I am disgusted.
One of our most important historical relics was desecrated this week. James Madison's most treasured belonging was used on stage by a pop star. She played with the original draft of the Constitution of the United States of America like it was a toy! It was horrifying to watch!
Wait, my bad. It was just a flute.
A lot of people in our world have been throwing a tantrum since Lizzo played James Madison's Crystal Flute™ during a concert this week. They were incredibly angry. They said it was part of an anti-American Humiliation ritual.
I don't buy it. At all.
You didn't even know this damn flute existed until Lizzo played until two days ago. But the way it was talked about (by both the Right and Left), you'd think you were the jackass for not recognizing the importance of the flute.
Here's the truth: James Madison barely knew he had it.
The Crystal Flute was the invention of Claude Laurent. He produced many of them and won a silver medal in the Paris Industrial Exposition in 1806 for them. They were highly sought after by aristocrats around the world. And he made one specifically as a gift for James Madison in honor of Madison's second inauguration.
That's the flowery history. What I read is that the flute was made by some 2nd place FRENCH debutant.
I can't find anything that says James Madison ever played the stupid thing. Actually, I can't find much about James Madison and flutes in general. The one letter we have of Madison talking about the French crystal flute is almost indecipherable so we don't even know if he liked it or not. We don't even know if Madison took the flute with him before the scumbag Brits torched the White House during the War of 1812 (His wife, Dolley, did make sure to secure this iconic portrait of George Washington before they fled).
Point of fact: this specific crystal flute was (at some point) given to Dolley Madison's son from a previous marriage, John Payne Todd, by either her or the President as a gift because he liked fine arts.
James Madison's stepson also liked whoring, drinking, and had a terrible gambling addiction. JPT was such a mess he ended up in a debtor's prison. It is a small miracle he didn't trade the flute for opium.
JPT bequeathed the flute to Dr. John Boyle at the end of his life, probably to pay off some medical debt (perhaps opium related?). The Boyle family seems to be the first people to officially give two shits about the flute, arranging for it to be displayed at the United States National Museum.
After changing hands once more, the flute was donated to the Library of Congress in 1941, where it has been collecting dust in a vault for nearly a century.
There is one reference to the flute in a letter to Dolley Madison that suggests some guy you've never heard of wanted to play the crystal flute for Dolley (very sus).
It is entirely possible no one has ever played this flute until today.
Maybe I'm wrong. I'm not a music person, but isn't playing music the point of an instrument? If Lizzo took the flute and smashed it to pieces, I'd appreciate your outrage and share in it myself.
But she didn't. She played it.
Quite well, too!
When I see the video, I see an American with an appreciation of the history she's holding. She's not reverent in the way that you would be with a holy relic, but it is not a holy relic.
There's no sneering irony from Lizzo, only excitement and joy. She even apologizes to James Madison for messing up and jiggling.
If James Madison came back from the dead, the crystal flute would be the last thing he'd care about. He'd be hurling slurs at politicians and demanding to know why the Congress he designed has abdicated so much of its power to the Executive which he intended to be weak. He'd be unfathomably confused why the US is giving more money than he could conceive of to a country on the other side of the world. He'd weep for the rights we've lost and for how so many now desire to destroy the constitutional republic he's credited for inventing.
Although, his priorities might change if he watched Lizzo twerk.
e fact that Lizzo had no reservations about Madison, didn't give a 15 minute speech about how he was a racist slave owner, and was genuinely giddy proves the Cathedral isn't as in control as they let on. After years of them shoving Lizzo down our throats, she still loves this country more than they know and thinks "History is freaking cool" instead of wanting to burn it to the ground.
Conservatives correctly recognize when liberals are trying to upset them and yet they get upset anyway.
Why are you giving them what they want?
They hate you and your principles. So when they try to use Lizzo to denigrate you, why take it personally?
Do you know what I see when I see Lizzo with that flute? The promise of America. An obese black woman playing a 200 year old piece of history to a stadium audience is the spirit of liberty.
This is an opportunity to talk about Madison as a defining feature of this country. The more you bitch and moan about how disgusted you are, the more time you give them to talk about how Madison was bad.
If you start claiming their "humiliation rituals" as right wing wins, they'll lose their minds before you do.
Not only am I happy Lizzo played the flute, I'm furious that the liberals at the library took so long to give it to a professional flautist. How many more instruments are they hiding in those vaults? How many kidnapped children are being forced to clean historic pieces that the liberals are keeping from us?
Besides, its just a shitty flute from France. We always get ourselves into trouble idolizing gifts from France.