Culturally speaking…

I saw this meme at Melli‘s, who saw it at Dr. John‘s, who saw it who knows where.

In the past week have you done any high cultural activities like see theatre, opera or visit a museum?

I haven’t gone anywhere to do so, but I heard a Chopin piece on the radio yesterday (I used to know the names of some of them but have forgotten now) and the melody from Beethoven’s Symphony 7, opus 91, movement 2, allegretto has been running through my mind since I saw it in a movie earlier this week. I had heard it before, but didn’t know the name — I looked up the movie (which I DIDN’T like — the movie that is, not the act of looking up the piece) to find it.

Do you consider yourself a cultured person overall?

Well, I had to ponder that one. I looked up the dictionary definition of culture, and three applicable definitions of the ten listed are:

1. the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.
2. that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.
4. development or improvement of the mind by education or training.

We’ll skip the one about growing bacteria. 😀 I would say I enjoy culture, but I don’t know if I would say I am a cultured person. I have some education, I know some classical art and music, but not as much as I’d like. Whatever I know, there is much more out there to know. Another definition says, “Educated, polished, and refined; cultivated.” Polished — no — I have a long way to go there.

What is your favorite high culture activity?

I like listening to classical music, but I most enjoy listening to it at home while I am doing other things.

Have you ever been a participant/performed in a cultured activity?

I was in a choir that sang Handel’s Messiah.

Do you prefer pop culture or high culture?

I guess it depends on what is meant by or included in pop culture. I like some of Michael Buble, Josh Groban, the Irish Tenors, Il Divo, the King’s Singers — they’re current but in between either extreme, I think. I don’t listen to much of what’s popular in music — I’d be as wary of a modern-day play (as in one written in modern times, not a classic one that is performed now) as I am of modern films and literature because of the more overt language and sensuality. I’d have to say I prefer the classics, though I don’t like everything that one would call classic. I also like most the “standards” — “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Just the Way You Look Tonight,” etc., which were pop culture in their day.

And someone will likely note that operas and some classic plays and films and literature have some degree of sensuality. I don’t read or listen to anything overt, but just the fact that one of these pieces has adultery or something related isn’t enough to put aside: it depends on how it is handled. The Bible, after all, tells us of people who committed various sins, but not in a way that would tempt one to follow suit and with clear consequences for the actions.

Was there anything in this past week that you couldn’t wait to be done with?

I’m with Melli in wondering how these last 3 questions relate to culture??? I’m trying to think — nothing is coming to mind.

Did you clear it out of the way or will it face you once the new week resumes?

Since I couldn’t think of an answer for the above question I guess I don’t have an answer for this one, either.

Do you now know how to prevent such a thing from occurring in the future?

I know with unpleasant or hard tasks that it is best to go ahead and get them out of the way, but I confess I all too often put them off and have to get myself in gear.

What was one of your favorite cultural experiences?

This wasn’t on the original meme: I added it. I had never attended an opera before college, and the college I went to put on one opera a year. I determined that I was going to have a good attitude about it and look for the things about it I could enjoy (not my usual procedure, I’m afraid.) And I did love the costumes, the emotion, the abilities of the performers. It helped that my first opera experience was Mefistofle, the Faust legend in which Faust sells his soul to the devil, but in this version he comes back to God at the end. I’ll never forget the scene at the end where he’s praying and the devil is trying to show him various temptations, but Faust ignore him and keeps praying. One doesn’t cheer at operas like one does at a ball game, but I wanted to cheer, “Go, Faust, go!”

I kind of have to be in the mood to enjoy opera, but I also used to like a radio program that was on years ago which I think was called “Saturday Afternoon at the Met.” They would play an opera performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, and they’d explain what was going on in the scenes and have neat interviews and such at the intermission.

Another was seeing the King’s Singers perform live. I would love to see the Irish Tenors and the Boston Pops live some time.

Another was visiting the home of Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus stories, when we lived outside of Atlanta. We were home schooling at the time and our home school support group took a field trip there.

Another was the Living Gallery that Jason was a part of last spring.

I listed some of my favorite classical music pieces here and favorite CDs here.

How about you? Let me know if you do this meme. I’d love to see your answers.

7 thoughts on “Culturally speaking…

  1. I don’t consider myself “cultured” (and probably neither does anyone else who knows me) but I do enjoy some “high culture” things, such as going to the symphony occasionally. I like the definition of culture that said “that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.” because I believe we can all enjoy excellence, whether we’re considered cultured or not. I love excellence in all things, and the Bible tells us to “approve things that are excellent.” I enjoyed this one, Barbara!

  2. You did a great job with this one Barbara! That opera sounds like it should be MY first too! I’m going to look into that. Krysti saw an opera in Europe somewhere… and she LIKED it! Then I felt bad because that was one form of culture I had never exposed her to. I will have to remedy this!

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