Memorial Protest.

Dearest Everyone,

Jeremiah Liend here. I hate having to address you all like this. Seems like a chain letter or a n automated congratulations at work. Digital signature printed in poor DPI. But this is not how you should look at this. You should look at this as something pretty miraculous. That I can contact everyone I know, and they can then inform everyone they know and so on and so forth until everybody knows. It’s like that Leonard Cohen song. I just need to get the word out, because things are going sour at the headwaters, and what happens here can only trickle down.

I will give you the brief and brutal skinny as I know it. BSU hired an axe man named Hanson to save them from overinvesting in hockey futures. This was after John Q Private brokered the deal and then jumped ship to live on an island somewhere. But a name I want you to remember is Harry F. Bangsberg. He was president at BSU during the troubled times of the Vietnam War, and crashed into a mountain in Vietnam with 8 others. I have been performing theater in the building named in his honor for 13 years now. Maybe the luck caught up with me and I will never get a Theater degree and French minor. But I believe that Bangsberg is looking out for me too. He's in my corner in this little altercation.

We can’t let this stand. Hanson claims that he is restructuring, but really he is just cutting down. I call him an axe man because a hatchet man would have left at least the Art History major to keep the basement of the Education building naked. But it was all the Fine Arts. The arts that make us human. The arts that teach us to create art and thereby join in the great communion of souls. To replay the works of great artists past and pioneer new works as gifts to our posterity. Mass Communication gets more money, but what the devil are we supposed to say to one another? I am Mass Communicating to everyone I can, and I am asking them to help us save these arts from the axe mans block.

Because you don’t restructure something by tearing it down. You repair it so it can work. Theater, like all art, has its roots in finance. The potters wheel still spins for those who desire to sell quality pottery. The painter sells their work at any number of galleries available to them. The artists market is the only free market left. One where only quality counts. Theaters can make money. They did not just spend 50 million dollars on Spiderman; The Musical because theaters can not make money. Thespians are said to work in the second oldest profession. So when you say “Restructure” and mean “cut” I take great umbrage.

You can restructure a theater to be profitable. You can align it with a business program and make it something it has never been before. Able to arm the performance students of tomorrow with all the skills and powers of the 21st century. You can rent the performance space to the community. You used to do that, and there were never complaints about the budget. You can make money by creating theater, is has to be so. Because if theater dies then no one is going to be able to perform. The arts that have been handed down since the time of Homer will atrophy and die. Because the axe man cometh.

In closing I would invite you to attend Harry F. Bangsberg Memorial Protest. Wear black and say a prayer for the presidents past. We will stand beneath the arch and surround Deputy Hall with our art. Bring your music and your art and prepare to mourn the death of our culture and tradition. From noon till seven I will provide my Jeremiads against the craven injustice of it all, and how we all stand on the precipice of a terrible abyss. Dress warm. Gods Bless Bemidji State University, and save us from the Axe.




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