Friday, June 19, 2015

On White Supremacists and Naked Violinists

Full confession: I have spent half an hour watching Mr. Bean, because there’s nothing for it, there’s no sandbox deep enough to bury my head, the truth is as blinding as it is numbing. “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” and what can I do about it? Precious little.

Again, a kid had too much time on his hands, too little to do, began brooding about the soon-to-be-disappeared white race, and got it into his head to grab a gun, go and sit for an hour in a Bible study group, and then kill nine people.

As always, it’s the details. That hour that he spent—what was he thinking? Was he studying the group? Was he identifying which people he would kill first? Which he would spare? Was he wrestling with his conscience? Or was he gathering up the “courage” to act?

As always, it’s the reaction. An Episcopal bishop writes that the attack wrote that the attack was “unimaginable.” Was it? Wasn’t it almost predictable, since insane attacks have now happened in movie theaters, elementary schools, and now Bible study groups in churches. Oh, and pretty much anybody in the black community can tell you: There’s a long history of attacking and often torching the black churches. The liberals are saying that this is terrorism, as much as a Muslim planting bombs at the marathon in Boston was terrorism. The gun-loving crazies are…well, I don’t know what they are saying because, guess what? So polarized have we become that neither side is listening to the other, which means that nothing will ever get done, because the money is with the guns, and anyway, they’re out there, and so how do you lure the genie back into the bottle?

As, always, it’s not the individual. Although it will be painted that way—this “terrible tragedy” had nothing to do with systemic racism, failed educational systems, fractured society, warped values, and lax gun laws. No—it was an isolated incident, regrettable but not indicative of anything that need be done, except perhaps to be more vigilant.

And does anyone really think that our police departments are not waging a war against black people? Because, in 2006, the FBI published a paper entitled “White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement.” Who knew? And by the way, even I could be a white supremacist, since I could be cloaked in what I now know is a “ghost skin,” a term referring to a white supremacist passing as a liberal, or at least not as a crazy.

Then, of course, there’s the rest of the world to consider, since absolutely everybody is the developed world is convinced that we are bloodthirsty savages, and who’s to say they’re not right? Consider the case of Stefan Arzberger, the first violinist of the Leipzig Quartet, who went out after a concert, met and took a transsexual prostitute to his hotel in New York City, got rolled, and, according to him, was drugged. So what happened? At 8 in the morning, he was naked and roaming the halls of the hotel, pounding on doors. An older woman opened the door, and the violinist nearly killed her. So she is suing him, he is claiming that he was the victim of a drugging and a robbery, and the entire classical music world is scratching its head. Oh, and making comments like this:

The problem of “drugging” other people at a bar in order to rape, rob or murder them is, fortunately for the rest of the world, a rather unique and peculiar American reality, more or less unknown and unheard of in Europe, Japan and in other developed countries.

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Well, it’s all familiar ground: People who are not classical musicians or lovers of classical music are questioning why no one can believe that a violinist would be roaming the halls naked at 8 AM attacking older ladies unless drugged. Just because he plays the violin, does he get a free pass? Evidently not, since he is still in New York, facing huge legal bills—he may have to sell one of his violins to get out from under them—and his string quartet has been scrambling to find other violinists to replace him. Oh, and they got into a nasty scrap when they substituted Arzberger but neglected to tell Wigmore Hall.

So we have just a nice normal 21-year old who shot nine black people, and we have a drug-maybe-crazed violinist running very amok through the halls of his hotel, very much seeking “whom he may devour,” and why do I feel it’s my job to do anything about it? Although I now know, thanks to the comments section of the article sited above, that most likely it wasn’t a date rape drug, but rather a bath salts drug which apparently acts as a stimulant, and which anway would be self-induced, and not slipped into Arzberger’s drink.

And that means I should Google it, since it’s vital to tell you all, my legions of readers, exactly what it is, the dangers of it, and precisely why you shouldn’t experiment with it. And in fact, I have done just that, and can tell you not to bother running to your bathroom to dispose of the offending item, since the ordinary bath salts are just bath salts. But since they were sold at times as real bath salts, the name stuck. Anyway, they are apparently the fourth most consumed drugs in the nightclubs. Oh—and they can’t be detected in urine tests.

So it’s a melancholy business—and who can tell when it will finish? But here’s a start: Beware of the white dude in your black Bible group, and think really hard before you open your door to naked violinists!