Thursday, December 29, 2011
I often think of Mozart. He wrote some of the greatest operas ever heard, even though he was not Puccini. My father said that he was really Italian and writing under a penname – why was never explained. My father also said that one pound of pasta broken in half yields two pounds of pasta – go figure.
One of my favorite operas by Mozart is the “Magic Flute.” He wrote it for the common people. However, tickets to see it performed today would be prohibitively expensive for many of us. Mozart belongs to the rich – like Shakespeare. Never mind the fact that at the time of his death he was a pauper, discarded by his wealthy patrons and left to the not-so-tender mercies of his arch rival, Salieri, who some say killed him. After his death he was tossed into a common grave somewhere in Vienna. Such are the fickle sensibilities of the affluent.
Mozart’s genius was exploited and abused in his time. Today I fear that genius is neglected and even loathed. One wonders how many brilliant and talented people labor their life away for a pay check that barely meets expenses. While they live without the resources to go to school or the time to embrace their destiny. A waste of such a person is a travesty for society.
With the Middle Class shrinking, the income disparity growing and the increasing animosity of the haves toward the have nots, I ask two questions for our modern times. Shall we continue to accept the assignment of value and meaning to our humanity, dignity, passions and gifts based upon criteria that we can’t meet like large stock portfolios and immense aggregate wealth? If not, how will we stop it?
I often think of Mozart these days. Perhaps, I am desperate to keep the memory of genius, of brilliance alive in a world where mediocrity is fast becoming the only thing the common people are allowed.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
It will be interesting to see who the Republicans select from their produce section to run against Obama in November. I am certain that no one proffered on the right can beat him. It is one thing to pander to the base in the great city of Ass Wipe somewhere in the Mid-West with talk of overturning child labor laws for poor children or theorizing that some ethnic groups produce criminals with greater regularity than others. However, that crap does not play on the national stage. The moderate Republicans who could have given the president a run for his money have long since been drummed out of the party – myopia thy name is office seeker. With any luck they will drift toward the Democrats. In fact, I have had reason to believe that one did and we elected him in 2008.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
There are two ways to view the world, with respect or with avarice. The respectful perceive Mother Earth as an indispensible and nurturing source of all life and their fellow creatures as beloved siblings. The avaricious see our sacred planet as merely useful and their fellow humans and all other species as expendable. The latter destructive and nihilistic thesis has become the formula for success in this country. It is the road to the American Dream and the central defining principle of American Exceptionalism. Like a slow growing, flesh eating bacteria this grotesque paradigm, wrapped in patriotism and spouting holy writ, dismantles and dissolves the best and most beautiful expressions of our freedom and national character. All this while the people of the United States are distracted – by design – with two-hundred and sixteen ways to play with a ball, Kim Kardashian’s ridiculous romance, Lindsey Lohan’s police record, Charlie Sheen’s immense capacity to poison himself, the Duchess of Cambridge’s new dress and millions of idiotic, inane and insipid television programs masquerading as art, theater and entertainment. We must wakeup and grow up before our collective suicide is achieved and we no longer remember who we once were.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
There is a distinct difference between the noun and the adjective form of a word in the English language. A noun is a person place or thing. An adjective modifies, describes or clarifies a noun. Take the word Democrat for instance. A Democrat is a person who subscribes to a particular political philosophy. The word Democratic on the other hand is an adjective that ascribes specific properties to a person, place or thing. Thus, we speak of the Democratic Party or the Democratic platform. It is all too common to hear a Cain or a Gingrich refer to the Democrat President or the Democrat Congress. While it has long been the practice in the sewer of American politics to bastardize the language for gain and profit, we have to ask ourselves if we really want some worm who doesn’t know his nouns from his adjectives leading the free world?