Salome , Salome….!!Salome isn’t going to keep her clothes on and the public in Norneverland have had to be warned. Of course this has started all the dogs barking, the cats howling and has brought out all the crazies again .Next thing you know they’ll be out with their placards prancing about outside the hall where the performance is to be held .The Reverend David McElveen has once again been released from his state of suspended animation, being only periodically revived and wheeled out for special slots on radio programmes .He’s a man obviously more at home living in a different century entirely…He is back complaining about nakedness.This brings in a whole radio discussion with Malachi O’Doherty about the rights and wrongs of people without clothes on.
Richard Strauss’s “Salome” is to be to played at the Grand Opera House and letters of warning has been sent out to the effect that there will be scenes of nudity in this operatic performance.Mr McElveen has the notion that we are all naturally depraved already and explained in his passive-aggressive way how nothing should be shown, read or heard that might encourage this incipient depravity.Naked people ! Nudity ! Too much skin! Real , ordinary human beings! Worlds might crumble and die!
They’ve issued this warning nowhere else, of course . In Norneverland we need this protection from ourselves..We’re a very special case here, in that we are apparently very sensitive to this kind of corruption.It is possibly a genetic trait…an aberration caused by generations of inbreeding and incest in the tight communities of Norneverland .You see, before the invention of the beloved bicycle, no one went any further than the village or their street to find a marriageable partner.They “couldn’t walk the length of themselves” was the phrase bandied about, so the family and community gene -pool was fairly insular. Like I said , the bicycle changed all of that , but the genetic damage had already been done and may take several generations or more to rectify.
There were consequences though…
If exposed to the eroticism of something like the Dance of the Seven Veils , some of the population will emerge from the theatre in a mood for ravaging and ravishing .They will become werewolves of desire and begin roaming the streets , hunting for prey.The rest of the population must be protected at all costs .Well maybe not at all costs, but by printing a leaflet or two.Leaflet distribution is a very popular form of communication , much in use in Norneverland .It is used by some political parties with some success and is a great way of stirring up the emotional native tribes.It can create quite superb publicity too, of course.Mr McElveen should really attempt to enrol in an art college sometime soon, so that he could study the human form in all its glory and discover that without light hitting those curves and planes there would be nothing to see at all .Those colours, tones and shades of skin would cease to exist. They are as nothing without a little bit of light.All that other stuff he’s worrying about is all in the mind ….
Personally there are many human beings whom I would rather not see unclothed at all, for purely aesthetic reasons .That would probably include ninety per cent of the people on the planet. Most of them would be on safer ground , hiding their lumps and bumps behind a veil of decorum ,but I remember watching Ken Russell’s take on Oscar Wilde’s “Salome’s Last Dance” which is worth a peek.Of course Oscar’s play was banned in its day too.
There’s always someone around waiting patiently to be offended for being only human.