Rabbi Calls for Boycott of Edinburgh Klinghoffer Opera

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Rabbi Calls for Boycott of Edinburgh Klinghoffer Opera

Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:09 am

Rabbi demands boycott of opera about terror aboard Achille Lauro

Charlotte Higgins
Monday August 8, 2005

Guardian

The staging at the Edinburgh festival of an opera about the murder of a Jewish man by Palestinian terrorists has been condemned as "beyond contempt" by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, of the Los Angeles centre, has called on audiences to boycott the British stage premiere of John Adams's 1991 opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, a fictionalised account of the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, during which a disabled 69-year-old American tourist, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot while in his wheelchair by Palestinian militants and then thrown overboard.

The Italian cruise ship had been hijacked as it sailed in Egyptian waters in October 1985, and 400 passengers were held hostage for two days.

Mr Cooper said: "I would hope the people of Edinburgh would respond appropriately by allowing these moral midgets to do their opera to an empty house."

The production will involve members of the chorus with fake guns sitting in the audience and at a certain point they will storm the stage. "To portray a terrorist in heroic terms and to, in effect, make the audience part of a 'terrorist onslaught', I find it very difficult to express my level of outrage," said Mr Cooper.

But Sir Brian McMaster, the director of the Edinburgh International Festival, defended the staging. "I think that it's a piece that deserves its British stage premiere. I think we should be doing it - and current events make it as relevant as ever it was."

The work, by arguably the most respected composer in the US, is to be premiered by Scottish Opera on August 23. Sir Brian added: "It's a balanced piece. When I first heard it in a concert performance in 2002 I felt it was a powerful, fantastic piece worthy of performance."

Jan Younghusband, Channel 4's commissioning editor for arts and performance, who was behind Penny Woolcock's 2003 film of the opera, said: "The piece does get into the psychology of why people might do such a thing, but it certainly doesn't glorify it. It's not condoning terrorism; quite the opposite. It's really important that we are allowed to see pieces that investigate the reasons for these things."

The work has evoked anger ever since it first appeared in 1991, and its subject has made it almost unperformable in the US and Israel, where charges of anti-semitism, naivety and of giving a voice to terrorism have been levelled at it. After September 11 2001 performances in Boston of choruses from the opera were cancelled. Later, a prominent New York Times critic, Richard Taruskin, condemned the work, calling it "anti-American, anti-semitic and anti-bourgeois".

Adams's next opera, Dr Atomic, is to be premiered in San Francisco in October.
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Re: Rabbi Calls for Boycott of Edinburgh Klinghoffer Opera

Post by karlhenning » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:52 am

Higgins wrote:... Adams's next opera, Dr Atomic, is to be premiered in San Francisco in October.
Actually, this is a win-win situation for Adams, which he has long experience exploiting. If Klinghoffer gets good publicity, it's good publicity. If Klinghoffer draws public outrage, it's good publicity.

Adams thanks you, Mr Cooper, for assisting his PR apparatus.
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Post by diegobueno » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:05 am

This is not a pro-Palestinian or pro-terrorist opera. If anything, it suffers from not taking a point of view.

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Post by diegobueno » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:25 am

Summary of the action:



The Death of Klinghoffer is told in a very different style than Adams' previous opera, Nixon in China. While based on historical events, Klinghoffer does not always treat them in a traditionally narrative manner, and the events we see are not always those we expect. Several important events in the historical narrative--including Klinghoffer's death itself--are not seen onstage, but only commented on after the fact. In addition, many of the characters sing their versions of the action as reminiscences, as for example in the Captain's opening aria, "It was just after 1:15," which recounts the original appearance of the hijackers on board. Meanwhile, each scene ends with a number in which the chorus reflects on the events that have occurred. The opera begins with a prelude consisting of two of these choruses, one sung by a Chorus of Exiled Palestinians and the other by a Chorus of Exiled Jews.

Act I begins with the Captain of the Achille Lauro narrating the events of the original hijacking; most of the passengers had disembarked for a tour of the Pyramids when the hijackers first appeared; the remaining ones were rounded up in the ship's restaraunt. Another version of the hijacking story is told by a Swiss Grandmother, one of the passengers, and then by the ship's First Officer, who also tells that a passenger had been shot in the leg, apparently accidentally when a bullet ricocheted off the floor. Molqui, one of the terrorists, sings an aria ("Give these orders") explaining the situation to the passengers and promising them safety. Scene 2 introduces another of the terrorists, Mamoud, a more dangerous and violent man than his companion. The Captain reflects on the fact that every ship is a kind of prison. ("I have often reflected") Another passenger relates how she locked herself in her cabin and stayed there through the entire episode, undiscovered. Mahmoud sings an aria about freedom, contrasting with the Captain's earlier song. ("Those birds flying")

The chorus that opens Act II, "When Hagar was led into the wilderness," recounts the Biblical story of Hagar and Ishmael, representing the beginnings of Arab-Israeli tension. Molqui is frustrated at the lack of a reply to his demands; he is afraid people will die. Mamoud says only, "Now we will kill you all." It is only now we see Leon Klinghoffer for the first time. Explaining that he is normally a person who likes to avoid trouble, he nevertheless goes on to condemn the hijackers, accusing them of simply using their ideologies as a license to fulfill their real desire--to kill. ("I've never been/A violent man") He is replied to in equally harsh terms by another hijacker, called "Rambo." ("You are always complaining") Another passenger tells her story, including her impressions of Klinghoffer. Finally we hear from the last of the terrorists, Omar, a young idealogue who is hoping to die in his cause. At the end of the scene, Omar and Molqi fight, and Molqui takes Klinghoffer away.

The next scene opens with Klinghoffer's wife Marilyn, talking about disability, illness, and death; she assumes that her husband has been taken to the ship's hospital. In fact, during her aria, he is killed, offstage, by the terrorists, who are now threatening to kill another passenger every fifteen minutes; the Captain tells them to kill him instead of a passenger. As the terrorists negotiate with shore, Leon Klinghoffer's body appears and sings a "Gymniopedie". In the final scene, after the crisis has been resolved and the passengers have disembarked, the Captain tells Marilyn Klinghoffer about her husband's death. ("Mrs. Klinghoffer, please sit down"/"You embraced them!")

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Post by pizza » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:55 am

Maybe Adams will get around to doing one on Mengele at Auschwitz or Hitler and Eva Braun in the bunker -- without a point of view, of course.

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Post by karlhenning » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:00 am

pizza wrote:Maybe Adams will get around to doing one on Mengele at Auschwitz or Hitler and Eva Braun in the bunker -- without a point of view, of course.
Those have got to wait until he's finished the operas on the death of Terri Schiavo and the disappearance of Natalee Holloway (which he is writing purely because of their musical importance, of course).
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Post by pizza » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:12 am

karlhenning wrote:
pizza wrote:Maybe Adams will get around to doing one on Mengele at Auschwitz or Hitler and Eva Braun in the bunker -- without a point of view, of course.
Those have got to wait until he's finished the operas on the death of Terri Schiavo and the disappearance of Natalee Holloway (which he is writing purely because of their musical importance, of course).
There's no reason why he can't combine Mengele at Auschwitz with The Death of Terri Schiavo and kill two doctors with one stone.

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are you serious?

Post by PJME » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:14 am

Are you serious? Does Adams have such a bad reputation in the States?
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Re: are you serious?

Post by diegobueno » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:18 am

PJME wrote:Are you serious? Does Adams have such a bad reputation in the States?
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Only among the jealous..

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Re: are you serious?

Post by pizza » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:21 am

PJME wrote:Are you serious? Does Adams have such a bad reputation in the States?
Peter
My last post was tongue-in-cheek of course :wink: but The Death of Klinghoffer hasn't helped his reputation in some circles that take terrorism against helpless people seriously.

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I try again...

Post by PJME » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:25 am

http://www.calendarlive.com/music/cl-wa ... pr19.story

MOVIE REVIEW

'Klinghoffer' resonates anew

The film is as powerful and timely as the opera on the 1985 hijacking.

By Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
April 19 2003

SAN FRANCISCO -- The screening of a brilliant, morally courageous and overwhelmingly moving filmed version of John Adams' opera "The Death of Klinghoffer" on Sunday and Monday at the San Francisco International Film Festival once more gives this work about terrorism an eerie timeliness.

It received its premiere 12 years ago in Brussels under tight security just weeks after the end of the Gulf War. This week, American soldiers in Baghdad captured Abul Abbas, the Palestinian Liberation Front leader who masterminded the 1985 Achille Lauro hijacking. During the takeover of that Italian cruise ship, American tourist Leon Klinghoffer was murdered and his body thrown overboard in his wheelchair.

Controversial from the start, "The Death of Klinghoffer" angered some audiences and critics by allowing Palestinian terrorists to express their concerns poetically on the lyric stage and by appropriating the plight of a private family. On the other side, there were those who were disturbed by Adams' heroic depiction of Klinghoffer and called the work a Zionist plot. Los Angeles Opera, a co-commissioner, refused to mount it in the early 1990s. More recently, the Boston Symphony canceled performances of the "Klinghoffer" choruses in the wake of Sept. 11.

But as the work's topic and themes get more pressing, and as Adams -- this year's Pulitzer Prize winner for music -- gets more celebrated, this opera refuses to go away. And the emotionally draining new film, which British director Penny Woolcock shot last year on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean off the coast of Egypt, will surely give it new life. It is the first real masterpiece of cinematic opera.

The film takes a radically different approach from the opera's original staging. Then, the director, Peter Sellars, who had the original idea for "Klinghoffer," the librettist Alice Goodman and Adams took great pains to be evenhanded. Sellars' staging was so abstract that the work felt more like a religious pageant than a contemporary drama. Even so, the anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist labels stuck.

Woolcock's naturalistic film presents a vivid, realistic enactment of the hijacking, fleshing out characters with back stories and inventing new mute roles that add useful historical context. Yet she remains true to the score, which is incisively conducted by Adams.

But most important, Woolcock found an excellent cast of opera singers who prove inspired screen actors, able to withstand the physical scrutiny of her edgy, unflinching hand-held camera. She zooms up uncomfortably close to them, in preparation for Adams' unflinching music, which takes us, even more uncomfortably, inside them.

The film opens without song. Marilyn Klinghoffer spits in the faces of the four terrorists standing in an Italian police lineup. Her face registers a wife's contempt for her husband's murderers; their faces, a study in sorrowful defiance. Terrible history has led to terrible deeds. There is no forgiveness.

The opera's first music comes in powerful choruses of exiled Palestinians and exiled Jews that define the passions of Arabs and Jews for the same land. Here Woolcock shows a Palestinian family savagely displaced from its house by Jewish settlers; the new occupants, Holocaust survivors, hungrily tear at each other in ferocious lovemaking as Adams' choral writing swells to merciless climaxes. Terrorists and some passengers on the Achille Lauro are the children of 1948.

As Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer, Sanford Sylvan, who created the role in the original production, and Yvonne Howard give stellar dramatic performances.

On stage, Klinghoffer's death was presented in the stylized form of an oratorio. Time stops, and he sings an unearthly slow melody as his body slowly falls into the ocean. A dancer drags a body in a sheet across the stage. Woolcock, however, dares us to confront the dead man as he sinks underwater, bullet hole in his head, while Sylvan, on the soundtrack, sings with transcendental lyricism. Howard is unforgettable at the end: As Marilyn learns of her husband's death, grief and anger gradually consume her.

One of the boldest aspects of the opera, and the one that gave its detractors ammunition, was its nuanced view of motives. The libretto never excuses the terrorists, but it does represent them as men who believe in a cause. Woolcock goes further, vividly exploring the terrorists' dreams and the roots of their unquenchable anger, a parallel to the profound anger of Israelis forever haunted by Holocaust memories.

War attracts poets and sadists, and the Achille Lauro hijackers are no exception. Egyptian baritone Kamel Boutros is mesmerizing as Mamoud, the most sensitive of the terrorists, a singer of rhapsodic songs about birds and the sea, but still a warrior with a short fuse. English baritone Leigh Melrose is positively terrifying as the vicious Rambo who callously torments the passengers. Omar, who has the strongest sense of being on a holy mission, is a pants role for a mezzo-soprano. Woolcock uses a male actor (Emil Marwa) with a mezzo (Susan Bickley) voice-over, which gives Omar a startlingly otherworldly quality. Tenor Tom Randle is the trigger-happy Molqui.

Superb British baritone Christopher Maltman provides yet another disturbingly memorable performance as the ship's captain who fashions himself a peacemaker only

to be cruelly betrayed by the terrorists.

Smaller roles for other passengers, a Swiss grandmother, an Austrian woman and a British dancing girl -- all sung by the same singer in the opera -- are here distinct

and hence much more troubling characters.

Woolcock's "The Death of Klinghoffer" was shown at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, but attracted little attention and no American distribution. The

work was made for British television, and it will air in the U.K. next month on Channel 4, a commercial station that produced the film. But in the U.S., the only

scheduled screenings so far are at the San Francisco Film Festival and at Lincoln Center, where it will be shown May 13 as part of a John Adams festival.

Others should follow. An agonizing witness to our time, this "Death of Klinghoffer" demands to be seen.

'The Death of Klinghoffer'

Sanford Sylvan...Leon Klinghoffer
Christopher Maltman...Captain
Yvonne Howard...Marilyn Klinghoffer
Tom Randle...Molqui
Kamel Boutros...Mamoud
Leigh Melrose...Rambo
Emil Marwa (voiced by Susan Bickley)...Omar

If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at latimes.com/archives. For information about reprinting this article, go to www.lats.com/rights.



Copyright 2003 Los Angeles Times

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Post by karlhenning » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:32 am

... the most sensitive of the terrorists ....
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Post by pizza » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:39 am

December 9, 2001

Music's Dangers and the Case for Control
By RICHARD TARUSKIN

And on top of everything else, the Taliban hate music, too. In an interview in October with Nicholas Wroe, a columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian, John Baily, an ethnomusicologist on the faculty of Goldsmiths College, London, gave the details. After taking power in 1996, the Islamic fundamentalists who ruled most of Afghanistan undertook search-and-destroy missions in which musical instruments and cassette players were seized and burned in public pyres. Wooden poles were festooned with great ribbons of confiscated audio and video tape as a reminder of the ban, imposed in keeping with a maxim attributed to the prophet Muhammad warning "those who listen to music and songs in this world" that "on the Day of Judgment molten lead will be poured into their ears."

Musicians caught in the act were beaten with their instruments and imprisoned for as many as 40 days. The interdiction on professional music-making closed off yet another avenue to women's participation in public life. The only sounds on the Taliban-dominated radio that Western ears would recognize as musical were those of ritual chanting (something quite distinct from "music," both conceptually and linguistically, in Islamic thought as in many of the world's cultures).

So what else is new? Utopians, puritans and totalitarians have always sought to regulate music, if not forbid it outright. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, probably the Taliban's immediate model, banned it from Iranian radio and television in 1979, because its effects, he said, were like those of opium, "stupefying persons listening to it and making their brains inactive and frivolous."

But our own "Western" tradition is just as full of suspicion toward music, much of it religious. In the fourth century, St. Augustine confessed that as a result of his sensuous enjoyment of the melodies he heard in church, "I have become a problem unto myself." In the 12th, John of Salisbury complained that the spectacular music sung in the Paris Cathedral of Notre Dame could "more easily occasion titillation between the legs than a sense of devotion in the brain." Protestant reformers in England and Switzerland seized and burned books containing "popish ditties" with Talibanish zeal. Somewhat later, the Orthodox patriarch of Moscow ordered bonfires of musical instruments, thought to be avatars of paganism.

Religious distrust of music often arises out of distrust of its conduits, especially when female. St. John Chrysostom, the great Father of the Greek Orthodox Church, complained that when marriages were solemnized, "dancing, and cymbals and flutes, and shameful words and songs from the lips of painted girls" were introduced, and with them "all the Devil's great heap of garbage." Near the beginning of my career as a college music teacher, a young Hasidic man in fringes and gabardines approached me on the first day of class to inform me that he was willing to take my course, but that he would sit near the door, and I was to warn him whenever I would play a record that contained the sound of a woman's voice so that he could slip into the hall and avoid it. (Don't do me any favors, I replied.)

Secular thinkers have been no less leery of music. In a famous passage from Plato's "Republic," Socrates advocates banning most of the musical modes or scales, "because more than anything else rhythm and harmony find their way to the inmost soul and take strongest hold upon it, bringing with them and imparting grace, if one is rightly trained, and otherwise the contrary." If Plato were writing today (or less euphemistically), he might have put body in place of soul. For surely it is the all but irresistible kinesthetic response that music evokes that makes it such a potent influence on behavior, thence on morals and belief.

That is what sets music off from literature and painting, and attracts the special attention of censors despite its relative abstractness, which might seem to exempt it from the need for political policing. Tolstoy compared its effects to those of hypnosis, linking right up with Ayatollah Khomeini's strictures. And it can only be a similar discomfort about music's affinity with our grosser animal nature that led so many musical modernists to put so much squeamish distance between their cerebral art and viscerally engaging popular culture.

In any case, Plato's mingled awe and suspicion of music's uncanny power over our minds and bodies have echoed through the ages wherever governments have tried to harness music to uphold the public order (or at least keep music from disrupting it). They found the greatest resonance in those 20th-century totalitarian states that tried to turn the arts into a delivery system for political propaganda. Here is how one of Plato's heirs, Joseph Goebbels, retorted to the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler's plea for moderation in implementing Nazi arts policies:

"Art, in an absolute sense, as liberal democracy knows it, has no right to exist. Any attempt to further such an art could, in the end, cause a people to lose its inner relationship to art and the artist to isolate himself from the moving forces of his time, shut in the airless chambers of `art for art's sake.' Art must be good but, beyond that, conscious of its responsibility, competent, close to the people and combative in spirit."

The same kind of pronouncements and policy directives emanated from the Soviets, nominally the Nazis' enemies. Awful memories of the 1948 show trials convened by Andrei Zhdanov, Stalin's de facto cultural commissar, at which the leading Soviet composers (among them Prokofiev and Shostakovich) were humiliated for their "formalist" misdeeds, feed the current mania for vindicating the same composers, absurdly, as dissidents. The similarity of Nazi and Soviet views on the arts is only one reason political classifications nowadays tend to group the old far right and far left together, in opposition to the "liberal democracy" that appeared, until Sept. 11, to have beaten all of its opponents into submission.

That is probably why the Taliban's ban on musical performances, while in no way an unusual historical event (and not even really news), has suddenly drawn so much comment. It symbolizes the survival of impulses we might naïvely have thought discredited for good and all — as dead, in their way, as smallpox, with whose revival we are also unexpectedly threatened in these unsettled times.

Anything that conjures up both Nazis and Soviets, and now the Taliban, can have few friends in contemporary Western society. As Mayor Giuliani found out before he became our hero, hardly anything a politician can do will elicit a more dependable outcry across the political spectrum than a move in the direction of arts censorship, even if it threatens no direct intervention in the affairs of artists but only the withholding of municipal largess from institutions (like the Brooklyn Museum of Art) that support them. There is near unanimity in the West today that when it comes to the arts, laissez- faire (coupled, perhaps illogically, with handouts) is the way to go.

But who takes art more seriously? Those who want it left alone or those who want to regulate it? Moreover, the laissez-faire position entails some serious denials. Some say that art is inherently uplifting (if it is really art). Others say that art is inherently transgressive (if it is really art). The words in parentheses, designed to discourage counterexamples and make refutation impossible, merely empty the statements of real meaning. Does such a defense really show a commitment to the value of art or merely an unwillingness to think about it?

And what about public opinion, which sometimes demands abstentions from the performance or exhibit of artworks? Is that just another censorship tribunal?

The musical test case par excellence has always been the taboo on Wagner performances in Israel. Breaching it makes headlines, as the conductor Daniel Barenboim knows very well. He did it last summer to a great din of public protest and righteous indignation. But those who defended Mr. Barenboim's provocation often failed to distinguish between voluntary abstinence out of consideration for people's feelings and a mandated imposition on people's rights.

It was only a social contract that Mr. Barenboim defied, but he seemed to want credit for defying a ban. His act implied that the feelings of Holocaust survivors had been coddled long enough and that continuing to honor them was both an intolerable infringement on his career and an insult to artistic greatness. To agree with him, one had to stretch the definition of censorship way beyond that associated with Nazis, Soviets and Islamic fundamentalists, into moral terrain usually associated with forbearance or discretion or mutual respect.

Now the issue has been joined again, even more pointedly and painfully, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Announcing that it preferred "to err on the side of being sensitive," the management of the Boston Symphony Orchestra recently canceled its scheduled performances of choruses from "The Death of Klinghoffer," the notoriously controversial opera — masterminded by the director Peter Sellars, with a libretto by the poet Alice Goodman and a score by John Adams — that re-enacts and comments on the murder of an American Jew by Palestinian terrorists aboard the cruise ship Achille Lauro in the fall of 1985.

For thus showing forbearance and discretion, the Boston Symphony has taken some pies in the face. In an exceptionally vulgar rant that appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, the arts columnist David Wiegand, enraged at what he perceived as a slight to Mr. Adams (a Bay Area luminary), wrote, "There is something deeply wrong when a nation galvanizes its forces, its men and women, its determination and its resolve, to preserve the right of the yahoos at the Boston Symphony Orchestra to decide to spare its listeners something that might challenge them or make them think." What nation had done this? And why shouldn't people be spared reminders of recent personal pain when they attend a concert?

A month earlier, Mark Swed, the chief music critic for The Los Angeles Times, had expressed a similar opinion, only slightly more decorously, when he boasted that, "preferring answers and understanding to comfort," he had listened to the Nonesuch recording of "Klinghoffer" the day after the World Trade Center had collapsed. But whence this quaintly macho impulse to despise comfort (women's work?) and even deny it haughtily to sufferers? And whence the idea of seeking answers and understanding in an opera peopled by wholly fictional terrorists and semifictionalized victims, rather than in more relevant sources of information?

Anthony Tommasini, in The New York Times, endorsed Mr. Adams's contention that his opera offers "the sad solace of truth." What truth? "The Death of Klinghoffer" trades in the tritest undergraduate fantasies. If the events of Sept. 11 could not jar some artists and critics out of their habit of romantically idealizing criminals, then nothing will. But isn't it time for artists and critics to grow up with the rest of us, now that the unthinkable has occurred?

If terrorism — specifically, the commission or advocacy of deliberate acts of deadly violence directed randomly at the innocent — is to be defeated, world public opinion has to be turned decisively against it. The only way to do that is to focus resolutely on the acts rather than their claimed (or conjectured) motivations, and to characterize all such acts, whatever their motivation, as crimes. This means no longer romanticizing terrorists as Robin Hoods and no longer idealizing their deeds as rough poetic justice. If we indulge such notions when we happen to agree or sympathize with the aims, then we have forfeited the moral ground from which any such acts can be convincingly condemned.

Does "The Death of Klinghoffer" romanticize the perpetrators of deadly violence toward the innocent? Its creators tacitly acknowledged that it did, when they revised the opera for American consumption after its European premieres in Brussels and Paris. In its original version, the opening "Chorus of Exiled Palestinians" was followed not by a balancing "Chorus of Exiled Jews" but by a scene, now dropped from the score, that showed the Klinghoffers' suburban neighbors gossiping merrily about their impending cruise ("The dollar's up. Good news for the Klinghoffers") to an accompaniment of hackneyed pop-style music.

That contrast set the vastly unequal terms on which the conflict of Palestinians and Jews would be perceived throughout the opera. The portrayal of suffering Palestinians in the musical language of myth and ritual was immediately juxtaposed with a musically trivial portrayal of contented, materialistic American Jews. The paired characterizations could not help linking up with lines sung later by "Rambo," one of the fictional terrorists, who (right before the murder) wrathfully dismisses Leon Klinghoffer's protest at his treatment with the accusation that "wherever poor men are gathered you can find Jews getting fat."

Is it unfair to discuss a version of the opera that has been withdrawn from publication and remains unrecorded? It would have been, except that Mr. Adams, throwing his own pie at the Boston Symphony in an interview published recently on the Andante.com Web site, saw fit to point out that the opera "has never seemed particularly shocking to audiences in Europe." He was playing the shame game, trying to make the Boston cancellation look provincial. But when one takes into account that the version European audiences saw in 1991 catered to so many of their favorite prejudices — anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti- bourgeois — the shame would seem rather to go the other way.

Nor have these prejudices been erased from the opera in its revised form. The libretto commits many notorious breaches of evenhandedness, but the greatest one is to be found in Mr. Adams's music. In his interview, the composer repeats the oft drawn comparison between the operatic Leon Klinghoffer and the "sacrificial victim" who is "at the heart of the Bach Passions." But his music, precisely insofar as it relies on Bach's example, undermines the facile analogy.

In the "St. Matthew Passion," Bach accompanies the words of Jesus with an aureole of violins and violas that sets him off as numinous, the way a halo would do in a painting. There is a comparable effect in "Klinghoffer": long, quiet, drawn-out tones in the highest violin register (occasionally spelled by electronic synthesizers or high oboe tones). They recall not only the Bach ian aureole but also effects of limitless expanse in time or space, familiar from many Romantic scores. (An example is the beginning of Borodin's "In the Steppes of Central Asia.") These numinous, "timeless" tones accompany virtually all the utterances of the choral Palestinians or the terrorists, beginning with the opening chorus.

THEY underscore the words spoken by the fictitious terrorist Molqui: "We are not criminals and we are not vandals, but men of ideals." Together with an exotically "Oriental" obbligato bassoon, they accompany the fictitious terrorist Mamoud's endearing reverie about his favorite love songs. They add resonance to the fictitious terrorist Omar's impassioned yearnings for a martyr's afterlife; and they also appear when the ship's captain tries to mediate between the terrorists and the victims.

They do not accompany the victims, except in the allegorical "Aria of the Falling Body," sung by the slain Klinghoffer's remains as they are tossed overboard by the terrorists. Only after death does the familiar American middle-class Jew join the glamorously exotic Palestinians in mythic timelessness. Only as his body falls lifeless is his music exalted to a comparably romanticized spiritual dimension.

Why should we want to hear this music now? Is it an edifying challenge, as Mr. Wiegand and Mr. Tommasini contend? Does it give us answers that we should prefer, with Mr. Swed, to comfort? Or does it express a reprehensible contempt for the real- life victims of its imagined "men of ideals," all too easily transferable to the victims who perished on Sept. 11?

In a fine recent essay, the literary critic and queer theorist Jonathan Dollimore writes that "to take art seriously — to recognize its potential — must be to recognize that there might be reasonable grounds for wanting to control it." Where should control come from? Unless we are willing to trust the Taliban, it has to come from within. What is called for is self-control. That is what the Boston Symphony laudably exercised; and I hope that musicians who play to Israeli audiences will resume exercising it. There is no need to shove Wagner in the faces of Holocaust survivors in Israel and no need to torment people stunned by previously unimaginable horrors with offensive "challenges" like "The Death of Klinghoffer."

Censorship is always deplorable, but the exercise of forbearance can be noble. Not to be able to distinguish the noble from the deplorable is morally obtuse. In the wake of Sept. 11, we might want, finally, to get beyond sentimental complacency about art. Art is not blameless. Art can inflict harm. The Taliban know that. It's about time we learned.

Richard Taruskin teaches music history at the University of California at Berkeley and is writing a general history of music.

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company

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Post by GK » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:23 pm

I'm happy to read that Adams and his libretist are being even handed and not choosing sides between a crippled tourist and terrorists. I'm sure that this work, especially how it's being done in this production, is just what the United Kingdom needs right now.

Saulsmusic

Post by Saulsmusic » Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:26 pm

Doesnt John Adams have a better thing to do then play into people's emotions?

I think this so called "Opera" is a mistake and the Rabbi was very correct for banning it!

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Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:58 pm

Saulsmusic wrote:Doesnt John Adams have a better thing to do then play into people's emotions?

I think this so called "Opera" is a mistake and the Rabbi was very correct for banning it!
*****

Neither the rabbi nor anyone else can ban the opera. He is calling for a boycott which, I suspect, won't happen.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:57 pm

karlhenning wrote:Those have got to wait until he's finished the operas on the death of Terri Schiavo and the disappearance of Natalee Holloway (which he is writing purely because of their musical importance, of course).
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sorry, Karl, Barry has won the post of the day award. You'll have to go read it in the pub - under that sports tragedy announcement. But your's would be it otherwise.
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Saulsmusic

Post by Saulsmusic » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:01 pm

Yes I meant Boycott,

And if the Rabbi wont achieve it,still he made an important point by speaking out.

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Re: are you serious?

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:03 pm

PJME wrote:Are you serious? Does Adams have such a bad reputation in the States?
Peter
Only among people who like classical music.
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Post by Barry » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:05 pm

The EMI disc of his orchestral music with Rattle conducting is good listening though :wink:.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

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Post by MahlerSnob » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:21 pm

Are you all really criticizing a composer for writing a work he knew would be controversial? John has taken a lot of flack for this opera, and the bulk of it comes from people who have never even seen Klinghoffer.
Please keep in mind that this opera was written over 10 years ago - hardly an attempt to play off of the 9/11 emotions. The opera does something that is extremely difficult to do by taking a non-biased look at the Israel-Palestine conflict. By doing this, I think John and his librettist (Sellars?) were showing some of the truth in that situation: both sides are just as evil, and there is no good guy. The opera does take place during a Palestinian terrorist operation, but it could just as easily take place during an Israeli occupation of Gaza. This of course upsets people - the pro-Israelis are upset because the opera doesn't favor Israel, the pro-Palestinians are upset because it doesn't favor Palestine, and most other people are just generally offended because heaven forbid we have a work of art that reflects the times we live in!
John didn't need this publicity. By the time he wrote this opera he was very well established as a composer. Klinghoffer has probably hurt his career more than it's helped it.

So please: First of all, why don't you all go WATCH this opera before you pass judgement on it (the above mentioned film version is very good) and secondly give the man a break - most of you probably wouldn't have the balls to do what he did.
-Nathan Lofton
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Saulsmusic

Post by Saulsmusic » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:44 pm

"both sides are just as evil, and there is no good guy"

This statement is a great mistake,Mahlersnob.

Israel if you dont know is the only nation in the world to have its borders written and spoken out By God.
Israel was promised to Abraham Izak and Jacob by God that this lands is thiers and thier children for ever.

Arabs dont have any right to this land,it is not thiers at all.

They could be very happy with thier 22 big countries and let the Jews be happy with a small country that is so little that you need glasses to see it on the Map!.

So saying that the Jews are as evil as the arab terrorists that are trying to forcefully steal this land from the Jews,is abselutly wrong and I think you should study the conflict a little better before you come in here and make this broad statemments .

Thank you,

Saul

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Post by MahlerSnob » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:11 pm

Spare me, Saul. I've seen enough of your crap on Music-Scores that I don't need to deal with it here too.

Also, the argument "God's on our side" has caused more deaths in human history than all dieseases and plagues put together. Please refrain from using it in polite company.
-Nathan Lofton
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Post by Barry » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:12 pm

Saulsmusic wrote:"both sides are just as evil, and there is no good guy"

This statement is a great mistake,Mahlersnob.

Israel if you dont know is the only nation in the world to have its borders written and spoken out By God.
Israel was promised to Abraham Izak and Jacob by God that this lands is thiers and thier children for ever.
Oy
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Saulsmusic

Post by Saulsmusic » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:37 pm

Wohhh hey wo ho now your getting into Evolution(a.k.a. some idiots's stupid invention).....

Evolution is a theory.

Which means Apewin only "thought" that he " thinks" that it "may be" that he came from the apes.One idiot's account can hardly be any source for a sceintific proof.

This universe didnt create itself.
Anyone that wants to believe that things create themselves is greatly mistaken.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:51 pm

Barry Z wrote:The EMI disc of his orchestral music with Rattle conducting is good listening though :wink:.
Every now and again when Batchelor is doing something on China, he plays that "Chairman is dancing" thing. It's some of his least compelling music - mostly he uses movie music.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:03 pm

MahlerSnob wrote: The opera does something that is extremely difficult to do by taking a non-biased look at the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Only a moral coward would even think of tarting up his anti-Israeli position in a "non-biased" "artistic" work and selling to the naive as such.
By doing this, I think John and his librettist (Sellars?) were showing some of the truth in that situation: both sides are just as evil, and there is no good guy.
How stunningly couragous of the man! Putting mass murderers of women and children on the same moral footing as the murdered women and children. Bravo! No wonder the average American finds it so difficult to respect the "artsy" crowd.
The opera does take place during a Palestinian terrorist operation, but it could just as easily take place during an Israeli occupation of Gaza.
No it couldn't.
This of course upsets people
Don't worry, it only upsets thinking people.
John didn't need this publicity.
See, Karl's post.
So please: First of all, why don't you all go WATCH this opera
:lol: :lol: Yeah, that will really help us understand what he's straining to persuade us to grasp.
most of you probably wouldn't have the balls to do what he did.
I don't know anyone of such weak moral conviction that they could be dazzled by such twaddle into indecision about who's the terrorist and whose the victim and then try to sell the notion that the terrorist is a sympathetic character.
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Saulsmusic

Post by Saulsmusic » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:05 pm

Good way to describe other peoples thoughts and opinion as "crap".
Very mature and interesting style you got there Nathan.

Anyways we are talking from different realities.

Any person who believes in God and the Bible can just open up the book and read the things himself.The things are very clear in the bible.One only needs to read.
But if you dont believe in God and in the Bible.Then you just dont believe that God had written in the bible that Israel belongs to the Jewish people.

So how can I argue this with you Nathan.First,before I would be successful in making you understand that Israel belongs to the Jews,I would need to Make you believe in God and in His Bible.

Thats what it is all about,Nathan.Its all about God.
One that believes in God understand that he is the only one that created the entire universe and everything that is in it including planet earth and all the countries that exist on it.And that since he is the true and only Owner of every single thing in this universe,therfore he can give any land to anyone he wishes.

But you refuse to accept the reality of God and his very famous words in the bible .You choose to disregard him and look at it like he is not here.
But Ill tell you something Nathan.The land of Israel belongs to the Jews weather you believe in God or not or weather you read the bible or didnt.
Your refusal and ignorance are not the pulling strings of reality and world affairs.Billions of people all around the world Do believe in God and Did read the very famous line in the bible which God speaks out clearly first to Abraham as follows:

1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, HaShem appeared to Abram, and said unto him: 'I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be thou wholehearted.

2 And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.'

3 And Abram fell on his face; and God talked with him, saying:

4 'As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be the father of a multitude of nations.

5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for the father of a multitude of nations have I made thee.

6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.

8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.'

9 And God said unto Abraham: 'And as for thee, thou shalt keep My covenant, thou, and thy seed after thee throughout their generations.


Then to Abraham's Son Izak:


2 And HaShem appeared unto him, and said: 'Go not down unto Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of.

3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore unto Abraham thy father;

4 and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these lands; and by thy seed shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves;

5 because that Abraham hearkened to My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.'

Then to Izak's Son Jacob also known as Israel :


10 And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran.

11 And he lighted upon the place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep.

12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

13 And, behold, HaShem stood beside him, and said: 'I am HaShem, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac. The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.

14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. And in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee whithersoever thou goest, and will bring thee back into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.'

16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said: 'Surely HaShem is in this place; and I knew it not.'

17 And he was afraid, and said: 'How full of awe is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.'

18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

19 And he called the name of that place Beth-el, but the name of the city was Luz at the first.

20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying: 'If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,

21 so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then shall HaShem be my God,

22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that Thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto Thee.'

These are facts that are believed and by billions of people to be the truth.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:06 pm

Barry Z wrote:Oy
I wish I'd said that!
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Post by MahlerSnob » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:17 pm

You know, Saul - there's a reason I stopped posting regularly on music-scores. That reason, plainly and simply, is you. Your religious convictions are your own buisness, and I have no problem with them. However, I do have a problem with you shoving them down other people throats every chance you get. Sometimes you even do when you don't have a chance - you make posts with the specific purpose of doing it.
When you can have a conversation without bringing up God or quoting a passage of the bible as fact, then come find me. Until that time I won't be responding to your posts.

Corlyss, you bring up interesting questions - although all of them are strongly biased - and I will be happy to respond to each of them. However, I am tired and I'll do it tomorrow. The only reason I wanted to post this tonight is because I didn't want Saul to get any wrong ideas about why I bothered responding to him in the first place (which I should have known better than to do).
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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:29 pm

MahlerSnob wrote:I will be happy to respond to each of them.
No rush. I'll be working on the garage tomorrow and checking back occasionally for your input.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:10 pm

Israel was promised to Abraham Izak and Jacob by God that this lands is thiers and thier children for ever.
Are Abraham Izak and Jacob still Realtors?

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Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:27 pm

Oy vey!!
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Post by Modernistfan » Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:05 pm

Well, Saul, there you have it. As a secular Jew, I am repulsed by the facile bigotry of the Orthodox. They consider non-Jews, especially African-Americans in the United States and Arabs in Israel and the occupied territories, as Untermenschen who are not even human. Remember Gavin Cato in Crown Heights? The Rabbi's motorcade, speeding, killed a six-year-old black boy. Did they ever express remorse or suggest that the Bet Din (Rabbinical court) award some sort of compensation to the Cato family? They wouldn't even consider such an act of tzedaka (charity). That sort of action might have stopped the riots, which I of course also condemn, before they started.

As for God (if he or she exists) giving the land of Israel to the Jews and only to the Jews, please show me a deed to that effect that would be upheld by any court of law. The more I see these conflicts over religion, the more I am convinced that all religious bigots are the same. What about that off-duty soldier in Israel who shot at least four innocent Arabs on a bus? How is he any different morally from Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, or Hamas?

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Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:08 pm

Ted wrote:
Israel was promised to Abraham Izak and Jacob by God that this lands is thiers and thier children for ever.
Are Abraham Izak and Jacob still Realtors?
*****
Century 21, I heard.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:47 pm

Century 21, I heard.
Don't you mean Century 01?

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Post by pizza » Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:49 pm

Modernistfan wrote:Well, Saul, there you have it. As a secular Jew, I am repulsed by the facile bigotry of the Orthodox. They consider non-Jews, especially African-Americans in the United States and Arabs in Israel and the occupied territories, as Untermenschen who are not even human. Remember Gavin Cato in Crown Heights? The Rabbi's motorcade, speeding, killed a six-year-old black boy. Did they ever express remorse or suggest that the Bet Din (Rabbinical court) award some sort of compensation to the Cato family? They wouldn't even consider such an act of tzedaka (charity). That sort of action might have stopped the riots, which I of course also condemn, before they started.

As for God (if he or she exists) giving the land of Israel to the Jews and only to the Jews, please show me a deed to that effect that would be upheld by any court of law. The more I see these conflicts over religion, the more I am convinced that all religious bigots are the same. What about that off-duty soldier in Israel who shot at least four innocent Arabs on a bus? How is he any different morally from Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, or Hamas?
I love it when people who haven't the faintest concept of Middle East history, apparent from their factual, legal and historical misstatements including the use of the word "occupation" -- suggesting that Jews are living illegally in Arab lands when they are at the very least living in disputed territories according to International Law -- presume and pretend to preach morality to those who have suffered from Arab terrorism and intransigence for the past century or more in lands where they have lived for millenia and have constantly attempted to reach an accomodation with their Arab neighbors through peaceful negotiations but to no avail.

Not satisfied with proliferating a skewed historical perspective, they then presume to lecture us on the views of Orthodox Jews with whom they have little or no personal contact and about whom they know absolutely nothing -- as if all Torah observant Jews are a monolith and are of the same mind on any issue. That position would be laughable if it wasn't so sad, as anyone who maintains any genuine personal contact with Orthodox Jewry knows where the saying "two Jews, five opinions" comes from -- and it ain't from so-called "secular Jews", whatever that means, aside from gastronomical Jews -- those who can argue up a storm about which brand of Gefilte fish they prefer but nothing of substance because they prefer to rely on facile prejudice and maybe a course or two in comparative religion for whatever information or misinformation they may have rather than taking the time and the effort required to seriously learn anything about Jewish Law (Halacha) and their own history.

How is the soldier who killed 4 innocent Arabs morally different from Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad? Oh yeah, that's a real hard one, Modernistfan. He happens to be one of three aberrant Jews who during the past 40 or so years have perpetrated individually motivated, unsponsored and completely unexpected attacks on Arabs contrary to Jewish Law and policy. During the past four years alone, the organizations you named have actively encouraged and trained killers of Jews as the centerpiece of their mainstream activities, and have committed over 25,000 officially sponsored attacks on innocent Jewish civilians, murdering over a thousand men, women and children and permanently maiming over 10,000 pursuant to official Islamic religious law and policy. See the difference?

See also:

http://www.arutzsheva.com/print.php3?wh ... le&id=5407

As to the Crown Heights riots which resulted in the murder of an innocent yeshiva student, Yankel Rosenbaum, maybe in your view a traffic accident caused by a negligent religious Jewish driver is morally equivalent to a deadly riot not-so-subtly condoned by black leaders and spokesmen such as Sharpton, Carson and Jeffries, and requires extraordinary measures beyond what the law prescribes, but not in mine. When did New York exhaust its supply of personal injury lawyers and when did the New York civil courts go out of business? Do Jews riot in the streets when a Jewish kid is accidentally hit by a car driven by a black man? Do you suggest that black leaders encourage charity contributions by affluent blacks to Jewish families who are victims of accidental injuries caused by black drivers in order to prevent Jews from rioting?

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Post by karlhenning » Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:30 am

Nathan wrote:First of all, why don't you all go WATCH this opera before you pass judgement on it.
Esteemed neighbor,

(a) I have indeed listened to the opera, thank you.

(b) Adams thanks you, Nathan, for assisting his PR apparatus.
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Post by herman » Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:44 am

karlhenning wrote: Adams thanks you, Nathan, for assisting his PR apparatus.
Well, it is a nice change from quote unquote composers who spend most of their time writing about themselves on music boards.

You seem to be so inured to this practice you don't even realize people wanting to comment on a composer whose work is out there is actually the regular thing, rather than free PR.

BTW am I the only one on whose screen the KH quote turns up in green type?

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Post by Ralph » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:10 am

herman wrote:
karlhenning wrote: Adams thanks you, Nathan, for assisting his PR apparatus.
Well, it is a nice change from quote unquote composers who spend most of their time writing about themselves on music boards.

You seem to be so inured to this practice you don't even realize people wanting to comment on a composer whose work is out there is actually the regular thing, rather than free PR.

BTW am I the only one on whose screen the KH quote turns up in green type?
*****

Green here too.
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Post by karlhenning » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:28 am

Do not adjust your set, Ralph! :-)
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Saulsmusic

Post by Saulsmusic » Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:48 am

The Bible is the best and strongest source of proof that this land was given to the Jewish people by God himself.


Dont want to believe in the Bible?

Imagine someone gets into someones Villa when the true owner is not there and starts living there as if the Villa belongs to him.After a month the true owner comes to the Villa and tries to enter it.To his amazment the keys wont work,for this thief cahnged the locks.He then calls the police and tells them that he cant get into his house.The police comes and forceully knocks off the door and gets in.The thief all angry ,jumps up and down with his hands in the air yelling"HULIGANS!!! IDIOTS!!! WHAT are you doing breaking into my Villa!!!???".

"Your Villa?" says the true owner.

Ofcourse ,this is my house and I dont understand why you made the police destroy my door???

The true owner says to the police that he could provide the legal documents from "CENTURY 21" that he legaly bought the house.

The thief overheard this and said with a smile :"You think I believe in all these Real Estate nonsence?I dont believe that centure 21 exists.I never heard of them and Therefore this is my house and please get out!".

This is the same argument that Nathen and Ralph and all those who dont believe in the Document of God that is His Holy Bible.

Just becouse you dont believe that God exists and that he wrote in his 'Document' that he gave this land to the Jewish people for ever,doesnt mean that its not true and that he doesnt exist.

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Post by herman » Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:44 pm

Saulsmusic wrote:Dont want to believe in the Bible?
No, I really don't. It's just a book. If God existed he wouldn't waste his time writing books (trust me, I know what I'm talking about).

But even if I did, I wouldn't want to read about it on a music forum, pal.

I getting sick and tired of all these American nuts who want to talk religion wherever you go..

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Post by Ralph » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:52 pm

herman wrote:
Saulsmusic wrote:Dont want to believe in the Bible?
No, I really don't. It's just a book. If God existed he wouldn't waste his time writing books (trust me, I know what I'm talking about).

But even if I did, I wouldn't want to read about it on a music forum, pal.

I getting sick and tired of all these American nuts who want to talk religion wherever you go..
*****

You don't run into them often - they're a pretty insular cohort despite their evangelizing.
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Saulsmusic

Post by Saulsmusic » Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:10 pm

Herman,

I understand your discomfort in accepting God as a reality.

God in your life would mean that what ever you do will have its meaning and you will get rewarded or punished according to your actions.

But now since you live a life free of God,you seem to think that what ever you do has no real meaning in the long run becouse you think that there is no One True Judge that judges each and everyone of us according to the way we conducted our lives in this world.

A question arises.

If there is no God like you say ,then this whole world is a "one huge joke".

If there is no altimate Judge that rules this world with Justice and Truth then it would be an everlasting paradox to think that hitler didnt get punished for all the Suffering and pain that he inflicted on humanity?

That he just died and he remembers or knows nothing that he had done?

Its a tragedy to think this way.

A relgious person knows and understand that Just like we humans posses these sences of Justice and Truth,so too there had to be a Creator that had this attributes to him too,and he instilled this sences to the people that he created.

What is the difference between humans and animals,Herman?

Theres not much it may seem.

We both have our physial needs such as ,sleeping,eating,sexual activity,and so on.With this things we are the same as the animals.

One thing separates us humans then the animals and that is the Power of Speech,and with this power of speech ,humans can unite and create and build skyscrapers and send people to the moon and even reach mars.

Some animals are much more quicker then us,stronger then us,but we rule them becouse we have this most powerful Gift that is called Speech.

This gift that is called the power of speech was given to us by a creator.For without it we humans would be living in the jungles rubbing stones at each other to make fire and wearing bear and elk leather clothing.

With this power of Speech people are able to conduct thier societies with the attributes of Truth,compassion and Justice for without them humans would end living a life as normal human beings.

These very strong sences of Truth Justice and Compassion are a must in every healthy society.

This is the meaning of the famous verse in Genesis when God said :

"And God said: 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth'.And God created man in His own image".


This verse :"And God created man in His own image" doesnt mean like the christians claim that this is a proof that God has a body.Its forbidden to even suggest this.But the true meaning is as follows:

God has the attributes of Truth,Justice,Compassion.He feeds the hungry,clothes the naked,and helps the needy.

God wanted to create a human being that will have this attributes too.

Adam,the first human was created with a sence of Justice,Truth,compassion,with a heart to help the needy,feed the hungry and cloth the naked.

That what it means "And God created man in His own image".
But the early christians had no idea About the real and true meaning of this verse so therfore they have made a major mistake and therfore are guilty of violating the Second commadment from the 10 commandments.

And if you dont like people to talk about religion,then dont read this posts.
You cant make people talk and write only about the topics that you like and enjoy,thats being selfish.

Have a good one,

Saul

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:37 pm

Saulsmusic wrote: But now since you live a life free of God,you seem to think that what ever you do has no real meaning in the long run becouse you think that there is no One True Judge that judges each and everyone of us according to the way we conducted our lives in this world.
And here my Evangelican Christian friends have been telling me for years that actions don't matter; only whether you accept Christ as your savior will determine where you wind up after departing this world.

Of course, I think they're just as delutional as you are.

Saulsmusic wrote:And if you dont like people to talk about religion,then dont read this posts.
You cant make people talk and write only about the topics that you like and enjoy,thats being selfish.
And you can't control how most people are going to react to your preaching. People like you alienate more people than you convert. Which I suppose is a good thing. Keep preaching brother.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

John Bleau
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:50 pm

Post by John Bleau » Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:45 pm

Saul is a Palestinian agitator posing as a Jew.

Saulsmusic

Post by Saulsmusic » Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:50 pm

And you are a brazilian shmuck posting as an american wiseguy

John Bleau
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:50 pm

Post by John Bleau » Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:00 pm

And you are a brazilian shmuck posting as an american wiseguy
A real Jew would not misspell "schmuck."

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:13 pm

John Bleau wrote:
And you are a brazilian shmuck posting as an american wiseguy
A real Jew would not misspell "schmuck."
He may have you there, Saul.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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