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Everyone on DK knows the acronym IOKIYAR.  Of course, any group possesses this meta-hypocrisy to an extent, not just anti-choice terrorists, gun nuts, Tea Party thugs & racists, but yes, even progressives, liberals, or environmentalists (although generally, I think that our side is better at recognizing double standards that way).

This SNLC, however, doesn't look into this issue with respect to standard DK fodder, but rather standard 3CM fodder, namely the current Opera Theatre of Saint Louis production of Dialogues of the Carmelites, a 1956 opera by Francis Poulenc.  The story is very loosely based on an actual group of Carmelite nuns in Compiegne, France, whose order was dissolved in the wake of the French Revolution.  Later, during the Reign of Terror, 16 of those nuns were arrested on highly trumped-up charges of illegal assembly and disloyalty to the state, and publicly guillotined on July 17, 1794.

Even without any historical context, that act is disgusting.  One scholar on these nuns, William Bush, likewise has that attitude.  However, it turns out that his POV is extremely biased by the relevant variation of IOKIYAR.  More below the flip…..

Bush (born 1929; not sure if he's still around) has written about the Compiegne nuns extensively, in various articles and also a book, To Quell the Terror (where I want any of you who are reading this and have Amazon accounts to do me a favor on the Amazon listing, to be explained at the end).  From the little I’ve found about Bush, he’s quite devoutly religious, though I’m not sure that he is specifically Catholic.  That aside, in one of Bush's articles about these nuns, this is the IOKIYAR-like passage that I mean:

"Whatever might be the sins of the monarchy or the failings of certain religious orders, both were venerable institutions, publicly committed before God and man to the maintenance of Christian ideals.  However much a king might flaunt Christian teaching, and however severe he might be toward a zealous prelate who would dare correct him, he recognized that in the end he would be judged by Jesus Christ."

Citation: William Bush, "The Historical Parisian Martyrdom: July 17, 1794".  Renascence, 48(1), pp. 61-82 (July 1995)

You can see the various layers of IOKIYAR-ness there, with more than a tinge of religious fanaticism.  The whole article is like that, as are the passages in his book that I've seen.

Basically, at the risk of stating the incredibly obvious, Bush is clearly saying that as long as you claim to be acting in the name of God and "Christian ideals", then you can pretty much do anything you want, however "un-Christian" those acts turn out to be.  We’ve seen that attitude much too often with “Christians” in this country, or in Africa, the Lord’s Resistance Army.  The same attitude is all too prevalent with Muslim extremists as well, using again an example from Africa, Boko Haram.  It's the same problem with any group of religious fanatics who claim to act with respect to their own abstract worlds, inflicting tremendous harm on the real world (and the only world we've got).

So now I get to the small favor that I'm now about to ask of anyone who actually reads this SNLC, with respect to the Amazon review of Bush's book.  Most of the reviews (much too many) are favorable to the book.  But rather than focus on those, what I want you to do is to find the two reviews by Cheryl Mason  and Ronald T. Shuman.  You’ll notice that they’re <50% in terms of "helpful" votes.  This is clearly a sign that those reviews got troll-rated.  So my request is that you vote "Yes" on the helpfulness of those two reviews, to boost their stats.  (If you want to up-rate the "A Customer" review as a bonus, please feel free.)

This is, of course, a pretty futile gesture, given the millions of reviews on Amazon, and the relatively modest audience for this book (392.207 rating on Amazon at this time).  (Why else would 3CM go on about this in Loser’s Club?)  But this is something that bugs me, and at least this is my attempt to right the balance, a tiny bit.  Make of that what you will.

BTW, if you want to get a sense of the finale of the opera:

With that, time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week……

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Comment Preferences

  •  yup, back to autobot post mode again (10+ / 0-)

    With luck (good, bad, or otherwise), back in a few to respond to any comments and such.

    So, from here:  actually caught the opera performance last night (the work mentioned here).  In the space between the pre-performance talk and the opera, the sky opened up.  Guess where 3CM's umbrella was.

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 03:13:36 PM PDT

  •  Working again for the (6+ / 0-)

    third fucking Monday in a row. So Monday NIght At the Theater is going to move to whatever night I don't actually have to work. Wednesday, this week.

    I think when the summer ends, I will beg Annie to put me back on an all-weekend sked.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:16:36 PM PDT

  •  IOKIYA(Fill in the Blank) l00sEr (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, wader, Dumbo

    Non loser.

    •  well...... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, cfk, Dumbo

      ....yeah.  It's the whole thing of "we believe in freedom of speech for those who agree with us".  We just need to keep showing up and outvoting the other side in each election.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:50:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  hi (5+ / 0-)

    I am happy to report that my goal after surgery of going to the dance recitals of the grandbabies was met.

    One recital with three dancers was last Friday and the other with one dancer was this past Thursday.  You don't realize how much work it is to walk in and around and sit with knees bent, but the timing was good and I did it.

    I had a fun time, of course.  :)

    I have a family party with 19 people this next Sat. at our house and my daughter will be staying overnight so I won't be able to come by SNLC.  Eight of the people have summer birthdays to celebrate.

    Now that we have an addition we are fine even if it rains.  I am hoping the weather prediction changes by then, but there is a place for the little ones to play if not.

    Best wishes to all here!!!!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:35:30 PM PDT

  •  Happy to oblige on Amazon, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, cfk, Dumbo, oculus

    but as you say, it's probably a futile gesture.  

    My loser story:  I was in my PJs before 7 pm, on this the longest day of the year.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:45:03 PM PDT

    •  thanks; is everything..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, Dumbo

      .....OK there?  Hopefully you're not under the weather or something like that.  FWIW, if it's any consolation, it's pouring like mad now, and has been for something like 1.5 hours.  So much for the longest day of the year here.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:51:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Everything is just ducky, thanks. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, Dumbo, chingchongchinaman

        We were soaked in fog today in the SF area and there wasn't a hint of real summer.  We had a Mark Twain-style summer: "the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco," or so the mythology has it.

        If only we had some rain, here….

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:57:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh, got it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radiowalla

          Well, it's just the start of summer now, ya know ;) .  Hope things pick up soon with the weather.  I met some professional acquaintances from Sweden last week, who were trying to get back to Sweden by Friday for the same reason, for the midsummer celebrations there, by leaving on Thursday.  Unfortunately, the weather pushed them into an early Friday morning flight.  No idea if they made it back in time.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:53:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  3CM? (4+ / 0-)

    Am I a loser if I don't know what that means?

    into the blue again, after the money's gone

    by Prof Haley on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:17:19 PM PDT

  •  I absolutely love this opera, although my (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, Radiowalla

    highly-friends, one of whom has a masters degree in music performance absolutely hated it when
     saw it at the Met. Hard to fathom that reaction.

    •  interestingly, there's an article from 1977 by.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla, oculus

      .....Garry Wills that pointedly criticizes many aspects of the much-sainted John Dexter production of Dialogues of the Carmelites at the Met.  Extended excerpt (where I'm probably pushing fair use):

      "So his opera works, musically, on three levels - the dialogues, tortured by a harsh grace; the interludes, which let that grace speak on its own; and the prayers, which fuse and perfect the other two. The flow of action moves constantly from intimate settings before the inner curtain to scenes of the whole community. All this, alas, is lost in John Dexter's current Met production. The three levels are homogenized. Everything becomes liturgical. Instead of using the curtain to shift scenes from the intimate to the communal (the interludes maintaining tension), Dexter keeps the nuns moving in slow regimen right through everything, a hooded band of spookey Rockettes."
      So Wills is criticizing the production more than the opera.  Other, more specific example of his issues with the Dexter production:
      "One example of many: the soubrette novice Constance tortures Blanche by her innocent and carefree way, but does so in private converse. Mr. Dexter has the whole convent scrubbing in unison around the two, casting reproving glances at poor Constance, who looks here like some Flying Nun beset by sourpusses. The stiff and minimal movement of the nuns makes it hard to sketch the conflicts meant to be transcended when they pray together. Mr. Dexter seems to realize this, and tries to make up for it in ways that just make things worse. To underline the clash between the superior (Mother Lidoine) and the impetuous Sister Marie, he keeps Mother Lidoine onstage to look reprovingly at Marie’s fierce responses to a revolutionary officer come to inventory the convent’s goods. But by standing there and doing nothing, Lidoine - the final rock of strength - is just made to look superfluous; there is some excuse for Marie’s taking charge when the superior herself says nothing (she is not even there in Poulenc’s score)."
      Granted, because so much of the opera is a play with music, and tends to be moderato in pace, it can be a bit much to listen to, if the singers don't try to make it as dramatically involving as possible.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:51:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But I expected tonight's diary to address (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, Radiowalla

    The Met's decision not to broadcast the HD or radio transmission of John Adams' "The Death of Klinghoffer."

    •  that may come later (0+ / 0-)

      There's a lot to think about there, so I would have to forego the full SNLC title on that one.  (They dumped the radio transmission too?  I knew about the HD thing.)

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:45:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you will discuss it sometime (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman

        because there is a lot to say on either side of the proscenium.
        I have changed my mind about it, after reading Tommasini's piece in the NYTimes, but I'd be very interested in what others are thinking.  

        Is art a political expression?  Should art be politicized by the viewers?  Should a group insist that all art conform to its group norms?

        There is such  a hullabaloo over this cancelation, but consider how much art is not shown or produced across the world because of dictates by Muslim clerics.  Would Broadway ever stage a play with Mohammed as a character?

        The art world is politicized, whether we like it or not.    

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:15:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  at some point, once I've had time to..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radiowalla

          .....digest things and come up with some semi-intelligent thoughts about it.  This is definitely one of the most politically sensitive hot-potato works of art, certainly in opera-land or classical music-land, in recent years.  I'll also have to look if it's been discussed already on DK.  If not, more room for a diary on it, then.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:30:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The production isn't scheduled until (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chingchongchinaman

            the new season begins…I forget exactly when…but you should have plenty of time to consider the issue.   There are too many moving parts to this topic and I think it is impossible to get a handle on all of them, but I do hope you try.  

            (I thought Tommasini's suggestion that Gelb convoke a panel to discuss the opera was utterly ridiculous.  That is not the mission of the Met Opera, to delve into thorny political debates. That really turned me off.)

            It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

            by Radiowalla on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:41:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  sometime in November, yes (0+ / 0-)

              Certainly there's time to talk about this issue in advance of the next season, although it's obviously hot in opera-land news now.  Otherwise, there's definitely plenty to talk about regarding the Met, even with this newest fiasco on Peter Gelb's part.  Contracts are due to expire soon, and the negotiating atmosphere is none too good.

              To be fair to Tommasini, what he probably had in mind regarding that panel discussion idea in NYC was what OTSL did in advance of its 2011 production of The Death of Klinghoffer, namely to hold community panel discussions well in advance of the opera to lay the groundwork (and potentially take the sting out of any protests in advance).  Apparently the Klinghoffer daughters registered some sort of pro forma protest in advance, but they always seem to do that regarding this opera.  There wasn't a peep of protest from any AIPAC-like pressure groups here.

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:57:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There was an impassioned LTE (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chingchongchinaman

                signed by the daughters in the Times on the day of Tommasini's article.  

                It's a very, very thorny topic and I can be swayed in many directions.  But I guess I won't be able to see it via simulcast.  I do have it on hold at the library so at least I can see it that way.

                It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                by Radiowalla on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:28:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  found the letter (and others from that day)..... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Radiowalla

                  .....here.  Granted, the daughters have the right to be angry more than anyone, given the appalling death of their father.  However, while claiming that "We are strongly opposed to censorship and resent the implication that we would want to censor an artistic event", by pressuring the Met to can the HD-cast, at least in terms of the HD-audience, in effect, that is what they have done.  The opera never justifies the killing of their father, not one bit.

                  "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                  by chingchongchinaman on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:02:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Mohammed of Montreal. What a concept. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chingchongchinaman
          •  as opposed to..... (0+ / 0-)

            ......Jesus of Montreal, which I've never seen, BTW.  Heard it's good, but just haven't gotten around to it.

            "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

            by chingchongchinaman on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:03:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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