Pro Patria

After yesterday’s library nonsense, I started to wonder: what’s it like to grow up in a culture that has a centuries-long heritage of art and culture? Apparently, it’s a lot like here in the States—except there’s just that much more material.

For example, there’s Monsignor Marco Frisina, director of the liturgical office for the Vicar of Rome, and the composer of The Divine Comedy: the Opera, a new version of Dante’s venerable masterpiece. Paradise? Classical music, of course. Purgatory? Gregorian chant. The other place? Rock music—including a “rave” scene for the circle of hell reserved for heretics.

Frisina said the use of rock music to describe the Devil’s den was not a value judgment on the genre but that rock’s “violent and rebellious tones” help create “a hellish atmosphere.”

Really? If that’s not a value judgement, then the Catholic Church has gotten pretty theologically lax, hasn’t it?

Meanwhile, over in the UK, the home of Purcell, Handel, Elgar, Tippett, Britten, etc., etc., the Queen has made Rod Stewart—Rod Stewart—a Commander of the British Empire for “services to music.” Do said services include all those volumes of “The Great American Songbook”? Because those are pretty awful—maybe Britian is getting ready to declare war on us or something.

Ah, but Germany—nobody guards the treasures of German culture like Germans, right? Hence this clip from the German TV channel Sat.1, with DJ Mozart ringing in the new year with the the help of Johann Strauss and a bevy of horsewomen.

Actually? Mozart would have loved this.

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