Organ recital review: very limpBill's Briefs Thursday, September 1st, 2011
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
Everyone has down days. I am no exception. On mentioning this to a friend, he assured me a Sunday of culture in LA would revive my spirits. I acquiesced and on arriving found my glum-to-fun therapy planned and booked.
Not to be pushy, he gave me a choice of an afternoon organ recital or a “fab” new contralto’s recital of German Lieder. I chose the organ and was dragged off before I could fully understand the program was not to include a rousing “Onward Christian Soldiers” or my beloved organ music from the roller rink.
It started with a Bach Toccata and Fugue. My head soon began to throb like the drums in a Tarzan movie. Outside of the huge organ (always a pleasure to view) the visuals were blank; merely the back of a little woman who tweedled, tweedled, tweedled at a ferocious velocity over and over until I was almost comatose. I pined for some German Lieder, perhaps a happy tune on finding a dead sparrow. Next came “Air on the G String,” a title to wake me up. I hoped some fun images would be conjured up, but no. Deadly dreary. All in all: big organ, little spunk.
After a few minutes I’d had enough and hauled my friend out. He pretended to be in a huff, but I noticed he put up absolutely no resistance. Since we now had time to kill, he took me to his friend’s gallery. What luck. An exhibition of Egon Schielle. My Lord, the man should be committed. An endless array of gaunt, just-got-out-of-Auschwitz type portraits. A viewer beside us of indeterminate sex squealed delightedly, “A symphony of anguish.” Anguish was right. What an afternoon. What has happened to pretty? Where has melody gone?
My friend’s powerful sense of perception alerted him to my lack of enthusiasm and grim countenance. Perhaps my bellowing, “F**k this shit!” and stalking out assisted him in that conclusion. “Was it something I said,” he queried. Seething, but counting to ten, I replied, “No dear, just a slight earache.” Off to an early dinner wondering what new horror awaited me.
It was worse than I had imagined: Hooters! “For a hoot to cheer you up,” my clever companion quipped. Words cannot describe the sights I saw. Or the noise. Or the customers. My friend thought it a lark to see how the other half lives. Yes, like Oscar Wilde in prison. Great fun.
On the cusp of murder or suicide I survived and took the train back to San Diego. My joy on arriving was unbounded and once back in Hillcrest I felt wonderful. Blue mood gone, so in a way my friend’s culture therapy worked.
I was about to end with a pithy moral message here, but I can’t think what it was. You’ll have to figure it out. It’s like going to the kitchen and forgetting what you wanted. If you youngsters don’t know what I mean, wait.
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