Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Read of the Day

Posted by Lissa on October 30, 2008

Often those who express their tiresome anti-Americanism will suggest, as do some of the more disingenuous anti-Zionists with regard to anti-Semitism – that they, of course, are not anti-American, and that no one really is. But, coming as I do from an Anti-American tradition that wasn’t afraid to proclaim itself, I think I know where the corpses are interred. For example, the current production of Bernstein’s Candide at the English National Opera is a classic of elite anti-Americanism, in which we are invited to laugh at the philistine invocation of “Democracy, the American Way and McDonald’s”. The laughter that accompanied this feeble satire showed our proper understanding that we, the audience, had a proper concept of democracy, and would never soil ourselves with an Egg McMuffin.

The true irony went way above the sniggerers’ heads, which was that Leonard Bernstein was the American cultural import that we were, at that very moment, enjoying. But the prejudice is that American culture has had a negative influence on the world, tabloidising our journalism, subverting the gentle land of Ealing with the violent pleasures of Die Hard 10 and commercialising our most intimate lives. And so we have ever complained; my father, back in the early Fifties, once wrote an entire communist pamphlet about the terrible effect of Hollywood and jazz on the land of Shakespeare and Elgar.


(h/t Michelle)

3 Responses to “Read of the Day”

  1. Brad K said

    Few people really intend to do/be evil. They deny to themselves and others that evil is another name for selfish – to deny joy and comfort to others.

    We throw labels like ‘fanatic’ and ‘extremist’ and ‘terrorist’ at others, without considering whether our own actions fall into that category. We celebrate our ‘religious convictions’ and ‘moral destiny’ and violate the letter and spirit of the tolerance for others that our Constitution embraces.

    The danger, with all evil, is that those that see the charismatic leader, the crowds cheering, and choose to follow along without considering whose lives are being enriched – and whether they are denying joy or comfort to someone else. So as a mob, a mass of enthused followers, they achieve the power to commit great wrongs. Anti-American, indeed.

  2. Lissa said

    Brad – you double-posted your comment so I took the liberty of deleting one of them. Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. Ted said

    To me, the least attractive trait of the Intellectual Left is that they think that they are much, much smarter than they really are.

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