The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

An Opera Based Upon WikiLeaks?

Posted on | November 13, 2011 | 41 Comments

by Smitty

Opera is one of those forms of expression that I do not mind admitting is art, yet avoid to the fullest extent possible. Via Slashdot, one of the biggest cretins of recent vintage will be going to the opera house, emphasis mine:

“Betrayal, lust, secrecy, power: there’s no shortage of dramatic intrigue in the story of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Perhaps that’s why work has begun on an opera based on the life of Julian Assange in Melbourne. Opera Australia held – with Julian Assange’s approval – a series of in-house workshops last month after its artistic director, Lyndon Terracini, came up with the idea and asked composer Jonathan Dreyfus to write the music. ‘It’s got everything that a dramatic musical work needs,’ says Eddie Perfect, who played Assange in the initial process.

Everything? In this particular case, one is tempted to suggest a JDAM.

Assange has waged war against the United States and allies. The fact that he hasn’t been brought to room temperature yet is as interesting as the audience for this pap. No, I won’t generalize from the fact that this is done as an opera to suggest that the audience for it is a pack of anti-Western commies: there may be a few rational people who enjoy opera for its own sake.


41 Responses to “An Opera Based Upon WikiLeaks?”

  1. Anonymous
    November 13th, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    Now, Smitty… I’m pretty sure that you’d be in violation of the game laws on hunting a baited field with that JDAM…

  2. Joe
    November 13th, 2011 @ 9:50 am

    Opera are supposed to have charactures with some sex appeal (even if in practice the people singing tend to be a bit zaftig) or at least a compelling story that makes you want to watch them.  I see neither with Wikileaks.  Juianne Assange  has a major eeeeeewwwww factor which I cannot see translating to butts in seats. 

  3. JeffS
    November 13th, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    Operas are best watched with the sound muted.  In this case, though, I’d rather watch Invader Zim reruns. 

  4. ThePaganTemple
    November 13th, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    I can’t say I’m an opera fan, but I do like the concept behind the art form. I would think there would be a vast supply of untapped subject matter that would beat Wikileaks. Then again, who am I to judge somebody else’s artistic vision until I see the finished product? Hey, at least its opera, not a Broadway musical.

    Now Fast And Furious, that would make a great opera subject. Or how about one called “The Three Little Pigford Farmers”. It could have a song called “Yes Suh I’s A Farmah Cant Ya See My Yard?”

  5. Mike
    November 13th, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    Well, some states actually allow hunting over bait.

  6. Becky
    November 13th, 2011 @ 11:33 am

    When I was a child, my art teacher subjected me to the Dallas Metropolitan Opera every Saturday morning for an entire summer, and strangely enough, I came to enjoy opera.  However, my reaction to this bit of news is:  Oh, goody, an opera featuring a fey albino flitting about the stage, singing about leaked State Department cables.

  7. Anonymous
    November 13th, 2011 @ 11:42 am

    “Assange has waged war against the United States and allies.”

    Jesus, Smitty, put down the fucking crack pipe.

    Assange may be the second greatest American of the 21st century so far (after Bradley Manning, apparently the only American soldier since 2001 to actually take his oath of enlistment seriously), and he’s not even from here.

  8. DaveO
    November 13th, 2011 @ 11:43 am

    Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have been the best thing for George W. Bush’s reputation, ever.

    Manning’s treachery was two-fold: yes, he released US secrets to Assange who published them without knowing what was in the pile; and every Progressive, Leftist, Anti-American meme was thoroughly discredited.

    So: no more Manning in the news.

    And: Assange as Opera – with Manning’s two-fold treachery as Madame Butterfly.


  9. Anonymous
    November 13th, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    Big Opera fan. Really all I listen to these days, and for about the last 15 years. The key is to ignore the stories, which are usually pretty silly, and just let the voices be like the instrments……nice to listen to.

    And start with some “fun” operas. Things like “La Traviata”  or “L’italiana in Algeri.”  Then move on to guys like Puccini and Mozart, then Wagner and only then the modern stuff like “Nixon in China” or “Turn of the Screw.”

    As for Assange, it seems to me that he openly admits that he’s a spy. Being nonaffiliated doesn’t really change that. I always thought we knew how to deal with spies…..

  10. AngelaTC
    November 13th, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    I don’t get this “shoot the messenger” stuff.  Nobody cares if  the data that was released ,showing that we’re involved in some pretty horrific stuff, pedophilia included, is true?  Instead, much like in the Cain debacle, we’re intent on beating up the poor bastard that  dare ed to mention that the emperor had no clothes. 

    Truth is treason in an empire of lies, as they say.

  11. AngelaTC
    November 13th, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    Assange didn’t spy on anybody.  He just printed the documents that some soldier sent him.   

  12. AngelaTC
    November 13th, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

    What exactly was discredited?  

  13. Anonymous
    November 13th, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    Opera and Assange: a duo of incredible suckiness.  I’ll pass.

  14. Joe
    November 13th, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

    Smitty was over the top, but I may gag with that response. 

  15. Joe
    November 13th, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    More like “M” butterfly. 

  16. DaveO
    November 13th, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    For one, the ‘no WMD in Iraq’ meme.

  17. DaveO
    November 13th, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

    No, Assange is directly responsible for the deaths of Iraqi, Afghani, and Pakistani supporters of America. He did not permit his people to fully edit out names, dates, and locations.

    Enjoy January!

  18. smitty
    November 13th, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    Bradley Manning, apparently the only American soldier since 2001 to actually take his oath of enlistment seriously

    Sir, I am afraid that I could not possibly agree with you less.

  19. richard mcenroe
    November 13th, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

    Jesus Knapster put down the fucking ripple.

    Bradley Manning?  Every word and/or “mindthought” that clown put out has been proven a lie.  He’s even admitted he was a wannabe writer spicing up his crap, the next Michael Herr.

  20. richard mcenroe
    November 13th, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    Smitty, just because they’re standing there yelling oddly at the audience in tempo doesn’t make it opera. (‘Course, I got Carmina Burana running right now in my headphones so I may be biased.)

    The Aussies do this a lot for some antipodean reason.  They went gaga over an opera based on St. Rachel of the Pancakes, and another one based on one of their citizens who got captured fighting with the Taliban.  I think heat, physical isolation and intellectual pretensions are a bad combination.

    Oh, and Opera in 10 Minutes

  21. Joe
    November 13th, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    Knappster:  What ever you were drinking or injesting last night…stop, get rid of it, and never use it again.  It is not good.  Not good at all. 

  22. Adjoran
    November 13th, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

    Thanks for clarifying your sick and perverted world view.

  23. Adjoran
    November 13th, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

    So we can shoot the spy, but not the enemy who receives the illegal booty he stole?

    Thanks for exposing your ideology more clearly.  Maybe more will listen when I explain the evil nature of the Libertarians.

  24. Adjoran
    November 13th, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

    My theory is that since Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, they are all technically upside down and the blood rushes to their brains and distorts their thought processes.

  25. richard mcenroe
    November 13th, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

    Correction, Scott Thomas was the neurotic wannabe I was thinking of, who claimed to have witnessed nonexistent war crimes committed with a Bradley in Iraq while he was stationed i  Kuwait.

    Bradley Manning is a simple traitor who deserves a buller in the back of the neck.

  26. Joe
    November 13th, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    Manning is a traitor.  Hanging or life in solitary at some supermax facility. 

  27. Joe
    November 13th, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    Correct, although I would say it was worse than “just…”

  28. Jorge Emilio Emrys Landivar
    November 13th, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

    “Assange has waged war against the United States and allies. The fact that he hasn’t been brought to room temperature yet is as interesting as the audience for this pap.”

    Well, technically what he did isn’t illegal (as per the pentagon papers case), and no different from what the NYT does every day.

  29. Bob Belvedere
    November 13th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    All the Beautiful People will go to shore-up their Progressive Cred.

  30. Bob Belvedere
    November 13th, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    Wagner is magnificent.

  31. Bob Belvedere
    November 13th, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    You want to ROTFLYAO, try Anna Russell’s explanation of Wagner’s Ring Cycle:
    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3:

  32. JeffS
    November 13th, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

    Assange may be the second greatest American of the 21st century so far….

    Just like Bill Clinton was “the first black president“, am I right?

    Well, Bubba also has a problem keeping his Slick Willie in his pants, just like Assange.  So there’s that.

    But I don’t agree with your assertion; Assange is an asshat of the 32nd Degree, pretty much in it for the fame.  And money.  And sex. 

    Just like Bubba, come to think of it, a narcissistic clown who differs from Obama only in that Bubba can be charming.  Which means that Assange is to be trusted no further than any other narcissistic clown.

    So your assertion on Assange (and Manning) demonstrates that you are either hugely out of touch with reality, you have a bizarre political perspective, or you are just trolling for an argument. 

  33. JeffS
    November 13th, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    He just printed the documents that some soldier sent him.

    Based on your logic, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward should turn in their Pulitzer Prizes, since they only repeated the words of “Deep Throat”.

  34. JeffS
    November 13th, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    Who says the NYT staff shouldn’t be hung for treason?

  35. DaveO
    November 13th, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

    Actually, yes it is illegal, per the Pentagon Papers. In fact, Mr. Pentagon Papers himself, Daniel Ellsburg, rejected the comparison both between himself and Manning, and the Pentagon Papers and the US messages.

    Manning technically is ALLEGED to have sought, got, and gave away US secrets. He hasn’t been convicted yet.

  36. JeffS
    November 13th, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

    AngelaTC sounds to be a “Capital L” Libertarian sipping really cheap cognac. 

  37. Anonymous
    November 13th, 2011 @ 9:42 pm


    Who but Manning was willing to expose the State Department’s abuse of the information classification system?

    It is against the law to abusively place information in a classified status, and the only legitimate reason for placing information in a classified status is to protect US national security.

    In order to be classified “confidential,” information must be of such character that its disclosure would cause identifiable damage to the national security.

    In order to be classified “secret,” information must be of such character that its disclosure would cause serious damage to the national security.

    In order to be classified “top secret,” information must be of such character that its disclosure would cause grave damage to the national security.

    Out of all the cables published by Wikileaks, having allegedly been passed on to them by Manning, the sum total of credibly alleged damage to the national security of any type from their publication is: Zero, zip, zilch, nada, bupkis, not a fucking molecule.

    Ergo, Manning (if he’s the one who did it) out Hillary Clinton and other US diplomats and bureaucrats as criminals, and embarrassed them some, and that’s all he did. Which is a lot more pro-American and true to the oath of enlistment than almost anything most military personnel can claim to have done.

  38. JeffS
    November 13th, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    That’s highly subjective, Knappster.  Granted, “Original Classification Authority” is often abused, but not exposing national intents or sources surely comes under “need to know”.   That argument alone insures Manning’s trial will be a long and tedious one…..and probably classified. 

    In order to mount this defense, Manning will have to demonstrate that each and every released cable was not damaging to the United States, in direct competition with the decision of the OCA official.  

    I agree, some are likely to be trivial items that should not have been classified.  But will all of them be such?  I consider that highly unlikely.  Which means your  interpretation is
    little more than a fantasy with limited to no practicality.  All the prosecution has to do is show that enough genuine classified information was leaked to damage national security, and Manning gets a long stay at Fort Leavenworth.

    That’s because Manning was emphatically not
    authorized to declassify materials.     Whether or not the bulk of the information should have been classified is not relevant.  If Manning demonstrably violated the laws of the United States in word and deed, off to Leavenworth he goes. 

    People shouldn’t be cherry picking which laws they decide to follow.  That politicians and bureaucrats do so makes this worse, not better.  Or, at the least, if you decide to break a law, embrace it.  Or be smart enough to not get caught doing it.

  39. Anonymous
    November 13th, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

    “In order to mount this defense, Manning will have to demonstrate that each and every released cable was not damaging to the United States”

    Um, no. In order to mount this prosecution, the government will first have to demonstrate, as the starting  point,  that he released the cables.

    I’m bending over backwards to be fair to the government here and go with their own standards, of course. My standards are much different and start with “the alleged employee [the state] doesn’t get to keep secrets from the alleged boss [the public] and the paymaster-in-fact, period.”

  40. JeffS
    November 14th, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

    Again, you are cherry picking.  The basis of his arrest is what is relevant, not whatever political campaign you feel is needed. 

    The rule of law means we have a rule of law, even if the laws are flawed. 

  41. Anonymous
    November 14th, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    “The basis of his arrest is what is relevant”


    He’s accused of leaking classified information, but that accusation has yet to be proven. Anything and everything to do with this case STARTS with the government proving that. If they can’t prove it, there’s no case.