And His Funny Hat
The bomb is everywhere, I'm just saying. In the fall at the Metropolitan Opera, it was Dr. Atomic, by minimalist John Adams, the anxiety of the test at Los Alamos and Oppenheimer poking fun at General Groves's cake-eating. Then Mike Daisey, in a monologue, talked about Oppenheimer's inexperience and his youth, and pulled out a piece of green radioactive trinitite that he bought at a junk shop near the site called The Black Hole. In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell talks about Oppenheimer, says he tried to poison his tutor at Cambridge and that he was savvy, which is why he made it to Trinity despite his youth and why he didn't, like some other geniuses, fall by the wayside. Then there's fall-out shelters being all the rage. The Believer had an article about Greenbrier and the new craze in not only flocking to fall-outs, but building your own personal bomb-holes. This rash of bomb-related theatrical (and other) expressions reminds me of Rite of Spring, ca. 1913, a dance so vulgar and music, the insistent rhythm of which was so unfamiliar that everyone was in an uproar, because they were all sensing in some subconscious way the impending political situation. They took it out on the poor choreographer and composer. Gertrude Stein pretended she was there, it was that important. No one was in an uproar at the opera last fall, or at Mike Daisey's show or, I suppose, when visiting a fall-out. Maybe people don't get into uproars anymore. I want an uproar. But I will take an off-kilter hat.