Monday, August 6, 2007

FISA Disaster - Heart vs. Intellect

I know how this ends… I hope.

But we all see where it’s at right now. Today’s FISA business in Congress has me boiling with rage for lost Liberty. You? But hang on here. Let’s move this to the emotional frame rather than the reading of words. Frankly, that’s where I believe these blog arguments need to go; to the emotional and visceral elements in a person’s soul versus the reading and links so welcomingly and dutifully provided by all who blog. The heart is what counts here, for that’s where Liberty lives. My attempt ensues:

There is nobody better to illustrate feelings musically than Beethoven, the deaf guy who couldn’t hear the following pieces of this post. You don’t have to know, like, love him. I bet it still will move you. He made one and only one Opera; Fidelio. Guess what? It’s about Love and Liberty. Forget the story, except for two small bits:

1 – it’s a State prison that a guy goes to, because of dastardly people, who also plot his death to keep their own hides and
2 – it’s his wife that get’s him out, and exposes the whole deal.

There you go. Love and Liberty. They go together. To unabashedly try to move your heart, here’s where I start.

Today’s cave in on the FISA bill feels like the first 2 minutes of this: “Gott! Welch Dunkel hier!” or “God! It’s So Dark Here.” Alone. Shackled in a dungeon. No such thing as Habeus Corpus. You might be interested to know however, that he (Florestan) starts singing of hope by about 2:15 into this. (If you’ve a strong opera stomach watch the whole 7 minutes.)

BUT WAIT! Revphat made a most excellent reminder that (to paraphrase) Dr. King did not have a complaint; he had a DREAM. And here is how my dream for this FISA and other rights abuse madness ends: (observe in the first 2 seconds of this video, the shackles are thrown OFF and the joy only continues to swell!) You do not have to be opera friendly to get this video in the least. 3:47 and it’s the finale.

Look again! What has happened? Between Love, Dedication, Liberty, those forces have joined together to produce this fabulous result. The common folk are all represented here because they are now free too, concomitant with what has happened with their brother and their sister.

At the end of the last acknowledged fight against fascism, Conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler said it best:

[Salzburg, 1948] No, it is the music, it is Beethoven himself. It is this 'nostalgia of liberty' he feels, or better, makes us feel; this is what moves us to tears. His Fidelio has more of the Mass than of the Opera to it; the sentiments it expresses come from the sphere of the sacred, and preach a 'religion of humanity' which we never found so beautiful or necessary as we do today, after all we have lived through. Herein lies the singular power of this unique opera.... Independent of any historical consideration ... the flaming message of Fidelio touches deeply.
We realize that for we Europeans, as for all men, this music will always represent an appeal to our conscience."

Look, I’m like everybody else. For the instant, a keyboard warrior. But the smell of the challenge to these times, emotionally put, makes me feel differently. You? I don’t know what exactly else to do this very minute, but to feel hugely, heartwise and strongly cannot be bad. One Day More. Alors! Off with their pants!
Oh and BTW, the President of the United States at the time of the first performances of this piece? Thomas Jefferson. Not a coincidence.