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TSE  June 2001

TSE June 2001

Subject:

OT: Pavarotti on the Strip

From:

Meyer Robert K GS-9 99 CES/CECT <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 7 Jun 2001 13:45:01 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (154 lines)

OK, Ken & Pat, you got it out of me!  A few years ago, Pav. was going to
appear at some strip resort.  Of course, the prices were outlandish.  The
local Public Radio station (KNPR) had some tickets which they were going to
give away to anyone who did something the "impress" them.  I wrote &
e-mailed a poem and got a pair of tickets.  And now, the moment that all
have been waiting for:

A Pseudo Sonnet

Poor me, I have no moo-lah
to see Pavarotti sing Boheme
no gold to hear Fanciulla
del West but the best stratagem,
I write sonnets in this land of slots
(slots which sometimes pay out slow)
I'll refer to opera, like Turandot                   [-t]
(or is it pronounced Turandot?)                  [-o]
it's easy to find rhymes for Butterfly
but now I'm really at a loss cuz
though I think and  mutter and sigh
I can't get a rhyme for Tosca
so please, KNPR, don't be a meany
let me hear Luciano sing Puccini.

Robert K Meyer II



	-----Original Message-----
	From:	Ken Armstrong [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
	Sent:	Thursday, June 07, 2001 1:35 PM
	To:	[log in to unmask]
	Subject:	Re: OT: Re: TSE opinion television and other media

	CAUTION: Some of this is intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek,
not just as a string of straight insensitivities of varying intensities
(sounds like a Tom Lehrer song, doesn't it?). So I hung little flags on
those parts, but when I pushed the "Prepare to Send" button, they all fell
off. So proceed with CAUTION.
	
	
	At 02:00 PM 06/07/2001 -0400, Pat wrote:
	
	Now of course it's fallen further, and the army probably realizes 
	

		that even a college degree isn't always a guarantee of
adequate reading 
		skills. 

	 
	Well, this is news. But there will always be engineers. (Just
kidding, Tom)
	  
	

		As I said, these issues have to do with the cost of
entertainment for 
		literate, sophisticated middle class people who want the
best, and who 
		wouldn't dream of going to an opera if anyone less than
Pavarotti was 
		singing. 


	   The issue here is accessibility, which apparently is seen as
having something to do with being more or less democratic. The point is that
television makes the best available to all, as well as the worst, and that
it doesn't make sense to deny that. Without TV, it's just you New Yorkers
and Bayreuthers and Parisians, etc. who experience Pavarotti. With TV,
things get more democratic--Robert and I can experience him, too.
	
	
	

		Problem is, this was being presented as an example of how
television 
		makes the nation more democratic... by fulfilling Ropbert's
needs.  On the 
		issue of what the nation needs most to foster democracy, I
don't see getting 
		you and Robert to New York when you feel like going, 


	  I never feel like going to New York, and neither Robert nor I have
even vaguely suggested that getting us somewhere else, like NY, is essential
to democracy. The point, again, is that television offers us NY live in our
living rooms should we want to partake of that experience. 
	
	

		to see whatever operas 
		you want to see, as one of the more pressing priorities. And
I don't see 
		either one of you as exactly impoverished, or even terribly
deprived if you 
		have to see your operas (o horrors!) in the boondocks rather
than flying to   
		NYC or Paris or Bayreuth. 


	  But what you are resisting seeing---because you don't like the
telly---is that we can do both (boondocks and TV), and that there is
something positive to be said for that.
	
	

		What about the surgeon general of the US, whose complaint is
that he has to 
		mingle in international circles, and feels disadvantaged
because he never 
		learned languages. They weren't being taught in the
segregated high school he 
		went to, only to the white kids on the other side of town.
It seems to me 
		this guy was deprived of equal opportunity in a way that you
and Robert 
		weren't. 



	  Yegads, what about him?! How did he get into this? Do you have a
handy-dandy bottle of red herrings for all occasions out of which you pull
this stuff?
	 OK, OK. Well, let's think. Would this deprived guy be an M.D.?
Doesn't he enjoy a six figure income that would afford him the opportunity
to take some language lessons? What's holding him back? On the school he
went to, it would be a shame not to teach foreign languages or even native
languages like Spanish, but such is becoming the case in schools on both
sides of the tracks anymore. Have you noticed?  Well, but heck, everyone
speaks the language of the Internet (speaking of opium) don't they? If we
hold out a little longer, it'll be just as Randy Newman predicted: one great
big American town.
	
	
	

			 is literacy in decline? 



		I figure the decline was well under way in 1922. Isn't that
part of the 
		reason for so much fuss about reading all those books cigted
in the notes to 
		TWL? 


	   Let's say such a decline was well under way circa 1922 (not that
the Army would have noticed). But I don't think it was concomitant with an
alteration in human nature. So what do you  s'pose was/is the agent of
change? When we can name that, we'll be back on topic.
	
	Ken

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