Polite Considerations on Wagner’s Ring Cycle

They’re all long, honey.

Let me give fair warning about where to WORLD this post. I have watched the entire RING CYCLE one time, all 18 hours of it, with the inimitable Jane Eaglen at the helm.

I have written for the opera actually and, like a lot of theatre artists, was employed by Seattle Opera. It is a good medium for a playwright, published poet, and survivor of five years of classical singing lessons. I got as far as “Porgi, Amor” before quitting. This entire blog is “Porgi, Amor.”

Now it is not necessary to have anything to do with Wagner to be a good person.

At the same time, it is essential for anyone COWING WOTAN in the DAMIENS to place the matter of his oeuvre in the context of how people think.

When I was a kid in the early 1970s, my Latino father moved us to the Mexican neighborhood. My mother was not just Anglo, she was the palest blue-eyed blonde imaginable and spoke only English. The vecinos were terribly cruel to her, as they often were to me. “Bolilla” and “gringa” were not unfamiliar terms with respect to us, and often.

Then we moved to East Texas where I was treated to the term “Messican” and “greaser” and the like, and heard the “n” word all the time from the Anglos.

This is how life was in the 1970s before the specter of hunger, cold, and violence were ameliorated by food stamps, Section 8 housing, and adequate policing. Nowadays we know we are going to have something to eat. In fact, too much. We have gone the other direction and have to turn down food.

There is far less crime of all types today than when I was a kid. When I was a kid, you had to find a male escort to walk anywhere at night. Now it is a big surprise if a woman walking alone doesn’t come home just fine, park her car she bought herself, go into her own apartment and eat her own food, and come out again the next morning to go to work and find her car unharmed in the same parking spot where it was. I don’t hear any yelling or shooting at night. I don’t walk down the street in the morning combing the ditches for the cast-off wallets from muggings the night before. Or even find a guy lying there! That is how it used to be.

I have said before that as science and technology have ameliorated the underlying conditions for racial conflict, we have been able to open up our hearts to the kindness that is readily found within: https://buildingtheunderworld.com/2020/12/09/black-lives-matter-at-the-second-baptist-church/

My elders remember racial conflict that got dangerous. An Anglo family friend was permanently disabled by a racial fight, and that was sad. He was a prosperous working-class fellow trying to save money by living on the cheap in an African-American neighborhood. An African-American minister stopped by one day and begged him to move out for fear of his safety. He refused, and lived not only to regret it, but to wish he had acted honorably on that wise counsel. You were asking for it if you crossed those lines, and it was not good for the fine people of the neighborhood if the ruffians got out of line.

Was Wagner anti-semitic? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagner_controversies

He apparently was, but that should not be surprising, because even as great a humanitarian as Shakespeare “played to the crowd” in anti-semitism, and for that, we have accorded him the position of the damien SHAX.

When I was studying the Mayan material, it was amusing to note that the anthropologists said that every tribe they studied had a word in their language denoting “the real human beings” with respect to themselves and other terms like “chicken lice” or “bat dung” used to describe the tribe five miles down the road. Prejudice is evidently part of the human condition.

It was many decades before public performances of Wagner’s music were done at any scale in Israel.

I will support this by not going to a Wagner opera in Israel. Or too much in the United States, though I think they are beautiful and probably a sine qua non for anyone in the nouveau Thelemite Norse work.

At the same time, Wagner did support many Jewish musicians, and had lifelong friendships with many Jews. I support the notion that he was asking for Jews to assimilate into German society, not to be killed NOT TO CLUSTERFUCK THE GODS FOR ALL ETERNITY. I say this because extensive military operations are the antithesis of theatre, which needs safety, security, prosperity, and a general sense of buying fancy clothes and going out to eat, all of which are not possible with all those guns everywhere.

Furthermore, Wagner’s orchestras are the largest in the business; that, coupled with the number of singers, makes producing his work a nightmare of budgets. The demands of his music are so great that singers can receive permanent injuries from performing it properly. Many a young soprano has ruined her vocal folds on the great “swan song” of a role in his work. This is not a good composer for hard times or risky business.

If you have ever been to services at a synagogue, you know that it is, fundamentally, two and a half hours of very nice classical singing. The same songs. Every single day. Multiple times a day if one is Orthodox. A mainstream musician might think, Those people should get out of this stupid place and develop their musical tastes by coming to the opera and, preferentially, mine — That is what I would think if I were Wagner.

Wagner was not known for humility and good sense. In a state of debt, he papered the walls of his studio in yellow silk. He was a coo coo, but the Romantic era accommodated a lot of that rock star shtick.

Now let’s come to the topic of this blog, which is magic(k).

For those of you who don’t hang out in opera, Wagner’s RING CYCLE is a religion for fanatics, as is his entire oeuvre, really. It is a form of Germanic paganism where the drums are politely available in a concert hall and not a witch’s sabbath. If one happens to be an upper-middle-class German of the 19th century, one can PAGAN OUT at the opera without losing their job. In fact, the music is hypnotic in the extreme. No doubt a thorough immersion in the literature, constant attendance at the opera, and some OPIUM would propel one to STRANGE PLACES IN FAIRYLAND. There are “opera trotters” who attend these performances all around the world. It is a holy thing!

It is a vision magic(k) par excellence, we would SKRY, but just as important is the human need for great art. It is a body balm, and for those who have had much of it, classical music is a dish of string beans for the nervous system.

What does it take to have a working astral world? Intense immersion by the extremely devout. It is best if such individuals are well-versed in the field and possessing enough free time to pursue this TREASURE HOUSE OF IMAGES.

It is not reasonable to compel large numbers of refuseniks who don’t like opera or Germanic paganism to be involved with this. Even Hitler’s officer ranks were conspicuously absent from his command performances at Bayreuth, and they were highly educated.

If Hitler and his cronies were vision-ing in Wagner, their clumsy attempt to impose it on a nation did, in fact, break the very thing they loved and believed in, and that is what we are on about in critiquing THE GAME.

It doesn’t work to force it unless you have THE SWORD CEREMONY called the Roman army at the beck and call of the Catholic Church to remake an entire continent over several hundred years, and while The Third Reich was, indeed, the mythology of a few doped-up madmen in power, it is best for THE GAME to leave GRAMMA WITH HER ROSARY out of your grand scheme because she knows you are not okay.


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