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Whatever never mind

Work has continued to be ... oh, I dunno, challenging? Heavy? Hard? No, not really hard (other than the stuff I wrote about last time). Just heavy, I guess. I'm looking forward to taking a week and a half off in November.

Other than that, this and that. We're working on the next issue of Chunga. Mostly waiting for solicited artwork at this point, although I'm also finally editing the lettercol.

Last Thursday I saw the Seattle Opera's new production of Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment. Once again this was thanks to my neighbor's boss, who gets passes to the dress rehearsals but was unable to make it to this one. This time my neighbor joined me. The opera was a delightful truffle -- sort of a variation on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs about a young woman who was orphaned and raised by a regiment of French soldiers. I don't know much about Donizetti, but apparently he was massively popular in his day. This one was first produced in 1840, so it says something that people still want to see it nearly two hundred years later. The setting for this production was updated from the Napoleonic wars to World War II, and I believe the nationality of the romantic tenor was changed from Tyrolean to American.

Last night I watched the DVD of James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera's 1990 production of Wagner's Das Rheingold -- the first opera in the Ring Cycle. My article for this issue of Chunga is about seeing the Ring Cycle last summer. As I wrote here at the time, 15 hours of music is a lot to absorb, and I borrowed this DVD set from ron_drummond to try to get a better handle on it. I listened to the DVDs (with an occasional peak at the video) while I was writing my article; now I want to watch them. As before, I found a lot of music to like in Das Rheingold, and I'm fascinated by the fantastical, high fantasy nature of the thing. Just a tad different from the frothy romantic comedy of The Daughter of the Regiment!

I don't know what else. My raspberries have been incredibly productive this month. I picked a collander full on Saturday, and I can't remember ever picking them this late in the year before. Then again, I'm terrible about keeping a gardening journal, so I don't really know. I don't even know whether this has been an unusually warm October.

Oh, and I was also completely fascinated by an article in the Grauniad, "Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex?", particularly the concept of soshoku danshi ("grass-eating men"), which is a term of disparagement that some men have embraced. One of them defines it as "a heterosexual man for whom relationships and sex are unimportant." I wouldn't agree with the "unimportant" (quite the opposite, really), but I do identify with the mindset that makes do without and that finds process of establishing and maintaining a romantic relationship incredibly complicated and fraught. For me this has nothing to do with the kinds of socioeconomic conflicts this article is about, but I still recognize the psychosexual terrain being discussed. "Gradually but relentlessly, Japan is evolving into a type of society whose contours and workings have only been contemplated in science fiction," says one demographer. Life on the cutting edge, eh?

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
smofbabe
Oct. 21st, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
Really interesting article about the Japanese, thanks. I found it interesting that although this article pointed out that part of the source of the problem is the strong gender stereotypes around marriage - where the men are the breadwinners and the women stay home with the kids - but no one suggested that changing that culture might be one possible answer to this problem!
randy_byers
Oct. 21st, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
There's some talk about how the current government has plans to improve economic conditions for women (but hasn't actually done anything about them), but not much about how cultural attitudes might be changed.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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