Reader Jim Melcher advises us to establish a Power Line culture desk to deal with outrages like the fawning reception the press has given to the Minnesota Opera’s staging of The Handmaid’s Tale. Mr. Melcher points us to Minnesota Public Radio’s story about the opera. The report begins ominously: “An overthrown government. Suspended civil liberties. A new fundamentalist regime that determines reproductive rights and bans women from reading, writing, and holding jobs. A society where the line between government and God is blurred into one all-knowing, all-seeing, all-controlling entity …” It all sounds so familiar; the opera must be about the Taliban. Or perhaps not. MPR quotes Dale Johnson, artistic director of the Minnesota Opera as follows: “We’re in a climate where perhaps people are afraid to talk about freedom. We’re afraid to talk about a sense of individuality.” So the opera is a metaphor for U.S. college campuses
Wrong again (I really have no business at the culture desk). Mr. Melcher tells us: “This opera actually depicts a state-sanctioned rape, while Amazing Grace plays as background music. In the opera
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell