Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 12, 2011 / 7 Shevat, 5771

Making the World Safe for Targets of Lunatics

By Tony Blankley




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the aftermath of the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and others, it is predictable that some self-centered politicians and political commentators quickly assumed the killer must have been provoked by political comments.

Following on that conclusion, they naturally argue (notwithstanding their exposure last week in the House to the reading of the Constitution, including the First Amendment) that whatever political words may have provoked him to his irrational violence should be silenced.

But as news organizations have begun to flesh out the interests and activities of the alleged psychotic killer, I am struck by several non-political factors that may have both shaped his mind and provoked his action.

(When dealing with the irrational mind, we must recognize it may be influenced by anything from a fig to a figment of its imagination: All must be grist for the suppression mill.)

Three reported non-political factors particularly are worthy of consideration for governmental suppression (I would modestly propose): 1) music, 2) literature, and 3) classic Greek philosophy. In later columns, I may discuss those second and third non-political influences on the alleged psychotic killer. (Note the alleged psychotic killer's admiration for, amongst others: (literature) Ernest Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea," Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels"; (classic Greek philosophy) Plato's Republic, Homer's Odyssey and Aesop's Fables — Today Aesop; Tomorrow the world!

In this column, however, I want to limit discussion to the first factor: the unambiguous role music played in provoking the alleged psychotic killer to violence.

According to the Associated Press: "A former Mountain View High School classmate, Gabriella Carillo, 22 … remembered Loughner as a tall, thin, intelligent teenager who was good at basketball, liked to read and worked hard in his high school band classes but didn't seem to apply himself in other courses.

"I know that he caused a lot of trouble in his classes other than band," she said. Carillo, who played in the high school orchestra, said Loughner had few friends, and most of them were in band ."(Emphasis added to last six words.) According to the alleged killer's close friend Bryce Tierney: "He was raised on writing and reading music."

Apparently, in high school, only his exposure to music and musicians kept his absorbed attention — a key indicator of the real culprit (music!) in provoking him to violence. Note also that his recent social media postings were filled with both music and musical references. Keep in mind that music is intentionally composed and performed to elicit strong emotions in the audience.

Musicologist Julius Portnoy has found that "music can change metabolic rates, increase or decrease blood pressure, effect energy levels, and digestion, positively or negatively, depending on the type of music. Both hemispheres of the brain are involved in processing music. The music in these studies is not the 'lyrics', but the music itself, the melody, the tones, the tunes, the rhythm, the chords…

"Music has … been documented to cause sickness. The right, or wrong music, rather, can be like a poison to the body. … Music is very powerful, like a drug and can even be an addiction. In the case of Patty Hearst, it was documented that music was used in the aid of brainwashing her.

"In the book, Elevator Music, the author Joseph Lanzab states that certain types of music over prolonged periods in certain conditions, were shown to cause seizures.

"In the book, The Secret Power of Music the author David Tame observed … "(Music) can be said that of all the arts, there is none other that more powerfully moves and changes the consciousness. It can be said that music is a very powerful and awesome tool that can have positive effects, virtually life saving mentally and physically when used in the right context, but has equally destructive and detrimental potential if used negatively ." (Emphasis added to last seven words.) Dada dada — donnn!)

If the politicians and commentators are serious about protecting elected officials from violence, they have to consider the urgent need to curtail and silence the composing and performing of music — in all its forms.

Although I myself always have loved music — and in fact have been a fairly good violinist since I was a young boy — one cannot avoid the implication that music may have provoked the alleged psychotic killer to his actions.

Indeed, it may be the case that from Beethoven's early heroic music in support of Napoleon to the mentally ill German composer Robert Schumann's romantic music, which may have inspired Austrian Habsburg culture (which, in turn, precipitated World War I), to Richard Wagner's myths-driven music that inspired Friedrich Nietzsche's Ubermensch philosophy and the Nazis. As Wagner himself wrote: "I have … an enormous desire to commit artistic acts of terrorism." Up to the current works of popular composers, music can be seen as either the witting or unwitting cause of much human violence.

If, as it is currently being argued, we should suppress normal political rhetoric on the ground that it may have provoked the alleged psychotic killer to his irrational violence, then surely we should consider suppressing music of all kinds — the No. 1 suspect factor in not only the current alleged killer's provocation, but many killers and wars over history.

Just as it is argued by some that the beneficial effect of robust political debate on the democratic process can be no defense to its suppression (in the hope of calming the nerves of future psychotic killers) so even more essentially must we now suppress all music (and as I may demonstrate in future columns, we must also suppress all literature and classic Greek philosophy).

To avoid any confusion, please understand that this column is a parody. I am not really in favor of suppressing all music, literature and classic Greek philosophy.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Archives


Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2011, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles