<$BlogRSDURL$>
Trousered Ape
An exercise in presumption.
Monday, June 16, 2008
In the news: Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth will be adapted into an opera. It is scheduled to appear at La Scala in Milan in 2011.

Why wait three years?



AN INCONVENIENT TRAGEDY

.

Cast of Characters
.

.

.

Prometheus

.

a Titan

.

Algor

.

an ambitious Spirit

.

Carbona Dioxida

.

an airy Spirit

.

Khi-Oto

.

an Oriental Sorcerer, servant to Algor

.

Skeptica

.

a Seeress

.

Consensus

.

a Judge

.

Helios

.

God of the Sun

.

Oscar

.

a Golem

.

Three Citizens

.

A Troupe of Polar Bears

.

A Figure representing Unnatural Heat



ACT I

...
Scene: A barren wasteland.
.
Prometheus enters, bearing a load of wood. He sets it on the ground and builds it into a pile.
.
Prometheus(recitative):From Jove's bright realm have I come, bearing in secret a divine gift.
.
He sets fire to the wood.
.
Prometheus:To Man, feeble and fleeting,
Risking Jove's terrible ire,
I give, for his future greatness,
A spark of Heaven's fire.
Though mortal, endowed with a touch
Of divinity, he may aspire
To mastery, sole and unchallenged,
Of Earth's spacious gyre.
.
The flames shoot up and from them leaps Carbona Dioxida, a spirit of fair appearance. She dances about the stage; wherever she steps, shrubs and flowers appear.
.
Carbona Dioxida:Oh, here is a marvel!
Where'er I set foot
Straightway there emerges
A sapling or shoot.
Bright flowers' shall vie
With fair Iris's bow.
And great oaks and pines
Towards Heaven shall grow.
.
She continues her dance, breathing gently on each plant, which grows taller when she does so.
.
Enter Algor.
.
Algor
(rec.):
Oh, rash Prometheus! Thy crime has not gone undetected! At great Jove's decree, I condemn thee to cruel and endless torment. Go - thy carceral rock awaits thee!
.
Exit Prometheus.
.
Algor
(rec.):
Though Prometheus is banished, Jove still prefers others before me. Denied advancement on Olympus, I shall seek mastery on Earth.
.
He espies Carbona Dioxida.
.
Algor
(rec.):
Here may be an instrument fit for my purpose.
.
(sings)Oh spirit, need you rest content
With twig and leaf and flower?
Ally with me and we shall share
The pinnacle of power.
Comport yourself as I direct,
Assist my enterprise:
A golden harvest shall we reap
As sure as sun shall rise.
.
Carbona Dioxida:With much disquiet do your words
Disturb my peaceful soul.
Should I abandon all I have
To seek a lofty goal?
You sway me so to follow you,
Bedazzling my eyes,
That tangled deep within my breast
Both dread and longing rise.
.
Algor:Do not take counsel of your fear:
It is a treach'rous guide.
My wit and cunning, unsurpassed,
In many ventures tried,
Can nowise fail to bring success
And all it may comprise.
We will bestride this narrow Earth
As sure as sun shall rise.
.
Duet:(Algor)(Carbona Dioxida)
.
.She'll join with me and we shall shareI will abandon all and dare
.A glittering golden prize.To aid his enterprise.
.The lure of riches and of powerFarewell to twig and leaf and flower...
.Will always tantalize.But is he telling lies?
.An endless rain of wealth shall fallDoes he, behind his siren call,
.Like manna from the skies,Some subtle plot disguise?
.When I attain to mastery,No matter now, he masters me,
.As sure as sun shall rise.And bids me to arise.
.
At a gesture from Algor, Carbona Dioxida rises and comes to him, as one in a trance.
.
* * * CURTAIN * * *



ACT II

...
Scene: A city square.
.
Enter Skeptica; also Citizens, variously occupied. One pauses to contemplate a placard, headed "DANGER!", posted on a wall.
.
Citizen 1
(rec.):
News most alarming. A prophet will come to our city today, to warn us of a doom that will befall us if we do not heed him.
.
Citizen 2:What can this portent mean?
What danger lurks unseen?
Oh, terror's breath is chill and keen!
.
Citizen 3:Hark! With beating drums,
The stranger this way comes;
Fantastic rumor round him hums.
.
Enter Algor. He is accompanied by a Polar Bear in very sad condition: emaciated and limping, with patches of fur missing, and wearing an eyepatch.
.
Citizen 1:Indeed, his mien is grave;
A hero or a knave?
Oh, does he come to damn or save?
.
Algor
(rec.):
Good people, gather! A specter is haunting the land - a specter that will destroy you all, if you do not listen to my warning!
.
(sings)As you, unknowing, go about your business,
Disaster is at hand!
A fiend impalpable, but fierce and deadly,
Will devastate your land!
.
Skeptica:Your tale is quite horrific in the telling,
But why should it be true?
I see your aura glow with fraud and falsehood;
Why should we credit you?
.
Algor:My word alone is not the only witness:
Behold this wretched bear!
He'll tell you how this fiend came to his homeland,
And all that she did there!
.
Bear:Life was peaceful, life was sweet,
As upon the ice we lay
From midwinter's endless night
To midsummer's endless day.
Naught, we thought, could e'er disturb
This, our world of frost and rime,
Then, this monster, in a flash
Changed it to a tropic clime!
By what sorcerous device
This was done, we do not know.
Yet the deed was done and now,
Homeless through the world we go.
.
As the Bear sings, the stage darkens and a vision appears above, of the Polar Bears lying on their ice floe. They rise and dance a ballet. Suddenly, into their midst leaps a Figure clad in fiery garments and frightfully masked. It dances a flamenco with such force that one piece of the ice after another breaks off; each time precipitating a bear into the sea. This continues until the last bear is gone. The Figure raises its arms in triumph as clouds of steam erupt from the water.
.
As the vision fades, the Bear ducks into a curtained doorway and a moment later emerges as Khi-Oto, the sorcerer - recognizable because he is still wearing the eyepatch, and a ragged cloak of white fur.
.
Citizen 1
(rec.):
This tale is most convincing.
.
Citizen 2
(rec.):
Ask the stranger what we must do.
.
Citizen 3
(rec.):
Surely he can save us.
.
Skeptica
(rec.):
Are we to be fooled by a mountebank and his performing bear? It is laughable!
.
Citizen 1
(rec.):
It does seem rather preposterous.
.
Citizen 2
(rec.):
What shall we do?
.
Citizen 3
(rec.):
We will ask the Judge for a ruling!
.
Exeunt all but Khi-Oto and Skeptica.
.
Skeptica:Your cheap and shoddy trick did not deceive me.
I'll show you for the faker that you are.
Your master, too - you'll be condemned and banished,
When comes the Judge and we are at the bar.
.
Khi-Oto raises his wand and points it at her.
.
Khi-Oto:You mock my art unheedingly:
I use no magic shoddily,
Or dabble in cheap fakery.
Your power of clairvoyancy
Shall struggle unavailingly
And fail before my sorcery.
This spell I weave so cunningly
Will render mute your stridency
And bridle your loquacity.
Unanswered, then, our perjury,
And we'll rule all triumphantly!
.
Enter Consensus, in judicial robes, Algor, and Citizens.
.
Consensus:This man has argued very well,
And with such wit and sense,
That no one hearing him can tell
Of greater eloquence.
But as my task perforce requires,
I must hear a rebuttal,
Or equity at once expires
And justice is a muddle.
.
(rec.)What have you to say? Can you refute him?
.
Skeptica, horrified, finds herself unable to speak. After a long and agonizing effort, she sinks to the ground in despair.
.
Consensus:I shall my verdict now announce:
Since no one did object,
By rule of law I must pronounce
That this man is correct.
.
Exit Consensus.
.
With a flash and puff of smoke, Carbona Dioxida, garbed and masked as the Figure in the vision, appears above. The Citizens cry out in terror.
.
Algor
(rec.):
The monster is here! And now, for the worst: YOU have summoned her!
.
The Citizens cry out again.
.
Algor:Every kettle set to boil,
Every candle flame,
Every fire that you kindle,
Calls the creature's name!
.
Here she is, there's no escaping,
She is here to stay.
Only I know how to save you,
Holding her at bay.
.
I will sell you certain cantrips,
With a wondrous charm:
They will offset all her evil,
Keeping you from harm.
.
The Citizens, clamoring, flock to Algor and Khi-Oto, who produce amulets from a bag and trade each for a handful of gold.
.
* * * CURTAIN * * *



ACT III

...
At one side of the stage, the ornate facade of a palace. Before the palace is a beautiful garden, in the middle of which are a table and some chairs. In the background, an artificial waterfall flows into a pond; in the center of the pond, a more than life-size golden statue, in human form but featureless.
.
At the other side, the street outside the palace grounds. The two are separated by a low wall toward the street side.
.
Sitting at the curb of the street is Skeptica, reduced to poverty, in rags and holding a begging bowl.
.
At the table in the garden are Algor, Carbona Dioxida, and Khi-Oto, engaged in dividing up a great heap of coins. A jewel-encrusted goblet is at the elbow of each.
.
Carbona Dioxida:You told me once, so long ago,
That to us untold wealth would flow.
.
Algor:Indeed, I did. You must aver,
We're richer far than once we were.
.
Khi-Oto:And still more wealth will come in time!
I give a toast: success to crime!
.
They drink.
.
Carbona Dioxida:The doubts I had, the deep dismay;
How strange they seem to me today.
.
Algor:Such foolish qualms, so seeming bold,
Turn coward at the chink of gold.
.
Khi-Oto:Aye, gold, that does not rot or rust,
Or play you false. In gold I trust!
.
Carbona Dioxida:But if someday the weather cools?
They'll realize they were played for fools!
.
Algor:No matter, we will spin a tale;
My wit was never known to fail.
.
Khi-Oto:We'll make a fuss, a great to-do,
That cooling, too, is due to you!
.
Khi-Oto picks up a coin and holds it doubtfully in his hand, then bites it. With an air of disgust he starts to throw it away, then changes his mind. He goes out a gate in the wall and drops it into Skeptica's bowl. She looks up, sees Khi-Oto, and flings the coin back at him. In a sudden rage, he strikes her, knocking her to the ground, then goes back inside.
.
The Citizens gather about Skeptica. One helps her to rise; she immediately falls to her knees and stretches out her arms to Heaven in an attitude of prayer.
.
A blaze of light from above and Helios descends in his chariot.
.
Helios:All Earth lies open to my piercing rays:
How could I fail to see such cruelty
Towards her who ever was my votaress,
To whom I gave the gift of prophecy.
So used, and so abused! That miscreant!
Where'er he hides himself, I'll hunt him down,
Convict him straightaway, and then, upon
His evil life I'll set a fitting crown:
Condemned forever hopelessly to dwell
In agony in Hades' deepest Hell.
.
Citizen 1
(rec.):
I saw him flee into the palace!
.
Citizen 2
(rec.):
Avenge our sister!
.
Citizen 3
(rec.):
Destroy them all!
.
Helios strikes the wall, which crumbles away. He leads the crowd of Citizens into the palace garden, where Algor, Carbona Dioxida, and Khi-Oto, undaunted, await him.
.
Helios
(rec.):
Come, evildoers, and receive your just punishment!
.
Khi-Oto strides forward and raises his wand.
.
Khi-Oto:My art has such great potency
That even your divinity
Is subject to its mastery.
I stand my ground defiantly
Secure in my impunity.
Now dims your luminosity,
Where is your proud verbosity?
Now kneel in all humility,
Pay homage to my sovereignty!
.
Helios's light dims; he staggers and starts to kneel; then, with a mighty effort he recovers himself. He gestures, and with a flash and thunderclap Khi-Oto's wand breaks and the latter collapses to earth.
.
Khi-Oto
(rec.):
Farewell, I am undone! Oh, master! (gasps) Remember the golem! (Dies.)
.
Helios:And now for you, false lying tricksters both,
Who prey on credulous simplicity:
I shall make plain to these good people here
That warm and cool belong of right to me.
Heat and humidity pervade the air
When I put forth my power day to day,
But chill winds, bitter frost, and snow abound
When I do dim myself and turn away.
You two are guilty of the grossest frauds,
Your vaunted cantrips naught but useless gauds!
.
Algor:If this is true, our racket's through.
Oh, this is very inconvenient.
.
Carbona Dioxida:I quite agree. Come, let us flee.
That seems to be the best expedient.
.
Algor:No use in flight. He has such might.
Perhaps we ought to be obedient.
.
Carbona Dioxida:I do not dare. Oh, see him glare!
I rather doubt he will be lenient.
.
Algor
(rec.):
Wait! The golem! (Addresses the corpse of Khi-Oto) Oh, faithful servant, faithful even after death! (Commandingly) Golem, I summon thee! Do thou my bidding!
.
The golden statue in the pond comes to life, revealing itself to be Oscar, the golem. It closes and grapples with Helios and throws him to the ground.
.
Algor
(shouting
exultantly):
I swear to you, my truth SHALL prevail!
.
As Helios rises, Oscar strikes him down. Instantly, the lighting dims.
.
Skeptica, whose voice has returned with the death of Khi-Oto, rushes forward with a shriek.
.
Skeptica
(rec.):
Oh, you fools, you fools! You have destroyed us all!
.
(sings)Slain the Sun and
Now departed
Is the source of
Life and light.
Foolish people,
Doomed forever
To a dark and
Frozen night.
No more cattle
In the meadow,
No more harvest
From the field.
No more fish in
Pond or river,
Vines will no more
Vintage yield.
Fate appalling:
Freezing, starving,
Death shall come to
Everyone.
You will know the
Sun's great power
All the better
When it's gone.
.
Skeptica falls dead over the body of Helios.
.
The Citizens exit, bearing the bodies of Helios and Skeptica; leaving Algor, Carbona Dioxida, and Oscar alone.
.
All the flowers in the garden turn brown and wither. The lighting turns to a cold blue and snow begins to fall. Carbona Dioxida attempts a few halting steps of the dance from Act I, breathing on the wilted flowers, but to no effect.
.
In the background appears Prometheus, chained to his rock; at the base of the rock lies his vulture, frozen to death.
.
At a gesture from Algor, Oscar goes to the rock and frees Prometheus. Meanwhile, Algor and Carbona Dioxida break the garden table and chairs to pieces and pile them center stage, adding some ornamentation torn from the palace facade. Prometheus comes forward, carrying the vulture's corpse. He gives it to Carbona Dioxida, who begins to pluck it as Prometheus sets fire to the pile and Algor erects a spit.
.
* * * CURTAIN * * *

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
A monkey that's made out of brass
Sometimes comes to a perilous pass:
When the temperature's low,
Its appendages go,
Either one at a time or en masse.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.


Please pray for the souls in Purgatory

May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.


New address bobtheape88...at...gmail...dot...com


Family:
  The Ape's Human Bride
    Blogging at Plodding Toward Holiness
  The Authoress
  The Storm Queen

Household:
  Those Darn Cats



Blogroll
(permanently under construction)


Acts of the Apostasy
Ad Altare Dei
Adrienne's Catholic Corner
Against the Grain
Aliens in This World
The American Catholic
American Papist
The Anchoress
And Sometimes Tea
Apologia
Argent by the Tiber
AtonementOnline
The B-Movie Catechism
Bethune Catholic
Bettnet
The Black Cordelias
Bonfire of the Vanities
The Bovina Bloviator
Called by Name
Canterbury Tales
Catholic Bibliophagist
Catholic and Enjoying It!
Catholic Fire
Catholic Light
Catholic Matriarch
A Catholic Mom climbing the Pillars
A Catholic View
Charlotte was Both
Church of the Masses
The Common Room
Confessions of a Hot Carmel Sundae
The Cranky Professor
Creative Minority Report
The Curt Jester
Danielle Bean
dark speech upon the harp
DarwinCatholic
The Dawn Patrol
Defensor Fidei
Disputations
Domine, da mihi hanc aquam!
Dyspeptic Mutterings
Eternity Road
Eve Tushnet
An Examined Life
For Keat's Sake
Fructus Ventris
GKC's Favourite
Happy Catholic
Head Noises
The Inn at the End of the World
Insight Scoop
The Jury Box
Korrektiv
The Kraalspace
The Lady in the Pew
Laudem Gloriae
Lex Communis
L O G O S
A Momentary Taste of Being
MONIALES OP - Dominican Nuns
My Domestic Church
Oblique House
Open wide the doors to Christ!
Orthometer
Our Word and Welcome to It
Pansy and Peony
A Plumbline in the Wind
Pro Ecclesia Pro Familia Pro Civitate
Reverend Know-it-All
Ricki's Rants and Rambles
Romish Internet Grafitti
Sancta Sanctis
Scrutinies
Shredded Cheddar
Siris
Standing on My Head
The Troglodyte
V for Victory!
Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor
What Does the Prayer Really Say
Wheat & Weeds
Whispers in the Loggia
The Wine-Dark Sea
Young Fogeys

Commentary


Gates of Vienna
Midwest Conservative Journal
Tim Blair

Et cetera


About Last Night
Dinosaur Comics
Girl Genius
Wondermark

Links Too Good to Lose


Hey There, Cthulhu
Conan - the Musical
The Gashlycrumb Tinies



Vanity of the Scribbler


Bad Bobby
Thirteenth Night, or, What You Kill
The Danish Astronomer and His Moose - a Drinking Song
Roe v. Wade
If Shakespeare Had an MBA
Strange Religious Xylophones
Floccinaucinihilipilification
The Ruler of the Pope's Navee
Oh, Purple Cow - a Sonnet
An Incovenient Tragedy
Nescopecks
The King Tut March
Back Yard Haiku
Triolets of Horror
Bishop Trautman and the Translators
Procrustes
The Drunken Ferret Villanelle
The Evil Ternominated
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Godzilla?
Bishop Bo-Peep
Kronos & Kids - A Mythological Sitcom
A Scary Vegetable
St. George? Never Heard of Him
Godzilla - The Musical
Shocking Contraception, or, Ball Lightning
Legion of Faithbots
Occasioned by the Acquittal of Michael Jackson
If Edgar Allan Poe had written “Dick and Jane”

ARCHIVES
April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 February 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 April 2012 June 2012 August 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 June 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 December 2013 February 2014 March 2014 May 2014 June 2014

Powered by Blogger