Treated to a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra this evening, following a delightful dinner of burger à la cheese, and roast pizza under box, U.S. President Donald Trump wasted no time in interrupting an otherwise moving rendition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, to explain why the entire orchestral concept is deeply flawed and ultimately injurious to culture as a whole.
“It’s an effing racket guys. Jeezus huh? Listen to yourselves. You can’t!” the president said, stepping up onto the stage to harangue 90 of the world’s best musicians.
“You got the strings going, and the horn things, and the guy on the triangle. We already had dinner buddy, you can take it easy ok? Listen, here’s the problem, and trust me now because speaking as a guy who owns multiple gold toilets, I know more than a little bit about culture.”
Trump then went on to expound to the orchestra a view of music that would be astounding if it weren’t criminally sad; and, coming from a leader of a nation that is by definition a medley, bewilderingly lacking in facets of vision, and as limited in ears as a burnt corn field.
“There’s just too much going on at once. The listener can’t focus, and it messes up the music. It’s just like all those immigrants coming into Europe, with their different backgrounds and ways of living, adding to the song. Confusing! You know what I like?” the president continued, as the LSO’s conductor, Sir Simon Rattle – realizing this was an extended lecture – sat down and buried his head in his arms.
“I like the guitar. A great American instrument. A real patriot. You won’t catch any of those kneeling during the anthem. Oh no. All neck and no knees for a start, but even apart from that, they wouldn’t do it. You should really all just be playing the acoustic. It’s the best instrument. Do you know any Johnny Cash?”
Apart from being a diplomatic faux pas on a scale not seen since yesterday, or the day before, the opinion that the nuance, thematic scope, and sheer beauty afforded by an orchestra is somehow too intermingled, is already being viewed by many as being the most asinine view stated by a U.S. president this month, and dangerously similar to Trump’s recent rhetoric on the subject of immigration – both at home and abroad.
“He seems to be missing the entire point of music, and in so doing also having the sonorous tapestry of humanity’s intertwined history go sailing right over his head, along with pretty much everything else worth appreciating in the world,” said Sir Rattle, reached for comment at the end of the evening.
“And it seems especially ironic to me that he chose the guitar as his favourite instrument, as that particular musical device has strong ties to the Arabic world, a culture he’s been quite antagonistic towards, and derives its very name from their language.”
While Rattle used words to state his position on Trump’s unwelcome contribution when discussing the situation after the fact, at the time of the event, he let music do the talking.
When the president had finished interrupting Beethoven, and wandered back to his seat in search of a vanilla sundae, Rattle resumed his position on the rostrum. He looked around at his orchestra. They looked back. A silent exchange took place. The conductor raised his baton, held it in the spotlight for a brief moment, and then dropped it with authority.
A boisterous, renegade refrain filled the room, the strings cascading onto the brassy trumpets, undercut by the demanding pulses from the percussion, all accented by the roaming voices of the various winds. It rocked. And ‘American Idiot’ had never sounded so good.