Election Antidote: A Schubert Sonata
FlaglerLive | October 31, 2012
I doubt this state of mind I’m in is unusual for Americans around this time: aggravated, exasperated, infuriated, hopped up on the latest blips of polling from Florida or Ohio or Virginia, a fugitive from campaign ads, a hostage to campaigns’ phone calls, an unwilling witness to the every-four-year massacre the American language–the most imaginative and inventive language on earth as far as I’m concerned–endures from candidates and pundits and mercenary mouths. It’s the quadrennial Olympics of our great national delusion. (Democracy, Bertrand Russell wrote, “means despair of finding any heroes to govern you, and contented putting up with the want of them.” Not that there’s a better alternative out there.) Is there a more embarrassing reflection of the juvenile state of our politics than the contest between the two campaigns over which candidate looks more “presidential” (one of those words that should really be banned for the six months leading up to a presidential election)? Is there anything more smarmy than candidates who speak like hobbits on furlough from Neverland (our local congressional candidates especially come to mind)? At least it’s Halloween night: fantasy without the hypocrisy. But there’s six more days of crud, and not enough oxycodone on earth to dull the torture. At least there’s Schubert. He’ll have to do as an antidote for today. The rondo from his A major sonata, played with an entirely non-party-affiliated fluidity by Alfred Brendel.