Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wagging The Dog

An Israeli orchestra will be performing Wagner in Germany.  This is certainly news since Wagner is banned (officially or unofficially I'm not sure) in Israel.  What to play is a decision that's up to each and every person's individual conscience, but I think this is a good thing.

Yes, Wagner was a racist jerk, and his beliefs helped inspire anti-Semites like Hitler.  But he's also an amazing composer, and his music should be heard.  Banning it doesn't hurt anti-Semites so much as limit ourselves and deny us pleasure.

If you look closely at what people did or said, they'll rarely live up to your ideals (especially if they lived over a century ago when concepts of morality were different in many ways).  If you limit art only to sources you feel politically sympathetic too, you'll lead an impoverished life.

Time to break down this wall.  Indeed, if his music can be used to help bring people Germans and Jews together, quite a burn on him, I'd say.


Blogger QueensGuy said...

Here, here!

2:24 AM, October 14, 2010  
Blogger Matthew Coniam said...

I always think 'inspiring' someone like Hitler is a difficult one to make stick. The difference between inspiring and inciting is crucial. Someone like Hitler would naturally evoke precedent, and if the choice of hero is an anti-semitic nobody or an anti-semitic genius of course he'll plump for the latter. Nothing to do with the music, though, which belongs to the world and wouldn't last if it wasn't great. So this is good news - I didn't know he was prohibited, even unofficially, in Israel. That's a shame.

5:12 AM, November 28, 2010  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Maybe there should be a statute of limitations. No matter how bad an artist was, years after he's dead, he probably can't do much more harm.

2:04 AM, June 06, 2011  

Post a Comment

<< Home

web page hit counter