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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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 175th post was filed under: News and Comment, Reviews.

More posts worth reading

What’s on… (published 14th February 2019)

The Forth Hotel (published 13th February 2019)

Wylam Brewery (published 12th February 2019)

Today’s big story (published 5th December 2005)

Photo-a-day 8: King Charles St arch (published 8th January 2014)

Turning the Web Red (published 23rd February 2005)

Snow hits the East Coast (published 27th February 2005)


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