555. Three contemporary lectures
© Bruce Goodman 18 April 2015
(I’ve always wanted to reach the mark of 555 stories, because that’s how many sonatas Domenico Scarlatti composed! I know it’s a bit of a meaningless point to reach, but why not? To celebrate, here are three short (fictional) contemporary lectures on music and literature).
1. Contemporary lecture on Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was married twice and had twenty children. It can be surmised from this that he had heterosexual leanings. This however should not detract from the enjoyment we might get from his music today.
Given his proclivity for heterosexual behaviour, it is little wonder that his large body of surviving works reeks of complacency. If comfort could be expressed in sound, Bach achieved it.
He also cared little about global warming, unlike Handel, his contemporary, who wrote a green number called Where Sheep May Safely Graze.
Part of Bach’s music is ruined by overt religiosity. His Mass in B minor, for example, reeks of religion. It must surely be regarded, if not politically correct, at least as distasteful. In fact, most of Bach is unteachable these days; not only are we rightfully not permitted to teach religion, but most students don’t have a clue what the words of Bach’s chorales and cantatas mean.
Then, if you take his book of keyboard music, Anna Magdalena Notebook, we find there are a number of pieces borrowed (“stolen” would be a better word) from other composers. The true authors are not even given credit. Plagiarism. This must surely confirm his heterosexuality, as most thieves in the world today are dyed-in-the-wool heterosexuals.
So if you intend to listen to Bach, or even try to perform his music, be prepared to be open-minded about his personal life. It is best to ignore the subversive religious and anti-gay agenda hidden so shamelessly in the counterpoint.
2. Contemporary lecture on King Lear
Shakespeare’s theatre sketch, King Lear, deals with the timeless theme of ageism. The way his two older daughters ruthlessly treat their father would have been unnecessary if he could have been legally euthanized. But, oh no! they had to get rid of him in a painfully cruel way rather than put him down quickly with an injection.
Of course there are other more important themes that Shakespeare omitted to mention. The issue of climate change is one example. If King Lear had taken greater care of the environment then there might not have been the dramatic storm he was seen to be running about in half naked. He brought it on himself, and Shakespeare omitted, point-blank, to point out the connection.
Also, once they’d ripped out Gloucester’s eyes, they could have donated them for body parts. They seemed to be perfectly good eyes, and someone with a similar blood type was possibly desperate for a cornea transplant. But, oh no! Shakespeare had to ignore that and have him also wander around in the Lear-inflicted storm. What a waste!
Then there’s the question of Cordelia. Such chauvinism! She is treated as a sex object of iconic beauty. Who is the real Cordelia? Not to mention that her part would’ve originally been played by an underage boy who was possibly paid less than the minimum wage. And where is Lear’s wife? Is she even mentioned? She was no doubt viewed as no more than a baby-making machine.
There’s so much in the play that Shakespeare ignored. Where are the endangered whales for example? What about the trading of elephant tusks? Back then women didn’t get the vote. Is that mentioned? Did Lear have a woman in his retinue?
Next week we’ll deal with the anti-environmental bastards who chopped down an entire forest of trees in Birnam wood.
3. Contemporary lecture on Tchaikovsky
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was one of those fucking faggots you find everywhere in the music scene. At least you find them in the classical music scene, not in the rock band scene where they have no trouble getting a woman for the night.
You seen what Tchaikovsky done? He got all those guys in tights cavorting round in front of him. He would’ve loved that. Nutcracker is right. And Swan Lake. Poof.
Then in the 1812 Overture he has cannons firing everywhere. The nancy-boy is trying to disguise his leanings by pretending to be macho and firing guns.
So if you want my advice, don’t listen to the fudge packer. Give me a real man. Like Justin Bieber.