The Politically Incorrect Show - 16/11/1999
Music - Die Fledermaus
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Tuesday November 16, proudly sponsored by Tuariki Tobacco Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
Music up, music down!
The country is a much richer place today. Pavarotti is here.
Eight years ago I interviewed him in Australia for Television New Zealand & made him promise, on camera, that he would visit here before he retired. I'm sure he's long since forgotten that, & it's not the reason he's here, but it's great to see the promise fulfilled anyway. I found him not at all the picky prima donna portrayed on the recent Holmes interview. He even took time out to record a promo for my interview which he wrote out himself in phonetic Italian/English! You can see it reproduced in Deborah's book, "Perigo! Politically Incorrect!"
It's funny how we can't just let greatness be greatness. My interview with him was criticised by some within TVNZ at the time as being "fawning," simply because I didn't attack him about anything. Why on earth would I want to do that? For all that he's not my personal favourite tenor, I regard him as an Olympian god, especially in a world that worships the tawdry & the mediocre. He is a hero in a world of anti-heroes. Attack him? Naff off!
But of course, the Daily Marxist couldn't resist. In its TimeOut preview of the visit this past weekend, it itemised every thing it could think of to cut the man down to its own pygmy level: he can't sing "Nessun Dorma" any more, he dyes his hair, his knees are arthritic, he never learned to read music, he's lazy, he doesn't sound the same as he did in 1966, etc.. Honestly! All these nit-picking morsels of malice about one of the top twenty voices & longest operatic careers of the century!
Nothing's changed much. In one of the video documentaries available about the late Maria Callas, there is a long, sickening scene where Maria steps off a plane & is instantly besieged by reporters, all thrusting microphones in her face & screaming questions at her all at once. She maintains an incredible dignity as she walks the gauntlet, her face conveying a sad but serene resignation to the aggressive shallowness of the journalistic termites assailing her. What is the reason for the commotion? What great or tragic musical development has taken place? Has she lost her voice? Is she about to sign a ten-year contract at the Met? Why this Tower of Babel in the presence of the world's greatest soprano? Why? Wait for it ... "Is it true, Madame Callas, that you are going to marry Aristotle Onassis?" Woman's Weekly tittle-tattle!
I should imagine that that gaggle of guttersnipes all thought that a High C is something you sail a boat on.
Some day, in a better future, historians will ponder - & shudder - over why we sought so assiduously to destroy the best among us. Not by killing them outright, but by trivialising them, pulling them down & soaking them thoroughly in our own sewer of banality. They could do worse than to read Ayn Rand's essay, "The Age of Envy," or her soaring tribute to another hounded star, Marilyn Monroe:
"Marilyn Monroe's probable suicide - or worse: a death that might have been an accident, suggesting that to her, the difference did not matter - was a declaration that we live in a world which made it impossible for her kind of spirit, & for the things she represented, to survive ...
"She preserved her vision of life through a nightmare struggle, fighting her way to the top. What broke her was the discovery, at the top, of as sordid an evil as the one she left behind ... worse, perhaps, because incomprehensible. She had expected to reach the sunlight; she found instead a limitless swamp of malice."
Again I say, nothing's changed much, has it? Well today, let us scorn the malicious & the mediocre, damn them to hell, & celebrate & savour a great & joyous presence among us!
[Play concluding bars of Nessun Dorma]
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