[Current mood: Vivica Genaux. – clip with thank to Chaîne de wienerfr]
If you need a soundtrack for Strutting With Purpose While Fuming In Rightful Indignation, look no further (and if you need a reason to get to that state, just spend five minutes on Twitter over cabinet nominations in the U.S. or intimidation during vote recounts or the many conflicts of interest that, even though called out, get the Cassandra treatment).
In Handel’s “Semele”, Juno – let’s dub her the scorned wife of democracy for current purposes – calls upon Iris, deitiy of ire, to fly out and take a stand against injustice in words and deeds (I’ve always had a soft spot for Juno.
With the exception of “La Calisto” because really, that’s no way to treat a lesbian who did not even mean to sleep with your husband)
…There Somnus I’ll compel
His downy bed to leave, and silent cell;
With noise and light I will his peace molest,
Nor shall he sink again to pleasing rest…
I will call a bully a bully, a racist a racist, a sexist a sexist, a liar a liar and a fascist a fascist. I’m through with fancy euphemisms and showing courtesies that are instrumentalized to shut me up and make me feel as if I were alone and unconnected.
I am not. We are not. There were some good news this week and on Sunday night, in relief, I talked with strangers on the bus and exchanged percentage numbers with smiles. And this morning, after seeing the pro-populist mod-building headline on one of the two gratis daily rags that are distributed for free at all public transport stops, I listened to a young man and his mother on the bus who were just as annoyed by the racist terminology used and called it out as they spoke to each other, and I smiled and nodded.
I will not shut up.
A(nd I move purposefully past my discomfort of “Hm, if I post this, it goes out to X subscribers, and I really don’t want trouble, and I don’t know who these people are, and God only knows who has got me on manual RSS without me even knowing”)
The recording I actually had in mind here was DiDonato’s on her “Furore” album, which may have played on a loop this week at Casa LaChev, but there is just one compilation featuring it on YT, together with the takes Summers, Larmore and Laurens, and I wasn’t comfortable with the still graphic as post visual. But do listen to it because that’s a lot of stylish fire-breathing and ire. Perhaps – if we call upon the postapocalyptic zombie iconosphere – this is the White Shirt equivalent of tucking the flannel into the jeans and tossing the figurative shotgun of conviction and belief in equality and justice over our more or less sculpted delts as we move down this road?
If you want some more bigger core (but also, of course, denser) roar for that, because we come with all kinds of tastes and shapes, there’s also Marilyn Horne, or Stephanie Blythe, who are less ‘historically informed’, but also magnifienctly mad.
And on we strut. We will just have to work on the flying for a bit longer.