I find the increasingly surreal reality around me both dizzying and slightly depressing. So, I’m trying to distract myself from it with more pleasant subjects. Last week I started listening to some of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen.” Unfortunately, the library I’m borrowing it from didn’t have the entire four opera set (Sir George Solti’s version) available. In fact, all they’ve sent me so far is the third opera, Siegfried.
As promised, there are a lot of people singing at each other in German with extremely powerful voices and what seem like lots of emotional problems. I confess that my lack of German is hampering my appreciation of the dialog but I found many of the melodic parts of the soundtrack very stirring. I was disappointed that the library didn’t send me Die Walker (“The Valkyrie”). I’ve always admired the Bugs Bunny version where Elmer Fudd sings along to the “Flight of the Valkyrie” with the magnificent refrain “kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit.” It seemed the height of musical sophistication at the time. So far, the experiment has been amusing. We shall see how it develops.
After watching “The Northman” I’ve decided to review some of the other versions of the play, Hamlet. I’ve been a fan of Olivier’s version but I think I want to watch Gibson’s and Branagh’s versions again. One of the only advantages that Branagh’s version had is that it’s comprehensive. Olivier left out the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and although I see why he did it (time constraints) I do miss those sections. Next summer I’ll try to attend a live performance of Hamlet somewhere. There used to be a Shakespeare company in the Berkshires of Massachusetts that I sometimes attended. They were pretty good. I’ll have to see if they still exist and find out if they’re covering Hamlet next year. If not I’m sure some place in New England there is a production. After all it’s supposed to be the best play by the best playwright in the English language. Surely someone is still doing it. My only fear is that it will be exuberantly woke and all the characters will be wheelchair-bound transgender vegans. That’s bound to take away from the dueling scene.
My scorecard for the November elections is kind of encouraging at the moment. It seems like the Democrats are trying to psych themselves up. There’s lots of talk about all these women who registered to vote and all the passion about abortion. But there is a definite sense that even people like Chuck Todd sense a shellacking in the making. Losing the House is already a foregone conclusion. And it’s starting to look like the Senate will also go to the Republicans although whether it will be one seat or a handful is hard to say. What with Mitch McConnell actively working against some of the Republican candidates it’s hard to figure exactly how the numbers will pan out. Mitch really is an awful man to have as an ally. But even he may not be enough to throw the Senate to the Dems while Creepy Uncle Joe is undermining what’s left of Western civilization.
As for the Ukraine war, well that rolling disaster is just another example of the dysfunctional Deep State tampering with the world as if it were their personal Frankenstein’s laboratory. There seems to be no end to their appetite for destruction. But this one may be the payoff. I get the feeling even the Germans have had enough winning. They’re going to go on a low temperature, low power diet this winter and maybe even these true believers may finally say enough. Who knows, even their died in the wool Greens may beg for some nuclear power this winter when their toes freeze off.
Well anyway, that’s what’s going on today. I hope your week has begun well.