August 02, 2010

In the Extremely Unlikely Event You Were Wondering...

Long-time readers probably know that I profoundly admire the superlative artistry of Maria Callas. So if you happened to be wondering (because, for example, you have nothing to occupy your time and, every now and then, the most astonishingly insignificant questions happen to wander through the echoing spaces of your mind) whether I have a somewhat higher opinion of Mr. Obama because he has Callas on his iPod, my answer would be a very emphatic:


Who knows what it signifies, if anything. It's entirely possible Obama has Callas on his iPod simply because she's a very famous opera singer, and he wanted a famous opera singer on his iPod. People have been jailed for less. (Especially in Obama's America one might add, if one were churlish.) Also, Obama said: "You name a song, I've got it" -- which would suggest nothing so much as an unquenchable desire to please everybody and offend no one. Why, that man might be cut out for politics!

I've written about the reasons for my great admiration of Callas in two essays: "For Maria Callas, Now and Always: All Things Are Connected," and "Flecks of Light, Points of Understanding, and the Gift of Sight."

Perhaps, in some imagined scenario, you demonstrated to me that Obama has some appreciation for the issues I discussed in those articles. And then you asked: "Does the fact that Obama understands the themes and concerns you wrote about improve your judgment of him?" My answer would necessarily be:

Absolutely not. It makes my judgment of him worse.

The point being: to understand those issues to any significant degree, and then to pursue the policies Obama does (see here and here, just for starters), can only mean that a person is a thoroughly rotten, corrupt, unfeeling, nasty, vicious, murderous bastard.

All of which Obama is in any case. Musical tastes alone tell us next to nothing, especially when reasons supporting those tastes aren't supplied. And many people (probably most people) have little or nothing to say concerning the reasons for their tastes, in music or in any other field. Obama may well be one of them.

This has been another in our series of posts in which we seek to address, however unsatisfactorily and imperfectly, the burning questions of the day.