This weekend embodied, in a nutshell, the entirety of my relationship to culture (whatever that is).
Speaking, of course, as somebody whose entire knowledge of high culture comes from Bugs Bunny cartoons and Muppet Show riffs on famous performances.
On Friday evening, on my way back from the airport, I stopped in Bernalillo to visit the two intrepid Scotts of lost city fame. Several hours — several heated hours — of KISS pinball ensued. Yes, you read that correctly. KISS pinball.
Oh, stop giggling. Not that kind of “kiss pinball.” This kind. As in, there was a KISS-themed pinball machine, and we played about 20 rounds on said machine. (And I lost about 18 of them.)
And last night I attended a performance of Faust at the lovely open-air Santa Fe Opera.
Opera, pinball, high culture, popular culture from the better-if-they-were-forgotten-entirely 1970s… it’s all the same from where I stand. Which probably says a lot about me. And none of it good.
Hmm…. I just realized there’s a strange connection here.
When I was a very small child, KISS was downright scary to me. Everyone knew they were Satanists, and they killed people on stage, and listening to their music made you a drug addict. I steered clear of the kids who collected KISS trading cards. But now I look back from the perspective of a few additional decades and think, “Oh, a heavy metal kabuki show. How cute.” Yet meanwhile, the story of a man who sells his soul to Mephistopheles for the chance to seduce a young maiden has been considered high art for many, many years.