Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 7 No. 1 | Spring 1985

people. One day they are going along blithely wondering about the price of cornflakes, and the next day they realize they’re sitting on a keg of gunpowder that could go off any second. “As the result of this awakening, I found that I couldn't possibly spend my time working on material that wasn’t somehow addressing the situation. I felt like I was falling over a cliff and couldn’t possibly stop thinking about how I was going to stop myself from hitting the bottom of the chasm. And not just myself, but the whole world. So my work in the next couple of years centered around PAND, more and more. “I know that nuclear weapons exist and that they can’t unexist. But Icertainly don’t think that the solution to the stalemate lies in building more nuclear weapons or spreading abroad more than there already are. I don’t really think the solution is going to come about through bargaining, either. I think we need a new thought. As H.G. Wells said before the atomic bomb was developed, At this point humanity must either go sharply up ordown, and the odds are that it will go down and out.’ “When you look around today at the terrible fix the human race has gotten itself into, Wells’ prediction seems abysmally true. But I’m just not yet ready to surrender the thought that somewhere, among us all, we have the solution to the problem. “I also don't believe the attitude that the final holocaust was foretold in the Book of Revelations and the only thing we can do is be ‘saved.’ That seems to me a very dangerous attitude: Just have faith because you don’t have ultimate control over the explosion of the planet.’ “I think we do have ultimate control, and if the world blows up it will be our fault. I’m not saying I understand the relationship between God and man. Ijust think that all the evidence points to the fact that if all those nuclear weapons are set off, it will be a person who did it. I don’t know whether or not we have free will. I just think we should do everything we can not to set it off. That’s the only sensible way to operate.” “My response was, Well, we have an emergency here. Let’s do a play.’ But when I looked on my bookshelf, I couldn’t Dcales solution has been to turn the theatre into an arena for provocative ideas where people can be stimulated to examine their thoughts and to begin the quest for peaceful solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. find anything that seemed to address the situation. The reason is because we haven't been here before.” Scales’ solution has been to turn the theatre into an arena for provocative ideas where people can be stimulated to examine their thoughts and to begin the quest for peaceful solutions to the world's most pressing problems. In late March, Scales will open a six-night run of a British play about the peace-oriented message of the man Jesus. Following each staging of Son of Man, the audience will be invited to stay and discuss the implications of the teaching to “love your enemy." “What I like about Son of Man is the pragmatism of it. W.H. Auden said at the outbreak of WWII that we must love one another or die. Whether it's possible to love your enemies or just tolerate them— maybe this is the best we can hope for. “To ‘love your enemy’ seems like an emphatic injunction—but we just have to do it. There is no alternative. There are so many of us and our technological capabilities have become so far reaching that we just cannot continue to have nuclear conflict on the planet, or the planet will disintegrate. We have to get along with each other, whether we have ideological difficulties or not. “I saw the play Son of Man on the London stage, at a time when I had scornfully rejected the Christian Church. I was, I think, 26. I went because this is a play about a man who is at least intriguing, whoever he was. I have never become a Christian, but I certainly have no disrespect for Christianity at all. I have the deepest and most profound respect for the man Jesus and for anybody who generally attempts to live life according to the precepts Jesus elaborate^.” On one of his trips back to England, Scales found a copy of Son of Man in a London bookstore, a lone copy he snatched up to bring back to America with little thought of producing it over here. “The idea occurred to me once in a while—but a play about Jesus? I didn’t know what theatre in town would produce it.” Now he's producing it himself. “I don’t know if the message of Son of Man, to love your enemy, necessarily will work now. It just strikes me as stupid that in a country composed largely of Christians and with a Constitution based on Christian principles, our taxes go to build a nuclear arsenal based on first-strike weaponry. It seems to me most un-Chris- tian, and I think this contradiction needs to be pointed out. ’’Son of Man never mentions nuclear war directly. The play is oblique. It says things like: You may be the last generation on Earth’ and ‘Don’t you realize, your entire livelihood depends on violence and fear?’ Essentially, our situation today is the same as that in Biblical times. Jesus was talking in a time when great conflict and oppression were the norm. “It’s significance lies in going back to basics and talking about attitudes that lead to war. The only way we are going to avoid blowing ourselves to bits with nuclear weapons is by avoiding military confrontation. “The plays I feel like doing are the kind that reconcile, that bring people together, that show the Protestant and Catholic, the communist and capitalist. The thing that is hardest for me to deal with is that kind of fatalism toward humanity, that lack of feeling toward other creatures, which leads us to think the human creature must be an ugly and selfish thing. “In the end, it's not so appropriate to be concerned about what you’re getting out of life. It's more appropriate to think about what you’re putting into life—then you develop a sense of responsibility. It’s part of growing up. This has changed my attitude toward art, too. But I believe art really needs no function beyond its own existence. The creation of beauty, of humor, of truth is an end in itself.” Son of Man/Hard Questions will play at St. Mary’s Academy in Portland on March 22-24 and 29-31. I-----URBAN LANDSCAPE DESIGNS large & small spaces japanese gardens bonsai instruction plant selection & maintenance ideas edible landscapes Michael Sievers, proprietor b.s. in landscape architecture (503) 282-0153 Karin & David Orange THE BEST Huevos Rancheros Omelets Salad Bar ESPRESSO BEER & WINE Available after 5 for Private Parties up to 150 Tim ^ocobsson’s W ood en S p oons R esfourant "A treat in fine dining" Soin its for Dreakfost • l_unck • Dinner or Sunday Drunck GREAT DESSERTS! LITE DIGGERS & IGTIMATE RELAXED ATMOSPHERE 26+E & Clinton Reservations accepted for Dinner & Drctnck 232-6282 A Concentration on the Canyon Cinema Collective PSU Film Committee Lincoln Hall 75 7:30 p.m. Fridays Free 229-4454