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since 16 March '20
My blog is not a political boxing ring and never will be but when a good friend writes so convincingly to defend a strong belief, which includes music artistes from the 60's and 70's, I have no option but to publish this very short paper, with the writer's permission of course. Andy.
When A Civilisation Declines Everything Declines
This Covid-19 has revealed how efficient China has become and conversely how lax and inefficient the West has become. The Westerners are now at the final stage of their decline - same as Rome was around the 4th Century when St Augustine was bishop in a town in North Africa.
What a pity. They are losing their influence, power and culture, everything European. Pity, their music is so rich and beautiful (not American music, especially their pop songs and dance by people like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and others). Our descendants may not be able to appreciate the classical music that we are privileged to enjoy.
Andy, I am not condemning all things American or all their music and dances. Some of them are just plain vulgar. I mean just listen to the music of the last few decades. There were many artistes, composers especially in the first half of the last century - composers like Romberg, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lowe and Lerner, etc.
If I have written biased, sweeping statements that offended you or are contradictory to your favourite singers, music, please accept my apologies. When a civilization declines everything declines. This is my first and last experience of witnessing the signs of a decadent civilization.
I remember you once told me that America is 'plastic' while Europe is not. You were so right. In the last century America made so much progress in science and technology and medicine. However many of the people who made this possible were Jews and Europeans. The great Irvin Berlin was a Russian immigrant. Romberg studied music in Vienna and was from there.
Sometimes I think that if I had been educated and raised in China I would have had learnt and be able to appreciate Chinese poetry, music. But I might not have become Catholic - the most important thing in my life. Of course I would have suffered terribly the evils of communism under Mao and the terrible Cultural Revolution. Sadly, China will one day also decline like the West but unlike the West the Chinese civilization has remained intact after going though so many dynasties and systems of government.
My mentor, a French priest who spent 18 years in China, told me that it was the family that helped the Chinese to remain intact. In the midst of the present prosperity, I don't know whether they can preserve the family as Confucius so wisely taught the Chinese to preserve because if the family is destroyed the civilization will be destroyed. This has happened in the West.
The Catholic church has taught the same thing. Although many Catholics divorced, the Church has stood firm on the indissolubility of marriage. I think it's very wise. This is God's law, not a man-made law.
Sorry for boring you. Thanks for reading the rambling of an old man, Andy.
We welcome comments from readers.
(The writer wishes to remain anonymous but I'd like to thank the person for views and ideals presented so truthfully and sincerely.)
Images: Google (1/2) China/US flags (3) Bernhard Romberg (4) Michael Jackson; (5) Confucius (6) Irving Berlin.