Sunday, November 05, 2006

Signs and symbols that it's all falling apart faster and faster for George Bush are everywhere. Armed Services newspapers are going ahead with publication of editorials demanding the resignation of George Rumsfeld for failure to prosecute the Iraq War in an effective and coherent manner and for failure to listen to his commanders in the field. Going public in what amounts to a vote of no-confidence in the Secretary of Defense by the military is considered an extraordinary and serious statement.

At the same time, three members of iconic political families here in Massachusetts, all elder statesmen of great honor and respect in the Republican Party, have jointly announced their defection to the Democrats in protest against the way Republicans are currently doing business.

The Three are George Lodge, scion of generations of politically powerful Lodges, and former Senators Christopher Phillips and William Saltonstall. Speaking for them all, Phillips declared themselves "tired with what the Republican Party has become today" as well as stating their "opposition to the war in Iraq and the state Republican Party's positions on social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage." All three have thrown their support behind Deval Patrick for Governor of Massachusetts.

Phillips also had this to say about the president: "On the area of foreign policy, he's managed to turn a good part of the world against the US because of his ineptitude and poor decisions." Saltonstall, whose daughter is lesbian, has been an activist for gay rights and supporter of gay marriage.
He also hosted a Deval Patrick fund-raising event. Of particular interest is that the anti-Bush statements and actions by the three aged giants of old-time Republican politics in Massachusetts have not drawn hostile reactions from the Party, but candid admissions from a number of current Republican office holders that the Party needs to revisit the issue of what it is and who Republicans are supposed to be.

Former Head pastor, former President of the National Association of Evangelicals Ted Haggard is beginning to cave. He's admitted buying crack from his hustler-of-choice, Mike Jones (although he says he says he threw it away--he seems to have forgotten that the "I didn't inhale" defense didn't go over all that well even when a very popular President Bill Clinton used it). He's now admitted that he booked a massage from his hustler but still claims he never had sex with him. Sooner rather than later that half-truth will probably be blown away, if for no reason than that the voice on Jones's phone recordings has been positively verified by authorities to be that of Ted Haggard in the guise of "Art," his nom-de-down low.

I feel genuinely sorry for Haggard's family. I probably wouldn't choose to socialize with them because of their christian fundamentalist beliefs, but they're victims of this bigoted hypocrite's lies as he attacked and attempted to disinfranchise the gay community while feeding off us for his own personal gratification. I don't think I'm much of a vengeful person, but watching his fall has been genuinely gratifying.

Last night I drove out to the National Heritage Museum in Lexington for a concert given by the Lexington Symphony. There was an intriguingly programmed presentation under the direction of the Jonathan McPhee, otherwise the permanent conductor for the Boston Ballet. Three works for string chamber orchestra were on formal concert program, Dvorak's lovely and lyrical Serenade for Strings, and the majestically calm Adagietto for Strings from Gustav Mahler's Symphony #5 (said to have been the marriage proposal from Mahlet to his fiance Alma Schindler) which made a perfect intro to the main work after intermission.

English composer Gustav Holst learned Sanskrit in order to adapt an episode from the great Hindu epic "Mahabharata" into a one act opera "Savitri" whose story is roughly analogous to the Greek Orpheus myth except with the genders reversed.
In the Hindu, it's the husband who dies and the radiant wife who bargains with Death to bring him back to earthly life. A couple of woodwinds joined the strings along with a wordless women's chorus for the opera. If you know Holst's mighty orchestral suite "The Planets” (whose "Mars" movement--how shall I put this discretely--"inspired" John Williams's Imperial March from "Star Wars"), you will have no idea of the delicate and personal beauty of the music for "Savitri." Veteran Boston baritone Robert Honeysucker, now well into the fourth decade of a magnificent career, sang Death with handsome, solid tone; sweet-voiced young soprano Valerie Nicolosi gave an unaffected, completely sincere performance as Savitri.

When the opera ended, we adjourned to the Museum's atrium where four Indian musicians (tabla drum, narrator and finger percussionist, singer, and violin) were installed on a carpet and a dance performance area had been defined. Ranjani Saigal, choreographer and founder of a school that teaches the ancient Indian style of dance called Bharatanatyam, had created the story of Savitri in the classic style, and it was performed for us is it would have been danced in a Temple courtyard, in twenty five dazzling minutes of virtuosic and expressive performance by the radiant sixteen year old Amudha Pazhanisamy who vividly portrayed all three characters.

The Lexington Symphony isn't the Boston Symphony or even the Boston Ballet's highly accomplished pit orchestra. But if programs this inventive and rewarding are the norm for them, I'll be driving west of Boston a little more frequently in the future.

I hadn't heard about "The Three"; that *is* very interesting.
Yeah, Haggard is another hate monger who deserves what he gets. People who scream "Hate" so loudly typically are ashamed and hiding their true selves.

I love your blog, lots to learn here. Thanks :)
I hate to say/write "Bush" so I use the term 'the current president'.
It has a ring of hope to it.
Glad you had a nice time in Lexington. And, ain't it grand watching the Republicican/regligious order implode right before our very eyes?
I liked Andrew Sullivan's recent quote: "This isn't an election anymore, it's an intervention."
The NY Times for the first time within memory endorsed a slate of congreaaional candidates who are all democrats. They said they fear for the Constitution of Bush remains in total power of the Congress for the next two years in addition to having a Supreme Court closer to his philosophy than is comfortable.

I like that quote from Sullivan--his piece is veruy good.

Thanks for the kind words. It's a pleasure to have you stop by and I hope you'll be back often.

Keep thinking positively. As of this morning a couple of politically unaligned commentators are saying that a gain of around 25 seats in the House is a real possibility (we need 15 for control). Some now are even saying that taking the Senate is just within reach.
Will, I thought you might be interested in reading my latest blog entry - it offers more insight into my relationship with the 'not-so-straight' straight guy.

And hopefully you can give me some directions... I'm a little lost!
Hi Will,

I discovered your blog through Spo-Reflections. Great stuff here. Wonderful news about the big three Mass. Republicans. The writing has been on the wall for Bill Saltonstall for a while now. After his famous letter to the Globe, this really doesn't come as a surprise to me. He was a neighbor growing up, and still is a neighbor of my father. Two years ago I ran into him (in the airport at San Jose, Costa Rica of all places). He doesn't really know me, but knows my dad and asked after my brother. I introduced him to my partner and thanked him for writing the letter. All three of the gentlemen involved here are from the era when the Republicans really were a Grand Old Party and not the idiots they have become today.

As I'm commenting after the election, I'm thrilled that the results exceeded your hopeful predictions a couple of comments above.
Thanks for tracking the Patrick campaign/administration! Your blog came up in a "Mass. gay marriage" search. I was surprised to see Bill Saltonstall's name... and very glad to see hear about his letter to the Globe!

I was also a neighbor of his in the 80s. I remember him as the kind man who gave me rides to high school, when I'd missed the bus. He's not the only parent of a queer daughter in that town. My mother, who told me 15 yrs. ago that marching in parades wasn't something she did and PFLAG simply wasn't her cup of tea, is now very active in the marriage equality campaign. I wonder if it had anything to do with mom complaining that I couldn't sleep with my (unmarried) partner under her roof... and me telling her that we'd get married just as soon as it was legal? Guess it takes 'em a few years to come around sometimes. Hang in there, Abigail!
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