4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Stop picking the Wagnerian scab

It’s time to take Wagner back from National Socialism

Nürnberg courtroom.
Nürnberg courtroom.

Whatever would we do without PC culture to judge the recent past (last 200 years) for us and then share its verdict of guilty based on the precious shell which has been slowly swallowing culture for the several years? I say we would make more progress, and in a much healthier way, without it.

There are a few articles currently making the rounds on my Google app. One is about Wagner being put on trial at the Bayreuth Festival. The other articles are about hate speech and yellowface. We’ll get to those in due time.

The Bayreuth trial is a production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg which places part of the show in the courtroom of the 1945 Nürnberg trials. The production is supposed to be putting Wagner on trial to explore just how far his anti-semitism went. Wagner himself is portrayed in the production. There is also a huge paper-mache head.

I cannot wait for paper-mache heads to fall out of fashion. Stop with the cartoon images and present a truthful performance.

Video:

Die Meistersinger

How often do we have to go down this path? Whenever someone wants to appear insightful they head on over to the trailhead of Wagner’s anti-semitism and what do we get from from it? We get yet another tired sermon which has no application to the lives of anyone consuming the product. It’s lazy.

There are legitimate concerns in our current world when it comes to anti-semitism, but Wagner’s anti-semitism isn’t one of them. As I wrote earlier this summer, “the Jewish question” was not the defining question of Wagner’s art.

Having grown up admiring Jewish culture and history I needed to be told that Wagner was anti-semitic. I did not experience it in his music or the stories of his operas. I had to be carefully taught. “Oh my dear innocent young man, you thought Wagner was about the ennoblement of humanity through art? No, no. Wagner is about hating Jews. They are not allowed to be part of the ennoblement according to Wagner.”

Guess what. Wagner doesn’t get to decide that.

“But he said we couldn’t play.”

People, he’s dead, and I say everyone gets to play. I have just as much authority on the subject as Wagner does at this point.

Oh wait, not everyone wants to play, do they? Some want to continue picking the Wagnerian scab. Why look to be ennobled when we can feel bad and guilty and instead?

This sentiment that we should feel bad and guilty about the errors of past generations is the most ridiculous and harmful concept currently going. We should feel about and guilty about the errors of our current situation and do whatever we can to correct them.

Putting Wagner “on trial”, at this point, isn’t doing anything for anyone. You may want to bring up the way Meistersinger concludes with a monologue about the sacredness of German art. Isn’t that dangerous? Yes.

Wagner was a German nationalist. Verdi was an Italian nationalist, Dvorak was a Czech nationalist, Elgar was a British nationalist. It should be noted that none of these men had any traditional political influence.

Even so, the conclusion of all this nationalism played itself out in two world wars. Nationalism is a legitimate danger when it goes unchecked. Take out the horrors of systematic genocide in Germany and Russia and rampant nationalism still destroys complete generations.

We continue to be stuck in Nazi propaganda, which is 70 years old. We continue to validate the power of the putrid culture they championed. To what end? It’s time to take Wagner back from National Socialism.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration, The Art of Dr Seuss Holiday Exhibition

Events December 6-December 9, 2020
Nürnberg courtroom.
Nürnberg courtroom.

Whatever would we do without PC culture to judge the recent past (last 200 years) for us and then share its verdict of guilty based on the precious shell which has been slowly swallowing culture for the several years? I say we would make more progress, and in a much healthier way, without it.

There are a few articles currently making the rounds on my Google app. One is about Wagner being put on trial at the Bayreuth Festival. The other articles are about hate speech and yellowface. We’ll get to those in due time.

The Bayreuth trial is a production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg which places part of the show in the courtroom of the 1945 Nürnberg trials. The production is supposed to be putting Wagner on trial to explore just how far his anti-semitism went. Wagner himself is portrayed in the production. There is also a huge paper-mache head.

I cannot wait for paper-mache heads to fall out of fashion. Stop with the cartoon images and present a truthful performance.

Video:

Die Meistersinger

How often do we have to go down this path? Whenever someone wants to appear insightful they head on over to the trailhead of Wagner’s anti-semitism and what do we get from from it? We get yet another tired sermon which has no application to the lives of anyone consuming the product. It’s lazy.

There are legitimate concerns in our current world when it comes to anti-semitism, but Wagner’s anti-semitism isn’t one of them. As I wrote earlier this summer, “the Jewish question” was not the defining question of Wagner’s art.

Having grown up admiring Jewish culture and history I needed to be told that Wagner was anti-semitic. I did not experience it in his music or the stories of his operas. I had to be carefully taught. “Oh my dear innocent young man, you thought Wagner was about the ennoblement of humanity through art? No, no. Wagner is about hating Jews. They are not allowed to be part of the ennoblement according to Wagner.”

Guess what. Wagner doesn’t get to decide that.

“But he said we couldn’t play.”

People, he’s dead, and I say everyone gets to play. I have just as much authority on the subject as Wagner does at this point.

Oh wait, not everyone wants to play, do they? Some want to continue picking the Wagnerian scab. Why look to be ennobled when we can feel bad and guilty and instead?

This sentiment that we should feel bad and guilty about the errors of past generations is the most ridiculous and harmful concept currently going. We should feel about and guilty about the errors of our current situation and do whatever we can to correct them.

Putting Wagner “on trial”, at this point, isn’t doing anything for anyone. You may want to bring up the way Meistersinger concludes with a monologue about the sacredness of German art. Isn’t that dangerous? Yes.

Wagner was a German nationalist. Verdi was an Italian nationalist, Dvorak was a Czech nationalist, Elgar was a British nationalist. It should be noted that none of these men had any traditional political influence.

Even so, the conclusion of all this nationalism played itself out in two world wars. Nationalism is a legitimate danger when it goes unchecked. Take out the horrors of systematic genocide in Germany and Russia and rampant nationalism still destroys complete generations.

We continue to be stuck in Nazi propaganda, which is 70 years old. We continue to validate the power of the putrid culture they championed. To what end? It’s time to take Wagner back from National Socialism.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Building Rancho Santa Fe mansion, Ramona grasslands, the Coaster's pluses and minuses

Harrowing Wildcat Canyon, importance of avocados, the scandal of Torrey Pines' bridge
Next Article

Robert Penn Warren: youngest of the Fugitives

Prolific poet and author of the 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, All the King’s Men
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close