Wednesday, September 28, 2005

So Ya Thought Ya Might Like To Go To The Show

Eating dinner while awaiting my flight out of LAX Monday night, I read through a copy of USA Today (since I've found newspapers and magazines easier to manage while eating than books). In it, I stumbled across an article about former Pink Floyd mastermind Roger Waters, who has apparently composed an opera about the French Revolution called Ça Ira.

Now, I always liked Pink Floyd as much as the next guy, and was even fond of getting weird and watching the overwrought film version of "The Wall" with some regularity back in college ("Whoa, dude, check out that flower!"). It was interesting and compelling (at least for a while), though underneath it all, you suspected, beat the heart of an insufferable, pompous blowhard.

So I wasn't too suprised when Waters removed all doubt in the following paragraphs of the story:
Waters initially resisted trying to draw parallels between late 18th-century France and current social conditions. "But then I thought: 'Well, in France back then, you had this rigid, hierarchical structure where the king was considered divinely instructed by God and had absolute power. Then you had the nobility and the clergy, but the majority of people had nothing.'
"Here it comes," I thought. "I see where this is going." Sure enough:
"That's very much like the situation we have now with some Western civilized nations. I think George (W.) Bush believes that he's operating on a license from the Almighty. And you have a very, very small number of people who control 99% of all the stuff in the world, whereas the rest are like the French peasantry were."
Right, conditions here are just like those preceding the French Revolution. What makes this typical celebrity piffle doubly-amusing is the setting for Waters' interview. Again, I quote from the article:
Waters' mission, like that of the rebels who defied King Louis XVI, was influenced by forces beyond his control. Sitting in the vast, elegantly appointed den of his lakefront Hamptons home, where Louis would have felt quite comfortable, the 61-year-old rocker explains how Ça Ira, billed as his first classical opera, came about.
A real man of the proletariat, that Roger Waters. We can all be thankful he deigned to throw us some crumbs ("Let them eat cake!") from his lakefront home in the Hamptons.

See, Roger is at the very top of that supposed 1%. But because he is sufficiently enlightened, he isn't one of the evil ones. It's the other evil profiteers in that 1% who are wrecking everything.

I'm sure that when the stage version of Ça Ira opens in Rome, admission will be free. And according to, the newly released CD version is retailing for $34.98 a pop, but undoubtedly that's a misprint. Since the physical materials for the CD set cost maybe $2, I have no doubt that's what he'll actually be charging us peasants.

An opera by Roger Waters about the French Revolution. Well that shouldn't be too pretentious.

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