The EU clearly recognises that terrorism presents a problem, mainly because it turns people off the EU.
It must also realise that its immigration policy has something to do with the problem. After all, the amount of terrorism is known to be directly proportionate to the number of Muslims – and the EU has in its munificence admitted millions of those cultural aliens.
Having established that cultural alienation promotes suicide bombings, EU bureaucrats have set out to alleviate the problem. They’re going to spend €1,000,000 on the “promotion of EU values through music”.
The project is so fascinating that I don’t know where to begin. As a first tentative step I’ve looked those values up. The EU lists them as “respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities”.
It isn’t immediately obvious how this generic melange will solve the problem at hand – and some of its components, especially the last one, are only likely to make matters worse. But even admitting the curative effect of such worthy desiderata, one is still puzzled how they can be communicated through music.
Moreover, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, used as the EU anthem, contains lyrics that are offensive to Muslims: “She [Nature] gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine.” Try sampling ‘the fruit of the vine’ in Saudi Arabia and see what happens.
One suspects the bureaucrats simply used their stock knavish trick of equating ‘EU’ with ‘European’, thereby implying that the two notions are coextensive and inseparable. Let’s forgive them this lexical felony and accept that Western music does communicate Western values.
When it comes to culture, especially music, I use the words ‘Western’ and ‘Christian’ interchangeably. Western music was born in the church and seldom left home until Descartes first suggested that music was capable of evoking secular sentiments.
Since God who is love permeates even ostensibly secular Western music, one would expect it to have an ennobling effect. It’s counterintuitive to think that an avid listener of, say, Bach’s Passions could blow himself up on a crowded bus.
Alas, history shows that a man has to be predisposed to perceive the ennobling effect. Great music doesn’t occupy a separate compartment in such a man’s soul – it largely forms, enlightens and elevates his whole being. He and music are one.
However, the same institution that created Western music teaches that evil exists. And history confirms that even those evil men who like music are immune to its effects.
Lenin, for example, rationed his exposure to his beloved Appassionata. “Music,” he said, “makes us want to stroke people’s heads whereas we need to hit them without mercy.”
The great humanitarian indulged in both activities, albeit on a different scale. Soviet newsreels, for example, show Lenin stroking the heads of children, whom he allegedly loved. However, he definitely hated adults, which is why at least 10 million of them were killed on his watch.
Lenin’s successor happily combined love of music with hatred for people. While murdering another 50 million, Stalin personally compiled programmes for Kremlin concerts, showing a particular bias towards the pianist Emil Gilels.
Stalin even dabbled in musical criticism. For example, it’s widely acknowledged that he was the author of the Pravda article describing Shostakovich’s opera as “muddle instead of music”. And Stalin’s hangman-in-chief Beria listened to Mozart before and after torturing his victims personally.
The Nazis not only loved music but openly acknowledged that German Romanticism, Wagner in particular, had a formative effect on their ideology. Hitler regularly attended symphony concerts and, when he was in his box, Karajan arranged the audience in the swastika shape.
Not only consumers of music but also its practitioners happily harmonised Nazism with classical themes. Karajan, for example, joined the Nazi party twice, first in his native Austria, then in Germany.
Also implicated in collaboration with the Nazis were conductors Mengelberg and Furtwängler, composer Richard Strauss, pianists Cortot and Gieseking, singer Schwarzkopf and other sublime musicians. Say what you will about them, but they were all exposed to music rather a lot.
Now if classical music didn’t prevent Lenin, Stalin and Hitler from committing satanic crimes, one is hard-pressed to see how it’ll have such a restraining effect on feral Muslim youths who study jihad at their schools and worship it at their mosques.
In any case, European music has a deep effect only on people imbued with European (EU?) culture. For example, all Western music sounds like march tunes to the Chinese. And Islam bans instrumental music altogether, only allowing nasheeds, unaccompanied sacral songs.
Compare those with our cantatas or, for that matter, heretically secular Islamic music with, say, Chopin’s preludes, and you’ll understand how alien Muslim culture is to our music.
At least Daniel Barenboim, who brings Israeli and Palestinian musicians together to foster peace in the Middle East, does it strictly for self-promotion. Danny Boy neither expects nor produces any noticeable effect on anything other than his own popularity.
But those EU bureaucrats seem to be serious about this idiocy. Well, perhaps their economic policies are so resoundingly successful that they can find no better use for €1,000,000.