Saturday, December 15, 2012

St. Lucy’s Come A Long Way… Baby

I’d been thinking about St. Lucy’s Day. Having written about it before, I wondered how much further down the PC/MC hole those Alice-in-Wonderland bureaucrats in Sweden might go this year. Would they mess over an ancient and lovely tradition?

I had no intention of looking for trouble — picking on another politically correct Purgatory is not my idea of Christmas fun. However, my idle speculations were answered by an email from a Swedish reader. His answer: yes, they did indeed fundamentally mess with the holiday. He sent a link to a video of the depredations visited upon the viewing public by Swedish television. But guess what? Whoever put up the excerpt of this trivialization of St. Lucy’s Day has had to take it down. Swedish TV obviously doesn’t want the world to know what they did.

However, the same email that brought the now-darkened space where recently the p.c. rap version of Lucia had been performed also provided an alternative, traditional Lucia from Finland. I’ve read that the Christianization of Finland changed an old pagan festival into a celebration of the Italian Santa Lucia. As you can see, this modern version has returned to its pagan roots, the celebration of light and of young virginal winter beauty. The girl chosen for this role plays it with wonderful self-assurance, the kind that can only belong to someone flawlessly young and newly aware of her beauty as a power to inflame.

This one is surely the epitome of young maidenhood. The memorialization doesn’t require us to look past her lovely façade:

There are lots of Saint Lucy’s festivals on You Tube. Some of them bow painfully to inclusion by making boys also carry candles whilst dressed in awkward costumes. Those don’t work well. Celebrations of male virility and beauty have their place, but it’s not in the feast of Saint Lucy, that Scandinavian virginal martyr/ice queen dripping with light.

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I’m glad to see there’s a Swede who agrees with me. One Mats Dagerlind, of Avpixlat, has some choice things to say about what Swedish state television foisted on its prisoners viewers [this is a loose translation of part of the editorial. The emphases are mine except for the writer’s indignant CAPS at the end —D]:

Only an idiot does not understand why the role of Ray Charles did not go to Meryl Streep

Only an idiot can fail to see the elaborate political correctness behind choosing a rapper with an immigrant background from the ethnic million enclaves for the Swedish Lucia celebration. Now if you unconditionally want to renew the tradition … there is a lot to choose from… why not invite Yngwie Malmsteen doing a neo-classical guitar solo? Heavy metal is big in Sweden. Why not some country-twang or dance butter?

The answer is, of course, that the initiative was not about the general willingness to broaden the repertoire for the Lucia celebration. The choice of a suburban rapper was a political pronouncement. Just as those representing the politically correct discourse about Sweden as a multicultural country of immigration have in the past [done this to] other Swedish traditions and celebrations such as National Day, Midsummer, graduation in the church, etc. now they have taken on themselves the Swedish Lucia celebration. Only an idiot does not understand that SVT’s mission in broadcasting a Lucia celebration for Swedish viewers means taking responsibility for arranging this tradition in a respectful way. It is not about finding more political provocations…

A Lucia with African appearance then — what can be your objection to it? Several, I think.

Whoever is chosen to portray Lucia plays a role. Lucia was a young girl in Sicily who was executed by the Romans for her Christian faith, was martyred and canonized by the Catholic Church. She was European, not African, Asian or South American. She was young, not middle-aged or old and she was a girl, not a boy. It is therefore reasonable that in an audition to fill this role one takes into account age, gender and ethnicity.

Choosing someone with European appearance as Lucia is no more racist than it is sexist to choose a girl or age discriminatory to select someone who is young. Instead, there are three obvious qualifications for the role.

To illustrate this argument and to refute accusations of racism we can take some reverse examples. I’m a big fan of jazz musician Charlie Parker and R & B musician Ray Charles, both African-Americans. Both of these musicians’ lives have been made into biographical film versions, with Forest Whittaker and Jamie Foxx in the lead roles.

Only an idiot does not understand why the role of “Bird” did not go to Robert De Niro. Only an idiot does not understand why the role of Ray Charles in flashbacks from his childhood as a little boy did not go to Meryl Streep. It’s not about racism, it’s not about gender or age discrimination. It’s about having the right skills for the role and that gender, age and ethnicity in some cases can be basic ones [of identity].

… Arguing that no one knows how the real Lucia looked or if she even existed in real life, or that she came from southern Italy and therefore presumably was not blond and blue-eyed but rather dark-haired and brown-eyed is [beside the point]. You can get some more freedom in terms of the role of Lucia, but not so great that she becomes African, Asian or South American.

Moreover, the choice in this case, as with the ghetto-rapper, is so obviously motivated by the desire to make a political statement for the new multicultural and immigrant Sweden. They did not choose Agda, 83, from among the elderly to play Lucia, nor did they choose, Borje, age 39. Only an idiot does not realize that the organizers chose Astrid, 14, with her African appearance because ethnic diversity is the discourse of the day. Had the purpose been to publicly challenge ingrained stereotypes they could have, of course, also experimented with sex and age.

I’m not racist, but I am in some respects culturally conservative. I want my Lucia young, female and European just as I want my Ray Charles male and African-American. I want understated and evocative vocals with Lucia; and the rhythm and blues with Ray Charles. I am not alone in this. The Finns wanted their national hero Gustaf Mannerheim to be Finnish not Kenyan — as the director of the film about Mannerheim’s life, with rash idiocy, thought was a bold move. I, and probably a majority of Swedes — even we who appreciate influences from other cultures — want our traditions left alone. But political correctness is UNABLE TO LET THINGS ALONE.

Only an idiot does not respect this.

Right on, Mr. Dagerlind. I hope you’re up high enough in the spheres of the MSM elites that they’ll permit you to live after uttering these rank heresies. I’ll say a few prayers on your behalf to St. Lucy.

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In a bit of synchronicity, just before the Baron asked me to look at that email, I had been viewing a piece about Frederick Douglass’ life as relayed by a middle-aged white female professor who speaks in admiring terms of his courage. This is an excerpt from a series put out by The Claremont Institute, “Black Intellectuals and the American Cause”. The latter series appears to be a subset of a quite ambitious undertaking, one which has its own page, The American Mind.

I wandered there quite by accident. The Claremont Institute’s magazine was one of my favorites back in the day when we did things like order subscriptions. I, like Hermes, am an autodidact. I shall die with a book in my hand.

But why Frederick Douglass, and why now? That will be for another post, one which seeks to raise the level of debate from the debased cellar into which it has been thrust by ignorant young men of color whose only claim is fame, who lack all sense of civility and decorum. These strutters and strewers are Obama’s sons, and they know it. They have an errant sense of noblesse oblige because they speak the hatreds they know Obama wants to hear.

All of them, from Obama on down, have no use for the courage of Frederick Douglass. In fact, they have become the overseers: they hold the whips but they can no longer hold in the heady rage for which they were trained. This is their moment. And because they have no sense of history, they cannot know it is only a moment…

…Frederick Douglass lives on in his singular courage, the virtue that transcended his justifiable anger. All we know of his overseers are the things he chose to tell us. Otherwise they are gone.

Saint Lucy lives on in her cold and virginal winter light. She can be no other. There will always be room for both kinds of mythos, even after the self-inflicted Swedish multicultural monsters have stormed the elites’ bridges and moats and left them weeping in their halls.

Good intentions turn evil as they tramp that yellow brick road to a Hellish reality.


Anonymous said...

Nice essay to read, but attributing 'good intentions' to evil Marxists is giving them altogether too much credit....

The Marxists know exactly what evil they are up to and they plan to use technology - as well as the very purposeful withholding of technology - to torture and murder BILLIONS of people - including the PC MC useful idiots - on their way to a New World Order that includes neither God nor civility - just Godless brutal rule of the very reduced masses by the elite.


babs said...

Some of the stuff I read on this site you just can't make up!
The Finnish historic hero played by a Kenyan is hysterical at the same time as very sick.
And the analogy of Ray Charles being played by Meryl Streep caused me to laugh out loud.
What is wrong with the Northern European mentality that they so loath themselves?

Anonymous said...

Clip from
The Sankta Lucia show at the Globen, Stockholm, 2011

Anonymous said...

History in a nutshell:
1989. Berlin wall goes down
1991. USSR collapses
1992. F. Fukuyama´s End of History.
This translated means End of Business for the "leftocracy". Hysteria and panic did follow.
What is going to happen to all those janitor skilled comrades in manager positions in college, MSM, government, and unions?
Socialist Think Tanks come up with the answer. Drop the white working class like a hot potato, they are the past and lack the conflict generating power. And as gays and feminist are insufficiently conflictive to hold the society hostage, voila bring in the new destabilising force, that is third world population in such a scale that assimilation will be imposible, therefore conflicts will arise, therefore our blackmail business can go on

Anonymous said...

Here is the entire politically correct Lucia from Sweden's state TV. I watched the whole thing, and...the Lucia is not a traditional Swede, and the rapper sings...twice.



Anonymous said...

My reason for visiting this site is one only: concern about the ideology of islam. If cultures want to preserve their traditions while including people of different melanin levels, that's a heck of a lot better than giving up their traditions in favour of islam!

I don't like rap, but perhaps including modern music will pull more young people into learning about western cultural traditions? Remember when a rap version of 'Der Erlkoenig' helped thousands of German school pupils actually learn the fabulous poem?

Kepha said...

Well, I'm from "Noo Joysey", and while I'm part Norwegian, I have to say that the traditional Swedish "Lucia Bride" doesn't look much like a Siciliana.

Still, I appreciate your correspondent's concerns.

Anonymous said...

The girl chosen for this role plays it with wonderful self-assurance, the kind that can only belong to someone flawlessly young and newly aware of her beauty as a power to inflame.

And that's the problem. She's a bloody saint for chrissakes, she's not supposed to flirt with the audience.

dymphna said...

To Noo Joisy-

In its prime, Catholicism was deeply transformative and truly mulitcultural. Centuries after the Italian Santa Lucia was martyred, they had need of a Christmas tradtion in the northern latitudes to replace whatever pagan tradition was current. So Lucia was chosen and her image was Nordicized (if that's a word). It's similar to American Roman Catholcism's processions in early May with one young, pretty girl chosen to lead the procession.

But now in Scandinavia the church is state-sponsored and is fast disappearing. However, people remember the rituals of their childhood and want them to continue.

As the Baron pointed out to me, the music was too "popped up" now to be authentically "sacred music".

True also of the Christian pop music in the US, but that niche genre is prospering here as there are substantial numbers of the young who are Christians but have no training in any of the classical arts, which, sadly, includes music. The divisions between the sacred and secular are lost.

Not so in China, where 90 million pianos bloom, all playing Bach...because learning to read music and play baroque music at a young age increases intelligence. The Chinese may not be innovators, but they're good observers and they don't mind utilizing any parts of Western culture which seem to 'work'. Thus the safe, state-sponsored "Catholic" churches vs the underground domestic churches...and the music.

In the end, it will be the Chinese who defeat Islam since the only things the latter borrow are better ways to blow things up.

dymphna said...

Anon @ 6:58

"Bloody saints" were never supposed to be wooden and ethereal. Part of their power could indeed be their physical attributes. Beginning with the brilliant iconography and moving thru the ages, sacred paintings were meant to evoke the sacred via a contemplation of the human body, the "temple of the Holy Spirit".

Christianity was, is, corporeal. Some of the most intense in-fighting in the Church was precisely over that body vs. spirit idea...

Anonymous said...

... and how about a blonde Shaka Zulu?


Anonymous said...

St: Lucys day is a pre christian Swedish tradition, celebrating the equinox. The Julian almanack differed from the solar year so that by the mid- 1700:s it was prepositioned two weeks before the actual equinox.
Hence the 13:th of December celebration.

The celebration of "Lusse" has nothing at all to do with the saint Lucia from Syracusa, other than the name itself.

There was nothing celebratory in being ordained "Lussebrud".
Instaid all the male youngsters competed over getting the young female in to the sack, since she was considered to be a slut.

The Finnish video posted are quite an example over the pagan originals of this cermony. Sang in Swedish and all. Probably from Finns from Österbotten (East Bothnia)which lies in the western part! of Finland.