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Subject: Re: Real Fake News - Opera vs. Trump (Rossini Edition)
From: Geoffrey Riggs <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Geoffrey Riggs <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 9 Jun 2017 17:18:04 -0400

text/plain (64 lines)

On Fri, 9 Jun 2017 20:42:02 +0000, Miguel A De Virgilio
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Trump approval rate 32%
>Those 32% must be the deplorables.
>As trump bragged  in one of those primary rally's 
>"My followers can see me shooting someone and still  follow me" 


[G.R.] And so will the rest of the country by the time the four years are up
for renewal.  It won't just be the present followers that will still follow.
 It will be most of the rest of the country too.

And why?  Well, I know this sounds awfully cynical, but the answer to that
"And why" is that the human psyche -- or most of those who have one --
instinctively craves excitement, something that gets pulses to quicken. 
After all, why is the attraction of music universal?  Oh sure, sometimes
altruistic thoughts (like Kennedy's "Ask not" etc.) can get people
tremendously excited too.  But there was simply nothing like that on offer
in '16.  There was a vacuum instead.  Yes, certain things were said at the
altruistic end of the spectrum, but it had no real excitement.  There was a
vacuum because there was nothing exciting coming from there.  All the
excitement was coming from Trump Tower instead.  Same with today.  The only
colorful or unusual figure left in Washington is Trump.  He's giving us the
razzle-dazzle show.  No one else.

If someone comes along who can make altruism and helping others viscerally
exciting and showy in 2020, Trump will get a run for his money.  If no one
like that comes along, Trump wins in a walk.

Why do the arts, especially music, have such a universal appeal?  Because
music combines two different things that are among the most potent and
inspirational in the entire human comedy: a selfless immersion in the
sensations of empathy for others (already a heady brew that makes one feel
very good about oneself, especially if one is moved to tears) plus a
stimulating bath in sensuous beauty for its own sake.

Similarly, in the public market place, once one combines sensuously
beautiful language and an appeal for altruism, you have a sale.  But without
that, self-satisfaction with self-centeredness as the ultimate desirable
norm wins out instead every time, and it will win in 2020.

This is why, on the one hand, music and the arts tend to hang on, in all
weathers however rickety, even in the worst of times, while, on the other,
eloquence and poetry in the service of altruism and empathy in public life
are as rare as gold dust.

Geoffrey Riggs

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