La Cieca (not pictured) surrenders, cher public: she can no longer bear the burden of opposing ignorant, hysterical pearl-clutching on the internet. The clutchers have won.

It started a couple of days ago, when a friend of the box (who shall remain nameless for his own safety) posted, purely as a goof, a link to an antique news article about what looks to have been a rather lousy production of Un ballo in maschera in Erfurt in the spring of 2008. (Remember? That was in the middle of the Obama/McCain campaign.)

Longtime readers of may recall we discussed that show at some length way back then, and it’s even made a cameo appearance in the prospectus for the “New York City Opera Renaissance” as example of the ooga-booga Peter Gelb is plotting to ram down the throats of decent God-fearing New Yorkers, so you should give us money.

But now, suddenly, in 2015, whole phalanxes of internet worrywarts have seized upon this story so violently they seem to have missed the bit where the datestamp says “2008” and we’re off and running with The Emperor’s New Clothes and Verdi spinning in his grave due to his intentions and why don’t they write their own opera… and the whole foofaraw.

I give up. You can’t help people who are willing to lay down their lives to remain ignorant. Let the universe crumble, let there be pearl-clutching in the streets. I just don’t fucking care any more.