Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Palace Aphorisms, 11-12

Being a subset of the
Fat People & Tourists series,
having to do with the polar opposition
between Baseball Tourists
& Opera Tourists:
a peculiarly Cooperstonian subject.

no. 11

The baseball tourist is invariably fatter, louder, crueler to children, more indignant with the locals, more bursting with uncontrollable passion, more apt to bellow his family troubles to the street—altogether more operatic than the opera tourist.

no. 12

The baseball tourist has a tenuous relationship to reality; he often mistakes houses for museums, lawns for garbage cans, and gardens for his own picking-ground.

The opera tourist shudders delicately at the baseball tourist, purchases a catered picnic basket, and tidies up the opera grounds afterward.

Or, to put it on a more personal level--

The baseball tourist has a tenuous relationship to reality; he mistakes my house for a museum, my lawn for a garbage can, and my cottage garden for his own picking-ground. Etc.

Photo of Glimmerglass Opera courtesy of www.sxc.hu and Adriana Martins of Guaratinguet√°, Brazil--no, my mistake. That's actually the Vienna Opera House. But Glimmerglass is quite nice in its own lake-and-rural-barn way...

2 comments:

  1. I am going to link this post to a friends who has an Opera blog if you don't mind, I think he would get a kick out of this post.

    http://www.hojoto.typepad.com/

    Opera houses are wonderful things. Huntsville had one that was reportedly beautiful but it burned in the 1890s and a building dedicated to Opera was never rebuilt...so sad. The most beautiful Opera house I have seen was in Budapest.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The idea of Susanna of the visionary Eastern Star in Budapest is interesting.

    What flew into my head was Herzog's Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald in "Fitzcarraldo," and "Burden of Dreams."

    Luckily, you don't appear to be quite that crazy, judging from the world of Comments... But perhaps you will have a sudden burst of passion to rebuild the Huntsville Opera House. That would keep you occupied.

    I have many thoughts about Baseball Tourists and Opera Tourists. I do go to the opera. I don't go to the Baseball Hall of Fame, though I often send visitors there. Cooperstown is largely wasted on me, as I dislike cold, baseball, and anything over 30 days of snow.

    Back to my happy little salt mine--

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.