But my dear, he's the Devil
of course he lies!
--Trans Siberian Orchestra (3.9.12)
A small disquisition on presumption and precision, as this is a hot topic among the leads here at RangerAgainstWar.
First, my knowledge of pop culture has holes you could drive a train through.
Tonight, a friend offered a free ticket to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO). Not knowing the group, I imagined a band of middling classical artists plucked from villages across Siberia, a hodge-podge assemblage who found Tallahassee, football heaven, a worthy stop. I saw them as so pale and sensitive they probably had to wear Burquas in the Florida sunshine, the First Violin fortified by vodka under his folding chair.
My presumption was exactly wrong. Instead, I endured almost three hours of blistering inanity, hard rock cued up to a laser light show, and some sort of bizarre rip-off of the Amadeus story-cum-Robert Johnson crossroads imposed upon Beethoven, read by a James Earl Jones knock-off, sung by four interchangeable Celine Dion power-belters, punctuated by giant Tiki torches which would explode now and then to everyone's amazement.
I understand Baudrillard to the degree possible, and understand postmodern is all about the derivative and repetition, but I yearn for the new style. At least if you're going to copy a style, go Michael Buble or Harry Connick, IMHO. Some sounds are more timeless than others, ISTM.
The crowd was odd, as they are wont to be: Season ticket holders in formal jackets mixed with elderly hippies in concert T's with play dates on their backs. Being Tallahassee, football jerseys were also plentiful.
I will give TSO credit for asking for a round of applause for our "men and women in uniform". They also donate a portion of their take to a local charity, which was Tallahassee's food bank. $1,400 -- not much, but a good faith gesture.
The laser light show hearkened me back to Pink Floyd at midnight planetarium shows from high school days. But as an adult and not in the mood, the attraction was lost. I kept my eyes closed most of the show as I didn't want to fall prey to a seizure. Thank god I had enough tissue to jam in my ears to bring the decibel level to that of a Gravely lawn tractor.
The necessity for precision in understanding brought another botched viewing to mind, with another friend who had invited me to a midnight movie "on Agent Orange". Again I did not do my homework, and instead endured nightmares after what was actually Burgess's "A Clockwork Orange", and not at all the historical documentary I was expecting (which probably would have given nightmares, anyway.)
On the drive home tonight, Prince's "Kiss" played, and I remembered the same tune played on the trip from high school days to A Clockwork Orange. I dug it, but my movie-watching companion used an unrepeatable expletive to express his disgust with the new music; he now likes Pink Martini and is a thoroughgoing Oregonian.
Amazing the things one remembers when faced with headbanging pyrotechnics one thought one had left far behind.