Classically Trained Flautist Lizzo Caught Playing Flute While ... You Know
"History is freaking cool you guys!" yelled Lizzo from a Washington DC stage to a throng of cheering fans, just moments after playing a few notes off of President James Madison's crystal flute, on loan from the Library of Congress — an instrument that had reportedly never been played, by anyone, in the 200 years it has existed on this planet.
\u201cNOBODY HAS EVER HEARD THIS FAMOUS CRYSTAL FLUTE BEFORE\n\nNOW YOU HAVE\n\nIM THE FIRST & ONLY PERSON TO EVER PLAY THIS PRESIDENTIAL 200-YEAR-OLD CRYSTAL FLUTE\u2014 THANK YOU @librarycongress \u2764\ufe0f\u201d
— FOLLOW @YITTY (@FOLLOW @YITTY) 1664345126
Lizzo, the world's most famous living flautist (as far as I know, the kids today are not too terribly hip to Sir James Galway and Bobbi Humphrey) was also offered the opportunity to give a short, impromptu flute concert in the Library of Congress itself.
\u201cHearing @lizzo play some of the Library's priceless antique instruments on Monday was such a gift, and we were honored and happy to help her share that gift with her concert audience Tuesday night. Here is some more behind-the-scenes footage of her Library tour. #LizzoAtLOC\u201d
— Library of Congress (@Library of Congress) 1664394003
Then she played another flute in another part of the Library of Congress!
\u201cA flute @lizzo played in the Main Reading Room Monday (with permission from some lucky researchers who were there!) looks similar to the crystal one she had at her concert, but is actually plexiglass. It is also very rare & was manufactured when the material was first invented.\ud83d\udd0a\u201d
— Library of Congress (@Library of Congress) 1664375264
The flute was a gift to Madison from French flute maker Claude Laurent, who actually made flutes for a number of world leaders (though only two turned out to be made of real crystal) and very rich people in his time. Napoleon had a green one, even. There is also a (maybe apocryphal) story that Madison's flute was one of the items Dolley Madison rescued when the White House was set on fire (along with a portrait of George Washington) during the war of 1812, though there is no solid proof that this actually occurred.
In addition to the flute, President James Madison also owned more than one hundred human beings, none of whom were made out of crystal.
Now, some of you might watch these videos and think, "Hey! That's pretty awesome, and also great a way to make both classical music and history feel relevant to the young people of today!"
But that would make you a fool.
Some very smart conservatives across Twitter have figured out that, in actuality, this is a plot to let them know that they don't matter and nothing they like or care about matters and that everyone hates them and wants them to be unhappy.
You see, the Library of Congress, along with George Soros, Bill Gates, Tom Hanks, Madonna, the Pope, and the descendants of Colonel Sanders (probably) knew how desperately important James Madison's crystal flute was to these people, people who definitely knew James Madison even had a crystal flute before this whole thing happened, and they conspired to figure out what would hurt them the most: a big, gorgeous Black woman playing the flute ... while twerking.
On Twitter, a user calling themselves Max Nordau (who is obviously not Max Nordau) wrote, "They took a legendary 200-year-old crystal flute out of storage so that Lizzo could play two notes on it. The purpose is to remind you that nothing you care about has any value."
\u201cThey took a legendary 200-year-old crystal flute out of storage so that Lizzo could play two notes on it.\n\nThe purpose is to remind you that nothing you care about has any value.\u201d
— max (@max) 1664384607
You can practically hear the heartbreak.
Ben Shapiro, professional opinion-haver on what sort of music Black women are allowed to produce, compared Lizzo's flute playing to someone having a tattoo on their face, writing , "This Lizzo-flute controversy is a perfect example of what I have termed Face Tattoo Phenomenon™: the phenomenon whereby someone does something deliberately controversial in an attempt to draw attention, and then acts offended when you notice."
\u201cThis Lizzo-flute controversy is a perfect example of what I have termed Face Tattoo Phenomenon\u2122: the phenomenon whereby someone does something deliberately controversial in an attempt to draw attention, and then acts offended when you notice.\u201d
— Ben Shapiro ( Shapiro) 1664453915
Is having a face tattoo controversial? Like, I can see where people might not personally find them attractive (much like some people might not find it very attractive for a man to get all het up over a Cardi B song for years on end), but is controversial the right word for that? And is the issue that one might notice a face tattoo or is the issue that if you say something crappy to or about someone over something that is none of your business (like a face tattoo), that person and others around at the time might think you are a jerk?
Rightwing commentator Greg Price also thought it was a trap, but more or less a trap to call conservatives racist for caring so much about a crystal flute owned by a man who also owned slaves.
\u201cThe Library of Congress really took out a 200-year old flute that belonged to James Madison just so Lizzo could twerk with it.\n\nThey degrade our history and then call you racist if you actually value it.\u201d
— Greg Price (@Greg Price) 1664385784
Matt Walsh was particularly upset that the flute had been given to a woman Lizzo's size and ostensibly would have been okay with it having been played by a thin woman, angrily writing, "Lizzo is a morbidly obese weirdo in a thong twerking around on stage while playing with a priceless piece of American history. That's the 'level of care' we're talking about. Also, I don't give a flying shit if it's an honor for HER. That's not the point at all."
\u201cLizzo is a morbidly obese weirdo in a thong twerking around on stage while playing with a priceless piece of American history. That's the "level of care" we're talking about. Also, I don't give a flying shit if it's an honor for HER. That's not the point at all.\u201d
— Matt Walsh (@Matt Walsh) 1664386312
So, clearly, the plan worked. Conservatives now know that no one actually cares what they think or value and will have to live with that knowledge for the rest of their lives. They will have to spend every waking moment knowing this, letting it eat at them until there is scarcely anything left, feeling sour and empty and envious of everyone around them. Knowing that those people, too, probably don't care what they think or value or want people to look like or want people to be wearing when they play presidential crystal flutes.
Or they could chill the fuck out and enjoy a nice thing that everyone else is enjoying.