June 3, 2009 5 Comments
I have been thinking about your thoughts on happiness, and its knotted opposites. Today I couldn’t get the happy started. The weather was gloomy, and worry for my beloved cat (very sick, not eating much, looking tired even when she sleeps) was part of everything. In times of bad news I go very Catholic, with a dose of Oprah. St. Frances has been on my wrist, and thinking the possible of the impossible has been part of my language. Today was one of the days where I had the anticipation of future pain that I think was noted as a “mature” response to difficulty. This slightly pleased me.
But my other response to difficulty is bright shiny distraction, often maudlin. I was thinking today, while getting weepy in a parking lot after realizing that I had forgotten my wallet at home (a first world tragedy, indeed), of a Will Smith sequel to I am Legend called I am Maudlin. Back to happiness and shiny distractions: the glory of the musical.
Musicals are art, and I don’t fully trust anybody who thinks the form is, by definition, stupid; I hope they are uninformed. Actually, I may trust them, but just not with my heart. Some of what a musical can offer:
- Articulation: While it may seem unnatural to sing one’s conversation, there are other times where it is so perfect: I think it has to do with volume and tempo. For example, I am often disgruntled at the status updates of acquaintances on Facebook. But that sentence didn’t quite deliver my fleeting social ire and pained ego. Don’t worry, Sondheim and Barbara Walsh have nailed it:
- Joy: Just look at what one improvisational musical in a food court can do:
- More drama through joy: