Tevlin: Orchestra, government: Is everything just breaking bad?

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 1, 2013 - 9:44 PM

So I just put my Osmo Vänskä jersey up for sale on eBay, umlauts and all.

It was probably the saddest day since I retired his Turku Philharmonic jersey, or maybe since his Helsinki Philharmonic hat got lost in one of those wild restroom fracases during the break at Orchestra Hall. Wild times.

I will miss those umlauts. I will also miss the “Symphonic Night in America” every Sunday, “Monday Night Divertissement” and the regular “Thursday Night Interlude.”

Not long ago, I was so mad that the orchestra went dark that I almost vowed to buy a ticket to the next gig. Almost. I was that mad.

Instead, I got what I deserved.

Meanwhile, the bean counters at the State Capitol push wheelbarrows full of cash at a football team owned by the 1 percent, leaving us rabid classical music fans, we hardy few, to cry in our sparkling rosé.

They build stadiums for quarterbacks who don’t know the difference between a bagpipe and a bassoon. They build stadiums for baseball teams, owned by millionaires, whose idea of a cadenza is a home run by the opposing team in the ninth inning. A home run that will not get snatched up because no one is in the stands of the new stadium we needed to “stay competitive.”

But the mad clarinetist doing his mad clarinet thing into the winking light of daybreak over Kenwood? She can go to heck, or perhaps New York.

Or maybe not New York. Because it’s all played out, like an opera. Like the New York City Opera, in fact, which also died Tuesday. “Long an important part of the city’s cultural firmament,” the whole thing just broke bad and croaked, like a country.

It’s almost enough to make you get a passport and scram from this dump. But you can’t, because the passport office is closed.

The passport office is closed because some chuckleheads in Washington are too vainglorious and selfish to acknowledge they lost an election and a Supreme Court decision and instead are hellbent on running around wrecking stuff. People who are against anything they didn’t think of themselves and even a few things they did, like the health care initiative.

Apparently we are all nonessential.

On the television show “30 Rock,” (dead) when everything was going poorly, someone in the cast would yell: “Shut it down.”

So, shut it down.

Shut it down, because I am out of here. I’m off to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway to look at the fall colors.

OK, not funny. At first I wasn’t too concerned about the government closures because, frankly, none of the 800,000 people who might get furloughed are my friends. But closing the chipmunk diorama at the interpretive center?

Now it’s personal.

Gore my ox and I am suddenly engaged. I am so angrily engaged that I might do something radical, like vote accordingly, or not vote at all or buy a ticket to the symphony. Grrr. Mad.

So somebody do something, and quick, because none of this is my fault. I want my state back. I want my country back.

I want my umlauts.

jtevlin@startribune.com • 612-673-1702

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