by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog
I wonder if Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will ever understand the real truth about why his play is so popular…?
Miranda probably believes that if he had written a play about Eugene V. Debs (America’s greatest socialist) his talents, approach and techniques would have produced a spectacle of similarly spectacular success, LOL….
The believers of Broadway are nothing if not wilfully naive (i.e. stupid), unsinkably optimistic and totally oblivious to the jingoistic propaganda which is self-centeredly, brayingly warbled at the top of everyone-on-the-stage’s lungs in the vast majority of Broadway musicals, Hamilton included. Non-Americans often roll their eyes at the inevitably absurd “Hollywood ending” of many US movies, but what can a viewer do when confronted by the endless fake cheer and perpetual smiling of Broadway besides beg for temporary blindness?
Indeed, one of the great results of the coronavirus is the shuttering of Broadway’s lights – may it always be dark inside that incredibly empty-headed art. I find very few things as physically disagreeable as all musical theatre (Bertolt Brecht and Monty Python are exceptions which proves the rule). Opera is just as atrocious, and may I give you a news flash: nobody cares about opera. It is a totally outdated art, and yet the vast majority of public arts funding in much of the West is directed towards opera. Why? The answer is also linked to the success of Hamilton – elitism and 1%-er domination of Western governance.
Musicals are not so very elitist as opera, but the average American man only sees a Broadway play after constant arm-twisting from the missus. And yet… we have had this broad success of Hamilton. How can we explain it? Why must we endure it? When will the American musical finally die, ending their assault on our ears and especially the ears of those poor, suffering parents of high school drama club members?
The answer is clear: the US is a bankocracy, and Hamilton is its unparalleled propaganda
I have not seen Hamilton and I never will – if I hate musicals already, why would I like one which is built around mythologising, propagandising and lying about the greatest central banker in American history?
The popularity of Hamilton is completely attributable to the total domination of corporate media in the 21st century. My last article, US national media is useless – so tell me the good local news sources?, thus had to be published before this one: it discusses how ever since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which allowed the rise of monopolistic media conglomerates, to watch one national US media is to watch them all – there is total uniformity. I also discussed how in music there used to be such a thing as a “local hit” within different US regions, but since 1996 a banal song can be a #1 for as long as 5 months because the conglomerates decide to support it and replay it, replay it, replay it, replay it.
The same goes for Hamilton: advertising works, and the conglomerate media saw a “pro-central banker” play, squealed with delight, and decided it should be bigger than The Bible.
So five years of corporate-ordered omnipresence of Hamilton coverage was not just in the pro-Broadway New York Times (Five Years and 100-Plus Stories: What It’s Like Covering ‘Hamilton’ – that’s 100-plus stories from just one Times journalist, mind you!), but across the nation: “It goes unspoken that ‘Hamilton’ is now available everywhere, for a $6.99 monthly Disney Plus subscription”. It “goes unspoken” precisely because in the US the corporate media has obviously ordered Hamilton to be atop the cultural agenda for years. It is now available as a movie for this Fourth of July weekend, thus the “news peg” for this article.
This omnipresence explains why I truly do not need to see Hamilton to write about it intelligently (though I did interview people who have seen it – hey, I’m not a bad journalist who doesn’t do homework) – the US has been OBSESSED with it for years.
But nobody seems to realise why because in all of the drooling, gushing reviews nobody gets at the economic aspects inherent in a play about a central banker. Nobody seems to make the link between the economic program of Western central banker collusion (Quantitative Easing), the reality of a US & Western “bankocracy” (a 10-part series I wrote on this issue can be found here) which has been crystal-clear since 2008 to anyone with half a brain, the elevation of central bank policy over democratic votes in the Eurozone, and then this absurd adoration of Hamilton?
How can it be a mere coincidence that at a time when central bankers have become more powerful than ever we also cannot – still – turn anywhere without being exhorted to love Hamilton? Just as rap music is the musical propaganda of modern Western capitalism, Hamilton is clearly its musical propaganda.
The pro-central bank propaganda is apparently overt during this 3+ hour show: a large part of the show is dedicated to showing how the US central bank was created, and of Alexander Hamilton persuading them of the worth and necessity of a central bank. Hamilton may not use the phrase “QE”, but how can anyone fail to see the link between inequality-creating, 1%er enriching, 99%er impoverishing QE and this stupid play? Like all great art Hamilton apparently does indeed capture the moment – too bad it is the “moment” of ravenous, society-destroying elite bankers.
Since 2015 I have said that the proof that there is no true left in the US is that I have not read of even one stink-bombing of a Hamilton performance. That the US left has not been able to mount any counter-attack on this neoliberal propaganda shows how appallingly clueless they are. Ishmael Reed Tries to Undo the Damage ‘Hamilton’ Has Wrought from The Nation was so notable because it stuck out so very much – it’s the exception which proves the rule.
The US left has been steamrolled by Hamilton and provided (as usual) so very, very little resistance, but Hamilton is a perfect example of just how easy it is to propagandise the US public – such is the extent of the dominance of their corporate media. Media concentration in the US is so absolute that if they decide something or someone or some concept should be promoted – one simply cannot escape it. And, I am sure, talking about Hamilton in this way at a US dinner party is to ensure that you are not invited back, LOL.
How was this central banker propaganda so effectively repackaged into suitable American jingoism?
In July 2020 even the World Socialist Web Site is decrying the attacks on statues of Lincoln and Jefferson; after decades of trying, corporate sponsors are going to force the rabidly anti-American Indian Washington D.C. to finally give up their “Redskins” football mascot/slur – so why on earth aren’t they coming for Hamilton?!
Alexander Hamilton bought and sold slaves, he married into a wealthy slave-owning family – it’s a no-brainer. If you support Hamilton and have some stupid liberal sign up in your front yard YOU are part of the problem (as much for liking awful Broadway as for being an obvious fake-leftist).
However, when we actually consider the economic ideology all over Hamilton we should easily grasp that the corporate-dominated US media is not about to permit sustained attacks on this spectacularly successful pro-central banker propaganda piece. What they are going to do is what places like The Washington Post just did, print lies about how Hamilton “despised slavery”.
Why would Miranda care – he did the same whitewashing. Of course he wasn’t going to talk about how the central banker Hamilton was all about debt slavery (no corporate media gushing in that case), but it’s pretty artistically opportunistic and cynical to make Hamilton some sort of abolitionist just to sell out his stupid musical. Tellingly, Miranda was forced to publicly admit he was wrong to be silent for so long regarding the George Floyd protests, but the guy adores Alexander Hamilton in the QE era – did you really think he was anti-establishment, LOL?
Reading drama reviews always produces plenty of eye-rolls – they are full of hyperbole and purple prose worthy of the biggest off-off-off-Broadway ham; everybody is just so very, very, VERY SPECTACULAR and AMAZING and TALENTED – but The New York Times lead movie critic writing that he “can’t escape tears” when watching Hamilton… how can we explain that?
Like I said, I’m not going to watch Hamilton to find out. I’m not even going to read its plot summary on Wikipedia. I have been unwillingly forced to acquire adequate Hamilton knowledge via cultural osmosis, but I also did ask around.
Part of its appeal, per reports, is undoubtedly based on jingoism and revisionist history – we’re all just so proud to be American (and to be led by heroic bankers in our wonderful bankocracy).
However, what is more shocking is how the play apparently significantly plays up the anti-monarchical, republican roots of the American Revolution for Independence by… upholding the pro-monarchy Alexander Hamilton? Jefferson said of Hamilton: “Hamilton was not only a monarchist, but for a monarchy bottomed on corruption.” I hear Miranda’s next play is about the great abolitionist Robert E. Lee.
So the apparently underlying theme of Hamilton is how revolutionary and cool the anti-monarchy stance was (way back in the late 18th century), and it is these ancestor worship-heartstrings which produce tears in fake-leftist pseudo-intelligensia like A.O. Scott. How could they possibly pick Alexander Hamilton as a leader of the fight against aristocratic privilege? Answer: in a bankocracy bankers are the vanguard party, so they simply must be whitewashed as spotless leaders.
Thus we can refer to Scott’s headline – ‘Hamilton’ Review: You Say You Want a Revolution – to get at the heart of what helped draw in so many American males to willingly watch Hamilton: make being conservative “revolutionary”. The play does what Westerners always do – try to end history long before 1917 by perpetuating the false belief that Western liberal democracy is somehow still “progressive” and not fundamentally aristocratic (bourgeois); the play obviously perpetuates the false Western belief that the summit of democracy’s reach is Western liberal democracy and not 20th century socialist democracy. However, with every passing corona hysteria day it’s more and more obvious that in the 21st century the latter is vastly outperforming the former, which did nothing but replace monarchy with bankocracy (thus it was merely a bourgeois/aristocratic revolution).
There are secondary propaganda bases for the success of Hamilton, mainly how it successfully espouses 21st century US liberal (fake-leftist) identity politics. But a huge part of this is merely technical and based entirely on what I can easily prove is the fundamentally reactionary nature of Broadway itself, because absolutely nothing is “Whiter” than Broadway in US culture.
Musicals like Our Town, Oklahoma, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Sound of Music, Music Man, Carousel – these are all whiter than Wonder Bread on a styrofoam plate in a snowstorm in themes, composition and musical styles. How can The Unsinkable Molly Brown be played by a Latina, after all? There are no Hindus in Our Town. Finding a young Black girl who can sing, act, AND has red hair is going to make staging a production of Annie difficult, but making Depression-era Daddy Warbucks Black is historically impossible. This is why playgoers have remarked how they have been thrilled by the mere presence of non-White actors in this type of a musical, but also in any musical. All of this supports my assertion of what a fundamentally reactionary institution Broadway is.
The use of rap was also another mere technical – and not intellectual or artistic – pseudo-achievement of Hamilton; that fundamentally reactionary Broadway required 40 years to finally use rap music and Hamilton was the first – big deal? The good news is: nobody over 50 can keep up with such rapid-fire spoken word poetry, and thus many of the elder showgoers surely missed out on the undoubtedly fascinating rap lyrics about the meetings to build the US Treasury.
(Of course, does every rapper think his or her every word is totally fascinating and worthy of your complete concentration and attention? Rappers dominate whatever music they sit in on – in jazz this is the sin of “overplaying” and overplayers are not invited to the next jam session. Sadly, US corporate media rams rap down our throats and refuses to broadcast jazz music literally anywhere, probably because jazz cannot proselytise for individualism and capitalism like rap does with seemingly every breath.)
Western democracy does indeed have two classes: Bankers and everyone else
Making central bankers “cool” – which seems impossible – is the greatest achievement of Hamilton in its effort to propagandise the American public into accepting QE, ZIRP and the post-2008 policies which have gutted the US and left it poised to plummet into prolonged socio-economic chaos following the hysterical corona overreaction.
By portraying Alexander Hamilton as an outsider who worked his way to the top the play undoubtedly allows viewers to maintain a certainly outdated belief in the fiction that the US is a “classless” society; this is just as the election of Barack Obama allowed the creation of the myth that the US had progressed to a “post-racial society”. If that was true – why the George Floyd protests? Miranda thinks Hamilton is a hero mainly because he knows nothing about QE, economics, the class struggle, and because he obviously admires the gangster/bankster values of rap.
If Miranda knew any of those crucial leftist analyses he would have known that in order to maintain this fiction of a “classless” American society absolutely everything must be burned before it: What is identity politics but an endless assertion that absolutely anything – from race to religion to gender to sexual to preference to party affiliation to ___ – is more important than class? Anything to not focus on class!
This explains the reactionary, divisive words of Hamilton as found in the play’s popular song, “Immigrants— we get the job done”. I’m not going to listen to it because when is Broadway very truly funky or cool? However, it surely seems to be an insult to the hard-working capabilities of White Americans – are how is that leftist or progressive? Due to Miranda’s political ignorance and obviously reactionary beliefs he was only too happy to write a song which seeks to divide the worker class based on their country of birth. What’s his next divisive attack, one wonders? May I suggest: “Left-handers do the job a bit differently but still get’er dun”. A pro-immigrant song can be a fine thing, but not coming in the context of banker worship, LOL – it’s an obvious contradiction, and obviously an attempt to distract from Hamilton’s overall capitalist-imperialist ideology with divisive identity politics.
So… not a single stink bomb at a Hamilton performance? Not a single call to take slave-dealer Hamilton off the $10 bill amid these rebellious times? Idiots will deface a statue of Cervantes (the Arab-loving “Multicultural Dreamer”), and steal a Frederick Douglass statue, but the Alexander Hamilton statues outside the US Treasury, in NYC, in Chicago and elsewhere remain standing because he’s apparently “that cool leftist guy from the cool leftist play”?
Alexander Hamilton – cool? Broadway – cool?!?! Hamilton – a leftist play?!
Clearly, the US left has no idea what they are doing, and that’s why we still don’t hear any leftist demands for media discussion about the links between QE, central banker dominance over Western liberal democracies, and the endless corporate promotion of Hamilton.
For all the wrong reasons Hamilton is popular – but they’re dead wrong, I know they are, as the song goes.
Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.
Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020
Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020
A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020
– March 25, 2020
Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? –
March 26, 2020
If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30,
Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020
Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020
(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020
Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020
Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020
‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020
Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020
No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020
Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020
No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020
Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020
We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20,
Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020
Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020
The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,
The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020
What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020
ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020
Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020
The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020
May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020
Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020
Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020
Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020
France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020
Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020
‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021
The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021
I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021
August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin – May 28, 2021
Corona proving the loser of the Cold War was both the USSR & the USA – May 30, 2021
Rebellions across the US: Why worry? Just ask Dr. Fauci to tell us what to do – June 2, 2021
Protesting, corona-conscience, a good dole: the US is doing things it can’t & it’s chaos – June 3, 2021
Why do Westerners assume all African-Americans are leftists? – June 5, 2020
The US as Sal’s Pizzeria: When to ‘Do The Right Thing’ is looting – June 6, 2020
The problem with the various ‘Fiat is all the problem!’ (FIATP) crowds – June 9, 2020
Politicisation of Great Lockdown result of ‘TINA’ economic ignorance & censorship – June 14, 2020
Trump’s only hope: buying re-election with populist jobless benefits – June
US national media is useless – so tell me the good local news sources? – July 4, 2020
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.
The play, Hamilton, is nothing compared to the Kabuki theater that is the US electoral process, outlandish plot turns, melodrama, unbelievable characters… and Americans are glued to their TV sets to see what’s going to happen next. Well, somebody already knows how it will all end but it certainly isn’t you or I.
Meanwhile, we’re in the midst of a total reset of the world’s economy. The Davos crowd, or the Deep State, whatever you want to call them have already looted the US treasury to the tune of $7 trillion and counting, but who’s counting? All this under the cover of the COVID-19 bio-weapon which Trump and his Likudnik buddies certainly knew was coming to Wuhan as early as the second week of November when the US warned Israel about it…
How will this all shake out? Well here’s a prediction from Peter Koenig that explains a lot…
“Imagine, you are living in a world that you are told is a democracy – and you may even believe it – but in fact your life and fate is in the hands of a few ultra-rich, ultra-powerful and ultra-inhuman oligarchs. They may be called Deep State, or simply the Beast, or anything else obscure or untraceable – it doesn’t matter. They are less than the 0.0001%.”
The elites of the US Deep State will stay on top inside the US. They will strip mine what is left – the US is nearly a dried out husk. But in the long run they will not prevent the continued decline of the US and West. They will not be able to defeat, neutralize, or subdue the coalescing multifarious East. The US is busy eating itself. Except for a nuclear war that ends everything the US Empire is done. It will bring about more suffering, destruction, and death on its way down but will not arrest its decline.
Barring a nuclear war, we might be lucky to emerge as a “normal” nation that works for a living and pays its bills like most every other nation instead of by raping and pillaging the planet. Koenig thinks that is not very probable, though…
“At present, the dollar is fiat money, debt-money created from thin air. It has no backing whatsoever. Therefore, its worth as a reserve currency is increasingly decaying, especially vis-à-vis the new crypto-yuan from China. In order to compete with the Chinese yuan, the US Government would have to move away from its monetary Ponzi-scheme, by separating itself from the 1913 Federal Reserve Act and print her own US-economy- and possibly gold-backed (crypto) money – not fiat FED-money, as is the case today. That would mean cutting the more than 100-year old ties to the Rothschild and Co. clan-owned FED, and creating a real peoples-owned central bank. Not impossible, but highly improbable.”
Perhaps you can help as I have asked elsewhere and have yet to get a verifiable response to prove the oft repeated claim that the Rothschild Clan owns the FED.
The FED is owned by the 14 regional US banks, which are in turn owned by their member charter banks. The beneficial owner of the FED is the US Treasury which gets all profits after statutory dividends are paid to the member banks. In 2017 that was over $80 billion dollars, and likely the single biggest revenue line item for the US Treasury.
The Rothschild Clan owns their own Bank of course, and they may have influence on the Boards of Directors of the other Charter Banks that dominate the voting of FED, but that does not constitute ownership.
There are of course valid concerns and criticisms over specific Fed policies and practices and certainly all member banks are beneficiaries. But so is the Treasury and taxpayer as well as the retirement accounts and pension funds which own the member bank shares.
It really doesn’t matter who or what owns the Fed. That they have been instrumental in bringing about the financial disasters that have shaped US politics in the past century is detailed here by a very prescient F. William Engdahl back in October of last year…
“From 1927 to 1929 the Fed deliberately created then burst a stock bubble using interest rates. Republican President Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act in 1930 to defend American industry, resulting in a trade war that was blamed along with Hoover for the Great Depression that was brought on by an economy bloated with debt and easy money during the Roarin’ Twenties boom. Hoover was blamed and lost re-election to Democrat FDR with his New Deal. Behind all were the actions of the Federal Reserve, the real power. Soon it will be clear if 2020 will be a modern era repeat of the Hoover script, this time with a Democrat whose “New Deal” will likely be green.”
@Opport(unity) Knocks: “US Treasury which gets all profits after statutory dividends are paid to the member banks. In 2017 that was over $80 billion”
You say that in 2017 the U$ Treasury received $80G profit from being “beneficial owner” of the Fed. Can you likewise inform us, how much did the member banks receive in “statutary dividends”?
In 2017 govt debt was around $20,000G, which at around 1% would amount to an interest payment burden of $200G — which cash outflow dwarfs the Treasury’s measly $80G inflow from “owning” the Fed. I note that U$ govt debt rose by $1,300G in that same year 2017-2018.
As I see it, in 2017 Uncle $cam made $80G profit by “owning” the Fed, and $1,300 loss in fresh borrowing (increase in govt debt). Net Loss: $1,220 for year 2017. From whom did Uncle borrow his $1,300G of fiat money? From those same “member banks” in the Fed, perhaps?
The $80 billion in so called profits that the Fed returns to the US Treasury comes about due to seignorage. An arm of the US Treasury prints 2% of federal reserve notes on paper, that are sold to the Federal Reserve at their printing cost, not their face value. It is the difference that is paid to the US Treasury.
If the US Treasury owned the federal reserve and its member banks, there would be no US Treasury debt of $26 trillion, would there ?
I have not seen any of “Hamilton”, if I do it will only be for discovering history falsification. It is better look at his real role as an obvious agent of the Rothschild syndicate by reading real historic documents.
I would be very cautious of believing anything Hollywood or Broadway produces. Actors and the music industry stars etc. are members of Illuminati themselves by the way, made to support their employers and companies.
Plays or films and TV are made into total propaganda, owned by Deep State corporations.
““Imagine, you are living in a world that you are told is a democracy – and you may even believe it – but in fact your life and fate is in the hands of a few ultra-rich, ultra-powerful and ultra-inhuman oligarchs. They may be called Deep State, or simply the Beast, or anything else obscure or untraceable – it doesn’t matter. They are less than the 0.0001%.”
how about this:
i dont have to imagine anything. i know and can see i live in a world God created. God loves me. My life
and fate are in my hands. God gave me the ability to choose. So i choose to say NO! to any inhuman beast that tries to control me.
I wear no mask. i fear no corona.
A fine carpet-biting rant! There are a number of operas that I quite enjoy, myself. Mr. Mazaheri is quite right about Broadway musicals, though, they are fully as dreadful as he claims.
Agree, opera is not about plot or content. It is about the vocal mastery that does not appear anywhere else.
Opera is to Music what Cirque du Soleil is to Gymnastics.
Don Giovanni is simply magnificent.
Oport, I agree, Don Giovanni is my favourite music-drama, second only to Fidelio in classical music structure but far exceeding Fidelio in dramatic interest and character drawing.
As regards Broadway musicals, they produced some great songs that conquered the world, at first in Austro/Hungarian operetta style, then in the real Yankee voice which was a happy mixture of African rhythm, Russian melody and dry European wit. But I must confess the last one I saw live (and enjoyed) was “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying”.
As for Ramin’s view on ‘Hamilton’ everyone knows that Communists in the U$A were culturally genocided during the McCarthy era. As he says, there is no Left left in the U$A — and precious little left in the rest of the “Western” world.
Opera is “vocal mastery” only of the particular vocal style in opera.
Think an opera singer can sing like Little Richard? Not…a…chance.
But Bo Diddley sang opera style pretty well here:
I wouldn’t want to hear Pavarotti sing the blues – if he did he’d sing it opera-style, I bet. And who wants to hear that? Clearly – opera doesn’t know diddley.
LOL, Pavarotti and BB King here – Pavarotti can’t do nuthin in this style of music.
Not saying he’s not great at what he does, just pointing out he’s limited and not some omnipotent god of singing like opera fans believe. BB at 70+ and full of the diabetes is infinitely more interesting to listen to here.
Pavarotti doesn’t sound bad here with Celine Dion, and in English too, but it’s totally cookie-cutter/out of place and he gets schooled by Dion’s far greater expressiveness and range, both emotionally and technically. Of course Dion would get schooled if she tried to sing opera with Pavarotti, I imagine. People think Celine Dion is corny and doesn’t have talent, but the latter sure isn’t true.
About the only thing I’ll give to opera singers is that they are by far the loudest windbags of all singers. That’s a virtue… sometimes. You know they got things called microphones now?
Opera singers can only sing opera – opera never mixes in a samba, or a mazurka, or a RnB slow jam… it’s an incredibly static and limited musical style. Singers of other styles often have to be far, far, FAR more versatile – and thus intellectually/artistically capable and intelligent – than one-note opera singers.
However, there’s nothing wrong with being one note/one style, if that’s what you like to do, of course. But from an objective point of view the veneration of opera singers over other types of singers is an elitist and false idea, and also one which is totally, totally unshared by the democratic majority. I’m sure any truly artistic opera singer would agree, and reject the absurd & elitist veneration by the fancy class.
Going a little off-topic.
My condolences if you never learned to appreciate opera Ramin. But no, opera singers do not sing usually other styles, because it damages the opera voice.
But check out Sarah Brightman, a soprano … completely changed from opera to modern ditties and popular songs. And, she can change back because she keeps the method.
What total Pindo rubbish. If Pindos weren’t such self-adulating morons, they would have ditched this kind of ”culture” instantly and enjoyed more talented foreign contributions. Scottish playwright Alistair Beaton’s 2004 masterpiece ”Follow the leader” was a stunning, frontal assault on the scum Blair and Bush. Everywhere in the UK, the theater audience was asphyxiating from laughter listening to the following ditty, being invited to sing along in panto fashion:
The malicious glee about Americans being ”rich” plus the fact that their obesity levels are at least twice as high as they were in 2004 can readily be imagined, although not by the Exceptionals and Indispensables themselves, LOL.
Yes, I’m whiter than white, and grew up loving the classics of musical theatre (not Hamilton, or even 1776″, but Our Town? a musical??
Broadway died a long time ago, certainly before “Annie”. It was a wonderful collective expression while it lasted. I have not seen Hamilton but I have studied history, and if it is at all accurate, and its message viewed favorably, it is the death nell of modern theatric sensibility. What was that tune again?
Wikipedia entry on Nevis is very interesting.
Incredible wealth created there through the sugar and slave businesses.
More wealth created in Nevis than in all of the thirteen colonies.
An island of 36 square miles.
I am sure there is a genuine bio of Hamilton out there somewhere.
Meanwhile one might do worse than reading Gore Vidal’s “Burr.”
I read it literally decades ago and loved it but cannot recall the details.
I might reread in light of the Hamilton madness.
Hamilton “madness” hits the nail on the head….Katherine
or more precisely Ramin’s and many others sheer incapacity to distinguish principles of nation-building in terms of A National Bank …….from those of a private central bank….and what became Aaron Burr’s Wall Street!
And I don’t care about Miranda either. The stupid duel ( a ridiculous practice of the age, not only in America…but also in Russia…) just has dramatic appeal, especially where the slain one defends his honor through bravery, facing his accuser the way Pushkin faced his…but holding his shot…expecting the same of respect from Aaron Burr…but getting killed instead by the Wall Street/London traitor…who had to flee to England.
The main thing that distinguishes Alexander Hamilton from his ignorant critics here, besides their swallowing a lot of Jeffersonian political rivalry malice and slanderous swill from two plus centuries ago, as though Tom were a Demi-god or angel…not a human being with a wonderful way with words…but NO physical courage (Jefferson fled Monticello at the approach of the redcoats…and never took up arms against them as Hamilton did….with exemplary leadership and brilliance.as an artillery commander…) is that though Alexander Hamilton was no doubt less privileged than 95% of us here…possibly including the author.??….(raised by a mother abandoned by his father….a mother who died while he was in his mid-teens on either Nevis or St Kitts)……. Hamilton did not choose as his “winning formula” the posturing as a victim…..of anything……… but rose meteorically to become the indispensable aide to General George Washington!
And yet people take Jefferson’s side!
Ridiculous! You don’t think Washington knew something 230+ years ago….. YOU still don’t know????
As though no banks anywhere in history ever did any good….just because many…like the Bank of Hong Kong and Shanghai….chartered to finance the opium poisoning of China…………. did evil!
But the results speak for themselves. The nation was developed rapidly (Erie Canal being exemplary) and Hamilton was no agent of ANYONE. He judoed the Rothschilds and took no bribes.
FACT: Other founders raised money to support his widow Elizabeth who lived modestly decades beyond the killing of her husband.
Here is from the contributor to the segmented short essay on Hamilton in the Cafe….coming right up….second course, after this:
Leading 21st Century biographer is Ron Chernow who inspired the musical Hamilton
Leading 20th century biographer is Broadus Mitchell
Leading 19th century biographer is Gertrude Atherton, who also wrote a novel inspired by him.
My friend states: “I’d put my money on Gertrude but the former two are solid. The dearth of work on Hamilton over two centuries speaks volumes. I own his entire life’s works.”
Finally…if y’all persist with this nonsense ….(NOT from you Katherine…..the fondness in your heart for what you read many years ago is a better guide than these comments from people who don’t care to read the OTHER than the Empire propaganda side….)…..too stubbornly……I will need to remind you (plural) …..and prove to you (plural) , repeatedly, that THE most critical infrastructure project in history…..The World Landbridge …the New Silk Road……One Belt One Road was inspired by Hamiltonian Economics and his principles of NATIONAL (not private central) Banking.
And there are connections of the same thinking into Russia…that not only inspired the Trans-Siberian Railroad over a century ago…but still exist today in academic and political-economy circles in Russia, where Putin and (and Xi and others in China!) are more scientific…and less prone to leftist victimology as their guiding compass….as many of y’all are.
The first course by the friend of mine….that actually KNOWS something about the importance of Hamilton that Ramin has unfortunately missed by a mile in his distaste for musicals and opera:
…..a far, far less important topic than The Report On Manufactures and other Hamilton blueprints for nation-building applicable anywhere…universally.
Because they have deep truths in them, unfortunately missed by nearly ALL of you…..so far.
Except Mathew Ehret..mentioned just below…the Canadian who also contributed an article on Canada Day …right here in the Vineyard…very recently. Mathew “gets it”.
No worries, you’ll have more chances!
Wrong link to the lifelong student of Hamilton’s beginning of his essay for the eventual (possible…I’ll attempt the connection!) to Nicolai Starikov…..the above is a short preview…that set lots of knees to jerking uncontrollably…..but here’s the actual “First Course” serving:
the title America’s Most Misunderstood Founder…..is mine, not my friend’s.
First time I ever read the truth about Pushkin’s death, clear to me from reading his life story. Pushkin would have behaved differently in today’s world. They were all romantics back then. I’m sold on Hamilton, and terrified of joining the twits class – though to be fair, some of the company sound good fun – seriously tho’ I read the Hamilton history and more, it made positive sense to me anyway.
Please do read the essay by max Stoller.
Excellent analysis. Some perspective on Chernow.
Eliza Hamilton came from the wealthiest family in New York, so she did not have financial worries.
I appreciate your insights as always.
However, I didn’t write and haven’t ever written from the absurd position, “As though no banks anywhere in history ever did any good” – banking is a reality and a necessary one.
This article focuses on the “coincidence” of corporate media-demanded adoration of Hamilton AMID QE and unrivalled Western bankocracy, not on Hamilton himself, or on the merits of private or public banking. Isn’t the play Hamilton becoming the cultural touchstone of the US of the 21st century (as I recently read, and it’s probably true) just totally, totally wrong for these times?
I don’t agree at all with Bro 93, although he seems to approve of me in a paternalistic fashion!
I do hope you get a chance to read the Stoller essay (link below), because it provides many useful historical insights and analyses that support and expand on your own ideas. He also reveals the philosophical links between the musical Hamilton and the policies of the Obama administration. He also has quite a lot to say about the Chernow bio. Namely, ripping it to shreds.
Hamilton came from a the slave-owning sphere of the West Indies. He married into inherited wealth in New York, also slave owners. Of course these beginnings did not determine his ideas, and a lot of people owned slaves throughout the Colonies and elsewhere. However, he was free to pick and choose from among the smorgesbord of ideas concerning political economy that were swirling around in prerevolutoinary North America and also England and elsewhere in Europe.
Hamilton chose to espouse ideas that always favored the interests of the ruling class and developing oligarchy whose wealth was based on international trade (which itself was inextricably intertwined with slavery), not the farmer, artisans, etc. who fought the revolution. Hamilton was an elitist, and did not hold republican ideals. He also fomented a few rebellions of his own to try to topple the govt. Furthermore, Stoller convincingly argues, the financial structures that the Federalists succeeded in putting into place (despite hamilton’s political defeat and demise) influenced the trajectory of the United States starting already in the 1810s such that there was already a political backlash that drove farmers and artisans to the political right (as we would call it).
Hamilton did not want the rich to be taxed. Instead he wanted eternal debt that the rich owned and the taxpayers of the USA would be obliged to pay, providing a reliable income stream to the govt’s creditors. Not that dissimilar from the Greeks being obliged to use their treasure to pay interest to central banks on loans rather than on their own needs.
I will not bore by recapping more, but I do urge you to make time to read this essay if you plan to comment further on Hamilton or other US cultural entertainment phenomena.
Here is the link again:
“The Hamilton Hustle,”
P.S. Please do not be a philistine by dumping on opera! It may be a specialized taste in your circles, but that should not become an ad hominem concerning opera itself (cf. public adoration of and connoisseurship of opera in Italy). Pls don’t tell me you prefer rap!! OK, off to practice on my harpsichord now ((:-))!
I think that with any leader pre-1917 there are going to be huge, huge flaws, whether it’s Cyrus the Great or Mohammad Ali of Egypt or George Washington. I think if we constantly acknowledge that, then we can also still learn what was progressive about them rather than refusing to learn anything – where would be the utility in that? Total whitewashing and total condemnation – absolutist and wrong.
I promise you that I have heard more opera than I ever wanted to. I give it a fresh chance every so often but never get repaid in kind. I think it’s just too outdated and can’t reach the average modern person; or, I think if you don’t grow up with that in the household it’s quite, quite hard to see the appeal – and that can be said about Broadway, too, and maybe a whole lot of other periphery musical styles?
I cannot stand rap either, and choosing between that and opera I demand my freedom to abscond from such a terrible situation!
I definitely will read that article. I’m a bit politicised-out for the moment, like many are I imagine…. My free advice is to spend more time on the harpsichord (and make it funky!).
Try Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson: A Study in Character
by Roger G. Kennedy
“Our Town? a musical??”
I admit – apparently I was misinformed by my sources… not that I’m going to watch Our Town to find out, LOL.
A great play by the great Thornton Wilder.
You easily watch both a complete stage production and the film of the play for free online.
Here is a link to the film (scored by Aaron Copeland):
Thanks Katherine, but I am concerned that it may actually be a musical so I’m going to have to stay away as a precaution against unhipness. I gotta trust my sources!
I guess my mentioning Aaron Copeland makes it sound like a musical
It is actually a Pirandello-style meditation on life and death and the passage of time as measured by those events as a series of before-and-afters.
“Before” is NOW.
Have a nice apolitical day!
Meanwhile, Matthew Ehret over at strategic culture writes one eulogy after another about Alexander Hamilton & Co.
I’m not much of a theatre goer but my daughter and I saw Chicago in the West End a couple of years ago. We loved it…a very entertaining piss-take on the corrupt nature of the USAmerican criminal justice system and their fascination with celebrity criminals. Last year we saw West Side Story in my home town. I hated it…bleeding heart, faux compassionate liberalism. In Moscow, they love a good opera. We saw Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi some time back…the audience was surprisingly vocal and clearly enjoying it. I really liked the stage design and settings…very arresting and unlike anything I’d ever seen…if I knew for sure what the phrase meant I might describe it as “very Russian”.
“ever since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 … to watch one national US media is to watch them all – there is total uniformity”
This was already true long before.
I well remember a friend in 1975 who had been on a trip all summer across the country telling about different things he had seen.
When I asked, “What about people?”, he replied (a ripe old 20 years old):
Naah. They’re all the same. They all watch the same TV.
Regardless of what a 20-year-old said in 1975, the 1996 Telecommunications Act was a watershed moment, and was recognized as such by those paying attention.
And many were, actually.
Just as with NAFTA. I remember it well.
Just as with repeal of Glass-Steagall. I remember it well.
The Clinton years were a disaster for the middle and working classes of this country as well as the white and black poor. The economy seemed to be booming, but the structures were put in place that inexorably led to the current crash.
One thing that totally annoys me about the current ‘revolt” against “whiteness” by minorities and others is that this country has repeatedly voted for change, movement toward more equity, better quality of life (e.g., universal health care), maintenance of our infrastructure instead of war making and productivity gains flowing to the top instead of to the actually productive portion of the economy. And repeatedly we have been screwed.
Yet the country and the electorate as a whole gets zero credit from the current “resistance” for voting in governments that promised the changes we desperately need.
Now there seems to be general amnesia on these elections and the ensuing administrations, and the actual records of those winning candidates. Obama actually owned both houses of Congress after the 2008 election. And he did basically nothing with the opportunity except his massively compromised Obambcare legislation, dictated by the Repugs and Big Pharma and Big Insurance.
The Clintons and the Obamas—yes, the reigning couple, now enjoying their $11 million mansion [!!!!! where did they get this kind of dough?] on Martha’s Vineyard—must be protected at all costs, it seems, even at the cost of the sanity of the whole country.
No accountability when it comes to those four snake oil salesmen and -women.
Empire always lie to themselves in an inverse ratio to failure.
If you haven’t read Roger G. Kennedy’s book, “Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson: A Study in Character”, you’ll be happy to know it puts Hamilton in his proper place as a dirtbag, the lowest character of the three. It touts Burr as the actual abolitionist and supporter of women’s rights. Furthermore, Hamilton insisted on dueling with Burr, and after demurring for years, Burr finally agreed and shot him dead. Well deserved!
Mr. Mazaheri is correct that the Democrats and Republicans are both Right Wing parties. Focusing on race is an obsession of the right. BLM is a right wing movement. Liberal politicians are making stupid decisions now because it is hard to mask that immigration is a disaster for the poor, especially the poor Afro-Americans. No Democrat politician has stood up and used their ability to get on TV and talked about how vitamin D3 deficiency is the leading cause of serious Covid illness/death. They let the Afro-Americans die in great number so they can get Big Pharma campaign contributions. Now each party is accusing the other of being communists.
Thank you, comrade Mazaheri, for unmasking bankocracy in the US with wit and wisdom! No quibbles with the overall message but on one detail I feel obliged to respond:
Largely true, but one worthy exception is Matt Stoller in the Baffler on The Hamilton Hustle from 2017:
PS: your books on socialist China and Iran are invaluable and likewise your commentary here at the Saker. Many, many thanks.
Just finished the Stoller essay on Hamilton.
Great history lesson, plus analysis of why Hamilton is being pushed forward now as a hero.
Pretty damned cynical.
Stoller takes it out of Obama, which I welcome.
Many thanks for digging up that link. Will definitely check it out.
I assume that countless people have made the QE-era/Hamilton play link… it’s just that saying so is guaranteed to cost a journalist his or her job.
“Burr” by Gore Vidal
“Wicked” Broadway show
Hamilton is to the Theatre as America is to Democracy: Both are a complete and utter scam.
America fully deserves the idiotic piece of pretentious historical revisionism called Hamilton.
To hell with them both.
Ishmael Reed has written a lot of crirical reviews of Hamilton. He also staged a counter Hamilton play in New York. Check it out in Counterpunch.