Wednesday, September 21, 2005


"[T]he Italian composer Luciano Berio wrote a musical piece called Passagio, which he expected to cause a scandal. So before the first performance he instructed the chorus on how to respond to insults from the audience. Should someone shout "buffoni", they would join in, speed it up, lengthen the vowels, and improvise on it until it became part of the performance. That way the audience lost the chance to protest. European parliamentary democracy is like that (especially the Dutch system, which of course shaped my views); every alternative is immediately co-opted and made harmless." (David, commentator on the Long Sunday Blog, Sep. 19, 2005).


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