The Phantom of Opera is Kind of a Jerk


This piece was originally published in 2014.

The Phantom of the Opera is currently the longest running show on Broadway. Without looking it up, I’m pretty sure it claimed that title once Cats retired. A fun fact about the connection between the two is that both musicals were composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber…actually Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. I think he’s been knighted.

Since seeing Phantom this past weekend, there’s a been a few things that have stuck with me; a few things I needed to get off my chest.

The first thing and a thing that might be a rather unpopular opinion is that the Phantom is kind of a douche bag. Now I’m not about to join Team Raoul or anything, but I do feel like the Phantom has some issues beyond ones involving rage and seems to have a penchant for death by hanging. And really, how did he learn to make all those wildly effective nooses? At one point homeboy seems to pull one of our his back pocket!

There’s a few reasons why the Phantom isn’t the most desirable mate for the lovely song bird Christine, but definitely one of the main ones is that he seems to spend the majority of his time tying nooses, toiling away on his pump organ and getting exercise by climbing through the rafters of the theater that sits above his underground liar. Not exactly appealing hobbies. They wouldn’t exactly catch a ladies’ eye listed on a profile…

It’s the music of the night
Paris, France
seeking women age 18-50 in or around Paris
Relationship: single
Have kids: does music count?
Want kids: maybe
Ethnicity: mis-understood
Body type: limber
Religion: music yo!
Smoke: every once in a while
Drink: social
In My Own Words
For Fun:
writing music, knots, more music, mischief, writing music, threats, fire balls, boating, “hanging” with my boys
My Job:
musician, theater owner, music critic

So the Phantom hears Christine singing and…sorry, SPOILER ALERT…becomes infatuated with her. He wants to become besties, to become the John & Yoko of the late 1800’s French opera scene and have little baby Phantoms and all that good stuff. Of course she’s a little unsure about this because you know, he’s a Phantom. And he rocks a mask and lives in an underground liar. And everyone is scared shitless of him.

So let’s talk about this underground liar and why it’s one of the major hurdles in a possible relationship between Christine and the Phantom. It’s only accessible by boat so Christine better like boats as much as she must dislike natural light because deep down in this cave, natural light will be just a memory for her. It won’t be a dream because I can’t see her sleeping much, seeing as how the old Phantom doesn’t have a bed. It kind of looks like he just sleeps in the boat, which is cool for fisherman and salty bachelors, but probably not that cool for newlyweds.

And this lake they’re traversing- as far as I can tell it also doubles as both a bathroom and water supply. I don’t know what kind of gal Christine is- how prim and proper she may or may not be. But even the most backwoods, tobacco-chewing, femme fatale hayseed would have a problem with that arrangement. And come on, getting groceries down there? Forget about it!

There’s also only one chair so they’d have to share that, which you know would get contentious. You’d think chivalry would prevail but as I previously stated, the old Phantom is kind of a douche bag with a temper. He’s going to want that chair sometimes. So chivalry be damned. Christine, you can sit on the boat. Especially when the Phantom is in one of his moods.

The reality is that the Phantom’s liar might work for him, but it’s no place to bring chicks back to. I don’t care what kind of connection you may or may not have.

Now you could be saying, Ryan, the Phantom isn’t a douche bag. He’s just a normal dude- insensitive, hard to read, a little neanderthal-esque. Douche bag seems a little strong.

Okay, fine.

No wait, not fine.

Let’s talk about his musical, you know the one he demands the opera company perform or he’ll hang more people, drop more chandeliers and continue to terrorize them.

Whatever happened to earning success?

I’m sorry, but that part bugs me.

The Phantom toils away on his little pump organ, composing his “masterpiece” and then when it’s done, he doesn’t do what normal musicians do and get out there and pay his dues. No, he hangs a dude, crashes a party and uses the looming specter of violence to get it performed. That’s like that knob job from Passion Pit recording a new album in his basement, then threatening to kill radio station interns if it doesn’t get played. Not cool. It’s a move only cool in the movie Airheads.

Phantom, you need to pay your dues just like everyone else, sir. And I’m talking dues in the music industry. I get it- you’ve paid dues when it comes to emotional scars and psychological damage, what with being an outcast and circus freak and all, but that should get you a free ticket to the opera, not the opera itself.

Oh and wait…you get a free ticket because you demand a box…not a seat, a box…at every performance! Frankly the Phantom’s balls might be more shocking than his disfigured face.

Now I feel bad for the Phantom. I do. I’m not heartless. Dude was cast out, looks kind of funky and has poor social skills. I feel for him.

But when it comes down to it, I don’t like how he goes about his business.

That might not make him a douche bag in your book, but it does in mine.

And truth be told, I liked Once better.

Categories: Travels, Unpopular Opinion

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