My Jerry Springer Moment

Posted on Sun 26 March 2006 by alex in general

Went to see Jerry Springer: The Opera last night with a host of people. I'd quite enjoyed it when I watched the BBC presentation but seeing it live is an improvement. I started the evening having a debate with on of the Christian Voice demonstrators (I assume, as thats what the leaflet said). I was trying to find out what they thought was so offensive in the play but it turned into a rather circular argument around the fact we were all sinners and therefor going to hell unless we saw the light. The guy did try and wheel out the "they would never do something like this about Islam" but gave up on that line of argument when I asked him if such a thing was written would that make JS:TO ok. I may swing by the protests next week on the way to the gym as I had to cut short the debate when the bell rang.

The show itself was fun and in places pretty surreal. The music although operatic was pretty contemporary with one or two traditional vocal arpeggios thrown in for good measure. There is a fair amount of swearing in the show but its against the background of what the Jerry Springer show is about. The first act mainly deals with the malady that is our celebrity obsessed culture that make people desire their 15 minutes of fame on the show. Then the dancing Klu Kulx Klan chorus line came on :-)

Andy and I debated weather the second act (where most of the blasphemy accusations come from) was that offensive on the way home. I think a lot depends on how you interpret the characters. First of all the whole thing is rigged by the Devil so your going to expect a certain point of view to come across. The view that Mary was rapped by an angel is certainly one the devil could have (who is portrayed as being very pissed off about being cast from the heavens). A lot hangs on if you see the characters as actual representations of the biblical characters or representations on how their religion sees them. The Jesus characters continually goes on about having been crucified either paints Jesus as petulant and arrogant or could be viewed as the churches emphasis on his "dying for our sins" instead of what he taught (which Andy assures me is more or less "Be Excellent to Each Other"). By the end of the evening I think we reached the consensus it was quite clever, but maybe not as clever as Matt Stone and Trey Parkercould be.

I have to admit I'm grateful to the ignorant bigots for having raised so much publicity for the show. If they hadn't of done so I would of missed out on a very enjoyable evening of bawdy culture :-D