I dreaded doing the shoveling today (we had a snowstorm here in Chicago), on account of a gouty elbow. (having a gouty elbow is the end of the world, by the way)…But wouldn’t you know it? I tottered out with my shovel grimly clutched in one hand to do my worst, and a good samaritan had already done the work for me! I’d like to meet him. To express my gratitude? Not on your life. To see if I can get the poor sap to do other tasks for me, like running the bathwater and making my lunch. And he who cooks should also clean. The innocent eater should get a pass. He didn’t make the mess!
In the spirit of the profoundly rational foregoing paragraph, I offer eight more maxims and arrows:
1. What’s up with these “ands”? Bach and Handel, Beethoven and Brahms, Chopin and Liszt, Shostakovich and Prokofiev. Do scientists vaguely refer to the sun and the moon?
2. People suffering from a midlife crisis like to say, “I just don’t know who I am anymore”…did Stravinsky suffer from a career-long midlife crisis?
3. “Idleness is the Devil’s workshop”…But were Liszt and Scriabin particularly idle?
4. Hugo Wolf as critic and composer: A fire-breathing dragon who wrote gentle and kind music. This is disconcerting. If you’re mean, your music should be mean…you know, like Schoenberg!
5. “If it feels good, do it.”-Can this be the philosophy of a masochist? Or am I missing something?
6. The holiday season is upon us. That means we can listen to Die Fledermaus “legally”. Is there anything better than that? Bring on Orlovsky and company!
7. We are lucky in our Christmas masterpieces. Some people tell me that they’re sick of Messiah and Nutcracker. Unless you’re a jobbing orchestral musician, get over it. And you can throw in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, as well; it’s even better. But please, leave the period instruments at home.
8. And how ‘bout La Boheme? The first two acts take place on Christmas eve. If you know any whiny brats, tell ‘em Parpignol won’t give ‘em any toys unless they behave. And make Alcindoro pay, for heaven’s sake.