The Animals of Tragedy

The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense…Jane Austen
quoted by Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane, darling, I hear you loud and clear. Not much has changed in regard to human nature since that was written back in the late 1700’s. Sometimes, it is so painful to observe life play out in all it’s drama. Watching as functional children are born into a dysfunctional lot. Bearing witness to the cruelty toward others by a single person’s indifference.

Fatal AttractionWhen I was younger, I used to hold myself to a certain yardstick. Well, at least I’m not Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction. I mean at least I have my dignity. I certainly don’t have any prospects for a life but I’m not insane YET. Maybe ol Glenn wasn’t really insane after all, maybe her chakras were just blocked. I don’t know. The reason I bring up my former yardstick for success is that “Fatal Attraction” also introduced me to something else, the opera, Madame Butterfly. I’m not as savage as one might think. I do so enjoy a good opera. Oh, Brava, Brava, the audience calls to the diva in a huge dress and powder galore all over her face.

Madame ButterflyAh, the diva, to be so utterly in love with one’s self is beyond a doubt the most boring facet of life I could possibly comprehend. Yet the world is overrun with narcissists these days. Regard for nothing more than looking appealing on the outside. Work on one’s character is not even secondary to looking hot, it is non-existent.

How does, Jane Austen, Fatal Attraction, Madame Butterfly, and narcissists all relate? To me it’s very evident but I have the luxury of living in my own head. I submit the human causes of tragedy, a player in the play of life, the user. The one user in art that sets me off into a fiery rage the most is Pinkerton, in particular, from Madame Butterfly. Anyway, I wrote a poem about it in an effort to quell my rage…


Awaiting the first note in utter darkness
The stage is set, lovely sights and sounds
I plead unfamiliarity with the opera unfolding before me

Becoming unsettled as the opera plays out
Mulling over the story during intermission, I become livid

The self-serving and self-indulgent Pinkerton and the foolish Madame Butterfly
that loves him.

She gives up everything for him, family, beliefs and country for that jack ass
who is only interested in getting his ya yas for a month or two and then
he’s back off to America

Am I suppose to feel something different from rage by the end?

Some cry.
am seething in my seat

Poser, self-indulgent, undeserving, self-serving, low life, four flusher

I will edit the opera in my mind, adding the last scene, I, charging the stage
with a knife and filleting him. Gut him like in that scene in the Godfather Two,
a fitting end to a user of people.

Take a savage to the opera and there could be bloodshed. It is not in my DNA to acquiesce in the face of destruction. I can’t turn to my lover and say, “Gee, that’s a shame!” and then fall fast asleep. I become unsettled and my instincts make me want to act out.


lil freud says:

“Dis charging knife I see as positively phallic. So, you vish you had a penis or vat?”


8 thoughts on “The Animals of Tragedy

  1. Cathy,

    I know you are making a serious point here, and the point is well made.
    Yet underneath it all I get a real sense of that wonderful ability you have – the ability not to take yourself too seriously 🙂
    God forbid that you or I should ever take ourselves too seriously!!

    I really enjoyed this


    • Hey David,

      You take it exactly in the manner I mean it even if I don’t realize it at the time I’m writing it. I was mad and cracking myself up at the same time. Too seriously, God forbid indeed.

      I’m so glad you liked it.


  2. Loved this! I agree about Pinkerton and I think Pinkerton Must Die would make a great story in the spirit of Rosenkrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead

    We should do a joint post sometime about allegedly tragic or heroic characters who are really jerks if you examine the story in the right light.

    • Hey Balladeer,

      Thank you. So many people are moved to sadness over that opera and I just get so angry. I thought I was the only one.

      re: joint post. It sounds like fun. At the moment I can’t think of anything to write about. I’m all spent up but I’m sure we could come up with something. Keep in touch.


  3. like it!

    i don’t get the references, as I quite literally live in a cave compared to your artful pursuits…
    but I get the idea…

    and i feel the same. PINKERTON MUST DIE!

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