Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Richard Wagner Causing Trouble Again

Leaders in Los Angeles are asking that Wagner's Ring Cycle be pulled from the citywide Ring Festival on ground that Wagner was anti-semitic. And so were a lot of people back in Germany at the time... This debate is nothing new and people forget that Wagner was just a product of his environment and that it was Hitler who took Wagner's music and made them the themes for his horrible cause.

As a Jew, I'm the first to call anti-semitism when I see it in my personal life, but as a Jew I also understand that banning art is just a step away from banning ideas which is just a few steps away from banning people, which means that we're just a few steps from becoming the very things we hate.

You can read about the hoopla here, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times Arts Blog, Culture Monster.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

1 comment:

Smorg said...

Wow... Is it election season again already? :o( I'd like to believe that Supervisor Antonovich is only talking politics and doesn't really believe that it is right or proper to ban Wagner's music because he was a "nazi composer"... After all, old Richard died long (over 30 yrs) before the formation of the Nazi party! :oP

I guess I should be grateful that Hitler wasn't known to like hot dogs... If Anotovich calls for a ban of hot dogs because it was nazi food, then there'll really be rioting in LA! ;o)

That said, I'm with ya'... I know that Wagner himself wasn't a nice man by a long shot (and said/wrote some really dastardly things against Jews like Mendelssohn-Barthody). But art is art. One can surely appreciate a creation without loving (or even liking) its creator. Thanks a bunch for posting this! :o)