And it’s done.
This is a touchy subject, and not an easy answer. It took a while for me to respond to this, and I spent a few days mulling this over.
A lot of Amanda Palmer’s work is about context and knowing her purpose, which is especially important for Evelyn Evelyn. This album and this show were never meant to offend in its portrayals of abuse and disabilities.
A lot of people were upset by Amanda and Jason’s backstory when the album came out (and the articles debating it still exist if you google them), mostly saying how the story that Amanda and Jason found and are helping the sisters perpetuates the stereotype that disabled people need help from able-bodied people. While this may be apparent if you dig deep enough into metaphor, it is not done with that purpose.
If you’re going to dig into metaphor, try this: the sisters aren’t conjoined just to be disabled, but their condition is used thematically to push their objectification as women, children, and celebrities. It should be noted that their story involves a search for a personal identity, something we touch on in the show in relation to the song “Evelyn Evelyn”. Separated identical twins often struggle with identity in real life, so their conjoined nature exaggerates this facet of twin life to an ironic extent.
This show, and AFP and Jason’s backstory (if seen offensively), does not have a real happy ending…because adolescents’ search for an identity doesn’t work like that. The girls are put through abuse and controlled by crazy adults consistently, and in the duo’s conceit perhaps that doesn’t end. Trauma takes much longer to recover from; you can’t just upload music you made secretly and get famous from it and be happy forever.
As for the hinting at child porn and physical, mental, and sexual abuse…I’d have to quote Amanda and say that “art making people uncomfortable isn’t’t a good thing, or a bad thing. it just is.” In our retelling of the tale, we will not censor the story. There is a lot of implied abuse; from being raised in a cage, to porn/sex slavery, to objectification as a sideshow, to working in a motel boiler room in exchange for shelter…these girls go through a lot. But every time they are faced with an awful situation, they become strong enough to overcome it, and that’s what’s important. That’s what an audience should take away.
Strength comes from overcoming difficult circumstances
Adults don’t always know what’s best for their child, and often forget that their child is more important than their needs
Love is not always innate, we often find our own families
This story at its core is also…..not real.
It exhibits a lot of elements of Absurdism (like A Series of Unfortunate Events or Kafka’s Metamorphosis), where things don’t always happen for a reason, but the characters have to deal with the situation. My point - sometimes there is none.
I’m not glad that art can offend like this, but I am glad when it creates discussion
I’m sure you remain steadfast in your opinions, but I hope I quelled something and we can continue with a clear conscience
Peace, love, and theatre,
Henry Willis Ballard
(blog moderator, writer, producer, and asst. director)
this person’s commentary is sucky, especially
“Strength comes from overcoming difficult circumstances”
n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life.
the world weeps and mourns and loves him and that is honoring and good, but we are the only ones who can take him home. and this is the way it should be.
"I wouldn’t let her out of the house dressed like that."
Submitted By: Keri T.
Location: Illinois, United States
The top image depicts a scene above the clouds with the Sun about to be eclipsed by the rings at Spring or Fall equinox and the resulting shadow on the Earth becoming a narrow band. The clouds at the far right are beyond the shadow and are being illuminated.
The bottom image shows the rings, again during one of the equinoxes, but at night with the Earth’s shadow cutting across the rings completely.
People were commenting before about how else life would be effected by the rings and some interesting ideas were the fact that mythology would be completely different from having less constellations and having the rings dominate the sky at all times. Also, sending satellites out into orbit would be a hassle considering you would have to avoid the rings because launching rockets is easier at the equator since it is moving the fastest. Not to mention geosynchronous satellites which orbit at the equator, that would be difficult if there were giants rings in the way. Aside from making the sky absolutely beautiful, I vote no on having rings.