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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Unpleasant evening at the Kimmel Center

I had tickets for Tosca, supposedly the hottest ticket in Philadelphia, for me and my daughter. It was a special occasion, a birthday celebration for her.   As we approached the Kimmel Center, we saw a group of activists blocking Broad Street.  The police were monitoring the situation--I think.  Not very well, it turned out.  These activists were all over the place, like ants at a picnic.  At least two of them approached me and more would have. They were in the street, in the lobby, everywhere.

What was it all about?  These mostly middle aged white women were protesting the orchestra's plan to perform in Israel.

The Kimmel Center was showing signs of age, or perhaps of deferred maintenance.  There were buckets here and there set to catch leaks from the roof, fallen plaster was all over the place and one of the water fountains was out of order.

There was a full house. We took our seats, the concert master came out, then the conductor,   Yannick Nézet-Séguin, . He bowed and tapped his baton on the lectern, and...a female voice erupted over the speaker system, shouting about justice for Palestine.  The conductor left the stage, and some of  the musicians also started to leave.  The woman continued shouting.  We could not see what was going on, but the disturbance lasted maybe ten minutes. Ten minutes is a long time when you are waiting for a musical performance.  Then order was restored, Yannick and the musicians returned and the concert commenced.  It was handled clumsily.

It was a sort of semi-staged version of Tosca.  I did not enjoy myself very much.  Trying to follow the action of the opera distracted me from enjoying the music, and the music distracted me from following the plot. I blame the Palestinians. They and their supporters have a lot to answer for.

It was a very long opera, made longer by an interval toward  the end when the action was interrupted while a couple of stage hands moved some furniture, without musical accompaniment.  The audience stirred, ready to leave, but a supertitle warned us the opera was not over.  That was awkward, not to say weird.

All in all, not what I expected when I plunked down $158 for two seats in the third tier.

Monday, May 07, 2018

I am sorry to hear that Melania Trump now has a "cause."

I liked her just as she was, heart-stoppingly beautiful.  Silent was good too.  A nice change from the noisy, opinionated Michele, who I don't miss..

Friday, May 04, 2018

To my readers, and maybe to myself

I know very few people read this stuff, but that's okay.  I write these blog posts as a discipline, and to reveal my real feelings.  For all practical purposes it's almost anonymous, which means freedom for me.

  I have a Facebook page, but I use it to display my artwork and post photographs.  Sometimes I mention Memorial Day or something, or talk about my relatives.  The only reason I don't post cat pictures is that I don't have a cat.  Mention my political views?  Not on your life.

  Back in the day, my stepmother was notorious enough to be on a file of Communist sympathizers. And that was before the Internet.

 I am nostalgic for the old days when bloggers with interesting or amusing ideas used to post a lot.  those days are gone.  Now they post amusing things on Twitter, and I am not on Twitter.  That is intentional.

Is there anything so small and insignificant that environmentalists won't make a cause.of it?

First they came for the  showerheads; then they came for the light bulbs.  Plastic bags.  Nothing is so insignificant that they can't make a cudgel out of it,  controlling people's lives, but not enough to make anyone really mad. enough to do anything.   It's like a series of little tick bites; they don't kill you but they annoy you 24/7.

I could go on.  Did I mention top loading washing machines?  Detergents that don't deter anything? CAFE standards for cars to save fuel so that there is more for Al Gore and Leo diCaprio to circumnavigate the globe, hectoring everyone from the comfort of their air-conditioned palatial mansions? This is a partial list, I'm sure.  So what's next?

  The latest is straws.  Drinking straws. In London, they are making them illegal.  They are trying to do the same in California.  Never mind that the State has super-high taxes, unfunded pensions, and people living in the streets because they can't afford housing. Straws are destroying the
Environment--it's an emergency!

  What's next?  Toothpicks, which are destroying the redwood trees?  Never mind, I'm sure they can come up with more.  It's what they do.