What is the big deal? Well, on the surface it doesn’t seem like such a great tragedy, until you examine the issue under stronger magnification, at which time you discover that
In a country that is, much like
Protectionism does not protect culture, it crushes the spirit of those living within the confines of the system being “protected”; it has been tried several times in the twentieth century, each time failing miserably. In the former
The most profound example of this “musical relativism” in action can be seen (and heard) in the “Fifth Symphony” of Shostakovich which was composed in the turmoil following the withdrawal of his “Fourth Symphony” after it was being prepared for its premiere. The 4th was described as being “too bourgeois” and Shostakovich was warned to not continue composing “absolute” music (music that is without a program, something like the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, or 8th symphonies of Beethoven). In response to this Shostakovich added an intriguing “dedication” at the beginning of his 5th Symphony: “A Soviet artists response to just criticism”, and in one fell swoop he created “musical relativism” by snubbing his nose at Stalin with a piece that was “absolute” to the Nth degree, and yet … it fulfilled the requirement of being “realistic” because Shostakovich said it was, and thus it was so.
The Chinese had the “Cultural Revolution”, attempting to eradicate all western cultural influences through any means possible – including the burning of books, works of art, musical instruments, and the occasional artist that wouldn’t change their ways (but who’s counting). Obviously that worked well … oh, I forgot … it didn’t.
North Korea … ok, that may have worked, but look at the nation: who really wants the “culture” of
Then there is
I have to ask the question, what is French President Nicolas Sarkozy afraid of? Why does he fear the possibility of the people becoming better informed? Perhaps there is a connection to this attitude and Sarkozy’s near fanatical love of all things American (save for, apparently, the “freedom of the press” guaranteed by the Constitution). This love for
Didn’t that sound ridiculous? Of course it did … but, I’m willing to wager that someone in Sarkozy’s office had to mention that possibility; another name for it is racial profiling, and it is not only a racist thing to do, it is utterly useless in tracking down the real terrorists.
Sarkozy has shown his hand and it is an ugly one; if