Thursday, May 09, 2013

Kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit....

So I've finally broken a decade-long opposition to Wagner and have started attending his operas. starting with the Ring cycle.

My first observation was that hey, Wagner isn't so long after all - Das Rhinegold is so short that it's performed without an intermission; a mere 2 1/2 hours.

That was swiftly contradicted by the next, Die Walkure, which managed an impressive four hours of people (and gods) arguing about whether or not incest is really so bad, and some ladies on flying horses.

But really the striking thing (beyond the music itself) is, one, how much influence Wagner has had on us. The Lord of the Rings leans heavily on Wagnerian myth; a magic cursed that bestows incredible power? Sure, in the opera it's the helm, not the ring, that makes you invisible, but the idea is the same.

(I can't help but feel the irony of an opera denouncing all-seeing dictatorship being picked up by the Nazis). 

Further, without Wagner there could be no Disney. His atmospheric effects are so essential to the Disney universe that I may never be able to watch those old movies again without thinking of him.

To be continued...

"You gods, you are so high above us, you laugh and love, and do not desire gold. But all shall lust for gold, when they curse love, as I curse love."

- Alberich

Friday, March 01, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Punderdome II: The Pundering

Actually this should be Punderdome III, but since I declined to blog about that one I decided to confuse everyone instead.

Once again I made a valiant effort to compete in that most Brooklyn-y of Brooklyn events, the monthly Punderdome. My so-called friend insisted I use the most demeaning pun name possible (My Little Punny) which prompted several people to approach me and excitedly declare themselves 'bronies' or ask if I knew what bronies were (which, even if I knew before, I know a great deal more detail now).

This time we didn't have the joy of seeing one of the contestants moon the audience, but at least one person competed in drag.

BUT, the really important thing is that I made it past the first round. I did have the advantage of much more useful themes: Saturday morning cartoons (I enjoyed playing in the sandbox as a child. I used to have all kinds of tiny dunes adventures) and birds (You're robin me blind! I have bills to pay!) If these trends continue, I should be winning the damn thing in two or three months.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Looks Like Nemo Found Us

I was sent home early from work on Friday because of the impending Blizzard Nemo. I had great difficulty convincing my co-workers that the storm was named after the sea captain:

 And not the fish:

Really, why would you name a storm after an animated clownfish? Seems like bad taste to me. A mysterious submarine pilot makes a better choice any day of the week.

Needless to say, the MTA was slow all weekend. I don't accept this constant service failure at the slightest sign of inclement weather. Oooh, there was snow. Big deal. Do you suppose the Berlin subway shuts down every time it snows? What about Moscow? The New York subway would shame even the most impoverished former Soviet republic.

It's the fault of those damn reactionaries who run the country who believe that, if people are going to demand public services, then at least those services should be underfunded and lackluster. Otherwise, what do people have to strive for?

Monday, February 04, 2013

Missing the Super Bowl

And really, I don't feel like I've lost anything.

I suppose that makes me un-American.

I know my Ravens-loving friends will never forgive me.

But the ads! The ads are incredibly expensive! And they have famous people in them!

That's nice. If I really want, I can watch them online.

I spent my day writing music and playing 'Diplomacy', which is like a much shorter version of Risk.