Monday, November 17, 2008

Thomas Adès at the LAPhil

Photo credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

Thomas Adès returned to the LAPhil on Saturday. When the whole thing was over not a whole lot of people were standing while he was taking his bow after a glorious concluding piece called "Tevot," and I turned to JW and said, "I'm standing for my Thomas!"

So I was pleased to see him on the front page of today's Calendar section this morning, especially with that intense composer photo up there.

However, I don't know what is so scandalous about a single utterance of the word "fuck" over the course of a 20-minute piece of music that Mark Swed feels the need to devote the opening paragraph of his review to it:

What Thomas Adès believes the people in America, moving as if in a dream state, were once weak from, besides drink, I cannot repeat in a family newspaper. We don’t print such words, even though this off-color one was taken from an ancient Maya text that was included in Adès’ “America: A Prophecy.” The work for mezzo-soprano, chorus and orchestra was given its West Coast premiere by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday. It was an adult evening.
The rest of his review is quite nice, although he does note this about the piece:
Adès is normally greeted at Disney with enthusiasm, as a favorite composer. He wasn’t this time, but there were no boos of protest either, just somber, muffled applause.
I personally was pretty devastated by "America: A Prophecy," especially in light the past weekend. The piece is rather dark and confrontational, with text about cities burning in ash; walking out into the lobby for intermssion and smelling smoke made the experience all the more unsettling. Gripping stuff, though. I'm rarely so moved by the symphony as I was during much of it.

And the new piece, "Tevot," is just so lovely. Adès prefaced it quite sweetly by talking about the planet as a sort of Ark navigating us through the chaos, and then wishing us safe journeys to our own destinations.

My Thomas, he's just so thoughtful!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Go protest for me tomorrow

You can do it all over the country! I'll be giving my time to another gay cause and I'm bummed I can't be there, but tomorrow's a day of national protest against Proposition 8, run by a group called Join The Impact. So go to Little Rock or New York or Dallas or downtown Los Angeles and wave a sign for me. Check out the details here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I don't really intend

for FWL to be all 8 all the time. Not forever. But hey, if it gets a blog post out of me, why not, right?

I've been bummed because I've had all these other commitments that have kept me from hitting the streets in protest of the fact that my rights went up for a vote and lost, but to tell the truth, I don't know if I would've gone out for some of the action. At least not at first. When I heard folks were picketing a Mormon Temple, it made me a little uncomfortable. I mean, pictures of folks with signs talking about their polygamist past is not really an attractive message to send. Or to put it a different way, my friend Kevin responded sarcastically with the following: "I mean, until we are prepared to marginalize another group no one is ever going to take us seriously."

And then I went home and mentioned to JW, who is always so full of surprises. He replied, "I think it's great they're being called out. I mean they lied and used children and fear to get their message across."

And he's right.

Over 20 million dollars went to Yes-on-8 from the Mormon Church. You can call out the Catholics too, because they were apparently a big reason why the Mormons got involved in the first place (thanks JMG).

If the Mormons want to step into the political arena to the tune of 20 million dollars, they should be prepared to face the criticism of those whose rights their contributions and support eliminated. I am unconcerned with criticizing the practices of their religion or its history or its beliefs in any way, shape, or form; I care only that they bankrolled a successful effort to take away my rights.

And while we're on the subject, with all the blame that's been going around, I get a little saddened when I read the criticism of the No on 8 Campaign. It's not that I don't think the criticisms are valid; some of them do make a fair amount of sense, although I'm certainly no expert on grass roots organizing or the discussions that took place outside of the Silver Lake Field Office. Hell, I wasn't even privy to most of the conversations that took place in there, either.

What I can say without hesitation is that No on 8 worked tirelessly to run a positive, principled campaign, and I had great admiration for all the people I worked with on the campaign. And for their efforts, they were met with an opposition blanketing the airwaves with insidious and deceptive ads; Yes on 8's campaign promoted fear, paranoia and homophobia. Their tactics were aggressive and underhanded. Just peruse any of their ads on Youtube if you'd like confirmation of this. I'm sure they're still up there.

All that said, I can say without hesitation that I have nothing but the utmost respect for all the people I worked with on No on 8. All of them were kind, helpful, energetic, and committed and I had a great experience, even if we lost. I only regret I didn't sign on sooner!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A defense of Proposition 8

Of course we all know that if gay people are allowed to marry, then eventually marriage is going to get way out of control and all sorts of craziness like thruples, brothers and sisters, minors, men and dogs, you name it, they're all going to line up at the courthouse and pledge their lives to one another! I can only imagine that with this kind of extreme moral relativism, people will eventually be allowed to marry inanimate objects, like say movies, and I would want to marry Synecdoche, New York.

This would be a terrible idea. I know that if I were to marry Synecdoche, New York, it couldn't possibly be a happy relationship. Perhaps there would be flashes of insight, connection, or contentment, and of course I would try very very hard to be happy with all the brilliance and flights of fancy and the burning house and the fact that Diane Wiest could potentially end up whispering in my ear and telling me what to do, but it would just be complicated and frustrating and even though I don't think it would be a problem with JW because with all this moral relativism I think a three-way marriage to both Synecdoche, New York and JW would probably be feasible, I just don't know if it would work, so in this regard, maybe Proposition 8 is really, you know, looking out for me.

Or to put it another way, if Synecdoche, New York were a man, and I had met him on November 3, before 52% of Californians took away my right to marry him, I would've gotten on one knee (or maybe two) and (at least) proposed to him, and then I might've tried to drag him to the courthouse and he'd be really intense and brilliant and even a little shocking but also ambivalent and worried we were moving too fast and complaining of back pain and constipation and I'm sure he'd have some serious contemplation on how relevant the ritual even is anymore and he'd probably leave me confused and heartbroken and inconsolable and not even that one Rufus Wainwright album or an aimless drive on the PCH could make things better and it would just be a terrible scene.

So really, Prop 8 is just protecting me from my own baser instincts, therefore freeing me up to marry a woman and have a family. I'm still allowed to do that, remember?

Well I don't care what the law says! Or my better judgment, even! I want to marry Synecdoche, New York!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I wanted to go

to the Prop 8 Blows Rally (that's what they're calling it, right?) in West Hollywood tonight, but instead went to a play that shall remain nameless that I promptly exited at intermission. I can't seem to enjoy anything in the theater anymore. I've taken to calling myself the theater curmudgeon lately, which is why I should've known better and skipped the show in favor of the public display of political frustration. I wish I could enjoy the theater, and Obama's victory, more than I have today.

Still, I don't think I have to give up hope just yet. Lawsuits against Prop 8 are being filed AND I've finally gotten a ticket to see Wicked! Maybe things'll start looking up after all!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I was wearing

a No on 8 sticker earlier this evening when I went to see Spring Awakening, and in the will-call line I was standing behind a couple of women wearing McCain 2008 pins who told me they did their early voting and voted no on 8. They said they were pro-choice, pro-gay-rights Republicans who just didn't want the government messing with their money, and that I should tell all my friends. And since I figure only my friends read this blog, consider yourself told.

There, even California Republicans are voting no on 8!