Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Untouched By Morning And Untouched By Noon - Hate Mail

My mother's cousin Ellen and her husband Jack were only children, they had no siblings, no nieces and nephews who they might have baby sat and watch grow up, they grew up mostly surrounded by people their parents and grandparents ages and people their own age.  I only knew them in middle and old age, when they started visiting us, mostly in the late 1960s up till the early years of this century.   They worked with mostly people of their own age or older, she was an executive secretary at General Electric, her bosses were older and her own age, he was a lab worker worker at GE who went on to work for the union there.  They didn't socialize with people much younger than they were and since they were childless they tended to be around people their own age.

In their case that meant when you talked to them you talked to people who were largely inhabiting the past, not the present.  They were conservative, they didn't like the impingements of the present on their largely retrospective view of reality.  They disliked the post-Vatican II church, though they attended mass every week and supported their Church.  They used 1940s slang well past the time when anyone else I knew used it.   I loved them dearly but they were mostly rather eccentric figures.  I didn't bother to try to argue out new ideas with them.  It would have been pointless.   From them you could learn about nothing but details of a past you hadn't experienced. 

There is a futility to talking to a lower-mid-brow college-credentialed devotee of the common received wisdom about anything that doesn't conform to what they thought in their early youth if not childhood. 

This is all motivated by Simps saying that Emmanuel Macron mentioning Voltaire in the diplomatic babble associated with his visit is going to bother me in some way.   I wonder why he wouldn't be upset about it since during our last couple of go rounds over Monsieur Arouet I was able to document that that great hero of the "enlightenment" and so the atheist pseudo-left was a vicious and flagrant anti semite and racist.  I know he read the quotes I produced along with citations and links which were pretty extreme.   I doubt you could find anything by the Breitbart crowd that could top them in hatefulness and bile as well as dishonesty.   If Voltaire hadn't been an anti-religious hero but a theologian or bishop he wouldn't get off the hook, they'd probably invent such statements for them if they didn't exist. 

So, congratulations,  Simps you are officially in that stage of geezerhood in which you are so stuck in your prejudices that even having the evidence thrown in your face several times doesn't make a dent.  It's pretty much the rule of those who can still tolerate Duncan's blog.  It's one of the reasons I left,  I wasn't learning anything new there.


  1. Ah, right. Voltaire was a racist and an anti-semite.

    Which you can tell, completely, by reading CANDIDE.

    Oh, not.

    1. To start, you never read Candide, you saw the musical, which wasn't written by Voltaire but the woman whose every word was a lie, Lillian Hellman. The music is overrated, too.

      There is no getting by the things he wrote which were disgustingly and blatantly racist and antisemitic, Voltaire wrote them. That isn't even to mention the content IN CANDIDE which has been criticized as promoting racist beliefs common to the heroes of the atheist "enlightenment" as I proved by producing quotes from a number of them when you challenged me to.

      Anyone who looks at the links and looks up the citations will see that Voltaire was a flagrant racist and bigot.

      You're such a stupid old fart that me pointing out that you're a stupid old fart and pointing out the proof of that won't teach you anything.

  2. "Tous les autres peuples ont commis des crimes, les Juifs sont les seuls qui s'en soient vantés. Ils sont tous nés avec la rage du fanatisme dans le cœur, comme les Bretons et les Germains naissent avec des cheveux blonds. Je ne serais point étonné que cette nation ne fût un jour funeste au genre humain."

    - Lettres de Memmius a Cicéron (1771)

    1. I gave that to Simps in English on one of our go rounds when he was enraged that I'd desecrated the plaster St. Voltaire with the truth as found in the record of his writing, along with his proto Nazi statements on other entire ethnicities, the inhabitants of three continents worth, the Americas and Africa. Considering what it says about Africans in Candide it's clear that was the mild version of his racism.

      If he hadn't made that comment about "defending to the death" the right for someone to say something he disagreed with, I doubt he'd be considered some kind of saint of late 20th-early 21st century secular piety.

      THE PROBLEM IS THAT HE DIDN'T SAY IT. It's a quote invented by an early 20th century writer, apparently. Someone who considered herself a "friend of Voltaire" but who, none the less, did a sloppy job of "translating" some of his letters only to have people who never really read Voltaire mistake it as something he actually said. Apparently it exists in French through some French translation of the English which has had quite the life of its own. I know I've heard any number of free speechy types piously intone the words while proving they don't really care about accuracy. And if one of them would defend "to the death" the right of someone they disagreed with to say it, I'll eat my winter cap. Most of them wouldn't risk their scribbling gig at some crappy rag to defend such things as my right to advocate allowing people who are defamed the right to sue for damages effectively suppressing the lie industrial complex.

  3. '"To start, you never read Candide, you saw the musical"

    Oh, fuck you, you hick nitwit. Actually, I read CANDIDE in high school, and laughed my ass off, and I never saw the show. The only music from it I know is the overture, and that mostly because it was the theme song for the Dick Cavett show.

    1. Liar. If you'd read Candide you'd know it contained racist material. Even more blatantly racist than the racist parts of The Magic Flute. And I'll bet you watched it on TV, probably the recent production with Kristen Chenoweth as Cunegonde.

      If I really cared I'd go over what you'd said about it in our go rounds over Lenny Bernstein, I'm sure you claimed to have heard it. As for Cavett, I listened to some of his old interviews, which weren't bad for TV but other than the ones with people like Mary McCarthy and the one where he staged a fight between Mailer and Vidal, a good print interview is better.

      Lenny should have taken Roger Sessions' advice and taken a time off from engagement with other composer's music so he could find his own style. He did have talent as a composer but his career as a conductor led him to writing pastiche. Composers should write their own music, they should leave it to other composers to write their music instead of producing an imitation. The tragedy of New York City style celebrity and what it does to the arts . . .