Friday, July 28, 2006  

Music to kill a country to...

Condi is said to be planning to play Brahms at the next scheduled meeting of the Southeast Asia Forum. She is reported to have said Brahms fits her mood.
As much as I like Brahms, it seems such an anemic choice for such a momentous occasion: the Killing of Lebanon.
It seems to me that it calls for much more forceful music, like Rachmaninoff.
Of course, one could look at the subtext of this farce Rice is engaging in and play it either way:

From the colonial files:
Adapt Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, espcially the sound of the head falling from the guillotine.

From the colonized/invaded/opressed, etc
Chopin- who was particularly upset when Russia put Warsaw under military rule. That should dovetail nicely with Bush's comment that the Iraqis should look to the Hungarian Freedom fighters for inspiration.

then, there is always Grieg, whose music was marked by Sweden's hold over Norway.

or, perhaps Rice could take another tact that might comfort the Lebanese a bit, those for whom a ceasefire might be "too premature." I would suggest Schubert's Ave Maria, perhaps with a speech from the Merchant of Venice set to it as a reminder to the Israelis and the American Congress who so cravenly voted not to condemn the bombing of civilians. Leila at Moorish Girl quotes Shylock's speech but I prefer the following from Portia, Act 4:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

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