Friday, February 03, 2006

Who's Afraid Of Opera?

Apparently some parents and 9 year olds. In a moment, I'll share the latest episode in Closed-minded Fundies Follies.

Everyday, I wake up, read the news and then shake my head in dismay. Why??? Why I ask are we fighting these stupid battles when the big issues of government corruption, treason at the highest levels, job loss, environmental damage and lack of healthcare get a shrug from our leaders and the public at large? Why does religious fundamentalism equal stupidity? Maybe our complex world is forcing people to adopt rigid ideology so they don't have to think. Simple, unquestionable solutions to complex problems. Mind pablum.

The latest:

Tressa Waggoner, a music teacher in Colorado ignited the ire of local closed minded parents by showing students a videotape with excepts from Gounod's Faust, the Denver Post reports.

These parents demanded she be fired after she showed approximately twelve minutes of Faust during a music lesson. The videotape, part of a 33-year-old series titled "Who's Afraid of Opera?," features soprano Joan Sutherland and a group of puppets.

According to the parents, watching the 147-year-old French opera, in which Mephistopheles persuades Faust to sell his soul for to win back his youth, gave several of the students nightmares. Notice that images and stories of an illegal war does not give them nightmares. And who planted the idea in their young minds that Mephistopheles was really Satan, the devil behind all evil such as liberalism, welfare and Hillary Clinton?

One mother, whose 9-year-old daughter saw the video, reported that she thought it "glorifies Satan in some way." Notice she is not sure how, but because Satan is there, it has to be liberal evil, someway.

Another mother thought that it may not have been age appropriate but didn't think it should have been blown out of proportion. Mind not totally closed...

School officials investigated the incident and Waggoner sent a letter of apology. She is not in danger of losing her job.

The students, however, are in danger of becoming another generation of closed minded, intellectually challenged individuals. Unfortunately, some may be our future leaders...

UPDATE: Apparently it is much worse than imagined. See the article from Playbill Arts

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