When 'Carmen' premiered in 1875, it was panned by the critics. It survived 45 performances. It was called a musical and moral outrage. After Bizet died, at age 37, 'Carmen' became wildly popular. If you believe in your creation, and the rest of the world is laughing or yelling 'Boo,' don't give up.
Fifty-nine cents. For years, I wore a button - '59 cents.' Many of my colleagues wore it also. The purpose was so that people would come up and ask, 'What does '59 cents' mean?' One could then launch into a discussion about how women working full time in the U.S. earn 59 cents for every dollar earned by men.
As any opera fan knows, lawyers and judges do not fare well in most operas. Just consider the productions of 'Andrea Chenier,' 'Aida, Norma,' 'Billy Budd,' 'Peter Grimes,' 'The Crucible,' 'Lost in the Stars,' 'The Marriage of Figaro,' 'The Makropulos Case' and Wagner's 'Ring' cycle. Around 1810, the theme of justice emerged in opera.
If a woman makes a unilateral decision to bring pregnancy to term, and the biological father does not, and cannot, share in this decision, he should not be liable for 21 years of support... autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice.
In my opinion, the battles over birth control and Planned Parenthood are primarily neither political nor religious. This is an issue of equality for women. This is an issue of women's rights: Planned Parenthood is the most important private provider of reproductive health care for women in the United States.
The censors have always had a field day with James Joyce, specifically with 'Ulysses,' but also with his other writings. The conventional wisdom is that this is because of sexually explicit passages (and there certainly are those). I have always thought that what the critics hated and feared about Joyce is his cry for human freedom.
How did abortion and birth control impact the congressional race of Dan Maffei and Ann Marie Buerkle or the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney? I don't know. But I think the so-called social issues were front and center in the minds of voters. These issues may indeed have lost the Republicans some elections.
From 1961 to 1964, I was fortunate enough to work at a think tank in the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago. As a writer and editor, I reported in a publication about the thinkers. Our offices were in a former mansion; I worked in what had been the ballroom. As I sat typing my copy, I imagined the dancers waltzing.