The Whole Truth


I found the video “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” to provide a very interesting perspective on Mike Daisey’s performance.  I liked how there were periodic breaks in the performance to give commentary and additional notes to judge the validity of Daisey’s statements and provide additional sources.  The use of additional sources and perspectives put less weight on the Daisey’s story and offers the audience a more balanced and “true” point of view than Daisey’s original performance.  The historical portion of the performance also gave validity to the overall performance, as it presented facts easily accessible from other sources, rather than purely personal anecdotes where we have to take the speaker at their word.  When questionable anecdotes were used, there was a break in the performance to clarify or question the truth of the speaker’s remarks.

The performance stressed that we should always know where our products come from and should investigate the origin ourselves.  It is important to note the difference between theater and journalism and fact and fiction.  The play raises interesting questions as to what is true versus what is untrue and how can we know the difference.  I think that the play took a good approach in providing many different ways of presenting the information.  It included personal anecdotes from both Daisey’s and Bucknell students’ trips to China, interviews with Steve Jobs, historical facts on Apple and the state of China, clips from the retraction of Daisey’s article and others.  These gave the presentation more credibility, even though it was very clearly presented as theater rather than journalism, giving the audience very informational and moving entertainment.

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4 comments on “The Whole Truth

  1. No one really talked about the interruption of the letter from the mill worker. That was one of my favorites, both as the student actor was good, but also because it reminded us of how our own collective sense of US history shapes how we see the globalization of China and manufacturing.

    • At first the mill worker piece made me think of how ignorant Americans can be about our own flaws. That we jump to criticize other countries and methods without even realizing that we employ people in the same way or use the products produced in these other countries. Then I thought about how that excerpt was from the 19th century and what a different time that was. It is eye opening to realize that people have similar lifestyles to American factory life two centuries ago. We forget that the globalization process is almost a repeat of our industrialization. We justified our industrialization horrors with economic growth and now China is doing the same.

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