Setter’s ‘Spectives: It’s the Met Orchestra, Once Again

Setter Drawing for Blog 082613No, this post doesn’t have anything to do with the movies. Instead, it concerns a great mystery: Why I keep seeing the Met Orchestra perform at New York City venues.

Yes, this is a fantastic group of musicians, and its conductor, the estimable James Levine, is one of the best out there today. But this is the umpth time I’ve attended concerts featuring this orchestra within only a few months, and I’m not even a subscriber to the Metropolitan Opera.

Don’t get me wrong … I don’t mind these concerts a bit. In fact, they’ve been terrific. For example, yesterday afternoon at Carnegie Hall, I saw and listened to wonderful renditions of Beethoven’s Second Symphony and Schumann’s Second, Dvorak and Strauss songs warbled by famed soprano Anna Netrebko, and some dreadfully noisy Elliott Carter “Illusions” that seemed quite out of place in the presence of such melodic masterpieces. In general, the afternoon was brilliant, and the sound produced was exciting, with Carnegie Hall’s renowned acoustics doing the great pieces justice.

I just wonder why I’ve been present so frequently at the Met Orchestra’s performances of late. Is it destiny? Fate? It’s like I’m in some Wagner opera dealing with predetermination.

At this juncture, it’s not clear when the next concert will be. I suspect, thought, that it’ll be sooner rather than later.

Skip’s Quips: Should Movies Be Free?

Blog Sketch 082813I think so. Why not? Sure, it would mean the collapse of an entire industry, but it might spawn others. Concession sales would boom. More people would go to the theaters.

If only movies were free.

I’m talking about movies on cable, too. You shouldn’t have to pay for anything – even good movies. Make that especially good movies. Quality should be gratis. No one should have to pay to improve his or her life cinematically.

My feeling is that everyone should have the right to enjoy a good movie … and not be prevented from doing so by cost considerations. Great films are one way we make society better. They should be distributed like medicine is in some countries.


Now, I’m not saying we should go ahead and download movies illegally. Far from it. We have laws, and we need to abide by them. But ideally, we shouldn’t have to pay for great art. It should be provided to the public, like the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, do. Everyone should be able to have access to cinematic masterpieces.

It’s not the case now, and I don’t think it will ever happen. It should, though. It would make the world a better place. It would make everyone a lot happier.

If only movies were free.