Sunday, December 05, 2004

Wagner's Ring Cycle, critics smashing "the greats they hate," and etc.

Listening to U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday. Fitting, because today IS a Sunday after all. Speaking of which, I was wondering about the origins of the days of the weeks the other day. Monday is Moon-day, I think. Wednesday is Odin's-day. I'm pretty sure that Thursday is Thor's-day. Sunday is probably the blindingly obvious Sun-day. But what about the others--anybody know?

Regardless... The Sunday NYT was great, as usual. The Times Magazine had a very cool photo series of mathematical models (who knew math could be pretty?); you can look at it here, just scroll down.

I was also skimming around on The Guardian and came across a really interesting article about the "vilified" Richard Wagner. The Ring Cycle is supposed to be amazing, but opera's so expensive and it's a four-night extravaganza. I don't even know if it's currently being performed anywhere around here. However, I've decided to overcome this obstacle by staging a Ring Cycle marathon (how long is it? 15 hours? 20?) with some BBC production of it over Christmas break. I think E. will be up for it...how could you not?--it has valkyries, it has Siegmund and the death of Siegfried, it has leitmotifs, it has gods and a gotterdammerung. How could you not be up for it?

Right now I'm listening to some cheesy but strangely nice Counting Crows song.

Also on The Guardian, I found a funny piece in which music critics "get personal and demolish some of the greats they hate." Basically they rag on some hyper-praised bands like the Strokes and the Beatles (ach--blasphemy!) that they've never bought into. My favorite (though I don't necessarily agree) was the critical condemnation of Nirvana: "Why did Kurt Cobain whine and grimace...maybe it was because he was embarrassed...by the knowledge that, yes, he was in the defining band of the early 90s; but that the early 90s was the most rubbish era in pop history...Kurt knew it and he was so embarrassed he blew his own brains out. I didn't blame him." Oh, ouch.

Now I've gotta crack down on the homework, write a thesis essay about A Clockwork Orange and 1984 and try to say something interesting. Tonight I'm watching L.A. Confidential with B. and E. That's a great, GREAT movie--I'd even venture to say that it is perhaps better than Pulp Fiction...I know, gasp. Maybe not. I've got to read some James Ellroy novels next, I think. I'm also looking to read the book Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore, but my library doesn't have it, dammit. Kavalier and Clay still hasn't come because I bought it from one of those unreliable used-book sellers on Amazon, grr.

God, I just love the lyrics to the song 1985: "Bruce Springsteen, Madonna / Way before Nirvana / There was U2 and Blondie / And music still on MTV." Thank you.

Have a Sunday Bloody (good) Sunday.

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