Craig Malisow The Death of Democracy, by Occupy Houston
Written and directed by Caleb Travis, "Who Killed Democracy?" featured former City Council candidate and OH Maven Amy Price as Lady Democracy (in a coffin), Matthew Loughran as Uncle Sam and Dustin Phipps as a pipe-smoking, trenchcoated police inspector.
Frankly, Hair Balls has grown pretty tired of the Occupy movement, so we appreciated the injection of a little theater into the proceedings, especially since the play had a sense of humor. However, the play suffered from the same overarching problem plaguing post-Civil Rights "movements"; namely, the message will not likely resonate outside the group's little bubble. This is especially true for any message that is inherently vague, and for any group that prides itself on not having a leader.
Those were some pretty impressive dudes. One of the reasons for that was because they were true leaders. They were master tacticians who knew how to choreograph the shit out massive demonstrations; how to use the media to their advantage; how to -- dare we say it -- create a brand. Decades after their deaths, they still inspire Viera and countless others.
We enjoyed the play, but we're not sure it crystallized the brand, and it certainly didn't preach to anyone outside its choir. Which is a shame -- there's a lot of heart in Occupy Houston. We just think there needs to be a lot more direction.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.