If we take stock of the things which are happening out there, we hear all sorts about fraud, dishonesty in parliament, infantilization of and moral degradation of people accompanying the hard times, the rise of the hard right, the erosion of concepts of right and wrong, the rise of amorality rather than immorality, PCism.
It’s not stretching it to say it’s a madness which has fallen upon the people. Julia M has a tag “read and weep” and she’s used that tag a lot. That’s also not stretching it and yet there are those who look at that, befuddled and ask, “What are these people going on about – everything seems fine to me. All right, a bit less money about but things are fairer and more equal.”
Go around my blogrolls and you’ll see a similar message to ours and a deep, deep disillusionment – did we just invent that so as to be morose? Couldn’t there possibly be the teensiest justification for this mood?
Accompanying this, there’s been a recent focus on the last really bad times Europe went through, starting at the Wall Street crash and scribes are analysing those times for signs and parallels but I’d suggest you need to go back further – to the 20s – to see the seeds of the German doom. In fact, this is what Jesse has done with his video about sin cities – I looked at Berlin and Paris.
Interesting that they used the term “sin” in the title because that’s a religious term for “separation from G-d”. Sure it’s come into the lexicon as meaning general naughtiness, so why would they want to celebrate that notion? Surely if they were at the start of a new enlightened world, where no one was hung up on outmoded social constraints any more, everyone in control of his or her own destiny, the title should have been perhaps “Cities of the New Enlightenment” or whatever – a positive note rather than the: “Aren’t we all so misbehavingly wicked?”
The vids are basically a narrator and group of writers/thespians who clearly look back fondly on that time, ignoring the human degradation and concentrating on the creativity of the time, which no one’s disputing. The people depicted are precisely their class – the bourgeois left -who poured in and filled those cities following WW1, including a huge proportion of foreigners. But in Berlin, it was worse – scenes of loss of national soul not present in Paris, which was more upbeat about it. In Berlin, the middle class were hiring out their own homes as brothels, making money from foreigners mainly. Generals would hire out their wives, the local baker would do the same.
There’ve always been red light districts and always a certain amount of this going on but this was a whole section of the population somehow deciding that it was fine to whore about. You don’t have to go too far back in their history to see the roots of this – the defeat in WW1, the loss of national identity, austerity – any excuse will do – but even so, that was an amazing slide in such a short time.
No wonder scribes today, looking at our situation, can see parallels. Wasn’t that a 15 year old girl the other day who saw her parents on the net at a swingers’ club? It was all about her utter shock but my question is how she knew in the first place and that raises questions in turn.
As just mentioned, a certain amount always goes on in any society but this was different in Berlin – this was across a whole stratum of society – someone or something had to have opened the floodgates, saying: “This is fine to do – Frau Schmidt up the road will not look down on you for this.”
And at the same time, there had to be a tendency in those humans in the first place in that, with the gates open, in they rushed.
What dismayed me most in these vids were the presenters/interviewees, desperate to be seen as broadminded, people of the world and the narrator skipped over facts and stats, such as that there were upwards of 100 000 prostitutes plying the streets of Berlin alone – that’s one hell of a clientele base. One snippet mentioned that the higher class brothels had reasonable conditions but the lower class women had to service up to 100 clients a day and there was quick footage of one of these women.
100 times a day – you’d really get to love men after a week of that.
The vid lightly skipped over one particular street where the pregnant women and girls were lined up in order of advancement of their pregnancy, so cars would cruise by and the moneyed could take their pick of what stage of pregnancy they wanted in their whore. Is that sick or is that sick? Maybe I’m alone in thinking this way but the word which springs to my mind is “ignoble”. Where was the nobility of that great nation that they could do such things in this way?
Paris wasn’t much better. Liberated did not mean “able to write and converse, to meet in bars for a quiet drink or congregate along the left bank”. Overshadowing all of that was the view that in Parisian society, it was seen as strange if you didn’t hire your wife or husband out to sleep with your mutual friends. As the narrator said, if you showed any sort of fidelity towards your partner, you were seen as soft in the head.
One interesting aside was that Stein and Toklas, though gay, were basically faithful to one another and did not appreciate the promiscuity of various women who passed through their circle, especially one called Natalie.
It hasn’t gone away. Englishwoman Lucy Wadham’s book: The Secret Life of France is all the more interesting because she married into France and as a punk feminist/leftist, she saw the same scene which had been 20s France. It’s worth a read because it goes into her horror of being at a dinner party when her husband [they had a child already] went off to another room and the guests were swapping fluids with abandon. Might turn you on but it sure didn’t turn her on. You only need see Tristane Banon and mum for a similar story – everyone into them.
Ms Wadham initially ran away but was dragged back by her sense of family and so began the tragedy.
There was one part in “Jesse’s vids” about Josephine Baker coming to Paris an innocent, not wanting to do anything debauched but they seduced her and her opening night was apparently innocence defiled. Actually Baker was already far gone by the time she got there, a child of the street, so what was it with this narrator? It was almost as if he were willing the idea of the despoiled newcomer Paris, seduced by the lowlifes of the city – it obviously turned him and them all on.
And very sorry, this apology for her is understandable, preferring the more high class name courtesan but it comes to the same thing in the end, does it not, whichever way you slice or dice it? I would have appreciated her talent more had she been a bit more selective.
I saw a similar thing in Russia. The village girls would come to the city for their education and frankly, when they arrived, they were modest by default, a bit naive about things. Within the year, they’d often turn out far more debauched than the city students and a couple of city girls warned me to avoid them – they were trouble.
And this was the thing with Paris and Berlin. The most outrageous ones were the foreigners, often Americans, often with money and their excesses would make even Parisians blush, as pointed out by the narrator. It’s ever the way. The Anglo-Saxon or Celt knows no restraint at a a certain level and can come over quite gauche but as touched on in the Berlin situation, there has to be a culture in place in the first place to allow the woman to transfer her sense of guilt away from her.
The pot and the black kettle
I mean, how hypocritical are we, am I, to take these people to task? Could you accept that I’m not so much taking them to task, culpable though they were, as taking to task the philosophers and others, those who made them this way, who produced this culture.
And who the hell am I? I’m a voice, a lone voice asking for all this to stop, coming to terms with my own past.
Anyway, what will your own late teens and 20s be remembered for? What characterized them, what was your milieu, what your music? Have you reformed or have you just got older? Did you like a wide variety of music or are you just saying that? Were you out at swingers clubs every second night?
One never really knows what skeletons are in people’s cupboards.
My early 20s were experimentation, as they were for many. If it was on, I tried it. In my mid-20s, I got into a set which partied and they were the weirdest parties I’ve ever seen – I’ve posted on this before. There were the types you’d always find in the kitchen at parties, then the out-of-their-minds and finally the camp, with the token women who confused the issue – the camp were the most interesting and intelligent but why they tolerated the hooligans in the kitchen, I’ll never know – for amusement?
In my early 30s, the lodgers I took in to my new place to help with the mortgage would give parties and these became a little notorious, with me generally going out and leaving them to it, until the house was trashed one too many times and I just tired of the attempts people were making at recreating 20s Paris and Berlin. The stench was awful next morning for a start. I drew the line when the stripper had apparently taken on the whole bunch and her perfume was all over the place. This was not good because I had a guest myself next evening and it took a day to air and wash everything.
Now why would I have allowed those parties to happen? Fear of being a stick-in-the-mud? Why would they have done all that? As Bryan Ferry might have said – the thrill of it all, the wow factor, the need for something outrageous to happen to be furtively talked about the next day, alcohol and coke [this was before E].
Agatha Christie spoke of young people as “always dealing in externals”, so it would have to be a smashing costume or a timed entrance to the room or whatever – postulating, prancing, striking poses, needing to be seen as cool, never acting sincerely. I could do that and played the wild man a bit.
That was very much a factor in 20s Paris too. Where Berlin had a nasty feel to it, where the lesbians would dress in severe, militaristic black men’s suits and hats, with darkened eyes – there’s always been something darker about the Teutonic character – in Paris it was all show and fluff, with the camp ostentatiously camp but the result was the same – maybe the Germans were more honest about how nasty all this was.
Emancipation for women
I’d like to know something. Why must emancipation or independence always go hand in hand with, or result in, debauchery? Why that direction? For just how many women can independence merely mean freedom of movement and association and not necessarily removing the aspirin from between the knees? Maybe if Paris and Berlin had gone on and on like that, many would have tired of it, especially when economic conditions improved and people started to ask themselves questions.
I think there’s this fantasy forever lurking in the recesses of the mind of many women and if an environment is provided for them where it’s quite OK to to let go their restraint, if it became almost de rigeur, a culture, if guilt for their actions, which I believe women do feel though they say they don’t, then it doesn’t take long for them to lose all self-respect, lost in this Eve-like need to be admired for her femme-fatality, whilst men queue up, happy to confirm that in a physical way.
That’s very much the motif in this clip: cue to 0:57.
Interesting why the red capes, the fire, the hat-tip to hell? Why can’t Venus just be a lover in the French romantic tradition? The two motifs are quite strikingly different. I know – lighten up – but still … why?
The end of the 20s was of interest in this respect because once the crash came, Paris was emptied of many of the foreigners – the hardcore Kikis kept awhoring but by and large, as the narrator said, the party was over and so the nostalgia could set in.
Constant references in the clips were made to prudish America and Canada and how people couldn’t wait to escape. Prohibition had to have been one of the most stupid laws ever brought in and in Europe itself, the Church was immensely culpable in a different way, with its double-standards and this is another tragedy – that at key moments in European history, it has almost always failed to stand up for right.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the early footage was that so many of those who came to the two cities were fairly ordinary people, often a married couple with children and she was no siren, someone’s mother but there she was, naked – and some women really should keep their clothes on – wanting a slice of the action, reproaching the partner for being so prudish, poisoned by the culture … and that was called “progressive”? Aesthetic?
The recurrence of motifs
One thing I always find interesting is the recurrence of motifs across cultures. What’s, for example, with all the obelisks in key positions, e.g. Washington or in St Peter’s Square? And the names which continue to recur, even down to this day, including Europa-Astarte-Ishtar-Semiramis-Nimrod. It takes very little research to track these down, their associations, their equivalents.
The EU buildings in both Brussels and Strasbourg have statues of a bull carrying away a lady, Europa [scroll down three eighths of the way – it’s a large pic], to the river to be ravaged. That’s in the ancient legends but the EU has the nerve to give a BS official explanation, assuming we’re not educated, that we haven’t read widely, that we don’t know exactly what the story is.
You haven’t produced your noble savage yet, EU.
So who is Europa? You only need go to Wiki:
In the territory of Phoenician Sidon, Lucian of Samosata (2nd century AD) was informed that the temple of Astarte, whom Lucian equated with the moon goddess, was sacred to Europa:
“There is likewise in Phœnicia a temple of great size owned by the Sidonians. They call it the temple of Astarte. I hold this Astarte to be no other than the moon-goddess. But according to the story of one of the priests this temple is sacred to Europa, the sister of Cadmus. She was the daughter of Agenor, and on her disappearance from Earth the Phœnicians honoured her with a temple and told a sacred legend about her; how that Zeus was enamoured of her for her beauty, and changing his form into that of a bull carried her off into Crete.
This legend I heard from other Phœnicians as well; and the coinage current among the Sidonians bears upon it the effigy of Europa sitting upon a bull, none other than Zeus. Thus they do not agree that the temple in question is sacred to Europa.”
The paradox, as it seemed to Lucian, would be solved if Europa is Astarte in her guise as the full, “broad-faced” moon.
Now isn’t it interesting that the EU should seize on the bull carrying away that female figure to be ravaged? Astarte-Ea-Ashtoreth-Diana-Semiramis-Europa – doesn’t much matter. Semiramis was the whore who had Nimrod, so we have this prostituting motif all the way along – the prostituting of society’s women, exactly what this post has been about.
Even more interesting is seeing the associations with the bull motif throughout history and legend. The bull has always been Nimrod but he has also been Moloch:
Moloch was represented as a huge bronze statue with the head of a bull.
And while we’re at it, why is there a statue of Shiva in front of the CERN building? Shiva, the great god of no birth or death, the destroyer and restorer, which is the whole idea behind Moloch as well. If you google “Shiva Moloch”, you get “Shiva, Goat, Moloch, Saturn, Kabba, Black Cube, Death”.
I think you get the idea.
So this motif of the raging bull Nimrod and the whore Semiramis keep cropping up, for example in the French Revolutiuon where a whore was placed upon the altar of Notre Dame. What’s with all the covert references all over the known world? In fact, it’s everywhere and always cryptic or covert. Recognize this?
Do you believe in the day?
Do you believe in the day!
The Dawn Creation of the Kings has begun.
Soft Venus (lonely maiden) brings the ageless one.
Do you believe in the day?
The fading hero has returned to the night — and fully pregnant with the day, wise men endorse the poet’s sight.
Do you believe in the day? Do you? Believe in the day!
I presume you know to whom The Dawn Creation of the Kings or the Ageless One refer? Son of the Morning Star?
You see, you can be as secular as you like, as godless as you please but these people won’t let it be. The EU has to bring mysticism in, CERN does, there are so many buildings around the world, so many monuments and they all make reference or pay homage to these things from the very ancient past.
And if Europa is the woman about to be f***ed over by the bull, then who is the bull doing it?
Who’s keeping these things alive and for what purpose? Who actually decided those statues would go up? And an entirely separate question – why the descent from nobility and pride in our land, of our people, to this ignoble state we have today, with women ruling men and minorities cracking the whip? Have we bottomed out yet? Are we about to rise again, as the Phoenix does?
Who caused it all to degrade anyway? We had a perfectly good life – work, house, car, food, good company and now we have this. Who was the catalyst? Can we stop him?