I can’t not share this as this is an issue close to me, and many other people as well. I just wish everyone would ask, when they see things like this; what if I found myself in their situation? What if my dignity, as a human, was beaten out of me?
Allesandro Moreschi’s voice is preserved in the only recordings to be made of their kind. In 1902, he was recorded singing “Ave Maria” and “Hostias et Preces.” Moreschi was castrated, likely when he was only eight years old, although it could have been earlier in his life. He was a Castrato; a prepubescent boy castrated so that he would retain his high, childlike voice for his whole life instead of “dropping” from puberty. Castrati were so popular, primarily because, in church, women were usually banned from singing based on the Pauline dictum, “let women keep silent in church”(I Corinthians, ch 14, v 34). When church choirs required voices with a range similar to (female)sopranos and mezzo-sopranos, Castrati were used. Castrati were popular in Europe from the 16th century to the 1860s.
The genital mutilation of children is generally accepted these days(although not in all parts of the world) as cruel and unacceptable. Unfortunately, people made the decision to place a boy’s (potential) singing career ahead of human rights. In the end, this is another disturbing example of the ways in which sexism(the banning of women from singing in church) has had negative repercussions on men and boys.
You can listen to the recordings of the Castrato Alessandro Moreschi here, and judge his voice for yourself!
I came and ate your fancy food.
It didn’t mean to rob you of your gourmet gummies.
I was just looking for lunch.
My greedy talons took your snacks–
which you had purchased the night ‘fore
–I was compelled by the spirit of my own wanton gut.
Yes, how disgusting am I, and people like me:
a cancer on faithful, law-abiding citizens everywhere who purchase overpriced pasta.
I must confess, I don’t like vegetables and plants.
I almost considered leaving your hipster harvest salad alone;
I did not.
It was good.
It was an experience, and it changed me.
I’m going vegan– no lie!
My plea is that you have mercy on my hungry, humble soul.
I swear, I tried to think smartly,
but the mounting pains in my belly took over!
I became something I don’t ever want to be:
The Food-Stealing Roommate.
Yes, yes, I’ve got a movie review for you! I’m a sucker for dark movies, but I thought this one–The Harvest–was worth recommending. As someone who has trouble sitting through long movies, I found The Harvest(1hr 44min) very watchable. From start to finish, the pacing was perfect. I’d like to add that this movie deals with the death of one’s child, among other sensitive topics, so keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to that. Even I was on edge, mouth twisted in disgust when things really started to get creepy.
A sickly boy(Charlie Tahan) is isolated from the outside and other children, “to keep his strength.” His abusive mother(Samantha Morton) is a doctor, and mild father(Michael Shannon) a nurse. When mounting evidence shows that the mother doesn’t truly care about the boy’s longevity, only the neighbor girl(Natasha Calis) can shine light on this dark family. All of the characters in The Harvest are believable, with familiar dynamics that hearken to real life. For example: the mother puts the father down by reminding him he’s just a nurse, and she an MD. The father, conversely, resents her status as a doctor.
The movie opens with a pleasant scene: kids are playing baseball, parents yelling encouragements from the bleachers. One kid, Bobby, is hit with the ball and flops to the ground, unresponsive. Adults crowd around him, but you can hear a woman calling: “Please, let me through… I’m his mom. Let me through.” Bobby is taken to hospital and saved. His mother, relieved, thanks the doctor with a hug. This seemingly inconsequential scene will not make sense until the very end of the movie. Actually, I went back and watched the opening again because I had nearly forgotten it as it seemed totally unrelated. Folks, I was wrong. Go back and watch the beginning again if you need to: it really frames the message of the movie.
Sidenote: The Harvest is available on Canadian Netflix.
It’s that time of year again and, unfortunately, I feel the need to remind you all about Summer safety for you and your loved ones. I don’t care whether you’re at a concert or the grocery store: do not leave your darkling in the car! I implore you: because they are covered in black velvet and silk, unlike you or I, they are extremely prone to heat stroke. Some people say you can leave the car windows rolled down an inch to keep them cool, but that does not prevent sunburn! Goths are delicate creatures and will sizzle, smoke, and blister if left in the car for too long. Additionally, bringing along a compact with white press powder will keep their skin hidden from Normals and daylight in the event of melting makeup. Always remember: bring extra sunscreen and your buddy’s favorite collection of romantic poems when spending time at the park together. Stay safe, and have a lovely Summer.