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Home / Articles / Columnists / On the Bright Side /  The Show Must Go On
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Monday, August 6,2012

The Show Must Go On

By Jonna Shutowick. M.S. Ed.  
Jonna Shutowick is a high school teacher for the Palm Beach County school district. She has created a character named Rosey Shades TM, whose philosophy teaches students about the importance of choosing optimism over pessimism by asking, “What color are the clouds in your world? For more information, visit www.roseyshades. com or email: http://roseyshades-onthebrightside.blogspot.com/

I went to see Roger Waters perform his opus, The Wall - Live, in June. It was truly high art (no pun intended!). I went thinking I would revisit my youth, rock out to some good music and leave with my ears ringing. I got so much more than I bargained for! The show was even better than the original. Waters has stayed true to his Us and Them posture, but he has added thirty years of bricks to the Wall, keeping his message as relevant today as it was back then - if not more so. Just as my own wisdom informed my experience, the show has evolved with Waters. One of the most riveting aspects is the graphic images shown on the Wall as it is being built during the first half of the show. Waters is an outspoken critic of war and the issues that drive us to such depths. On his website, he asks people from around the world to upload photos of loved ones who’ve been killed as a result of war. Honoring these lost souls, he projects their images, and in some cases their stories, on

the wall. And to add to the message are other images of things that separate us as humans: hate in all its forms. At face value, one could walk away from the show believing that Roger Waters is an angry, cynical, misogynistic whiner, but that’s not the case at all. He is an artist expressing what he sees as the root of so much pain and suffering, and calling attention to it. He explains, “It took me a long time to get over my fears. Anyway, in the intervening years it has occurred to me that maybe the story of my fear and loss with it’s concomitant inevitable residue of ridicule, shame and punishment, provides an allegory for broader concerns.: Nationalism, racism, sexism, religion, Whatever! All these issues and ‘isms are driven by the same fears that drove my young life” (from his website). Art is palpable when its truth speaks to so many. Whether you share his antigovernment angst or not, the authenticity of his message is extremely moving.

Yet, this older, wiser Roger

Waters is hopeful rather than hopeless. When I saw the original in 1980, the Wall, which he builds throughout the show to protect himself from the Cruel World, was torn down because a Judge demands that he tear it down, leaving him exposed and vulnerable. In this updated version, when the Wall comes down, Rogers seems to be saying to the audience, “See through this.” He wants us to tear down the wall that is between ourselves and our humanity, which he suggests is perpetuated by, among other things, but especially, the media.

That is why I am so pleased to be part of such a positive media outlet. I suppose it may seem like just a fun, free little newspaper to read while you munch on your healthy lunch, but it really is deeper than that. There is a reason you are reading this. You are choosing an oasis in your day to focus on positive messages. Consider yourself a brick remover allowing a little light to shine between us all.

 

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