I’d like to throw a few links at you. My latest Jaywalking podcast is here. I take up various issues and play some music — including the Oscar Mayer wiener song. Is it as commonly known as “Happy Birthday”? No, but up there, I think, certainly in America. It was composed by Richard D. Trentlage, a jingle man. To read his obit in the New York Times (2016), go here.
Here is a link to a post at The New Criterion. I talk about There Will Be Blood, the 2007 movie, or, more specifically, its score, which is by Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead fame). This score was played by the New York Philharmonic on Wednesday night — as the movie unspooled on a large screen above the orchestra.
Lots of orchestras are doing this these days. I heard the Chicago Symphony Orchestra accompany E.T. this summer. The New York Philharmonic has a series called “The Art of the Score,” and its adviser is Alec Baldwin, who introduces the movie evenings. He did so on Wednesday night — and was rapturously received by the audience.
Why do I point this out? Because of this. I’ve linked to a Corner post I wrote in May 2014, about a ticklish situation:
Well, this was kind of interesting: There was hissing and booing at the New York Philharmonic last night — for reasons having nothing to do with music. Alec Baldwin, the actor, is sort of the voice of the Philharmonic. Its mascot. He is on the board. He is the host of the orchestra’s radio series. He gave the orchestra a million bucks.
Also, he recorded the little announcement that tells people, right before the concert, to turn off their cellphones. The announcement begins (as I recall), “Hi, this is Alec Baldwin.”
The last few times I have covered Philharmonic concerts, audience members have hissed. (Not at me!) Last night, some booed, too. The reason? It must be the actor’s alleged homophobia. He has always been a perfect liberal — absolutely perfect, Central Casting. But there is this wrinkle.
The title of that post was “When the Audience Turns.” And now the audience has turned again, apparently, in Baldwin’s favor. My post at The New Criterion today ends, “A fickle beast, the public is, and highly suggestible.” Yes. You realize this in grade school. And it becomes all the more apparent as you get older. That’s why wise heads, over the centuries, have been wary of the public, the crowd, the mob. The People. Without republican institutions and a proper rule of law, a lot of us would be up a creek (and some are anyway, true).