For a mid-week post, I was girding myself to produce an elevating squib on Alex Ross’s much-lauded history of 20th-century music, The Rest is Noise. However, having reached only page 90 so far, even I am reluctant to offer a nugget-sized synopsis of Ross’s argument. For more, stay tuned–unless you’re a follower of the Second Viennese School (now that’s pure comedy gold).
On a lighter note, figuratively if not literally, the cover of this week’s RTE Guide reminded me of the rich cultural patrimony I had been missing during my U.S. absence. The national broadcaster’s latest allelomimetic foray into reality TV is dubbed “Operation Transformation,” which looks like a rehash of “The Biggest Loser,” except with cheaper production values. Nevertheless, in one respect, RTE has broken new ground in the “weeping-fatties” reality subgenre. Judging from the well-padded figure Gerry Ryan cuts on the magazine’s cover, this must be the first such show in which the host is in as dire need of a physical transformation as the contestants.