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Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Tiny Sip of Fafnir Blood

NOISY - Wacht Auf! wangvolle Plage! Müh ohne Zweck!" wails Mime at the opening of Wagner's Siegfried five-hours into the cycle, almost Only halfway there!

Forced drudgery! Fruitless toil! he cries, banging sullenly at his anvil. Forging yet another sword for that ungrateful, pleasure-draining, food consuming Wretch!, his charge, who will only smash this sword to pieces too, again, like he always does, like he has done to all the others made for him before.

Mee-meh. Poor Mime: Mime the dwarf; Mime the Nibelung; Mime the hapless brüder of Alberich, who stole Das brightege Rheingold from snootery, mocking mermaid Rheinmädchen, renounced Love, and struck from it Der all-powerful Ring and a magic Tarnhelm hat, used its power to conquer Niebelheim and enslave it's deep-mining dwarves to gather him a Nibelungenhord of gold and treasures; who lost it all, idiot!, to tricksy Loge god of fire, by turning himself first into a fearsome dragon, then into a stupid kleinige Krote frog easily caught. Lost it all, cursing, to ransom himself from one-eyed big-stick Wotan and those other lazy good-fer-nuthin' féy aristocratic gods with their candy-ass Hammers and Rainbows; those self-same gods who sold their hot-tottie lucky-charmed Freia, sweet and sumptious as apples, to a pair of ham-fisted dopewit Giants, Fafner und Fasolt, as fee for building castle Walhall - and then, earsore and repentant, had to pay the giants all the Nibelungenhord, Ringn'all, to fetch her pretty toes back? That Fafnir then, with bloody eyes and a pile o' gold, could crump his greedy brother on the head like Pharoah in the smiting grounds of faraway Aegypt and spill his jumbly brains upon the stoney ground. Took off then, he did, with plunder to a cave in a forest and hid him there as Dragon, storm-wreathed Wurm and not, this time, a pokery toad.

Not as stupid as we thought.

The same, alas, cannot be said of fair hero Siegfried, the boy himself? Blonded, blue-eyed, handsome He, built and brained like the side of a wall. Stark und strong is Siegfried: buckle-nosed alabamer spawn of Siegmund und Sieglinde, bruder und schwester, lovers, twinned by birth and by union. The pair of them gevatered by Wotan himself on a mortal, hoping to grow him an untreatied Hero, gave him a powerful world-beater sword, with a name. The twins live apart and unknown until now, when Siegmund turns-up at her door out of breath, chased through the woods by some bad, bad men. Plunks himself down at her hearth and of course, what happens, those bright-eyed paragons of Virtue, charmed no doubt by themselves in reflection, they do both The Deed and The Business. Boy was Wotan pissed? And she a married wummin too - the scandal alone should have killed them but This, this is The Ring, und Die Walküre to boot so blood is demanded: Hundung her husband, prompted by Wotan smashing the sword, spears poor Siegmund into the earth. Hundung gypped, dismissed and dispatched for his troubles by a flick of the angry one's wrist. Hasten then, Riding, out of the skies, steed-mounted Walküre, coming to carry the carrion Heroes away to the foam-tabled choirs of Walhall. Chiefmost amongst them ahead of the fray, apple of Wotan's one good eye flies Brünnhild the Gorgeous, before she was fat.

"Hoyotoho! Hoyotoho! Heiaha! Heiaha!" sing sisters Gerhilde, Ortlinde, Waltraute, Schwertleite, Helmwige, Siegrune, Grimgerde, Rossweisse happy at large. Brünnhild Der Breasted turns up with the chick, but Hoyoto-Noooo, her sisters too scared to assist so offsky she flies to hide the poor dear somewhere safe.

"Where the feck is Brünnhild" growls dear Papa?

He catches her alone, so alone she shall remain: he puts her to sleep in a Ring of Fire, way way up in the mountains. "Naebdy'll find ur hier!" he thinks, betraying a brogue.

And so, -la-ti-do...

SiegfriedNails.jpg"Zwangvolle Plage! Müh ohne Zweck!" breathless we find ourselves back at the hovel, where we began. Fafnir, the dragon, still in the woods guarding his treasures all these years later; desperate for the tiniest piece of cheese, even; vittels bein' the flaw in 'is plan?

I'd say Mime is probably my favorite character in all the Ring - sometimes maybe Alberich, other times maybe Hagen - but Mime more often than not? I always side with the baddies in operas. Siegfried on the other hand - blond gooey-eyed Siegfried, hero, Held, so strong, so fit, so stirring, and other fine socialist-realist attributes - Siegfried I detest, just as the dwarves do. I mean - look at him ===> standing there, big flabby nancy examining his nails like a girl? Thick as a bucket of porridge, but full of himself. He deserves to die: and who better to stick it to him and maybe make a tidy profit on the side but Mime? Poor wretched much-maligned Mime?

He almost succeeds. Almost. The story runs that Siegfried, pissy and prissy, discards Mime's long-labored sword and decides to build his own: to re-build his own, rather, soldering the shattered shards of Notung! and banging the pieces, loudly, with his mighty clattering hammer to enshrine its very own exclamation point within it <aside>I shall never get used to the american pronunciation of "solder" - sodder </aside> until finally, naturally the loathsome pantywaist succeeds, as we all guessed he would. As I've said, utterly insufferable.

Well, now that Der verflagtiche Held has his own verflugtege Schwert he decides, as nordic heroes must, to venture into the forest and slay dragon Fafnir in his mist-wrapped layer. 'The hell did Fafnir ever do to him? It was his treasure, remember, given as ransom for Freia, the sweetest and prettiest goddess, whom the the other gods cleverly sold to the giants as payment for fortress Walhall, before they remembered it was her dainty apples kept them immortal? Fafnir, der Wurm, he worked so hard for that treasure: and now the joxy Superboy comes to steal it? P'tah! What kind of morality is this to teach to sensitive snuffling opera lovers?

And so, at last, we begin to approach the point of the post - I promise you, almost there: it was never meant to be about Der Ring - creeping through the forest with Mime while fat arse stomps ahead crushing all foliage and blasting his cow horn. Alberich, hated bruder, pokes out from a tree: "You know that dragon's got my Ring, don't you? Well keep your filthy paws off it: it's mein, Mein! I tell you!" mime hatches a simple plot for revenge - so elegant and self-fulfilling he won't even have to do very much: Let the fleischkopf boy take care of the dragon, then poison the bastard with a refreshing cuppie o' tea and take der Ring und der Tarnhelm and die Treasuren for himself! Brilliant!
Dann wahrlich müht sich Mime nicht mehr;Then truly Mime's toil will be over;
ihm schaffen andre den ew'gen Schatz.others will make eternal wealth for him.
Mime, der kühne, Mime is König,Mime the bold, Mime is king,
Fürst der Alben, Walter des Alls!prince of the elves, ruler of all!
Hei, Mime! Wie glückte dir das!Hi, Mime! How lucky you are!
Wer hätte wohl das gedacht?Who would have thought it?


But: but Noooooooo! The halfwit boy catches a splash of Fafnir blood on the back of his hand and licks it off! the savage! Faff the magic dragon has faffing magic blood! All of a sudden the bozon can understand the chirping of the birdies and - disastrously - the subvocal thinkings of Mime. Poor old Mime, on the verge of finally doing something right, speaks with his voice enticing words that invite the drythroat boy to slake his mighty fighter thirst, but underneath the boy can hear all of his plans!

Ach, poor Mime - done to death by that bloody Schwert, murdered by that gormless tit. All undone by a sip of Fafnir's blood.

Take ye then, oh long-suffering reader, back to today, to the Now and the Future: take thee to NASA and see what the bastards are upto now?

NASA is developing a subvocal speech system that could enable you to make a phone call while keeping your lips sealed.

How do you talk to someone without opening your mouth? Psychics call it telepathy. NASA refers to it as subvocal speech. Scientists at the NASA Ames Research Center in California have developed a system of tiny sensors that read nerve signals in the throat that control speech. You may not make a sound when, say, you read silently, but your nervous system is buzzing with activity. Recently, they used the system to make the first subvocal cell phone call.


[Cock o' the tricorn to the magnificent Boing-Boing]

No! No! Nein!

NASA is developing a subvocal speech system to steal your thoughts!

This is what happens, I tell you, when you hideaway Nazi scientists and use them for your own rocket programs! Oh they give you the rockets, sure they do, but they're giving you Fafnirblut too, though you'll notice they never fit it to themselves, cos that would give the game away?

Your thoughts are your own? For how long, d'ya think?

Look behind you, little Mime, and be careful - or he'll get you again.


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