Purify the Arts! Purify All the Things!

Joe McCarthy

Remember Peter Madsen?

He’s the Danish guy who took a Swedish journalist out for a tour on his home-made submarine, raped, killed, and dismembered her (although not necessarily in that order), then sank her weighted body parts down into the depths of the Sound before scuttling his submarine to eliminate the crime scene.

He’s in prison now, which is where he’ll hopefully remain until he’s whisked down to the infernal depths where he truly belongs.

A good friend of mine had extensive dealings with Peter Madsen in the years immediate prior to his appalling crime. I’ve seen pictures of them together. I’m also acquainted with several other people who interacted with Peter Madsen on various occassions.

Do I need to purge my friend and acquaintances from my life? Should I try to get them all fired from their jobs?

New York’s Metropoloitan Opera would seem to think so:

Famed Russian soprano Anna Netrebko will no longer perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City this season or next after she refused to publicly distance herself from Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a statement from the Met.

I chose CNN coverage deliberately because I knew it would be uncritical of the Met’s decision to dump an artist for not “publicly distancing herself” from Vladimir Putin enough to their liking. To be clear: Netrebko criticized the invasion of Ukraine quite publicly, she just didn’t say enough mean things about Putin to be allowed to continue singing for New Yorkers.

The article doesn’t say whether she herself dropped any bombs, fired any missiles, or invaded any sovereign territory, but back in 2014 she did make the mistake of donating money to an opera house in Donetsk and was photographed “holding a Novorossiyan flag, which is used by separatist groups.”

Also, she once received flowers from Vladimir Putin. That’s like practically genocide right there.

Can you even? I mean, why not just execute the bitch?

If you’re surprised that such a venomous snake could have turned up in an institution as hallowed as the Met, you shouldn’t be. They’re such a hotbed of racism and inequity that they had to publicly address it just a couple of years ago.

Here’s the public announcement from 2020 in which they acknowledge their sins:

As the world reacts to the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, the Met is taking a long, hard look at how our organization functions and what we can do to combat racism, increase diversity among our ranks, and be a more racially equitable institution. We understand the need to take concrete steps and have heard from some of you in recent days inquiring about what the Met is doing. As such, we want to share with you the memo that the Met’s General Manager Peter Gelb sent to the company on June 10.

They had to “take concrete steps” to address their racism.

You know who doesn’t need to take any steps to address their racism? People and institutions who aren’t racist to begin with.

And you don’t need to go purging your opera of genocidal maniacs unless you’re overflowing with genocidal maniacs in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong: our precious American cultural institutions must be ideologically pure, otherwise their patrons might be infected with bad ideas that might then spread outward—downward, obviously—into the general population.

So I applaud the Met’s expulsion of Netrebko and only wish they had flushed her out sooner.

But it’s not enough.

Oh no, me hearties, it’s never going to be enough.

Ideological purity is so important right now that I believe the Metropolitan Area could go a long away toward atoning for their past sins by raising the bar and setting a new standard for all American cultural and artisitic institutions.

They should begin enforcing the ideological purity of their patrons.

Surely the New York opera enthusiasts who induced the Met to purge Putin’s plant from their prestigious planks would be willing to recite a simple oath as proof of their own purity.

“I, [your name], do hereby affirm my opposition to the invasion of Ukraine and my contempt for Vladimir Putin.”

Recite the oath and the usher will gladly escort you to your seat.

Refuse the oath, and you can bloody well slink back to whatever rock you crawled out from under, hater.

At least until the FBI gets their hands on you, terrorist.

I can hardly think of a better way to protect the arts in America—except for maybe burning these institutions to the ground and salting the earth where they stood.