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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Bat and the Bullets

A Superconductor Editorial Comment.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
What Batman thinks about guns.
Art and dialogue by Frank Miller © Detective Comics.

Hi folks,
I just needed to use this space today to talk about what happened in Aurora, Colorado last night, especially in light of a column (The Sons of the Batman) that ran in this space just two days ago. Other than that, this post doesn't have anything to do with opera.

The twelve murders perpetrated last night at a showing of The Dark Knight Rises were a real-life worst case scenario. This was something that everyone who sits in an audience on a regular basis should be worried about, especially in this American culture of concealed carry permits, lax gun control, and an enthusiastic Washington lobby of firearms enthusiasts who seem upset that nobody was packing heat and could shoot back.

That it took place at the screening of a film about a hero who refuses to use firearms because his parents were shot dead in front of him by a mugger is beyond ironic.

Our country's peculiar addiction to handguns, shotguns, and more recently, fully loaded automatic weapons is the combination of clever marketing by the munitions industy and a twisted restructuring of the frontier spirit of the 19th century, as recast and remolded by popular culture of the 20th and 21st. It has led to four presidential assassinations, the murders of musicians, including John Lennon, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, Jam Master Jay, Tupac Shakur, and Biggie Smalls.

Let's not even talk about the availability of guns to suicidal musicians.

More recently, spree killings in places like Texas, Virginia and Colorado have reduced human lives taken to mere statistics on the nightly news. Where the opening of a new work of art (in this case, Christopher Nolan's film) becomes the occasion for some armed idiot to start blasting away at fellow human beings like fish in a proverbial barrel. Even more despicable: opportunistic elected politicians are trying to blame this event on spurious causes (like Texas Republican representative Louie Gohmert, who claimed it was a result of the separation of Church and State) even as they rake in cash from gun lobbies. (To donate to his Democratic opponent, Shirley McKellar, visit here.)

On a personal note, I'm not a "gun" person. I've never carried, owned or fired one of those things. And I hopefully never will.

So in light of this, I'll try to be a little nicer to the security guys who check my laptop bag at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Thanks to the ease of obtaining a handgun in the United States, their job is difficult enough.

Thanks for listening,

Paul Pelkonen,

PS: If you want to make a donation to the American Red Cross in Aurora, CO, visit this link.


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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.