A Happy, Wagnerian Christmas - Despite Much To Make It Seem Otherwise

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday, 24 December 2017 | 1:54:00 pm


Its been a very odd year and possibly not the best for many, Politics have split many people in at least two very large economies: the UK and USA. The result of which will have some impact on other parts of the world. In the UK's example, the rest of Europe and in the case of the USA's, the world - especially the Middle East. Although one suspects that this influence may have an even greater, much wider, effect as the next three years roll on. And this ignores the large domestic upheaval in both countries. Events in both countries - whether directly or not I shall leave to the reader - have emboldened far-right elements in both countries and indeed elsewhere. Racism, xenophobia, misogyny and the worst traits of nationalism (not everything about liking one's country is wrong of course) are once again on the rise. Not that any of these have ever gone away. For whatever reason, those that hold such views feel more comfortable to express them - and in the worst cases act upon them. 

Senior, highly prominent, politicians seem to have been grasped by a form of irrationality not seen since the 30's and 40's where "expert opinion" is not only ignored but openly derided. I think it's been a long time since I had previously heard any politician cheerfully admit to not listening to experts in an area.  And never have I seen the leader of the largest economy and military in the world have a close - and continuing - adviser who has stated he wishes to see the destruction of government. It's an odd time when the advisor to the president makes a statement that sounds like it could have been written by Wagner during the writing of the Ring: 

“Lenin, wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Steve Bannon 2016.

Or what about the following? Wagner or the president of the USA 2014:

“You know what solves it? When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell, and everything is a disaster, then you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be, when we were great.”

Poverty is on the rise. The state and many of its people seem pleased to pull the limited safety nets that exist to help the most vulnerable and poor. At the same time, a tiny percentage of cowardly terrorists seem to have proven quite successful in their aims: producing fear (at least two car accidents this year have thrown populations in Isreal and London into panic and fear of terrorism) and discord in all its manifestations.

So, it's not been an especially good year - for a lot of us. But that does not mean we should give up hope or indeed that things cannot, and will, change for the better. Politicians come and go, political movements the same.  National psyches can often spin in a new direction with extraordinary speed. And all countries have survived the most determined efforts by previous leaders to destroy those countries the rule. Empires less so but countries and people, yes. There are, should you feel the desire, little things one can do - rational argument will eventually win and public mood will grow more receptive to it. 

However, despite this, we still have things to cheer the soul on those long nights when all can seem bleak: family, friends, music, art, literature, poetry and of course WAGNER!

And so, with this in mind, we wish all of our readers a happy Christmas with, in a world of rampant commercialism and where profit rules all, a series of video concerts made freely available by the
hr-Sinfonieorchester.

TW