Donnerstag, 17. Januar 2019

Dear #Eurocrats, show some respect!

Here is something that needed to be said.
Der Link zu meinem Op-Ed zum #Brexit in der heutigen BILD ist hier.

And here is the English translation (By Henry Donovan):

Let's open our arms wide now!

By Alexander von Schoenburg

In the wake of the blatant anti-British resentments that can be heard all around Germany, when politicians and journalists alike demand Frau Merkel to stay „hard“ towards the British, it seems like we want to say: „You have never belonged to Europe, mind your own business!“

Yet, that is truly irresponsible.

Great Britain is clearly no country that one could afford to send it on its way, simply because one does not agree with its idea of sovereignty. For historic reasons, especially Germany should tread lighter when it comes to dealing with this proud nation. It was Great Britain, led by Winston Churchill (1874-1965), that was the first to stand up to  Hitler, when Germany had just started World War Two. And it was Great Britain, that opened its harbours and doors to Jewish refugees, fleeing certain death during the Holocaust. There would be no free Europe without Great Britain, that sacrificed its sons purely for the freedom of our continent.

Yet there has been a long tradition in mainland Europe to seclude he British Isles from the continent – France’s Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) dreamt of creating the European Economic Community, the forerunner of the EU, as a kind of modern version of the Carolingian empire under Charlemagne (742-814) – WITHOUT Great Britain! By 1963 London wished to join the European club, yet it took ten years until Great Britain was accepted – due to de Gaulle’s resistance. The main figure opposing France’s neo-Carolingian dream was indeed German chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967).

Where can we find a statesman such as Adenauer today?

Someone who will stand up to the bizarre bureaucratic machine of Brussels and present a historic vision? Someone who could keep the Junckers and Barniers at bay and remind us of our bloody bounden duty and would enable Great Britain to leave the EU, without punishing it? A man or a woman who would remind us of the historic vision of the EU: to be a federation of states and NOT a kind of Super-State - a confederation, that does not act in neglect of the historic peculiarities of its member states. 

In fact, all of this shouldn’t be too much to ask for. Even the staunchest Brexiteers, such as Boris Johnson, seem to have realized that leaving the EU would mean to stay in some kind of trade union with the strong economic zone the continent represents. You can't have the the cake and eat it here. If we would only take a step back and give in to London on a smallest of adjustments, we would take the wind out of the Brexiteers sails and enable a stable relationship with the British. Adorno said the British are to the Germans what style is to substance. Well, for the Brits it's now all about decorum and losing face (i.e. style) so the EU should concede a bit at this historic moment and let them exist with their heads up high.

What the Germans and especially the EU-bureaucrats simply don’t seem to get, is why London is so keen on preventing the so-called Backstop plan for Northern Ireland. Germans do not know about the sacrifice British soldiers and especially the Norther Irish made for Great Britain. More people were killed by the IRA, than have by ISIS and Al Qaida combined. Maybe that will help us rethink our position on the „Irish question“.

In all honesty, if we continue making the proud British people look like clowns, as we currently are, we are on the path of neglecting in total the historic ties we have to our actual brothers and sisters. It is time as a German leader for Frau Merkel to rise up to the occasion and start treating Great Britain as it’s supposed to be treated: with respect and gratitude.

Instead of torturing the world’s oldest democracy with unacceptable demands, Frau Merkel and Monsieur Jean-Claude Juncker should try and honour the proud nation Great Britain is and start talks, renegotiating eye to eye – instead of celebrating having found a weak negotiation partner in Theresa May and her seemingly even weaker cabinet of dodgers. In this victory Frau Merkel seems to have forgotten the historic burden Germany has towards Europe and especially towards the British. De Gaulle would applaud these Anti-British actions – Adenauer would turn around in his grave in disgrace.    

Dienstag, 18. Dezember 2018

How to be cool and kind

Hier ein Interview, das ich meinem so geliebten, christlichen Radiosender Radio Horeb gegeben habe. Leider ist die Tonqualität nicht optimal, das Interview musste ich leider am Handy führen... im März werde ich noch einmal bei Radio Horeb zu Gast sein, dann aber in deren Münchner Studio.

Donnerstag, 13. Dezember 2018

What a Night at #KomischeOperBerlin

Candide at the Komische Oper. Went there with dread, the reviews were unenthusiastic, three hours of an opera which Lenny Bernstein rewrote several times because he wasn't happy with the libretto (which funnily Dorothy Parker helped to write). 

But I had a truly amazing time. Things are disquieting, out there in the world and in my closest circles, so I can see why someone like Voltaire (on whose satire the libretto is based) would feel tempted to rip apart the concept of a world where everything is good as is. Voltaire wrote it at the time when all of Europe's intelligentsia reacted with shock to that horrible earthquake in Lissabon in 1775, where something like half of the population was killed (and ironically the red light district was spared). 

Voltaire struggled with Leibnitz’ view that we are living in the best of all possible worlds ... I don’t, they call it Theodicy, read Book Hiob to understand that here all human attempts to rationalize and explain are ultimately second best. However, our times are disquieting, no doubt, so “Candide” was a good choice. Not only because my cousin Maxi Oppersdorff took us out, but I seem to have forgotten just how witty Voltaire’s words can be, he ridicules the pious but he does it with so much wit that one is ready to forgive him...

And I forgot how fantastic Bernstein’s ability was to pull all stops and make you enjoy life musically. He is high up there were those few geniuses who managed to combine high with low brow, this is Mahler married with Broadway, absolutely delicious. And Barry Kosky, the new boss at Komische Oper, is clearly a bl*** genius himself. Costumes were funny and amazing, flirting with Monty Python, Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson, the cast danced, sang, acted like Gods, the stage, everything mindblowing. And musically, again mindblowing! Standing ovations for Jordan de Souza (in my row at least).

Bravo to the @KomischeOper, I’m going back there more often from now on! This is how modern opera should be!

Donnerstag, 22. November 2018

Eine s-teife Brise

In der ZEIT ist heute eine sehr schöne Rezension meines Buches erschienen. Dem progressiv-liberalen Hamburger Leserstamm weht dort eine angenehm antimodernistische Message entgegen. 
Pecca fortiter!

Donnerstag, 8. November 2018

Eine Arie

Der NDR hatte mich freundlicherweise eingeladen, um in der Sendung "Klassik à la carte" zu sprechen. Meine Gastgeberin war Annemarie Stoltenberg, die Buchkritikerin von NDR Kultur. 

Ich durfte sogar ein paar Musikwünsche einbringen, darunter dies hier: 

"O Mio Babbino Caro", gesungen von Anna Netrebko.
Hier ist der Link zur Sendung.

Und ich durfte neulich in der Berliner Bibliothek des Konservatismus (eine Stiftung meines alten, 2009 verstorbenen Freundes Caspar von Schrenck-Notzing) sprechen. 
Hier das Video.

Mittwoch, 7. November 2018

Der Islam und wir

Irgendwie schade, dass schlecht geschriebene Bücher wie das Sarrazins über den Islam das Scheinwerferlicht abbekommen, das eigentlich das viel bessere und informativere und fundiertere Buch von Heinz-Lothar Barth verdient hätte. Es liegt inzwischen in zwei Bänden vor.

"Christus und Mohammed" räumt mit einer Menge von Missverständnissen hinsichtlich des Islam auf und erklärt – "ohne Schaum vor dem Mund" (Insider-Gag) – warum sich die Lehren des Charismatikers aus Mekka schlecht mit einer pluralistischen Gesellschaft vereinbaren lassen.
Hier bestellen!

Montag, 8. Oktober 2018

Hamburg strahlt

Hamburg ist schon eine verdammt schöne Stadt. Bin gestern mit dem Zug dorthin, strahlendes Wetter, nach einem Radio-Interview bei NDR Klassik (für das ich mir ein paar Musikstücke wünschen durfte) an der feinen Rothenbaumchaussee ein Spaziergang durch Harvestehude und Pöseldorf, Häuser von einer Schönheit, die geradezu ergreifend ist, vorbei an der alten Onassis-Villa zur Alster. Dann ein Tee im alten Reichshof (jetzt ein Hilton), später noch ein Auftritt beim NDR, diesmal in der Show der entzückenden früheren Washington-Korrespondentin Inka Schneider. Hier der Link zur Sendung. Danach mit dem Zug nach Berlin. Hier kommen die elegantesten Häuser im Grunewald nicht einmal gegen die Briefkästen der durchschnittlichsten Alster-Villa an.

To watch the show click the link in the text above