A week ago we got an interesting mail. It was written by a Mezrab fan with political view points that we assume are a minority in the Mezrab (not that we ask people about their politics when we let them in). We’re very happy to have received this letter, as we believe it can spark an interesting debate. For sure we are happy that the fan didn’t take his frustrations home, but took the effort to share them with us. So before we write anything back, what do you think? Any opinions? Mail them to us so we can keep the conversation going.
(The mail was translated by us from Dutch)
Hi Mezrab people!
Yesterday I was in the audience of the storytelling night. It was so much fun! I’m anyway a great fan of your events. There’s only one thing that bothers me.
It’s the way in which people with a right-wing political opinion are made fun of and ridiculed. Here’s one of many examples that a host used: “applaud as if Trump has just been impeached”, but of course there were more.
My question is: How can you preach inclusivity if so easily you can make fun of people with a conservative political view? I personally love Trump and vote PVV/FvD in the Netherlands. Can you imagine how you would feel being in an audience yourself and constantly being ridiculed for your views? How does that gel with your policy of inclusiveness and diversity? Don’t you think that scares off people with a different political opinion? And how does that help going against the phenomenon of people living in bubbles?
I bet your motivation and reasoning is: “But Trump/conservatives/pvv are the ones who are hateful/racists” and you’re entitled to that opinion! But that’s only your judgement, not that of the vast majority voting for those parties/opinions.
I would love to have a really neutral, open and diverse storytelling night in which everyone is welcome. You too, right?
6 thoughts on “Mezrab mail”
The Trump Administration, FVD not VVD are for inclusivity. So why vote for them if that’s what you’re looking for. Step out of your own bubble and really listen to the people who make fun of these hateful political parties.
You cannot have comedy or discussion without a ragged edge. Mezrab would not be worth going to if all presenting remained in a safe neutral zone. So a neutral centerpoint seems, IMHO, counterproductive.
It would probably work better if both sides of the spectrum were ridiculed. But, realistically, the venue survives by virtue of its visitors. If those are vastly on one side, then naturally they are catered to. It’s human.
Props and kudos to you for bearing with them, and still enjoy yourself. I struggle with the same, now and then, when, for example, in my perception the police are seen and presented as mindless brutes. I’ve grown thicker skin and come to accept that all views, including mine, are tunnel vision.
It doesn’t ruin my night. It doesn’t affect my affection for the public. I still want to go to Mezrab.
Dear misguided ethno-nationalist, if you encourage hate and support people that foster bigotry and racism you
_should_ feel uncomfortable among decent people. At some point you might start to question why you get rejected everywhere and maybe reason that your horrible ideas are to blame. You certainly did not reason yourself into those viewpoints as they are made up of a contrived set of propaganda and wolf whistles. Maybe at some point you can reason yourself out of these fascist thoughts and join the sane human race.
I think the Mezrab is very inclusive. I also think that as it does a variety of different nights, mostly with independent performers (including the hosts who are often independent performers themselves) the performers should be allowed to express themselves freely. Whilst it is a shame that the person who has complained on this occasion felt hurt that a public figure they hold dear was mocked, the only way to entirely avoid people ever feeling hurt by what was said, would be to introduce some sort of speech code. I feel that such a curtailment of free expression would be too great a cost to ensure that the few did not get offended. I would apply this principle universally across the political spectrum. The complainer should perhaps go down to the Mezrab with a thicker skin, or else create their own form of artistic expression to communicate their political ideas, rather than complaining to the management about the utterences of independent performers.
thanks for speaking up to the one who wrote this letter and to Mezrab for opening up the debate towards a response. To me, that shows an inclusive mindset of both of you.
A great question. How can a place be inclusive and yet allow full freedom of speech, even if that hurts to a part of the audience?
In my opinion, the host has a different role than performers. It is the host who sets the tone. It is she (or he), who could loosen us all up and prepare the audience for humour that goes in all directions and encourage us to to also laugh about ourselves, whether left, center or right, up or down.
This gives the performers room for their particular viewpoint and story.
I know, hosting is a performance too, but with quite a different responsibility, I think.
This is ridiculous and pathetic. So much for ‘opinion’. Dialogue is clearly not what you are after. Proof? The very people and parties you admire only show they are not ‘neutral, open and diverse’ at all whatsoever (in fact they are racist and xenofobic to say the least. They blame & frame minorities & refugees, and defend white supremacy, they lie and cheat and are responsible for fake news storms and now you come in claiming victimhood as if Mezrab lacks empathy & inculiveness. There are only two possibilities, either you are really ignorant or you have an agenda: testing with STORIES if you can get away with confusing the ignorant that must be pressured under alt right propaganda. It certainly doesn’t help to divide and sow fear. You are in the wrong place. Deal with it. You’re disqualified. Pun intended. Every story comes to an end, so above so below.