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Secluded west St. Charles County home includes private hangar, half-mile airstrip

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Secluded west St. Charles County home includes private hangar, half-mile airstrip

FORISTELL, Mo. – It’s a common daydream for anybody stuck in rush-hour traffic to and from work: I wish I could fly over these cars.

An aviation aficionado in west St. Charles County built their house to accommodate that dream, complete with a private hangar and half-mile grass airstrip.

According to realtor Connie Green, this is the closest private lighted airpark to St. Louis City.

The ranch home, located at 712 Madley Lane, can be found just south of Foristell, Missouri.

The 3,600-square foot home sits on three acres in the secluded suburbs and has five bedrooms and four bathrooms.

Coldwell Banker Gundaker lists the home at $725,000. You can view additional photos of the residence, hangar, and airstrip at ColdwellBankerHomes.com.

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‘Peacemaker’ Episodes 1-3 Recap: Bloody Fun

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‘Peacemaker’ Episodes 1-3 Recap: Bloody Fun
Economos (Steve Agee), Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji), Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), Vigilante (Freddie Stroma), Peacemaker (John Cena) Katie Yu/HBO Max

The Suicide Squad was a great course-correction for the franchise. By relying on James Gunn’s signature mix of irreverent humor, found family, surprising emotional depth, and a dash of daddy issues, the film opened the doors for new and exciting possibilities for the DC universe—and Peacemaker is the first fruit of that. The show is a greatest hits collection for Gunn, taking everything that worked with the film and compressing it into a small-screen package, one carried by an outstanding cast and supported by a pet eagle.

At the center of it all is John Cena as Christopher Smith, a.k.a. Peacemaker, who spent his time in The Suicide Squad either antagonizing his teammates or annihilating everyone who stood in his way. Revealed as an undercover operative for the Squad’s puppetmaster Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), Peacemaker snuffs out the crusading Rick Flag before taking a bullet himself and getting buried beneath a building. Yet here he is again, alive and kicking. Most of the first episode is spent making the audience care about Peacemaker as more than a patriotic douchebag/clown. The three-episode premiere largely succeeds at transforming him from heel to hero, flipping him from a bloodthirsty bigot who kills for peace to a clueless doofus struggling to be less of an asshole, with Cena bringing the charm and comedic chops that made him a scene-stealer in The Suicide Squad

The character loses something in this switch from anti-hero to tragic hero, yet the show moves so fast you’ll be distracted by the next cool or funny bit before you start interrogating this flaw. Most of these distractions come in the form of banter from the supporting cast, which rules. The standout is Danielle Brooks as Leota Adebayo, a pacifist and a good-hearted person who’s never been in the field and serves as a perfect foil to Peacemaker, with Clemson Murn as Chukwudi Iwuji (the team leader with an evil past), Jennifer Holland as Emilia Harcourt (the combat expert who has to keep Peacemaker in line), and Steve Agee as John Economos (the tech guy in the van). 

Then there’s Eagly, Peacemaker’s pet eagle, and an all-out fantastic take on the superhero sidekick. Peacemaker shares the love for the goofier side of comic books that defined Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, recognizing that comic-book stories can be silly and weird, but that doesn’t stop them from also being earnest and heartfelt. Nowhere is this more evident than in the opening credits sequence set to “Do Ya Wanna Taste It” by Norwegian glam metal band Wig Wam, where the entire cast comes out shaking it like Solid Gold dancers while looking completely stone-faced.

Still, a superhero show is nothing without compelling villains, and Peacemaker is building up some pretty nasty ones. There are the mysterious butterflies, who seem to be tin insects piloting mindless human bodies. Much of the first three episodes is spent keeping Peacemaker (and us) in the dark as to what the butterflies are up to. There’s also Vigilante (Freddie Stroma), a less Canadian Deadpool who wants to be pals with Peacemaker. He genuinely loves killing people for fun, whether they deserve it or not, so he both serves as a way to make Peacemaker a more attractive anti-hero and as a critique of the violence at the core of so many superhero stories. 

Then there’s Peacemaker’s dad Auggie (Robert Patrick), who is used to explain Peacemaker’s violent tendencies as bad parenting, and who also may be the true villain of the show. We don’t see that much of him in the first three episodes, but Patrick makes a very strong impression as a man who is more than meets the eye. He’s a racist, sexist, xenophobe, but not a moron—he’s also apparently a genius with a pocket dimension in his house where he houses all the tech Peacemaker uses. And when he lands in prison in the second episode he is revealed to be the show’s take on White Dragon, a Neo-Nazi DC supervillain with connections to the Ku Klux Klan. Though the plot details are still relatively vague, the first three episodes of Peacemaker do a good job of translating the fun, irreverence, and character work of Gunn’s movies to the small screen. 

 

‘Peacemaker’ Episodes 1-3 Recap: Bloody Fun

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Getting Jailed for Spitting on a Putin Photo Was Wrongful Imprisonment, Court Rules

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Getting Jailed for Spitting on a Putin Photo Was Wrongful Imprisonment, Court Rules

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Ebrahim Raisi on January 19, 2022. Pavel BednyakovTASS via Getty Images

In 2012, the night before Vladimir Putin was inaugurated for his third term as Russia’s president, activist Dmitry Karuyev was arrested for allegedly spitting on a photograph of Putin during a protest alongside the opposition group Other Russia; on Tuesday, Karuyev was awarded $11,000 for wrongful imprisonment, an encouraging development in relations between Russia’s most powerful figures and the country’s citizens. That Karuyev was accused of having spat on a photograph is significant: artistic mediums of all kinds have been particularly scrutinized in Russia under Putin, who has issued crackdowns against dissenters such as Pussy Riot and Yulia Tsvetkova, an artist who was put on trial after being accused of distributing pornography.

The European Court of Human Rights made the ruling regarding Karuyev, who ended up spending 15 days in jail after being arrested for the alleged spitting. Around this same time, Karuyev argued that he hadn’t spat on the portrait, but had merely hit it with a sneeze. “The act of spitting on a photograph of a politician in the wake of his re-election should be considered an expression of political opinion,” the European Court’s ruling determined.

These types of arrests are also common elsewhere: in 2007, a man in Beijing was arrested after attempting to set fire to a portrait of Chairman Mao Tse-tung in Tiananmen Square. In 2015, another Beijing man was sentenced to 14 months in jail for throwing a bottle of ink at a portrait of Mao Zedong, which was also located nearby Tiananmen Square. More recently, officials in Hong Kong raided the Tiananmen Square museum after arresting four people who helped to run it.

Retaliation against dissent and artistic expression is a pattern that must be recognized and documented, especially as it escalates: last month, Russian contemporary art organizer Marat Guelman was placed on a list of “foreign agents” by Russia’s justice ministry. He returned to an apartment he owns over the weekend to find that those very words had been splashed in red on his front door.

Getting Jailed for Spitting on a Putin Photo Was Wrongful Imprisonment, Court Rules

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Opera Conductor Carlo Rizzi Triumphantly Returns to the Met Opera

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Opera Conductor Carlo Rizzi Triumphantly Returns to the Met Opera
(GERMANY OUT) Carlo Rizzi (* 1960, Italienischer Dirigent) leitet das Gürzenich-Orchester Köln in Begeitung des schweizer Flötisten Emmanuel Pahud (* 27. Januar 1970 in Genf) in der Philharmonie Köln. (Photo by Brill/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

On Saturday, January 8, conductor Carlo Rizzi made his post-pandemic debut at The Metropolitan Opera, conducting a focused and energetic performance of Tosca. The experience of seeing David McVicar’s sensual feast of a production on opening night was to be reminded of why institutions like the Met exist. Tosca includes two intermissions, during which Met carpenters build giant edifices between acts, the ringing of their hammers filling the hall. In Act I there is a religious processional on the street outside the basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle, for no particular reason, except to show that life goes on in Rome, even as the drama of Tosca unfolds. This is grand opera in the old style, the genuine article, pure and undiluted. Who better to conduct than Met veteran, Carlo Rizzi? He is as much at home in that hall as Tosca and Cavaradossi are at home duetting in the basilica, and the Met carpenters are at home whacking this world into shape with their hammers. That the creation of grand opera is itself a grand opera was fully on display in this production: conductor Carlo Rizzi the nerve center pulsating at its core.

Opera is one of the world’s most complex art forms. To the skill required to turn your body into an instrument capable of filling a grand hall is added the staged component. Then there is the orchestra and sometimes dancing or even juggling in the case of Phelim McDermott’s production of Akhnaten. From a layperson’s perspective, conducting, being the ringmaster keeping this circus of activity in sync, can seem like sorcery.

Carlo Rizzi has conducted at the Met hundreds of times since he began working there in 1993. He was about to get on a plane to New York in March of 2020 to conduct at the Met when the pandemic canceled all operas everywhere for the foreseeable future. Conducting this season’s Tosca and La Bohème, Rizzi told Observer that as he descended into the pit that Saturday, he thought their ability to perform was a good omen, a sign that the worst days are behind us. He is cautiously optimistic about opera’s future under our much-changed circumstances.

“Every time that I give a downbeat now, I don’t take it for granted,” Rizzi told Observer. “Something I realized in this 15 months of inactivity is that it’s a privilege to be able to conduct, to make music, and to be able to work with others.”

Born to a family of non-musicians in Milan, Rizzi discovered opera as a teenager by going to see performances at La Scala. He later received a scholarship that allowed him to study at Milan’s conservatory. After finishing school he worked as a repetiteur at the same theatre where he had seen his first operas. Today he conducts at grand opera houses around the world, including the Maggio Musicale in Florence and the Opéra National de Paris.  

Rizzi said that his approach to music now, following the pandemic, is one of increased humility, respect, and joy.

“During the pandemic I started to play the piano much more because I was missing the technicality of producing the sound, not having an orchestra that is my usual instrument,” Rizzi told Observer. “I think if there is a silver lining in all this disaster for our profession and for our work of performing arts, it is that we are much more humble in the way that we look at what we do. Not humble in a diminutive sense, but humble because we are much more grateful that we can do it again.”

The audience at Tosca that Saturday night also seemed grateful. The conversation at intermission was breathless, the smiles giddy as people lifted their masks to sip the pricy prosecco. There was an unusual warmth and connectivity at the Met that night. The audience in the not-quite-full hall was joyful: grateful to be making their own post-pandemic debuts.

Carlo Rizzi’s approach to music and to conducting in general is one of respect and gratefulness. The idea that the classical music world is small and restrictive and overly beholden to the dead seems absurd when speaking to him. For Rizzi, the musical scores he returns to over and over have a bottomless abundance.   

1642837954 529 Opera Conductor Carlo Rizzi Triumphantly Returns to the Met Opera
(GERMANY OUT) Carlo Rizzi (* 1960, Italienischer Dirigent) leitet das Gürzenich-Orchester Köln in Begeitung des schweizer Flötisten Emmanuel Pahud (* 27. Januar 1970 in Genf) in der Philharmonie Köln. (Photo by Brill/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

“We’re getting older, with more experiences, with different emotions,” Rizzi conveyed. “All this gets reflected in the music, because at the end of the story the music is about shaping, about breathing, about emotions, so every time it is a new thing.”

Paying close attention to scores, reading them deeply, and reading them anew each time as he returns to them with age and a different set of life experiences, Rizzi works from a place of renewal. Going back to familiar music with a changed perspective, he tries to gain new insight into composers’ intentions.

“Now I am not saying that I go into the pit and I say, ha ha, today I will try something new,” Rizzi told Observer. “But I think it is important in the preparation and in the personal time that I have with the score—not necessarily in front of the orchestra, in front of the singer—to really be very honest about what the score tells me. I think this is a vital part of our job because otherwise, as you say, it can become, oh yes, this is another performance, because in the moment that you do that as an artist you are dead.” 

There are certain professions—historian, translator, archeologist, conductor—in which one converses with the dead. These are professions that are in dialogue with the past through the medium of a text, of music, or a potshard. Part of the art here is to ensure that you are beholding what is bare before your eyes, and not imposing something that isn’t there. The great interlocutors of classical music have an important job to do in keeping music alive and relevant, especially now that we know that live performance can be ripped away from us at any moment. Preserving a tradition by treating it as living instead of dead, by working from a place of discovery and abundance instead of mere conservation, allows opera to be safeguarded for future generations. 

“Tradition,” Carlo Rizzi told Observer, “Is a very ambivalent word because it can be a very wonderful thing, a thread that connects you with the past, but tradition can also be a thread that doesn’t allow you to go forward. So I think it is important to be always thinking or trying to think what the composer wanted. The fact that certain singers maybe in the past did a role in a certain way is a tradition. It doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good or a bad tradition…My approach is the one to first look at the score, try to understand why the composer wrote certain things in a certain way.”

The suspended time of the pandemic, and the sudden return to live performances this fall and winter, has made a very old art form feel new again. That we get to be at the Met with this music seems a privilege. Carlo Rizzi’s respectful and sensitive approach to opera, his reverent shaping of Puccini’s phrases, feels appropriate to our current context. “The beautiful thing when I come back to work with these people is we start like we never left,” Rizzi said of returning to work at the Met. Hopefully global pandemic conditions will allow him to continue picking up where he left off for many years to come.  

Opera Conductor Carlo Rizzi Triumphantly Returns to the Met Opera

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