Carla Rees and the savages of England, and their defenders.

I’m a member of a society (well, more of a mailing list, as I haven’t actively promoted my music through them) of tonal composers. These are folks who, by and large, like to complain that their music has been blacklisted because it isn’t atonal, and blame the Academy for all their problems (notwithstanding that many of us have no problem getting performances, and that most music being performed is tonal to one degree or another). When they are not complaining about not getting unmerited performances, they complain about not getting unmerited money from the filthy rich, or about others not doing so.

Well, a piece was posted about the recent misfortunes of contemporary flutist Carla Rees. It’s sad, absolutely. My boss lost a Baroque lute in a car theft, and it took him 4 years to replace it. Ron Andrico of Mignarda lost 3 lutes in a carjacking, but managed to recover them. But it’s not intrinsically more sad than some working-class person who last their family photos.

Immediately the tut-tutting began, and I lost it:

Unfortunately, this is what happens when people are poorly educated (ethics isn’t taught in most schools and is neglected by parents), and social and economic problems are allowed to fester.

No, this is what happens when the state refuses to perform its one unarguable duty of protecting property, when the intelligentia argues that religion doesn’t matter, and when artists make excuses for barbarians. Y’all own this one, far as I’m concerned.

Immediately, I was accused of being “partisan”

There are many elements that brought this about, but I don’t think blaming the ‘state’ for not protecting property in the face of widespread rioting is going to achieve anything.

And there was conflation of the property crime of the original Tea Party with the current Tea Party:

> Sorry, but today’s Tea Party movement just doesn’t get it. When a society and its government ignore your misery and kick you down, they, too, must acknowledge their own role in bringing about violent upheaval. The violence is indefensible–but it is explainable.
No, it’s you and Anthony who don’t get it. People have been miserable and kicked throughout human history. Why didn’t they burn their villages down?

You want to make this partisan. I didn’t. I figured that we could agree that a government at a minimum exists to keep order. I wasn’t addressing any functions beyond that. If we don’t agree that government exists to govern, then why does it exist at all? Note that Britain is currently ruled by what passes for the moderate Right over there, and they couldn’t even decide to deploy water cannon until well into the crisis. With somebody like the craven Home Secretary Theresa May in charge, who needs Labour?

There are three options for citizens: fear God, fear Man, or fear nobody. To fear nobody is to get what we’ve just had. To fear Man is either to have a police state, or a fully-armed populace…and without the fear of God, what makes that populace or that state anything other than an armed counter-mob? To fear God(s) is the foundation of Western civilization, because people control themselves, therefore needing a minimum of external control. “Teaching ethics” won’t do it, because any ethical system that can be rationally derived can be rationalized away. Pride in doing what’s right will only extend so far. In Britain, you had government unwilling to act, a citizenry unable to act (having been disarmed), and a nation badly in need of reconversion…so there is no reason not to do whatever you want to. When (not if) sharia law comes to Britain, the citizenry will dance in the streets, because at least those streets will be safe.

When I said, “You own this”, I meant it, because you’ve been making excuses for the inexcusable. You lament Carla Rees, because her values are yours. But she played music for toffs; if the poor dears were oppressed, didn’t she get what she deserved? What about other less-privileged victims? Aren’t family photographs irreplaceable, even more so that Rees’ instruments and scores? … What is ironic is that the members of a society which believes that there are objective canons of beauty in music refuse to recognize that there are objectively-correct moral beliefs.

BTW, I don’t think that the Boston Tea Party was morally right, and it was short-term counterproductive… I’ve seen nothing equivalent from the modern Tea Party.


3 Responses to Carla Rees and the savages of England, and their defenders.

  1. michael grosh says:

    About flutes: I stumbled on a most unusual instrument being played a couple weeks ago. A flute with two barrels. The harmonics were really attention getting, I was busy doing things and it absolutely stopped me in my tracks. The musician (Dave) said it was Lakotan (Plains Indian). It was clearly a sacred tune (Dave being fully engaged in Native American culture). Captivating. He called it his devil flute, but I think that was just because of the informality of the location (a backpacking hostel in the mountains of New Hampshire).

  2. jeffreyquick says:

    A crossblown flute? Double endblown flutes are fairly common, but I’m not sure a crossflute would even be possible. Something like this?

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