Workin’ for the (MLK) Weekend #27: Douglas Murray Notes, Megyn Kelly Clips, and a Fantastic Gilgamesh
Also: Boffo Moz, and remembering Lisa Marie Presley
Buckle up, friendies, it’s a long & linktastic one….
* On Tuesday this past week, we took our monthly turn on The Megyn Kelly Show, and … it kinda ripped. There were segments on Joe Biden’s document-mishandling (this was as of Tuesday morning, mind you), Biden’s Salvation Army confusion, Jordan Peterson’s thoughtcrime inquiry, a preview of the woke Golden Globes, Kmele’s DEI-tastic marital counselor (!), and best of all, a discussion of the art history professor who got canned for showing a historical piece of art depicting Muhammad. Here’s the whole episode:
Pursuant to the Islamic art stuff above, some Reason links: “First Annual Everybody Draw Mohammad Day” (Moynihan), “Why We're Having an Everybody Draw Mohammed Contest on Thursday May 20” (Gillespie), “Defending the Project of Free Inquiry” (Welch), “'Je suis Charlie'? No, You're Not, or Else You Might Be Dead” (ditto), “New York Times Editor Dean Baquet Continues to Beclown Self Over Charlie Hebdo Cartoons” (ibid), “New York Times: Shout Loudly Enough, and We Will Succumb to Your Heckler's Veto” (etc.).
* Speaking of Reason, Nick Gillespie (SD 72, #379), and also of some of the wither-the-Libertarian-Party discussion in #388, The Jacket joined with Zach Weissmueller this past week for a robust discussion with Michael Heise, chair of the L.P.’s controversial and currently dominant Mises Caucus. For those who celebrate, etc.
* Now, on to Douglas Murray. Were you not entertained? The book of his I’m most interested in after that conversation is Bloody Sunday: Truths Lies and the Saville Inquiry; the more recent one is The War on the West, whose lack of subtitle is duly noted & appreciated. As previously linked, his new podcast is called Uncancelled History; here’s the recent epi with Fif’ fave Thomas Chatterton Williams (#121, #158, #188, #197, #373). Also as previously mentioned, here are links to the transcript and video of Murray and Matt Taibbi besting Michelle Goldberg and Malcolm Gladwell in a debate over whether the mainstream media is to be trusted.
* I suspect a book/documentary/interview reference-list for #390 would strain the capacity of Excel, but I see in the comments that listeners have snagged a few. Including: NPR’s Robin Young interviewing director Andrew Callaghan about This Places Rules (thanks Busty!); also, Callaghan’s new apology video. Christiane Amanpour’s painful PBS interview with Robin DiAngelo (Busty again); and hey, don’t forget my old book review! There’s also Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang (h/t Cody Young); plus The Devil’s Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes has its North American debut this week in Skokie (h/t Jimi). I’m sure there will be a thousand more in the comments.
The Fifth Column is a listener/reader-supported podcast/juggernaut, whose paying subscribers are having an AWESOME time in the comments.
* Known Douglas Murray fan and occasionally polarizing singer Morrissey posted a pretty terrific essay 10 days back about Miley Cyrus and art and controversy and Cancel Vultures and how he’s not “Far Right,” and much else besides. Excerpting it is pointless, so here’s an excerpt:
I am therefore sorry to report to some of you that I am absolutely not Far Right. If your wearisome echo disapproves of me not being Far Right, I wish you the hope that you deny yourself. Britain's 'Question Time' has thrown the red carpet my way six times asking me to appear on television to discuss the Left-Right divide, but I have always refused, and not least of all because I am sick to death of a debate that can never possibly resolve itself. I also refuse because I am apolitical, and if nothing else, I know my place.
I do not care very much about myself—and I never have. But the crucial point about 'Music as Art' is evident in life-changing music that has always happened before anyone expected it. The very best examples are the Sex Pistols, David Bowie, the Ramones, the Velvet Underground, Alice Cooper, and even the Dolls and Iggy: no one saw these monoliths coming, therefore the people discovered them before the industry had time to halt the fun. Now, alas, music cannot happen unless it adheres to strict industry guidelines, and this falsely assures the listening public that things could not possibly be better than they currently are.
* Some day I will tell you tales of performing (and perhaps enjoying a couple dozen pints) with one of Moz’s closest musical associates; today is not that day. Instead, here’s Moynihan talking about The Smiths on our brother-from-another-mother podcast Political Beats, plus some bonus Daily Beast Moyn on a bogus Brooklyn Moz.
* You may have been wondering what that picture’s about up at the top of this post. Well, that’s Ahmed Moneka and Jesse Lavercombe, who I didn’t know from Adam and Steve until Saturday night, when the very generous Fif’ listener Seth Bockley comped some tix to see their new production King Gilgamesh & the Man of the Wild (Seth directs; they star) … and boy howdy, is it good. A bit on the tricky side to explain, so let’s hand the mic over to MinnPost:
When actor/musician Ahmed Moneka arrived in Ontario in September of 2015, he only planned to stay for 10 days. Very successful in theater and film in his home country of Iraq, Moneka was visiting Canada during the Toronto International Film Festival for a screening of a film about two gay men living in Baghdad, called “The Society.”
He has never gone back. Moneka received threats after the film was screened, due to its LGBTQ content, and he was advised to not return to Iraq. He has been living as an exile ever since. He is now growing into a force to be reckoned with in Toronto as a performer and musician.
A new production, “King Gilgamesh & the Man of the Wild,” directed by St. Paul-based Seth Bockley, weaves together Moneka’s story with that of the ancient epic poem, “Gilgamesh.” In case your high school skipped that one, the Mesopotamian epic hails from late 2nd millennium BC about the part-deity Gilgamesh and his adversary-turned-best friend Enkidu.
Bockley, Moneka, and Toronto-based actor-writer Jesse Lavercombe, who plays Enkidu, have been developing the work for about four years, in part because the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to the performing arts world right as they were planning a tour of the show. They’ll be showing the piece, which features Moneka’s Arabic-maqam jazz band, Moneka Arabic Jazz, at the Jungle Theater starting New Year’s Eve. In January, the work will travel to the Under the Radar Festival in New York and a two-week run at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. It will head back to Toronto later in 2023 where it will perform at the Tria Theater.
Show only runs four more dates in NYC that are already sold out, but Seth tells me walk-ups have a decent shot at wiggling a seat. And hey, don’t just trust me, trust … Chris Hayes!
* Another big Gilgamesh thumbs-up comes from galpal Nancy Rommelmann (#79, #198, #203), who was also heard recently on the great Commentary podcast talking with John Podhoretz about her chilling piece, “A Murder in Portland: How bail reform has enabled crime and chaos.”
Parting song comes from the late Lisa Marie Presley, who because of a wrinkle in the matrix we knew and hung out with a bit around the turn of the millennium. She had the most Resting Goth Face you’ll ever see, but was wry with a joke, welcoming to the non-fancy, and had terrific taste in music (or at least she liked all my friends’ bands!). RIP, Goth girl.