Sunday, October 08, 2006

Jackass: The Opera

About a week ago, we heard that the Deutsche Oper in Berlin was pre-emptively cancelling a production of Mozart's 'Idomeneo' out of fears that it might spark violent Muslim protests. The director, Hans Neuenfels, inserted a passage involving the severed heads of Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed and Poseidon (needless to say, not in the original libretto).

Of course this has led to great outrage in the West at this sort of cultural self-censorship. I agree, but feel a great deal of resentment and reluctance at having to defend some self-important pseud like this Neuenfels, who has a reputation for staging "provocative" shows. Let's be honest here - this is a crap production. Michelle Malkin put a picture of the offending episode on her site, and it's garbage.
Hans-Joachim Otto, head of the parliamentary committee for culture and media, said artistic freedom and freedom of expression needed to be guaranteed.

"Western achievements are at stake here," Otto, a member of the free-market liberal FDP party FDP, told DW-RADIO.
Neuenfels isn't a "Western achievement" - Mozart is. We all knew this fight was coming eventually - that we were going to have to fight Muslim attempts to intimidate us into suppressing our art and culture. If this had been a straightforward staging of 'The Abduction from the Seraglio', where you can't do the opera without poking fun at Islam and Muslims because it's part of the story, it might have been a fight worth fighting. We were all bracing ourselves to defend something great and beautiful, like Handel's 'Messiah', and along comes "Jackass - The Opera".

I always feel that these "avant-garde" artistes are already halfway over to the enemy, anyway. They don't love and value Western culture, or they wouldn't be so eager to muck it up with their self-important "interpretations" (liberal transgression again). We're like doctors and nurses in a frontline military hospital preparing to receive the wounded as a battle begins, and the first patient into the tent is a drunken deserter who got grazed by an enemy bullet when lurching out the door of a whorehouse. Sure, the doctors will tend his wound because it's their duty, but let's not pretend that this is the work they wanted to do, or there's anything noble about the guy who's getting attention.


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