Date: 19/01/2022
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a note on apologies
“Juma Al Salami, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Private Education Department affiliated to the Ministry of Education (MoE), met yesterday the regional manager of Pearson Education Company who came from the publisher's main office in London to deliver a written apology for offense caused to Arabs, Muslims and Islam by material included in a book called ‘The cultures of the world’.

“This book was circulated and distributed to a number of private schools in the country. The regional manager was accompanied by the director-general and representative of the company in the UAE. Al Salami accepted his apology.” -- From this news story.  More on this here and specific musical apologies here.

Louis Kahn.

Several menages. Product of one of those menages did the film. Best work by Kahn seen: library at Exeter. Of course, I haven't been to Malaysia.

The article above was about great recent writers (and one unrecent painter), who treated sympathetically of Jewish themes, characters, etc., or even expressed strong support for Israel. The theory was that in the need-to-apologize sweepstakes, what comes in first is this sort of thing, for it must madden the kind of Muslims who madden (those who are not the "Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only" Muslims) and therefore the apologies need to be delivered tootsweet. Had I a year or so I would have then continued with all those who had written (not all of the Christian) or painted on specifically Christian themes, Christian subjects. I don't mean simply a book where the characters are American or European and hence Christians. For example, I don't want the head of Oxford University Press to have to go off to Arabia and apologize for, well, "The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker" by Tobias Smollett just because Matthew Bramble, and his sister Tabitha, and his nephew Jerry, and his niece Lydia, and his maid Winifred Jenkins, and then of course Lt. Obadiah Lismahago, and finally Clinker himself, are all Christians and sometimes, in what they say, show it (as Winifred in her letters, writing "by God's grease" and so on.). No, I mean apologizes for C. S. Lewis, and The Pearl, and Donne's "Devotions," and Traherne of the "Ejaculations" and Herbert, and Bunyan and "Paradise Lost" and "Samson Agonistes" and "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" and those pilgrims at Stratford-atte-Bowe on their way to Canterbury and... well, you know.

And then think of all the apologies that would require Philippe de Montebello and Pierre Rosenberg and the entire staff of the Courtauld Institute to rush to the Muslims, with their Iznik tiles, and Qur'anic calligraphy, and beg, beg, beg forgiveness for the horrors of Western art which, now that Muslims by the millions are living all over the West, we really should begin to think of putting into permanent storage, and we will. Oh, anything is possible it this new world of ours.

Obviously every single Madonna or other subject with a Christian theme, which means much of Western art, and certainly all of Tuscan and Umbian art in the first 5 or so rooms devoted to Western Art at the National Gallery (save for the odd picture of St. Peter and St. Andrew in a boat), and, indeed, almost every major Italian painter from the period 1200-1700, not to mention all those anonymous Byzantines, would not only have to be apologized for, but probably, their works put in storage so as not to spoil museum visits by Muslim schoolchildren forced to endure such awful, brainwashing stuff.

My point was really this: almost everything in Western art (save for those pure landscapes since Patinir, which excludes those paintings which are portraits, of the Duke of Montefeltro or paintings of St. Luke painting the Virgin and Child that contain, in the background, a parallelogram of valley, with a tiny river running through it, or a hill with a line of cypress, landscapes Umbrian or Flemish or imaginary), would have to be apologized for. However, some good news. Abstract art, color-field stuff, all kinds of drip-dry that the Eli Broads and Charles Saatchis of this world have, in the past, favored (not to mention a plasticized balloon-dog by Jeff Koons, woof, woof!) are just fine -- by the Muslims. Just not by us. One more difference.

You mention all these Hollywood people, apparently on the assumption that if they are Jews that is enough for the purposes above. But I chose from the very best recent writers (none of them Jewish), whose views and sympathies and themes would be suspect, and would prefer not to dilute my list with the likes of Spielberg. However, now that I've rewound in my mind -- my mind is still in the VHS era, not yet having moved over to DVD's, sorry -- and am now playing back scenes from "Some Like It Hot" I take your point about Bernard Schwartz. But you know, I can think of a thousand reasons why the lawyers for the estates of Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond should rush to Riyadh to apologize for that movie. Just listing them would be fun.