When The Shoe is on the Other Foot
It is the one hundredth anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of Armenians that took place under the Ottoman Empire. While Pope Francis made headlines for offending the Turks by referring to these events as a genocide, Israel has made headlines for its refusal to recognize the genocide. The reasons for Israel’s stance are understandable – she does not want to offend what, until recently, was one of the few regional allies she had and which she hopes to have good relations with again. Nevertheless, it must surely strike those who possess a sense of irony as being truly ironic indeed that the government of a nation whose core ethnic group has lobbied to have the historical revision of their own genocide at the hands of the Germans seventy years ago criminalized as “Holocaust denial” across Europe and which has used several different laws, from an archaic law against spreading “false news” to the “hate speech” section of the Human Rights Act, to punish revisionists here in Canada, would turn around and deny someone else’s genocide.
An Awful Woman
Last evening I went to the final performance of the Manitoba Opera production of Puccini’s Turandot. It was an excellent production. Although I was already familiar with the opera for some reason it struck me for the first time last night what this opera was about – the conversion of a feminist. Well, a proto-feminist at least, as the story takes place centuries ago. Be warned that I am about to give the entire plot away. As the opera is almost a century old, based on an even older story, and sung in Italian, I doubt you will mind. The title character is a real ice princess. The daughter of the Emperor of China, whose hand is sought by suitors far and wide, puts them to a test. They must answer three riddles she sets before them and if they fail on any of the riddles, they will lose their lives. When the story’s hero, Calaf, the son of the deposed Tartur king Timur, takes the challenge she explains that she is indwelt by the spirit of one of her ancestors. This ancestor was a princess who had ruled in justice and peace, holding men in scorn, until an invading prince conquered and killed her. Now Turandot, has similarly rejected men and devised this scheme as a means of obtaining revenge on all men. Calaf answers all her riddles correctly but seeing her plead with the Emperor not to marry her off to him, he offers her a reprieve. If she can discover his name by dawn, he will forfeit his claim and his life. In the final act, the princess, desperately trying to find the stranger’s name, has an old man and slave girl that had been seen talking to him, captured and tortured. This is Timur, his father. Liu the slave girl announces that she knows his name, but will not give it up, even though she knows that by refusing to do so she gives him, whom she loves herself, to Turandot and then, grabbing a guard’s knife, stabs herself to death. Rebuking the princess for her cruelty, Calaf takes her in his arms and kisses her. Breaking down, Turandot begs him to leave and take his mystery with him, but he instead gives up the mystery, telling her that he is Calaf, son of Timur, in doing so handing his fate back to her. As dawn breaks, the conquered princess informs the Emperor and his assembled court that the stranger’s name is Love. Turandot has been criticized several times for its ending, as the title character’s change of heart is implausible even by operatic standards. The ending does not bother me, as seeing a feminist repent of the error of her ways is a rare pleasure, unlikely enough in itself as to make the incredibility of the circumstances of little comparable consequence. Where I would take issue with Puccini’s opera, as I would also with William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, is why Calaf (Petruchio in the case of Shakespeare) would want to go to so much trouble for the sake of so unpleasant a female, the exact type that as Stephen Leacock pointed out, used to be called an “Awful Woman”.
You Know What They Say About a Stopped Clock
After countless attempts to force stories into their prefabricated, “evil white cop kills sweet innocent black youth” mold, ruining people’s lives and stirring up mob violence in the process, in the case of the shooting of Walter Scott by Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina, the factory of deceit, otherwise known as the media, may actually have found a bona fide case that matches the mold. Note that I said “may”. We’ll have to see what further evidence comes out as the case goes to trial. In the meantime, if the “black lives matter” crowd really believe their slogan, which has the distinction of having achieved banality the second it was coined if not before, instead of focusing on white law enforcement officers, would do better to complain about the real mass killers of blacks – abortion and black crime.
There has been a lot of nonsense spoken, in the weeks both leading up to and following the state of Indiana’s decision, a month ago, to pass the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”. The basic gist of the bill is that allows people and companies to plead the freedom to exercise their religion as a defence when sued in court. The question that this ought to raise is why on earth it was deemed necessary to pass such a law in a country in which freedom of religion is already guaranteed in the first amendment to their Constitution, the first entry in their Bill of Rights? The immediate situation to which this bill was a response was created by the recent cultural revolution in which governments have redefined marriage to include same-sex couples. In the wake of this revolution, Jacobins have been suing Christian photographers, florists, and bakers who do not wish to participate in these phony weddings. The purpose of the bill was to protect these Christians who cannot, after all, accept this change in the meaning of marriage if they truly believe Him to be the Son of God Who said “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matt. 19:4-6). Knowing full well that this is what the law was about, a host of celebrities, civil rights activists, businessmen, politicians from other states, journalists, and other assorted scum and riff-raff, began to ham it up, and put on this big act of moaning and crying and carrying on about how the wicked, backwoods, bigots of Indiana had passed this terrible law so that now hamburger shops, instead of asking if you want fries with your meal will be asking if you are gay and lesbian and if you answer yes will be booting you out on the turf. These concerns are mostly fictional – the lawsuits against Christians are very real. (1) The root of the problem is the idea that discrimination should be against the law and governments should be actively trying to extirpate their peoples’ prejudices. What utter rot! Any good such laws and government practices might possibly accomplish is far outweighed by the evils done, including the severe abridgement of long established and recognized liberties. The road to the present day, where judges place the gun of the law to Christians heads and force them to participate in gay weddings, while the progressive propaganda that passes for journalism today claims to see no threat to religious liberty, began with the road to Selma. It is time the idol of Martin Luther King Jr. were tore down before more destruction is wrought in his name.
(1) Here is a list compiled by WorldNetDaily: http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/courts-conclude-faith-loses-to-gay-demands/ A new one was added just today: http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/fines-levied-against-oregon-bakery-owners/?cat_orig=faith Note the huge, punitive amount of the fine, and the chilling recommendation of “re-education”. h/t Laura Wood http://www.thinkinghousewife.com/wp/2015/04/bakers-fined-135000/
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