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Beethoven in the Age of Endarkenment

Ian Fantom

Ludwig van Beethoven was baptised on 17 December, 1770, and so was probably born on the 16th. I remember the fuss made by the mainstream media on the occasion of his 200th anniversary just 50 years ago, but where are the mainstream media now? I’ve heard nothing from them so far in the UK about the 250th anniversary.

Could that just be because of the current obsession with COVID-19 and the lockdown, or could there be some other reason for this silence? After all, Beethoven is still just as popular as he was 50 years ago, even if playing live music in concert halls is being made impossibly difficult by The Powers That Be.

Could it possibly be that reviving the memory of a dissident could be dangerous for the current world order?

After all, all sorts of dissidents today are being censured by the big corporations of Silicon Valley. Medical experts in various fields are being suppressed, merely because they challenge the wisdom of the World Health Organisation, an organisation heavily infiltrated by the elites of Silicon Valley.

Such wisdom is being brainlessly passed on by the political classes, and by ‘churnalists’ who get paid per thousand words rather than per thousand facts.

Dissident

According to one analyst:

Beethoven was so political that, by the end of his life, some of his friends refused to dine with him: either they were bored of his constant politicizing or they feared police spies would overhear him”.

That is a sentiment that many of us have encountered, particularly during the present century.

I know the feeling well. I was an unlikely dissident. I’ve never been a member of a political party. I had always voted for ‘moderate’ parties, in the belief that they represented sensible, moderate policies. From the age of 13 onwards I always tried to listen to the BBC news every day, because I knew that democracy depended on people knowing what was going on.

In 2003 things began to happen, both at the national level and on a personal basis in a small society for language teaching reform, which led to my observation that the ‘moderates’, whilst talking peace were making war, and parliamentary ‘extremists’ were saying, “Hang on … Where’s the evidence?”, and now I see that some ‘extremists’ who are talking war are making peace.

There’s now a palpable sense of frustration and even anger throughout the population at the shenanigans of the UK’s government spokespeople. But who is the government? It doesn’t seem to be the Cabinet, or even the Prime Minister, whose only skill seems to be as a wordsmith, acting as a frontman for The Powers That Be.

Things aren’t making sense to people, and many are developing a deep sense of anxiety as they try to make sense of the nonsensical. Some are castigated as being mentally ill.

I read recently that the German state of Saxony has allocated a couple of dozen places in psychiatric hospitals for those who cannot be persuaded to conform to government regulations on COVID. This is despite the fact that tens of thousands of real medics are now speaking out against such draconian laws. People need to talk, and to be listened to. I have spent many hours talking with such people.

Much of this was within our London-based current affairs group, Keep Talking. The origin of that name was the idea of keeping evidence of likely state crimes current, rather than letting it be dumbed down and forgotten about by the mass media.

Talking about such things in the light of current events seemed to be the only antidote. Gradually, we realised that our group had, too, a therapeutic value. Some people need to be listened to. Certainly that applied to Beethoven two hundred years ago.

The quote I gave is from an article by historian Chris Wright, professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and it appeared in an article in Dissent Magazine headed ‘The Revolutionary Beethoven’:

In the year of the great composer’s 250th birthday, we can retune our ears to pick up the subversive and passionately democratic nature of his music.”

The Enlightenment

“Beethoven was a child of the Enlightenment and remained so his whole life”, Chris Wright explains. He was born in Bonn, a town “steeped in the most progressive thought of the age […] but it was Schiller whom Beethoven worshipped”.

Chris Wright describes Schiller as “the poet of freedom, impassioned enemy of tyrants everywhere”. Schiller’s Ode to Joy, which Beethoven set to music in his Ninth Symphony, was about freedom, as the final verse makes clear:

Rettung von Tyrannenketten,
Grossmut auch dem Bösewicht,
Hoffnung auf den Sterbebetten,
Gnade auf dem Hochgericht!
Auch die Toten sollen leben!
Brüder, trinkt und stimmet ein,
Allen Sündern soll vergeben,
Und die Hölle nicht mehr sein.

Rescue from the tyrant’s fetters,
Mercy to the villain e’en,
Hope within the dying hours,
Pardon at the guillotine!
E’en the dead shall live in heaven!
Brothers, drink and all agree,
Every sin shall be forgiven,
Hell forever cease to be.

To many, the words, as presented in Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, represent the brotherhood of man, according to the line “Alle Menschen werden Brüder” (All of mankind become brothers) in the first verse. The choral part has been used by a wide variety of groups for that purpose.

The EU’s website comments that this is a vision that Beethoven shared, and Beethoven’s musical theme became the EU’s anthem in 1985, but ironically, they add, “There are no words to the anthem; it consists of music only. In the universal language of music, this anthem expresses the European ideals of freedom, peace and solidarity” – though they don’t say one of joy.

There has been speculation that the original title of the poem was ‘Ode to Freedom’ [An die Freiheit]. The purpose of the change would have been to bypass the censors, they say. The final verse was withdrawn, and I have to wonder whether that was to avoid the attention of the censors.

Professor of German at the University of California, Gail K Hart, wrote an essay on ‘Schiller’s “An die Freude’ and the Question of Freedom’, in which she states:

Schiller has a certain visibility as the ‘poet of freedom’ and … has developed a strong brand identification with ‘freedom’. An effective illustration from the current political sphere is his central place in the iconography of the Lyndon LaRouche Movement, which calls its cultural arm the ‘Schiller Institute’. LaRouche lays claim to Schiller because of his freedom-loving ‘republican opposition to oligarchic tyranny”

The Schiller Institute exists to apply his ideas to ‘the contemporary world crisis’. Gail Hart sees the sense in the idea that ‘Freude’ could be a replacement word for ‘Freiheit’, but doubts this interpretation, saying that ‘Freiheit’ doesn’t always fit in. My own thought on this was that ‘Freude’ could also have been used in the verses, but that in the title it could have been a substitute word not for ‘Freiheit’ but for ‘Friede’, which means ‘peace’.

Gail Hart explained:

…Schiller worked for freedom. As a young man he wrested freedom from the jaws of Absolutist dominion when he fled the Duchy of Württemberg and its Duke, who had, on threat of imprisonment, forbidden him to write…

So the concept of ‘freedom’ which Gail Hart describes was not just the esoteric philosophy behind Schiller’s use of the word, but also the brutal reality of getting around state censorship.

Such an interpretation would apply today in ‘the contemporary world crisis’, though perhaps that would not have been so obvious to the author when the essay appeared in the German Studies Review in October 2009.

Censorship in England has traditionally been more subtle. George Orwell wrote in an essay, The Freedom of the Press, intended as an Introduction to his novel Animal Farm, but cut out by the publishers, in which he stated:

The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary.

Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news – things which on their own merits would get the big headlines – being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact.

So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralised, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio.

At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady.

Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.

However, since the end of the Cold War there has been a growing attitude of Political Correctness, and in the Cameron-Thatcher era that Political Correctness was increasingly being enforced by marauding mobs, particularly in the streets of London, closing down all sorts of meeting, with menacing facial expressions, and cries of ‘Fascists!’ and other expressions of abuse. Indeed, their tactics were overwhelmingly a matter of name-calling, rather than engaging with the arguments.

Increasingly, schoolchildren had to be guarded in what they would say at school, because otherwise they could be subject to a police officer knocking at their door in the evening under the government’s ‘extremism’ legislation. In various countries of Europe one cannot question details of the official version of the massive pogrom which took place under the National Socialists following Kristallnacht, without risking a jail sentence. In the UK one can be hauled up in front of magistrates for the same questioning, if someone claims that they are offended.

A former mayor of London was suspended from the Labour Party for mentioning ‘The Transfer Agreement’ between the National Socialists and the Jewish Agency for Israel, a branch of the World Zionist Congress, in 1933, even though one of the main books on the subject was authored by a Zionist Jew.

Under lockdown, people could be arrested and subjected to hefty fines for going about their normal business, and expert medical opinion on the ‘pandemic’ cannot be expressed on social media without the risk of being banned. In the UK we are moving closer and closer to government by decree, and to the Stalinist censorship that that entails.

Returning to Beethoven

In May of 2020 another article appeared in a left-wing website, Counterfire. It was headed: ‘Marking the 250th anniversary year of Beethoven’s birthday, Thomas Gibbs paints a picture of someone who loved his art and hated royalty in equal measure’.

Ever a master of himself, the composer didn’t care for royalty […] “Prince, what you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am of myself” […] Franz II allegedly refused to have anything to do with Beethoven, on the basis that there was ‘something revolutionary in the music’. And what friendship the composer had with Goethe was ended abruptly in 1812 when, walking together in the park, he disdainfully shunned the passing Empress,”

Beethoven dedicated his third symphony to Napoleon, only to tear up the title page on hearing that Napoleon had declared himself Emperor. I just have to wonder what Beethoven would have thought of the leaders of the Russian Revolution 90 years after his death, or of the current Labour Party in the UK, whose leader is a member of the neoconservative Trilateral Commission.

“This revolutionary spirit inhabits much of his work […] The Beethovenian idée fixe is that of freedom … For many listeners, this sense of struggle comes through the music and is ultimately what makes it so compelling”, Gibbs wrote. Certainly it is for me.

This is what brought me back to Beethoven, in the ‘Age of Perversion’, as a friend of mine calls it. I remember making the point in the 1970s that the class system in England was withering away, but others disagreed. I now think it is as strong as ever, but disguised. Tony Blair would clip his t’s in order to sound more ordinary (to Londoners), but he still had an aristocratic air about him. He could manipulate people with words, and gain their confidence, virtually abolishing government by Cabinet, and launching a war of aggression against Iraq with the support of the Labour Party.

Aristocrats used to react by saying “Impertinance!”; now they call you paranoid, or other names. Nowadays, many of us disbelieve much of what we hear from the mainstream media, and some get quite angry. Others say the’ve stopped watching BBC news. I switched to Channel 4 News in about 2007, but now they seem just as bad as the BBC was in 2007. I need to follow the news in the mainstream to know the latest propaganda, but I now call it ‘Storytime’. I get my relief from turning to the piano.

It was with that in mind that a few weeks ago I picked up an old book of Beethoven sonatas that I had struggled with in my youth. In particular, I looked again at the slow movement of his Grand Sonata (number 4, opus 7). I had first heard this around 1960, played on a gramophone record by Walter Gieseking. It sounded to me like modern music, with ideas I’d not encountered before in classical music.

Even though I learned to play the notes, I had some difficulty in fully understanding it. But now, in the ‘Age of Perversion’ it made much more sense. I put some notes together and recorded it for some piano friends, and explained in a couple of sentences what I’ve just explained in this essay. Beethoven was advancing ideas of The Enlightenment; now that we are coming to the end of the Age of Enlightenment his music again has a resonance if we understand what much of his music was really about.

I was delighted that they understood the sentiments, and one person commented that many people come back to Beethoven and understand his music better. Only when I turned to the Internet to research the background to that music did I come to the realisation that the following month would be Beethoven’s 250th anniversary.

Music and Language

Thomas Gibbs takes as his prime example the iconic beginning of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. He writes:

The 5th symphony, considered by many to be a watershed moment in this stylistic transition, is brimming with sly references to music of the revolution. In fact, a little detective work leads straight to words written about murdered revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat: ‘We swear, sword in hand, to die for the republic and for human rights’.”

Marat was rather extreme, in wanting to kill off the aristocrats who opposed the revolution. I hadn’t been campaigning for political reform: only for checking facts and separating truth and lies, but I get the message.

I once gave a talk at a British Esperanto Congress, shortly before they turned on me for supposedly being “critical of the committee”, in which I took those iconic four notes as an example of the relationship between language and music. The iconic rhythm, with the triplets, as in ‘DI di di DA’, would arrest the listener’s attention, like an urgent knocking with a trungeon on the door.

But it’s not what Beethoven wrote. This was an adaptation by Mendelssohn, and I can understand this in the age of Romanticism, as interpreted by a comfortably brought up, but gifted, composer. I can imagine such a beginning being followed up with a dramatic but flowing melody. However, Beethoven puts no special accentuation on the first of those four notes.

By default, the theme is ‘di DI di DEE’, and this is the theme he follows up on. Mendelssohn’s interpretation is about waking up the listener, whereas Beethoven’s theme, for me, is about his own inner feelings. It sounds urgent, emotional, and a little breathless. I think we must all have woken up at some time feeling like that, wanting to get something off our chest, perhaps thinking about something from the previous day.

I don’t think this is programme music; it just goes through the gammut of emotions that must have been running through Beethoven. Many people must be experiencing something similar during Lockdown, on the realisation that we are now entering the Age of Endarkenment. Perhaps the rhythm ‘di DI di DEE’ should now become the calling signal for the Lockdown Resistance.

I had just written these words when I broke off for lunch, switched the radio news on, and within seconds heard someone say, “I can’t calm down”. That’s exactly it, and it’s come to the surface, even amongst the English, as people fail to recognise that in politics, if things don’t make sense, then they’re probably not meant to.

I came across an essay from 2014 in The Historical Journal titled BEETHOVEN AND THE SOUND OF REVOLUTION IN VIENNA, 1792–1814 by an academic from Cambridge University. On Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony he wrote:

The first four notes of the Fifth achieved their overwhelming effect through ‘a piling up of sonority’ that permeates the entire symphony, embuing it with an obsessive, convulsive, repettitive rhetorical trajectory. Recent scholarship has detected a similar propensity towards repetition, rhythm, even incantation in the oratorical techniques of the revolutionary demagogues.

Speeches delivered to the National Assembly were replete with ‘sudden exclamations and incongruous juxtapositions; repeated patterns and formulas; the deployment of sequences of short phrases; and dynamic call and response patterns’. Robespierre’s oratory, according to Patrice Gueniffey, both ‘terrorized and … annihilated’ by deploying doses of ‘suspense and equivocation’ when fingering traitors, and by establishing a cadential monotony when ‘confronting the hostility of the Assembly’.

What followed was a deliberate inundation of the senses that resulted in the activation of terror. Hooting, finger-pointing, outright panic: the reactions to this rhetoric in Paris were effusive and public. ‘It was no longer applause’, remarked Jean-Baptiste Louvet, ‘but convulsive stamping’.

The effects of the Fifth Symphony – its subversion of all melodic narrative, its obsessive redeployment of the opening rhythmic fragment – are, in many respects, musically congruent with the oratorical techniques of the Revolutionaries.

I think that catches the spirit, but I cannot imagine such music being a parody of anything in the French language; it is so very Germanic. Beethoven’s music did not appeal to the French public until after his death, and I’m not sure when Beethoven would have had an opportunity to hear such French rhetoric.

More likely, I think, he would have heard German rhetoric in the same style. But in any case, the above academic rhetoric could only apply to parts of the Fifth Symphony; the second movement consists of a lovely flowing melody, and Beethoven’s music, in a different mood, did lead on to the Romantic era.

Yet a contemporary admirer of Beethoven, the concert pianist Ignaz Moscheles, described the same effects, but in a positive way:

“… while I felt my mind fascinated by the prominent idea, and my enthusiasm kindled by the flashes of his genius, his unlooked-for episodes, shrill dissonances, and bold modulations, gave me an unpleasant sensation. But how soon did I become reconciled to them! All that had appeared hard, I soon found indispensable. The gnome-like pleasantries, which at first appeared too distorted — the stormy masses of sound, which I found too chaotic — I have, in after-times, learned to love”.

This appeared in the Editor’s Preface to a book The Life of Beethoven, by Anton Schindler in 1841. Schindler explained Beethoven’s thinking in bringing together his piano sonatas, giving as one consideration, to “define the nature of musical declamation”. “On this last topic”, Schindler wrote, “Beethoven went beyond the generally received idea. He maintained that poetical and musical declamation were subject to the same rules”.

I had no knowledge of this when I gave my talk at the Esperanto Congress; I was just trying to demonstrate the same semantic structures in language and music.

The Apostolic Succession

It seems that the idea of Schiller and Beethoven on the brotherhood of mankind permeated through the generations. Ignaz Moscheles’s son, the painter Felix Moscheles, was one of the founders of the Esperanto movement in Great Britain, becoming the first Honorary President of The London Esperanto Club.

The great ideal of Esperanto had itself been a product of the Enlightenment. Felix Moscheles was the Godson of Felix Mendelssohn, who advanced the idea of ‘politics of reconciliation’ in the Prussian state in accordance with his grandfather’s ideas on Haskala, the Jewish Enlightenment.

A later Honorary President of The London Esperanto Club was concert pianist Frank Merrick, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing in 1976 on the occasion of this 90th birthday. He had been imprisoned as a Conscientious Objector and put into solitary confinement for a while during the First World War.

“It was torture”, he told me. He jokingly claimed to be in the ‘apostolic succession’, having been the last pupil of Leschetizky, whose teacher Czerny was a pupil of Beethoven. It seems there’s another apostolic succession, too: one of peace, freedom and the ‘brotherhood of man’ (no offence to women).

So if Beethoven had enemies during his lifetime, could it be that some want Beethoven to be eradicated from history now? The Chicago Tribune on 30 December, 2019, published a commentary: ‘Beethoven was born 250 years ago. To celebrate, how about we ban his music for a year?’. ‘Canceling Beethoven is the latest woke madness for the classical-music world’, ran a headline in the New York Post.

Many advocates of truth, freedom, and the ‘brotherhood of mankind’ (no offence to women) have been marginalised. A denigration campaign began following the death of British journalist Robert Fisk, who revealed truths about the current wars that others wouldn’t talk about. The outstanding journalist who brought the Enlightenment to ordinary folk in England with the advent of mass literacy was WT Stead, who introduced the ‘New Journalism’.

He upset the Establishment by investigating scandals in high places, and worked incessantly for peace. He told his (false) friend Cecil Rhodes that he should have been put in prison for trying to start the Second Boer War, and when that war did start, led the Stop The War Committee. He anticipated the Great War, and told the Czar of the danger, then wrote an account, ‘Peace and War’, on a visit to Tolstoy at the same desk at which Tolstoy had written ‘War and Peace’.

Like Stead, Tolstoy was an ardent campaigner for peace, and an Esperantist. Indeed, it was an article of Tolstoy’s that got the Esperanto magazine banned in Russia for a while. Like Beethoven, Tolstoy was an ardent opponent of aristocratic privelege. He was a keen pianist, and drew inspiration from Beethoven, even if he thought Beethoven’s later compositions too esoteric.

As for Stead, the Establishment took their revenge. Stead died in the Titanic tragedy, and his name has been airbrushed out of history. It was my attempt to revive his name for the centenary of the Esperanto association in the UK, for which WT Stead had been the most influential of the founders, that evoked denunciations from within the association.

I was so flabbergasted that I decided in 2004 to investigate, and that got me banned in various Esperanto circles. Good people who are a little too successful in advocating peace, freedom and the ‘brotherhood of man’ (no offence to women) are, it turned out, constantly being marginalised. I became another victim, and so I delved further, and found more.

Hijacking European Culture

Fifty years ago Beethoven survived the ravages of Congress for Cultural Freedom, an operation run by the CIA following the Second World War. Its purpose was “to promote an idea: that the world needed a pax Americana, a new age of enlightenment, and it would be called the American Century”, explained British historian Frances Stonor Saunders in her book Who Paid the Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (US title: ‘The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters):

Whether they liked it or not, whether they knew it or not, there were few writers, poets, artists, historians, scientists or critics in post-war Europe whose names were not in some way linked to this covert enterprise. Unchallenged, undetected for over twenty years, America’s spying establishment operated a sophisticated, substantially endowed cultural front in the West for the West, in the name of freedom of expression,”

On the musical side they organised an International Conference of Twentieth Century Music in Rome in 1954, under the directorship of Nicolas Nabokov, a “White Russian emigre who had lived in Berlin before emigrating to the US in 1933”.

Nabokov explained:

…we are going to have a composers’ contest that is unlike any other competition ever held. Twelve young and promising but internationally unknown composers are to be invited to Rome, all expenses paid. Each will bring a score and these will be performed…”

The festival had a heavy concentration of atonal, dodecaphonic composition, featuring new composers. Susan Sontag wrote:

For Nabokov, there was a clear political message to be imparted by promoting music which announced itself as doing away with natural hierarchies, as a liberation from previous laws about music’s inner logic. Later, critics would wonder whether serialism had broken its emancipatory promise, driving music into a modernist cul-de-sac, where it sat, restricted and difficult, tyrranized by despotic formulae, and demanding an increasingly specialist audience. Towards its ‘squawks and thumps’ […] we were deferential – we knew we were supposed to appreciate ugly music…”

Frances Stonor Saunders reported on an exchange with conductor Pierre Boulez, himself a leading figure in avant-garde music, who “wrote a furious letter, larded with insults”:

Nabokov, he [Pierre Boulez] said, was encouraging a ‘folklore of mediocracy’, nurtured by pretty bureaucrats who were obsessed with the number twelve – ‘A Council of Twelve, a Committee of Twelve, a Jury of Twelve – but who understood nothing of the creative process,”

This brought to mind an incident in about 1960, when I submitted some piano pieces to my school music appreciation teacher, who put a red ring round the title, ‘Three pieces in A minor’. “Why has it got to be in any key?”, he asked. I explained to him that otherwise we would be starting off from the Stone Age. I couldn’t understand his enthusiasm for twelve-tone music.

Of course, you can make some interesting impressionistic sound with twelve tones, as you can with pots and pans, but where was the drive for this movement coming from?

Beethoven was driven by having something to say, and in finding new ways of expressing himself; the twelve-tone music was driven, I felt by a destructive force. Now that I understand that it was being propelled by the CIA, I can understand much better what was going on around me in a musical sense in that period of my life. If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not supposed to, whereas Beethoven’s music was supposed to make sense, and to many people did, and became more popular in posterity, whereas the twelve-tone-music stayed where it was: in academia.

The attempt to hijack European culture continues to this day, and this is now most evident in the field of journalism, as Udo Ulfkotte elaborated in his book ‘Gekaufte Journalisten: Wie Politiker, Geheimdienst und Hochfinanz Deutchlands Massmedien lenken’, which eventually appeared in English as ‘Presstitutes: Embedded in the Pay of the CIA’.

Put simply, Beethoven was not American. Musical tastes vary, but the message that Beethoven was trying to get across should be remembered, because there are now powerful people who would like it to be forgotten. The mad times that Beethoven lived in are returning, and Beethoven’s message is just as relevant today as it was in his time.

Cancelling Culture

I just have to wonder how Beethoven would now be reacting to this Age of Darkness, initiated by the Clamp Down, long-awaited in some circles, and about to be set in perpetuity by The Great Reset. Anyone with Enlightenment ideas may well find himself being targeted.

If Beethoven were to talk of his political experiences at our London-based Keep Talking group I would not be in the least surprised to find ourselves surrounded by a menacing mob of slogan-shouters, calling him a ‘Fascist’, ‘Antisemitic’, ‘Misogynist’ etc. much as they have done to previous meetings, and as they have done to concerts by Jewish anti-Zionist jazz musician Gilad Atzmon, and many others.

I would just love to know how Beethoven would turn such disruptions into his Tenth Symphony. Perhaps he would have based his slow movement on John Lennon’s Imagine. John Lennon was a musician who was promoting peace and the ‘brotherhood of man’ (no offence to women), and was eliminated just forty years ago.

In 1970 we even considered inviting John Lennon to be the Patron of the 1971 Universal Congress of Esperanto in London, having been advised that the Queen would be unlikely to accept. I don’t know how Beethoven would have written his Tenth Symphony, except that he would have done it brilliantly.

The Schiller Institute is circulating a resolution internationally for the Year of Beethoven. The preamble probably describes the situation more as it is in the US than in the UK or Europe, but, as we have seen, what happens in the US will eventually cross the Atlantic. “A degraded picture emerges”, the preamble states:

Our education system hardly conveys any knowledge of classical culture, our so-called youth culture is dominated by a cult of ugliness, and classical culture itself is under massive attack. For decades now, post-war theater companies have invented new abysses of hideousness, productions of Shakespeare or Schiller have become unrecognizable, opera stages have also become battlefields for some time, on which the perverse fantasies of various directors are played out, and now self-styled modern composers are even molesting the compositions of Beethoven, evidently because they are unable to create anything themselves.

This must be stopped! The time has come to launch a counter-offensive!

[…] The Year of Beethoven, in which many Beethoven compositions will be performed all over the world, offers a wonderful occasion for us to recall the best of our cultural tradition in western culture and to oppose it to the moral downward trend of the past decades.

I signed the petition, and I just hope that the coming performances of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony will begin with the true beat of ‘di DI di DEE’, to drive forward the march for ‘Friede’, ‘Freude’ and ‘Freiheit’, and against cancel culture in the Age of Darkness which is descending upon us.

Ian Fantom MSc is an Information Scientist with a background in Physics. Since retiring he has investigated the collapse of the Esperanto movement in the UK, and become engaged in the 9/11 Truth movement. Following disruptions in that movement he co-founded the ‘Keep Talking’ group in 2010.

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Sam - Admin2
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Dec 21, 2020 1:16 AM

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John the First
John the First
Dec 23, 2020 3:18 AM

Schiller was not at all political, and not at all democratic.

Consequently, in the realm of aesthetic appearance, the idea of equality is realized, which the political zealot would gladly see carried out socially.

Schiller’s ideas of developing freedom is solely related to the realm of aesthetics, and his philosophy is wholly ignored. The article is merely a piece of propaganda for democracy, also in the case of Beethoven. Schiller would have been disgusted about the politicization of his philosophy.

Hugo
Hugo
Dec 18, 2020 11:21 PM

Speaking of composers: I didn’t know that William Herschel, a German in England, was not an astronomer at all, but a musician. He discovered Uranus (like Johann Gottfried Galle discovered neptune after him). At least they can’t be suspected of “racism” like all the British seafaring explorers. Even Lincoln and Washington are now dishonored.

Hugo
Hugo
Dec 18, 2020 10:00 PM

OT but remarkable: The oldest shipping company in Germany today was founded by a Briton. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Miles_Sloman

Another British Hamurger: Researchers suspect that his mother, Jane Fontenay, gave birth to him as a 13-year-old emigrant several months after arriving in America on Swan Island. She had probably been impregnated by a stranger during the crossing from the Channel Island of Jersey to Boston on the schooner “Molly”. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Fontenay

Hugo
Hugo
Dec 18, 2020 10:07 PM
Reply to  Hugo

Or who knows “british-born John Theodor Essberger”? https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_T._Essberger

“The General-Anzeiger, the predecessor newspaper of the Lübecker Nachrichten, was founded in 1882 by Charles Coleman (1852-1936), whose family came from Scotland. Coleman moved from Bad Oldesloe to Lübeck in 1877 and took over a book printing business there. With the Lübecker Presse and the Nordische Presse, he had already failed twice in his attempt to publish newspapers in Lübeck.”

Hugo
Hugo
Dec 18, 2020 10:14 PM
Reply to  Hugo

“In modern times, the Guelphs were again at their zenith when they rose to become electors and kings of Hanover as well as kings of Great Britain and Ireland.”

He is suing $250 million for the Guelph treasure.

Hugo
Hugo
Dec 18, 2020 9:40 PM

These “experts” decry his Fifth Symphony as a !symbol of exclusion and elitism.” https://www.vox.com/switched-on-pop/21437085/beethoven-5th-symphony-elitist-classism-switched-on-pop

Dr NG Maroudas
Dr NG Maroudas
Dec 18, 2020 2:35 PM

My friend writes from Oxford:

“Pity Ian Fantom doesn’t listen to Radio 3, the U.K.’s premier music channel.
Every week for years Radio 3 has had a 1-hour programme called Composer of the Week.
This year, every alternate week I.e. 26 weeks, Beethoven has been Composer of the Week. They worked steadily through his life relating his music at a particular point of his life to what was happening in his life at that same point. There was also a lot of his music at the Proms.
OffG itself is part of the Endarkenment [in disregarding this Beethoven Blockbuster from the Beeb]”.

Are we missing something?

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 1:36 PM

Very interesting article. Thank you!
As a classical pianist, I can offer the small insight that there is an element to this which is not so complicated:

In Iceland, where I live, about 15-20 of the country’s pianists decided last year to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th by playing ALL of his 32 piano sonatas within a few months.

Due to ‘covid’, the very first concert was recorded in the USA and sent on video to the concert hall where the performers should have appeared in person. After that, another couple of concerts took place as originally planned, and then, gradually, everything was postponed and postponed, until the latest news for us remaining performers is that the whole thing will be re-scheduled for next summer (Fauci willing…)

In other words, we were forced to cancel concerts because the management of the concert hall:
a) wouldn’t make a profit if only 50 people were allowed to attend, and
b) believed the mainstream politico-media / twaddle-science propaganda that we were all at lethal risk.

But Beethoven has been far from forgotten here.
Some of Iceland’s top musicians have taken the initiative of streaming his music from their own homes where possible, and of course those of us who have yet to play our sonatas in the planned piano series are practising as usual in order to be ready for whatever date becomes available. After several months, these things do get rusty.

Personally, I have taken every opportunity to ‘fart upon’ covid, as Icelanders might say, but of course the government is taking the same Fauci/Gates/Ferguson/Ursula von der Lying stance as every other country – except Bolivia, and they control the financing of concert halls and such.

Sikovit Fukkovid

Howard
Howard
Dec 19, 2020 3:41 PM
Reply to  wardropper

In a sane world, besides you already playing your Beethoven sonatas in a concert hall, you certainly would expect to continue with your music once the “officials” came to realize there is/was no need to lockdown.

But we know the back story well enough to speculate that key players in this cultural Danse Macabre (apologies to Saint-Saens) have no intention of ever releasing human culture from its prison.

If they have their way, there will never be another Beethoven concert anywhere on Earth. Only some AI concoction featuring dancing robots (or nurses) and maybe a little lip synching by the Schwab/Gates/Fauci rendition of Ernie Kovacs’ The Nairobi Trio.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 22, 2020 9:21 PM
Reply to  Howard

Adrienne Rich to the Clintons in rejecting their 1996 Medal of the Arts, “Art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power that holds it hostage.”

They’re unhappy with any art until they can clip its wings. Right from the Secret Team Playbook. That’s the key principle.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 20, 2020 8:11 PM
Reply to  wardropper

The good news is that Bonn, perhaps as a riposte to the vagaries of Covid, has extended the birthday party to September.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 22, 2020 9:12 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

Dostoevsky: “The Prince says …the world will be saved by beauty.”

Mik
Mik
Dec 18, 2020 12:21 PM

Now, after quick Google of Beethoven images I found many. However, this being the only one with one eye dimmed…STOP IT OG.

You had hundreds of other images to cut n paste. Why this one?

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 1:37 PM
Reply to  Mik

It’s a cool photo. Never noticed the eye.

Mik
Mik
Dec 23, 2020 11:03 AM
Reply to  wardropper

then you don’t pay attention. Unlike you, i’m not seeing the “cool” aspect of it…

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 18, 2020 6:18 AM

Speaking about music, dear brothers and sisters who are musicians, our time has come to wake up the masked zombies and bring them from their Covidian stupor back to life.

Here is how …

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 1:51 PM
Reply to  Jacques

Amen.
I bet Fauci has never even heard of Beethoven…

Gerard Frederick
Gerard Frederick
Dec 18, 2020 3:48 PM
Reply to  wardropper

Of course not. He is probably also a fan of Rotten Rothko and perverted Schoenberg or Steve Reich, The Fraud. None of these horrid people have ever heard of Dostojewski´s axiom: ¨Only beauty will save the world¨.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 12:51 PM

Debussy, too, is reputed to have stated that “the aim of all art is the pursuit of beauty”. I can’t find the exact quote.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 22, 2020 8:49 PM
Reply to  wardropper

I’ve come across citations, over the years, of both Debussy and Stravinsky telling outraged philanthropists at their groundbreaking premiere(s) when riots broke out, “Beauty affects some people as a personal affront.”

The flip side of the coinage, I guess.

Debussy, at “Pelléas et Mélisande”, and Stravinsky at Le Sacre du Printemps, respectively.

Schmitz Katze
Schmitz Katze
Dec 17, 2020 9:34 PM

Beethoven was probably born the day before. It´s debated.
Be that as it may:
Happy Birthday, Ludwig!
With a treat. Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam is a stunning Beethoven look-a-like, playing with passion as the great man himself must have done.
Enjoy!


wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 1:43 PM
Reply to  Schmitz Katze

He shouldn’t be ashamed to use curlers in his hair though… That would complete the picture.

Doctortrinate
Doctortrinate
Dec 17, 2020 8:26 PM

I can understand the shift into Dissonance, I believe it a natural movement, the break from expected expression, the typical signposts, it doesn’t mean it lost or replaced, is only enriched by an incomprehensible escape, imo.

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 17, 2020 8:43 PM
Reply to  Doctortrinate

Consonance is reflective of nature, consonant sounds correspond to how sounds are naturally created, the overtone harmonic series. Dissonance is departure from nature toward abstraction. The more dissonant sounds get, the more it departs from arrangements stemming from the overtone harmonic series.

One could generalize that people who prefer simplicity prefer the security of consonant music, while people who aspire to explore the far reaches of the abstract prefer dissonant sounds or are willing to move away from the homely assurance of consonance.

Doctortrinate
Doctortrinate
Dec 18, 2020 12:47 AM
Reply to  Jacques

thanks Jacques.

the emotional movement, within the experience – to break from the replication, or to rise above it…means reaching a point of confusion, there is no taken movement, you Give at that door, to a complex noise, absolute and chaotic, the bridge between time and timelessness….the value in the reply determines entry, cross it and harmony is complete.

imo.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 2:05 PM
Reply to  Doctortrinate

One could also think of it as the necessary darkness, without which we could never be aware that there was such a thing as light.
Beethoven grasped that better than anyone else, and we can hear it in his music.

Doctortrinate
Doctortrinate
Dec 19, 2020 4:52 AM
Reply to  wardropper

if you like – wardropper….in the building of the composition,the making of structured order – there was discord and disorder – and then, eureka !…at that moment,

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 12:56 PM
Reply to  Doctortrinate

Yes, Doc.
Even the biblical apocalyptic reference to the ‘beast’ having its allotted time on earth shows that there can be purpose to the blackest chaos.
It can certainly wake a person up…

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Dec 17, 2020 1:49 PM

Dark Winter, Digital Outage, Hathi Trust and the clampdown on BOOKS.

Not only are physical libraries limiting entrance and lending of actual books… now you have to wait in line for a digital copy.

Archive.org used to allow access to digital copies of books for two weeks. Now it’s one hour.

What is going on? James Corbett takes a look the Intellectual Monopoly in “Solutions: Physical Media.”

https://www.corbettreport.com/solutions-physical-media/

I’ll give you the answer that James is too polite and restrained to state: rich and powerful people have a real hangup about their stupidity.

If you are a middle class, reasonable, liberal you probably cut Bill Gates some slack for his dysfunctional appearance, chaotic mind and spasmodic, halting diction.

I don’t: he’s stupid. He criminal clever but he is not intelligent. Nor was that earlier brute J.D. Rockefeller.

Clever criminals are intensely resentful of people better-endowed than they with intelligence. They suspect, they hate, they conspire and they would destroy.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Dec 17, 2020 2:18 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Let’s continue with Eugenics.

Why are so many ultra-wealthy obsessed with Eugenics? I’ll tell you: intelligence is largely genetics and upbringing — and they confront a horrible truth that they project upon others.

Surely the rich were blessed with genes: they come from generations of rich? Except inside they know that is not true.

The honest and good among the rich seek first to lift up their own. To rescue the benighted. The evil among the rich seek to downpress the masses, to make others more stupid than themselves.

Give them credit for surviving: the rich have seen the evil that begot their parents. J.D. Rockerfeller brought his children up as near illiterates. Why is cruelty so common in the rich. Why do they raise their princes and princesses as emotional cripples?

Psychologists, where are you? The people pay you for your insight and you are AWOL.

The rich tread a path of flowers, as Croesus, beyond anyone’s desires. Yet gnawing at their soul is the perception that they are not worthy, that they don’t deserve. More accurately, they don’t know what to do with their money. They have no idea.

I can tell from personal connection that their imagination does not match their wealth. They have no clue what to do with their money beyond all buy the same things, eat and drink the same brands.

FT: How To Spend It.

Need any another clue? The flip side of plenty is to deny others. Economists long ago proved that Schadenfreude is a thing. People would rather impoverish their rivals than become richer themselves.

Oh yes, indeed. Economists found that most people would take a pay cut before their colleague got a pay rise.

Why people like this? Life as it is, against life as it should be!

Can I rise above my anger? More importantly…

… can I express Beethoven’s righteous passion!

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Dec 17, 2020 2:36 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Money is a curse and the people know it: the rich even better than the poor.

That is why schadenfreude is a thing: faced with preserving the hierarchy of power, the social ladder, people would forego wealth themselves and prefer their colleagues got less.

That is why the Politics of Envy appeals. That is the hidden secret behind appeals to equality. That is why The Great Reset has an audience. And almost the entire Left is guiltily silent.

As individuals we know something to be true that we can’t see en masse. People dispersed are insightful. It is only as crowds that we become stupid: thus the media is mass stupidity.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 18, 2020 11:06 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

I wouldn’t say the media is mass stupidity although it certainly depends on it and works to create it. And it is so devastatingly potent through sheer habit. I lost that habit when I lived alone for the first time ever in my mid 20s. It was like snapping out of a trance. And that was when I noticed how self-referential TV was i.e. how each programme didn’t so much refer to real life but merely to other TV programmes. Thus it weaves a web – or a matrix.

And on a possibly related note, I know that you are not a Marxist. Neither is GG Preparata. I am currently re-reading his astonishing Conjuring Hitler and I hit on this quote from I Was A German by Ernst Toller:

The German revolution found an ignorant people and an offi cial class of bureaucratic philistines. The people shouted for Socialism, yet they had no clear conception of what Socialism should be. They recognized their oppressors; they knew well enough what they did not want; but they had little idea of what they did want. The Social Democrats and the Trade Unions leaders were linked by blood and friendship with the representatives of the Monarchy and of capitalism, whose sins were their sins. They were satisfi ed with the juste milieu of the bourgeois; they had no faith in the doctrines they had proclaimed, no faith in the people who trusted them…They hated the revolution. Ebert had the courage to say so out right.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 1:54 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Psychologists, where are you? The people pay you for your insight and you are AWOL.

The answer is that the big corporations pay them more than ‘the people’ do…

The Coming Revolution
The Coming Revolution
Dec 17, 2020 5:01 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Agreed. It’s not that they are intelligent; they are good at playing a particular game called Money Grabbing. They are brilliant at that game, and the more they grab, the easier the game gets; and it’s just a game, that’s what it is, if one is able to think from outside the box, from a purely human perspective. We wouldn’t call Karpov and Kasparov intelligent in the wide sense of the word just because they are brilliant at playing chess? We need to know about their lives as a whole to be able to make such a statement.

In “Education and the Social Order”, this is what Bertrand Russell himself tells us about the intelligence, honesty and hard work of the wealthy:

“In pre-industrial societies, where wealth is mainly aristocratic, the defence of inequality takes the form of reverence for birth, which often overrides the reverence for actual wealth, and conceals the economic origin of the sentiment. A penniless exiled chieftain may be more respected than a successful money-lender. Nevertheless, fundamentally it is wealth that is respected, because as a rule in such societies it is aristocratic descent which is the source of wealth. Where aristocracy is strong, belief in it is, of course, bolstered up by all kinds of nonsense, such as that aristocrats have better manners, more education, or finer feelings than other people. In a plutocratic society, such as that of the United States, there is a different form of humbug. The successful plutocrat is supposed to have achieved his position by hard work, frugality, and scrupulous honesty. He is supposed to use his position as a public trust, with an eye always to the general good. In the sixties and seventies of the last century, when the great fortunes of the plutocrats were a novelty, traditional culture, such as that of the Adams family, exposed with gusto the tricks and chicanery and sheer illegality by which many of the leading men had amassed their wealth. (¹) Throughout the eighties and nineties, books were written against the methods of the Standard Oil Company. Nowadays, this is all changed. The great plutocrats are regarded as great public benefactors. Every university has, or hopes to have, endowments from them. Every young man of academic tastes hopes to receive a research fellowship from the bounty of some philanthropic billionaire. The universities and the press are filled with the praise of the very rich, and the man in the street is taught to believe that virtue is proportional to income.”

(¹) See “High Finance in the Sixties”, by the Brothers Adams. Reprinted by the Yale University Press.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 2:13 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Well said. The distinction between sly, cunning, criminal clever and real intelligence is a crucial one.
Intelligence extends beyond the borders of any one particular area of expertise, and we can be thankful that a fair number of people possess it.

The criminal class is the reason why ‘Love Island’ and BBC News are more popular than Beethoven today. Those people have been working at achieving such a state of affairs for generations.

Arsebiscuits
Arsebiscuits
Dec 17, 2020 1:18 PM

WHO Information Notice for IVD Users
Nucleic acid testing (NAT) technologies that use real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for detection of SARS-CoV-2

https://www.who.int/news/item/14-12-2020-who-information-notice-for-ivd-users

The tests are a load of shite it’s slowly admitting the who’s who

Won’t make a difference

Majority of people are thick as shite to even know what a pcr test is

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 17, 2020 11:44 AM

Somebody has posted a piece of music – a good idea to levitate the situation!

Let me offer you this piece. A song celebrating Europe, written by a Mexican American and flawlessly executed by a Dutch Gypsy, a member of a culture originating in India.

My kind of music, my kind of world.

Gwyn
Gwyn
Dec 17, 2020 2:13 PM
Reply to  Jacques

Excellent! Thanks, Jacques.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Dec 17, 2020 11:33 AM

ADMIN…. just now have had 2 email notifications from you that 2 comments I had sitting in spam, that I wrote hours ago are now uploaded.
Yet I’ve had no reply notifications from fellow commenters since Armando on December 9th. Before that, there were a lot on December 7th.
What is going on? I’ve checked my spam and junk folders, and nothing is in them from here. Getting somewhat cranky at repeatedly having to scroll back.
Apologies for going off topic.

watt
watt
Dec 17, 2020 12:34 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

I’ve been missing reply notifications for a while now. Is that facility gone?

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 12:45 PM
Reply to  watt

I have requested an explanation a number of times from admin about this issue.

I find it rather interesting, and actually quite frustrating, that admin will take the time to respond to someone’s post – sometimes more than once in the case of tony – and yet will not provide us with the explanation of why we are no longer receiving replies in our emails.

I jokingly wrote in another post that change.org was initiating a petition to admin to get them to explain the big WHY?

I’m not suggesting we are owed this capability – but an explanation would be respectful.

Ame
Ame
Dec 17, 2020 4:37 PM
Reply to  Judith

They respond big time if you dare disagree with there article a spam filter for ever type of response !

they have discussed why in a small comment last week

something along the lines as
a change over from the last server and they are on it and stop moaning Okey

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 6:25 PM
Reply to  Ame

Thanks Ame, I guess I missed the explanation.

Moan moan moan

imaginebeingthat
imaginebeingthat
Dec 17, 2020 7:28 PM
Reply to  Ame

thanks

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Dec 17, 2020 8:36 PM
Reply to  Judith

“but an explanation would be respectful”… Correct Judith.
I don’t come to Offguardian just to make a comment and leave. I like the interaction with other commenters as well. Yes, I do understand this isn’t a social forum, but it’s good to chew the fat with like minded people.
It’s not so bad when there are about 200-250 comments on a thread, but anymore. Hmmm.
Keep banging your pots and pans Judith. Saw your other comment below. I even had a customer yesterday going on about how great it’ll be when the vaccines come out and things will go back to normal!!! I wanted to slap him.
Gotta grab a train, have a good weekend…

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 22, 2020 9:30 PM
Reply to  Judith

Click on the little “subscribe” box at the very top left of this or any comment thread. Right at “join the discussion” box.

Arsebiscuits
Arsebiscuits
Dec 17, 2020 1:18 PM
Reply to  watt

Me too!!

Fuck gmail

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 22, 2020 9:28 PM
Reply to  watt

Click the little “subscribe” box at the very top left of this comment thread. That is, right after the stars for “article rating”. Take it from there.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 19, 2020 9:44 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

I am the same. Still getting notifications on new OG articles and when my own comments are uploaded but nothing on responses (which is the important one.) All very odd.

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Dec 19, 2020 9:47 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Did you check the box for getting notified of replies? As I’ve told you several times this used to be automatic but now needs to be done manually

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Dec 19, 2020 9:55 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

I have responded to this question at least five times already – maybe the readers complaining below your comment should check back.

The ‘be notified of replies’ bit used to be automatically checked, but this resulted in the system trying to notify numerous fake email accounts, which would snarl the system up.

YOU NOW HAVE TO CHECK THE BOX MANUALLY

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Dec 21, 2020 5:39 AM

Hi Sophie. I didn’t even receive this email. Not just no notification for this, but no actual email. So didn’t know you had replied as I’ve just checked now including in my inbox and spam.
I’ve also seen the instructions for manual replies, thanks. Will give it a try.

Eme
Eme
Dec 17, 2020 11:28 AM

Struggle for pleasure – Wim Mertens

DomoebaMalingera
DomoebaMalingera
Dec 17, 2020 11:18 AM

Mask of the beast

Biblical bollocks
Predictable programming
Planet of Numpty
Hidden state child abuse
Anxiety through non-compliance
Mask of the beast
No life
Jumping at your own shadow
Breathing is living
Where is your ode to joy?
Your song, your smile
A world of sick notes
Anonymous porno characters
Wandering around
As brain-damaged zombies
In Brownian motion
Presstitutes words are piss
So I am a duck
But not sitting in denial
I laugh and sing
Flying in rebellion
Not in fear
Fear is the heart killer
But in love
Your choice
Your life

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Dec 17, 2020 10:48 AM

Hunter Biden is at the Bottom of the Totem Pole – Rudy Giuliani
https://www.bitchute.com/video/A0gB7HBbe8cT/

It All Makes Sense Now – Mark Dice
https://www.bitchute.com/video/Q4gEQ_5rxWQ/

My Meeting With YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki – Austen Fletcher

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 6:26 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

This is great.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 17, 2020 10:30 AM

I keep thinking it’s impossible and they keep proving me wrong: further ratching up of the COVID rhetoric. It seems there was a criminal case of underreporting of figures in Wales. There were far more Coke drinkers than previously thought.

Also we are now getting explicit suggestions that folk just skip Christmas altogether. Well it’s easy to see where this is headed. There are bound to be infringements of the increasingly psychotic rules and they will have to be rigorously dealt with – to protect the public of course. A few grannies may have to serve time etc. All of which will be given maximum publicity to ensure everyone gets the message – know what I mean?

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 17, 2020 10:35 AM
Reply to  George Mc

No kidding. Over here, in the Czech Republic, the muppet health minister is warning people that there will be no New Year’s Eve celebration and that people should keep the masks on during Christmas while meeting with family. I’ve also heard that drones will be monitoring compliance with the now-imposed maximum six persons requirement at the Christmas table.

Friggin’ hilarious.

As tragic as this horseshit is, I have to say that living through crystal-clear pure unadulterated mad fucking phantasmagoria is quite an experience!

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Dec 17, 2020 12:33 PM
Reply to  Jacques

No need to read Kafka anymore, or watch Zombie Apocalypse, or 1984.
We only need to look around us.
I’m out on the streets almost every day, and the range of emotions I go through seeing what I see…. Its like being on a bumpy roller-coaster.
Met another covid sceptic today, as I do most days, which is one of the few things helping me retain some sense of sanity while surrounded by insanity.
Music is another, and even tho I’m not a fan of classical music (sorry!) I have a pretty good collection ranging from post rock to psychedelic and shoegaze.
Just about to put on one of my favourite bands Slowdive and crash.

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 1:01 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

I don’t know how you do it gezza (I’m writing this realizing you may not get to read it unless you scroll through the comments again (and again)).

I not only hate the idea of wearing a mask – which I don’t unless absolutely necessary for a certain situation and only for a very limited time – I cannot stand being with masked people anymore.

Even if invited I do not want to be with family or friends over the holiday because I cannot stand watching the maskerade. It’s become unbearable.

And the constant “what? what? what?” because I can’t hear what they are saying.

The next time someone in a store asks “do you need a mask?” I’m going to reply “I’m sorry, I don’t speak maskish. Could you say that again in good old-fashioned, intelligent English?”

Thank you for posting each day, gezza. I consider you a front-line hero. (you can’t hear me but I am clapping and banging a pot and pan)

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 17, 2020 2:06 PM
Reply to  Judith

I hear you …

Masked people are repulsive. The mask is the ultimate symbol of subjugation. No smile, no facial expression, only a pair of scared shitless, empty eyes. Personless creatures.

I also can’t stand the word COVID … it literally makes me wanna puke. Utterly repulsive.

Everyone who has retained humanity deserves respect, admiration, and pure human love. I’m afraid that the only sentiment there is left if one puts the mask on is fear. Sickly pathetic … !

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 6:28 PM
Reply to  Jacques

If I have to reference what is going on I refer to it as “the lockdown”, “the insanity” “the thing”

I will not use the c word. Won’t dignify.

And I hate “due to the virus”.

NO – due to the lying msm and the people pulling their strings.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 4:12 PM
Reply to  Judith

“vegna covid19 faraldursins” is the Icelandic version we now get on the news every day. (“Because of the covid19 pandemic”)

Detestable. State news lying to our faces.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 2:00 PM
Reply to  Jacques

You say, ‘living through’, as if there was an end in sight…
I don’t think we are intended to live through this.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 19, 2020 3:06 AM
Reply to  wardropper

There are many sinister undertones to this global Ponzi fiasco, and glints come through, that some or more or many of us are not intended to outlive it.

But I see this crisis as being about as many-tiered as there are tiers!

And there are more tiers than the more sinister ones, though not unexpectedly the most sinister at least SEEM to have the last words. It’s often looked that way. And now again.

Thankfully, our Maker has the ultimate and last Word

ACCEPT NO SUBSTUTUTES! LOL

As that authority is the Alpha and Omega, I am going to address as many of my best thoughts as I can, to that omniscience.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 12:57 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

I do the same, John.
Good luck to you.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Dec 17, 2020 10:20 AM

So far I see no Google Doodle to mark the great Ludwig’s sestercentennial – or is it his bicenquinquagenary.

Sadly Vox stooped to a new low, debating whether they should ‘cancel’ Beethoven, although the best reason they could summon is that ‘white men like him’.

They got out ahead of the anniversary with an article in Sep 2020 by Nate Sloan (an assistant prof of musicology) and Charlie Harding (Vox podcaster) entitled, How Beethoven put the classism in classical music.

I see Vox, Vice, Heavy and the online space-fillers as the modern version of the CIA’s funding of Encounter and Ramparts back in a more intellectual age. Stoking divisiveness in place of musical enlightenment would be the CIA way.

I’m surprised the woke bother when they have tougher nuts to crack: Pushkin was 1/8th descended from an African slave but also owned white Russian slaves of his own. Annotate that.

Maybe they’ve done us a backhanded service: classical music is an inadequate label, as anyone knows who’s catalogued their collection, and it certainly does smack of superiority even if it only refers to an era of orchestral music.

https://www.classicfm.com/composers/beethoven/composer-cancelled-fifth-symphony-elitist-vox-debate/

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 4:15 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

If Beethoven were alive today, Vox, he’d wring your bloody necks, and I’d help him.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 17, 2020 10:07 AM

Further to Robbybobby’s sledge hammer insinuation below, endlessly repeated throughout the media choir, that the sceptics are fanatical believers (a sceptical fanatical believer? Now that’s a neat trick!), it is of course glaringly obvious, or should be, that it’s the other way round.

COVID! Hallelujah! This is the gospel thundered throughout all the airwaves. And lo! Today’s sermon: figures in Wales have been satanically underreported. These sinners have not repented nearly enough in following the heavenly guidelines!

Seaweed
Seaweed
Dec 17, 2020 9:20 AM

Another part of the mask slipping/those in power revealing overtly their true nature and gate keepers becoming apparent, is seeing that charities and civil rights organisations are in cahoots with the power grab.
In the past I’ve signed petitions on the 38 degrees website, they’ve sent me an email saying:

Just a few days ago, the first person in the world received the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine, right here in an NHS hospital in Coventry. 90 year old Margaret Keenan is still being talked about all over the papers and on social media…

We know that the vaccination programme will better protect ourselves and our loved ones – and get our country back on its feet – if all of us get vaccinated when our turn comes…So, …will you let your friends and family know you’ll be getting vaccinated when it’s your turn?

…Just use the button below to say you’ll be getting the vaccine. You’ll then be taken to a page where you can share your message to help spread the word.

What complete crap.
Bye bye from my life another fake organisation that doesn’t seek to protect people’s rights at all.

fighting gnome
fighting gnome
Dec 17, 2020 10:06 AM
Reply to  Seaweed

very astute observation !
I am seeing the same agenda creeping like a fog into virtually every facet of our lives
what I thought I knew, now reveals itself as a Lie – the wars that have sent millions of men and women to their graves – all for the same power grabbing elite that our behind todays Agenda – Great Reset is nothing more than a Tuned up version of every other attempt at creating a totalitarian world, and this time -I truly fear they may succeed.

Seaweed
Seaweed
Dec 17, 2020 10:39 AM
Reply to  fighting gnome

Maybe in the end the only truth is in each person’s conscience and soul and their relationship to the world, which is the Spritual Awakening that is so much needed and that those in power fear and obstruct through any means they can.

Seaweed
Seaweed
Dec 17, 2020 10:55 AM
Reply to  Seaweed

And in fact the transhumanist agenda’s goal is to separate us from soul once and for all by merging us into an AI hive mind.
That’s why we are literally in a battle for the human soul.

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 1:06 PM
Reply to  Seaweed

Catherine Austin Fitts has been warning about the battle for the soul for ages.

So has Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, Peggy Hall, Christianne Northrup.

Apart from religion, this is a real deep-down spiritual battle.

In certain circles it could be called “insidious, baffling and powerful”.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 19, 2020 3:16 AM
Reply to  Judith

Ultimately, it’s all about the spiritual battle. And a good book tells me about a good boy who was once taught to “eschew the bad and choose the good.”

The more people who will do that, in these times, the more successful we shall be. That’s a fact.

Only by being reduced to prayer can we locate all the resources. Beethoven is all about that.

~~~~~

Stravinsky on LvB “Große Fuge”:

“It is a totally contemporary piece of music and shall remain contemporary forever.”

My favourite work, prophetic and mystical and for all futures.

(I had a neighbour 15 years ago who told me she used to have Stravinsky and his Boswell, Robert Craft, come to her home where she sang for them Igor’s works: Peggy Bonini, with USC Ingolf Dahl at the piano. Amazing. I.S. had lived in Hollywood.)

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 17, 2020 11:01 AM
Reply to  Seaweed

My mum is 90 and buys the Book of Covid. She talks about this vax as the divine elixir and I keep telling her it’s all shit and emphasising that it isn’t YET compulsory. But I only phone her every 2 or 3 days. In between she is being programmed 24/7 by the the virus broadcasting service.

Stuckinajam
Stuckinajam
Dec 17, 2020 12:42 PM
Reply to  Seaweed

38 Degrees is run by the fake left Oxbridge brigade. I was always suspicious about their true intentions. They are there to gather data on the nations mood and serve no real democratic purpose. Mark them as spammers in your email.

Edwige
Edwige
Dec 17, 2020 1:55 PM
Reply to  Seaweed

Keenan = keen ‘un?

Donald Duck
Donald Duck
Dec 17, 2020 8:52 AM

‘Endarkenment’ Brilliant!

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 19, 2020 3:19 AM
Reply to  Donald Duck

The whole Age is slowly catapulting itself into an Abyss. It is for us somehow to turn it round.

If that seems too hard, consider the alternative.

Thom
Thom
Dec 17, 2020 8:47 AM

It’s probably because Beethoven was German that we have heard little about the anniversary. British ‘journalists’ aren’t allowed to say much that is pleasant about our European neighbours. They’re only nice about English-speaking countries or very poor places they can patronise. Thy are especially terrified of a unifying European figure like Beethoven.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 4:25 PM
Reply to  Thom

Even my elderly generation had parents who couldn’t get over “Germanness” because of WW2.
A good friend of mine once mentioned that his father had said he couldn’t stand Germans … “You can’t trust them at all”…

Poor Beethoven…. And yet he lives, and that generation doesn’t.

If only people knew what a creative spirit truly was… Nothing to do with nationality at all.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 19, 2020 3:21 AM
Reply to  wardropper

I believe it has to do with Beethoven’s sincerity of devotion. His sincere love.

That ineffable quality above the others generates his kind.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 1:11 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

Indeed. It’s exactly that.

Shin
Shin
Dec 17, 2020 8:01 AM

Massive floods in Qld and NSW. Property damage expected into the tens of millions. Land holders that is. More suffering and pain.
How much do these people have to endure?
All the Government and MSM care about is some 15 cases of coroni with threats of border closure between these two States. FEAR is far more important!
Zero care or compassion regarding a natural disaster which will claim lives, possessions and untold reconstruction.
Government and MSM just don’t give a shit! Scum of the earth.

JoeC
JoeC
Dec 17, 2020 10:57 AM
Reply to  Shin

Pyschopaths the lot of them.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 18, 2020 4:27 PM
Reply to  JoeC

And unfortunately there ARE a lot of them…

Schmitz Katze
Schmitz Katze
Dec 17, 2020 8:01 AM

In his time Beethoven envisioned a world without monarchs. It is ironic that all dictators of the last century used his great work of art, his Ode to Joy for their propaganda. To make it the EU politbüro´s anthem
would be anathema to Beethoven. His Ode an die Freude is about pure joy to humanity, to universal friendship, and I think it is about time we take it back to „overcome the Age of Darkness which is descending upon us.“
Ludwig was known as an homme de lettre and as such he was well familiar with Immanuel Kant´s work. Interestingly he misqouted Kant´s categorical
insight of „the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.

Beethoven turned it around and not to be mistaken as pluralis majestatis:

it´s the moral law within us and the starry heavens above us
In his spelling with three exclamation marks:

„das Moralische Gesez in unß/u.der gestirnte Himmel über unß/Kant!!!“

At the age of 32 Beethoven felt depressed and already almost deaf he wrote his testament adressed to his brothers.
Have a listen, I think it´s to all of us.


John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 19, 2020 3:23 AM
Reply to  Schmitz Katze

Add to that his “HEILIGER DANKGESANG”.

tonyopmoc
tonyopmoc
Dec 17, 2020 2:56 AM

Does anyone know the origins of this painting? I think its completely Beautiful.I would guess its Italian – Madonna and Child. I think its Beautiful. I would Love to See The Original. I can only see it in Black and White, but the artist may have painted it in Black and White. I do not know the origins of this. Just came across it tonight on the Internet. I have printed it out and stuck it on my wall with sellotape.

comment image

Tony

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Dec 17, 2020 7:16 AM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

I’m so glad they turn out to be white and photogenic.

THX-1154
THX-1154
Dec 17, 2020 9:32 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

which part of “black and white image” do you not understand?

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Dec 18, 2020 1:18 AM
Reply to  THX-1154

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that the painter had overexposed the canvas.

retony
retony
Dec 17, 2020 11:28 AM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

The original oil painting, done by the Swiss artist Luigi Crosio during the last decade of the 19th century, was entitled “Refugium Peccatoyum” [Abode of Sinners]. The artist was born in Alba in the year 1835 and died in Turin in 1915. There is a strong possibility that his daughter Anna posed as a model for it. The Sisters of Mary are currently in possession of the original. source: http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/schoen.htm

THX-1154
THX-1154
Dec 17, 2020 1:34 PM
Reply to  retony
tony0pmoc
tony0pmoc
Dec 17, 2020 2:04 AM

Reasons to be Cheerful Part one

My wife has drawn a most beautiful happy image in the white sink of our downstairs toilet, complete with toothbrushes (in 3D) with a raindeer in the middle (also in 3D) for when our Grandchildren Clean their teeth in the morning.

She has decorated our front room, quite beautifully in front of The Christmas Tree with a Shoe Trail in a spiral of the kid’s shoes..I could never have thought of that

They will see them both before they go to school tomorrow 9the youngest comes back home – he’s 2.

Christmas might have been deleted for most of us…but Christmas is alive alnd well for our Grandchildren

If kids can’t enjoy Christmas, then we might as well all give up, and subject ourselves to be injected and culled.

She probably copied the ideas from some Mum’s magazine – but whatever -even I was amazed – The Kids will love it.

They love their Grandmother to bits.

I can understand that.

Why can’t we just go back to being Normal?

There is No Pandemic.

They made it up.

But they do intend to kill us, and will do, unless we tell the truth.and reject the injection

Its not been tested on mice yet..

Tony

Anthony Judge
Anthony Judge
Dec 17, 2020 12:18 AM

Much appreciated. A provocative response, given the relation of a Europe in crisis to Beethoven, is: Reversing the Anthem of Europe to Signal Distress (https://bit.ly/2K2d2hH)

tony0pmoc
tony0pmoc
Dec 16, 2020 10:16 PM

Ian Fantom, I did read the detail at the end of your article. It was the Halle Orchestra for me at Manchester Free Trade Hall 9/11 was very much later.
There are lots of people (3 adults and 2 kids) living in our house, and we all have different and several communication devices including a SMART TV which can most definitely hear everything anyone says or does, and none of us could care, whether they can or not, except we keep getting each others stupid adverts even on our mobile phones?

O.K. You can monitor us. Do we care?

Have you learnt anything yet?

Just up the road earlier this year – they had a full TV Crew Round “How Clean is Your House”

I mean wtf – aren’t you bored sh1tless already?

It must be a crap job working for The Intelligence Services

I can’t think of anything more boring

You were sat in a car for hours (years) doing Sweet .F,A, and now you looking for people like me, not wearing a mask.

Come on Get a Life.

“Chuck Berry – Roll Over Beethoven”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLD5H4uQ1xs

Merry Christmas

Tony

THX-1154
THX-1154
Dec 17, 2020 9:35 AM
Reply to  tony0pmoc

we keep getting each others stupid adverts even on our mobile phones

that’s because you’re sharing the same IP address, through your wifi router.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 16, 2020 9:46 PM

I just deleted Steel City Scribblings from my bookmarked sites. I pondered on whether I should keep the link to Craig Murray, clicked on his site, glimpsed a comment with the line, “And on that very note, Caitlin Johnstone has a Great piece today” and thought, “Nah that one’s going too!”

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 16, 2020 10:15 PM
Reply to  George Mc

And just in case you’re interested (and there’s no reason why you should be) I just cancelled donations to C Murray and the WSW.

OffG is the only one I pay to now – because I believe in this site!

Waldorf
Waldorf
Dec 17, 2020 7:40 AM
Reply to  George Mc

You donated to WSW in the past? Your disappointment with them must be even starker than mine – I never donated to them, I just used to take them seriously and read them fairly frequently.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 17, 2020 1:49 PM
Reply to  Waldorf

Yes as I have said, the Left response has been for me possibly even more traumatic than COVID schmovid. Here is a case of chickens coming home to roost if ever there was one.

The self castration of conspiracy phobia had already rendered the Left worse than redundant on 9/11. Philip Roddis came to have a vague glimmer of the stitch up almost 2 decades later and even then could only stretch as far as a uselessly neutered version of the alternative account. To be fair even the WSW showed signs of insight here. And John McMurtry grasped the full deal.

Then COVID. 9/11 on steroids. Well you see, I realise now what the Big Left pitch is. FINALLY it’s the end of “No Alternative” neoliberalism. Now there IS an alternative – which is, to be sure, a new ultimatum. But this is one that seems tailored for the Left. Capitalism has been dealt a death blow. And the Left have even been (oddly) expecting this. There is a “Big One” on the way, a viral apocalypse caused by capitalism and ending capitalism. It’s a stirring scenario …..except that this barricade storming dawn is being pushed down our throats by the same corporate media that gave us “unavoidable” neoliberalism.

Now pre-COVID, the WSW along with the Left in general were always “media savvy”. They acknowledged that the media channels, for any ostensible spectrum they may claim – indeed for any REAL spectrum they had, were ultimately and determinedly under control of the ruling interests cf. the complaints about how Assange was being treated. (And I admit I always had my doubts about Assange but that’s irrelevant here.)

And when COVID came, the WSW continued its critique of the media but it was only to declare that the media were UNDER reporting it.

But here is an interesting article from as far back as March in which the media channels not only highlighted COVID but had their staff practically sign up for the COVID show:

https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/tv-news-coronavirus-coverage-today-cbs-news-1203535596/

Just one example from the above:

“NBC regulars took “Today” regulars Al Roker and Craig Melvin off the air Monday citing the discovery that a staffer who works for the 9 a.m. production of “Today” had developed “mild” symptoms after testing positive for coronavirus.”

This is hardly the act of a media trying to play the “threat” down.

It is therefore painfully clear that COVID is being dragged out centre stage by that very corporate dominated media that the Left claim to oppose. Both the WSW and the MSM are singing the same song. It’s just that the WSW are singing it louder.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Dec 17, 2020 7:46 AM
Reply to  George Mc
George Mc
George Mc
Dec 17, 2020 9:25 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Jeez the WSW really has let itself go!

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Dec 18, 2020 5:40 PM
Reply to  George Mc

You keep linking me to the WSWS. Why? Because they don’t so you’re stupid or some other reason?

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 18, 2020 8:14 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

You responded to a comment I made about C Murray and the WSW. OK then, let’s scrap the WSW.

Take 2:

Jeez C Murray really has let himself go!

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Dec 17, 2020 5:17 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Good! Screw them. There’s only a handful of sites I look at now anyway, and any alleged ‘socialist’ site or person that is complicit in, or supports this fascist Orwellian crap perpetrated on so many human beings has been permanently wiped by me.
Or those that have been shamefully silent nearly all year. In my book…. ‘your silence is your complicity’.
WSWS, Moon Of Alabama, The Grayzone, The Saker and Caitlin Johnstone were among the first I got rid of.
Yes, I know Saker isn’t left wing, but he came out as a fully fledged Covidian. Crank posted a comment on the Joe Biden election story (near the top of the thread) that named a number of other ‘socialist groups’ which have turned out to be traitorous slimebags.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 16, 2020 9:15 PM

Beethoven is The Man. “That Guy”!

Not too many years ago Pope Francis called him our Prometheus, bringing fire to the human race.

Whether the Pontiff knew it or not, that brand -Prometheus- was first imposed by the great French auteur, Romain Rolland, in his epic work, “Beethoven the Creator” in 1927, a most wonderful study (different in tone, but like “The Spiritual Development of Beethoven” by JWN Sullivan a study of the iconic parameters of Ludovicus’ generous spirit. (Ludovicus in Latin, from the Gael “Clovis” meaning “forthright in battle” and most becoming for the birthday hero, adding fit mystery to his naming).

I prized the book in my hands when I first happened upon it in late teen years, and the words were seismic in impact on my small world: I dropped out of military school weeks later, told my old man I had abandoned college plans to study music, was disowned on my birthday, then disinherited from his will, left the manse days later, and my whole life changed course decisively, tectonically, “for good and all”.

Next year began off campus private piano studies 100 miles down the California Coast with the originator of the UCI Piano Dept, Arnold Juda, an immensely gifted performer, a master really, Dutch Sephardic Jew and survivor of the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. (His brother Jo, who survived at his side eight years hiding in their neighbor’s attic, went on to become Concertmaster of the illustrious Concertgebouw. Their teenaged brother Gabriel, who was the cello in The Juda Brothers Trio, was not as lucky, or long-lived, he had been shot on sight of his yellow star –yesteryear’s version of the planned Covid passport– by Nazi soldiers in the street. )

Tiresomely tiring of USA Inc, Watergate, American spiritual spam, and striking out on my own, I “expatriated” to Europe 4 years later. Once landing in Luxembourg on a red-eye, unplanned, March 22, I summed up my whereabouts: “You know, with just a little luck I can make it with a thumb out and a budget to Bonn and Beethoven Haus by March 26, for his Anniversary.”

And so it happened, hitchhiking and stranded briefly in Liège, Belgium, all whilst meeting a lady who heard me out, aglow with all throes of musical mania, and told me she would introduce me to her friend in town, Henri Pousseur, on the back end of my round trip!

To make hasten the pilgrimage I arrived after a bundle of real adventures in a very short span, a hitchhiker diary, but right on schedule in Bonn, and parked my backpack (stuffed with the score of the 9th Symphony which I’d packed in Chicago) behind a tree in the Maestro’s garden, mounted the stairs from his kitchen and, staying behind to drink it in deeply, after student tour groups moved on, found myself standing alone in a room of LvB’s musical artefacts.

Footsteps came down the hall after my few minutes alone in worshipful solitude. One of the staff? Dressed and mannered professorially, he asked me about my pursuits, I told him I was still studying piano and had given some concerts, but had arrived in Europe for a chance at some more arts-friendly venues.

“The only thing to make my joy complete would be if his last 1820 Broadwood piano were here, and not still in Vienna!”

He made a gesture to a keyboard in a carpeted area beside us. “That’s it right there. They moved it from Vienna recently. It’s ours now.”

I stared some moments transfixed, and then he asked if I’d like to play it.

He took out a key, and so I played.

So it had all started 5 years before with the stirring lines like blasts of brass from Rolland’s book, and many Beethoven portraits subtracted from the large vinyl-sized guide written by Otto Klemperer’s daughter for the unsurpassed LP recordings by her father for EMI on their Angel label, and plastered on the four walls of my bedroom.

Listening those days to an unforgettable rendition of the Master’s spirit, while I devoured the lyric chapters of Rolland’s piercingly inspiring étude, in lofty prose trembling with each word on the brink, and its overlap, of charged poetry, had set a hitchhiker’s course to Bonn!

At the beginning of December this 250th year, with my hourly wish of wanting to add ceremony these Advent days to my thanksgiving, and a tribute to our deaf seer and prophet in struggle, I tracked down “Beethoven the Creator” in its gifted translation by the British music scholar Ernest Newman of 90 years ago, long absent from my stacks, and sent for it.

It arrived in my POB last night, the vigil.

Same exact edition, published by Dover, same $2 price marked on the front cover, familiar like a family Bible from a half century plus past.

In my car in the dark I thrilled to the opening pages, familiar as I had once memorized many lines in student days, reciting them like music then, like anthems.

And as much real music rushed in once more, and even more so its spirit, and all the more so his spirit in them. An encore appearance, “down the ringing grooves of Time”.

And the ending lines by Rolland to his rhapsodic tome’s introduction hit me like the thunderclap made by his subject’s fortissimos, while I now read them again with the shock of a longtime lost recognition, after reciting them like codas so many decades ago, an anthem for an age now beset, just as then, but never more than now, Rolland writes “not the shepherd guiding his flock, but the bull at the head of his herd”:

“In painting his portrait, I paint that of his stock — our century, our dream, ourselves and our companion with the bleeding feet: Joy. Not the gross joy of the soul that gorges itself in its stable, but the joy of ordeal, of pain, of battle, of suffering overcome, of victory over one’s self, the joy of destiny subdued, espoused, fecundated….”

AND THE GREAT BULL WITH ITS FIERCE EYE, ITS HEAD RAISED, ITS FOUR HOOVES PLANTED ON THE SUMMIT, WHOSE ROAR IS HEARD ABOVE THE TIME….”

Romain Rolland
October 1927

[Heiliger Dankgesang]

ariane rees
ariane rees
Dec 17, 2020 9:56 AM
Reply to  John Ervin

Thank you so much, your comment has made my day, and, despite it all, I feel inspired and hopeful now!

martin
martin
Dec 17, 2020 11:32 AM
Reply to  John Ervin

Thanks John, for the nice story and for the book, which for anyone who wants it electronically is on Project Gutenberg free.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 20, 2020 6:54 PM
Reply to  martin

I believe the book “Beethoven” by Romain Rolland at Gutenberg is a different work than “Beethoven the Creator” and so I got mine, which only covers the early 1800 years of The Eroica, Appassionata, and Fidelio, three works, for under $5 including tax and shipping, from Abebooks. I ransacked their portal on Rolland and could not find it. If you can find a link to the 1927 book (published on LvB 100th Anniversary) I would be in your debt if you forward it. I certainly won’t hold it against you!

Petra Liverani
Petra Liverani
Dec 17, 2020 12:31 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

Wow! Impressive story, John. What an experience playing the piano.

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 1:22 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

John E, this should be an article.

Just beautiful. So many elements of the story to respond to. Your quest, the journey, your fortitude, your good fortune.

How kind of that gentleman to have allowed you to remain in that presence, and to have opened that piano and allowed you to play.

I’m sure it brings to mind, for all of us, those serendipitous moments in our own lives when the stars aligned, and a perfect storm of wonder descended on our lives.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Much needed.

I shall further refer to serendipitous happenings (should they ever return!) as Beethoven Moments.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 18, 2020 9:24 AM
Reply to  Judith

Thanks, Judith, for the resonant harmony. Rolland observes in his book-poem the last earthly minutes in Beethoven’s life when:

“…the stars aligned, and a perfect storm of wonder descended on our lives.”

As you so eloquently put it.

The storm. It was March 26, 1827, and Beethoven’s head was cradled in a friend’s arms, as he had been in a coma for awhile. At the very hour of his departure, an unusual storm gathered on Vienna, I’ve read elsewhere that is a real rarity in those months there, and as it passed over lightning flashed in the distance, followed by a great thunderclap.

It roused Ludwig from the depths, and his last gesture was to try to raise himself up and in so doing he reached out his right arm with a clenched✊ fist.

And then slowly sank back, as he had written days before in his notepad to communicate in his deafness, in Italian (pardon mine) “plaudite, amice, la commoedia finita est”. Applause, my friends, the Play has finished.

Rolland observed (I’m remembering this from my last reading a half century back, as I can’t track it down even with the book now back in hand –thank you, God!) it in a line from Shakespeare:

“Thus it is at the death of princes that even the heavens themselves show forth.”

Storm (stürm) was a recurrent theme in his music, so it was no accident at his deathbed.

Stravinsky quotes in his great little book of Harvard lectures, “On the Poetics of Music” that I devoured about the same years as Rolland’s, before my pilgrimage to Bonn, the poet at Beethoven’s funeral beside his grave, in the presence of thousands of mourners, “Remember this hour, when his music comes upon you like a storm.”

On the wall at the outer window where I stood in the room with his instruments, there was an 1827 lithograph that was printed in the Vienna newspapers showing his funeral cortège, and the stunningly vast throng of mourners following it, fit for a great prince of the Muse.

When the kind “curator” walked in and we talked, after some joint questions and answers, I turned around to the lithograph, made shortly before the years of the first photographs, and remarked on the hour,

“I feel so lucky to have made it here for his Anniversary.”

~~~~~~

From Rolland’s “Beethoven the Creator” (Chapter 11 The Eroica)

“…the pick of suffering pierces the soul and makes an issue for the fire. And the soul’s laceration is the spirit’s intoxication. Who can say that the one negates or is inconsistent with the other? They are one; they are the rhythm-beat of genius. As long as his strength keeps growing, the harnessed joy and sorrow bear him on; he makes of them his team, which he drives where he will.”

Of course, he is “celebrating” his deafness, which I felt I’d lived myself, when I was reading all this.

But his deafness was a necessary part of his overflowing gift to us.

Rolland sums it up elsewhere with another quote from the Bard, something like:

“There is a destiny that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will.”

~~~

Rolland’s book made quite the impression on me, since I see now on its reprise how much comes leaping out of the pages. It was Rolland’s passion for the music and his shining love of the man who wrote it that brings out the fire that was fuel for so many of my young dreams.

And still is, as I read it again, it’s like like re-lighting a torch.

Just like. Only more so now, with what I’ve learned since.

Next is to track down the French original, since I didn’t speak it then, but now can tell where Ernest Newman struggled, though his translation captures the Spirit.

And that’s what really counts!

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 22, 2020 1:38 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

Nano errata: the Shakespeare quotes verbatim should read: the first is Calphurnia answering Julius Caesar: “The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”

And:

“…there is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will.”

Researcher
Researcher
Dec 18, 2020 4:48 AM
Reply to  John Ervin

Amazing. It’s curious how trusting our intuition and taking the most risks, often leads to the most fortuitous and memorable events, and the discovery of our chosen path. Thanks.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 1:23 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

“Beethoven the Creator” was the first book my piano teacher recommended in my first year with him at the Royal College of Music. I borrowed his copy at the time, but I recently managed to find one of my own.
An unusual book, with great enthusiasm and musical insight, as well as a very wide perspective on this beautiful soul.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 20, 2020 7:12 PM
Reply to  wardropper

Awesome to have that feedback, and the parallel in your studies, with mine.

Kudos to your piano teacher, it is a very can you recommendation, the work is indeed most unusual from a writer who was lit up with love for his subject, and the warmth of that fire lit me up just as much, as I was listening to great recordings then, playing the music. I went back to my old military school, Harvard School (North Hollywood –“NoHo”) a year after I left without a diploma to study music, and found they had just put practice rooms in with pianos. I went into one and played the Moonlight Sonata, which I had just learned (well, I’d only been studying a year, so only the famous slow movement!). Unawares, I didn’t realize that the man who was standing outside the booth attentively was the Dean of the department, as they had just created one the semester after my inglorious departure (some of the cadets had thrown me off a steep hillside my last day there –David Talbot (Salon) and I were about the only two vocal left-wingers there in a school chaired by Nixon’s Chief of Staff) and he asked me to return and give a concert, which was some vindication. I’d heard Christopher Parkening play there on our stage 6 years prior, when he and I were twelve. He lived in nearby Northridge (LA).

Royal College of Music? Sounds like you got chops. I’d read elsewhere you are a classical pianist.

The Rolland book is over the top, and whatever its flaws, it’s on fire à la Klemperer with Beethovenian Promethean inspiration. It still lights me up into a primed prime second youth! Primarily.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 20, 2020 11:15 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

NB. “can you recommendation” should read “canny recommendation”. Spell check strikes again.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Dec 20, 2020 8:17 PM
Reply to  wardropper

Speaking of great Beethoven primers, I sent for a slim volume of his own (numbered) comments this year (available also free online) and found this, a touching ‘prayer’ by LvB, in a book called “BEETHOVEN: The Man and The Artist, in His Own Words” an anthology by Kerst and Krehbiel:

323. “In praise of Thy goodness I must confess that Thou didst try with all Thy means to draw me to Thee. Sometimes it pleased Thee to let me feel the heavy hand of Thy displeasure and to humiliate my proud heart by manifold castigations. Sickness and misfortune didst Thou send upon me to turn my thoughts to my errantries,——One thing, only , O Father, do I ask: cease not to labor for my betterment. In whatsoever manner it be, let me turn to Thee and become fruitful in good works.”

Copied into the Diary from Sturm’s book, “Observations Concerning the Works of God in Nature.

I read that Beethoven had been raised Catholic, though infused in his adult years by the Sturm und Drang of the French Revolution, his thought was quite far ranging, and he guarded zealously and jealously the right to experience all things first hand and “prove” or proof their worth in his own life, and Rolland gives a penetrating reading of LvB’s psychology in that regard. The above quote sounds like it could have been written by one of the Doctors of the Church of Rome, like something by St. Teresa of Avila. Straight out of her catechism. All of that resonates strikingly with my own quests, he guarded that way but it had roots in his early orthodox beliefs. It’s all quite fascinating, and edifying.

Like you noted about Rolland’s book: “a wide perspective…on this beautiful soul.”

ohn Ervin
ohn Ervin
Dec 22, 2020 11:31 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

An improved and expanded etymology of “Clovis/Ludwig” rather historic and fascinating (the “wig” or VIC in Ludovicus means “battle” and I wager it is also the root in “Vic-tory “~~

Based on the attested forms, the original name is reconstructed in the Frankish language as *Hlodowig, which means ‘glorious in battle’ or ‘glorious warrior’. It is composed of the root hlod- (“fame, glory”) attached to -wig (“combat, battle”).[5][6]

In Middle Dutch, a Franconian language closely related to Frankish, the name was rendered as Lodewijch (cf. modern Dutch Lodewijk and Lowik).[7][8] The name is found in other West Germanic languages, with cognates including Old English Hloðwig, Old Saxon Hluduco, and Old High German Hludwīg (variant Hluotwīg).[5] The latter turned into Ludwig in Modern German, although the king Clovis himself is generally named Chlodwig.[8] The Old Norse form Hlǫðvér was most likely borrowed from a West Germanic language.[5]

The Frankish name *Hlodowig is at the origin of the French given name Louis (variant Ludovic), borne by 18 kings of France, via the Latinized form Hludovicus (variants Ludhovicus, Lodhuvicus, or Chlodovicus).[6] The English Lewis stems from the Anglo-French Louis.[9] In Spanish, the name became Luis, in Italian Luigi (variant Ludovico), and in Hungarian Lajos.[8]

JoeC
JoeC
Dec 16, 2020 9:11 PM

Owen Benjamin Beethoven vs Mozart

https://youtu.be/AMURPahXVp0

livingsb
livingsb
Dec 16, 2020 9:39 PM
Reply to  JoeC

“This guy is late night watching Youtube videos on the moon landing” haha!

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 16, 2020 7:51 PM

It was a satisfyingly dreary day – a day to dampen the last remaining hope of even a mediocre festive season. David Northgreen of Trots Inc. surveyed with pleasure the haunted faces around and reflected on how potent his polystyrene revolutionary necrophiliac campaign had been in crushing the last vestige of critical thought from his pince nez wearing internet afficionados.

The phone rang causing him to spill his chardonnay. Blinking back the momentary irritation he yanked up the receiver. It was his anonymous paymaster. The voice was angry.  

“What the fuck have you been doing?”

David was astonished. “What are you talking about? The great rebel forces are now baying for the revolution over the mass graves of the capitalist supporting covid corpses!”

“I’m not talking about that!” screamed the tinny voice. “They may be jacking off over the zombie show but they’re refusing the vax!”

David blinked. He hadn’t expected his flock to display even a glimmer of insight into the operation. “Well I …” He struggled to get his thoughts together.

“There’s only one solution” came back the insectile whine, “You will have to swallow the vax!”

David broke into a sweat. “Oh for the love of God!”

“Oh don’t start that! You’re not even supposed to believe in the cloud man! Look! Don’t worry! We have no intention of killing you off with that rat poison. You’re far too valuable to us. The Left have always been a pain in the arse – though admittedly not so troublesome since we programmed them to guffaw at the word ‘conspiracy’. We sure got them on board with Operation Turban!”

David chuckled as the voice continued,

“But now as you well know we are going for the big one: Operation Headless. Selling them the corpse count as the revolution was brilliant but they’re not stupid enough to swallow the de-icer just yet. So here’s what we’ll do. You can be a covid case and …”

“But” David interrupted, “surely there’s no such thing as….”

“Well of course not!” the voice snapped. “What we do is get the makeup team from Walking Dead to give you a roughing up, have you spaghettied up to an ICU and then plug a fake syringe in and perhaps with a bit of CGI we can morph you into ….oh I dunno, a young Springsteen in mid concert perhaps.”

“Sounds good” said Dave.

“But you have to keep up your end as well with the figures. What was that your little internet rag said yesterday? Four billion dead in the first nanosecond. Come on man! We need far more and far faster! Think you can do that?”

“Yes sir! Emm ….Will you keep your promise?”

“What? A private residence for yourself consisting of, say, the whole of Canada? No problem! It’s not like there’s going to be anyone else there afterwards!”

Both sniggered. 

THX-1154
THX-1154
Dec 17, 2020 10:37 AM
Reply to  George Mc
George Mc
George Mc
Dec 17, 2020 3:41 PM
Reply to  THX-1154

Oh that’s good!

“…5,000 ADDITIONAL BODY BAGS …
63 REFRIGERATED TRAILERS …
EXPLODING NUMBERS OF DEAD FROM COVID-19….
PUBLIC HEALTH CATASTROPHE IS NOW UNFOLDING…
CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS GROWING EXPONENTIALLY. …
BY FAR THE HIGHEST RATES OF THE PANDEMIC….”

This is a bit dodgier:

“daily cases in California has more than quadrupled”

The PCR Ouija boards are certainly delivering! (And bear in mind that the only thing “telling us” about the number of covid cases are these mystical oracles.)

And now…time for the pep talk:

“Stopping this catastrophe requires a real lockdown, shutting down all non-essential workplaces and closing all schools to in-person learning, until the virus is under control. Ample resources exist to fully compensate workers and small businesses and to provide emergency aid for hospitals. The Socialist Equality Party calls on workers to form rank-and-file committees in every industry and take the fight against the pandemic into their own hands.”

A ”real” lockdown? Until the virus is “under control”? I seem to recall the WSW previously telling is that even a single case is unacceptable!

And I’m sure that “Ample resources exist to fully compensate workers and small businesses and to provide emergency aid for hospitals.” But the WSW has made clear to us (and they didn’t even have to) that the ruling order has no intention of being so nice to us. So we’ll have to do something ourselves!

So….

“The Socialist Equality Party calls on workers to form rank-and-file committees in every industry and take the fight against the pandemic into their own hands.”

You mean we are to spring into action,

  • While the lockdown to end all lockdowns has started?
  • When everyone’s hiding under their beds?
  • When no-one will be allowed to come out until all cases of covid have been eradicated?

I don’t think we’ll be taking “the fight” into our own hands. We’ll have to find something much more closer to hand while we’re fumbling on the floor!

Waldorf
Waldorf
Dec 17, 2020 3:30 PM
Reply to  George Mc

“He hadn’t expected his flock to display even a glimmer of insight into the operation…”
Oh you cynic…

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 17, 2020 7:24 PM
Reply to  Waldorf

I’m a realist!

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 16, 2020 7:34 PM

For fuck’s sake! The TV news is unbelievably unbelievable now, isn’t it?

The sombre talking heads in separate rooms – possibly separate continents. The soul crushing monotone murmuring.

“The virus has now spiralled away out of control at a rate that is even more devastatingly devastating than any devastation that the devastated have ever devastated in the entire history of interplanetary existence. And it is vital for the continuance of the pampered arses of our desperate parasitical slime lords to badger every single one of you lot into ever deepening depths of utter despairing boredom with this grilling guffery.

So remember that you can only take granny to the toilet on 2.3 occasions every Tuesday up until Christmas, no breathing both in and out in the same room unless it’s raining in which case you can freely do so but only if you sing a selection of Abba songs in B flat at ultra-fast speed. Don’t serve meat with vegetables unless you have a Teletubbies DVD on and whatever you do, don’t do it!

Meanwhile we have some uplifting news. Friends of the Gerbil have just won a court case to save the brussel sprout from thermo nuclear warming just in time for all pandas to be put to bed nicely.”

dr death
dr death
Dec 16, 2020 7:44 PM
Reply to  George Mc

they are pissing in your eye and telling you it’s raining….

keep sucking their cock and complaining it’s too salty..

EDITH
EDITH
Dec 16, 2020 9:14 PM
Reply to  George Mc

I will keep repeating while i can…….life here in NQ Aust is basically normal…….last night at dinner at a local restaurant…not a mask in sight…….. the waitress came by with the xmas raffle – only had one pen….we all used it and off she went to the next table- just like the old days…… probably had a suck on it along the way…….. we celebrated this as it seems commonsense will prevail if given half a chance…….but sadly for so many of you that isn’t being allowed by the mad thought police or media……
obviously we don’t have enough importance for them to be driving us nuts and for this i am very very glad.

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 1:25 PM
Reply to  EDITH

Please keep telling us what’s going on there. I need to know that there is humanity SOMEWHERE!!!!

Mr Y
Mr Y
Dec 17, 2020 2:33 PM
Reply to  EDITH

Thank you Edith!

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 16, 2020 7:26 PM

“The real left is so totally powerless today … we live in a neoliberal hell not a socialist hell. So stop fighting socialism.”

The first thing people need to do is cast away the false dichotomies that have been the center stage of the (alleged) public discourse. Left vs. right is a totally anachronistic concept. These two don’t exist. Likewise, socialism is dead and won’t be resuscitated in any of the hitherto known forms.

The old world has exhausted itself. We, the people, have failed to realize it and formulate a new, better, viable ideology, vision for the future. The reasons are many, who cares now.

We need to look ahead. Forever dwelling on the old will get us nowhere.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 1:33 PM
Reply to  Jacques

We just need to make absolutely sure that we don’t let ‘the authorities’ do our ‘looking ahead’ for us.
Because that’s what they want to do.

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 16, 2020 7:21 PM

First of all, the ethnomusicologist in me has to say that music is not able to convey ideas, even sentiments explicitly. At least not in absolutely, in universal fashion. It only works, to some extent, within the subculture of which the music is part and for which it is intended. Hence, as much as the minor and major third might be associated with sadness and joy respectively, they can evoke a number of other feelings based on cultural conditioning.

The Age of Darkness is indeed descending upon us. Has been for quite some time.

For, with all due respect to Beethoven as per the article, the world needs contemporary visionaries, true contemporary artists. Beethovens, van Goghs, Hemingways. People looking over the horizon and beyond. People with balls to be unconventional, to tread down their own path without fear of excommunication, ostracism, persecution. The world needs bold individuals whose deeds inspire others for courage, action.

All of this has been tragically missing from our culture, causing it to implode.

I’m certain, however, that the turmoil we’re in will produce a new generation of true artists who will be as great as their predecessors and who will inspire the rest of humanity to blow the motherfuckers who are foisting Covidianism on humanity off the face of the Earth.

And then people will just have to remember that they have to keep the culture going, as opposed to recycling shit over and over and over.

dr death
dr death
Dec 16, 2020 7:45 PM
Reply to  Jacques

you sir are pseud and a moron.

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 17, 2020 7:58 AM
Reply to  dr death

Come and tell me in my face, motherfucker.

It is your absolute prerogative to disagree with whatever I say, to attack my ideas fiercely, to argue. Actually, I will be more than happy to confront my ideas, views with yours – as long as you do it in good faith.

Ad hominem I will accept not.

Don’t call me names you piece of shit!

THX-1154
THX-1154
Dec 17, 2020 10:43 AM
Reply to  Jacques

Don’t call me names you piece of shit!

— said the pot to the kettle.

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 17, 2020 11:39 AM
Reply to  THX-1154

Screw you too.

You pick a fight with me, you’ll get what you deserve. It would behoove the world to learn a bit about how things work on the street in light of the attack humanity is facing.

Skeptic
Skeptic
Dec 16, 2020 10:56 PM
Reply to  Jacques

Music is the most powerful conveyor of ideas.

And Western Classical Music is in fact a very developed metaphorical language. A language with a direct relation to our physical and sensorial experiences. This becomes obvious when analysing the kind of language that we use when we describe it: Melodies go “up”, chords are “dark”, “progressions” have “impetus”.

These musical-spatial metaphors are obviously derived from the physical world and by the ways in which we experience it with our bodies, which are, needless to say, also the media through which we in turn manifest our emotions: “I am feeling down”, “I am in high spirits”, “she makes me feel like I am flying”.

These metaphorical expressions of music speak to the most essential parts of our understanding. And that is because metaphors are the building blocks of our conceptual systems. They help us add layers of complexity to our understanding by similarity, by thinking in terms of what is familiar (depression, feeling down are related because sad people don´t usually rise and jump). They also help us frame and define the terms of everything: “we are at WAR with the coronavirus” or “this is a BATTLE of ideas, are a completely different things to controlling a pandemic and having a chat.

Well, music cannot convey concepts (although many concepts have been framed by musical metaphors f.e “music of the spheres”), but music is the most powerful metaphorical manifestation of our inner lives, it certainly expresses what is beyond discursive thinking, as it deals with, as Susanne Langer said, “emotional and organic experience, vital impulse, balance, conflict, the ways of living and dying and feeling”.

Music plays with ideas that intersect mind, body and spirit.

As forthe imperative to look to the “future” (from your reply to my comment below)…I think that like all abstractions emanating from the notion of linear “progress” or “evolution”, can be quite counterproductive, if not outright dangerous. I would like to see a future with Beethoven being celebrated alongside the “new generation of true artists who will be as great as their predecessors”. A future without “recycling” (preserving is a better word) is not progress but walking aimlessly and getting lost (and that is exactly what is happening now). What we need is less historicity and more understanding of what is actually good for humanity.

Great artists speak to eternity.

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 17, 2020 8:09 AM
Reply to  Skeptic

Looking to the future doesn’t mean discarding the past.

As to the notion that music is metaphorical language, I said that it works to a limited extent within the particular subculture which owns the particular music associated with it, such as Western classical music (that is fairly loose definition though).

Chords are dark? I don’t know man. Would you say that E13b9 is a dark chord? Do you think that two people would ascribe the same sentimental quality to it? Hardly. Perhaps if they were conditioned to do so, they would.

Do you know Vltava by Bedrich Smetana? It’s one of the best known classical compositions in the country where I grew up. It’s about a river. We’ve been conditioned to hear the melodies as sections of the river, the valleys it flows through. Do you hear it in there? I doubt it. You’re not part of the subculture even though the composition is in the realm of Western classical music. Imagine how people from other cultures might perceive it.

Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Dec 17, 2020 7:28 PM
Reply to  Jacques

Yes of course. Part of the “Má vlast” series. It’s quite well known, and a favourite of my wife’s since her first visit to Prague, many years ago.

Skeptic
Skeptic
Dec 17, 2020 8:03 PM
Reply to  Jacques

The cultural influence is very strong, of course.

But I think that the tendency to employ metaphors to think of (and imagine, feel, understand, interpret, etc.) music, is probably as common as it is for languages to build conceptual systems through metaphors.

Physical and orientational metaphors are, if not universal, at least viable in all types of music. A “dark” chord may not be interpreted as such in other cultures (many of which don´t even use chords as we understand them), but associations of the “low” register and “strong”, “massive”, powerful, natural sounds like thunders, waves, winds or eruptions, and of the “high” tones with birdsong, water drops, or the tinkling sound of tiny pieces of metal falling, immediately set a sort of “musical space”, with sizes and distances, forces, that create affects and emotional associations attached to it. I would think that these will influence at least to a degree the way in which a group listens to music. And then it is for the artist, in his or her culture, to play with these associations, these metaphors, their contradictions, paradoxes, etc.

To be clear, I don´t think it is something that can be coded, or studied as rules. But I do think that this metaphor of musical space (I would love to hear your thoughts on this as an ethnomusicologist), is essential for the musical experience of groups throughout the world, many of which describe tones as “moving” or rhythms “falling”.

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 17, 2020 9:46 PM
Reply to  Skeptic

Ethnomusicology is a science that examines music, musical cultures in an objective manner, without reference to one’s own culture. The methodology is what matters, the fact that the ethnomusicologist studies other musical cultures is to some extent incidental.

You’re right that some cultures don’t even have chords, in fact (developed) harmony only exists in Occidental music. In contrast, other musical cultures are much more developed in terms of melody and rhythm. Western music is about harmony (counterpoint), forms, and timbre (orchestration).

People like to say that music is a universal language that “everybody” understand, and certainly people can sense the emotions expressed through music, but to say that music can be somehow used to express ideas, concepts, or even specific emotions is simply not true. Sure, you could play a melodic or rhythmic motif evocative or imitating some natural sound, but that’s not really music – it’s imitation of those sounds.

Anyway, I didn’t really mean any of this to dispute what you wrote. It was just a musicological remark.

Skeptic
Skeptic
Dec 18, 2020 1:12 AM
Reply to  Jacques

Somehow I always end up discussing with musicologists : )

But it is not a problem for me to have a disagreement or to have someone, respectfully and reasonably as you do, disputing my ideas.

I am afraid that I haven´t been able to explain myself. I think the misunderstanding is on what we both understand for “ideas” in music.

As I said, music can´t express, concepts, nor materials can be coded and work as a “word” does (and musical signs, onomatopoeias, on the other hand, become boring).

The meaning of music lies in itself. The play of interactions, contrasts, and transformations of materials, can be construed as metaphors: actions, tendencies, processes, paces; while the physical qualities of sound, its physiological and psychological effects, the acoustic relationships of tones, set the stage, and act as if they were “forces” in the “musical space”, where the “idea”, the representation, takes place.

Is there, for example, any culture in which lullabies are loud, unpredictable, fast paced, low registered? I doubt that there is something like that, or that you could program any culture to adopt that kind of music for that purpose.

In fact, there are remarkable similarities between lullaby songs across cultures. This, in my opinion, speaks of a certain internal logic in the musical experience that is common to all of us. From that essential logic emerge as many cultural differences as there are cultures.

I don´t claim that music can transmit specific, universal emotions, or that it can spread certain ideas that can be decoded by all listeners.

The listener creates musical meaning and to do so he only needs what is in music. Cultural famiiliarity is strong, but musical imagination is even stronger:

(Langer again) “The imagination that responds to music is personal and associative and logical, tinged with affect, tinged with bodily rhythm, tinged with dream, but concerned with a wealth of formulations for its wealth of wordless knowledge, its whole knowledge of emotional and organic experience.

That wordless knowledge of emotional and organic experience is common to every human being.

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 18, 2020 6:16 AM
Reply to  Skeptic

I’m no expert on lullabies, but I’d say that unpredictable is a quality that only exists in abstract classical music (art). You don’t want unpredictable in music that serves for any other purpose. Not sure to what extent the register matters – lullabies are sung and the pitch therefore corresponds to the range of the human voice. Rhythm, however, can serve as well as a melody. Which would be the case in Africa. Again, it depends on conditioning as to what the culture associates with lullaby and going to sleep.

Anyway, I guess the question is, can a piece of music, with no prior explanation, no title, no lyrics, be perceived by the listener as celebrating, say, freedom? As encouraging the listener to take specific action? And I’m talking about listeners within the composer’s subculture who are familiar with the various means of expression. I don’t think so.

If, however, put into context, music can be extremely powerful.

I don’t know how this was staged (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a23945btJYw), probably, fake – but the power is huge. I’m a jazz musician and regularly perform; despite the fact that people are dulled by constantly listening to some crap in the phones, omnipresent muzak, when they’re confronted with live music, they are mesmerized by seeing actual musicians perform. The bigger the band, the better.

Nothing better than something like Mozart’s C Minor mass played by the full orchestra and sung by a double choir that makes the whole church shake to bring the masked zombies back to life … !

Skeptic
Skeptic
Dec 16, 2020 7:00 PM

As a composer, Beethoven has always been for me a model, not only for musical creation, but also of what artists (and human beings in general) should aspire to be: fosterers of the human spirit, explorers of the human condition, promotors of human values, individuals who unveil the features of our common humanity; visionaries who dare to look at our darkest corners, but to nourish empathy, betterment and understanding. Revolutionaries in the deepest sense, politically and spiritually.

Beethoven´s music is for me the most accomplished example of the marriage of emotion and intellect, of mind, body and spirit in all of art. His works are musical metaphors that speak to the core of our humanity, that enrich our experience by helping us transcend our limitations and showing us our inherent possibilities: to experience heroism in Beethoven´s music is to, if only for a moment, become heroic. 

Listening to his 5th symphony, starting with that famous transgressive, violent opening motif that unfolds relentlessly, with overwhelming calculation, as if signifying the tragic logic of life; to allow oneself to be transformed together with it in order to arrive to the symphony´s bright, triumphant, life-affirming final apotheosis, is in many ways the same as experiencing pain, adversity, and fear, and to overcome them with courage, creativity, and beauty. 

To follow the journey of the arietta of his sonata op. 111, moving back and forth from, joy, calm, and playfulness, to despair, melancholy, and gravitas; to witness their opposition, but also their fusion and their overlapping, is to dive into the paradoxical essence of our sensitivity, of our internal lives. It opens them to the world, it enhances them.

To listen to the complex, ultra intelligent, virtuosic (but not less emotional) fugue of his Hammerklavier, emanating from its fleeting, meandering, lyrical, fantastic introduction; is to get confirmation of the power of reason as a creative, unifying and life affirming force. The opposite of that instrumentalised, cold, analytical, drive to dissociate and abstract that passes for reason nowadays.  

For me this was going to be a great year. One that I was planning to spend largely and the concert halls. It is a sad irony that his 250th anniversary seems to mark as well the end of an era for which he is one of its main pillars. 

In 2020, the heroism with which Beethoven imbued some of his most accomplished works, has been substituted for the fear, the cowering and the surrender. His vision of a universal brotherhood of all men has been compromised by the contemporary compulsion to separate and classify human beings. The rebellious spirit that defined him is in constant attack by rampant conformism and compliance. The freedom, liberty and equality that he promoted with his life and work, are perhaps in their direst historical situation, with the possibility of becoming a thing of the past to never come back again. 

I received an invitation to attend a live performance of his piano concertos. But to sit down in a “socially distanced” hall, with both attendants and performers wearing the mask of lies and compliance, seemed to me to be a great disservice to a revolutionary artist that always stood firmly against arbitrariness, falsehood, authoritarianism, and conformity. I dream of the day in which crowds of free individuals gather together again for a true celebration of Beethoven´s work.

In the meantime, I will pay my personal tribute. I am sure that many others will join me and will help share Beethoven´s music as a revolutionary and life affirming gift that can be of great aid for all of those seeking to preserve freedom and humanity in this trying times.

 

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 16, 2020 7:57 PM
Reply to  Skeptic

Interesting, when people ask me who my inspiration as a musician is, I answer Vincent van Gogh.

I don’t know if I can agree with the last sentence of your penultimate paragraph.

I dream of the day when crowds of free individuals will gather for a true celebration of the work of … (enter some guy who will do tomorrow what Beethoven and others of his ilk did in the past). We gotta look to the future, not to the past, brother!

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 1:36 PM
Reply to  Jacques

The past informs the future.

Jacques
Jacques
Dec 17, 2020 3:33 PM
Reply to  Judith

That depends.

You won’t find answers to future challenges in the past. There are underlying timeless patterns, but they’re not always obvious and easy to discern.

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 6:35 PM
Reply to  Jacques

The past only informs. It does not necessarily answer.

Edwige
Edwige
Dec 16, 2020 8:09 PM
Reply to  Skeptic

If Beethoven was pushing “freedom” or any other value it was because the control agenda at the time demanded it. “Freedom” was a useful cry to weaken all those pesky monarchies, especially but not only Catholic ones, that were being manoeuvred towards the chopping bloc. The death of Jacques Demolay showed what a monarchy could do if it had a mind to (that’s if the event is real which I doubt – certainly 1314 is a highly dubious date).

Currently we’re seeing how much “freedom” is really part of the elite agenda. .

Skeptic
Skeptic
Dec 16, 2020 11:02 PM
Reply to  Edwige

I get your point but I think that you are being unfair to the individual character.

Beethoven was a Republican living in the heart of an Empire. When Napoleon entered Vienna he could have as well introduced himself with his dedication of his 3rd Symphony, he decided instead to get rid of the dedication. His only Opera, Fidelio, is the story of a political prisoner. He was always uncompromising and spoke about liberty on all levels.

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 1:35 PM
Reply to  Skeptic

Skeptic, this comment (actually seems rather insulting to call it a mere comment) and your previous one about music is absolutely brilliant.

Your and Ms. Langer’s description of how music manifests itself – just beautiful.

Between your and John Ervin’s moving tributes to Beethoven I feel blessed with an interlude from the debasement of all that is good and holy.

Skeptic
Skeptic
Dec 17, 2020 6:41 PM
Reply to  Judith

Thank you Judith, that is very kind of you.

These ideas about music are “old” and frowned upon in academia. But I think that they can importantly enrich our conception and our experience of it. Probably they can even enhance our understanding of very essential aspects of our humanity, like language or other aesthetic experiences. There is fascinating research being done in that respect, but, unfortunately, not many musicians like to think in these terms nowadays.

I love Langer, she had incredible sensitivity and depth. Her passionate love for music and the arts permeates all of her writings on aesthetics. Hers are very strange books in the sense that she is able to explain complex theories and aesthetic concepts with a beautiful, highly evocative language which to me is in itself a work of art. “Feeling and Form” and “Philosophy in a New Key” from which the above quote comes are some of my favourite books of all. This is the whole quotation:

“The assignment of meanings [in music] is a shifting, kaleidoscopic play, probably below the threshold of consciousness, certainly outside the pale of discursive thinking. The imagination that responds to music is personal and associative and logical, tinged with affect, tinged with bodily rhythm, tinged with dream, but concerned with a wealth of formulations for its wealth of wordless knowledge, its whole knowledge of emotional and organic experience, of vital impulse, balance, conflict, the ways of living and dying and feeling.”

I wish you many blessed interludes in the months to come.

Thank you for reading.

Judith
Judith
Dec 18, 2020 1:12 AM
Reply to  Skeptic

My pleasure.

I took a beautiful walk in this winter wonderland of new fallen snow here in New England and thought about you and John Ervin and Beethoven.

I called my sister and told her about this article and the wonderful uplifting comments.

She is going to read it tomorrow.

What a lovely description by Langer above. I am going to look into the books you referenced.

Thanks again! We deeply need this beauty today.

tony0pmoc
tony0pmoc
Dec 16, 2020 6:31 PM

Music of any value comes from the soul. It is of course influenced by your upbringing and the world you find yourself in, when a child and a teenager. Whilst much of it is hereditary, it is far more complex than that.

Some children are naturally artistic, whilst others from the same family are not..

It is something inate within you.

You might seriously want to be a Rockstar, but if you have made almost no progress trying to learn Bert Weedon’s Play in a Day, after 6 months trying when you are 13, you might as well play with your trainset instead.

I have loved music since the age of 3, and I keep trying even now, but am still completely rubbish at it, even on my latest African and Chinese Drums (they are really nice)

Other people, just walk in my house, pick up my violin and tune it up and play it, and claim they have never played a violin before (African string instruments yes I guess)

The thing about music, is that it is just there to enjoy, and it really does bring people from all different cultures together

In my experience, the worst people for not actually “getting it”, are those who spend their time trying to analyse and criticse the music that they are expereincing, when I am right next to them – by far the worst of such people are musicians.

However, being a musician, must be one of the best jobs in the world (despite the fact that most get paid next to nothing for it)

The feedback from the Audience (and I don’t just mean the Applause) – well there is something else going on there which is hard to describe because its almost telepathic.

That’s what Live Music is all about.

You have to be there.

Tony

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Dec 16, 2020 6:04 PM

Wow! An offG article that I’m going to have to re-read several times. Very informative, thank you. A couple of things stand out though — I don’t know about where you are but Beethoven is being celebrated today in Los Angeles on both radio and TV. (We’d normally have in-person concerts….but you know how it is…..)

Another of Beethoven’s great contribution to music — the one people overlook — is that as a sort of beta tester for a piano manufacturer. As someone who had a tendency to break these instruments he’s could be creditied with not just the creation of modern piano music but also the instrument to play it on. His sonatas tell the story. The early sonatas are designed for the fortepiano, a lightweight, wood framed instrument that’s based on the harpsichord. As they progress so the instrument progresses — the compass increases from 63 keys to the modern 88, the heavy iron frame makes it robust and loud and the double escape allows for a much higher note reptition rate.

(PS — As for that question “Why is this piece in a particular key?” the answer is straighforward enough — all the keys sound different so they all evoke different emotional responses. Its the ultimate dumb question IMHO. Sure, you can make music outside this structure (which historically was always a bit fluid anyway) but pretending it doesn’t exist or isn’t important is silly.)

Lubeck Spree
Lubeck Spree
Dec 16, 2020 5:18 PM

One of the main targets of this article is the ‘woke’ idiocy, but I have a problem with that. It is not the real problem or the biggest problem in the western world. The real left is so totally powerless today, it is almost invisible, we live in a neoliberal hell not a socialist hell. So stop fighting socialism.

After you fools have allowed the CIA and their political wing the alt-right, to destroy the left, through their demonisation of this ‘Woke’ pantomime, Where are you going to go? Are you going to sit down and discuss the future of your country with benevolent generals or the neoliberal far-right? Who really really care about you? Who are your heroes then? Who gives a fuck abut you after you have destroyed the socialist left?

You have been working hard to discredited all political parties, all political institutions, parliament, your democracy, where will you go after you have burnt down your Reichstag? What are you left with, where is your political future? Where are your political tools to fight tyranny? Because I think if you abandon the left you have no political opposition and the fox is running the hen house.

You will become just a powerless victim surrounded by the burnt out husks of your political history, you will have trashed everything, you will have destroyed everything that gave you the economic and politics freedoms you have today.

Then after all is trashed, you will be fed into the mill of tyranny by the far-right ass-holes, like UK 5th Column, Farage, Le Penn, Trump, Steve Bannon and his Neo-Nazi spin off parties, who have slammed, criticised and ridiculed your democracy for the past 6 years. Is that really what you want?

Lubeck spree
Lubeck spree
Dec 16, 2020 5:17 PM

One of the main targets of this article is the ‘woke’ idiocy, but I have a problem with that. It is not the real problem or the biggest problem in the western world. The real left is so totally powerless today, it is almost invisible, we live in a neoliberal hell not a socialist hell. So stop fighting socialism.

After you fools have allowed the CIA and their political wing the alt-right, to destroy the left, through their demonisation of this ‘Woke’ pantomime, Where are you going to go? Are you going to sit down and discuss the future of your country with benevolent generals or the neoliberal far-right? Who really really care about you? Who are your heroes then? Who gives a fuck abut you after you have destroyed the socialist left?

You have been working hard to discredited all political parties, all political institutions, parliament, your democracy, where will you go after you have burnt down your Reichstag? What are you left with, where is your political future? Where are your political tools to fight tyranny? Because I think if you abandon the left you have no political opposition and the fox is running the hen house.

You will become just a powerless victim surrounded by the burnt out husks of your political history, you will have trashed everything, you will have destroyed everything that gave you the economic and politics freedoms you have today.

Then after all is trashed, you will be fed into the mill of tyranny by the far-right ass-holes, like UK 5th Column, Farage, Le Penn, Trump, Steve Bannon and his Neo-Nazi spin off parties, who have slammed, criticised and ridiculed your democracy for the past 6 years. Is that really what you want?

dr death
dr death
Dec 16, 2020 6:09 PM
Reply to  Lubeck spree

another apologist who feels betrayed by an ideology that was the golem of central banking. always guilty of effort posts these useful idiots.

all your heroes were frauds.
the truth lies in the people not ideology.

now you have a chance to free yourself take it….

Ernest Judd
Ernest Judd
Dec 16, 2020 10:27 PM
Reply to  Lubeck spree

This is the perpetuation of the “So stop fighting socialism.” You have identified the “anti”, the neo-liberal on the horizontal axis. There is the “Y’ axis, the vertical which has the real, actual division within society: it is CLASS.

When resorting to the scapegoating of individuals, “5th Column, Farage, Le Penn, Trump, Steve Bannon and his Neo-Nazi spin off parties”, what ends up getting affirmed are the “wings”.
The “body” drives the “wings”. The “body” is CLASS.

THX-1154
THX-1154
Dec 17, 2020 10:56 AM
Reply to  Lubeck spree

who do you think sponsored the Woke pantomime in the first place, and why?

whoever it was, they certainly got their money’s worth out of it.

Charlie Jencks
Charlie Jencks
Dec 16, 2020 5:14 PM

One of the main targets of this article is the ‘woke’ idiocy, but I have a problem with that. It is not the real problem or the biggest problem. The left is so powerless, it is almost invisible, you live in a neoliberal hell not a socialist hell. So stop fighting socialism.

After you fools have allowed the CIA and their political wing the alt-right, to destroy the left, through their demonisation of this ‘Woke’ pantomime, Where are you going to go? Are you going to sit down and discuss the future of your country with benevolent generals or the neoliberal far-right? Who really really care about you? Who are your heroes then? Who gives a fuck abut you after you have destroyed the socialist left?

You have been working hard to discredited all political parties, all political institutions, parliament, your democracy, where will you go after you have burnt down your Reichstag? What are you left with, where is your political future? Where are your political tools to fight tyranny? Because I think if you abandon the left you have no political opposition and the fox is running the hen house.

You will become just a powerless victim surrounded by the burnt out husks of your political history, you will have trashed everything, you will have destroyed everything that gave you the economic and politics freedoms you have today.

Then after all is trashed, you will be fed into the mill of tyranny by the far-right ass-holes, like UK 5th Column, Farage, Le Penn, Trump, Steve Bannon and his Neo-Nazi spin off parties, who have slammed, criticised and ridiculed your democracy for the past 6 years. Is that really what you want?

dr death
dr death
Dec 16, 2020 6:15 PM
Reply to  Charlie Jencks

and where will you be ?

shaking under your bed ?

maybe you should be making friends and forming some sort of resistance.

Ernest Judd
Ernest Judd
Dec 18, 2020 11:21 PM
Reply to  Charlie Jencks

You have never considered the “tail wagging the dog”!

This is the perpetuation of the “So stop fighting socialism.” You have identified the “anti”, the neo-liberal on the horizontal axis. There is the “Y’ axis, the vertical which has the real, actual division within society: it is CLASS.
When resorting to the scapegoating of individuals, “5th Column, Farage, Le Penn, Trump, Steve Bannon and his Neo-Nazi spin off parties”, what ends up getting affirmed are the “wings”.
The “body” drives the “wings”. The “body” is CLASS.

The body wags the dog.

Ernest Judd
Ernest Judd
Dec 18, 2020 11:21 PM
Reply to  Ernest Judd

TAIL!!

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 1:37 PM
Reply to  Ernest Judd

As far as I know, the exact source of the human will has not been biologically identified, although of course smashing the brain renders the will physically impotent in all cases.

nondimenticare
nondimenticare
Dec 16, 2020 5:10 PM

A quibble. I have played the 9th many times, with different conductors, listened to it perhaps a hundred times. It has always been di di di DEE, or I would say di di di DAH. It’s not a heartbeat.

thedrummerben
thedrummerben
Dec 16, 2020 7:38 PM
Reply to  nondimenticare

I always prefer it conducted DA DA DA DAAH With equal value and volume afforded to all the triplet notes and the last note. I don’t think it matters that much how a conductor interprets a piece of music. The message as still the same.
I really enjoyed this article and I love Beethoven. Thanks!

F A West
F A West
Dec 16, 2020 4:51 PM

Just learned loads of stuff I did not know from this article.

steadydirt
steadydirt
Dec 16, 2020 6:44 PM
Reply to  F A West

the cia hired jackson pollack and louis armstrong
a job’s a job

thedrummerben
thedrummerben
Dec 16, 2020 7:42 PM
Reply to  steadydirt

True but Louis Armstrong’s project with Danny Kaye & Sylvia Fine “The Real Ambassador” is a wonderfully humorous comment on the futility of the CIAs and UNs efforts to remodel culture in the American age. Louis’ music will outlast them all and all their nefarious efforts I’m sure.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Dec 16, 2020 4:47 PM

UK Column News – 16th December 2020

GOV GEARS UP FOR NEW CRACKDOWN ON DISSENT
BIG TECH USED AS COVER FOR OFFICIAL CENSORSHIP
Still Cannot Define Disinformation
The most senior Eastern Bloc defector wrote a book called Disnformation.
He was Lt Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former two-star general in the Securitate, the secret police of Communist Romania, who defected to the United States in July 1978.

Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post, wants to sell you his book: Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism

Pacepa gave two definitions of disinformation
1) There is no western etymology for the word, disinformation. It means getting the other side to make your argument for you. In other words, dressing up your propaganda as if it is coming from the other side.
2) It should contain nuggets of truth but must never give the audience primary source information.

Alex Thomson: According to this definition, UKC would be very highly rated for truth and the BBC and HMG would be guilty of disinformation because they rarely give primary sources.

BBC REPORTER MARIANNA SPRING AKA MARIANNA CLAIRE
APPROACHING VACCINE CAMPAIGNERS WITHOUT IDENTIFYINIG ROLE
Marianna is the “disinformation reporter.”
BBC guidelines say reporters should be honest, straightforward and fair… “unless there is a clear public interest in doing otherwise.” We would normally seek the informed consent of our contributors… unless there is an editorial justification for proceeding without their consent.”
Vanessa Beeley: The BBC is now nothing but a branch of British intelligence agencies. What Marianna Spring is doing seems close to entrapment.
Mike Robinson: Marianna Spring is an Oxford graduate (2018) in French and Russian, wouldn’t that make her a candidate for British intelligence?
Alex Thomson: Speaking as a Cambridge linguist I know the history. She would have been nobbled. She has been in a Russian speaking environment which means the Russian intel agencies would also have a profile on her.

YOUTH PROGRAM TARGETS YOUNG MINDS, BOOSTS FEAR
NEWSBEAT ARTICLE: CORONAVIRUS MEANS CHRISTMAS NOT WORTH RISK
– Manish Pandey, BBC Reporter, East Enders addict.
– “Don’t hug your nan at Christmas and then bury her in January”.
BBC prompts young people to stay away from home, buy wine, eat chocolate and say hi to your folks over the phone.
UKC: There is no primary information in this article. It meets the definition of disinformation.
Alex Thomson: East Enders was propaganda pushing certain agendas as BBC Media Action has been doing in the Mid East and former Soviet Union with soaps.

OFCOM/BBC REPORT EXPOSES EAST ENDERS AS BRAINWASHING
UK TV REGULATOR FINDS SOAP OPERA PUSHES NEGATIVE SOCIAL TRENDS
OFCOM Report ‘A Safe Environment For Children’ (2005) identifiged “interminably miserable characters”, “depressing plot lines” and “aggressive and bad behaviour as the norm”.
When asked about soaps most respondents mentioned poor moral standards, bad behaviour and misery portrayed in soaps.
Regular viewers had a less serious take on the programme content and the effect it could have on young people.
Teachers and Social Workers were concerned about the impact of soaps on young people.
UKC ARTICLE: BBC MEDIA ACTION: SUBVERSION FROM BROADCASTING HOUSE TO KAZAKHSTAN.
”Cross roads was conceived as an elaboration of a BBC MPM Radio soap opera in Russia based on an Archers format, and was funded through Know How Funds, supported by the government’s Overseas Development Administration and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It was produced by the private London based production company Portobello Media.”

Alex Thomson: Brezhneve-era movie: The Irony of Fate, or in Russian: Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром! (1976) was a cruel joke about a man getting drunk, waking up in the wrong flat, his life is ruined and it’s all a jolly jape. We’ve got to that point with the BBC.

BBC: Covid rules still to be relaxed over Christmas in UK
UKC: Elderly people will be killed off with false vaccinations and the Gov will turn back and make people feel guilty.

NETHERLANDS PM CRITICISES PEOPLE FOR ENJOYING CHRISTMAS
DUTCH PEOPLE HAMMER POTS AND PANS IN BACKGROUND OF ADDRESS
Dutch PM Mark Rutter speaks over sound of protest
Shame British people can’t get so close to UK PM.

FULL-FACT, FACT CHECKER PROMOTED ON FACEBOOK
BODY LINKED TO BBC, GUARDIAN USUAL SUSPECTS

ANONYMOUS NEW LEAKS OR HACKS FROM INTERNAL FCO SOURCES
OP. HMG TROJAN HORSE: from Integrity Initiative to Covert Ops around the Globe.
OP. HMG TROJAN HORSE: Part 2: Infiltrating Lebanon.

Vanessa Beeley: Conflict Stability and Security Fund – funded Mayday Rescue that, in turn was siphoning funds to the White Helmets. Analysis Research and Knowledge (ARK Group) employed James Le Mesurier and his second wife.

The BBC overlooked this leak and the FCO funding of the PR and media groups the BBC was whitewashing. They also ignored Le Mesurier’s connection to InCoStrat which she founded with Col Paul Tilley, former army colleague of Le Mesurier… this means Emma Winburg was receiving FCO money to provide media support and funding for Showing results for Jaish al Islam
Search instead for Jaesh al Islam as well as al-Nusra who did such japes as pushing bakery workers into their own ovens.

QUOTE FROM FCO’S LEAKED DOCUMENTS:

“ARK specialised in Syria programming for several years, training over 1,400 beneficiaries, representing 210 organizations in 130 workshops and disbursed 53,000 pieces of equipment that reach into all areas of Syria including extremist-controlled areas.”

As for Lebanon, the British Embassy runs meetings and training groups to help ARK carry out these operations. This prompted Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to urge people not to react to the external sponsoring of divisions between ethnic and political groups.
Mike Robinson: These leaks validate everything you, Vanessa, have been saying for 10 years.
This should anger British taxpayers whose money is funneled to these terrorists who are then offered asylum back in the UK.

BBC: German takes in Syrian White Helmets ex leader
Khalid al-Saleh is one of the original leaders of the so-called moderate rebels supported by Hillary Clinton. Suddenly King Abdullah and Merkel negotiate asylum, he was flown in a Luftwaffe plane and he given full police protection.

Even the German interior ministry is not happy with giving him asylum because of his terrorist connections. After all the terrorist attacks in Europe the German government is put under pressure to give him asylum.
RT: The latest evasions and cover-ups by western governments over their funding of terrorist groups.

Kenan Al Nahhas educated in Birmingham, home of B’ham academic Scott Lucas, Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and Editor of EA WorldView. Nahhas had a company in UK til 2014.. became foreign minister, given access to all the Corporatist Media to promote Ahrar Al Sham as an alternative to the legitimate Syrian government.

InCoStrat provided PR for Ahrar Al Sham, which Nahhas’ brother led… when they massacred Alawite civilians in 2016.
Alex Thomson: ARK language hints to French or Dutch links. In the NL the opposition has opposed the comforting of jihadis.

POLITICIAN FROM CURACAO BLOWS WHISTLE: WE ARE BEING BLACKMAILED
Caribbean country of 200,000 people are forced to follow Dutch winter Covid regulations.

UK Column News – 16th December 2020

Charlie Jencks
Charlie Jencks
Dec 16, 2020 4:43 PM

Beethoven political dissident? ….. Beethoven was on the baby slopes. If you want to hear some real political satire, listen to Shostakovich. Stunning music in the war against tyranny.

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D minor (Philippe Jordan, Proms 2013) With explanation.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Dec 16, 2020 5:09 PM
Reply to  Charlie Jencks

I’m not sure it’s possible to be a cynic and a composer but Shostakovich was closer to expressing the pain of the world-weary (c’mon, he was from the Russian tradition after all) and Beethoven did hope ‘n change (renewal).

dr death
dr death
Dec 16, 2020 6:27 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

music is language it uses art to convey emotions and concepts that can’t be articulated with words.
but also speaks to the listener on a personal level…

it should replace the nonsense of politics.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 1:54 PM
Reply to  dr death

An excellent comment.

Pity our serial downvoter is polluting all OffG’s pages these days…

dr death
dr death
Dec 16, 2020 6:54 PM
Reply to  Charlie Jencks

yes but a musical midget..
hated his own piano concerto, shat himself before performing then sent it to to coventry..

was good at percussion …though irrelevant to music I’m sure it would endear him to our contemporary beat meisters.

by the way he hated the communists.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 1:59 PM
Reply to  dr death

Not really a midget.
In fact a very accomplished, and worthwhile artist, despite his rough political circumstances.

On the other hand, I would agree that Beethoven made midgets out of practically every other composer, if you consider his immense, pioneering grasp of all technical and emotional aspects of musical art.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 2:14 PM
Reply to  wardropper

I’d like to add that Shostakovich tended to be very modest about his output, and made little of several aspects of his work. I doubt he really hated the piano concerto you mention.

I had to play the piano part of his second Piano Trio a year or two ago, and did some research on the impossibly fast metronome marking for one of the movements.
This led to a story related by a pianist who had to play the same work, but who also had the good fortune to be introduced to the composer himself back in the day.

Having the opportunity, he couldn’t resist asking the composer if that section of the trio should really be played as fast as the metronome indicated. To which Shostakovich replied:
“Oh, for heaven’s sake, don’t take that metronome marking at all seriously! The metronome I have at home is completely broken and I only keep it for sentimental reasons as a piece of furniture. Just trust your musical instincts and play the movement at whatever tempo seems right to you.”

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 16, 2020 7:32 PM
Reply to  Charlie Jencks

“With explanation.”

Ah well you see. There’s the difference.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 1:51 PM
Reply to  Charlie Jencks

How the hell could Beethoven compete with Shostakovich?
Beethoven died in 1827.
Shostakovich in 1975.
Please.

Nor was Beethoven’s aim anything other than to find his place in the community of artists and human beings of his time, fully aware that his perfect inner ear for music was entirely unscathed by his socially-embarrassing physical deafness.

He had strong political views, but he most certainly didn’t think of his music as an incitement to political insurrection. His output was spiritually and morally motivated – an act of love for his fellow man.
Seriously.

Shostakovich had to be smart in order to survive artistically in Soviet Russia, and, as you rightly point out, satire was one of the tricks he used.
But, again, his aim was not to impress us with his satire, but to get the beauty of the art of music across to his listeners, by hook or by crook, using the only means possible for him, given his circumstances.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Dec 16, 2020 4:40 PM

20 years ago around 2000, I was asked by a fellow MBA student about whether I thought there would be a new musical genre take the world by storm.

My answer then was: ‘I’m not sure – much of the great music was composed at times when saying certain things verbally was simply impossible’, implying that music was an outlet to say the unsayable, precisely because translating music literally into emotional words was impossible.

The implication of my statement back then was that I thought that pretty much anything could be said in 2000 without punishment….

Clearly such halcyon days of free speech are now disappearing for many, so perhaps great composition through non verbal art forms will undergo renaissances?!

dr death
dr death
Dec 16, 2020 6:39 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

2000 ….
the halcyon days of students. but not of music I may add.

wardropper
wardropper
Dec 19, 2020 2:30 PM
Reply to  dr death

Very true.

Many years ago, a well-known composer of the older generation country gave masterclasses to budding composers in another country.
Afterwards, he confided to one of the organizers of his visit, “They don’t know anything”…

He was undoubtedly referring to the phenomenon which all impartial music lovers have noticed:
The frantic craving to write utterly original music which ‘reflects society as it really is’, but which actually achieves nothing but to make everybody’s music sound the same:
Godawful, incompetent, uninspired and ugly.

Who said that music was supposed to reflect society in any case…?

It inevitably will do so, because environment, time and circumstances leave their stamp on the art of any epoch, but Beethoven didn’t look at the political pronouncements of his day for his inspiration (although he certainly noticed them).
He looked at Nature, as did Debussy, and as did any other composer worthy of the name in human history.
Art isn’t meant to be a reflection of ‘society as it really is’, just because some delusional would-be artist says so.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 16, 2020 4:39 PM

I haven’t heard the news today. Any exciting new variants? Have we broke the 20 million death mark in the UK yet? Have we now got a video of dancing vaccinated geriatrics? Has the Left had a nervous breakdown and screamed, “Oh my God! What have we done?”

Ort
Ort
Dec 16, 2020 8:20 PM
Reply to  George Mc

In the US, at least on the East Coast, an early snowstorm has intruded upon the usual Megadeath Virus of Doom (MVD) scamdemic news.

But in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware tri-state area, this week we’ve been treated to gushing reports of the vaunted vaccine(s) being distributed. With ceremony! 

For instance, a post on his website informs us that “Governor Gauleiter Phil Murphy, joined by Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, University Hospital President and CEO Dr. Shereef Elnahal, and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Dean Dr. Robert Johnson, today visited University Hospital’s Vaccine Clinic at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School to mark the historic beginning of New Jersey’s vaccination effort and witness the administration of the first COVID-19 vaccinations to the state’s frontline health care workers.

The local newsclowns are reporting various stories of the vaccines being delivered to various locations, and being deployed to priority groups of eager recipients. That, and news of more “emergency” approvals for other Big Pharma vaccines from the (nominal) public health authorities. 

There’s a palpable note of joyous relief in the newsreaders’ and reporters’ voices. It may be entirely genuine– an unconscious reaction to the opportunity to finally deliver good news for a change!

Fact Checker
Fact Checker
Dec 17, 2020 3:06 AM
Reply to  Ort

There’s a palpable note of joyous relief in the newsreaders’ and reporters’ voices. It may be entirely genuine

I don’t think deepfake e-mannequins have “genuine” feelings.

THX-1154
THX-1154
Dec 17, 2020 11:17 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Have we now got a video of dancing vaccinated geriatrics?

ask, and ye shall receive.

Judith
Judith
Dec 17, 2020 1:44 PM
Reply to  THX-1154

Oh God save me. Can’t even watch it. This graphic is bad enough.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 18, 2020 8:18 PM
Reply to  THX-1154

Not a good advert. It suggests that getting a vax means you still have to wear a mask!

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Dec 19, 2020 9:36 AM
Reply to  THX-1154

Where’s a machine gun when you need it🤢🤢🤮At least you didn’t post the whole thing…

Carnyx
Carnyx
Dec 16, 2020 4:08 PM

‘churnalists’ I like it!

Yeplox
Yeplox
Dec 16, 2020 4:04 PM

You are happy to attribute the development of modern classical music to the CIA. Yet see de-platforming as somehow that grew organically? Do you not ask yourself if ‘woke’ is also a CIA product, since it is so useful in discrediting the traditional left, (a target of the CIA for the past 80 years) in the minds of the general population? No of course you don’t, because you are demonising what is perceive of as the left.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Dec 16, 2020 4:16 PM
Reply to  Yeplox

Woke is not CIA. It’s a response to tendencies that have been pushed in parenting (infantilization) and education (identity politics).

In broader terms you are right: the Rockefeller and Ford foundations have pushed these trends and they work closely with the CIA. They were all behind Gloria Steinem (and second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth-wave feminism) whose role is to divide women against themselves, their families and their own financial interest.

The Congress for Cultural Freedom was behind the CIA’s weaponizing of culture but ended up being a poster child for the spook who thought he was educated. See The Quiet American/ The Ugly American.

No organization has done more to embarrass Americans as provincial and ingénue than the CIA. Though all credit to them for trying!

In the final analysis the CIA ‘speaks to’ the power of money. Nothing deeper or more sophisticated than that.

There’s a deeper point, IMO, that all unIntelligent services miss with their relentless focus on this country vs that: the choices, options and fates of our peoples break down into much more complex variants and forces than mere countries.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Dec 16, 2020 5:00 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Just as intel plays the people with false dichotomies and endless dualities… they themselves fall into the same trap.

And this is for the most banal reason of all: intel deals in truth-untruth, black and white.

As you see today they are obsessed with disinformation which is, according to Romanian Lt Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa, who wrote the book on Disinformation, simply getting the other side to make your argument for you. In this paradigm there can only be two sides (or the two you talk about, Eng-Rus, and the one you don’t, China)

Western intelligence is infantilized by the idea that there’s only mummy, daddy and the mistress, and you play each against the other.

Perhaps that’s why Western intel is about to lose the game at this most critical juncture.

Lubeck Spree
Lubeck Spree
Dec 16, 2020 5:23 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

One of the main targets of this article is the ‘woke’ idiocy, but I have a problem with that. It is not the real problem or the biggest problem in the western world. The real left is so totally powerless today, it is almost invisible, we live in a neoliberal hell not a socialist hell. So stop fighting socialism.

After you fools have allowed the CIA and their political wing the alt-right, to destroy the left, through their demonisation of this ‘Woke’ pantomime, Where are you going to go? Are you going to sit down and discuss the future of your country with benevolent generals or the neoliberal far-right? Who really really care about you? Who are your heroes then? Who gives a fuck abut you after you have destroyed the socialist left?

You have been working hard to discredited all political parties, all political institutions, parliament, your democracy, where will you go after you have burnt down your Reichstag? What are you left with, where is your political future? Where are your political tools to fight tyranny? Because I think if you abandon the left you have no political opposition and the fox is running the hen house.

You will become just a powerless victim surrounded by the burnt out husks of your political history, you will have trashed everything, you will have destroyed everything that gave you the economic and politics freedoms you have today.

Then after all in your democracy is trashed, you will be fed into the mill of tyranny by the far-right ass-holes, like UK 5th Column, Farage, Le Penn, Trump, Steve Bannon and his Neo-Nazi spin off parties, who have slammed, criticised and ridiculed your democracy for the past 6 years. Is that really what you want?

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 16, 2020 4:41 PM
Reply to  Yeplox

Oh I didn’t have to demonise the Left. After the last 9 months they have shown themselves up for what they really are.

Charlie jencks
Charlie jencks
Dec 16, 2020 4:48 PM
Reply to  George Mc

No socialist I know takes part in the CIA’s ‘Woke’ pantomime.

THX-1154
THX-1154
Dec 17, 2020 11:21 AM
Reply to  Charlie jencks

but who gets to play “the left” on TV?

THX-1154
THX-1154
Dec 17, 2020 11:28 AM
Reply to  Yeplox

Do you not ask yourself if ‘woke’ is also a CIA product, since it is so useful in discrediting the traditional left, in the minds of the general population?

it’s obviously a CIA product. it’s not even particularly a secret; the funding comes through the Ford Foundation, among others, which is a traditional channel for covert CIA money.

and, as everybody knows, or should know, “antifa” is sponsored by Soros, who may also be assumed to have CIA connections.

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