23 August 2006

Bayreuth 11

Now that I know I can get downtown through the park behind the hotel, I always go that way. Right as I cross the bridge into downtown there is a cineplex, which is showing one or two German films but mostly the latest Hollywood releases. The largest banners are for the summer's big hit, Fluch der Karibik 2 with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, and Superman Returns, whose title is given in English.
I'm seeing lots of English around. Occasionally I feel the urge to try communicating in French, the European language I am least bad at, but then realize I'm better off with English. I see a lot of T-shirts with English on them, often just one word like Love or Intensity, but sometimes phrases. Today I saw a girl who clearly had read too much about Paris Hilton wearing a shirt that said I'm Hot You're Not in silvery letters. A lot of the teenagers here look like Americans, but the older people almost never do. And the other day I saw a young mother pushing a baby stroller wearing a shirt that said Scream When You Want Be Free. Though her baby wasn't crying at the time, I wondered how long it would be before she thought more about both the literal and metaphorical meaning of the shirt and put it away for good. I, being immersed in the intensity and extremity of Wagner's librettos, thought "Only the freest of babies can redeem the World's Sorrow!"

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