Weird, unexplained noises aren't uncommon around here. After all, I have mice in the walls, 'possums under the house, and there are strange hoof-sounds on the roof late at night, which I'm positive have nothing to do with Santa Claus.
So on Easter morning I step out the back door and suddenly see a lizard emerge from the eaves and climb down the wooden post where the utility box is.
I photographically documented the event for posterity.
Then I emitted a Big Sigh of relief.
Lizards are definitely the lesser of many other evil possibilities.
I'd rather have lizards than rats...
Change of subject
One of the pleasures that I always indulge in during the Easter season is listening to a performance of the opera Parsifal by Richard Wagner (Wagner preferred to call his creation "a festival play for the consecration of the stage" - but that's beside the point).
Nothing stirs my senses and nourishes my soul more than this masterpiece of suffering, compassion, and salvation.
Speaking of suffering, the opera is nearly five hours long. It isn't merely a performance - it's an event.
Before we go any farther (further?) let me explain that Parsifal is an Arthurian knight, who is on a quest for the Holy Grail. The story traditionally takes place in the thirteenth century.
Since I'm not in the mood to excavate my old VHS tape of Parsifal, I decide to watch it on YouTube.
I select a performance recorded in Salzburg in 2013. Imagine my complete shock, when I discover that the traditional 13th century theme has been abandoned in favor of a "modern, updated" version.
Instead of knights and maidens, the cast is arrayed in some sort of bizarre outer space costumes. They look like rejects from an Apollo moon mission casting call.
the 2013 Salzburg production of Parsifal
Looks like the Space Cadets have seized some fat guy in drag
This updated production is beyond my realms of tolerance. I quickly turn it off in disgust and search for another version.
My next discovery is a 2012 version of Parsifal recorded at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus - which is the holy grail of Wagnerian opera. The Festspielhaus is a theater built by Wagner solely for his own operas. The premiere of Parsifal took place there in 1882.
What could possibly go wrong?
I was nearly blown to the moon when I discovered that this production was also a new "modernized" version - - which apparently takes place in Nazi Germany! The singers were clad in SS uniforms and the stage was adorned with swastikas!
After I regained consciousness and found my tongue I screamed What the freaking hell does an 1882 opera by Wagner have to do with Nazi Germany?!!??
Here it is, folks: the 2012 Bayreuth production of Parsifal
I am a staunch traditionalist. I don't want operatic masterpieces to be "updated" so they "appeal" to modern audiences. I don't want true art to be usurped with carnival tactics and pseudo-intellectual psycho-babble garbage.
I am thoroughly disgusted with these pompous, "innovative" producers, directors, and set designers - who get a degree from Walmart University and think they can trample the course of tradition with their own demented versions of progress in the arts.
These gang-rapes of Parsifal must have Wagner revolving in his grave.
Have I said enough?
Dammit, Jon, you're cute when you are angry.