Friday, July 29, 2005

Pop Culture Roundup

I'm still working through Help: The Original Human Dilemma. There isn't a whole lot else to report on that right now. Reading has slowed this week.

I've seen no movies this week, but I did go see two operas last night as part of the Ohio Light Opera. We had tickets as part of my mom's birthday (plus we have behind-the-scenes connections, but if I elaborated on that I'd have my kneecaps broken). The first was The Island of Tulipatan. The basic synopsis is: two teenagers, a boy and a girl, have been raised as the opposite gender of what they actually are for various reasons. They fall in love, but there is some confusion among the parents as to how they could be in love because one is aware that half the couple is not the gender everyone else thinks they are. Did you follow that? It's quite funny, and if nothing else a conversation starter about 'nature vs. nurture' on the drive home. My wife and I didn't have such a conversation as we're relatively settled on such matters, but others could have.

The second opera was The Sorcerer. The performance was good. The players can't be faulted for how they sang and acted, as they did their best. But the opera itself is boring. The basic plot: two people get married. The guy is not only in love with his bride, but he's in love with love itself and decides that he wants everyone to experience what he's experiencing. He hires a sorcerer to sneak a potion into the entire town's tea so that they'll all indiscriminately fall in love with the first person they see. This, of course, produces some mismatched couples which I'd venture are supposed to be funny but end up being kind of creepy (an old man and an 18-year-old girl, for instance). Then, the guy who started this whole thing takes his obsession one step further by suggesting that his wife take the potion so that he can know that she's truly in love with him (as if the 40 minutes of gushing all over each other in song before this point wasn't enough). Hey, guess what? She ends up falling in love with someone else. Only then does the guy realize what a stupid idea this was, and he calls on the sorcerer to make things right. I've seen this story done much better and in ways that didn't cause me to pray for the end, elsewhere. This opera would also make for good conversation surrounding general topics of free will and forcing your help and/or beliefs on others in the name of making them happy, but the execution of the basic plot in this instance turns the topic to how awful it is instead.

I'm sad that Five Iron Frenzy broke up. That is all.

Around the web, Maggi Dawn is searching for the right metaphor.