Wednesday, January 9, 2008
And the answer is...
And NO I have not heard back from Amherst School Superintendent Jere Hochman as to whether the Amherst Regional High School performance this year of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ with be an “edited for High School” version or the orgasmic original version (as long as you don’t count the 1996 First Edition) with the monologue that attempts to “reclaim” the C-word where the vile word is often repeated.
Yes, soon after the 2004 performance of ‘The Vagina Monologues', the ONLY high school in America to allow it, ARHS also banned the word “freshman” for incoming 9’th graders. And of course, this is the same school that banned a production of ‘West Side Story’ in 1999.
In his rather long email to me on Saturday Superintendent Hochman explains that High School principal Mark Jackson saw the performance at the Northampton Arts Center last year and was so impressed he decided to damn the torpedoes and go full-speed ahead on this year’s performance on school property.
I don’t know Jackson as he was not here in 2004, but his daughter was in my daughter’s kindergarten class at Crocker Farm Elementary School last year for a few months before he placed her in a private school.
According the Gazette article his wife Lynn Phillips has “written on feminism” but the only thing I could find on a Goggle search was a blurb she wrote for the book ‘Packaging Girlhood’.
Two years ago when the Amherst Regional High School performed ‘Urinetown’ as the official school play, Mr. Hochman emailed me a couple days before the first public announcement just to say it was nothing to get excited about and not to judge a play by its title. After a quick Goggle search I thought it was fine for a high school.
Of course this past week when it was announced that the school would reprise ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ my first notice came by way of the crusty Gazette article. And yes folks I have read the entire book/play, watched Ensler’s DVD and, UGH, attended the 2004 Amherst Regional High School performance (Bill O’Reilly made me do it!).
UPDATE: Thursday 3:30 pm I’m waiting for the ultra-crusty Amherst Bulletin to go cyber (got my hardcopy five hours ago) so I can link to their Front Page story. But this was pretty funny. I get an email yesterday from Superintendent Hochman’s office that looks like it went to a bunch of folks:
On Wednesday, January 23, Superintendent Jere Hochman will present an overview of the Amherst-Pelham schools.
This brief presentation will be followed by and important hour of dialogue about our school districts' MISSION and VALUES. What do YOU believe to be the most essential values our schools should characterize? What do YOU believe to be the mission of our public schools?
Gee, off the top of my head, maybe the public schools should try to teach moral values.
UPDATE: Thursday 9:30 pm. So the ultra-crusty Amherst Bulletin finally uploaded but I'm too tired to respond with a new blog upload tonight. But if you go amherstbulletin.com you can read the 'V' story and my instant cyber reaction. More of a prepared response tomorrow.