Cory Leonard

Lord of the Internet Rings – NYTimes.com

In tech on October 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm

 

Usually Dowd annoys as she carries the burden of cleverness.  (How to come up with catchy nicknames all the time that are fit to print?).  But here I give due where it is deserved.  Her essay comparing “Das Rheingold” to “The Social Network” is brilliant (dare I say “Brooks-like”) in its timeliness, insight, and literary themes:

This is a drama about quarrels over riches, social hierarchy, envy, theft and the consequence of deceit — a world upended where the vassals suddenly become lords and the lords suddenly lose their magic.

 

 

The beauty who rejects the gnome at the start is furious when he turns around and betrays her, humiliating her before the world. And the giant brothers looming over the action justifiably feel they’ve provided the keys to the castle and want their reward. One is more trusting than the other, but both go berserk, feeling they’ve been swindled after entering into a legitimate business compact.

But as I watched the opera, my mind kept flashing to the “The Social Network,” another dazzling drama about quarrels over riches, social hierarchy, envy, theft and the consequences of deceit. A Sony executive called “The Social Network,” the David Fincher-Aaron Sorkin movie about Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his circle of ex-friends and partners, “the first really modern movie.” Yet the strikingly similar themes in Wagner’s feudal “Das Rheingold” — the Ring cycle is based on the medieval German epic poem “Das Nibelungenlied,” which some experts say helped inspire J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” — underscore how little human drama changes through the ages. …

We are always fighting about social status, identity, money, power, turf, control, lust and love. We are always trying to get even, get more and climb higher. And we are always trying to cross the bridge to Valhalla.

 

 

via Op-Ed Columnist – Lord of the Internet Rings – NYTimes.com.

 

 

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