In the comments to A 63-year-old rap song. Noel Coward asks “What’s going to happen to the children when there aren’t any more grown-ups?” a discussion over the relative merits and/or demerits of homosexuality in art emerged. While a number of commenters were on point on either side of this issue, the central discussion concerned DeWitt and Barnhardt. Both are encouraged to reply in the comments here, but all are welcome as always.
UPDATE: Barnhardt begins at her page with Art Created By Homosexuals: A Tandem Post and Discussion at American Digest Blog | Barnhardt
“I am pleased to point one and all to a tandem post between Barnhardt.biz and Gerard VanderLeun’s blog, AmericanDigest.org . This post and conversation came about a couple of days ago in a comment thread under a post GvL made of a Noel Coward song. I actually linked to another Noel Coward song, “Let’s Don’t Be Beastly to the Germans” in the show notes of Barnhardt Podcast #051, and then GvL posted “What’s Going to happen to the children when there aren’t any more grown-ups?” – certainly an incredibly prescient question and diddy from some 60 years ago.
“I leave comments on blogs hardly ever, but I did leave a quick comment making the point that it is quite a commentary on today’s culture when a flamboyant sodomite == as Noel Coward was == displays the kind of virile moral leadership in calling out the descent of western culture that we can only FANTASIZE about today. Put another way, things said by queeny, British fags of 60 years ago are now so far to the ârightâ socially that they would be characterized by the howling moonbat SJWs as “fascist” or “Nazi” or whatever the non-sensical pejorative du jour is.”
The key question is this: Is it morally licit to consume art (music, painting, dance) that we know, after the fact, was made by sodomites? My thesis is this:
Consuming art created by sodomites is permissible so long as the art in question does not have a “sodomite aesthetic”, and does not point to nor glorify sexual perversion.
FROM THE COMMENTS:
A NOTE ON COMMENTS– DON’T PANIC. IT HAS NOT BEEN LOST: When discussing topics in the sexual realm the spam filter here can become quite persnickety. It MAY/MAYNOT place your comment in moderation and not immediately display it. When that happens I need to approve it manually. I check for these moderated comments several times a day and approve them and move them into the stream. I regret this happens but the spam filter is an imperfect robot.
￼Ann Barnhardt: Noel Coward was, of course, a sodomite. When the British fags of 60 years ago are a completely unrealistic fantasy of the kind of virile moral leadership we would like to see in today’s world… well, stay confessed, and as St. Peter said, “Be sober and watch…”
￼Rob De Witt: It is absolutely undeniable that if you demand a life absolutely free of homosexuals, you will condemn yourself and your loved ones to a life without art. For some of us, the necessity of including art in our daily lives has meant a lifetime of struggle against the narrow-minded philistines who raised us.
I sing classical music professionally in San Francisco. Do you have any idea of what that means, or will you willfully deny the evidence of your senses? I’ve known homosexuals of every stripe for 40 years; some of them have been honorable (if horribly misguided in my view) men and women who struggled to live an ethical life having been dealt a very painful and difficult hand. Some have been bitchy assholes who lived to share their misery with others. They’ve all recognized that I like girls, and some of them just couldn’t stand it.
Because I didn’t have a good place to start, I’ve had to decide for myself what matters, and what matters is getting as close as my talents will allow to the real thing, the highest level of music. I came here with a backpack and I’ve made it all up myself. I find myself at this age able to separate the art from the artist, but it’s been a long ride.
None of this is new; Mozart and Bach had to deal with homosexuals too, you know. Guys and girls who loudly insist that they’re “normal” are always the ones you learn not to trust because their fear of themselves makes them dangerous.
￼Ann Barnhardt: This question of homosexuals in art is a very good and worthwhile discussion. Might I recommend to GvL a separate post? It certainly isn’t limited to the 20th century – Tchaikovsky, Michelangelo (probably, but repented), really half of Renaissance Florence. I would submit that the moral licitness of consuming art created by sodomites (male and female) is contingent on the work itself – specifically, does the work put forward a “homosexual” esthetic or glorify sexual perversion in any way? The trouble with Noel Coward was that he was flamboyantly camp, and inspired “West End chorus boys” to act out in public. Does Dusty Springfield singing “Son of a Preacher Man” present or glorify a “lesbian esthetic”? I would say no, but it is worth discussion.
Rob De Witt: First of all…..
Ann, I’m flattered to begin a possible colloquy with you; I have long admired your work and your insistence on the truth. I too have become a Catholic – at age 66 – and your writing was a powerful influence. I completely agree that Noel Coward and his ilk are/were the perfect example of the English glorification of flamboyant homosexuality. It’s mostly just superficial and distasteful to me, and keep in mind this is the opinion of someone who has undoubtedly known more homosexuals than anybody you’ve met.
Beyond that, to all of you: I have been rescued from a life of pain and abuse by the music of J.S. Bach, a composer who dedicated his life and work to worship. When Johann Bach was satisfied with a piece of music, he wrote the letters SDG at the bottom of the page – Soli Deo Gloria – For the Glory of God Alone. Frankly, to compare this work and this world to the likes of Noel Coward and Kevin Spacey in any way is to resoundingly miss the point. It pleases me see that Paul Bois, in the piece linked by Bunny, sees this distinction clear, and has the humility to cite both St. John Paul II and the medieval artists who literally created the world we hope to save.
In my adult life, wherein I have become apparently the only self-taught musician in a world of family-supported, conservatory-trained artists, I have known a great many dedicated Bach proponents who were homosexual. What I know about singing Bach is that it only takes everything you’ve got, and no serious practitioner is superficial in any way I’ve been able to identify. Art on this level has saved my life, which was founded upon a childhood that more than one psychologist has told me was destined for self-destruction – “You have the background of a serial killer” was the final characterization. I thank God hourly for the ability and opportunity to hear the truth and to recognize the fraudulence of modern “culture,” which most certainly includes any and all television and any and all “music” since the dawn of rock-n-roll, which is transparently the glorification of the worst of Negro culture.
If Orwell’s notion that “all art is propaganda” is correct, then it’s necessary to recognize that the purpose of the “propaganda” of the Renaissance and the Baroque was to advertise and glorify the existence of God and the truth. Catholics recognize that some human beings are born with problems to address, among which is homosexuality. The issue is how that problem is expressed and hopefully solved. It’s a knotty problem, and one I’m grateful I don’t have to deal with.