Simon O’Neill is learning the hard way that it’s fatal to the career of an arts luvvie to say what they really think. Even more fatal to assert the superiority of classical Western culture.
Because the ruling orthodoxy of New Zealand’s chattering classes is that a literal Stone Age culture is the acme of art, science and human rights.
And truth is “hate speech”.
Grammy-winning opera singer Simon O’Neill has apologised for criticising funding of Maori studies and arts, which he called “some sort of post-stone age fake construct”.
That’s his first mistake: never, ever apologise. It only encourages the bastards.
The Post reported his comments on Thursday, after being leaked emails he sent to academics and arts figures in response to restructure proposals at Victoria University of Wellington. In those emails, he labelled Arts Minister Carmel Sepuloni “ignorant” and accused her of being part of a “racist agenda” against European arts and academic faculties.
And just to prove that there is a racist agenda, no Magic Maori clown show is complete without New Zealand’s most loud-mouthed racist.
Te Pati Maori co-leader Rawiri Waititi called for O’Neill to apologise, labelling his views “race baiting and racist”.
Pot, kettle, black.
He said people concerned about the state of opera and classical music should work to advocate for their art.
At which point, he’ll denounce them as “colonisers”.
O’Neill had suggested there was a “concerted effort, between Labour, the Greens and Te Pati Maori covertly pushing the agenda of the eradication of great art”.
Of course they are: because they’re embarrassed that all they’ve got to offer as competition to, say, Mozart, Mahler and Beethoven, is a bunch of fat blokes in grass skirts shouting.
Unfortunately, instead of sticking to his guns, O’Neill has gone the standard, spineless route of grovelling apology at the altar of Magic Maoridom.
On Friday, he issued a written apology to Sepuloni and Waititi.
“I wish to apologise for the inappropriate comments that I made in that letter about you and the Labour Government, Te Pati Maori and the Green Party,” he said.
“My passion over this issue and arts funding in general, does not make my comments acceptable and I can only apologise profusely for my unfiltered and ill-advised statements written in the heat of the moment and without due consideration.”
Without due consideration for where his next grant was coming from.
New Zealand Opera also moved to distance itself from O’Neill’s commentary on Friday.
Chairperson Annabel Holland issued a statement saying she did not share his views.
“New Zealand Opera supports a diverse, vibrant and inclusive environment for all involved in the industry,” she said.
Now can we have our next tranche of grants funding, pretty please?
This is how the greatest civilisation in human history dies.
Lushington describes himself as Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. This article was first published HERE