(Please read the post immediately below, they are inter-related.)
This makes me want to...I don't even know. I am so pissed. Read this:
Instead of...just getting really mad, I think I'll use my preferred apparatus. Embedded mockery!
This is the most graceless stunt I’ve seen a while.
More graceless than turning a serious journal of conservative thinking (started by my favorite conservative, William F. Buckley) into yet another rag of yelling ignorance? Because that shit is pretty fucking graceless.
Leon Fleisher, the conductor and pianist, received a
Wow, a true fact. Your head must be exploding. Can’t you spin this somehow?
As part of the weekend of festivities associated with this prestigious award, Fleisher was invited to attend a White House reception along with the four other honorees (Brian Wilson, Steve Martin, Diana Ross, and Martin Scorcese). This caused the conductor to wrestle with his conscience.
Understandably, I think. The current administration has, arguably, done more damage to this country, and our standing in the world, than anyone in a long, long time. Right? Duh? Also: Fuck artists with conscience. They have no right to have opinions. (Fleisher’s comments follow.)
In the past seven years, Bush administration policies have amounted to a systematic shredding of our nation's Constitution — the illegal war it initiated and perpetuates; the torturing of prisoners; the espousing of "values" that include a careful defense of the "rights" of embryos but show a profligate disregard for the lives of flesh-and-blood human beings; and the flagrant dismantling of environmental protections. These, among many other depressing policies, have left us weak and shamed at home and in the world.
For several weeks before the honors, I wrestled with this dilemma, deciding in the end that I would not attend the reception at the White House. That decision was met with deep, if understandable, disapproval by the powers that be. I was informed that I was hardly the first honoree to express such reserve; cited to me, among others, were Arthur Miller and Isaac Stern during the Reagan years and several during the present administration. I was asked to attend all of the scheduled events and to follow the well-established protocol of silence.
Well done, sir. You did not offend or shame your admirers (or, at least, the body representing the award you won). You attended, and had a little, quiet, personal protest against it. This seems like a sensible, measured response that satisfies the status quo while letting you express yourself. Which, after all, is what the
Back to Mona Charen:
Silence? How about basic good manners?
Good manners…like not bombing the fuck out of a million innocent Iraqis? Good manners, like letting the Pakistani military dictatorship continue with our material and financial support because they’re our “allies” in the “war on terror”? Good manners like…I can’t even continue. This is not a political blog. It’s just that…
Listen Maestro, if your feelings were so strong you could have declined the honor.
Instead you basked in the event (“I was pleased to be part of an event that raises money for the
Yeah, he was being polite and decorous. (Decorous. Look it up. Maybe it's a liberal thing, I don't know.) It was made clear to him by the powers-that-be that not attending would be a major snub. Which would have been fine. But if you had READ his article, you’d realize that he really appreciates the Kennedy center, and wants to promote its well-being and funding.
and now you shoot over your shoulder at the president who feted you.
Yeah. Exactly! The kindergartener in the West Wing who wants to slash support to the arts while reading My Pet Goat? Yeah, wearing a little peace symbol and ribbon totally burned that dude. One little pianist/conducter (“Maestro”) is bringing down the establishment. If only!
Obviously, Fleisher, like every American is fully within his rights to express his views on anything in the world.
Um. Yes! That is totally the deal. But not really. You don’t really think that.
But to do it in this way, at this moment, is quite a shameful performance.
You are a fucking nerf-herder. You don’t have the first idea what “art” or an “artist” is. I’m pretty sure that your idea of “freedom” has no relation to mine, either. Which is fine. I guess, except that you are awful.
Your idea of free speech is aping Captain Fucktard. You are powerless in the face of a dissenting view that you cannot shout down. This article is a disgrace.
Really? Booooo? Jesus fucking christ on a donkey’s dick.
Editor’s note: Sorry, gentle readers. This is, deliberately, not a political blog. But when the hacks attack 80-year old, distinguished pianists, it counts as music criticism, and the gloves are off. Normalcy returns tomorrow!