Hi, I am Rebecca Katz and I will be the road manager this summer! Right now I am at one of my favorite places, a tea lounge in Brooklyn, doing some research on grants and potential sponsers. The Rolling Stones just started playing from the loudspeakers, making it a pretty perfect enviorment to get excited about the summer. It is hard to get back in the swing of working again, especially since I have come to associate work with extreme stress and final crunch. But this should be a completely different experience, one of driving passion and fun. I have already had some interesting conversations with people about what we are doing this summer. My mom and I had a really intense discussion about terrorism. We have never talked about what September 11th meant to her. I live in Brooklyn and my mom worked in downtown Manhattan when it happened. I have actually just been sitting here for a while trying to figure out what to say about the discussion. For me and my Jewish, New York community, terrorism and its ideological and practical relationship to Israel and the World Trade Centers is the controversial issue. Terrorism is not a remote concept or experience, but one that has personally affected every person I know. My mom asked me why we were addressing this issue, questioning if maybe perhaps terrorism was too controversial and complex and should be left alone. My mother, a former social worker and an amazing, open woman, has never encouraged me to not talk (and talk and analyze, and then talk some more) about anything. But there she was, raising the idea that maybe some things were too emotionally heavy and dangerous to be explored. I was actually shocked for a moment. To me, it was so instinctively necessary that we needed to open dialogue about terrorism. I am still struggling to articulate that base reaction. If terrorism meant something to me and to others, if it changed our generation and our society, it must be explored. Its rawness as a subject only proved its necessity. We, as a post-9-11 America, have a newly intimate relationship with terrorism than before that day. Yet we have not taken the time as a society to explore what that all means. Has our definition of terrorism changed? Should it? Can a discussion of terrorism ever be divorced from its emotional connotations? What does that mean about the way we, as a country, approach terrorists?
I think that conversation between my mom and I was one of the most adult and interesting conversations we have ever had. It further emphasized the importance of the discussions after the performances and how much heart and sensitivity we need to put into them. But I think within those discussions will be moments and ideas that will change the way we look at the world.