Friday, January 2, 2009

learning to love opera; god thwarted from attacking airplane

the first opera i went to was at the bratislava opera house in 2000; i was young and backpacking across eastern europe, and that seemed the sort of thing i ought to do. for two baffling hours, big people belted out bigger songs, some sort of wife swapping seemed to occur, and then it came to a complicated conclusion. the whole thing was in italian, with unhelpful slovakian surtitles.

i may give it another chance this month, as walter kemp, head of opera nova scotia, is giving a series of operatic lectures at the keshen goodman libary (starting jan 6) and then empire theatres is showing the operas in hd. i interviewed him today for my weekly news culture column and he sounds like he'll give a good chat.

as a good gay straight man, i like singing, i like dancing, i like acting and i like fancy costumes: this should add up to a love of opera. for some reason, i still prefer rufus wainwright to mozart. i guess that's the burden of being a whitish man.

i also had coffee with quinn smith today, the astronomer i interviewed earlier in the week. mostly, i gaped at him in the quinpool perks as he explained how the limitations of the general theory of relativity and quantum physics suggest we have a fourth dimension in our universe. seeing that my brain was shuddering under the pressure, he told me about a short story called flatland, where a 3-D creature explains himself to a 2-D world. this was supposed to help me understand what a fourth dimension would be like in our universe (not counting time.) (ha! counting time - geddit??).

it didn't.

recently, quinn was flying to the US and A, reading a little dawkins to pass the time. the woman sharing the row with him noticed he was reading the god delusion, and was aghast. and afraid.

she asked him to put the blasphemous book away, lest the big guy in the sky take umbrage and smote the plane out of the air. quinn raised his bushy eyebrows and acquiesced out of politeness.

here's a fun darwinian thing to do: devolve yourself!

here's viking me devolved.


  1. Devolving myself and friends is so much more fun than elf-ing myself! Yes, I skipped the whole dimension riddle and went right to turning myself into a cavewoman, would you expect anything less?? Heidi