Where do hopes and dreams collide with harsh reality and disappointment? According to Sam Oglesby, on 42nd Street. That's my 42nd Street he's describing. Thankfully, he's not describing the show he saw at The Tank that way.
Sam Oglesby of the Gay City News is one more critic who gets The Tank. Add him to the list of comrades.
A few choice quotes:
"This is the kind of place that provides a forum for nurturing new talent who come to New York with empty pockets and bags full of creative aspiration."
"As the audience filed out into the cold night with smiles still on their faces, they were handed a leaflet that said, 'The Tank is Losing Its Home. Help Us Find A New Space. Help Shape Our Future.' Forty-Second Street may be coming a wholesome theme park, but in the process it may be losing its soul."
As Theda Scokpol and Robert Putnam have both described, the decline in participation in membership organizations has matched decrease in civic participation. Part of the excitement of the past 2 years has been the way new networks have used the internet to reinvigorate "membership" and reinvent clubs for the 21st Century.
Just as Meetup.com was inspired by Putnamism, the Dean movement found spiritual guidance in the pursuit of social capital. After the Dean candidacy ended, the Democracy for America clubs across the country continued to cross education, ethnicity and economics while promoting local civic dialogue.