Over at BigHo we are getting a review of twenty-five year old musical Le Miserables which ponders the all important question:
Is the story liberal or conservative?
At the beginning of Les Mis when we follow Valjean’s journey off of the chain-gang and observe his attempts to integrate with civilization after 17 years of imprisonment for stealing bread, it is easy to think that this play is about government oppression, law and order versus compassion, social prejudice… you know… liberal crap! And throw in the conditions of the starving and the homeless and the heroic intellectual college student’s stand against authority and on the face of it this is just left of “Hair”.
And what a story it is. In eight short years he has become a factory owner and mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer, now that’s a capitalist… this dude is Victor Hugo’s Mitt Romney. Within the next twenty minutes of the show, Valjean shows compassion (forces Javert to put Fantine in hospital instead of prison), honesty (reveals himself as 24601 rather than let an innocent man be jailed in his place), and integrity (by keeping his vow to Fantine and going to rescue Cosette). When we next see Valjean in the slums of Paris, he and his now grown adopted daughter Cosette are distributing money and care to the starving homeless. He isn’t petitioning the government for programs, he is using his own funds for charity. He goes to the barricades not necessarily because he believes in the students’ cause, but so he can watch over Marius for the sake of his daughter… what a father would do out of love for his daughter is the greatest example of conservative values. And what is Valjean’s great, second-act show stopping song? A prayer to God.
Valjean is a combination of Ronald Reagan, Rudy Giuliani, John Wayne and Pope John Paul II. Les Mis is a conservative show, but, what makes it so great is that liberals don’t know it and they can enjoy it without any qualms.
I swear to god I am not making this shit up because, if I were, Valjean would totally be Scooter Libby.