The song that spoke most to me in my isolation was Caruso, Lucio Dalla’s song. I couldn’t translate Italian to any great extent, but I got the gist: the opera singer, alone on the water, with his regrets. I didn’t have that many regrets at that point, and those I had far fewer and less painful than some of my contemporaries were racking up. Still, in my isolation and subject to the incessant responsibilities of the trial, the gloomy melodrama of that song and indeed the whole album, were just the thing.
Archive for September 2015
I was struck by how much of the subject-matter of An Inspector Calls resonated today, despite the play being a product of the 1940s set just before the First World War. For instance, there is Priestley’s approach to what we now call a “living wage.” A complementary up-to-date theme is the frequently unconscious nature of privilege. If Noel Coward and Bertolt Brecht had collaborated, they might have given us this very play.
At ancient common law places of public amusement were required to admit all comers. This changed largely in response to two forms of pressure: the desire of proprietors of places of public amusement to exclude racial minorities, and the desire of gambling venues to exclude perceived cheaters without being forced to go through the niceties of due process. One motive, then, has been flatly unconstitutional for the last fifty years, and the other was the (successful) wish to eliminate what had been a common-law right. Should a change in the law that came about solely to assist racial segregation and increase the profits of the very wealthy still stand?