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Slate: Opera, Like Trump, Is Fascist

From Slate:

I Will Win!

Trump loves Puccini—and new research is showing how fascism infused the composer’s work.

By Brian Wise

 
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  1. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    There’s been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    • Replies: @Barnard
    Because Hitler and Hitler. Some of the really smart ones will throw out Mussolini's name too and Hitler. They don't seem to like it if you tell them the Communists killed 100 million people in the 20th Century for some reason though.
    , @PiltdownMan
    Today's leftists are fundamentally anti-intellectual and have no ideological framework, unlike the Sixties crowd.
    , @Anon
    Didn't Newsweek run a cover that said WE ARE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW after Obama's win?

    I guess we are all fascists now.
    , @Dr. X

    There’s been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?
     
    Great question. I'll offer three possible answers. 1) The contemporary Left traces its roots to the protest movement of the Sixties. In turn, the Sixties movement was a reaction to the World War II generation (that is, their parents). In the minds of Sixties intellectuals, such as Mailer and Vonnegut, there was no significant difference between Nazi fascism and American militarism in World War II and the Cold War. In particular Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse V makes this equivalence. 2) The leaders of the Left were/are Jews, and of course for Jews Hitler and Nazism is the ultimate evil. While Stalin and Mao may have killed more people in raw numbers, their motives were purer than Hitler's, because he specifically targeted Jews, and 3) the contemporary Left is communist or neo-communist, and of course fascism was an explicitly anti-communist movement.

    Interestingly enough, while the Left decries fascism, it does not eschew fascist methods. The idea of queers vandalizing private property and inciting violence in the streets was the SA's modus operandi under Nazi gayboy Ernst Rohm.
    , @Neil Templeton
    I think it has to do with a metric of complication, or "noise" in the social and relational landscape. Leftists are more comfortable with brushy, complicated, social landscapes. Fascism is relatively simple in its modeling of social relations, and its solutions to social conflict. The Leftist hatred of Fascism is basic and existential, as is the primal conservative suspicion of excessive complication in the social order. Maybe conservatives figure that when the dialogue gets complicated, someone's getting hosed, and likely it's them.
    , @AndrewR
    You've had some excellent responses to this. This site really has some of the best political discussion on the internet.

    I can't add much but I would say that it's at least in part because fascism is openly hierarchal and non-egalitarian. Fascists understand that humans are not all interchangeable blank slate cogs whose differences are entirely attributable to mutable social conditions. Leftism at its core is about a fundamental rejection of nature and reality.
    , @dr kill
    Oh dear. Don't get me started on the common good again.
    , @dr kill
    The Kinks nailed life, didn't they. Muswell Hill is the really deplorable LP.
    , @Gross Terry
    Because of the actions of Hitler, 6 million people and some goyim died.
    , @Anonymous
    You'll find that these people have all of the intellectual sophistication of the kindergarten audience at a Christmas Pantomime. 'He's behind you!' 'Boo Hiss'.
    It really is as simple and low brow as that. 'Fascism' - none of these fools have the slightest knowledge of the particular corporatist/socialist centralized state particular to Mussolini's Italy, is to them simply to them sort of theatrical bogeyman, something like a boo-hiss 'devil' figure in a medieval mystery play.
    , @Jason Liu
    Fear of inequity, obviously

    As far as I'm concerned fascism = normal mode of human government, backed up by millennia of history.
    , @Frau Katze
    "Fascism" has become synonymous with "evil". Since the left doesn't like words such as "evil" (religious connotations) they use "fascism" instead. To them, it's just that simple. I will bet that many have never even read a book of history of post WW I Germany or Italy.

    So it then follows that Hitler is the new leftist word for "Satan."
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  2. My eyesight is bad. Does that cover read “How come Milo will reign supreme?”

  3. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    What’s especially galling is that Islam is basically Arab Nazism. The left hates one, loves the other.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @AndrewR
    There are certainly similarities but German National Socialism was defined by explicit racism, whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology.
    , @Frau Katze
    They support Islam at every opportunity, but you'll notice that very, very few actually convert to Islam.

    Kind of like how the left supported Communism whilst remaining safely out of Communist countries.
  4. I Will Win!

    Trump loves Puccini—and new research is showing how fascism infused the composer’s work.

    By Brian Wise

    Oh dear.And I always thought that Puccini was the PC choice….You know, compared to Wagner….

    I just hope that it’s still safe to like Mozart……

    • Replies: @Barnard
    These performers have spent a lot of money to become classically trained musicians. They need some music that is still considered acceptable to perform. I thought this would go the other way and we would start seeing articles like, "Beethoven's dream of a multicultural Germany" or "Diversity in the Baroque Era." It doesn't even seem like they care if it is plausible, just make up whatever you want about history.
    , @Frau Katze
    Don't even mention Mozart! The Abduction from the Seraglio is Islamophobic!

    One should remember that the composers only wrote the music...but still...Mozart should have refused to have anything to do with this travesty!

    I even remember seeing it at some leftist site as an example of "Orientalism."
    , @Pat Boyle
    If you are looking for composer who is deeply politically incorrect - Mozart's your guy.

    As he grew older (alas he never got very old) he became progressively more anti-female. Constanze in the Abduction is a sympathetic maybe even heroic female character. Fiordiligi also gives a pretty good account of herself, but almost all feminists hate the women in the Magic Flute. Personally I always liked the male sentiments in Magic Flute but my role was Sarastro and the Speaker and I like a little of that sort of thing. These two are probably as anti-female as anyone in any opera, play, movie or novel. The main villain of the piece is the Queen of the Night. The feminists are more offended by Pamina who is a submissive who seems to want to lick Tamino's boots.

    Flute is often done in a bowdlerized translation so as to keep the audience from being shocked. The Ruth and Thomas Martin translation make it clear that the Masons under whose influence Mozart was by his final years, considered women to be lesser beings - everyone keeps unflattering things about the girls. Sarastro also whips the little black guy and the chorus cheers. Read the libretto sometimes.

    Wagner is rather less controversial. All the women in the ring are heroic and admirable. Anyway Wagner, contrary to popular notions, was not Hitler's favorite composer. That would have been Bruckner.

    I don't know just what is supposed to be fascistic about Puccini and I've sung a lot of Puccini (and more Mozart and rather less Wagner). This idea sounds like the product of a writer desperate for a snappy title that will draw readers..

  5. I think this comment at Slate nails it:

    Nakatomi Plaza Aug 1, 2016
    Let’s see…how can we get the words “Trump” and “fascist” into a headline today?

    Another good one:

    Steven Harker Aug 1, 2016
    Is it me or is this getting all a little bit ridiculous?

    Surely there is enough to legitimately challenge Trump over what he says and what views he may or may not hold without basically making stuff up.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Here is a prophet:

    Trump is a fool and a narcissist, but electing him would cause such dyspepsia to the smug jerks at Slate, the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Washington Post that it might actually be worth it.
    , @dcthrowback
    nakatomi plaza is freaking great commenter handle
  6. @syonredux

    I Will Win!

    Trump loves Puccini—and new research is showing how fascism infused the composer’s work.

    By Brian Wise
     
    Oh dear.And I always thought that Puccini was the PC choice....You know, compared to Wagner....

    I just hope that it's still safe to like Mozart......

    These performers have spent a lot of money to become classically trained musicians. They need some music that is still considered acceptable to perform. I thought this would go the other way and we would start seeing articles like, “Beethoven’s dream of a multicultural Germany” or “Diversity in the Baroque Era.” It doesn’t even seem like they care if it is plausible, just make up whatever you want about history.

    • Replies: @Jimi
    Beethoven and Mozart were slightly influenced by Turkish janissary music and this has been used by multiculturalists to argue that Turkish culture is part of Germany.
  7. @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    Because Hitler and Hitler. Some of the really smart ones will throw out Mussolini’s name too and Hitler. They don’t seem to like it if you tell them the Communists killed 100 million people in the 20th Century for some reason though.

  8. How stupid. A Fascist is a Latin Catholic Authoritarian, who seeks to restore the power of the Catholic Church and aristocracy to an early 19th Century status-quo ante, with hefty doses of corporatism and social hierarchy and a society in stasis. This would include Mussolini, Franco, Salazar of Portugal, Juan Peron of Argentina, Somoza of Nicarauga, and arguably the PRI of Mexico without the Church part.

    Trump is neither Latin, nor Catholic, nor Authoritarian. Nor desiring a highly hierarchical society. Nor bent on restoring the Catholic Church nor Aristocracy (he’s Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack).

    Trump is mostly the Harry Truman of the Republican Party. A guy who likes fighting. Stirring things up. And is the White working/middle class favorite.

  9. I’m not sure what “fascist” originally meant, but I think it’s become a synonym for “white”.

    Opera: fascist
    USA: fascist

    China: not fascist, because not white

  10. But there’s a more fraught history to the aria, too. Not only is Turandot an opulent, Orientalist fantasy set in imperial China

    Huh. And here I thought that Said coined “Orientalism” as a way to refer to Western attitudes towards the original Orient, the Middle East…

    by a composer who never set foot in Asia;

    Would it be more PC if he had?

    It is “quite easy to read Turandot as a political allegory,” writes Arman Schwartz in the book Puccini’s Soundscapes, “one consistent with fascism’s own narrative of the degradation of post-World War I Italy and of Mussolini’s heroic rise.”

    Sure, it’s easy to read it as a political allegory. Anything can be read as a political allegory. You just have to say that x stands for y…..

    Schwartz suggests

    Look, I’m not saying that this is the case. I’m just suggesting that it’s the case…..

    that the opera’s setting, in an ancient but rundown imperial capital, echoes Rome in the 1920s. The principal characters—a virile hero and a childless, possibly lesbian woman who must be conquered to restore the gender order

    Gotta work in a non-heteronormative angle…..which is then subjugated by the cis-het patriarchy…..

    —embodied fascist rhetoric. The opera’s chorus, a group of singers who express amazement or bloodthirsty glee, stands for “the very modern-seeming crowd, as violent as it is irrational and easily swayed.”

    ‘Cause, you know, crowds are a distinctly modern thing….

    Schwartz told me in an email that while there’s no real evidence Puccini’s audiences interpreted Turandot as a fascist allegory,

    Evidence, shmevidence! We’re post-post-modern!

    the composer was certainly “responding to/playing with general cultural anxieties.”

    Keep it vague, ambiguous.Gotta cover myself here…

    Other musicologists would agree.

    I’m just saying that they would……I’m not necessarily saying that they do….

    In The Puccini Problem, Alexandra Wilson calls Turandot “a fitting emblem for Fascist Italy, caught between presenting itself to the world as modern and keeping faith with tradition.”

    Yeah, see, she said that it’s an “emblem for Fascist Italy!”

    Puccini died on Nov. 29, 1924, nearly 18 months before Turandot premiered in an unfinished form and before he could really clarify his political views.

    But that’s not gonna stop me….

    However, it’s clear that Puccini, like many bourgeois Italians, wanted to see order restored to his country after the chaos of World War I.

    “Order.” We all know what that means….

    Turandot delighted Mussolini, who went on to feature the composer’s Inno a Roma (Hymn to Rome) at fascist parades and ceremonies.

    Mussolini liked it……do I have to spell it out for you?

    Which brings us back to Trump and his rallies. Leon Botstein, a conductor and the president of Bard College, believes that Puccini’s music created a vacuum into which authoritarianism could enter. “His was a musical aesthetic that the state could easily appropriate,” said Botstein. “It represented a regressive, narcotic, illusionistic music that didn’t provide any resistance to a fascist regime.” It’s not a leap, Botstein adds, from the image of the heroic tenor to the authoritarian strongman.

    Look, I’m just saying that Puccini needs to be listened to with proper supervision….

    http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/ccManager/clips/clockworkOrangeVidi.mp4/view

    While Trump’s use of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” gets fists pumping and the Beatles’ “Revolution” feeds his supporters’ rebellious mood (original progressive intent aside), Puccini’s appearance on Trump rally playlists is far more subversive. It’s an empty signifier that arouses grand emotions over rationality—which is surely music to Trump’s ears.

    Wait, what! You just spent all this time explaining the valence of the work…….

    • Replies: @Kylie
    Excellent!
    , @Mr. Anon
    Well parsed.

    ".........by a composer who never set foot in Asia;"

    Would it be more PC if he had?
     

    It is interesting to note the differences in how Americans perceived the muslim world, and apparently wanted to perceive it, in the 1950s:

    Kismet: The Sands of Time

    vs., say, the 1990s:

    True Lies: Crimson Jihad

    Familiarity breeds contempt.

    , @guest
    Don't feed the journalism trolls. That article was contentless, and written merely to get a rise out of people like you/comfort people who don't like Trump. Too bad Puccini has to suffer for it, but I imagine he's already on the outs in fashionable opinion (not boring enough?), hence the "new research."

    You can assume several levels of culturati have already declared Puccini Out by the time Slate does. They're not with it enough to attack what's In. Your criticism is neither here nor there, because you have no say in High Culture, which I presume has already spoken on the subject.

    It doesn't matter whether Puccini has anything to do with fascism, nor Trump with fascism, nor Trump with Puccini. Fascism is permanently Out. Trump is obviously Out. Puccini is apparently Out. According to the transverse property of fashion, fascism, Trump, and Puccini are equivalent.

    , @AndrewR
    Perhaps I am not hip enough to get the real meaning of The Beatles' song "Revolution" but it clearly seems like it's a fundamentally conservative song. Or at least anti-"progressive." Perhaps the shitlibs at Slate could cucksplain the reality to me.

    For reference:


    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it's evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world

    But when you talk about destruction
    Don't you know that you can count me out
    Don't you know it's gonna be
    All right, all right, all right

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We'd all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We're doing what we can

    But if you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell is brother you have to wait
    Don't you know it's gonna be
    All right, all right, all right

    You say you'll change the constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it's the institution
    Well, you know
    You better free you mind instead

    But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
    You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
    Don't you know it's gonna be
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right

    , @Frau Katze
    Thread winner!
  11. @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    Today’s leftists are fundamentally anti-intellectual and have no ideological framework, unlike the Sixties crowd.

  12. @Barnard
    These performers have spent a lot of money to become classically trained musicians. They need some music that is still considered acceptable to perform. I thought this would go the other way and we would start seeing articles like, "Beethoven's dream of a multicultural Germany" or "Diversity in the Baroque Era." It doesn't even seem like they care if it is plausible, just make up whatever you want about history.

    Beethoven and Mozart were slightly influenced by Turkish janissary music and this has been used by multiculturalists to argue that Turkish culture is part of Germany.

    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Beethoven and Mozart (and Haydn, see the end of the Military Symphony #100) used janissary music as that era's rock and roll. That is why Weber's Turandot music also has a janissary feel (cymbals and drums is the big giveaway.)

    The most fascinating use of Turkish music however is by Beethoven when he uses it in the Finale to the Ninth Symphony, prior to the introduction of the tenor's solo ("Froh, froh, wie seine Sonne fliegen ...."). What if anything is he communicating here? Is it the mechanical, metronomic quality of the music? Is it a hat tip to the Orient (after all, "Alle menschen werden Brueder")? The first fits in well with the text, where it describes the heroism of simply following one's appointed path in life, just as the planets circle the sun, and then we get a fugue illustrating that kind of coordination. (There is a duet in Hindemith's "Mathis" that makes the same point.) On the other hand, the next 3 variations are all about our relation in this scheme of things to a loving God, so, anything is possible. (And yes, Beethoven goes Full Mustafa in the coda.)
  13. I like how they took “Turandot” and made the princess a lesbian (possibly!)

    The story is very old, goes back to Central Asian, not East Asian, folklore, the name itself means something like “Turanian daughter”, which if that’s right means its IE in source.

    The original play goes back to Gozzi in the 18th Century, and just like the Magic Flute these kinds of plays were meant to use “the Orient” as a mirror for European self improvement during the Enlightenment.

    Also I note that the play was sufficiently popular that Carl Maria von Weber wrote some incidental music for the play, and looking for a Chinese tune, he picked up one out of the French Encyclopedia, which forms the basis of the overture, the march, and Hindemith’s famous “Symphonic Metamorphosis” on the same theme in 1940.

    Too bad the author didn’t bother to go into any of that. Just taking cheap shots at Trump.

  14. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Hitler loved Wagner. Opera is fascist. Homos like opera. Homos are fascist.

    • Replies: @guest
    You didn't have to go through all those steps. Look up Ernst Rohm, or read The Pink Swastika.

    Everyone knows homos and fascists share a sense of style. They get away with it because they're homos. Although, they have been slipping lately. They're not as useful as Muslims and trannies (some of whom must be straight, whichever way you classify them), and have been getting slighted.(Relative to their former position. They're still way above me.)
  15. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Go with ballet. It is communist.

    • Replies: @San Fernando Curt
    Wow. This isn't ballet. It's a Red Guard wet dream. ...A 'smash the capitalist running dogs' poster sprung to life. But Communist kitsch is noble and uplifting. Struggle Porn. In the early seventies, right after the Nixon visit, New York critics tried to convince us that this was cutting edge Art. That didn't even last 15 minutes.
    , @Olorin
    And do not miss James Lileks' tour of the same:

    The East Is Red, The Butt Is Numb
    http://www.lileks.com/institute/china/index.html

    With gut-busting lines like "Communism--it's two-ply thick for extra softness!"

    The Maglev Sisters!

    http://www.lileks.com/institute/china/6.jpg

    “Party representative Hung Cang-ching teaches the fighters that revolution is not a matter of taking personal revenge but of emancipating all mankind. Her class consciousness raised, Wu Ching-hua follows the company commander in energetically practicing marksmanship and grenade throwing.”

  16. @syonredux

    But there’s a more fraught history to the aria, too. Not only is Turandot an opulent, Orientalist fantasy set in imperial China
     
    Huh. And here I thought that Said coined "Orientalism" as a way to refer to Western attitudes towards the original Orient, the Middle East...

    by a composer who never set foot in Asia;
     
    Would it be more PC if he had?

    It is “quite easy to read Turandot as a political allegory,” writes Arman Schwartz in the book Puccini’s Soundscapes, “one consistent with fascism’s own narrative of the degradation of post-World War I Italy and of Mussolini’s heroic rise.”
     
    Sure, it's easy to read it as a political allegory. Anything can be read as a political allegory. You just have to say that x stands for y.....

    Schwartz suggests
     
    Look, I'm not saying that this is the case. I'm just suggesting that it's the case.....

    that the opera’s setting, in an ancient but rundown imperial capital, echoes Rome in the 1920s. The principal characters—a virile hero and a childless, possibly lesbian woman who must be conquered to restore the gender order
     
    Gotta work in a non-heteronormative angle.....which is then subjugated by the cis-het patriarchy.....

    —embodied fascist rhetoric. The opera’s chorus, a group of singers who express amazement or bloodthirsty glee, stands for “the very modern-seeming crowd, as violent as it is irrational and easily swayed.”
     
    'Cause, you know, crowds are a distinctly modern thing....

    Schwartz told me in an email that while there’s no real evidence Puccini’s audiences interpreted Turandot as a fascist allegory,
     
    Evidence, shmevidence! We're post-post-modern!

    the composer was certainly “responding to/playing with general cultural anxieties.”
     
    Keep it vague, ambiguous.Gotta cover myself here...

    Other musicologists would agree.
     
    I'm just saying that they would......I'm not necessarily saying that they do....

    In The Puccini Problem, Alexandra Wilson calls Turandot “a fitting emblem for Fascist Italy, caught between presenting itself to the world as modern and keeping faith with tradition.”
     
    Yeah, see, she said that it's an "emblem for Fascist Italy!"

    Puccini died on Nov. 29, 1924, nearly 18 months before Turandot premiered in an unfinished form and before he could really clarify his political views.
     
    But that's not gonna stop me....

    However, it’s clear that Puccini, like many bourgeois Italians, wanted to see order restored to his country after the chaos of World War I.
     
    "Order." We all know what that means....

    Turandot delighted Mussolini, who went on to feature the composer’s Inno a Roma (Hymn to Rome) at fascist parades and ceremonies.
     
    Mussolini liked it......do I have to spell it out for you?

    Which brings us back to Trump and his rallies. Leon Botstein, a conductor and the president of Bard College, believes that Puccini’s music created a vacuum into which authoritarianism could enter. “His was a musical aesthetic that the state could easily appropriate,” said Botstein. “It represented a regressive, narcotic, illusionistic music that didn’t provide any resistance to a fascist regime.” It’s not a leap, Botstein adds, from the image of the heroic tenor to the authoritarian strongman.
     
    Look, I'm just saying that Puccini needs to be listened to with proper supervision....


    http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/ccManager/clips/clockworkOrangeVidi.mp4/view

    While Trump’s use of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” gets fists pumping and the Beatles’ “Revolution” feeds his supporters’ rebellious mood (original progressive intent aside), Puccini’s appearance on Trump rally playlists is far more subversive. It’s an empty signifier that arouses grand emotions over rationality—which is surely music to Trump’s ears.
     
    Wait, what! You just spent all this time explaining the valence of the work.......

    Excellent!

  17. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    Didn’t Newsweek run a cover that said WE ARE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW after Obama’s win?

    I guess we are all fascists now.

    • Replies: @guest
    (Aside from the fact that fascists are socialists...)

    No, that's not how it works. When they win, we're all what they are. When we win, we should still all be like them. Because they're the ones who are right.
  18. @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    There’s been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    Great question. I’ll offer three possible answers. 1) The contemporary Left traces its roots to the protest movement of the Sixties. In turn, the Sixties movement was a reaction to the World War II generation (that is, their parents). In the minds of Sixties intellectuals, such as Mailer and Vonnegut, there was no significant difference between Nazi fascism and American militarism in World War II and the Cold War. In particular Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse V makes this equivalence. 2) The leaders of the Left were/are Jews, and of course for Jews Hitler and Nazism is the ultimate evil. While Stalin and Mao may have killed more people in raw numbers, their motives were purer than Hitler’s, because he specifically targeted Jews, and 3) the contemporary Left is communist or neo-communist, and of course fascism was an explicitly anti-communist movement.

    Interestingly enough, while the Left decries fascism, it does not eschew fascist methods. The idea of queers vandalizing private property and inciting violence in the streets was the SA’s modus operandi under Nazi gayboy Ernst Rohm.

  19. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Leon Botstein, a conductor and the president of Bard College, believes that Puccini’s music created a vacuum into which authoritarianism could enter.

    BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Thank you, Mr. Botstein (if that is your real name).

    Some would say Talmudic Judaism created “a vacuum into which authoritarianism could enter” …

  20. I always thought Poochini would be a good name for a he-dog.

    National Socialists seemed to love dogs, whereas Muslims appear to hate them.

    Perhaps the childless women with “fur-babies” don’t recognize this yet? Are there any interesting stories about Ann Arbor animal shelters?

  21. Is this the brother of professional hater Tim Wise? If so, then in the interest of honesty, they both should change their family name.

  22. @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    I think it has to do with a metric of complication, or “noise” in the social and relational landscape. Leftists are more comfortable with brushy, complicated, social landscapes. Fascism is relatively simple in its modeling of social relations, and its solutions to social conflict. The Leftist hatred of Fascism is basic and existential, as is the primal conservative suspicion of excessive complication in the social order. Maybe conservatives figure that when the dialogue gets complicated, someone’s getting hosed, and likely it’s them.

  23. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    This blog entry reminds me: Steve, thanks for posting – way back in summer 2015 – that vid clip of Trump sit down with Ali G about “music” vs “ice cream”.

    In hindsight that short, awkward clip said it all. Trump was Trump. Ali G represented the snarky media/establishment, heavily liberal and Jewish ……and in over its head!

  24. Botstein’s still president? He was the president of Bard some 40 years ago when my sister attended.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    He became president at age 29.

    I guess they didn't want to wait to fully Boomerize the school.

    Boomers didn't want to wait to take control of society and they're never going to willingly give up control either.

    Future generations will look upon the 1965-2040[ish] era as the Boomer Era.

  25. @syonredux

    But there’s a more fraught history to the aria, too. Not only is Turandot an opulent, Orientalist fantasy set in imperial China
     
    Huh. And here I thought that Said coined "Orientalism" as a way to refer to Western attitudes towards the original Orient, the Middle East...

    by a composer who never set foot in Asia;
     
    Would it be more PC if he had?

    It is “quite easy to read Turandot as a political allegory,” writes Arman Schwartz in the book Puccini’s Soundscapes, “one consistent with fascism’s own narrative of the degradation of post-World War I Italy and of Mussolini’s heroic rise.”
     
    Sure, it's easy to read it as a political allegory. Anything can be read as a political allegory. You just have to say that x stands for y.....

    Schwartz suggests
     
    Look, I'm not saying that this is the case. I'm just suggesting that it's the case.....

    that the opera’s setting, in an ancient but rundown imperial capital, echoes Rome in the 1920s. The principal characters—a virile hero and a childless, possibly lesbian woman who must be conquered to restore the gender order
     
    Gotta work in a non-heteronormative angle.....which is then subjugated by the cis-het patriarchy.....

    —embodied fascist rhetoric. The opera’s chorus, a group of singers who express amazement or bloodthirsty glee, stands for “the very modern-seeming crowd, as violent as it is irrational and easily swayed.”
     
    'Cause, you know, crowds are a distinctly modern thing....

    Schwartz told me in an email that while there’s no real evidence Puccini’s audiences interpreted Turandot as a fascist allegory,
     
    Evidence, shmevidence! We're post-post-modern!

    the composer was certainly “responding to/playing with general cultural anxieties.”
     
    Keep it vague, ambiguous.Gotta cover myself here...

    Other musicologists would agree.
     
    I'm just saying that they would......I'm not necessarily saying that they do....

    In The Puccini Problem, Alexandra Wilson calls Turandot “a fitting emblem for Fascist Italy, caught between presenting itself to the world as modern and keeping faith with tradition.”
     
    Yeah, see, she said that it's an "emblem for Fascist Italy!"

    Puccini died on Nov. 29, 1924, nearly 18 months before Turandot premiered in an unfinished form and before he could really clarify his political views.
     
    But that's not gonna stop me....

    However, it’s clear that Puccini, like many bourgeois Italians, wanted to see order restored to his country after the chaos of World War I.
     
    "Order." We all know what that means....

    Turandot delighted Mussolini, who went on to feature the composer’s Inno a Roma (Hymn to Rome) at fascist parades and ceremonies.
     
    Mussolini liked it......do I have to spell it out for you?

    Which brings us back to Trump and his rallies. Leon Botstein, a conductor and the president of Bard College, believes that Puccini’s music created a vacuum into which authoritarianism could enter. “His was a musical aesthetic that the state could easily appropriate,” said Botstein. “It represented a regressive, narcotic, illusionistic music that didn’t provide any resistance to a fascist regime.” It’s not a leap, Botstein adds, from the image of the heroic tenor to the authoritarian strongman.
     
    Look, I'm just saying that Puccini needs to be listened to with proper supervision....


    http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/ccManager/clips/clockworkOrangeVidi.mp4/view

    While Trump’s use of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” gets fists pumping and the Beatles’ “Revolution” feeds his supporters’ rebellious mood (original progressive intent aside), Puccini’s appearance on Trump rally playlists is far more subversive. It’s an empty signifier that arouses grand emotions over rationality—which is surely music to Trump’s ears.
     
    Wait, what! You just spent all this time explaining the valence of the work.......

    Well parsed.

    “………by a composer who never set foot in Asia;”

    Would it be more PC if he had?

    It is interesting to note the differences in how Americans perceived the muslim world, and apparently wanted to perceive it, in the 1950s:

    Kismet: The Sands of Time

    vs., say, the 1990s:

    True Lies: Crimson Jihad

    Familiarity breeds contempt.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    One must take into account the changes in many Muslim societies over those four decades.
  26. @res
    I think this comment at Slate nails it:

    Nakatomi Plaza Aug 1, 2016
    Let's see...how can we get the words "Trump" and "fascist" into a headline today?
     
    Another good one:

    Steven Harker Aug 1, 2016
    Is it me or is this getting all a little bit ridiculous?

    Surely there is enough to legitimately challenge Trump over what he says and what views he may or may not hold without basically making stuff up.
     

    Here is a prophet:

    Trump is a fool and a narcissist, but electing him would cause such dyspepsia to the smug jerks at Slate, the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Washington Post that it might actually be worth it.

  27. @syonredux

    But there’s a more fraught history to the aria, too. Not only is Turandot an opulent, Orientalist fantasy set in imperial China
     
    Huh. And here I thought that Said coined "Orientalism" as a way to refer to Western attitudes towards the original Orient, the Middle East...

    by a composer who never set foot in Asia;
     
    Would it be more PC if he had?

    It is “quite easy to read Turandot as a political allegory,” writes Arman Schwartz in the book Puccini’s Soundscapes, “one consistent with fascism’s own narrative of the degradation of post-World War I Italy and of Mussolini’s heroic rise.”
     
    Sure, it's easy to read it as a political allegory. Anything can be read as a political allegory. You just have to say that x stands for y.....

    Schwartz suggests
     
    Look, I'm not saying that this is the case. I'm just suggesting that it's the case.....

    that the opera’s setting, in an ancient but rundown imperial capital, echoes Rome in the 1920s. The principal characters—a virile hero and a childless, possibly lesbian woman who must be conquered to restore the gender order
     
    Gotta work in a non-heteronormative angle.....which is then subjugated by the cis-het patriarchy.....

    —embodied fascist rhetoric. The opera’s chorus, a group of singers who express amazement or bloodthirsty glee, stands for “the very modern-seeming crowd, as violent as it is irrational and easily swayed.”
     
    'Cause, you know, crowds are a distinctly modern thing....

    Schwartz told me in an email that while there’s no real evidence Puccini’s audiences interpreted Turandot as a fascist allegory,
     
    Evidence, shmevidence! We're post-post-modern!

    the composer was certainly “responding to/playing with general cultural anxieties.”
     
    Keep it vague, ambiguous.Gotta cover myself here...

    Other musicologists would agree.
     
    I'm just saying that they would......I'm not necessarily saying that they do....

    In The Puccini Problem, Alexandra Wilson calls Turandot “a fitting emblem for Fascist Italy, caught between presenting itself to the world as modern and keeping faith with tradition.”
     
    Yeah, see, she said that it's an "emblem for Fascist Italy!"

    Puccini died on Nov. 29, 1924, nearly 18 months before Turandot premiered in an unfinished form and before he could really clarify his political views.
     
    But that's not gonna stop me....

    However, it’s clear that Puccini, like many bourgeois Italians, wanted to see order restored to his country after the chaos of World War I.
     
    "Order." We all know what that means....

    Turandot delighted Mussolini, who went on to feature the composer’s Inno a Roma (Hymn to Rome) at fascist parades and ceremonies.
     
    Mussolini liked it......do I have to spell it out for you?

    Which brings us back to Trump and his rallies. Leon Botstein, a conductor and the president of Bard College, believes that Puccini’s music created a vacuum into which authoritarianism could enter. “His was a musical aesthetic that the state could easily appropriate,” said Botstein. “It represented a regressive, narcotic, illusionistic music that didn’t provide any resistance to a fascist regime.” It’s not a leap, Botstein adds, from the image of the heroic tenor to the authoritarian strongman.
     
    Look, I'm just saying that Puccini needs to be listened to with proper supervision....


    http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/ccManager/clips/clockworkOrangeVidi.mp4/view

    While Trump’s use of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” gets fists pumping and the Beatles’ “Revolution” feeds his supporters’ rebellious mood (original progressive intent aside), Puccini’s appearance on Trump rally playlists is far more subversive. It’s an empty signifier that arouses grand emotions over rationality—which is surely music to Trump’s ears.
     
    Wait, what! You just spent all this time explaining the valence of the work.......

    Don’t feed the journalism trolls. That article was contentless, and written merely to get a rise out of people like you/comfort people who don’t like Trump. Too bad Puccini has to suffer for it, but I imagine he’s already on the outs in fashionable opinion (not boring enough?), hence the “new research.”

    You can assume several levels of culturati have already declared Puccini Out by the time Slate does. They’re not with it enough to attack what’s In. Your criticism is neither here nor there, because you have no say in High Culture, which I presume has already spoken on the subject.

    It doesn’t matter whether Puccini has anything to do with fascism, nor Trump with fascism, nor Trump with Puccini. Fascism is permanently Out. Trump is obviously Out. Puccini is apparently Out. According to the transverse property of fashion, fascism, Trump, and Puccini are equivalent.

  28. Though I’m a classical music lover, I don’t care about opera in particular. Still, this article made me physically angry.

    We have got to storm the citadels of culture. They’ve never been weaker.

  29. @Anon
    Go with ballet. It is communist.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqzYMAIR2Bk

    Wow. This isn’t ballet. It’s a Red Guard wet dream. …A ‘smash the capitalist running dogs’ poster sprung to life. But Communist kitsch is noble and uplifting. Struggle Porn. In the early seventies, right after the Nixon visit, New York critics tried to convince us that this was cutting edge Art. That didn’t even last 15 minutes.

  30. @Jimi
    Beethoven and Mozart were slightly influenced by Turkish janissary music and this has been used by multiculturalists to argue that Turkish culture is part of Germany.

    Beethoven and Mozart (and Haydn, see the end of the Military Symphony #100) used janissary music as that era’s rock and roll. That is why Weber’s Turandot music also has a janissary feel (cymbals and drums is the big giveaway.)

    The most fascinating use of Turkish music however is by Beethoven when he uses it in the Finale to the Ninth Symphony, prior to the introduction of the tenor’s solo (“Froh, froh, wie seine Sonne fliegen ….”). What if anything is he communicating here? Is it the mechanical, metronomic quality of the music? Is it a hat tip to the Orient (after all, “Alle menschen werden Brueder”)? The first fits in well with the text, where it describes the heroism of simply following one’s appointed path in life, just as the planets circle the sun, and then we get a fugue illustrating that kind of coordination. (There is a duet in Hindemith’s “Mathis” that makes the same point.) On the other hand, the next 3 variations are all about our relation in this scheme of things to a loving God, so, anything is possible. (And yes, Beethoven goes Full Mustafa in the coda.)

    • Replies: @guest
    Maybe he just thought it sounded cool.

    He could be very programmatic and think-y, but Beethoven was always willing to sacrifice for the Feelz.
    , @Steve Sailer
    The Austrians feared and loathed the Turks while the Turks were on the offensive, but they got beat bad outside Vienna in the 1680s and signed a peace treaty in the 1690s. Property values exploded in Austria as fear of Turkish conquest subsided. Eventually, Austrians thought Turks were harmless exotics.

    Macaulay noted the exact same process happening in Britain: after the British government crushed the Highlander clans after their 1745 invasion of England, the English started to think Highland culture was cool.

    You can see it in America with Indians, who were considered exotic by people on the East Coast. But the Westerner Mark Twain had more experience with Indians, so he still loathed them even when most Americans were ardently into Indian Lore.
    , @Ivan K.

    The most fascinating use of Turkish music however is by Beethoven when he uses it in the Finale to the Ninth Symphony, prior to the introduction of the tenor’s solo (“Froh, froh, wie seine Sonne fliegen ….”). What if anything is he communicating here?
     
    When I listen to that Finale I clearly recognise the music I've been hearing since early childhood, traditional music from Bosnia and Herzegovina (more or less).

    Beethoven uses Turkish style in the Second movement.

    My music schoolteacher in primary school explicitly told us that Beethoven included that piece of our traditional music.

    Alle menschen werden Brueder
    may make more sense in this context.

  31. @Anon
    Hitler loved Wagner. Opera is fascist. Homos like opera. Homos are fascist.

    You didn’t have to go through all those steps. Look up Ernst Rohm, or read The Pink Swastika.

    Everyone knows homos and fascists share a sense of style. They get away with it because they’re homos. Although, they have been slipping lately. They’re not as useful as Muslims and trannies (some of whom must be straight, whichever way you classify them), and have been getting slighted.(Relative to their former position. They’re still way above me.)

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Where do goats fit in?

    (It's not for me, this friend of mine wanted to know.)
  32. Why don’t we just cut to the chase?

    All art created by white people is fascist.

    Western art = fascism

    (It’ll save them from having to think too much).

  33. @SPMoore8
    Beethoven and Mozart (and Haydn, see the end of the Military Symphony #100) used janissary music as that era's rock and roll. That is why Weber's Turandot music also has a janissary feel (cymbals and drums is the big giveaway.)

    The most fascinating use of Turkish music however is by Beethoven when he uses it in the Finale to the Ninth Symphony, prior to the introduction of the tenor's solo ("Froh, froh, wie seine Sonne fliegen ...."). What if anything is he communicating here? Is it the mechanical, metronomic quality of the music? Is it a hat tip to the Orient (after all, "Alle menschen werden Brueder")? The first fits in well with the text, where it describes the heroism of simply following one's appointed path in life, just as the planets circle the sun, and then we get a fugue illustrating that kind of coordination. (There is a duet in Hindemith's "Mathis" that makes the same point.) On the other hand, the next 3 variations are all about our relation in this scheme of things to a loving God, so, anything is possible. (And yes, Beethoven goes Full Mustafa in the coda.)

    Maybe he just thought it sounded cool.

    He could be very programmatic and think-y, but Beethoven was always willing to sacrifice for the Feelz.

  34. @Anon
    Didn't Newsweek run a cover that said WE ARE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW after Obama's win?

    I guess we are all fascists now.

    (Aside from the fact that fascists are socialists…)

    No, that’s not how it works. When they win, we’re all what they are. When we win, we should still all be like them. Because they’re the ones who are right.

  35. OK fwiw I repeat myself

    The Unz Review
    Trump “The Fascist”: Backdoor Backing of a Political Psychopath Named Hillary Clinton
    James Petras • April 12, 2016

    5.

    Among other things, Trump is an honest fascist. The others not so much. Which is why they hate him.

    That is, if socialism is govt. control of the economy, fascism is indirect control while communism is direct. (So Tom Rose, retired econ prof at Grove City College).

    Think the New Deal. According to the Old Right’s J. Flynn in his As We Go Marching, it was the American version of the Italian economy under Mussolini, if not Hitler’s.

    IOW to paraphrase Pogo, ‘socialism is US’ in aces and spades.
    Trump, opportunistic showman/heel that he is, knows how to capitalize on the situation.

    The media, other candidates and a large part of the electorate, don’t realize what a clown show it all is and have consequently been blindsided by the media savvy buffoon hisself.

    But more to the point, forget about the “great” jazz, the Donald need to realize it’s all about making America free again.

    Of course we saw how that worked out for Ron “The Real Reagan” Paul in ’08 and ’12.

    cheers

    ditto

  36. Slate: Opera, Like Trump, Is Fascist

    For someone who allegedly doesn’t like to be wrong, you sure have a knack for lying (or, to put it another way: for weaseling around the truth).

    That
    “In fact, Trump’s use of it might read as yet more evidence for those who already view the bombastic businessman as a fascist in the making.”
    is the closest the text comes to call Trump a fascist & it’s obviously not very close.

    Else it’s mostly about how one composer (Puccini) & one of his pieces (the aria “Nessun Dorma”) might have been influenced by & gave expression to fascism. The joke himself is at worst only accused of authoritarianism. & for a loud-mouthed, self-centered bully like Trump, that’s certainly fitting.

    • Replies: @guest
    You are obtuse, either deliberately or naturally. Do you live in a world where everyone tells the whole truth all the time? Are you unfamiliar with insinuation? Does everyone have to come out explicitly with what they're trying to get across with you, because you can't take a hint? No, you're playacting.

    Tell me, what could possibly be an he point of writing in the subheadline that Trump likes Puccini and Puccini's work is infused with fascism, if not to imply Trump is a fascist? What honest, even-handed article not bent on putting across what idea Steve attributes to them would start an article like that? Steve isn't lying, he's merely making the subtext text.

    The subtext is not very far from outright calling Trump a fascist to begin with. It didn't require a mind-reader to penetrate that facade. Your "obviously not very close" is obviously not very honest. It *is* close, and if you can't see that you have no business posting about it.

    What, they have to come right out and say it? You don't get the hint?
  37. @Anon
    Go with ballet. It is communist.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqzYMAIR2Bk

    And do not miss James Lileks’ tour of the same:

    The East Is Red, The Butt Is Numb
    http://www.lileks.com/institute/china/index.html

    With gut-busting lines like “Communism–it’s two-ply thick for extra softness!”

    The Maglev Sisters!

    http://www.lileks.com/institute/china/6.jpg

    “Party representative Hung Cang-ching teaches the fighters that revolution is not a matter of taking personal revenge but of emancipating all mankind. Her class consciousness raised, Wu Ching-hua follows the company commander in energetically practicing marksmanship and grenade throwing.”

  38. @SPMoore8
    Beethoven and Mozart (and Haydn, see the end of the Military Symphony #100) used janissary music as that era's rock and roll. That is why Weber's Turandot music also has a janissary feel (cymbals and drums is the big giveaway.)

    The most fascinating use of Turkish music however is by Beethoven when he uses it in the Finale to the Ninth Symphony, prior to the introduction of the tenor's solo ("Froh, froh, wie seine Sonne fliegen ...."). What if anything is he communicating here? Is it the mechanical, metronomic quality of the music? Is it a hat tip to the Orient (after all, "Alle menschen werden Brueder")? The first fits in well with the text, where it describes the heroism of simply following one's appointed path in life, just as the planets circle the sun, and then we get a fugue illustrating that kind of coordination. (There is a duet in Hindemith's "Mathis" that makes the same point.) On the other hand, the next 3 variations are all about our relation in this scheme of things to a loving God, so, anything is possible. (And yes, Beethoven goes Full Mustafa in the coda.)

    The Austrians feared and loathed the Turks while the Turks were on the offensive, but they got beat bad outside Vienna in the 1680s and signed a peace treaty in the 1690s. Property values exploded in Austria as fear of Turkish conquest subsided. Eventually, Austrians thought Turks were harmless exotics.

    Macaulay noted the exact same process happening in Britain: after the British government crushed the Highlander clans after their 1745 invasion of England, the English started to think Highland culture was cool.

    You can see it in America with Indians, who were considered exotic by people on the East Coast. But the Westerner Mark Twain had more experience with Indians, so he still loathed them even when most Americans were ardently into Indian Lore.

    • Agree: Spmoore8
    • Replies: @Anonym
    Pavarotti is good. I like the Manowar version.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6SssLxzg14

    And live:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSFIz0jXEYk

    "Eric Adams" has an Italian background. His real name is Louis Marullo. Childhood friend of Joey DeMaio, who is the brains behind Manowar, also Italian.

    Even the Manowar parody band Nanowar, are Italian.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CXXRd90jc0

    Blood runs true.
  39. Alternative story, for some reason rejected in favor of the one about Puccini:

    Trump loves Churchill—and new research is showing how fascism infused the work of the person whose bust Trump has just restored to the White House.

    Thus

    What a man [Mussolini]! I have lost my heart! … If I were Italian, I am sure I would have been with you entirely from the beginning of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passion of Leninism. … Your movement has rendered a service to the whole world. Winston Churchill, January 20, 1927

    Puccini died in 1924, two years after Mussolini came to power. His “fascism” was apparently restricted to favorable comments about Mussolini in letters, at a time when the “horrors” of Italian fascism (restrictions on Jews) were 14 years in the future.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Franco Zeffirelli's autobiographical movie about his boyhood, "Tea with Mussolini," is pretty interesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEAUlJEGGwU

    It's worth noting that lots of rich English and Americans lived in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s, whereas few people with options in life found German amenable after 1933. The little Zeffirelli was more or less adopted as a charming pet by rich, cultured English-speaking women in Florence between the wars, played by Maggie Smith, Judy Dench, Cher, etc., who introduced him to "Romeo and Juliet" etc.

    Most autobiographical movies are pretty self-pitying, but Zeffirelli's is about how lucky he was. That most of the Anglo-American ladies who were so kind to him were fans of Mussolini is part of the irony.

    , @guest
    Might have been rejected because they know we can pull up endless quotes from lefty heroes like FDR praising fascism. The opposition can occasionally think a few steps ahead.

    Of course, they're working things out so that they don't need any heroes from the past. Everyone gets left behind by Progress, after all, and FDR is especially prone to black ire right now.
  40. @anonymous
    What's especially galling is that Islam is basically Arab Nazism. The left hates one, loves the other.

    There are certainly similarities but German National Socialism was defined by explicit racism, whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "There are certainly similarities but German National Socialism was defined by explicit racism, whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology."

    A universalist ideology that elevates the tribal ways of barbarous arab nomads as the most acceptable form of social behavior, and in which the word of God can only truly be appreciated when read in Arabic.

    Very "Universal". As you said, "superficially".

    , @Jus' Sayin'...

    "...whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology."
     
    I recommend that anyone who believes this read the first chapter or two of the Thousand and One Nights, paying particular attention to the attitudes displayed toward Negroes in. They might follow that up with some readings re. the history of slavery and the slave trade in Africa from its origins c. 800 AD up through the present day.
    , @syonredux

    There are certainly similarities but German National Socialism was defined by explicit racism, whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology.
     
    Yeah. Communism makes a better analogy. Of course, in contrast to communism, Islam has very little appeal where Western intellectuals are concerned.
  41. @for-the-record
    Alternative story, for some reason rejected in favor of the one about Puccini:

    Trump loves Churchill—and new research is showing how fascism infused the work of the person whose bust Trump has just restored to the White House.
     
    Thus

    What a man [Mussolini]! I have lost my heart! … If I were Italian, I am sure I would have been with you entirely from the beginning of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passion of Leninism. … Your movement has rendered a service to the whole world. Winston Churchill, January 20, 1927
     
    Puccini died in 1924, two years after Mussolini came to power. His "fascism" was apparently restricted to favorable comments about Mussolini in letters, at a time when the "horrors" of Italian fascism (restrictions on Jews) were 14 years in the future.

    Franco Zeffirelli’s autobiographical movie about his boyhood, “Tea with Mussolini,” is pretty interesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEAUlJEGGwU

    It’s worth noting that lots of rich English and Americans lived in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s, whereas few people with options in life found German amenable after 1933. The little Zeffirelli was more or less adopted as a charming pet by rich, cultured English-speaking women in Florence between the wars, played by Maggie Smith, Judy Dench, Cher, etc., who introduced him to “Romeo and Juliet” etc.

    Most autobiographical movies are pretty self-pitying, but Zeffirelli’s is about how lucky he was. That most of the Anglo-American ladies who were so kind to him were fans of Mussolini is part of the irony.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Speaking of Maggie Smith, that excellent 1968 film ,'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' described the autobiographical experiences of the writer, Muriel Spark, during her time being taught by one Miss McKay, a spinster teacher who had a serious Mussolini fixation.
    , @syonredux

    It’s worth noting that lots of rich English and Americans lived in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s, whereas few people with options in life found German amenable after 1933.
     
    Thomas Wolfe is about the only significant exception that comes to mind. And he ended up turning on the Nazi regime in 1936:

    Wolfe spent much time in Europe and was especially popular and at ease in Germany, where he made many friends. However, in 1936 he witnessed incidents of discrimination against Jews, which upset him and changed his mind about the political developments in the country.[20] He returned to America and published a story based on his observations ("I Have a Thing to Tell You") in The New Republic.[20] Following its publication, Wolfe's books were banned by the German government, and he was prohibited from traveling there.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Wolfe
  42. @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    You’ve had some excellent responses to this. This site really has some of the best political discussion on the internet.

    I can’t add much but I would say that it’s at least in part because fascism is openly hierarchal and non-egalitarian. Fascists understand that humans are not all interchangeable blank slate cogs whose differences are entirely attributable to mutable social conditions. Leftism at its core is about a fundamental rejection of nature and reality.

  43. @Jack D
    Here is a prophet:

    Trump is a fool and a narcissist, but electing him would cause such dyspepsia to the smug jerks at Slate, the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Washington Post that it might actually be worth it.

    This basically sums up my opinion of Trump.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Jack D

    This basically sums up my opinion of Trump.
     
    Lol, I'm sure some Manhattan multi-billionaire with 4 decades of über success, who was backed in his run for President by the biggest MOTU titans of finance and industry, is concerned about what some little men think about him. "Fool and narcissist". This is the kind of facile bullshit you hear from SJWs on the rag.
  44. @syonredux

    But there’s a more fraught history to the aria, too. Not only is Turandot an opulent, Orientalist fantasy set in imperial China
     
    Huh. And here I thought that Said coined "Orientalism" as a way to refer to Western attitudes towards the original Orient, the Middle East...

    by a composer who never set foot in Asia;
     
    Would it be more PC if he had?

    It is “quite easy to read Turandot as a political allegory,” writes Arman Schwartz in the book Puccini’s Soundscapes, “one consistent with fascism’s own narrative of the degradation of post-World War I Italy and of Mussolini’s heroic rise.”
     
    Sure, it's easy to read it as a political allegory. Anything can be read as a political allegory. You just have to say that x stands for y.....

    Schwartz suggests
     
    Look, I'm not saying that this is the case. I'm just suggesting that it's the case.....

    that the opera’s setting, in an ancient but rundown imperial capital, echoes Rome in the 1920s. The principal characters—a virile hero and a childless, possibly lesbian woman who must be conquered to restore the gender order
     
    Gotta work in a non-heteronormative angle.....which is then subjugated by the cis-het patriarchy.....

    —embodied fascist rhetoric. The opera’s chorus, a group of singers who express amazement or bloodthirsty glee, stands for “the very modern-seeming crowd, as violent as it is irrational and easily swayed.”
     
    'Cause, you know, crowds are a distinctly modern thing....

    Schwartz told me in an email that while there’s no real evidence Puccini’s audiences interpreted Turandot as a fascist allegory,
     
    Evidence, shmevidence! We're post-post-modern!

    the composer was certainly “responding to/playing with general cultural anxieties.”
     
    Keep it vague, ambiguous.Gotta cover myself here...

    Other musicologists would agree.
     
    I'm just saying that they would......I'm not necessarily saying that they do....

    In The Puccini Problem, Alexandra Wilson calls Turandot “a fitting emblem for Fascist Italy, caught between presenting itself to the world as modern and keeping faith with tradition.”
     
    Yeah, see, she said that it's an "emblem for Fascist Italy!"

    Puccini died on Nov. 29, 1924, nearly 18 months before Turandot premiered in an unfinished form and before he could really clarify his political views.
     
    But that's not gonna stop me....

    However, it’s clear that Puccini, like many bourgeois Italians, wanted to see order restored to his country after the chaos of World War I.
     
    "Order." We all know what that means....

    Turandot delighted Mussolini, who went on to feature the composer’s Inno a Roma (Hymn to Rome) at fascist parades and ceremonies.
     
    Mussolini liked it......do I have to spell it out for you?

    Which brings us back to Trump and his rallies. Leon Botstein, a conductor and the president of Bard College, believes that Puccini’s music created a vacuum into which authoritarianism could enter. “His was a musical aesthetic that the state could easily appropriate,” said Botstein. “It represented a regressive, narcotic, illusionistic music that didn’t provide any resistance to a fascist regime.” It’s not a leap, Botstein adds, from the image of the heroic tenor to the authoritarian strongman.
     
    Look, I'm just saying that Puccini needs to be listened to with proper supervision....


    http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/ccManager/clips/clockworkOrangeVidi.mp4/view

    While Trump’s use of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” gets fists pumping and the Beatles’ “Revolution” feeds his supporters’ rebellious mood (original progressive intent aside), Puccini’s appearance on Trump rally playlists is far more subversive. It’s an empty signifier that arouses grand emotions over rationality—which is surely music to Trump’s ears.
     
    Wait, what! You just spent all this time explaining the valence of the work.......

    Perhaps I am not hip enough to get the real meaning of The Beatles’ song “Revolution” but it clearly seems like it’s a fundamentally conservative song. Or at least anti-”progressive.” Perhaps the shitlibs at Slate could cucksplain the reality to me.

    For reference:

    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world

    But when you talk about destruction
    Don’t you know that you can count me out
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be
    All right, all right, all right

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We’d all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We’re doing what we can

    But if you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell is brother you have to wait
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be
    All right, all right, all right

    You say you’ll change the constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well, you know
    You better free you mind instead

    But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Most of the British Invasion bands were conservative on the rare occasions when they got political:

    Beatles: Revolution, Taxman
    Stones: Street Fighting Man, Sympathy for the Devil
    Who: Won't Get Fooled Again
    Kinks: Pretty much everything

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2016/04/01/the-whimsical-conservatism-of-the-kinks/

    , @guest
    On the so-called "White Album" version of the song, he clearly adds "in" after "count me out," indicating at least ambiguity. Not that I take that seriously; too clever by half.

    So Revolution is an anti-revolutionary song. Does that amount to conservatism? That's a relative term, so yes, I suppose. But it's not much to be conservative on the issue of the violent overthrow of the existing order.

    I don't know Lennon's actual politics, but what I can gather from Imagine is plenty progressive enough.
  45. @AndrewR
    Perhaps I am not hip enough to get the real meaning of The Beatles' song "Revolution" but it clearly seems like it's a fundamentally conservative song. Or at least anti-"progressive." Perhaps the shitlibs at Slate could cucksplain the reality to me.

    For reference:


    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it's evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world

    But when you talk about destruction
    Don't you know that you can count me out
    Don't you know it's gonna be
    All right, all right, all right

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We'd all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We're doing what we can

    But if you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell is brother you have to wait
    Don't you know it's gonna be
    All right, all right, all right

    You say you'll change the constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it's the institution
    Well, you know
    You better free you mind instead

    But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
    You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
    Don't you know it's gonna be
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right

    Most of the British Invasion bands were conservative on the rare occasions when they got political:

    Beatles: Revolution, Taxman
    Stones: Street Fighting Man, Sympathy for the Devil
    Who: Won’t Get Fooled Again
    Kinks: Pretty much everything

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2016/04/01/the-whimsical-conservatism-of-the-kinks/

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Apparently, 'Get Back To Where You Belong' was the Beatle response to the 1968 Enoch Powell 'Rivers of Blood' speech - as the the first draft lyrics attest.
    It's unclear whether the lyrics were in irony or agreement with Powell.

    This only came out recently, curiously, back in the day, I always subconsciously knew that the main chorus was, basically, a rather brute anti-immigration anthem.
    , @Anonymous
    Pete Townshend was, at least back in the day, a communist sympathiser.
    'Won't Get Fooled Again' was in fact inspired by Townshend's disappointment with Harold Wilson's 1964 Labour government, which turned out to be a damp squib after 13 years of Tory rule.
    In fact, compared to Tony Blair, Harold Wilson was a Maoist.

    The song was also inspired by an incident at Woodstock in which a ranting Abbie Hoffman hijacked The Who's stage and angry Pete Townshend was driven to twatting Hoffman over the head with a heavy guitar in order to eject him.
    , @Connecticut Famer
    Recall that The Beatles were working class lads out of Liverpool. And I believe that all of them were of Irish descent.
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
    I still can't figure out whether the Strawbs's "I'm Part of the Union" was a parody or affirmation of yob mentality. Back in late '70s Cambridge MA, when played at top volume it was a great way of briefly getting back at my coke-dealing, Seven Sisters, yuppie, upstairs neighbor for her 3 AM orgies. (She later disappeared after ratting out her dealer/supplier and customers in a plea deal with the Feds. I doubt it was the Strawbs that drove her away,)
    , @Ripple Earthdevil
    The Kinks' "A Well-Respected Man" is a snooty, hipper-than-thou screed against the "squares", in the tradition of "Little Boxes." Unless I'm missing something.
    , @guest
    Won't Get Fooled again I don't interpret as "we won't bother with leftist uprisings anymore." More like "we won't let those capitalist pigs subvert our revolution again," or something like that. I don't hear a general condemnation of all revolution, though maybe I'm wrong.

    It has the effect of discouraging revolution, which is inherently conservative, I guess, but you have to look at these things relativistically. Sorta like Animal Farm, which isn't rightist to my mind, just anti-Stalinist. Which didn't stop conservatives from adopting it as their own. But it isn't their own. It just happens to also not like the Soviet Union.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    OK, I'm very late to this thread ('cept my silly one earlier), but regarding The Kinks, wouldn't "Victoria" be one of their best conservative songs? Unless I'm missing something, in this song they long for the monarchy and the British Empire. For back in the 70's that is pretty different and kind of cool. I don't guess even the probably fairly-left-wing music fans really cared, just because it is a really kick-ass song, and the lyrics mean nothing if you have a great melody and sound.

    I heard the live version off of One for the Road, but this video is great too:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW-JYsF3xHI

    That is rock, people (for the readers under 40)!

    Apologies for the silly earlier post, again - I guess it didn't add anything at all to the discussion, but it cracked me up in my head so it needed to be said.

  46. @Ripple Earthdevil
    Botstein's still president? He was the president of Bard some 40 years ago when my sister attended.

    He became president at age 29.

    I guess they didn’t want to wait to fully Boomerize the school.

    Boomers didn’t want to wait to take control of society and they’re never going to willingly give up control either.

    Future generations will look upon the 1965-2040[ish] era as the Boomer Era.

  47. @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    Oh dear. Don’t get me started on the common good again.

  48. @Mr. Anon
    Well parsed.

    ".........by a composer who never set foot in Asia;"

    Would it be more PC if he had?
     

    It is interesting to note the differences in how Americans perceived the muslim world, and apparently wanted to perceive it, in the 1950s:

    Kismet: The Sands of Time

    vs., say, the 1990s:

    True Lies: Crimson Jihad

    Familiarity breeds contempt.

    One must take into account the changes in many Muslim societies over those four decades.

  49. Imagine how listening to opera in warm socks would trigger the staff of Slate.

  50. @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    The Kinks nailed life, didn’t they. Muswell Hill is the really deplorable LP.

  51. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @AndrewR
    This basically sums up my opinion of Trump.

    This basically sums up my opinion of Trump.

    Lol, I’m sure some Manhattan multi-billionaire with 4 decades of über success, who was backed in his run for President by the biggest MOTU titans of finance and industry, is concerned about what some little men think about him. “Fool and narcissist”. This is the kind of facile bullshit you hear from SJWs on the rag.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    There's a lot of narcissist successful men and women. It might even be a positive factor.

    He's certainly not a total fool, though, or else, he wouldn't be POTUS. We all have to give him credit for seeing some trends, at the very least.
    , @AndrewR
    That you, Donald? Thin-skinned as ever...

    Trump is useful to the alt-right but eventually we will have to leave him behind.

  52. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Steve Sailer
    Most of the British Invasion bands were conservative on the rare occasions when they got political:

    Beatles: Revolution, Taxman
    Stones: Street Fighting Man, Sympathy for the Devil
    Who: Won't Get Fooled Again
    Kinks: Pretty much everything

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2016/04/01/the-whimsical-conservatism-of-the-kinks/

    Apparently, ‘Get Back To Where You Belong’ was the Beatle response to the 1968 Enoch Powell ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech – as the the first draft lyrics attest.
    It’s unclear whether the lyrics were in irony or agreement with Powell.

    This only came out recently, curiously, back in the day, I always subconsciously knew that the main chorus was, basically, a rather brute anti-immigration anthem.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    Immigrants. Wilson Health said to the immigrants you better get back to the
    commonwealth homes. Yeah, yeah, yeah I said Get back home. Now Enoch Powell was
    said to the folks color of his skin. He said don't care. So he said you better
    get up. He said he said to Enoch Powell. You better go home. So Wilson said to.
    We got to swing. We have to go the hill. So Wilson Health said to Enoch Powell
    we got to the commonwealth. Commonwealth yeah commonwealth yeah commonwealth
    yeah commonwealth yeah.
    Commonwealth yeah. If you don't want trouble you got to go home. To Indania.
    I've have enough of that. I'm coming back yeah to England. Dirty Enoch Powell.
    Commonwealth. Commonwealth yeah. Don't you hear me commonwealth yeah. Well I
    check Austria England India. Enoch Powell. Oh commonwealth yeah. Oh
    commonwealth yeah. Yeah commonwealth yeah. Commonwealth yeah. It's too common to
    me. I came down the street to New Zealand.

    http://www.metrolyrics.com/commonwealth-lyrics-beatles.html

    , @Verymuchalive
    This seems to be the first pop song to deal with "trans-sexualism". McCartney is decidedly opposed. I'm surprised Mr Steve hasn't mentioned it. Or maybe he has, and I have missed it.
  53. @Steve Sailer
    The Austrians feared and loathed the Turks while the Turks were on the offensive, but they got beat bad outside Vienna in the 1680s and signed a peace treaty in the 1690s. Property values exploded in Austria as fear of Turkish conquest subsided. Eventually, Austrians thought Turks were harmless exotics.

    Macaulay noted the exact same process happening in Britain: after the British government crushed the Highlander clans after their 1745 invasion of England, the English started to think Highland culture was cool.

    You can see it in America with Indians, who were considered exotic by people on the East Coast. But the Westerner Mark Twain had more experience with Indians, so he still loathed them even when most Americans were ardently into Indian Lore.

    Pavarotti is good. I like the Manowar version.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6SssLxzg14

    And live:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSFIz0jXEYk

    “Eric Adams” has an Italian background. His real name is Louis Marullo. Childhood friend of Joey DeMaio, who is the brains behind Manowar, also Italian.

    Even the Manowar parody band Nanowar, are Italian.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CXXRd90jc0

    Blood runs true.

    • Replies: @Anon87
    What about Rhapsody, Rhapsody of Fire, etc.? Italian operatic metal works.
  54. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Steve Sailer
    Most of the British Invasion bands were conservative on the rare occasions when they got political:

    Beatles: Revolution, Taxman
    Stones: Street Fighting Man, Sympathy for the Devil
    Who: Won't Get Fooled Again
    Kinks: Pretty much everything

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2016/04/01/the-whimsical-conservatism-of-the-kinks/

    Pete Townshend was, at least back in the day, a communist sympathiser.
    ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ was in fact inspired by Townshend’s disappointment with Harold Wilson’s 1964 Labour government, which turned out to be a damp squib after 13 years of Tory rule.
    In fact, compared to Tony Blair, Harold Wilson was a Maoist.

    The song was also inspired by an incident at Woodstock in which a ranting Abbie Hoffman hijacked The Who’s stage and angry Pete Townshend was driven to twatting Hoffman over the head with a heavy guitar in order to eject him.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Anonymous:

    In 2013, Roger Daltrey, the Who's frontman, stated that he would never forgive Britain's Labor Party for their mass immigration policies as "they destroyed the jobs of my mates".

    Daltrey supported Brexit and seems to be quite a fan of the monarchy.

    I'm unaware of when he embraced his anti PC and pro monarchical views.

  55. @AndrewR
    There are certainly similarities but German National Socialism was defined by explicit racism, whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology.

    “There are certainly similarities but German National Socialism was defined by explicit racism, whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology.”

    A universalist ideology that elevates the tribal ways of barbarous arab nomads as the most acceptable form of social behavior, and in which the word of God can only truly be appreciated when read in Arabic.

    Very “Universal”. As you said, “superficially”.

  56. @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    Because of the actions of Hitler, 6 million people and some goyim died.

  57. @Steve Sailer
    Most of the British Invasion bands were conservative on the rare occasions when they got political:

    Beatles: Revolution, Taxman
    Stones: Street Fighting Man, Sympathy for the Devil
    Who: Won't Get Fooled Again
    Kinks: Pretty much everything

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2016/04/01/the-whimsical-conservatism-of-the-kinks/

    Recall that The Beatles were working class lads out of Liverpool. And I believe that all of them were of Irish descent.

  58. Trump played Puccini at his rallies.

    Hillary had Beyonce and Jay-Z sing at hers.

    When Trump went high, she went low.

  59. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    You’ll find that these people have all of the intellectual sophistication of the kindergarten audience at a Christmas Pantomime. ‘He’s behind you!’ ‘Boo Hiss’.
    It really is as simple and low brow as that. ‘Fascism’ – none of these fools have the slightest knowledge of the particular corporatist/socialist centralized state particular to Mussolini’s Italy, is to them simply to them sort of theatrical bogeyman, something like a boo-hiss ‘devil’ figure in a medieval mystery play.

  60. If I could come back after I leave this world, I would like to come back as a Midfielder for Inter-Milan who could sing like Pavarotti. And maybe be good looking too.

  61. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Steve Sailer
    Franco Zeffirelli's autobiographical movie about his boyhood, "Tea with Mussolini," is pretty interesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEAUlJEGGwU

    It's worth noting that lots of rich English and Americans lived in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s, whereas few people with options in life found German amenable after 1933. The little Zeffirelli was more or less adopted as a charming pet by rich, cultured English-speaking women in Florence between the wars, played by Maggie Smith, Judy Dench, Cher, etc., who introduced him to "Romeo and Juliet" etc.

    Most autobiographical movies are pretty self-pitying, but Zeffirelli's is about how lucky he was. That most of the Anglo-American ladies who were so kind to him were fans of Mussolini is part of the irony.

    Speaking of Maggie Smith, that excellent 1968 film ,’The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ described the autobiographical experiences of the writer, Muriel Spark, during her time being taught by one Miss McKay, a spinster teacher who had a serious Mussolini fixation.

    • Replies: @guest
    I read that book, and Miss Jean Brodie came off to me more as a regular modern liberal progressive than a fascist, as I was led to believe she would be. Not a contemporary progressive, who would be apt to be a SJW. Miss Brodie is far too "romantic" and unenlightened in the ways of crazy-wave feminism to be that.

    Can't say what was in Muriel Sparks' mind (maybe she just failed or was confused, or maybe she was playing a different game), but people nowadays forget how enamored of fascism regular, good liberals were back in the day. This was less true in the 30s than the 20s, by the time Hitler and the Jewish question confused things. By the Spanish Civil War good liberals were firmly on the side of the commies. But still, there was emotional identification with the fascist system, with the underlying ethos.

    That being said, I think Miss Brodie represents sentimental attachment to the ideals of fascism, ideals definitely retained by our ruling class today, not actual fascism. If it was meant to be a portrayal of an actual fascist, the book is a failure.

    But it isn't a failure, because it's funny and the type is a true one. She could just as easily be leading impressionable boomers into anti-establishment hippiedom and free love.
  62. @Anonymous
    @Jack D

    This basically sums up my opinion of Trump.
     
    Lol, I'm sure some Manhattan multi-billionaire with 4 decades of über success, who was backed in his run for President by the biggest MOTU titans of finance and industry, is concerned about what some little men think about him. "Fool and narcissist". This is the kind of facile bullshit you hear from SJWs on the rag.

    There’s a lot of narcissist successful men and women. It might even be a positive factor.

    He’s certainly not a total fool, though, or else, he wouldn’t be POTUS. We all have to give him credit for seeing some trends, at the very least.

  63. @AndrewR
    There are certainly similarities but German National Socialism was defined by explicit racism, whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology.

    “…whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology.”

    I recommend that anyone who believes this read the first chapter or two of the Thousand and One Nights, paying particular attention to the attitudes displayed toward Negroes in. They might follow that up with some readings re. the history of slavery and the slave trade in Africa from its origins c. 800 AD up through the present day.

  64. @Steve Sailer
    Most of the British Invasion bands were conservative on the rare occasions when they got political:

    Beatles: Revolution, Taxman
    Stones: Street Fighting Man, Sympathy for the Devil
    Who: Won't Get Fooled Again
    Kinks: Pretty much everything

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2016/04/01/the-whimsical-conservatism-of-the-kinks/

    I still can’t figure out whether the Strawbs’s “I’m Part of the Union” was a parody or affirmation of yob mentality. Back in late ’70s Cambridge MA, when played at top volume it was a great way of briefly getting back at my coke-dealing, Seven Sisters, yuppie, upstairs neighbor for her 3 AM orgies. (She later disappeared after ratting out her dealer/supplier and customers in a plea deal with the Feds. I doubt it was the Strawbs that drove her away,)

  65. @res
    I think this comment at Slate nails it:

    Nakatomi Plaza Aug 1, 2016
    Let's see...how can we get the words "Trump" and "fascist" into a headline today?
     
    Another good one:

    Steven Harker Aug 1, 2016
    Is it me or is this getting all a little bit ridiculous?

    Surely there is enough to legitimately challenge Trump over what he says and what views he may or may not hold without basically making stuff up.
     

    nakatomi plaza is freaking great commenter handle

  66. @Steve Sailer
    Most of the British Invasion bands were conservative on the rare occasions when they got political:

    Beatles: Revolution, Taxman
    Stones: Street Fighting Man, Sympathy for the Devil
    Who: Won't Get Fooled Again
    Kinks: Pretty much everything

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2016/04/01/the-whimsical-conservatism-of-the-kinks/

    The Kinks’ “A Well-Respected Man” is a snooty, hipper-than-thou screed against the “squares”, in the tradition of “Little Boxes.” Unless I’m missing something.

  67. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    If Puccini is Fascist, what describes setting Rigoletto in Las Vegas, or Tristan and Isolde in the grey hull of a grey ship?

  68. @AndrewR
    There are certainly similarities but German National Socialism was defined by explicit racism, whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology.

    There are certainly similarities but German National Socialism was defined by explicit racism, whereas Islam is, at least superficially, a universalist ideology.

    Yeah. Communism makes a better analogy. Of course, in contrast to communism, Islam has very little appeal where Western intellectuals are concerned.

  69. @Anonymous
    Apparently, 'Get Back To Where You Belong' was the Beatle response to the 1968 Enoch Powell 'Rivers of Blood' speech - as the the first draft lyrics attest.
    It's unclear whether the lyrics were in irony or agreement with Powell.

    This only came out recently, curiously, back in the day, I always subconsciously knew that the main chorus was, basically, a rather brute anti-immigration anthem.

    Immigrants. Wilson Health said to the immigrants you better get back to the
    commonwealth homes. Yeah, yeah, yeah I said Get back home. Now Enoch Powell was
    said to the folks color of his skin. He said don’t care. So he said you better
    get up. He said he said to Enoch Powell. You better go home. So Wilson said to.
    We got to swing. We have to go the hill. So Wilson Health said to Enoch Powell
    we got to the commonwealth. Commonwealth yeah commonwealth yeah commonwealth
    yeah commonwealth yeah.
    Commonwealth yeah. If you don’t want trouble you got to go home. To Indania.
    I’ve have enough of that. I’m coming back yeah to England. Dirty Enoch Powell.
    Commonwealth. Commonwealth yeah. Don’t you hear me commonwealth yeah. Well I
    check Austria England India. Enoch Powell. Oh commonwealth yeah. Oh
    commonwealth yeah. Yeah commonwealth yeah. Commonwealth yeah. It’s too common to
    me. I came down the street to New Zealand.

    http://www.metrolyrics.com/commonwealth-lyrics-beatles.html

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Eric Clapton famously endorsed Enoch Powell back in '74.

    - he later claimed to be off his head.

    David Bowie, in his 'thin white duke' phase, stated that 'Britain would benefit from fascism' and famously gave the 'Roman salute' at Victoria station.
  70. @Steve Sailer
    Franco Zeffirelli's autobiographical movie about his boyhood, "Tea with Mussolini," is pretty interesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEAUlJEGGwU

    It's worth noting that lots of rich English and Americans lived in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s, whereas few people with options in life found German amenable after 1933. The little Zeffirelli was more or less adopted as a charming pet by rich, cultured English-speaking women in Florence between the wars, played by Maggie Smith, Judy Dench, Cher, etc., who introduced him to "Romeo and Juliet" etc.

    Most autobiographical movies are pretty self-pitying, but Zeffirelli's is about how lucky he was. That most of the Anglo-American ladies who were so kind to him were fans of Mussolini is part of the irony.

    It’s worth noting that lots of rich English and Americans lived in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s, whereas few people with options in life found German amenable after 1933.

    Thomas Wolfe is about the only significant exception that comes to mind. And he ended up turning on the Nazi regime in 1936:

    Wolfe spent much time in Europe and was especially popular and at ease in Germany, where he made many friends. However, in 1936 he witnessed incidents of discrimination against Jews, which upset him and changed his mind about the political developments in the country.[20] He returned to America and published a story based on his observations (“I Have a Thing to Tell You”) in The New Republic.[20] Following its publication, Wolfe’s books were banned by the German government, and he was prohibited from traveling there.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Wolfe

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Another was the architect Philip Johnson.
    , @Whoever
    Dont forget the once hugely popular Nora Waln. Her book, The Approaching Storm (original title: Reaching for the Stars), about the years she spent in 1930s Germany is still a must-read to understand what it was like for Germans in that decade. She was able to move freely throughout the Reich because Hitler was a fan of her China memoir, The House of Exile.
  71. @Anonymous
    @Jack D

    This basically sums up my opinion of Trump.
     
    Lol, I'm sure some Manhattan multi-billionaire with 4 decades of über success, who was backed in his run for President by the biggest MOTU titans of finance and industry, is concerned about what some little men think about him. "Fool and narcissist". This is the kind of facile bullshit you hear from SJWs on the rag.

    That you, Donald? Thin-skinned as ever…

    Trump is useful to the alt-right but eventually we will have to leave him behind.

  72. @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    Fear of inequity, obviously

    As far as I’m concerned fascism = normal mode of human government, backed up by millennia of history.

  73. @bossel

    Slate: Opera, Like Trump, Is Fascist
     
    For someone who allegedly doesn't like to be wrong, you sure have a knack for lying (or, to put it another way: for weaseling around the truth).

    That
    "In fact, Trump’s use of it might read as yet more evidence for those who already view the bombastic businessman as a fascist in the making."
    is the closest the text comes to call Trump a fascist & it's obviously not very close.

    Else it's mostly about how one composer (Puccini) & one of his pieces (the aria "Nessun Dorma") might have been influenced by & gave expression to fascism. The joke himself is at worst only accused of authoritarianism. & for a loud-mouthed, self-centered bully like Trump, that's certainly fitting.

    You are obtuse, either deliberately or naturally. Do you live in a world where everyone tells the whole truth all the time? Are you unfamiliar with insinuation? Does everyone have to come out explicitly with what they’re trying to get across with you, because you can’t take a hint? No, you’re playacting.

    Tell me, what could possibly be an he point of writing in the subheadline that Trump likes Puccini and Puccini’s work is infused with fascism, if not to imply Trump is a fascist? What honest, even-handed article not bent on putting across what idea Steve attributes to them would start an article like that? Steve isn’t lying, he’s merely making the subtext text.

    The subtext is not very far from outright calling Trump a fascist to begin with. It didn’t require a mind-reader to penetrate that facade. Your “obviously not very close” is obviously not very honest. It *is* close, and if you can’t see that you have no business posting about it.

    What, they have to come right out and say it? You don’t get the hint?

  74. @for-the-record
    Alternative story, for some reason rejected in favor of the one about Puccini:

    Trump loves Churchill—and new research is showing how fascism infused the work of the person whose bust Trump has just restored to the White House.
     
    Thus

    What a man [Mussolini]! I have lost my heart! … If I were Italian, I am sure I would have been with you entirely from the beginning of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passion of Leninism. … Your movement has rendered a service to the whole world. Winston Churchill, January 20, 1927
     
    Puccini died in 1924, two years after Mussolini came to power. His "fascism" was apparently restricted to favorable comments about Mussolini in letters, at a time when the "horrors" of Italian fascism (restrictions on Jews) were 14 years in the future.

    Might have been rejected because they know we can pull up endless quotes from lefty heroes like FDR praising fascism. The opposition can occasionally think a few steps ahead.

    Of course, they’re working things out so that they don’t need any heroes from the past. Everyone gets left behind by Progress, after all, and FDR is especially prone to black ire right now.

  75. @AndrewR
    Perhaps I am not hip enough to get the real meaning of The Beatles' song "Revolution" but it clearly seems like it's a fundamentally conservative song. Or at least anti-"progressive." Perhaps the shitlibs at Slate could cucksplain the reality to me.

    For reference:


    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it's evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world

    But when you talk about destruction
    Don't you know that you can count me out
    Don't you know it's gonna be
    All right, all right, all right

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We'd all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We're doing what we can

    But if you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell is brother you have to wait
    Don't you know it's gonna be
    All right, all right, all right

    You say you'll change the constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it's the institution
    Well, you know
    You better free you mind instead

    But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
    You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
    Don't you know it's gonna be
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right

    On the so-called “White Album” version of the song, he clearly adds “in” after “count me out,” indicating at least ambiguity. Not that I take that seriously; too clever by half.

    So Revolution is an anti-revolutionary song. Does that amount to conservatism? That’s a relative term, so yes, I suppose. But it’s not much to be conservative on the issue of the violent overthrow of the existing order.

    I don’t know Lennon’s actual politics, but what I can gather from Imagine is plenty progressive enough.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    "Imagine" was a hippie song, along with the idea of "freeing your mind" instead of changing institutions that is expressed in "Revolution."

    The reality of course eould seem to be that real social change would require both changing institutions and changing worldviews.

    , @AndrewR
    And I would also note that to be "conservative" it is not necessary to be opposed to all social change. It just means that one doesn't generally approve of rapid, major changes to very old traditions and institutions.
  76. @SPMoore8
    Beethoven and Mozart (and Haydn, see the end of the Military Symphony #100) used janissary music as that era's rock and roll. That is why Weber's Turandot music also has a janissary feel (cymbals and drums is the big giveaway.)

    The most fascinating use of Turkish music however is by Beethoven when he uses it in the Finale to the Ninth Symphony, prior to the introduction of the tenor's solo ("Froh, froh, wie seine Sonne fliegen ...."). What if anything is he communicating here? Is it the mechanical, metronomic quality of the music? Is it a hat tip to the Orient (after all, "Alle menschen werden Brueder")? The first fits in well with the text, where it describes the heroism of simply following one's appointed path in life, just as the planets circle the sun, and then we get a fugue illustrating that kind of coordination. (There is a duet in Hindemith's "Mathis" that makes the same point.) On the other hand, the next 3 variations are all about our relation in this scheme of things to a loving God, so, anything is possible. (And yes, Beethoven goes Full Mustafa in the coda.)

    The most fascinating use of Turkish music however is by Beethoven when he uses it in the Finale to the Ninth Symphony, prior to the introduction of the tenor’s solo (“Froh, froh, wie seine Sonne fliegen ….”). What if anything is he communicating here?

    When I listen to that Finale I clearly recognise the music I’ve been hearing since early childhood, traditional music from Bosnia and Herzegovina (more or less).

    Beethoven uses Turkish style in the Second movement.

    My music schoolteacher in primary school explicitly told us that Beethoven included that piece of our traditional music.

    Alle menschen werden Brueder
    may make more sense in this context.

  77. @Steve Sailer
    Most of the British Invasion bands were conservative on the rare occasions when they got political:

    Beatles: Revolution, Taxman
    Stones: Street Fighting Man, Sympathy for the Devil
    Who: Won't Get Fooled Again
    Kinks: Pretty much everything

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2016/04/01/the-whimsical-conservatism-of-the-kinks/

    Won’t Get Fooled again I don’t interpret as “we won’t bother with leftist uprisings anymore.” More like “we won’t let those capitalist pigs subvert our revolution again,” or something like that. I don’t hear a general condemnation of all revolution, though maybe I’m wrong.

    It has the effect of discouraging revolution, which is inherently conservative, I guess, but you have to look at these things relativistically. Sorta like Animal Farm, which isn’t rightist to my mind, just anti-Stalinist. Which didn’t stop conservatives from adopting it as their own. But it isn’t their own. It just happens to also not like the Soviet Union.

  78. @guest
    You didn't have to go through all those steps. Look up Ernst Rohm, or read The Pink Swastika.

    Everyone knows homos and fascists share a sense of style. They get away with it because they're homos. Although, they have been slipping lately. They're not as useful as Muslims and trannies (some of whom must be straight, whichever way you classify them), and have been getting slighted.(Relative to their former position. They're still way above me.)

    Where do goats fit in?

    (It’s not for me, this friend of mine wanted to know.)

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    Where do goats fit in?
     
    Right next to Peter Singer's calf.
  79. @Anonymous
    Speaking of Maggie Smith, that excellent 1968 film ,'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' described the autobiographical experiences of the writer, Muriel Spark, during her time being taught by one Miss McKay, a spinster teacher who had a serious Mussolini fixation.

    I read that book, and Miss Jean Brodie came off to me more as a regular modern liberal progressive than a fascist, as I was led to believe she would be. Not a contemporary progressive, who would be apt to be a SJW. Miss Brodie is far too “romantic” and unenlightened in the ways of crazy-wave feminism to be that.

    Can’t say what was in Muriel Sparks’ mind (maybe she just failed or was confused, or maybe she was playing a different game), but people nowadays forget how enamored of fascism regular, good liberals were back in the day. This was less true in the 30s than the 20s, by the time Hitler and the Jewish question confused things. By the Spanish Civil War good liberals were firmly on the side of the commies. But still, there was emotional identification with the fascist system, with the underlying ethos.

    That being said, I think Miss Brodie represents sentimental attachment to the ideals of fascism, ideals definitely retained by our ruling class today, not actual fascism. If it was meant to be a portrayal of an actual fascist, the book is a failure.

    But it isn’t a failure, because it’s funny and the type is a true one. She could just as easily be leading impressionable boomers into anti-establishment hippiedom and free love.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    I think you've hit the nail on the head. The British Liberal Party collapsed in the early 1920s, but many people still regarded themselves as Liberals even if they no longer voted for the Party.
    Mussolini was admired, not only by Liberals, as the man who made the trains run on time. They retained Liberal ( large L ) beliefs whilst admiring authoritarian methods to enforce them. Hillaire Belloc was very much in this mould. Order, in those days, was still regarded as virtue by Liberals.
    Jean Brodie is very much a certain type of inter-war Liberal. World War II was to destroy Liberalism forever - both in Britain and America. What passes for liberalism now is a mish-mash of Neoliberalism, welfarism and permissivism.
    The Spanish Civil War didn't affect things very much in Britain. Less than 100 Labour Party members volunteered for example. The Abyssinian War certainly had some impact. But few people expected Italy to declare war in May 1940.
  80. http://analytics-magazine.org/ooda-loop/No system can be understood from within itself. In citing the Second Law of Thermodynamics as the scientific underpinning of the EM concept, Boyd also cited the Godel Incompleteness Theorem to support this point. Just as energy to maintain a system’s order must come from outside it, perspective to understand its behavior must also come from outside it.

    The Pendergast organization helped launch the political career of Harry S. Truman, a fact that caused Truman’s enemies to dub him “The Senator from Pendergast.”[1]
    His biographers have summed up Pendergast’s uniqueness:
    Pendergast may bear comparison to various big-city bosses, but his open alliance with hardened criminals, his cynical subversion of the democratic process, his monarchistic style of living, his increasingly insatiable gambling habit, his grasping for a business empire, and his promotion of Kansas City as a wide-open town with every kind of vice imaginable …

    No clerk-turned-machine-politician, Trump is more like Patton “As long as you attack them, they cannot find the time to attack you.”

    https://theweichertreport.com/2016/09/27/donald-trump-the-ooda-loop/

    Opt For the Least-Expected Strategy Rather Than the Most-Effective One

    Trump is to politics what Free Radicals are to science: necessary and refreshing.
    Everything Mr. Trump has done this campaign has been an example of the least-expected over the most-effective. [...]
    Should Mr. Trump manage to defeat the Clinton Machine (and, ostensibly, the media), it will only have been made possible because of his Patton-esque handling of the OODA Loop. If he could destroy such rivals with such relative ease–by simply psyching them out due to his unpredictability–imagine what he will do with foreign leaders. Oh, sure, he says nice things about Putin. But, does he really mean them? How can you be so sure? How can Putin be so sure? He says that he would allow the military to target the families of suspected terrorists but then, in the same breath, says that he is going to listen to his generals (who are universally opposed to such things).

  81. @syonredux

    It’s worth noting that lots of rich English and Americans lived in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s, whereas few people with options in life found German amenable after 1933.
     
    Thomas Wolfe is about the only significant exception that comes to mind. And he ended up turning on the Nazi regime in 1936:

    Wolfe spent much time in Europe and was especially popular and at ease in Germany, where he made many friends. However, in 1936 he witnessed incidents of discrimination against Jews, which upset him and changed his mind about the political developments in the country.[20] He returned to America and published a story based on his observations ("I Have a Thing to Tell You") in The New Republic.[20] Following its publication, Wolfe's books were banned by the German government, and he was prohibited from traveling there.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Wolfe

    Another was the architect Philip Johnson.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Another was the architect Philip Johnson.
     
    Yes. Of course, Johnson's interest in the Nazis had a certain, shall we say, Tom of Finland quality:



    In 1936, in the depths of the Great Depression, he left the Museum of Modern Art for a brief venture into journalism and politics. For a time he supported the extreme populist Governor of Louisiana Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin, and traveled to Berlin as a correspondent for Coughlin's radically populist and often anti-Semitic newspaper Social Justice. In the newspaper, Johnson expressed, as the New York Times later reported, "more than passing admiration for Hitler" [5] Johnson observed the Nuremberg Rallies in Germany and, sponsored by the German government, covered the invasion of Poland in 1939. Many years later He told his biographer, Franze Shultze,“You simply could not fail to be caught up in the excitement of it, by the marching songs, by the crescendo and climax of the whole thing, as Hitler came on at last to harangue the crowd,” and told of being thrilled at the sight of “all those blond boys in black leather” marching past the Führer.

    Johnson, at the age of ninety-eight, died in his sleep while at his Glass House retreat on January 25, 2005. He was survived by his partner of 45 years, David Whitney,[20][21][22][23] who died later that year at age 66.[24]
    Johnson was gay, and has been called "the best-known openly gay architect in America."[25] He came out publicly in 1993

     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Johnson
  82. Tosca is explicitly anti-fascist. The heroine stabs to death Scarpia, the malevolent Chief of the Secret Police.

  83. @Anonymous
    Apparently, 'Get Back To Where You Belong' was the Beatle response to the 1968 Enoch Powell 'Rivers of Blood' speech - as the the first draft lyrics attest.
    It's unclear whether the lyrics were in irony or agreement with Powell.

    This only came out recently, curiously, back in the day, I always subconsciously knew that the main chorus was, basically, a rather brute anti-immigration anthem.

    This seems to be the first pop song to deal with “trans-sexualism”. McCartney is decidedly opposed. I’m surprised Mr Steve hasn’t mentioned it. Or maybe he has, and I have missed it.

  84. @Old Palo Altan
    Another was the architect Philip Johnson.

    Another was the architect Philip Johnson.

    Yes. Of course, Johnson’s interest in the Nazis had a certain, shall we say, Tom of Finland quality:

    In 1936, in the depths of the Great Depression, he left the Museum of Modern Art for a brief venture into journalism and politics. For a time he supported the extreme populist Governor of Louisiana Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin, and traveled to Berlin as a correspondent for Coughlin’s radically populist and often anti-Semitic newspaper Social Justice. In the newspaper, Johnson expressed, as the New York Times later reported, “more than passing admiration for Hitler” [5] Johnson observed the Nuremberg Rallies in Germany and, sponsored by the German government, covered the invasion of Poland in 1939. Many years later He told his biographer, Franze Shultze,“You simply could not fail to be caught up in the excitement of it, by the marching songs, by the crescendo and climax of the whole thing, as Hitler came on at last to harangue the crowd,” and told of being thrilled at the sight of “all those blond boys in black leather” marching past the Führer.

    Johnson, at the age of ninety-eight, died in his sleep while at his Glass House retreat on January 25, 2005. He was survived by his partner of 45 years, David Whitney,[20][21][22][23] who died later that year at age 66.[24]
    Johnson was gay, and has been called “the best-known openly gay architect in America.”[25] He came out publicly in 1993

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Johnson

    • Replies: @guest
    Why couldn't Johnson have design buildings like a Nazi, instead of merely admiring blonds in leather? I much prefer neoclassical gigantism to modernist boxes with lampshades on their heads, like the AT&T "Chippendale" building.

    (Actually, I know why: because in that case we wouldn't know his name. It was bad enough he made something other than plain boxes, if barely.)

  85. @syonredux

    It’s worth noting that lots of rich English and Americans lived in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s, whereas few people with options in life found German amenable after 1933.
     
    Thomas Wolfe is about the only significant exception that comes to mind. And he ended up turning on the Nazi regime in 1936:

    Wolfe spent much time in Europe and was especially popular and at ease in Germany, where he made many friends. However, in 1936 he witnessed incidents of discrimination against Jews, which upset him and changed his mind about the political developments in the country.[20] He returned to America and published a story based on his observations ("I Have a Thing to Tell You") in The New Republic.[20] Following its publication, Wolfe's books were banned by the German government, and he was prohibited from traveling there.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Wolfe

    Dont forget the once hugely popular Nora Waln. Her book, The Approaching Storm (original title: Reaching for the Stars), about the years she spent in 1930s Germany is still a must-read to understand what it was like for Germans in that decade. She was able to move freely throughout the Reich because Hitler was a fan of her China memoir, The House of Exile.

  86. Proof that Nessun Dorma is facist.

    Performed before an event celebrating the physically superior complete with flaming torches and 100,000 people roared with approval:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0Sx5lbVlQA

  87. @syonredux

    Another was the architect Philip Johnson.
     
    Yes. Of course, Johnson's interest in the Nazis had a certain, shall we say, Tom of Finland quality:



    In 1936, in the depths of the Great Depression, he left the Museum of Modern Art for a brief venture into journalism and politics. For a time he supported the extreme populist Governor of Louisiana Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin, and traveled to Berlin as a correspondent for Coughlin's radically populist and often anti-Semitic newspaper Social Justice. In the newspaper, Johnson expressed, as the New York Times later reported, "more than passing admiration for Hitler" [5] Johnson observed the Nuremberg Rallies in Germany and, sponsored by the German government, covered the invasion of Poland in 1939. Many years later He told his biographer, Franze Shultze,“You simply could not fail to be caught up in the excitement of it, by the marching songs, by the crescendo and climax of the whole thing, as Hitler came on at last to harangue the crowd,” and told of being thrilled at the sight of “all those blond boys in black leather” marching past the Führer.

    Johnson, at the age of ninety-eight, died in his sleep while at his Glass House retreat on January 25, 2005. He was survived by his partner of 45 years, David Whitney,[20][21][22][23] who died later that year at age 66.[24]
    Johnson was gay, and has been called "the best-known openly gay architect in America."[25] He came out publicly in 1993

     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Johnson

    Why couldn’t Johnson have design buildings like a Nazi, instead of merely admiring blonds in leather? I much prefer neoclassical gigantism to modernist boxes with lampshades on their heads, like the AT&T “Chippendale” building.

    (Actually, I know why: because in that case we wouldn’t know his name. It was bad enough he made something other than plain boxes, if barely.)

  88. @anonymous
    There's been so much talk about fascism, but is there any succinct recent summary by a leftist of WHY exactly they hate fascism so much?

    “Fascism” has become synonymous with “evil”. Since the left doesn’t like words such as “evil” (religious connotations) they use “fascism” instead. To them, it’s just that simple. I will bet that many have never even read a book of history of post WW I Germany or Italy.

    So it then follows that Hitler is the new leftist word for “Satan.”

  89. The other side is realizing that many good things are associated with us* or defended by us: opera, study of classics, etc. Maybe soon they will realize that science, history and human nature support us.

    Us= isteve readers, alt-right or fascists depending on what we call ourselves and what we are called.

  90. @anonymous
    What's especially galling is that Islam is basically Arab Nazism. The left hates one, loves the other.

    They support Islam at every opportunity, but you’ll notice that very, very few actually convert to Islam.

    Kind of like how the left supported Communism whilst remaining safely out of Communist countries.

  91. @syonredux

    I Will Win!

    Trump loves Puccini—and new research is showing how fascism infused the composer’s work.

    By Brian Wise
     
    Oh dear.And I always thought that Puccini was the PC choice....You know, compared to Wagner....

    I just hope that it's still safe to like Mozart......

    Don’t even mention Mozart! The Abduction from the Seraglio is Islamophobic!

    One should remember that the composers only wrote the music…but still…Mozart should have refused to have anything to do with this travesty!

    I even remember seeing it at some leftist site as an example of “Orientalism.”

  92. @syonredux

    But there’s a more fraught history to the aria, too. Not only is Turandot an opulent, Orientalist fantasy set in imperial China
     
    Huh. And here I thought that Said coined "Orientalism" as a way to refer to Western attitudes towards the original Orient, the Middle East...

    by a composer who never set foot in Asia;
     
    Would it be more PC if he had?

    It is “quite easy to read Turandot as a political allegory,” writes Arman Schwartz in the book Puccini’s Soundscapes, “one consistent with fascism’s own narrative of the degradation of post-World War I Italy and of Mussolini’s heroic rise.”
     
    Sure, it's easy to read it as a political allegory. Anything can be read as a political allegory. You just have to say that x stands for y.....

    Schwartz suggests
     
    Look, I'm not saying that this is the case. I'm just suggesting that it's the case.....

    that the opera’s setting, in an ancient but rundown imperial capital, echoes Rome in the 1920s. The principal characters—a virile hero and a childless, possibly lesbian woman who must be conquered to restore the gender order
     
    Gotta work in a non-heteronormative angle.....which is then subjugated by the cis-het patriarchy.....

    —embodied fascist rhetoric. The opera’s chorus, a group of singers who express amazement or bloodthirsty glee, stands for “the very modern-seeming crowd, as violent as it is irrational and easily swayed.”
     
    'Cause, you know, crowds are a distinctly modern thing....

    Schwartz told me in an email that while there’s no real evidence Puccini’s audiences interpreted Turandot as a fascist allegory,
     
    Evidence, shmevidence! We're post-post-modern!

    the composer was certainly “responding to/playing with general cultural anxieties.”
     
    Keep it vague, ambiguous.Gotta cover myself here...

    Other musicologists would agree.
     
    I'm just saying that they would......I'm not necessarily saying that they do....

    In The Puccini Problem, Alexandra Wilson calls Turandot “a fitting emblem for Fascist Italy, caught between presenting itself to the world as modern and keeping faith with tradition.”
     
    Yeah, see, she said that it's an "emblem for Fascist Italy!"

    Puccini died on Nov. 29, 1924, nearly 18 months before Turandot premiered in an unfinished form and before he could really clarify his political views.
     
    But that's not gonna stop me....

    However, it’s clear that Puccini, like many bourgeois Italians, wanted to see order restored to his country after the chaos of World War I.
     
    "Order." We all know what that means....

    Turandot delighted Mussolini, who went on to feature the composer’s Inno a Roma (Hymn to Rome) at fascist parades and ceremonies.
     
    Mussolini liked it......do I have to spell it out for you?

    Which brings us back to Trump and his rallies. Leon Botstein, a conductor and the president of Bard College, believes that Puccini’s music created a vacuum into which authoritarianism could enter. “His was a musical aesthetic that the state could easily appropriate,” said Botstein. “It represented a regressive, narcotic, illusionistic music that didn’t provide any resistance to a fascist regime.” It’s not a leap, Botstein adds, from the image of the heroic tenor to the authoritarian strongman.
     
    Look, I'm just saying that Puccini needs to be listened to with proper supervision....


    http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/ccManager/clips/clockworkOrangeVidi.mp4/view

    While Trump’s use of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” gets fists pumping and the Beatles’ “Revolution” feeds his supporters’ rebellious mood (original progressive intent aside), Puccini’s appearance on Trump rally playlists is far more subversive. It’s an empty signifier that arouses grand emotions over rationality—which is surely music to Trump’s ears.
     
    Wait, what! You just spent all this time explaining the valence of the work.......

    Thread winner!

  93. @Anonymous
    Pete Townshend was, at least back in the day, a communist sympathiser.
    'Won't Get Fooled Again' was in fact inspired by Townshend's disappointment with Harold Wilson's 1964 Labour government, which turned out to be a damp squib after 13 years of Tory rule.
    In fact, compared to Tony Blair, Harold Wilson was a Maoist.

    The song was also inspired by an incident at Woodstock in which a ranting Abbie Hoffman hijacked The Who's stage and angry Pete Townshend was driven to twatting Hoffman over the head with a heavy guitar in order to eject him.

    Anonymous:

    In 2013, Roger Daltrey, the Who’s frontman, stated that he would never forgive Britain’s Labor Party for their mass immigration policies as “they destroyed the jobs of my mates”.

    Daltrey supported Brexit and seems to be quite a fan of the monarchy.

    I’m unaware of when he embraced his anti PC and pro monarchical views.

  94. @Achmed E. Newman
    Where do goats fit in?

    (It's not for me, this friend of mine wanted to know.)

    Where do goats fit in?

    Right next to Peter Singer’s calf.

  95. @Steve Sailer
    Most of the British Invasion bands were conservative on the rare occasions when they got political:

    Beatles: Revolution, Taxman
    Stones: Street Fighting Man, Sympathy for the Devil
    Who: Won't Get Fooled Again
    Kinks: Pretty much everything

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2016/04/01/the-whimsical-conservatism-of-the-kinks/

    OK, I’m very late to this thread (‘cept my silly one earlier), but regarding The Kinks, wouldn’t “Victoria” be one of their best conservative songs? Unless I’m missing something, in this song they long for the monarchy and the British Empire. For back in the 70′s that is pretty different and kind of cool. I don’t guess even the probably fairly-left-wing music fans really cared, just because it is a really kick-ass song, and the lyrics mean nothing if you have a great melody and sound.

    I heard the live version off of One for the Road, but this video is great too:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW-JYsF3xHI

    That is rock, people (for the readers under 40)!

    Apologies for the silly earlier post, again – I guess it didn’t add anything at all to the discussion, but it cracked me up in my head so it needed to be said.

  96. Kudos to Steve for randomly picking up on this Slate article from August of 2016.

    That was a real blast form the past;
    As I read Sailer’s header of this post, it almost felt like McCartney’s ‘Scrambled Eggs’ déjà -vuing into some more appropriate… ‘ Yesterday’.

    Speaking of yesterdays, I just wish I was a little bit faster to contribute a zinger or two to his today’s topic:


    http://www.unz.com/isteve/donizettis-the-elixir-of-love/#comment-1760703

    But, then again, that’s just old borned identity’s untamed ego creeping out….

    Yesterdaaaay!

  97. @guest
    On the so-called "White Album" version of the song, he clearly adds "in" after "count me out," indicating at least ambiguity. Not that I take that seriously; too clever by half.

    So Revolution is an anti-revolutionary song. Does that amount to conservatism? That's a relative term, so yes, I suppose. But it's not much to be conservative on the issue of the violent overthrow of the existing order.

    I don't know Lennon's actual politics, but what I can gather from Imagine is plenty progressive enough.

    “Imagine” was a hippie song, along with the idea of “freeing your mind” instead of changing institutions that is expressed in “Revolution.”

    The reality of course eould seem to be that real social change would require both changing institutions and changing worldviews.

  98. @guest
    On the so-called "White Album" version of the song, he clearly adds "in" after "count me out," indicating at least ambiguity. Not that I take that seriously; too clever by half.

    So Revolution is an anti-revolutionary song. Does that amount to conservatism? That's a relative term, so yes, I suppose. But it's not much to be conservative on the issue of the violent overthrow of the existing order.

    I don't know Lennon's actual politics, but what I can gather from Imagine is plenty progressive enough.

    And I would also note that to be “conservative” it is not necessary to be opposed to all social change. It just means that one doesn’t generally approve of rapid, major changes to very old traditions and institutions.

  99. @guest
    I read that book, and Miss Jean Brodie came off to me more as a regular modern liberal progressive than a fascist, as I was led to believe she would be. Not a contemporary progressive, who would be apt to be a SJW. Miss Brodie is far too "romantic" and unenlightened in the ways of crazy-wave feminism to be that.

    Can't say what was in Muriel Sparks' mind (maybe she just failed or was confused, or maybe she was playing a different game), but people nowadays forget how enamored of fascism regular, good liberals were back in the day. This was less true in the 30s than the 20s, by the time Hitler and the Jewish question confused things. By the Spanish Civil War good liberals were firmly on the side of the commies. But still, there was emotional identification with the fascist system, with the underlying ethos.

    That being said, I think Miss Brodie represents sentimental attachment to the ideals of fascism, ideals definitely retained by our ruling class today, not actual fascism. If it was meant to be a portrayal of an actual fascist, the book is a failure.

    But it isn't a failure, because it's funny and the type is a true one. She could just as easily be leading impressionable boomers into anti-establishment hippiedom and free love.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. The British Liberal Party collapsed in the early 1920s, but many people still regarded themselves as Liberals even if they no longer voted for the Party.
    Mussolini was admired, not only by Liberals, as the man who made the trains run on time. They retained Liberal ( large L ) beliefs whilst admiring authoritarian methods to enforce them. Hillaire Belloc was very much in this mould. Order, in those days, was still regarded as virtue by Liberals.
    Jean Brodie is very much a certain type of inter-war Liberal. World War II was to destroy Liberalism forever – both in Britain and America. What passes for liberalism now is a mish-mash of Neoliberalism, welfarism and permissivism.
    The Spanish Civil War didn’t affect things very much in Britain. Less than 100 Labour Party members volunteered for example. The Abyssinian War certainly had some impact. But few people expected Italy to declare war in May 1940.

    • Replies: @HA
    "Mussolini was admired [by those] admiring authoritarian methods,...Hillaire Belloc was very much in this mould."

    Only if you're one of those sloppy people who tosses around the word 'fascist' without much any regard for what the word actually means.


    "[Belloc] called for the dissolution of Parliament and its replacement with committees of representatives for the various sectors of society, an idea that was also popular among Fascists, under the name of corporatism. But original corporatism, sometimes called "paleo-corporatism", was a system that predates capitalism and fascism. Paleo-corporatism was based around the guilds of the Middle Ages... Neo-corporatism is a fascist system that merges the state with the capitalistic corporations and the corporations then are directed by the state, under nominal private ownership. The owners are thus effectively dis appropriated...Belloc's views fit medieval paleo-corporatism rather than neo-corporatist fascism."
     
    This kind of slur (and I realize that some here may regard support of Mussolini as anything but a slur) reminds of Adam Gopnik's insistence that Chesterton likewise had to be a fan of Mussolini: "Though he never fully embraced Mussolini, he was in spirit as good a Falangist as you could find." Which is muckraking trash (not unlike what is being dished out to Bannon), for the same reason as noted in the previous paragraph. Chesterton, like his friend Belloc, despised heavy-handed absolutism of any kind (and whatever his distaste for cosmopolitan banking types -- Jewish ones included) both men spoke out early and loudly about the threat that Hitler posed. Claiming them as admirerr of Mussolini, even tangentially, is missing the point, and ignoring crucial differences.

    In fact, the Wiki paragraph on Belloc reminds me a whole lot more about what Bannon (and Moldbug) seem to be favoring than Evola, but that's just a hunch.

  100. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Verymuchalive
    This seems to be the first pop song to deal with "trans-sexualism". McCartney is decidedly opposed. I'm surprised Mr Steve hasn't mentioned it. Or maybe he has, and I have missed it.

    ‘Lola’ by The Kinks is of a similar vintage.

  101. @Anonym
    Pavarotti is good. I like the Manowar version.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6SssLxzg14

    And live:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSFIz0jXEYk

    "Eric Adams" has an Italian background. His real name is Louis Marullo. Childhood friend of Joey DeMaio, who is the brains behind Manowar, also Italian.

    Even the Manowar parody band Nanowar, are Italian.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CXXRd90jc0

    Blood runs true.

    What about Rhapsody, Rhapsody of Fire, etc.? Italian operatic metal works.

  102. @Verymuchalive
    I think you've hit the nail on the head. The British Liberal Party collapsed in the early 1920s, but many people still regarded themselves as Liberals even if they no longer voted for the Party.
    Mussolini was admired, not only by Liberals, as the man who made the trains run on time. They retained Liberal ( large L ) beliefs whilst admiring authoritarian methods to enforce them. Hillaire Belloc was very much in this mould. Order, in those days, was still regarded as virtue by Liberals.
    Jean Brodie is very much a certain type of inter-war Liberal. World War II was to destroy Liberalism forever - both in Britain and America. What passes for liberalism now is a mish-mash of Neoliberalism, welfarism and permissivism.
    The Spanish Civil War didn't affect things very much in Britain. Less than 100 Labour Party members volunteered for example. The Abyssinian War certainly had some impact. But few people expected Italy to declare war in May 1940.

    “Mussolini was admired [by those] admiring authoritarian methods,…Hillaire Belloc was very much in this mould.”

    Only if you’re one of those sloppy people who tosses around the word ‘fascist’ without much any regard for what the word actually means.

    “[Belloc] called for the dissolution of Parliament and its replacement with committees of representatives for the various sectors of society, an idea that was also popular among Fascists, under the name of corporatism. But original corporatism, sometimes called “paleo-corporatism”, was a system that predates capitalism and fascism. Paleo-corporatism was based around the guilds of the Middle Ages… Neo-corporatism is a fascist system that merges the state with the capitalistic corporations and the corporations then are directed by the state, under nominal private ownership. The owners are thus effectively dis appropriated…Belloc’s views fit medieval paleo-corporatism rather than neo-corporatist fascism.”

    This kind of slur (and I realize that some here may regard support of Mussolini as anything but a slur) reminds of Adam Gopnik’s insistence that Chesterton likewise had to be a fan of Mussolini: “Though he never fully embraced Mussolini, he was in spirit as good a Falangist as you could find.” Which is muckraking trash (not unlike what is being dished out to Bannon), for the same reason as noted in the previous paragraph. Chesterton, like his friend Belloc, despised heavy-handed absolutism of any kind (and whatever his distaste for cosmopolitan banking types — Jewish ones included) both men spoke out early and loudly about the threat that Hitler posed. Claiming them as admirerr of Mussolini, even tangentially, is missing the point, and ignoring crucial differences.

    In fact, the Wiki paragraph on Belloc reminds me a whole lot more about what Bannon (and Moldbug) seem to be favoring than Evola, but that’s just a hunch.

  103. @syonredux

    I Will Win!

    Trump loves Puccini—and new research is showing how fascism infused the composer’s work.

    By Brian Wise
     
    Oh dear.And I always thought that Puccini was the PC choice....You know, compared to Wagner....

    I just hope that it's still safe to like Mozart......

    If you are looking for composer who is deeply politically incorrect – Mozart’s your guy.

    As he grew older (alas he never got very old) he became progressively more anti-female. Constanze in the Abduction is a sympathetic maybe even heroic female character. Fiordiligi also gives a pretty good account of herself, but almost all feminists hate the women in the Magic Flute. Personally I always liked the male sentiments in Magic Flute but my role was Sarastro and the Speaker and I like a little of that sort of thing. These two are probably as anti-female as anyone in any opera, play, movie or novel. The main villain of the piece is the Queen of the Night. The feminists are more offended by Pamina who is a submissive who seems to want to lick Tamino’s boots.

    Flute is often done in a bowdlerized translation so as to keep the audience from being shocked. The Ruth and Thomas Martin translation make it clear that the Masons under whose influence Mozart was by his final years, considered women to be lesser beings – everyone keeps unflattering things about the girls. Sarastro also whips the little black guy and the chorus cheers. Read the libretto sometimes.

    Wagner is rather less controversial. All the women in the ring are heroic and admirable. Anyway Wagner, contrary to popular notions, was not Hitler’s favorite composer. That would have been Bruckner.

    I don’t know just what is supposed to be fascistic about Puccini and I’ve sung a lot of Puccini (and more Mozart and rather less Wagner). This idea sounds like the product of a writer desperate for a snappy title that will draw readers..

  104. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @syonredux
    Immigrants. Wilson Health said to the immigrants you better get back to the
    commonwealth homes. Yeah, yeah, yeah I said Get back home. Now Enoch Powell was
    said to the folks color of his skin. He said don't care. So he said you better
    get up. He said he said to Enoch Powell. You better go home. So Wilson said to.
    We got to swing. We have to go the hill. So Wilson Health said to Enoch Powell
    we got to the commonwealth. Commonwealth yeah commonwealth yeah commonwealth
    yeah commonwealth yeah.
    Commonwealth yeah. If you don't want trouble you got to go home. To Indania.
    I've have enough of that. I'm coming back yeah to England. Dirty Enoch Powell.
    Commonwealth. Commonwealth yeah. Don't you hear me commonwealth yeah. Well I
    check Austria England India. Enoch Powell. Oh commonwealth yeah. Oh
    commonwealth yeah. Yeah commonwealth yeah. Commonwealth yeah. It's too common to
    me. I came down the street to New Zealand.

    http://www.metrolyrics.com/commonwealth-lyrics-beatles.html

    Eric Clapton famously endorsed Enoch Powell back in ’74.

    - he later claimed to be off his head.

    David Bowie, in his ‘thin white duke’ phase, stated that ‘Britain would benefit from fascism’ and famously gave the ‘Roman salute’ at Victoria station.

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