Friday, June 24, 2016

Back to Reality

The Second City Guide to the TSO was really amusing.  One of the more interesting jokes was when a guy tried to pretend he knew all about the symphony to impress his date (at the exclusive restaurant Just Two Chairs), and he said that he played the bazoo, which was a cross between a bassoon and a kazoo.  An awful lot of the show was the Second City crew coming up with funny lyrics to sing on top of classical phrases, which was entertaining though not really all that deep.  I actually liked the sketches better, and the musical improv they did was impressive.  Probably my favorite of all was the Bach-off where C.P.E Bach and W.F. Bach are going after the same gig and they have a rap battle.  It was clever and reasonably impressive.  I would love to see that on Youtube one of these days.  Anyway, it was fun and silly and a nice break from all the seriousness in the world.  BTW, somehow I managed to get myself turned around on the subway and I ended up at Spadina before I realized my mistake.  I haven't done that in quite a while.  But I am back now, checking the internet and seeing about the news from the UK (which is why I am riffing off of an episode of Red Dwarf from Series V).

Anyway, for once the news from the U.S. is fairly subdued, relative to the news from the UK, though it is certainly a shame that any sort of gun control is just off the table in the States.  Also, the U.S. can't have any kind of adult conversation, let alone political compromise, on the issue of immigration.

But immigration fears are really at the heart of Brexit, and it looks like the Leave camp will prevail (52%-48%), which almost no one was actually expecting.  They thought it would be another squeaker, like Scottish independence or even the various Quebec referendums, but that the "right" choice would prevail.  I was pretty sure that the recent waves of immigrants would break up the EU, especially given that the political elites simply will not allow meaningful debate over immigration controls in Western Europe.  However, even I didn't expect that it would come quite so quickly.  On the whole, I think voting to leave was a mistake, but it definitely serves as a warning shot across the bow to political elites who feel they know what is the best for the general public, particularly in the EU but elsewhere as well.  Anyway, the entire situation is far too complex for me to do it any real justice in a post.  It is always risky predicting current events, but I will say that depending on how Brexit unfolds, the next time there is a major debt crisis in Greece (probably 3-4 months from now), Grexit might look a lot more tempting to the people at the top, and frankly I think Greece should have withdrawn from the Euro a year ago when it still had some level of sovereignty.  An even more intriguing and potentially upsetting development is that Scotland voted fairly overwhelmingly to stay in the EU, and they will almost certainly try to trigger another referendum right away to break away from England. I'm not really sure what else to say, though I do prefer watching this as an outsider rather than experiencing what happens to Britain and the rest of Europe from close up.  I suspect that there will be some spillover in North America and a lowered economic forecast over here, but it will most likely be a muted impact.

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