Doctor Inkpot’s General Health Warning
THIS ARTICLE IS CLASSIFIED AS HUMOUR. I.E. FUNNY STUFF NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. READERS WHO CANNOT STOMACH HUMOUR ARE HEREBY ADVISED TO LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. NO FLAMES WILL BE ENTERTAINED – IF YOU INTEND TO SEND US A FLAME BECAUSE OF THIS ARTICLE, YOU ARE HEREBY BRANDED AN INCURABLE LOWLIFE MADMAN AND WE SHAKE OUR HEADS AT YOU WITH EXTREME PITY.
Doctor Inkpot’s Musical Health Series
“We are Hear to Help You”
Based on the research of Dr. William Beh Phd. (FWMU), Phd. (SFA), MA(TFI), BA (FSSO)
Mahleria is one of the most serious health problems facing humanity. At least 10 million of the world’s music audience is known to be infected. Hundreds of thousands more “Closet Mahlerians” are believed to be infected, the rate growing every year.
The disease is mainly confined to the affluent areas of Europe, America and East Asia. The problems are aggravated by inadequate listening diets. The situation has complexified over the years with the increase in resistance to alternative musics used to combat the disease-carrying parasite.
Mahleria is caused mainly by the vector Compact Discs of the genus Blastmodium Postmodernemotionalis. Three species of Blastmodium can produce the disease in its various forms – Blastmodium Egogigantis, Blastmodium Miserablis and Blastmodium Mahleria. B. Egogigantis is the most dangerous: untreated it can lead to Fatal Cerebral Mahleria, in which the victim becomes zombie-like, hanging around concert halls with bagloads of CDs, staring balefully at potential converts and especially conductors deemed to have made mistakes.
Compact Discs are transmitted by the Blastmodium subspecies of the Concertgoer family. For some reason, mainly males carry the parasite. Like all other concertgoers, they breed primarily in concert halls, CD shops and music newsgroups. Sensitivity to pesticides, including high CD prices, is variable.
Parasites in a victim progressively break down other cells responsible for supporting other composers. This induces bouts of CDlust in the infected individual, as well as that feverish look in their eyes. In Cerebral Mahleria, the infected cells obstruct the blood vessels in the brain. This dangerous syptom can only be alleviated by listening to Mahler symphonies, which liberate the blood flow.
Mahleria can sometimes be cured by anti-mahlerial drugs in the form of Baroque music, Haydn’s early symphonies, Sibelius’ inner logic and Bach’s The Art of Fugue. The symptoms, pained descriptions of the composer’s life, extensive vocabularies for the synonyms of misery, and hovering near letter “M” at record stores quickly disappear once the parasite is killed.
In certain regions, however, the parasites have developed resistance to normal anti-Mahlerial drugs. Patients in these areas require treatment with more powerful drugs, such as Madonna, Stevie Wonder and Elvis Presley. Cases of severe disease including cerebral Mahleria require cold turkey treatment with the most hideous drug ever invented by humanity – Richard Clayderman.
The public is advised to be very quick when shopping for CDs in infected areas, especially those of you looking for “Lully” and “Martinu” CDs. If threatened, it may be helpful to whip out a hammer and say in a calm but firm voice: “Don’t come near me or I’ll strike the last hammer blow.”
A detailed knowledge of the ecology of the local vector is essential for controlling the disease. To begin with, it is useful to understand members of the subspecies.
2. Engendered Species
The average Mahlerian comes in a variety of species, much like any other type of concert-goer. This is a list of the more colourful ones:
The Know-It-Alls (Resistansis Futilium)
If the mandolin in the fourth movement of the Seventh Symphony misses a note in the sixteenth bar, these people will notice, let you know they noticed and will attempt to disgrace you for not having noticed. Do not engage them in discussion: it’s what they want, they won’t even listen to you and you cannot win. Pretend (or not) you have a stomachache and run. They’ll let you go as soon as their next victim appears.
The Seen-It-Alls (Prehistoricum Dinosaurus)
These people will try to convince you that you, the unfortunate newbie to Mahler, cannot possibly understand the meaning of real, great Mahlerian performance, since you have never heard a ‘live’ performance of the Eighth, let alone, for example, Barbirolli do the Ninth with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1964. Don’t let them get to you. They will also say the same thing to anyone else, even the conductor, given the opportunity. Unlike the Know-It-Alls, these people are not deliberately trying to be arrogant; they are just mourning their lost years. Smile indulgently and look upon them with as much pity as you can.
The Wannabes (Obscenis Ignoramus)
Conducting one’s speakers in the home can be quite fun, but certain enjoyable things done by oneself in private are best left private. When these people wave their arms around in the concert hall, they are merely exhibiting an ungarnished act of self-aggrandizement and the acme of pretentiousness, since if they were any good they would be already up there on the podium and not seated among the hoi polloi. These people have to be shamed publicly at the intermission. You can, for example, suggest loudly mistakes in their conducting (“…sehr langsam merely means very slow, not dead!”) or even tell them to “go home and practice some more first”.
The “We Came For Mahler” Crowd (Artus Fartus)
Now, these are the people for whom Mahler is more of a religion than an art form, and would rather sprain a muscle or two than admit otherwise. Any reference to his works as “classical music” will elicit violence, tooth and claw, from them. The good thing is that since these people use their nostrils to look at other people who are beneath conversation, they will not bother you much at the intermission. They can sometimes be identified by the battered, oversized Dover scores they carry under their arms.
The “Romantics” (Hypochrondus Maximus)
These people should be avoided at all costs, if only because they are chronically always in a romantic depression (also known as “artistic” depression), despite not really having anything to be depressed about. Readily identified by their black Giordano turtlenecks and constant dramatic wiping of their foreheads with the back of their hands, they are well read, consider themselves poets (“yes, quite, but aren’t we all?”) and will readily imagine themselves to be suffering (and sometimes dying) from a fatal heart condition, curiously not unlike the one which killed Mahler.
The Evangelists (Zealotum Cultus Mahlerea)
These are people for whom Mahler is absolutely a religion: they are convinced that there is only one composer worth listening to and Mahler is his name. They will feel violated if you even attempt to mention another name in their presence, and have collections of every single Mahler, and only Mahler, recording ever released, plus even more bootleg recordings made on Walkmans and exchanged between themselves. Since the invention of DVD, they will only watch Death in Venice in Soundtrack Only mode. Worse, they will not stop trying to convince you that their religion is the right one, the only one, citing examples ranging from how big Mahler gets (“…and you’ll need a cast of over a thousand people !”) to how popular Mahler is. There is also a factory beer ad which will send them into paroxysms of ecstasy, especially the portion when the conductor jumps in the air. To them, if there is a composer who could part the Red C, Mahler is him.
Pretend that you have been won over to their faith and have accepted Mahler as the one and only prophet, then try to escape at the first opportunity.
The F.A.M. Syndrome (Kaplaneria Psychosis)
These people suffer from extreme psychosis, also known as the “Fanatic About Mahler” Syndrome. (Also informally called “Flying Around the Maypole”, “Foaming At the Mouth”, etc.) They will have wet dreams about quitting their jobs, acquiring Mahler’s original manuscripts and taking conducting lessons for a whole year, just for the pleasure of conducting a Mahler symphony with orchestras around the world. The extraordinarily wealthy ones, as in “I have so much money I don’t even know what to do with what’s left with after I’ve finished spending what I want to spend”, have been known to actually make it happen. But such people are, fortunately, very rare indeed.
The Sing-Alongs (Podex Perfectus)
There is no legal jurisprudence in the world, or at least in those parts of the world with decent symphony orchestras, who would convict you for the culpable homicide of one of these, provided that you have given them at least one warning – a fierce stare is acceptable while the performance is in progress – before killing them. Some places will even give you a public service medal for your contribution to the arts.
SO…. WHICH ONE ARE YOU?
DON’T WAIT – CALL FOR HELP NOW:
This has been another community service from
Doctor Inkpot’s Musical Health Series
“We are Hear to Help You”
William Beh does not confirm nor deny that he is a closet Mahlerian, and any inferences drawn from this reply are the reader’s own.