Friday, October 27, 2006

Germany Gets a Backbone Transplant

Remember last month’s decision by Berlin Opera House to withdraw a production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo”? I’m sure you also recall that the revised ending of the opera — recently added by the director — featured the severed head of Mohammed, among others.

Germany took took a page from the book of their French EU partners and pre-emptively surrendered to Islam. Muslims had not yet become offended. No riots were necessary, nor any burning of cars. No torched German embassies. Just fear of Muslims.

However, German public opinion reacted with outrage, and now Deutsche Oper Berlin has changed its mind:
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Berlin OpernhausGerman opera company said Friday it would bring back a Mozart opera canceled because of security fears over a scene featuring the severed head of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Deutsche Oper Berlin said it hoped to stage two performances of the controversial Hans Neuenfels production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” before the end of the year, after receiving a new security assessment from police.

The cancellation of four scheduled fall performances last month by opera chief Kirsten Harms followed a vague security warning from police and triggered a furious debate about free speech.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called the decision crazy and Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against “self-censorship out of fear.”

Good for Germany.

But you know what I like best about this whole absurd brouhaha? The headline on the Fox website linked to the story:

Berlin to Stage Prophet Muhammad Opera

It’s no longer referred to as a “Mozart Opera”, or “Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’”. It’s the “Prophet Mohammed Opera”.

And with any kind of luck, as this story progresses, and the inevitable Muslim knickers get into their perennial twist, it will become widely known as “The Mohammed Severed Head Opera”.

Won’t that be sweet?


Flawed Skull said...

LOL. I like the sound of that "The Mohammed Severed Head Opera". Kinda like the thing about "tasting your own medicine", yknow the favoritism to beheading. Bad bad boy that Mohammad discriminating against other kinds of killing methods.

Frank said...

What? The severed head of Jesus? That's blasphemy! Why, if it didn't contribute to gObULe wRAminG, I'd burn some cars in protest! I'm alienated now. I'm dispossessed, verklempt even.

In order to stop my potential violence which is not my fault, I believe that all toilets henceforth built in Canada ought to be facing towards Jerusalem so as not to give the impression that we are mooning the crucifiction. Its the least anyone can do to assuage my pain. And it might...I can't promise, you understand...but it might calm me down enough not to go on a rampage. This week, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Germany isn't spineless for the time being, because Europe has already fallen to Dhimmitude.

InklingBooks said...

I'm glad the opera is a go, but I think we need to distinguish between free speech that says something significant and free speech that's merely some artist passing gas.

Is this opera as 'modernized' by its director a fair and intelligent critique of Islam or is this merely an attempt to be shocking because the director has nothing worth saying and no real talent for saying it?

I see little reason to be a fan of the "artist" as a superior caste, better than the rest of humanity. If I want an intelligent opinion on a topic, I'm more likely to get it from the person next to me on a bus than at a famed artist colony. And the idea that artists are secular prophets with a special insight into truth is as silly today as when it first became popular in the nineteenth century.

In fact, there seems to be an odd pattern here. Check out the biographies of undoubtedly talented artists, and you're likely to find that all too many were selfish, egotistical and cruel, with disasterous personal lives and no particularly brilliant insight into how society ought to be structured.

My theory is that the average artist, altogether lacking in talent, has noted that and concluded that the path to greatness is to be a jerk, offending people without good cause. That would certainly explain a lot of what passes for art today.

And finally, the intelligence and rightness of an artistic criticism should never be judged by the outrage it generates among those criticized. Artistic stupidity, bigotry and perversity are, I suspect, more likely and more common causes for outrage than brilliance, insight and talent.

kepiblanc said...

At 8 PM tonight I'll be in the opera in Aalborg, Denmark to listen to Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" - of the finest operas ever written. The opera seats some 600 listeners and if I spot one - ONE - muslim there I'll eat my old kepi blanc. Music is haram.

Voyager said...

Pathetic. They rewrite the opera and then ditch it for no reason and then stage it because of political pressure.

This gets worse and worse. Berlin gaving just lost its case before the Supreme Court now has to wallow in its $70bn Euro deficit and since the Opera depends on subsidy from The State of Berlin it needs to play ball as Berlin tries to get funds from the Federal Govt.

Panday said...

I feel compelled to point out first that I'm certainly no Dhimmi apologist. If anyone doesn't take my word for it, then they're certainly free to visit my own humble site to see my views for themselves.

That being said, my understanding is that this German opera goes out of its way to offend other religions, too. But because it offends Islam, which angers radicals, its other shortcomings are overlooked. Another salient example of this behavior among antidhimmis is Pim Fortuyn: to the best of my recollection, he disliked Christianity as much as Islam. It just so happened that Islam was threateningly prominent during his short political career. Otherwise, I suspect, he'd be yet another Eurosecularist Christianity hater, like that hag Polly Toynbee of the "Guardian", or that other hag, Julie Burchill, formerly of the "Guardian".

It's rather a strange world in which we all cheer for people who offend Christianity on the grounds that they offend Islam, too. Without radical Islam, I have a feeling that Christianity would be back in the cross hairs of a lot of people.

That's especially unfortunate in Europe, where apathy toward their own religious heritage seems to have sapped peoples' will even to reproduce.

DocNeaves said...

I think we should remember that it is the communists who wanted to replace all good art with anything bad, formless, ugly. Here's a link to their 45 goals, you tell me, does this "opera" count as art, or as the Communist ideal of art?

Panday said...

Baron, Dymphna? No comment on what I wrote? I was hoping to hear your views on this "enemy of my enemy" phenomenon.

Baron Bodissey said...

Stephen --

No comment, because the content of the opera was never my point. Almost anything that is trendy and modern is going to offend me, but I don't care; I just avoid it.

People have the right to put on whatever crap they want and call it "art", and people have a right not to patronize it.

Now, mind you, I do object to the government funding of such garbage, but that's another matter...

Panday said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Panday said...


What I'm getting at is that we now see the devout traditionalists allied with natural adversaries, like atheists, all in the name of opposition to radical islam. The director of this version of "Idomendo", Hans Neuenfels, is completely opposed to all organized religion and is also presenting the severed head of Jesus to make his point.

"Well, f*ck him", is my first reaction. I wouldn't take Neuenfels' side (let alone piss on him if he were on fire) any more than I would Andres "Piss Christ" Serrano or Terrance "Corpus Christi" McNalley.

It seems that taking the side of someone like Neuenfels a bit like the the multiculturalists siding with the radical islamists in places like Britain and Spain. This "enemy of my enemy" attitude makes us useful idiots for odious people in the same manner. We should perhaps be more discriminating of the causes we champion.

My mind isn't completely closed to someone pointing out how this isn't the case, if you, Dymphna, or someone out there has convincing arguments, I'll be happy to listen.

Nelson said...

This story is significant not only because it demonstrates a strengthening backbone, according to Baron Bodissey, but because it makes one wonder why they would want to offend any of the faiths at all and why they weren't afraid of Buddhists or Christians. I'm glad the Berlin Opera stood up to intimidation, but I wouldn't have minded had they cancelled the show out of sheer decency.


X said...

I don't agree with what they say but I would defend to the death their right to say it.

Name the philosopher. ;)

Gryffilion said...

Maybe Denmark lent them a few vertebrae from their doughty backbone...