One of The Pink Flamingo’s favorite operas is Rigoletto. Long story short, it is about a very deformed court jester to the Duke of Manuta, Rigoletto, who has a beautiful, allegedly pure daughter. He is also a very cruel, vindictive comedian, who has no mercy when it comes to his, shall we say, biting social commentary. He was feared for his nasty remarks, which could destroy lives. One day, the daughter of a courtier was raped by the Duke of Mantua and his buds. When Rigoletto laughs at the man’s heart-break and the young woman’s degradation, he is cursed. The courtier hopes that he will know the same heartache. The Duke of Mantua, disguised as a poor student, is fooling around with Rigoletto’s formerly pure daughter. His courtiers, thinking she is Rigoletto’s wife, kidnap her, take her to the palace, where her reputation is in ruins. When Rigoletto discovers her fate, he swears vengeance against the Duke of Mantua. When Gilda, the daughter discovers that Rigoletto has arranged to have the duke killed, she takes his place. When he discovers his beloved daughter is dead, he cries out “La maledizione!” (the curse).
The opera, by my favorite composer Giuseppe Verdi, is one of the greatest and most challenging baritone roles in all of opera. It premiered in 1851 was considered politically scandalous because of the nature of the story, and the assassination of the Duke of Mantua. In many ways, the story is as germane today as it was then.
Rigoletto’s biting sarcasm, wit, and political commentary, which was once considered humorous and entertaining, eventually crossed the line to become dripping with hate. When he was incapable of outrage and dealing with basic human decency when a young woman was raped and ruined, and her family destroyed, it was like he brought destruction down on himself.
In this clip, the greatest barihunk of them all, Sherrill Milnes sings one of his greatest roles – Rigoletto.
We are seeing the same thing play out here, in this country, with Rush Limbaugh.
There are many Republicans who are completely disgusted over the way things are going within our party. For many years, Rush was funny. I don’t even mind admitting that I listened to every word, laughing at the parody against the Clintons. After years of parody against Republicans, it was fun to see a little pay-back.
Somewhere though, something happened. What was once just good political parody and satire became laced with cruel, vicious nastiness. It has now gone so far, with people so indoctrinated, maybe not just by Rush, but by having it confirmed for them on FOX Tabloid News, that what was once parody has become vicious hate. There is no other logical explanation for this:
This hatred that the far right now has for anyone who disagrees with them is way out of hand. Not only do they spew hatred for anyone who is a Democrat, but they now spew hatred on anyone who disagrees with them.
One of the things that The Pink Flamingo has repeatedly noticed, especially on Twitter, is the way the far right, the really far right – you know – the new GOP, treats people with whom they disagree. It is particularly worse if you consider yourself Republican, and disagree with them. I’ve learned, repeatedly, that we have not rights. We no longer have the right to freedom of speech. Since we aren’t uttering the right words, and saying what they want us to say, our rights don’t exist.
I don’t know about you, bit I find it all rather ironic.
“...This country cannot continue as a democracy, or world leader, as long as a few extremists dictate their will on every American. It is unclear exactly why or when many Americans began believing providence granted them dictatorial rights of who is entitled to Constitutional freedom of speech, or which sovereign nation’s laws a are acceptable to Americans, but it is becoming more prevalent every day and it is unfortunate that this country, clearly the greatest nation on Earth, is being characterized by the dregs of American society….”
No Republican DARES to say anything nice or complementary about a Democrat or you are reviled, treated like dirt, called a socialist, interrogated, and abusive tea party types demand you submit to their version of what a Republican should be.
Sorry about that, but let’s get a few things straight:
- Barack Obama is a good man, far superior to Mitt Romney. He is a loving family man who adores his very normal children. He has a happy, normal, well-adjusted family. He is as good a man as is George W. Bush. He is also a born again Christian.
- Michelle Obama is one of the greatest First Ladies, ever. Deal with it. She is iconic. Get over your hate. She is an asset to this country.
- Hillary Clinton has gone to places where some of our so-called great diplomatic men have feared to go. She has faced several threats on her life with more courage than the men. She has gone into areas of Africa, daring al Queda to take her on. Deal with it.
- Nancy Pelosi is starting to act more like a states-person that Eric Cantor of the tea party loons of the House ever will.
The Republicans of the House have sold their souls in what can only be a Faustian deal with the Koch Brothers. The organizations they control are the ones now promoting the hate and the haters. Once again, The Pink Flamingo turns to opera to make a point. In Faust,
“…Faust, an aging scholar, determines that his studies have come to nothing and have only caused him to miss out on life and love (Rien! En vain j’interroge). He attempts to kill himself (twice) with poison but stops each time when he hears a choir. He curses science and faith, and asks for infernal guidance. Méphistophélès appears (duet: Me voici) and, with a tempting image of Marguerite at her spinning wheel, persuades Faust to buy Méphistophélès’s services on earth in exchange for Faust’s in Hell. Faust’s goblet of poison is magically transformed into an elixir of youth, making the aged doctor a handsome young gentleman; the strange companions then set out into the world….”
Only The Pink Flamingo could use this moment to bring in a little bit of Barihunkiness. The current ruling barihunk, Dmitri Hvorostovsky plays Valentin, whose sister Faust has dishonored. Fighting for her honor, he is slain. In his dying breath, he curses her to hell for his pending death.
That is what a Faustian Bargain is. It is a deal with the devil, where one sells one’s soul for something impossible – youth, beauty, power, money, it really doesn’t matter. It always ends the same way, in absolute disaster, destroying not only the one who basically sells out, but destroys everyone around him/her.
One of the reasons the far right, tea partiers, so called “Christian Conservatives” and the usual patriotic loons are so vicious is the fact that, basically, they know they’ve sold their “souls” to the “devil” -the Brother’s Koch, for thirty pieces of silver. When people sell their very souls, they tend to be a little nasty and ugly, attempting to destroy anything that gets in their way.
You sell your soul and you pay the price.
The price of this Faustian Bargain will be the destruction of the Republican Party as we know it. Thanks to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, the nastiness of people like Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and the insanity of Glenn Beck, there’s not much left. What remains is nothing but a morass of vitriol, hatred, cruelty, and an inability to tell right from wrong and behave with just a modicum of human decency. This week, the far right has proved they are incapable of honor or decency. There is nothing left, but hate.