Tags: bush | china | iraq

Fantasies Passed as Universal Truths

Friday, 16 May 2008 08:47 AM

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When George W. Bush and his allies invaded Iraq in 2003, I published a column critical of Bush, since his mire in Iraq absorbed not only money and lives, but also public attention — the real threat from the dictatorship of China is still hushed up in 2008.

I would have published that column even if I were in the minority of one versus the entire U.S. electorate.

Actually, the public support of George W. Bush has dropped to a lower level than in case of any other U.S. president in the history of the United States.

Great was my amazement when my column, published on April 25, 2008, and critical of Bush (“A Simple President in a Complex World”) drew on April 26 an e-mail from Richard E. Sinclair (Bullhead City, Ariz.), who called my column “propaganda” in the same sense the Soviet powers that be called a “fascist, imperialist, or enemy propaganda” anything that ran counter to their own propaganda, obligatory for “all Soviet people” as universal truths.

Obviously, Robert Sinclair is absolutely sure that his fantasies, such as his belief in George W. Bush’s perennial wisdom, are obligatory for all American-born Americans.

According to Sinclair, my “propaganda” is especially monstrous, hateful, and treacherous.

“You have received fame, fortune and elite status in America. What else do you want?” he has implored.

Sinclair’s final question: “If you dislike our country [that is, George W. Bush] so much, why did you come to America?”

Let me explain. In Moscow, when I was not married, I shared one room with my mother. Moscovites lived not in apartments, but mostly in such shared rooms. But I could make a lot of money as Russia’s first translator of classical Russian literature who had never lived in any English-speaking country.

My translations sold well by a Soviet publishing house in the English-speaking countries. After I married a Russian editor of translations into English, who is still my dear wife, we could buy an apartment in a newly built Soviet apartment house. But we both hated everything Soviet, and bought a three-storied mansion of stone in the countryside. Our villa was surrounded by a garden and a birch forest.

Yet as soon as there was a crazy chance to emigrate to freedom, including the freedom of the press, we did not hesitate for a split second. Well, my wife and I live in New York in a three-room apartment, not in a three-storied mansion, but who cares? Freedom, including the freedom of the press! This is what we yearned for, and this is what we have.

We also believed that freedom (human rights) is a cause of not only those who live in a free country, but of every human being. We learned that Russia (and hence China) were engaged in the development of post-nuclear super weapons, and we wanted to pass this information to the United States.

Oddly enough, recently I sensed Richard Sinclair’s inclination to fantasize in one of Rev. Wright’s recent televised appearances, linked to Obama, of course, but also devoted to the African Americans as a whole.

For example, Rev. Wright recalled “classical music” and mentioned Beethoven and several other German composers of genius.

While according to Richard Sinclair every American-born American (not a legal immigrant!) admires George W. Bush even in 2008, the African Americans create, according to Rev. Wright, a cultural equivalent of “classical music,” such as Beethoven’s, but their music is “different.” Thus, their scale consists of 5, and not 7 notes.

Let us look at the reality. To begin with, most inhabitants of the United States and other Western countries listen not to “classical music,” but to “pop.” The last 27 years of his life Beethoven lived in the 19th century, and in the 20th century there was a decline in the composition of “classical music.” What American composer is equal in genius to Beethoven? Yet even in Germany Beethoven survived in his time owing to a fund his admirers privately created for him and contributed to it.

Many African Americans became free only as a result of the Civil War, which occurred long after Beethoven died. Yet to become free does not yet mean to be a genius and to be recognized as such.

Incidentally, the efflorescence of music of genius in Germany was historically unexpected, since the country of such music was Italy, and it was not clear why Germany would have composers of genius.

It is not impossible that a new Beethoven will be an African American or that African Americans will evolve their musical elite — and other elites. Recall the history of Jews in the post-Roman West. They were originally regarded as exotic savages with black curly hair. In 1972, an American lady tried to persuade me that Christ was crucified by Jews, and when I told her that Christ was at least half Jewish, she nearly fainted.

The composer Mendelssohn was born Jewish in Germany in the 19th century. As my Britannica (1971) puts it: “Though the Mendelssohn family were proud of their ancestry they considered it desirable, in accordance with 19th-century liberal ideas, to mark their emancipation from the ghetto by adopting the Christian faith.”

The Nazi persecution of Jews in the 20th century, in particular of Einstein, the greatest physicist in the history of physics, is notorious enough. Ironically, the Nazis paid dearly for their persecution of Jews — as the Jewish physicists, including Einstein, emigrated to the United States, where they contributed to the U..S development of the “atom bomb” ahead of Nazi Germany and of Japan.

We do not know what creativity of genius history will bestow on African Americans. But to postulate that their music is to be “different” may prove to be as counterproductive as it would have been in the case of Jews, while to postulate that their “different” music will match that of Beethoven is to fantasize just as Robert Sinclair does, assuming that all American-born Americans adore or should adore the American-born George W. Bush, and only immigrants may publish “propaganda” to belittle him.

* * *

You can e-mail me at navlev@cloud9.net.

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