Gilbert & Sullivan: Anti-Entertainment Terrorists

When you hear the names Gilbert and Sullivan, where does your mind go? ‘Topsy Turvy’ perhaps? Does it make you wax twee about how they ‘just don’t make them like that anymore’? Are you whisked away to a very fairy land of impossible conclusions, truly wretched love lines, enough whimsy to choke a fucking mule?


And does it make you angry? Like…righteous indignation type anger?


These are the questions that floated around my head in the dark of the theater. Impossible anger. That I only experienced once before in my life: at a performance of ‘Paint Your Wagon’.


So I’m not so into Operettas. I think that much is clear. And people are allowed to like or dislike whatever they want. Right? So…end of blog.


Nope. Cause…. I found a grand conspiracy among these grandiose players. Something truly nefarious. And I am naming names.


I put forth that both Gilbert (wordsmith) and Sullivan (composer) were very talented gentlemen. So why are their collected works such a stain on the very concept of entertainment and enjoying…anything?


By design, of course.


I put forth that these gentlemen were ahead of their time. Not in what they produced: they were more a victim of their time in fashion. No.


These were dangerous dudes. Anarchists. They toyed with the very reality around them. They knit together Parliament and Faeries and Pirates and made it all terrible. Like….truly…terrible.


I put forth that Gilbert And Sullivan were against Entertainment as a form, and worked within their network of black hats and authentic ghouls to produce impossible, incomprehensible, so fucking irritating ‘works’ for an attention starved public.


As I was growing angrier sitting in that dark theater seat, I tried to distract myself. Unfortunately I chose to read the words that they were singing. That…was an error.


It made me wish speech was never invented, writing was just a passing fad. I enjoy word play…but these words were not playing. They were conscientious objectors in the war against time passing. They were nonsensical….and yet deeply offensive.


This is not a mistake. Gilbert and Sullivan were trying to bring the industry down, burn it to the ground. I picture them as figures of derring-do, genial gentlemen of leisure from all accounts, but backstage… they were terrorists against fun and frolic. They made even the most innocent form of frolic into something that tastes war crime’y.


And considering this…considering these men as secretly supporting the system that would pull down all form of fun and leave us with grey tinged POV’s and the outlaw actions of laughter…like real laughter…. I admired them some. It made me smile.


And then intermission ended. And I was lost.




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