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Lewd, licentious yet lovely

Lewd, licentious yet lovely

If anyone was offended by Jerry Spinger: The Opera, then they are over-sensitive. It did not, as the Christians claim, mock anybody’s religious beliefs. Yes, it featured Jesus in a nappy singing that he might be a little bit gay, and out of context that does sound terribly offensive. And yes, it did contain an awful lot of swearing. But it was clearly not mocking religion, it was mocking the absurdity of Jerry Springer, and similar TV shows, and mocking the elitism of opera.

It did this through hyperbole. What more ridiculous situation could there be than a TV argument between Jesus and the Devil, moderated by Jerry Springer? That isn’t insulting to religion, it’s insulting to the over-grand self-importance of American talk shows. A provacative talk show host cannot reunite heaven and hell any more than an eleison can be based on the name of a talk show host. Both are hilariously absurd – and anybody who doesn’t respect Christian teachings simply wouldn’t get the joke.

The whole thing is a bit excessive and extreme, but that’s the point. The church should be embracing cultural formats that poke fun at quick-fix TV solutions to life’s problems, not shunning them. Unless, of course, their apparent faith is so weak that they believe that their religion is one of those quick-fix solutions. In which case, they deserve mocking.

It was an excellent opera, both musically and ideologically, and I heartily congratulate the Beeb for being brave enough to go ahead with it.

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Reviews.

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