More Weird Tales Of The Great Stupid: Anti-Russian Bigotry Mania

I thought the virtue-signaling, mindless attack on all things Russian crossed the line into bigotry and persecution when an eminent Russian-born conductor lost his job with two German orchestras because he refused to publicly condemn Vladimir Putin. (I wouldn’t publicly condemn Satan if an employer ordered me to. That would be submitting to an abuse of power.) Then the Met fired a principal soprano for the same reason, and things really got weird.

Bars and restaurants started banning vodka. Russian cat breeds were banned from cat shows. A popular french fries with cheese curds and gravy dish was taken off menus in France and Canada because the name for it sounded like “Putin.” Today, the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra has removed Tchaikovsky from its  upcoming concert because, the announcement said, playing compositions by the Russian composer, who died in 1893 is considered by the orchestra ‘to be inappropriate at this time.’

I assume that all of the 55 Russian composers listed in Ira Gershwin’s lyrics (rattled off above by Danny Kaye) have to be banned as well. Next will be Russian foods, like borscht, though presumably Chicken Kiev is safe. My son is Russian: what is stopping his employer from deciding that employing a full-blooded Moscow lad is “inappropriate at this time”?

How many people, products and valuable components of society completely unrelated to the Ukraine invasion have to suffer so petty people can puff up their chests and claim that they “care” and have done “something” to show their disdain for Putin? I used to be amazed at the stories about Americans killing dachshunds during the Great War. I was shocked when I first learned that FDR and the Supreme Court allowed loyal Japanese Americans to be caged during the Second World War. But upon reflection, I should have seen this coming.

Being offended has become the #1 power play in society, and so many seek to magnify their puny, risk-free, fearful and petty lives by grandstanding…and they don’t care about the collateral damage. They show  that they are the good people by snubbing a Russian Wolfhound, or throwing out their DVD of “Fantasia” because it includes “The Nutcracker” and “Night on Bald Mountain.”

What do YOU think, Major Clipton?

26 thoughts on “More Weird Tales Of The Great Stupid: Anti-Russian Bigotry Mania

  1. Apropos of your son, will they start banning adoptions of Russian babies (a practice, it seems, that has gotten much more difficult over the years anyway)?


  2. You said it yourself: these people are petty. They have no imagination to speak of, no analysis, no independent thought. They know nothing but what’s expected of them. Withholding basic human decency is the only form of impact they know how to create, because nobody has shown them anything else all their lives. They were never shown how to be courageous, to create change by showing more kindness rather than less. They have no idea what it takes to change the world, so they pull out the one thing they know from experience: punish the people who are wrong. We cheer for the people who do that in movies, so maybe if we find someone wrong and punish them, they’ll cheer for us. It works on social media, after all.

    That’s why it’s so important to introduce people to concepts like constructive virtues, and problem-solving mindsets. If they don’t know what true personal and cultural strength looks like, they’ll turn to the next best thing they’ve known: vindictiveness.

  3. Finally, some agreement!

    We should do everything in our power to hurt the Russian government. Taking it out on Russian people is pure bigotry.

      • Probably not in our current historical context, where Russians are assumed to be white (and this is not part of a general racist reaction toward white people). In a different era, perhaps, though I’m not sure if Russians were ever considered non-white in the U.S. The Irish definitely were, and “Irish Need Not Apply” signs were definitely racist.

  4. The West (led by America – HA!!! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!) should want these things in the following priority:

    1) A Russia with a new leader. In a managed succession towards some semi-western oriented Oligarch. One more step in the long train necessary to bequeath Russia with a western style Republic.

    2) A Russia under a pacified Putin.

    3) A Russia ala 1917 – with hungry mobs leading the country into an insane civil war leading the world into incredible uncertainty.

    I’m a fan of opposing our enemies fiercely in such a manner that afterwards we can be friends *fiercely*.

    As in the movie “The Patriot”, General Cornwallis said “These colonials are our brethren and when this conflict is over, we will be reestablishing commerce with them. Surrendering troops will be given quarter and unwarranted assaults on civilians will cease.”

    If we so abjectly mistreat the Russian citizen, we won’t do much for our cause.

    As George Friedman so aptly put earlier:

    “Look at the supplies decreasing in Russian stores. The ultimate point where economics meets the road is where people by the things they need to live. All the abstractions of finance resolve themselves at this point. The American attack on the Russian economy mobilized its allies. When the stores are empty and food for children can’t be bought then someone will be blamed. That someone could be Putin or it could be America. But it will the crowds of hungry people that will make history.”

    I don’t think that’s the 50-50 chance we want to roll.

    We have to support Ukraine for our values-sake – but not in such a matter that it tips Russia into a place that can inject unbearable chaos into the Pax Americana – …. – for our values sake.

  5. The reason that it’s all right to hate on the Russians at this point is the same reason the left is accusing us of being too sympathetic to the Ukrainians and maybe insufficiently sympathetic to other folks in this world. They’re white Europeans.

    Yes, they are Slavic Europeans who speak a language most Americans could not read or understand. Yes, they are not traditional American allies and have not been for a long time. Yes, their faith is something most Americans would look at and laugh at, with their heavily bearded clergy who look like they just stepped out of the pages of the Golden Legend, lengthy services, and endless singing.

    None of that matters. They are not brown folks like the Arabs or Afghans and they are not the color of lives that it has become de rigeur to say matter, lest you be condemned. This is the same reasoning that the left wants to use to wipe Italian Americans off the calendar and the same reasoning that a good chunk of them will be out a week from today yelling at parades that celebrate the Irish that they deem to have become too much about the hated men in blue.

    Here’s the nice irony though, and I know it’s not going to be lost on the commentariat here, a lot of whom are as old as or older than me and remember the Cold War. 40 years ago in the time of Ronald Reagan, the president who finally let us to victory in the Cold War, it was the thing on the left either too say the Soviet Union was not that bad or to parrot rhetoric from a lot earlier that made it seem like the Communist way of life was actually superior. “I have seen the future and it works!” Yeah, sure it worked. It worked for the top officials and that’s about it. While Bernie Sanders took a honeymoon behind the iron curtain and Philip Agee was busy trying to expose American intelligence agents abroad and get them killed, the left duly said the Soviets were just like us. While the Soviet armies crushed free Hungary, rolled over the Prague Spring, and tried to destroy Islam in Afghanistan and replace it with atheism, the left made excuses for them. While the Soviets turned Eastern Europe into a giant prison and tried to follow suit with Central America, the left made sister city initiatives and talked about space bridges, and tried to turn an 11-year-old from Maine whose parents should have boxed her ears and told her to attend to her homework into a proto-Greta Thunberg.

    To follow the left’s approach to this, the Soviets only stopped being such great people when they stopped being Soviets. Now, they are just worthy of hatred. This is after they stopped making political opponents disappear in the night and weaponizing psychiatry to lock up those who dared dissent from their perfect form of government.

    Then again, if you’ve been paying attention, the approach of the American left is really not all that different than that of the Soviets. The idea of using mobs to destroy those who disagree, ripping public art apart and substituting the ugly and the meaningless, the disfavoring of and mocking of religion, the pushing aside of parents’ concerns in favor of educators who follow the government line, and all that other stuff was very much the Soviet playbook. The only thing the Soviets didn’t teach that the American left relies on is hatred of self and hatred of country. Apparently though, when you’re done hating on yourself for the sins of those who look like you and on your country for the sins of those who flew the Stars and Stripes, you’re still supposed to have some hatred left over for those who look like you elsewhere in the world. That’s an awful lot of hatred from the political side that says that love wins.

  6. “A popular french fries with cheese curds and gravy dish was taken off menus in France and Canada because the name for it sounded like “Putin.””

    Again… It doesn’t just sound like “Putin”, the Cyrillic spelling of the Russian dictator’s name into French is literally “Poutine”, not just phonetically, that’s how it’s spelled in any French-language writing. It’s unfortunate, and we can talk about how it’s an overreaction, but I think it’s more understandable to remove menu items that share an *exact* spelling with the name of someone with that much cognitive dissonance than, as an example, change the name of a menu item to “Freedom Fries” because France didn’t join the coalition of the willing. I suppose that there isn’t a whole lot of 1:1 situations to compare to though, there was never a menu item called the Bin Laden, Hitler, or Stalin.

  7. Surely on a website called Ethics Alarms, there’s virtue in absorbing new information that you didn’t have before. I previously corrected a bad misimpression you had about the two cases from the world of music that lead this item. I’m sorry I have to do it again.

    Valery Gergiev is not just some “eminent Russian-born conductor [who] lost his job with two German orchestras because he refused to publicly condemn Vladimir Putin.” First of all, what do you mean Russian “born”? He absolutely IS Russian, always has been, always will be. Perhaps you think that because he has positions in Germany, it’s all flexible? Jack, that sort of thing is extremely common, indeed almost universal, at the top ranks of world classical music. Something like 18 or 19 of the top 20 American symphony orchestras have foreign-born music directors – which I think is an issue in and of itself, since the culture in that world to “impress” the cognoscenti works against the need to reach into the local community. The music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington is Italian, and, believe me, when you meet him, he sure doesn’t seem any less Italian for having a position here.

    As far as Russian-born adoptees in America, I also have a close relative in the next generation who was born in Russia, which is an utterly, completely different matter than what we’re talking about here. Gergiev is not only Russian, he’s been a pawn and a stool for Vladimir Putin for decades, including explicit support for Putin’s past brutal wars. He’s being cancelled in England, America and everywhere else for this. Meanwhile, the Russians who PLAY in these orchestras in Germany, England, America and so on and live in these respective areas are not being cancelled at all, and they better not be.

    As far as soprano Anna Netrebko, in addition to being a long-time tool of Putin’s, there’s is important additional context which – I will grant you – you only see in the musical media and discussions there. She already has a habit of cancelling herself from commitments, often with vague excuses about singing elsewhere, and sometimes only to be found on a beach somewhere else instead. The real inside story is that she may be at the end of her usable career anyway. People who focus more singularly and intently on opera performances than I do say that her voice has declined, and she’s also gotten fat. Sorry for those offended, but Netrebko’s original appeal was her combination of both vocal power and flexibility and physical beauty on stage. The Metropolitan Opera audience, if you’ve ever been there, consists of a large number of people from all around the world in ordinary times when travel is not restricted, and if not the Americans, many foreign nationals would simply not show up in New York if Netrebko sang any more after the invasion of Ukraine.

    You also made a comment last time that the Metropolitan Opera is being or has already gotten “politically correct.” That’s incredibly funny, since the very opera that Netrebko was dropped from this spring is Puccini’s “Turandot,” which has to be one of the most offensive pieces around – it literally has characters named “Ping,” “Pang” and “Pong” who (at least early in the piece) sing ridiculous lyrics against a stereotyped “Oriental” musical theme. Yes, the Met opened the current season last fall with an opera by a black composer – what of it? I hear it sold quite well.

    Anyone who throws out Tchaikovsky is being an idiot, but I can’t tell you how many emails I have from orchestras now performing Rachmaninoff and many others in the song from Lady in the Dark. The other examples you give are silly and I agree with you and everyone here that some people don’t know what they’re doing or saying. To compare this with two individuals who were asking for it all along is to fatally fail to make distinctions. And I think that’s an ethical matter to begin with. Thanks for listening.

  8. As I said elsewhere, in addition to the Composers we will be criticized for reading Tolstoy. I suspect we will never be allowed to see Dr. Zhivago or hear Lara’s theme again. Have they closed down the famed Russian Tea Room in Manhattan? BTW I will buy all that vodka if I find any.

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