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The Jerry Springer Show The Opera The War

re: Springer The Review Sacha Chou - 2812th post - 9 Jan 2005 15:11
It was utter trash, (I was going to call it pure and simple, but it wasn't either).
The BBC has clearly lost all sense of direction, it's time for a mercy killing. [reply] [Complain about this post]

re: Springer The Review Little Richardjohn - 605th post - 10 Jan 2005 15:27
If you think this was bad, what about the plans to broadcast the spectacle of two naked men causing each other as much pain as possible, And not out of any genuine grievance, but merely for spectacle and money.
Surely real obscenity is more obscene than verbal obscenity?
And I'm not tallking about your prose. [reply] [Complain about this post]

re: Springer The Review Sacha Chou - 2852nd post - 10 Jan 2005 16:27
Little Richardjohn
I would be as much against such a broadcast as the Jerry Springer "opera", for similar reasons. It would have a different context though, since the discomfort of the artists would, in that case, probably match that of the audience. [reply] [Complain about
this post]

re: Springer The Review Little Richardjohn - 610th post - 11 Jan 2005 11:00
When did the context ever worry you?
The context of the obscene words made them totally acceptable to a grown-up audience. The context of the pantomime Godhead cross-dressing motifs was of the semi-lunatic American consciousness exhibited daily by Springer, and which demands that the individual MUST assume an identity with the highest status possible. (The believers in reincarnation who were ALWAYS Cleopatra or Solomon or Robin Hood, in this case - Jebus)
That does not make it Blasphemy - that makes it documentary.
It is not theologically possible for non-believers to commit blasphemy anyway. I cannot disrespect something I do not believe exists. And to accuse me, or the BBC, of blasphemy is an insult to our intelligence actually.
The context of the entire argument is that of a drama. A product of imagination. Use yours.
And the next time the BBC schedules a boxing match. I'll expect to see you protesting outside TV Centre.
And I think it is fine to put it on TV in a country which is totally familiar with all the 4 letter words used in the libretto (we invented them) and for an opera audience which knows how a libretto works in an operatic context, which is as another musical instrument in the orchestra - which naturally involves repetition to the rhythm or within the melody or sub melody or to re-state a dramatic musical theme or signature. Wagner, Rossini and Joe Green did it all the time.
We are a grown up country. And if we can stomach the sight of two men ACTUALLY trying to kill each other, I'm sure we can put up with, and even enjoy the sight of a media sewer rat like Springer being tortured for his sins.
It’s exactly what the BBC was set up to do. Sadly, some fell on stony ground [reply] [Complain about this post]

re: Springer The Review Sacha Chou - 2898th post - 11 Jan 2005 12:26
Little Richardjohn
The fact that you and others might enjoy seeing anyone tortured for entertainment, whether in a play or real life, speaks volumes about the moral basis of your views about this "opera".
I have no critical statements to make about the musical integrity of the event - the music was irrelevant to the point of the play. Comparing this with Wagner or Rossini is laughable (even though I don't like Wagner). [reply] [Complain about this post]

re: Springer The Review Little Richardjohn - 615th post - 11 Jan 2005 15:20
What is Hell for? And how can anything have a moral basis if there is no dramatic atonement of some kind? In this case Hell was very appropriate, seeing as how 99.9% of Americans seem to believe in it.
I was being ironic.. Now I see my problem. If you'd ever heard an opera you'd recognise the use of the repeated libretto convention.
This production made a big thing of parodying Opera itself, hence the title. So formal structures like this would be enhanced. That is what parody does.
I was going to mention the fact that theatre audiences are regularly presented with scenes of torture and obscenity and have been for three thousand years, but I won’t bother.

re: Springer The Review Sacha Chou - 2903rd post - 11 Jan 2005 17:20
Little Richardjohn
My main enjoyment and relaxation is music, and has been for the past thirty years.
For you to adopt a lecturing tone to me about the musical merits of this farcical obscenity, and to imply that the musical parody in it somehow justified the rest of the obnoxious content is quite amusing.

re: Springer The Review Little Richardjohn - 618th post - 11 Jan 2005 19:03
As for using music for enjoyment and relaxation, that doesn't mean you know anything about it or know it when you hear it.
Music isn't nice wallpaper or a scented candle. It should change your life, if it's worth anything. The best music does just that. It doesn't comfort and relax you and reassure you that all's for the best in the best of all possible worlds.
And if you deny that Verdi or Puccini used constant repetition in their libretti, then we haven't been listening to the same operas.
The long "fu-fu-fu-fu" chorus was a delightful piece of musical and poetical brinkmanship and satirised opera at its worst. It was also very funny.
Not as funny as the dancing Klan, though. And the eternal anal-barbed-wire image was almost as deft as Tom Lehrer's "Soon you will be sliding down the razor blade of Life."
This wasn't the great masterpiece that some have claimed, though it is one of the most ambitious bits of musical theatre of the last twenty years. The arts centre fingers were still pawing at it a bit. It still seemed to be performing itself to an audience of mates. And these are not a great musical team. They would never claim that for themselves. But it is a great idea. It is a brilliantly cohesive assault on American culture and on the squalid ideology which drives it. And when you're using parody for satirical effect, that means using the language of the gutter. Using it to death. Like any good satirist does. See any edition of The Simpsons, The Fast Show, The Royle Family, Vic and Bob or virtually any funny British comedy of the past ten years..
Words aren't filthy, meanings and actions are filthy. [reply] [Complain about this post]

re: Springer The Review Sacha Chou - 2914th post - 12 Jan 2005 11:51
Little richardjohn
"And as for using music for enjoyment and relaxation, that doesn't mean you know anything about it or know it when you hear it"
But I do, so your little snipe at me is worthless.
"Words aren't filthy, meanings and actions are filthy"
Exactly, and the "meaning" of the repetitious crudity and the blasphemy in this show was to create a reaction that the musical and artistic content of the show could not do on its own. It was there for effect, and the effect was quite unpleasant.
I accept that such crudity may be popular and funny to some, but to hail it as some form of high art worthy of acclaim and broadcast on the BBC is nonsense. [reply] [Complain about this post]

re: Springer The Review Little Richardjohn - 619th post - 12 Jan 2005 12:50
"effect, and the effect was quite unpleasant"
The effect was there for a purpose. In art, all effect is for a purpose.
You seem to think that all art should be nice.
Then sit back with your Barry Manilow records and your box of After Eights and everything will seem nice.
In the meantime, there are questions to be asked and a world to explore and truths about ourselves to face which are extremely unpleasant.
Art is the only way of honestly confronting those problems. And Jerry Springer, The Opera did just that. And at the same time, to those willing to also admit that there are problems, it was hugely entertaining. But to get the joke, you first have to admit that the world isn't perfect. But as a member of the Art for Art's Sake Brigade, you are unable to do that. Art is a reflection of Life, not a lullaby. [reply] [Complain about this post]

re: Springer The Review Sacha Chou - 2918th post - 12 Jan 2005 13:26
Little richardjohn
>>"Art is the only way of honestly confronting those problems"<<
What tosh!
If you have a sociological problem to deal with the best solution is to sit and discuss it sensibly and come to some agreement about how to deal with it. That may require education, legislation or any number of approaches.
Simply parodying the seedier aspects of real life in a sensationalist play or "opera" does not do anything to address (confront) the problem, in fact it makes the problem worse by continuing to spew obscenity into our daily lives in the name of "art" and "free speech".
>>"You seem to think that all art should be nice"<<
I have not made any such statement. Art can be unpleasant but good, and also pleasant but bad. JSO was both unpleasant and bad at the same time, as a piece of art, and it was simply offensive as a TV broadcast.
Your little joke about Barry Manilow is extremely childish. [reply] [Complain about this post]

re: Springer The Review Little Richardjohn - 621st post - 12 Jan 2005 14:22
I thought so, another case of 'no place for politics in art'. One of the most dishonest statements in all of human discourse.
It is one of the most political statements you can make. And whether you like it or not, all art is political. And the more you try to avoid politics, the more political it becomes.
Artists are people. They are raised by other people in a world which effects the way they think. They worry about real things. It effects their work, and when they're at their happiest, resolves their problems with the world. You want art to be some kind of Margot Leadbetter cocktail party music ordered by catalogue from Fortnums, and not likely to disrupt the conversation about the best school in the area.
Now we're discovering the real depths.
Not only do you know nothing about art, but nothing about politics either. [reply] [Complain about this post]

re: Springer The Review Sacha Chou - 2920th post - 12 Jan 2005 14:37
Little Richardjohn
>>"You want art to be some kind of Margot Leadbetter cocktail party music"<<
It is interesting that when someone's own arguments start to fail, they often resort to telling me what it is I think.
>>"Not only do you know nothing about art, but nothing about politics either."<<
It is interesting how the less convincing one's argument becomes, the more likely it is that personal insults and dismissive attitudes come to the fore.
Discussion closed, I think. [reply] [Complain about this post]

re: Springer The Review Little Richardjohn - 623rd post - 12 Jan 2005 15:07
Not quite.
DEDUCING what you think from what you say, deducing. You’re too coy to actually say what you mean, so we have to read between the lines a bit, and there is a lot of room. That's fairly common practice I understand. And if my arguments are failing, perhaps you'd help to finish them off. All I hear is you proclaiming their death. So bury them.
It's quite obvious that you know nothing about politics or art or you wouldn't be so sanguine about declaring them incompatible, in spite of three thousand years of human art to draw on. All wasted on you.. That is the human tragedy, that its finest achievements go unappreciated by most humans, whether from famine, poverty and suffering - or by the British class system, which has always demanded that emotion be kept out of art, let alone politics, and melodramatic sentimental display put in its stead.
You would have King Lear with a happy ending, like Tolstoy wanted.
While we're on the subject, what's your take on the 'vile jelly scene..'? Bit gratuitous, what?
And as for Titus Andronicus..
You keep coming back with this stuff about art having no place in politics and expect to get away with it. This is a high speed internet forum. Not an Oxbridge debating society. In many other boards you would have been scorched hours ago. But I do wish you'd stand up for yourself instead of turning tail at the first sign of an unpleasant truth about your opinions...
But hang on, it was unpleasantness which worried you about the Opera... And music is there to solely sooth the savage beast and all that.
So what about the scene where they gouge out the old man's eyes?
One by one.
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