We did not expect Mike Daisey to disappear after his non-fiction monologue about Apple was revealed to be full of fabrications, as feverently as we may have wished it. Mike Daisey is a serial liar, but he is a talented, famous liar, which in no way precludes him from participating in American public life and actually makes him a pretty good candidate for political office.
But who would have thought the scandal would help Daisey sell tickets to his show?
Next week, Mike Daisey's The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs opens at Washington D.C.'s Wooly Mammoth Theatre, four months after This American Life retracted an episode based on it.
A special performance on August 4th will be followed by a Q &A with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and this passage from the Washington Post says it all:
Tickets for the event start at $100. It is the most expensive ticket to see Daisey, ever.
For the D.C. run, Daisey will be performing a new version of the monologue with six minutes of fabricated material removed and 12 minutes added to address the controversy, according to the Post. If you remember, Daisey billed his monologue as the true story of his trip to Shenzhen, China to investigate the condition of Foxconn factories manufacturing Apple products. But he exaggerated many of the facts in his monologue, including fabricating scenes of meeting underaged and horrifically injured Foxconn workers.
Since a Marketplace report exposed his lies, Daisey has laid low only in comparison to the incessant media appearances he did before people realized he was making stuff up. Daisey has continued to spout off about Apple labor conditions on his blog, as if anyone cares what he thinks. Daisey recently appeared on the popular comedy podcast How Was Your Week, making gentle fun of himself.
Worst of all, he still stands behind the delusion that only his hucksterism could have shone a light on harsh labor conditions, even after respected labor rights organizations were forced to scramble to contain the fallout of the scandal.
"Without the emotional connection the monologue creates… the [New York Times] story would have achieved little," Daisey said yesterday in apparent reference to the actual investigation the Times published about Foxconn, according to Times reporter Jason Zinoman.
It's hard to imagine anyone would now pay $100 to make an emotional connection with Daisey's cut-and-pasted monologue. But Apple has always excelled at getting people to overpay for shiny pieces of junk.