She and Dave B (or Kate H, or two of the three, or all of the three, or none of the three) introduced me to the most fab party game ever, Murder Midnight. I am not going to delve deep within the labyrinthine, exotic rules of that game right now, but to mention that it was ever so crucial to play that game to the scariest music imaginable, played at an absolutely ear-splitting volume. The game involved v little dialogue until the "reveal scene", which was perfunctory, and short, and most oftentimes, depending on the quality of the players, was mostly, solved (sussed) as the "villain" began to "corpse"*
Allison W (and David B, and possibly Kate H) always insisted that the music for our game be Stravinsky's, The Rites of Spring. Certainly terrifying, even at a dull roar, it was an artistic arrow through the brain for a young Michael Spitler, and turned me on to classical music in a way I had never been turned on before.
But, Allison W was not done yet.
Applying the tumultuous pagan spirit of Stravinsky's groundbreaking music for a ballet that Stravinsky always hated, Allison took the whole theme of Spring a step yet further.
Allison W introduced to her eager disciples that the Rites of Spring were not just a ballet score, but a way of life, existence.
To her, and to us (and to me, to this day), The Rites of Spring were a certain point in a person's life, when the weather became better, temperatures rose, the sun set later, and a person's priorities suddenly seemed to change, go haywire.
Do I really wanta write that paper tonight? Fuck it, I would rather go down the Crown and Anchor. Do I really want to go to class tomorrow? Fuck it, I would rather hit Hippie Hollow. Do I really wanta sit in the cafe, listening to some loser person that most def prob does not even like me? Fuck it, I'd rather hang out w/ my friends, watch Letterman, listen to Elvis Costello, and try on ridiculous fancy new clothes and frocks.
Alright, you say. Okay, you insist. Allison's Rites of Spring is perhaps not all that unlike the concepts of say, Spring Fever. Or Walpurgisnacht. I, most respectfully, disagree. Walpurgisnacht and Spring Fever have a distinct sexual subtext to them. Allison's Rites were much more chaste, more an expression of young unfettered intellectual yearning. That the World's brilliant limited window was open. Just a crack. And, goddammit, we had better bust through that window in the limited opportunity that we have.
And it is that window that children, students (especially), and even old men like me, are e'er so eager to bust through every time, that the Sun finally sets after seven PM.
I have a friend that has expressed to me that The Rites of Spring (even if she was not familiar w/ the language and rules that I had not yet presented to her) have already begun! It has not yet happened for me in Twentythirteen. And, I know not what state Allison W, Dave B, and Kate H are in.
But, as the sun sets later these days. And, the Perfect Disaster's Up record starts to sound more delicious. And Veep consumes Tumblr, HBO, and both my Wife and I's life; and as it is ever so nearly the Twelve Days of Michael's Birthday, can I honestly say, that fuck it, I dare not finally care about the signs and tastings and marketing of so many wines I can not whole-heartedly get behind.
It is The Rites of Spring, gosh dangit. Observe it to your discretion. For some (many) it might be an excuse for free love. For this soul it is the moment where life, in its pathetic, tawdry, mundane illusion of existence becomes real.
Perfect moments abound, goddamit! Get out there and grab them!
All my love,
Michael David Spitler
P.S. One of my fave all-time things is that players, conductors, ballet directors, balletomaine, and composers still hate Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps. The only folks that love Stravinsky's difficult and groundbreaking music are crazed, difficult drama majors and art students. Eighty years old, and it is still a bridge so many in the Art World are not ready to cross. Their loss.