Friday, December 5, 2008

Battle of the Nutcrackers

I've been watching The Battle of the Nutcrackers on Ovation TV and, frankly, it has become a metaphor for the economy, the solutions and the world in general.  Let me explain, if I can . . . Ovation TV is playing six different versions of The Nutcracker, viewers will vote on which version they like the best and that version will play on Christmas.  When I first heard about the competition, while channel surfing, I thought it would be basically the same as watching the Nutcracker on six different tvs - a little different size or clarity, but basically the same program over and over again.  I couldn't be more wrong.  Arguably, at least four of the Nutcrackers are entirely something different and three of them don't even resemble the Nutcracker at times.  I mean you hear the music, you see ballerinas, but other than that . . . 

So how is this a metaphor for anything?  Well it's in that vote.  Think about how that is going to shake out.  There will be some people for whom the best Nutcracker will have to be the most traditional looking version; there will be some people for whom the best Nutcracker will have to be the most strikingly different version; and there will even potentially be resentment between the two factions for even existing . . . questions of whether someone should even have the right to call a ballet the Nutcracker when it has drifted so far from the original and eyes rolled at such a narrow minded view of the arts.  There is even a version from a French choreographer who used the Nutcracker as an autobiography.

How dare he!  

You get the point . . bail out the auto industry, don't bail out the auto industry . . . . capitalism, socialism . . . . tax cuts, welfare . . . the most truthful statement ever naively spoken by an individual was perhaps said by Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?"

Personally, my favorite Nutcracker is the Matthew Bourne version where the "nutcracker" looks like a Howdy Doody doll and the story takes place in an orphanage . . . it is kinda like the what the Nutcracker would be like if seen by Tim Burton on the big screen.  

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