Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson

5/4/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The construction of these narratives, sweet always to the interests and prejudices of the cultural elite, have gone less and less challenged by anyone in the news reporting profession; it used to be to uncover and expose lies, both big and small.

Real historians and biographers are going to have a field day - some have already started - digging below the layers of fiction about Obama and his presidency that only now are growing old for the mainstream media. Thus far, the 21st century has followed the example of the 20th, as portrayed by Eksteins, to point where some co-writers - also co-dependent?- have become exhausted by the kind of transparent charade demanded by the Obama administration.

In his magnificent narrative of why European nations embraced the prospect of World War I - Rites of Spring: the Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age - the Canadian scholar Modris Eksteins writes about the chief consequence of the breakdown in a shared consensus on morality.

In his magnificent narrative of why European nations embraced the prospect of World War I - Rites of Spring: the Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age - the Canadian scholar Modris Eksteins writes about the chief consequence of the breakdown in a shared consensus on morality.

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/4/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Rites of Spring, culture, Obama, Jay Carney, Modris Eksteins, propaganda, morality, moral relativism, Jay Carney, Deal W. Hudson


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - In his magnificent narrative of why European nations embraced the prospect of World War I - Rites of Spring: the Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age - the Canadian scholar Modris Eksteins writes about the chief consequence of the breakdown in a shared consensus on morality:

"Our century [the 20th] is one in which life and art have been blended, in which existence has become aestheticized. History as one theme of this study will try to show, has surrendered much of its former authority to fiction."

The pertinence of this remark can hardly be challenged as we watch on a daily basis a White House that continues to construct one fictional narrative after another in order to avoid the facts of Bengazi, Obamacare, and the Russian takeover of the Ukraine. This last fiction must be particularly painful to Eksteins, a Latvian whose family immigrated to Canada after being battered by successive occupations of the Germans and the Russians.

Eksteins employs the controversial Parisian premiere on May 29, 1913 of the ballet, Les Sacre de Printemps (The Rite of Spring), composed by Igor Stravinsky, choreographed and danced by Vaslav Nijinsky, and produced by Sergei Diaghilev, as the "first act" of his dramatic reconstruction of the cultural personae leading to World War I. With its complete rejection of traditional musical and dance forms, The Rite of Spring created a performance-long furor in the audience that started with the first notes from the bassoon of Stravinsky's evocative score. 

As Eksteins notes, this was the first time in the history of art that the reaction of the audience was as much a part of the performance as the performers:

"Art has transcended reason, didacticism, and a moral purpose: art has become provocation and event."

In the resulting mishmash of observer and observed, subject and object, the purpose of art no longer serves to exalt, to illuminate, or to aspire - art becomes the occasion of precipitating a reaction, most visceral, and collapsing the invisible wall between the actors on stage and those in the theater seats. In doing this, the audience on that May night just over 100 years ago was participating precisely in what they saw on stage - a frenzied dance to the death of a maiden chosen to be sacrificed to the coming of spring. Except in this case, most of the audience shouted for the sacrifice of the ballet's composer, Stravinsky, and its lead dancer, Nijinsky.

Whether a pistol shot was actually fired at Stravinsky, as many accounts of that night claim, has never really been confirmed. Thus, part of the aestheticized existence postulated by Eksteins is the preference for uncontrolled passion over any kind of more measured response.

This kind of bacchanalia is easily seen in the recent media reaction to the racist comments of the Los Angeles Lakers' owner and the middle aged curmudgeon in bluejeans and a cowboy hat who wouldn't back down to government intimidation (the comments of the former were clearly racist and those of the latter, more ambiguous).  These two might as well have been put in the hands of the Jacobins and marched immediately to the guillotine.

The construction of these narratives, sweet always to the interests and prejudices of the cultural elite, have gone less and less challenged by anyone in the news reporting profession; it used to be to uncover and expose lies, both big and small.  No doubt in the last 20 years these same reporters, with notable exceptions, have been co-authors of the solipsistic narratives intended to silence any criticism of their enshrined cultural and political leadership.

Real historians and biographers are going to have a field day - some have already started - digging below the layers of fiction about Obama and his presidency that only now are growing old for the mainstream media. Thus far, the 21st century has followed the example of the 20th, as portrayed by Eksteins, to point where some co-writers - also co-dependent?- have become exhausted by the kind of transparent charade demanded by the Obama administration.

I, for one, cannot help but think about the glorification of the 2008 Obama campaign and his subsequent years in the White House when I read Eksteins' mention of the "compromise" between fiction and the fact that it is becoming both possible and necessary.

"In search of this compromise our historical account proceeds in the form of a drama, with acts and scenes, in the full and diverse sense of those words. In the beginning was the event. Only later came consequence."

© Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D

-----
Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor and Movie Critic at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.This column and subsequent contributions are an excerpt from a forthcoming book. Dr. Hudson's new radio show, Church and Culture, is heard on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More U.S.

FBI arrests Cliven Bundy leading to protesters' surrender in Oregon occupation Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy was arrested by the FBI moments after stepping off a plane (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy stepped off a plane at the Portland International Airport Wednesday evening and was taken to Multnomah County jail, where his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy were already being held. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Thursday morning the ... continue reading


Beauty and the Priest - Cleric indicted for murder in cold case from 1960 Watch

Image of Irene Garza was 25 at the time of her death. No motive has been established in the death of the beauty queen from McAllen, Texas, but John Feit is the only suspect.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A former priest has been indicted for a 1960 cold case murder of a woman. According to Texas authorities, then 27-year-old priest, John Feit, heard the confession of Irene Garza, then asphyxiated her afterwards. Her body was found in a canal days later. Feit will now ... continue reading


Former Catholic priest arrested in connection with beauty queen's murder - 56 years later Watch

Image of Now a married grandfather, former Catholic priest John Feit is accused in the 1960 murder of 27-year-old Irene Garza in 1960 (CNN).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Many thought, but few actually believed that a small town Catholic priest would be capable of such a savage crime. Fifty-six long years later, former priest John Feit, now a married grandfather living in Arizona has been arrested in connection with the 1960 ... continue reading


Ash Wednesday and Lent. It Works if you Work It Watch

Image of After receiving the ashes, we are exhorted to leave the Church as penitents and pilgrims and continue in a Christian way of life every day

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If we enter into the observance of Lent with our entire person, it can draw us, at its' closure, into a deeper embrace and experience of the power of the Resurrection, beginning right now and stretching into eternity. Our frequent liturgical celebrations present ... continue reading


No Catholic or other Christian Should Support the Candidacy of Bernie Sanders Watch

Image of Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, denies the fundamental Human Right to Life of children in the womb.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Legalized abortion on demand is an open rejection of the entire ethic of being our brothers (and sisters) keeper. There can be no enduring lasting solidarity upon which to build a secure future in a culture that kills its own children and calls it a right. No ... continue reading


Mardi Gras' several names and traditions: How is it celebrated around the world? Watch

Image of Mardi Gras is famous for its colors, masks, beads, food, floats and more (Pixabay)!

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

People around the world celebrate Fat Tuesday each year with regional traditions - but did you know it is a celebration with roots in Christianity?  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Fat Tuesday" is English for the French "Mardi Gras," and is traditionally ... continue reading


7 Fun facts about Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras celebrations Watch

Image of Mardi Gras first became a holiday in 1582.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday; it comes directly before Ash Wednesday. "Mardi Gras is a raucous celebratory affair that serves as a final shebang before the 40-day abstinence of Lent," explains The Huffington Post. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amidst all ... continue reading


605,000 undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses in California Watch

Image of California driver's licenses do not bestow any federal benefits to the recipient. State sources say the law is intended to make California roadways safer.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thanks to a new California law known as AB60, which took effect on January 2, 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV has handed out 605,000 driver's licenses to undocumented workers. It is estimated that 1.4 million migrants will receive licenses under ... continue reading


Center for Medical Progress releases another Planned Parenthood video despite injunction Watch

Image of Pro-life CMP stands against abortionists NAF (imgsuccess).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After ousting illegal actions performed by Planned Parenthood clinics, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and its founder Daniel Daleiden, have been ordered to cease further distribution of illegally-obtained Planned Parenthood footage. Unfortunately for the ... continue reading


Huff Po Gestapo, beats down Trump, First Amendment with editorial billy club Watch

Image of Huffington Post has found a way to turn the First Amendment into a billy club for their PC police duties.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Liberal mouthpiece, The Huffington Post (not to be confused with an actual news organization) is pandering to liberal readers by posting an addendum at the end of every story about Donald Trump. The addendum labels Trump a "racist" and a "serial liar." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:1-9
1 Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-15
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why is it that we and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 12th, 2016 Image

St. Buonfiglio Monaldo
February 12: He was one of seven Florentines who had joined ... Read More