you might think of it as the Good Friday version of the great cathedral, central to France’s spiritual and national life, devastated by the fire that swept through the 800-year old structure in the heart of Paris in April this year.
Today is Christmas day, however, so here’s a joyous Christmas version — from last year’s Christmas Mass, a great organ peal leads into the carol Adeste Fideles, here sung in Latin, but known in English as O Come, All Ye Faithful:
Here’s wishing you a Merry (and if you don’t mind such things, a blessed) Christmas and Happy New Year!
And for those of you who prefer jazz to the classics, here’s a taste of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Church of St John Coltrane, held in Grace Cathedral, San Francisco this July:
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, happy holidays of your choosing!
Ludacris Mercedes– there’s a moment in the middle of this magical commercial where magic transforms opera into rap — the Mercedes driver’s preference, as we see at the end of the commercial, when he instructs the car to play his music:
Volvo’s new spokesmodel for its SUVs, the Queen of the Night from Mozart’s “Magic Flute” (Diana Damrau), ordering up the murder of Sarastro, the High Priest of the Sun, in a production at Covent Garden.(Royal Opera House)
Ha! For a different take, an opera-rap mix, see Twist of Fate Wines’ Embrace the Unexpected ad:
Like it? Switch modes of culture-clash:
Flight of the Bumblebee:
And go to Calvinball:
Last but not least, give things a sacred twist? Hallelujah:
[ by Charles Cameron — can’t think why you’d need three stunners, or two six-shooters for that matter — stun once and done, sez I ]
My first stunner is from an LRB piece about Margaret Atwood, it’s opening paragraph invoking PD James instead, and what a powerful description of what I think I’ll call a Falling Curtain Event — an event such as climate change which offers so great a threat that arguably we should drop all other activities to attend to it.
For a quick dystopia, then — this:
In P.D. James’s strangest novel, The Children of Men (1992), humans stop being able to get pregnant, and no one can figure out why. Scientific research comes to nothing. Years pass without a newborn child. All the nurseries close, then all the schools. With no hope of posterity, landowners let their estates rot; scholars take up golf. Only the richest or best-connected are able to get a place in one of the increasingly rare care homes, run by increasingly senescent carers. Without children or grandchildren, people dote on their pets, and envy them for still being able to reproduce. When a small deer wanders into an Oxford chapel, the chaplain rushes at it, hurling prayerbooks: ‘Christ, why can’t they wait? Bloody animals. They’ll have it all soon enough. Why can’t they wait?’
Second, a no less stunning foretaste of our current actual situation politically, from the dialog of episode 7 of the TV series, The People v. O.J. Simpson:
I mean, we have hard evidence, and they razzle-dazzle a bunch of conspiracy nonsense into big moments. Now, we need to make our own big moments that land with the jury. That is how we beat the nonsense. Now, can we focus on that?
Do I hear a prophecy here, life about to imitate art? Beware the Jabberwock, my son..
Let me close with another stunning Falling Curtain Event, this one from a Dylan live performance:
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there — how’s that for a curtain falling?
On the one hand, it’s night falling, any night. But that’s the lyrics, the musical delivery is fatigued, so, so very weary: as the lyrics say, Time is running away.
More lines that, in their diverse ways, tell you of that fatigue, that flesh, bone, mind, soul weariness:
There’s not even room enough to be anywhere
I ain’t looking for nothing in anyone’s eyes
Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear
I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still
I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Behind every beautiful thing there’s been some kind of pain<
So many ways, running down..
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
Superb performance of a great song– and to m=y mind, apocalyptic without ever saying so explicitly — just that sense of thr curtain, falling .
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.