Measured Extravagance

2001-01-10 - 12:22 a.m.

True confession time: I can't stand either "Imagine" or "Hey Jude." I respect the Beatles, but I don't love them (with the exception of "I Want to Hold Your Hand"). So you may want to bear in mind that I'm a philistine when I tell you that Rising by Yoko Ono and Ima is no weirder or worse than the average competent opening act - she can actually sing and they can actually play - but I wouldn't pay money to hear them. (The cassette was a freebie.) The chant of "I miss you" in "New York Woman" grabbed me (and that was before I registered the title) but I completely lost patience with "I'm Dying," which basically sounds like five minutes of a woman not quite climaxing. Which is not necessarily off-base whether you take the song title to be literal or metaphorical, but I don't happen to need or want to hear this. (There's orgiastic yipping on some of the other tracks as well. I can't say I'm really tolerant of it from anyone other than Cyndi Lauper.)

Another confession: Although I consider myself a lover of "early music," I loathe chant. It leaves me cold and unmoved. For me, trying to listen to it is like settling for McFish when you want sushi. Give me Handel and Hummel and Hector Berlioz over Hildegard von Bingen any day.

WPLN was playing some of my favorite Mozart and Beethoven earlier tonight, and I washed the dishes while the boombox played some of Michel Lambert's 17th-century Airs de cour, which are stuffed with silly gloomy courtly nonsense ("Better to die than to change..." ) but which are nonetheless rather pretty.

* * *

One down! and at least two more to go. I don't care that Linda Chavez harbored an illegal immigrant or three(you can even give her a medal with my blessing for that part of it), but I do very much mind that she's a blazing hypocrite. As the late Lars-Erik Nelson once declared, "The enemy isn't conservatism. The enemy isn't liberalism. The enemy is bull----."

That quote comes from Molly Ivins' December 28 column, which also brought me dangerously close to spewing tea all over my desk with nomination for "Worst Idea of the Year: "George W. Bush's contention that the U.S. Congress should become more like the Texas Legislature. Quick: stake, cross, garlic, pesticide."

* * *

Got my EMILY's List renewal form in the mail today. Admired Malkavia's entry on choice. Also read some more entries in "Shan's" Headspace - including a fine rumination on karma and sentimentality, and a succinct little rant on bisexuality and fidelity that's dead on the money: "And if you feel you really, really must, either get permission, or get divorced, but don't start fucking willy-nilly on the sly. You're gonna get caught, and you make the rest of us look bad." If you ask me, that's fine advice all around: The enemy isn't marriage. The enemy isn't polyamory. The enemy is dishonesty.

'Yours the choice, to whom the gods awarded
The language of learning and the language of love,
Crooked to move as a moneybug or a cancer
Or straight as a dove.'
- W.H. Auden

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