Variations on a Polish Folk Theme

His manager, Mary Pat Buerkle, told the Associated Press on Monday that Zimerman has talked for the last couple of years about not coming back to the United States "for a while. . . . I don't think it's appropriate to say it's all political."

In a spirited range of comments on Culture Monster, following the LA Times article from which the above quotes were extracted, many praise Zimerman...

Others say the stage is no place for divisive political speech.

As if there ever was such a thing as a place free of politics. Or as if silence had ever been apolitical. The whole world is a stage, and too much of the play and the actions of the actors on that stage are scripted with too little leeway for any of the performers to depart from the politically correct play written for them. Not if they know what is good for them -- even in the USA (The Dixie Chicks know something of it). What Zimerman chose to do, whatever his reasons and regardless of whether one personally agrees with the opinion he expressed, is a rare luxury not given to the average man or woman, especially if the said average man or woman wants to keep his or her job.
Most civilization is based on cowardice. It's so easy to civilize by teaching cowardice. You water down the standards which would lead to bravery. You restrain the will. You regulate the appetites. You fence in the horizons. You make a law for every movement. You deny the existence of chaos. You teach even the children to breathe slowly. You tame
--The Stolen Journals (Frank Herbert, Dune)
Most people are kept lingering, obedient and bound by an invisible chain of obligation and expectations which keep them subdued and subservient and not too overtly "unhealthily" interested in politics, except to cast their vote every so often, and in moderation, and on matters where they are told to do so, a little bit like going to church (where the faithful and good God fearing Christians are told to make the right choice, and whom to vote for).

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