Friday, February 22, 2008
workers of the world, stage right
The other night I was watching a PBS documentary about a state dinner at Buckingham Palace thrown for Jacques Chirac. The London cast of Les Miserables were set to perform right there in Buckingham Palace, in what is usually called "The Waterloo Room" but was cleverly renamed "The Music Room" for one night. In less diplomatic choices, the producers of the documentary decided to use the song "At the End of the Day," sung by those eponymous "Miserables," to score a montage of the servants of Buckingham Palace working their butts off to feed 70-plus guests arriving by private jet and limosine. Did no one put two and deux together to recall that the discontent of the French underclass, of the kind expressed in the song, has in the past led to the heads of aristocrats on the pitchforks of peasants? How about "Carolina in My Mind" over sepia-toned photos of General Sherman's scorched earth campaign through the American Southeast?