Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/8/2020: George Floyd Freakout Follies, Starring… Black Lives Matter!

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, Continue reading