Tag Archives: Chicago

Lawless Love: New Orleans Mardi Gras and Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Niebelungen… Can Civilization survive a merger? On Lundi Gras, the Ancient Krewe of Proteus tested the water…

In 2017, Mardi Gras in New Orleans yields gigantic piles of trash, poisons thousands with excessive alcohol, and fosters a welfare oriented and sometimes criminal mentality, yet it is a uniquely community affirming ritual that nearly shuts down this medium-sized city and draws the attention of the rest of the world. Mardi Gras allows (especially a lot of black) people an escape from the humdrum of poverty and ordinary life. Like the Saturnalia of Ancient Rome, Mardi Gras is a time of reversal, an inversion of all the rules.

In the years 1843-1883, Richard Wagner broke all the rules of music and theatre and made new ones, many of which we still follow in playhouses and cinemas and opera houses today (such as “dimming the lights” before and during a performance, which was a brand new idea in Wagner’s day). Wagner equated hatred of Jews with love of art and civilization, especially music, and in so doing (and writing prolifically about it) he served as an inspiration for the German National Socialist movement, especially one Iron-Cross winning corporal who survived “the Great War”: Adolf Hitler.

This year the Krewe of Proteus (founded 1881) brought Mardi Gras madness and Wagnerian passion together in a torchlight parade. and the result was stunning and extremely impressive, if not quite terribly loyal to the plot or typical imagery of the operas. But Proteus gave us an amazingly intellectual interlude in the utter squalor and depravity of most Mardi Gras events. and one which surely went over the head of (I would estimate, unscientifically) more than 95% of the people assembled along Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue Monday Night.

The parade received SOME local attention, e.g.: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/entertainment_life/festivals/article_be5d1948-d9bb-11e6-ad6b-4faaff249cf7.html, but well-over half of this town speaks a dialectical variety of English which cannot be called “educated”. and the rest of the population isn’t overly steeped in European culture—the original Opera House (the first in the United States) at the corner of Toulouse and Bourbon Street, burned down in 1919 and is now the site of a modern hotel in the absolutely most depraved and degenerate blocks of Bourbon Street. several blocks of which constitute one of the most depraved and degenerate (and dirty) “micro-neighborhoods” anywhere in the United States… I have written before on these pages about the destruction and degradation of beautiful New Orleans after 1865, and especially in the 20th century. The City had reached its pinnacle in 1860..and then a very destructive war happened.

But if one is the pinnacle or Zenith of all things Elite and Erudite in Western Civilization and the other marks the Nadir or even polar opposite of high civilization, what do “Der Ring des Niebelungen” and New Orleans Mardi Gras have in common?

Actually quite a bit: both exalt what can only be called “Lawlessness”, especially in the realm of love and sex…

To start off with, Wotan, in Wagner’s Ring, like his Ancient Greek Counterpart Zeus, can only be called a “philandering cad”. I know this would be considered an insult in many quarters, but it is, statistically speaking, quite a “Godlike” or “Kingly” trait… and I confess I’ve lived that way myself for most of my existence. although I can claim neither Divinity nor Royalty. Wagner’s Wotan is a tragic character. he is adventurous, generally idealistic, and seeks to build a beautiful new world (Valhalla). And yet dies as he watches his world destroyed around him.by a fire set by his daughter… well, actually a fire set by ONE of his many daughters (Brunhilde) by Erda, ONE of Wotan’s many girlfriends/paramours/liasons… whatever it is proper for the King of the Gods to call his mistresses. (Sidebar: in the original Icelandic and Norse sagas and tales, Erda (aka “Joro” was the mother of the thunder and hammer God THOR with Wotan, not the Valkyrie Brunhilde.)
Aside from Wotan and Erde, Wotan also fathers the lineage which ultimately overthrows him—the Walsunga.first a male-female pair of twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde, who are separated in early childhood and meet once Sieglinde is married to a very beastly, babbitty, bourgeois bore by the name of Hunding. “Naturally” or unnaturally, Siegmund and Sieglinde rapidly become an item one Spring AFTER (not in spite of, but because of) recognizing each other as long-lost siblings, and they have a child. (Wotan’s wife Fricka, the goddess of Marriage [NOT love, but marriage] compels Wotan to kill Siegmund to avenge Hunding’s loss of his wife. and Wotan’s daughter.to Wotan’s son. talk about conflicts of interest, you know. NO modern lawyer would ever know what to do with the Walsung estate. IF Brunhilde’s immolation had left anything, which it didn’t.

Siegmund and Sieglinde’s lovechild.(Sieglinde dies in childbirth).is SIEGFRIED… destined to become the boy who knew no fear… the Dragonslayer… and, not coincidentally, Brunhilde’s “POSSLQ”. at least for a while.

Now any competent sociologist will tell you that families JUST LIKE WOTAN’s typify the underclasses everywhere, as well as the extreme upper classes (e.g. the British monarchy). But especially dysfunctional families are well-known as characteristic of the black community.in Chicago, South Central Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and New Orleans, and these are the families who most enjoy watching and trashing the Mardi Gras parades.

A substantial number of middle-class to upper class and truly, traditionally, elite Uptown New Orleans White Families and a lot of middle class white tourists from Peoria, Princeton (Illinois), Paris (Texas), Portland, Poughkeepsie, Punksetawny, and every other real or imagined “Pottersville” (cf. “It’s a Wonderful Life”). create some illusion of “racial balance,” or at least “diversity.” But the overwhelming majority of the parade viewers on the street, “throw collectors” and Mardi Gras celebrants generally are mulatto (mixed race) and black African-Americans… and their culture clearly does not have any credal element that dictates “Cleanliness is Godliness.”

So the Krewe of Proteus has done something amazing. they have made a brilliant parade out of the operatic tetralogy that inspired the Third Reich, and all its dreams of a thousand years of racial purity and Aryan supremacy. and brought it to New Orleans where almost nobody understands it or “gets” anything about it.

Why did they (the Krewe of Proteus) do it and what does it mean? “The Advocate” states that Proteus has a long tradition of operatic support… but this just isn’t enough. Proteus was founded when Richard Wagner was still alive (albeit near the end of his life… within a year of the date that Wagner’s last opera Parsifal premiered on July 26, 1882, at the Festspielhaus in beloved Bayreuth.).

All I can promise you is that I intend to find out. And write more about this when I have more to report. I confess I have a suspicion, a hope perhaps, that Krewe of Proteus is sending a highly concealed “Alt-Right” message that the same kind of elite which formerly ruled the West is still alive, and well, and hiding in New Orleans, biding its time for an opportunity to seize power once again. in the land of pioneering “Third Way” Americans like Huey Long and Gerald L.K. Smith.

“Behold El Capitan,” “Remember the Maine,” Guy Fawkes’ Day, September 11, and the Culture of Deception

Some of my happiest days as an undergraduate at Tulane University were spent in Dixon Hall under the tutelage of my voice and singing instructor Francis Monachino, long-time Chairman of the Tulane & Newcomb Music Departments and a great and inspiring teacher.

My first part in any major production at Tulane was as “Senor Amibile Pozzo, Chamberlain of Peru” in John Philip Sousa’s Comic Operetta El Capitán (Premiered in April 1896 in Boston & New York). I never realized it at the time, but this comedy had great historical significance, and may have played a part in launching 20th Century America’s Culture of Deceit and Deception.

The plot is pure farce, on its face: “El Capitán” is in fact Don Enrique Medigua, a fictional Spanish Viceroy of Peru, which was in reality the richest of all the dominions in the New World, whose production of gold, silver, and agricultural products far outstripped even Mexico during the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries. Don Medigua fears assassination by rebels, and secretly arranges for the murder of the (real) rebel leader known as “El Capitán” (so the real rebel leader plays no part in the operetta). Unbeknownst to the rebels or anyone except his Chamberlain Pozzo, Don Medigua disguises himself as El Capitán and sabotages the rebel movement from within, but not before allowing the beautiful Estrelda, daughter of the former Viceroy, to fall madly in love with him based on his reputation as a fierce terrorist and warrior. Don Medigua’s actual wife and daughter think he has been kidnapped by the rebels and have Pozzo pretend to be the Viceroy so that the Spanish born Aristocrats of Peru will not lose hope and despair. An enterprising band of rebels then capture Pozzo, believing him to be the real Viceroy, and bring him before El Capitán who is, of course by this time in something of a pickle. But Don Medigua disguised as El Capitán has so completely exhausted the rebels by his “mis-leadership” that the rebellion collapses, the Spanish nobility wins, and the story ends “happily.”

A thought that never occurred to me when I was playing Pozzo at 16 (to Anthony Laciura’s brilliant performance as Don Medigua/El Capitán) now seems so obvious to me: was it mere coincidence that the most popular writer of military marches in American history composed this operetta less than two years before the sinking of the Battleship USS Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898. Most historians now concur that the Maine, the second armoured cruiser (pre-dreadnought Battleship) in the U.S. Navy, was deliberately sunk by its crew for the sole purpose of inciting American popular opinion in favor of America’s first “World Wide War” of expeditionary conquest (i.e., the direct precursor of Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq). El Capitán exemplifies the literary, historical, and/or dramatic trope that certain ideas appear first as a comic joke and then are later taken seriously: if John Philip Sousa’s operetta was not the template for the sinking of the Maine, it is nevertheless a remarkable historical coincidence that Don Medigua first murders and then impersonates his enemy in order to defeat him in a popular drama that was still playing all over the United States when the USS Maine blew up.

And yes, I write all this at the close of Guy Fawkes’ Day, November 5, 2011: Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot; I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot. I like to pat myself on the back and brag that no sooner had Osama bin Laden been named as the perpetrator of 9-11 than I predicted with great confidence that he was the new Gunpowder Plotter, and that 9-11 was the new 5th of November. I predicted that bin Laden’s name would endure forever beside Guy Fawkes, but unfortunately, I had no role in producing the amazing movie based on that theme which came out in 2005, on the 400th Anniversary of the original Gunpowder plot in 1605.

V-for-Vendetta remains, to my mind, probably the finest political movie of the century, and I mean the past hundred years since the beginning of the cinematic film industry, not just the 21st Century in which we have lived for barely 11 years. Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving marvelously portray the principle characters in this story which explores all the possibilities of the use of the Guy Fawkes gunpowder story, and this movie has in turn given a new birth of metaphoric and dimensional analysis to the study of false flag attacks, false heroism, and the role of government as “first among all liars.”

There is not a shred of doubt that the movie V-for-Vendetta is the story of 9-11, metaphorically, allegorically, fictionalized as Britain under a pseudo-Fascist (Adam Sutler, whose name is awfully reminiscent of Adolph Hitler) instead of the United States of America under a pseudo-Republican (George W. Bush), in future time rather than historical, but with so many direct references to 9-11 and associated events…. well, it’s just incredible.

Also incredible to me is that the Wikipedia article on V-for-Vendetta does not even mention the parallels between the Sutler regime’s use of false-flag bioterrorism against the British people and the (9-11 “Truth Movement’s” theory that the) Bush regime used false-flag air terrorism against the American people. To me, the parallels are inescapable: the producers of V-for-Vendetta analyzed the same facts concerning recent history as those which gave rise to the 9-11 Truth Movement and came to the conclusion that terrorism originates not (primarily anyhow) with real Muslim extremists but with governments who see the “genius” of fear and use it against their own people to suppress civil liberties and maintain power.

The Muslim terrorists (in both North American and Western European modern history and V-for-Vendetta mythology), to the extent that they are real, are rather like Guy Fawkes in the 17th century. Modern Muslim terrorists, like Papist plotters of the past, have great value as symbols and embodiments of a real but rather vague threat to the national identity which justify the use and maintenance of real power. The Papist threat in England could only materialize when it comes in the form of a Catholic King (like King James II Stuart, grandson of James I, against whom Guy Fawkes allegedly plotted, and younger brother of Charles II who had no legitimate offspring [although he had literally dozens of illegitimate children by his mistresses]. The tumultuous history of 17th Century Stuart England focused on the maintenance of royal power through popular fear of Catholicism, balanced against royal fear of popular power manifested through Cromwell’s Civil War and Commonwealth (including the Regicide/Martyrdom Murder/Execution of King Charles I on January 31, 1649 after a preposterous “show” trial of the King for treason) and finally the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688-1689 which firmly established the modern Constitutional Monarchy of Great Britain ruled by Parliament.

In Adam Sutler’s England, like George Bush’s America, maintaining fear of Muslims among the people supported the repression of the historical “English Freedoms” secured under Elizabeth I, James I, Charles II, and William III & Mary II. If there are real fears of Muslim domination in America, they are coming to fruition under George W. Bush’s successor, “Barack Hussein Obama” whose name resoundingly echoes both “Osama” (bin Ladin, the modern Guy Fawkes) and the former dictator of Iraq whom George W. Bush decided to eliminate to maximize control over a nation which simply did not accept the “Bush doctrine” of Global government under US control.

Any way you look at it: elaborate governmental lies concerning faked attacks and falsified heroes have been used to justify strong central governments for a very long time now. It is hard to say whether the original Gunpowder Plot was real or staged. The “November 5″ plot on King James I and his wife and Court MIGHT have been real, and if so, it was a REALLY stupid plot (there was not enough Gunpowder under the houses of Parliament or any other explosive technology available in 1605 to have blown through and killed the King). Even if successful, the plotters had no Papist “nominee” lined up to become King of England on King James’ death, and James’ eldest son at the time, the future Charles I, was only two weeks short of five years old on November 5, 1605. (But admittedly, if James AND his children had been killed, legitimate succession at that point might have been very difficult, in that no English Monarch since Henry VIII had had any children: all of Henry Tudor’s children: Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, died childless, possibly in part a testament to their own horror at their father’s gruesome “family and marital” life and history).

Other historians have seen Guy Fawkes as a “Patsy” (scapegoat) comparable in real role and status to Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, being the “Fall Guy” for the “False Flag” Gunpowder Plot just as “9-11 Truthers” (including this writer) believe that Osama bin Laden was merely the “Patsy” for the events of 1998-2001 and afterwards which gave rise to the USA Patriot Act of 2001 and all the subsequent greatest suppressions of English and American liberties in the entire history of both nations since the reign of Henry VIII (who died 102 years and 3 days before the execution of Charles I, on January 28, 1547).

The study of “false flag” terrorism and warfare is a rising subject of historical deconstruction. It is stark testimony to the general lack of confidence people have in the U.S. government that a large number of people (polls differ) disbelieve the “official stories” of the Warren Commission concerning the events of November 1963 in Dallas, the origins of the Vietnam War in the “Gulf of Tonkin” incident the very next year, in August of 1964, and the subsequent stories of the events in the 1990s at Ruby Ridge (Idaho), Mount Carmel (Waco, Texas), Oklahoma City, the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, and finally 9-11 itself in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Pearl Harbor, the trigger for World War II, was obviously not a “False Flag” attack (there is not and has never been any doubt that the Imperial Japanese Navy was correctly identified as the culprit, and that it acted under official orders from Tokyo). But many Americans (and others worldwide) believe that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had despaired of ever finding a politically adequate or emotionally sufficient excuse to embroil or involve the United States into World War II, and so he either expressly invited the Japanese to attack or at the very least intentionally disabled the U.S. Naval and air forces around Hawaii in early December 1941.

The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom, in this day, appear to be governments based on a culture of pure deceit and deception. All governmental pronouncements and actions should be regarded with the most stringent suspicion. As one of the newscasters says in V-for-Vendetta “we just report the news, we don’t make it up….that’s the government’s job.”