Thursday, May 18, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Ring Cycle Discs 6 and 7

I am now on Disc 7 on The Ring Cycle.  It has been odd listening to nothing else but opera for the last week.  Yesterday I was on a morning commute inching past an accident on I-90.  I am always slightly disappointed when after a long wait to pass the source of a slowdown to not find decapitated bodies strewn about the roadside.  At the very least when four lanes of traffic have ground to a halt, massive robot debris should be everywhere.  I want smoke.  Fire.  Severed limbs.  Escaped monsters.  Instead I got three cars on the side of the road with cosmetic damage and a couple of police cars with flashing lights taking reports.

If you are the person standing on the side of the road looking at your crumpled rear quarter panel, it’s a huge event.  When whisking by a stretch of road at 70 mph, it’s never a consideration of what the gravel on the side of the road feels like under your feet.  You would never notice the discarded tennis shoe wet with rain.  It never crosses your mind that everything might have changed for you because someone behind you was texting and slammed into you, thus permanently dislodging your spine in a way that you can never be completely comfortable sitting in a chair again.  It is a benchmark event in their life.  To other motorists, it is a nuisance. 

It was stop and go as everyone driving past needed to slow down and get a real eyeful of the minivan with the smashed bumper, the pacing woman on the mobile phone and the police writing the alleged details down on carbon copy reports.  That was when a serendipitous event happened.  The lane in front of me opened up completely at just the moment that “Die Walkure” started Act 3, or “The Ride of the Valkyries” began.  What a fortunate turn of events.  What proof of a higher being.  What an act of pure provenance.  There was little choice in my actions.  It was if this had all been set to unfold in front of me as a beautiful gift.  I have been aware of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, making the wrong decision, etc.  Rarely though does one have the awareness of the right set of circumstances presenting themselves in real time.  The only thing I was missing was a majestic beam of sunlight illuminating the lane.

I drive a very fast car.  There are opportunities to drive fast, but fewer to drive very fast.  When four lanes of traffic have been brought to a near standstill, blaring sirens from approaching fire trucks are heard in the distance, tow trucks are positioning themselves backing up to wrecks, and every police officer in the area has been dispatched to handle traffic, the dice have rolled out in favor of someone that is willing to drive at speeds well beyond reckless and nestle into foolish.  The chance of law enforcement ahead is low enough to warrant tossing out all expectations of accepted driving norms.  Suddenly, it was the Wild West.  To have the eight speakers in my car roar out “Ride of the Valkyries” at the volume of a fighter plane taking off and have a totally open lane was too much to ignore.  It was, without question, the very reason I bought this otherwise indefensibly foolish automobile.  The car paid for itself on that stretch of road.  Thank you Wagner. 

I press on.        


At May 18, 2017 at 4:53:00 PM EDT , Blogger Chiller said...

Damn, I need to catch up on your old blogs! Opera? Wow.

At May 18, 2017 at 5:41:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I had read recently that this was a crowning achievement in music, yet only knew about the passage when the helicopters blew the shit out of that village in Apocalypse Now. Furthermore I had also heard from a very reliable source that this was such a powerful piece of music that it promoted physical reactions when seeing it live. I once actually had a ticket to see part of this and did not attend the performance. Now I don't know if that matches up with the Sonics kicking into "The Witch" live on stage, but I was willing to at least try it. I mean, I read Proust for God's sake, so why not listen to 16 discs of opera in succession?


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