/ Movies /
Three bizarre musicals in a row! Jan and I watched Oliver! then Les Misérables. Saturday we added the Phantom of the Opera!
(Last night we had a fabulous change of pace: Rififi! One of my favorite movies from the ’50s.)
A good deal of my reaction to Phantom was predictable, as expressed in Music Politics:
It’s simple: I’m the deschooler. Deschoolers resonate with opposition to coercion as expressed by the founder of deschooling, Ivan Illich. I told Illich I wanted to help him build his voluntary internet, he told me to take it and run with it, 1970. He’s dead, that leaves me as The deschooler. Don’t blame us if the US stole our ideas, encouraged wealth to the cooperating plagiarists. Anyway, in my cartoon cosmology Beethoven is the symbol of vertical conditioning: feudal, hierarchical: you sit, and get passively entertained, serviced by experts, by professionals: better you should open your own mouth, and sing, badly, than sit passively for Maria Callas.
Beethoven worshipped Napoleon: he wanted a Hitler to replace a King Louis. I don’t want either of them in my face: I want a world where I can seek game, shelter, a mate. I don’t mind watching out for the lion, the wolf; I don’t want to be watching over my shoulder for Big Brother. I don’t want Commies, or Fascists, or Obama with their hand in my pocket. (I don’t even want a pocket unless I invent it!) (No, no, that’s just a joke, maybe not that good a joke.)
OK: see how that all relates to this movie?
|It’s vertical music, politically, economically, socially.
Bach is vertical music for people prostrate before God, I was raised to be all for that; but politically, though my school was coerced, and my Sunday school was indistinguishable from coercion: so long as you understand the power of groups, of culture, to coerce, silently.
People prostrate before God: good; people prostrate before Napoleon: bad.
Opera houses after Napoleon, were built for people who prospered from the Revolution sitting in their boxes and being looked up to. the OG, the Opera Ghost, has his own box, he sits in shadow, like God …
I’ll add, built more later. Right now I pause to point out the blasphemy: The Phantom may have the initials OG … remind you of anything? Opera Ghost is tickling us. King James, blabbing aboout the divine right of kings deliberatly confused himself in the popular mind (and in the minds of the nobles) with God. Should the Phantom still be getting away with the same egregious trick in 1870? in 1919? in 2004? in 2013?
Western traditions of Romance, of love, have confused theology and lust for a millennium. Dante loves Beatrice, Beatrice isn’t God, but she leads Dante to God, so Dante got a lot of people to believe. John Donne got mileage out of such confusions. So did Ray Charles, us helping him, damn junkies all. Now here’s a preposterous story about an ugly guy living in the opera house like Quasimodo in Notre Dame.
Just hold on, this can be accreted scrapbook fashion, and I will, but to gotta get to one major blasphemy first:
OG gives the girl singing lessons, she thinks this pervert is the angel of music, she’s a pervert herself, smearing her pussy all over the stage. He encourages her to confuse him with power, with music, with God … Actually, it seems he’s just horny, uses the opera house as a baited trap, now he feels her close, he wants to get at that pussy, has waited for a decade or more … Meantime her other boyfriend has also wanted that pussy since childhood … Etc, etc. Now: OG sings to the girl about “our” “passion play.” Every lout in the audience will correctly interpret: they’re horny, that’s what passion means, it means Dante’s getting laid.
But no, no: it means … the Passion. In Christian Europe (etc) passion means only one thing: the suffering of Jesus, of Christ, of God! It supposed to be totally divorced from being horny.
Does the audience appreciate the blasphemy it’s been deceived into? No: it’s just led by the nose, by the dick, by the balls.
I don’t appreciate it: I wasn’t misled.
Totally Divorced from Being Horny
Among humans? Nothing is totally divorced from being horny.
2015 03 20 Remember when Nixon confused the public by having his CREEP refer to him not as Richard M. Nixon but a “the president”: Committee to ReElect the President. Every American should have been put in semantic jail from that moment forward.
Note: the top graphic is a substitute, I don’t remember which image I first placed there, it got lost in any case.