This patter trio from “Ruddigore,” Gilbert and Sullivan’s follow-up to the phenomenal world-wide success of “The Mikado,” has a strange history. It was a much-loved highlight of the relatively under-appreciated operetta (though among my favorites) until the song was transplanted into Joseph Papp’s 1981 Broadway production of “The Pirates of Penzance.” That production ran for 787 performances (longer than the original production), winning the Tony Award for Best Revival and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical, and spawning a 1983 film adaptation starring most of the Broadway cast, including Linda Ronstadt and Kevin Klein. Then the Broadway adaptation of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in 2002 also interpolated a version of “It Really Doesn’t Matter” into the score, so two hit Broadway musicals included a once barely remembered song from a Gilbert and Sullivan show not regarded as one of the pair’s successes.
The version above is the one I learned the song from. Martyn Green, the best of D’Oyly Carte’s patter baritones, sings the first verse, and does so the only way it can be done properly, which is in a single breath. As you will hear, the other two singers are not quite able to pull it off. (But I can!)
1. Wait, what matters? As with Colin Kaepernick’s original kneeling stunt, Black Lives Matter has made its agenda infinitely flexible, ranging from addressing “police violence” to “systemic racism” to “defunding police” to various Marxist nostrums, depending on their mood, the spokesperson, and the tolerance of the audience. African-American actor Terry Crews invited the enmity of the George Floyd mobs by opining that if Black Lives Matter’s message became “Black Lives Better,” it would spark division rather than support. Crews, who can hold his own in any debate, agreed to be interviewed by CNN’s Black Lives Matter shill Don Lemon. Crews said,
“When you have the leaders of the black lives movement who are now talking about, ‘If we don’t get our demands we’re going to burn it down,’ other black people who are talking about working with other whites and other races being viewed as sellouts or called Uncle Toms, you start to understand that you are now being controlled. Someone wants to control the narrative, and I view it as a very very dangerous self-righteousness.”
Crews went on to argue that the leaders of BLM view “themselves as better,” and that “their black lives mattered a lot more than mine.” He added,
“It’s a great mantra, it’s a true mantra. Black lives do matter… [But]I don’t want to move from one oppressor to the next. When you look at the city of Chicago, there are nine people who died by gun violence by black-on-black gun violence from June 20 all the way to today,” he noted. “Why isn’t the Black Lives Matter movement talking about that issue?”
That’s easy, Terry: BLM doesn’t talk about that because any hint of accountability and self-determination undercuts the pure victim message of “the movement.” White America has its metaphorical knee on black America’s metaphorical throat, and hasn’t let it off since 1619. That’s the narrative.
Lemon’s response was,
“I don’t understand what that has to do with equality. … I don’t understand what that has to do with a movement that’s for equality for black people. … It seems like apples and oranges. The Black Lives Matter movement was started because it was talking about police brutality. If you want an ‘All Black Lives Matter’ movement that talks about gun violence in communities including black communities, then start that movement with that name. But that’s not what Black Lives Matter is about..the Black Lives Matter movement is about police brutality and injustice in that matter. Not about what’s happening in black neighborhoods. There are people who are working on that issue and if you want to start that issue, why don’t you start it?”
Crews then tried to point out the obvious, saying, “But when you look at the organization, police brutality is not the only thing they’re talking about…” only to be interrupted by Lemon, who engaged in Rationalization #44, the recent rage on the Left, “It isn’t what it is,” saying,
“I know that, I agree but that’s not what the Black Lives Matter movement is about, Terry. Black Lives Matter is about police brutality and criminal justice. I’m not saying that’s not important that those kids die, but it’s a different movement.”
Got that? ‘I agree that Black Lives Matter is pushing all kind of other agenda items and messages other than police brutality, but Black Lives Matter is only about police brutality and criminal justice. ‘
2. The First Amendment doesn’t matter, apparently. This is so unethical (and illegal) my head is afraid to think about it too much. Yesterday, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced in a statement that the couple videoed painting over the “Black Lives Matter” slogan the government had unilaterally inflicted on the public as sponsored propaganda were being charged with a hate crime, stating,
“Today, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office charged Nichole Anderson (42-years old Martinez resident) and David Nelson (53-years-old Martinez resident) with three misdemeanor counts, including a hate crime, for their alleged actions on Saturday, July 4, when defendant Anderson covered up a Black Lives Matter mural with black paint.”
This is another hint of the totalitarianism and speech suppression to come if Americans remain supine. The vandalism is a crime. Painting over a political message cannot be punished because of the message it was intended to convey. Trying to frame a dissent from “Black Lives Matter” as a “hate crime” is a clear First Amendment violation designed to chill political expression. If the ACLU has any integrity at all (it hasn’t), the group will be on this like a shot.