Sunday, September 06, 2015


Make fun of all bigots: they are just mental clandestine perverse closet-recluse


We all know the story of Galileo Galilei who once wrote a book about the solar system pretending that the sun was the center of the universe and the earth turned around it, not to speak of turning on its own axis. That was a crime against the doctrine of the catholic church of the time, against the sacrosanct word of God as recorded in the Bible and the doctrine of the church. Galileo was brought in front of the Inquisition and under the duress of the menace of severe torturing he decided to retract his own words and pretend it was nothing but pure speculation and not his belief which could not be different from the church’s doctrine.

When you have said that there is nothing else to say. Philip Glass tries to bring some flesh to this dry bone and he adds the daughter who became a nun, the telescope that he invented, a long lesson in orthodox faith by some monk who onlmy speaks Latin, the very language of God himself since Jesus Christ spoke Hebrew and Aramean, and a meeting with the Pope of his trial but when he was still a younger cardinal and was writing poetry in praise of his friend Galileo Galieli. Luckily Philip Glass is well inspired to give us only one stanza out of nineteen of that pompous and totally hollow poetical masterpiece, if we can even call that poetry. But even so the tale is empty and hollow and some scenes with the repetitive music Philip Glass glues onto the words and the singing that luckily do not follow the music of the band but its own melody and harmony, are hammering into us some pounding and caning rhythm which is the beating and striking work of a theological smith on the miscreant anvil of our gullible and sinful minds to drive the nail of the church’s lessons in and in and in again.

And yet there is something in this opera up to the last scene (which stands apart) that is nothing but pure provocation and every day we have a judge or some court officer, not to speak of the gun of a police-person, showing how the belief in a god of strict rules and laws and commandments can become a sectarian, bigot and fundamentalist dictatorship to the concerned individuals (which is their own business: we cannot prevent some people from flagellating themselves every morning before breakfast) but also to people who are just asking for their legal rights and are refused plain equality of treatment and protection from all police and judicial agencies, and that refusal is based on the beliefs of the said judge or officer of justice and/or police. Today it is about LGBT people who want to get married, just the same as it was yesterday about black people who wanted to register to vote.  And who knows what it is going to be tomorrow.

One of the most famous Renaissance scientist was treated like a criminal because he thought something that went against the teaching of the church. Gosh! What are good Christians obliged to bear, really. And what’s more the earth would not be flat in a minute if you let them believe anything and say anything else. A good three years in house imprisonment is just fair, fair abuse if I had my word, and let him die during that time since he is old.

And yet the opera is saved from this simple meaning by the last scene Philip Glass calls the opera in the opera. A story of sun, moon and stars in the good old Greek mythology. Imagine these little piglets that are running around in this mythology. Orion who gets drunk one day and just plain takes advantage of the daughter Merope of the local king. He is blinded for that unwanted service. But he manages to get his eyesight back and he is turned into a star by Zeus or some omnipotent god, the star Orion itself, and even there in the sky that lubricious male starlet is courting Eos, the goddess of dawn that comes into the sky just after the morning Star also known as Venus, the goddess of love. And he always starts with the Morning Star before moving into the bed of Eos when her brother Helios comes out so that no one can see what they are doing all day long. That is hilarious and the music then is more than just repetitive. Several lines of repetitive music are crisscrossing and interlocking one another, in other words having some bed gymnastics on the stage, with on top of it all some kind of a melodious half line from time to time. The piece of bacon in or on the omelet that was made with quite a few broken eggs. Bon appétit!

But if you want to get to details you can follow the ternary figures all along the text to insist on the ternary trinity of the ternary truth of the ternary church and the last scene before the opera in the opera ends on a marvelous diabolical, luciferian and satanic pentacle: “They sang of [1] heaven and [2] the stars, [3] the sky, [4] the earth, [5] the sun.” We can then move to the sensual and sensuous gods, goddesses, semi-gods, giants and pubescent teenagers of the Greek mythology and the opera in the opera that cultivate another ternary merry-go-round. “the snake, the boar and the lion.” “Our Lord has set the ways of the moon, the sun and the stars in their ever winding maze.” Where is the Minotaur? And that ternary astral vision is also the triple source of our light: “And by their light. . ., and by their light . . . And by their light . . .” And Orion in the night will look at the Moon (Selene of course), the sister of Eos, then at Eos, the goddess of dawn (after a quick look at Venus, the Morning Star), before hiding with Eos in the light of her brother Helios (the Sun of course) in a family affair indeed.

I just wonder if we cannot say that Philip Glass is making fun of the bigots of the Jove believers reborn in Zeus and the Minotaur (see for that one Stephen King’s “Roe Madder”).


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