Professor Harold Hill Explains the Gay Marriage Debate.
Every time I see The Music Man I admire its construction more. From one little tune (OK, the Minuet in G) Meredith Wilson teases out a score packed with vibrant, tuneful songs that each relate to the other to further the story. He also wrote some of the most original lyrics I know.
I was watching some of it last night and was gobsmacked to discover that not only had Mr. Wilson created one of the finest musicals in the canon but that he had also predicted today’s ‘debate’ over marriage equality.
If you think of billiards as ‘straight’ and pool as ‘gay’, you can see Professor Hill whip the good people of River City, Iowa, into a froth over… nothing. Just as, to take one example, the National Organization for Marriage, has whipped the good people of various states into a froth over… nothing.
For both the motive is money: the professor sells band instruments and uniforms, NOM provides handsome salaries, book contracts, speaking fees, and political influence.
For both the argument is sheer flimflam. Of the two I admit to a preference for the professor’s, being expounded in a lyric of great freshness and ingenuity. For NOM’s, not so much.
(Don’t you hate sentences being treated like paragraphs to make some passing fancy take on the appearance of Deep Thought?) However, building on this insight, is it too much to claim that in Ya Got Trouble, Mr. Wilson makes plain the Republican Party’s tactics for winning elections? Are we, in fact, living in a musical? And if we are…
… are we the chorus?