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Gender: Male
Hometown: Puyallup, Washington
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,753

About Me

I truly believe that we will all live in peace and brotherhood someday. And so that I don't lose my faith in humanity, I will live my life as if that day had already happened.

Journal Archives

Sitting in a Starbuck's waiting for my car to be fixed.

Walked in on a group of old farts spewing conspiracy theories about the Middle East.

I parked myself as far from them as possible, so I didn't have to hear the bullshit.

I know our fellow liberals warn us against developing our own little information bubbles. But there's a difference between letting in substantive opposition, and letting in ludicrous nonsense.

Richard Wagner, master of the very long piece, was also master of the very short. This is it:

The coda of this short piece has an interesting provenance. It is known as the 'Redemption Through Love' theme, or motif, and it appears at the very end of the final opera in Richard Wagner's four-opera masterpiece, Der Ring Des Nibelungen. Despite its importance to the finale, the theme had appeared only once before in the saga, near the end of Die Walkure, the second of the four operas.

I won't go into the complexities of the story, but suffice it to say that the theme heralds the end of a world-shattering quest for power, and points to the possibility of a world in which love rules, instead. It took Wagner around twenty-eight years to compose all four operas, and at times, scrambling for funds, running from debt collectors or from jealous husbands whose wives Wagner had seduced, or being kicked out of various countries due to his revolutionary fervor, it seemed he would never finish.

He finally wrote the last few notes of the score, featuring this theme, on an afternoon in the early 1870's. As is common after the conclusion of an emotionally draining experience, Wagner lashed out emotionally, picking a stupid quarrel with his wife, Cosima, daughter of Franz Liszt, and the former wife of one of Wagner's admirers. She was very hurt by this naturally, and so Wagner attempted to atone for his behavior by writing this piece.

He had their children perform it for her on Christmas morning, and the short piece concluded with the Redemption theme Wagner had penned on the afternoon of their fight.

Quite a moving way to say 'I'm sorry'...

A short article on the Redemption theme:


Since I'm on the subject of Wagner's Ring cycle,

Does anyone one know of any cycle in which Siegmund and Siegfried were played by the same singer?

I can't imagine that there would be; Siegmund's tenor role is much more baritonal than Siegfried, who is a true heldentenor. And Siegfried needs to stay fresh for his debut, and not exhaust himself the night before singing Siegmund.

Still, I'm curious to know if this has ever happened...

I'm transferring three of my four complete Ring Cycles to MP3.

I've got the Ring by Georg Solti and the Vienna Philharmonic, the English Language Ring Cycle by the English National Opera, and the 2013 Seattle Opera Ring Cycle. Even on CD, they're awfully cumbersome to transport, so I got a new Apple device just for my Ring operas. They're uploading right now.

My fourth Ring is on LP. It's a very poor recording of the 1951 Ring Cycle at La Scala, notable mostly as one of Kirsten Flagstad's final performances as Brunnhilde.

Saturday Night Beer-Buzz. Not as strong as Friday nights, but I could use some company.

Enjoying a nice Midas Touch. Fruity notes, a velvety mouth-feel, and a nearly overpowering malty finish.

Friday Night Wine-Buzz. Ask me anything.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, Loungers!

Friday Lunchtime. Half a workday until the weekend!

Going to and a lot this Memorial Day weekend...

The one in my neighborhood has a sign posted that limits your time to 30 minutes.

"Shut up, eat up 'n' git out!" Our drill sergeants in Basic Training would shout that at us in the chow hall while we were eating. I guess McD's has the same policy.

Not that I'm interested in lingering or anything. I never go if I don't have to (read: when Mrs. Aristus wants a shake or a McFlurry).

I remember in the 80's, McDonald's made more of an effort to be like the neighborhood diner. At least at breakfast time. They had hostesses who would circulate through the dining area with coffee pots, refilling cups for customers; things like that. The mother of one of my schoolmates worked as a hostess.

I guess they don't do that anymore.

Some shit-for-brains, wet-behind-the-ears fuckhead with an MBA got hired at McDonald's and gave a Power Point about how much money the company could save by eliminating all the reasons people went there in the first place. "Basically turn the place into a vending machine with a street address, and watch the profits roll in!" he no doubt squealed to the board of directors.

The NFL is forcing players to stand for a flag that stands for their right not to have to stand for

the flag.

It's another day in Paradise...

Does anybody know who was doing the ululating when Harry and Megan emerged from the church?

I liked it. It was a very un-British expression of joy.

Anybody know?
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