According to Vox, Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony is now a “symbol of exclusion" because white men think it's a "symbol of their superiority and importance."
No, I'm not kidding. Progressives are now so woke, they haven't slept in years and are starting to hallucinate.
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony starts with an anguished opening theme — dun dun dun DUNNNN — and ends with a glorious, major-key melody. Since its 1808 premiere, audiences have interpreted that progression from struggle to victory as a metaphor for Beethoven’s personal resilience in the face of his oncoming deafness.
Or rather, that’s long been the popular read among wealthy white men who embraced Beethoven and turned his symphony into a symbol of their superiority and importance. For others — women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color — Beethoven’s symphony may be predominantly a reminder of classical music’s history of exclusion and elitism. One New York City classical music fan wrote in the 1840s, for example, that he wished that “all women shall be gagged by officers duly licensed for the purpose before they’re allowed to enter a concert room.”
Wow. One lone, random classical music fan from over 150 years ago said a sexist thing. Remind me to be offended.
OK. Let’s dissect this just a bit, if we may. The authors - Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, at least the latter or which is a white man by his profile picture – claim, without offering any evidence or supporting information whatsoever, that “wealthy white men” have “turned [the] symphony into a symbol of their superiority and importance.”
Now, given that Sloan and Harding have offered exactly zero proof to back up this assertion, I have to ask: are there any wealthy white men out there who feel this way? I’m asking in all seriousness. If the above statement describes you, let me know. Because I’ve been to plenty of live music concerts that featured this symphony and I have yet to see one rich Caucasian dude hearing Beethoven’s Fifth and going, “Ohhhh yeah, listen to that Aryan authority right there, that’s the stuff.” Why? Because beyond the musical brilliance of Beethoven’s work, it’s a classical symphony. That’s it. That’s literally all it is.
And yet, because they have nothing better to do with their time than see racism and “homophobia” in everything so they can pen a thousand-word blog about it for their so-woke-they’re-insomniacs audiences, Sloan and Harding accuse Beethoven, his symphony, its supposedly “wealthy white male” audience and concert halls of “exluding” gays, blacks and women. How? By suggesting that these communities aren’t welcome in concert halls.
Which, again, is about as baseless and nonsensical a claim as you can make.
Then, seeming to realize there’s nothing more to write on that shallow subject, the authors then pivot to a new argument, suggesting that Beethoven’s symphony is so great and so famous that it’s become a “symbol” of exclusion because it sets an impossible standard of popularity for new composers to compete with.
Yeah, try and wrap your brain around that idiocy. Beethoven’s Fifth is famous and, therefore, symbolizes how black folks are marginalized in white society. That’s the parallel they saw.
What sad, terrible lives.
(Cover Photo: Carlo Alberto Cazzuffi)