Monday, June 20, 2005

Anti-Van Halenism

In this 1998 article, Anti-Semitism Without Anti-Semites, David Klinghoffer asserted that Jews should quit slinging around the "A" epithet, because it just didn't exist in America anymore.
For many of us Jews lately, everything and anything is "remindful of the Holocaust." The truth is that anti-Semitism has become an obsession with us. You’ve heard the phrase "anti-Semitism without Jews," to describe the hostility to Jews felt in countries like Poland that don’t have any Jews. In the American Jewish community we’ve got anti-Semitism without anti-Semites. Or almost without anti-Semites. In a country as big as America you are inevitably going to find nuts and cranks, haters and despisers, of every description—if you look hard enough.

Well, the world turns, and nowadays Jews are hated almost as intensely as ever, although this time it is by progressives rather than--or in addition to--the usual rightwingers. The flashpoints were the second Palestinian intifada and 9/11. One commentator hypothesized that progressives' hatred of America was causing them to hate Israel, since Israel is America's closest Middle Eastern ally. And indeed, unlike in Europe, American progressives sometimes insist that they oppose Israel, not Jews per se. This is bunk, and can be shown to be so by this simple analogy:

You know, I disapprove of a lot of things about Van Halen. I think the way that Van Halen have hired and fired singers with no notice is classless in the extreme. I think Eddie is personally to blame for his unique whammied-up guitar style becoming such an Eighties cliche. I think Van Halen are a bloated, strife-ridden corporate entity, whose contract squabbles are at least as interesting as their music. I think Van Halen fans are uniformly and irredeemably obnoxious, in their triumphalist mockery of predecessors like The Who and Led Zeppelin. I think Van Halen in no way deserve to headline any bill, or even to be able to book most venues. I think Van Halen’s continued existence stifles the emergence and growth of newer, fresher bands. Indeed, it could not be construed as much of a loss if Van Halen and its fans were to disappear altogether, in some non-violent way.

But that doesn't make me anti-Van Halenist.

Sound familiar?


  1. Great post lol.. Good way to look at it..

  2. >But that doesn't make me anti-Van Halenist.

    Just because I do not like every record that Van Halen produces does not mean I have never liked their music-- nor that I shall never buy their records again. Nothing would please me more than to hear that Van Halen have forged ahead into a brand new creative direction. In short: I am not anti-Van Halenist. I just refuse to call bad music good.


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