
The same goes for prisons, and I daresay this attitude exists all around the world.
If a police officer or security guard has a family, if that family is dependent upon the salary brought in by that officer or guard, then that person needs to remain alive and around to help his or her family. And when that person is surrounded by hundreds of potential threats…
Well, suddenly it means that person has to weigh two things: their own personal survival, and their ideal dream of “everyone is just human”. And in my experience, most people tend to think of themselves and their own survival based on an “ideal” theory they have in their head. And they’ll rationalize their behavior later.