Daniel McAdams informs us that the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has gone “full Stalin” in its cancelling performances with Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa, because of her Facebook and Twitter comments criticizing the neo-Nazi-sympathizing regime of Kiev. The Toronto Symphony management accuses her of “deeply offensive language” in her criticisms, and, according to the Globe and Mail, Ukrainian Canadian Congress President Paul Grod stated that Lisitsa “has been engaged in a long campaign on social media belittling, insulting and disparaging the people of Ukraine as they face direct military aggression at the hands of the Russian Federation,” even though all she has done apparently is express her opposition to the Kiev regime and its neo-Nazi leaders.
You see, we don’t really hear about the “neo-Nazi” aspect of the current Kiev rulers, because our stupid President and Congress are backing them. The mainstream media merely act as stenographers for their beloved Rulers in Washington. But, the truth is that you have to rely on alternative media sources to get accurate information which usually does not reflect what our government tells us. For example, Justin Raimondo recently explained some of the characters and organizations associated with the Kiev rulers:
Named after the first “president” of breakaway Chechnya, Dzhokhar Dudaev, the Dudayev Battalion was commanded by Isa Munayev, recently killed in a east Ukraine. Imbued with a fanatical hatred of the Russians, who are backing the rebels in the east, Munayev’s men also feel they are paying back a debt, since the ultra-nationalist Right Sector battalions now fighting for Kiev apparently helped the Chechens in the past. Right Sector is an openly neo-fascist paramilitary group which provided much of the muscle that made the coup against Viktor Yanukovych, former Ukrainian president, possible. Organized into various battalions, including the notorious Azov Brigade, they idolize the World War II collaborators with the Nazis, who fought Soviet troops: the ultra-nationalists have been accused of carrying out atrocities in the Donbass, as well as terrorizing their political opponents on the home front.
So all pianist Valentina Lisitsa has done is merely tell the truth of who the people in Kiev ruling over others in Ukraine really are. She didn’t call for violence or assassinations of neo-Nazis or of anyone, she merely expressed her views. What, concert pianists don’t have a right to express their opinions on matters of current events, especially which pertain to their home country? Apparently, the Toronto Symphony thinks not. Or did the Toronto Symphony management believe that Lisitsa’s comments could elicit violent protests from Ukrainian activists in Canada? It sounds to me as though they did not. It has to do with certain groups feeling “insulted.” (Or did they feel “triggered”?)
Alas, we live in a new age of intolerance, political correctness intolerance. Take conductor Leonard Bernstein, an outspoken political commentator and social activist, for example. During the 1950s McCarthy era, for instance, while Bernstein was pressured to sign an affidavit saying that he was not a communist, even though he had various associations and activities which may have suggested otherwise, and while in 1970 he and his wife Felicia hosted a gathering in their home supporting the controversial Black Panthers, I don’t recall hearing about any orchestra cancelling Bernstein’s appearances because of those outspoken views or political activities. One might argue that his concerts could have been banned had he not signed that affidavit in 1953. But times are different now, in which artists are banned merely for expressing an opinion about something.
Similar to what pianist Valentina Lisitsa has to endure from the Toronto Symphony, in 1982 the Boston Symphony Orchestra cancelled actress Vanessa Redgrave’s appearances because of her support for the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Supposedly the BSO management was concerned about protests and possible violence which might disrupt the performances. However, when Redgrave sued the BSO, the real concern of the management was revealed to be that they feared losing financial funding from Jewish donors.
Redgrave was also a victim of the “taking statements out of context” syndrome that some people seem to have, which may also apply to Ms. Lisitsa. Redgrave has expressed her opposition to Zionism as a “brutal, racist ideology,” and that the Israeli government is a “brutal, racist regime.” But Redgrave also has stated in her autobiography that “the struggle against antisemitism and for the self-determination of the Palestinians form a single whole.”
And Redgrave’s criticism of Israel really is appropriate. In an article I wrote last year, I mentioned that there certainly does seem to be a racist bent among many Israelis, and I linked to several polls in Israel which have shown that. But as I wrote in this recent article, you just can’t express any kind of criticism of Israel without being referred to by ignoramuses as “anti-Semite” or “self-hating Jew.” Israel is a subject of intolerant political correctness just as much as various issues we hear about on censored college campuses, and subjects such as “global warming,” and so on.
Pretty soon no one will be allowed to say anything about other people or countries or governments, or criticize racists, fascists, hypocrites or zombies. We just won’t be allowed to say anything, and total silence seems to be the desired end of the offendotrons.
I guess in pianist Valentina Lisitsa’s case you just can’t express criticism of those rulers of whatever country your own government ignorantly or corruptly supports, or which has the loudest and most influential activists supporting it. Anyway, here is an example of Valentina Lisitsa’s playing, without the Toronto Symphony (Who needs them, anyway?!), from Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata: