The will to power, the will to use human beings in social experiments, is to be distrusted at all times. The impulse to create, or even to propose, what [Martin] Amis calls “the perfect society” is likewise to be suspected. At several points he states with near perfect simplicity that ideology is hostile to human nature, and implies that teleological socialism was uniquely or particularly so . . . Corruptio optimi pessima: No greater cruelty will be devised than by those who are sure, or are assured, that they are doing good.
— Christopher Hitchens, in The Atlantic, September 2002
Unperson – noun – From the synthetic language “newspeak” in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), where it refers to an individual who has been executed or fell out of favor, whose entire history has been erased.
Last week, streaming music service Spotify flexed its new “hate content” policy by removing the music of R. Kelly and XXXTentacion, two artists with a history of sexual misconduct and domestic abuse, from its playlists and algorithmic recommendations. Now, fascist women’s advocacy group UltraViolet is urging the streaming giant to do the same with other artists accused of sexual abuse.
“Spotify is wrong for what it is doing to artists like R Kelly and XXXtentacion,” wrote rapper 50 Cent on Twitter.
R Kelly was removed as part of the streaming service’s new “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy, having been accused of sexual assault on multiple occasions.
The 51-year-old denies the claims.
Rapper Xxxtentacion is currently facing charges in Florida – which include aggravated battery of a pregnant woman. He denies the allegations.
Both artists’ music will be removed from all Spotify-owned and operated playlists and recommendations.
R Kelly responded to 50 Cent’s post saying: “Thanks for the support fam! No weapon formed” — a reference to biblical quotation: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
In fact evidence is emerging that Spotify’s hate content policy may have a disastrous impact on the company.
Another kind of hit list
Make no mistake, UltraViolet are straight-up radical censors. They’ve started petitions to tell newspapers to fire disfavored columnists and drop their columns. They pressed Amazon to drop Trump‘s clothing line.
UltraViolet is associated with purple, a color used symbolically in second-wave feminism, i.e., the censorious anti-porn feminism of Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon.
UltraViolet will tell you what music you can and cannot listen to, which writers are appropriate and which are not. Their view of art is authoritarian. Ask Camille Puglia, who has battles this type of feminists her whole life:
We had a screaming fight about [the Rolling Stones’ song] “Under My Thumb.” I said, “Yes, yes, the lyrics are sexist, but this is a great song. This is a work of art.” And these feminists cornered me with my back against the wall practically spitting in my face saying, “Nothing that demeans woman can be art.” Now, as a student of art history, how can you have any dialogue with these people? That is the Nazi and Stalinist view of art, where art is subordinate to a pre-fab political agenda.
In an open letter, UltraViolet executive director Shaunna Thomas specifically called out the likes of Chris Brown, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nelly, Eminem, Don Henley of The Eagles, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Tekashi 6ix9ine, and Ted Nugent, citing them as artists “who continue to profit from your promotion.”
“Every time a famous individual continues to be glorified despite allegations of abuse, we wrongly perpetuate silence by showing survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence that there will be no consequences for abuse. That has a cultural effect far beyond one individual artist,” writes UltraViolet executive director Shaunna Thomas.
The hope is that they can bully Spotify taking a stand that will inspire other music-streaming services to do the same.
“Cultural effect”, as if they are the masters (or mistresses) of healthy culture.
I am reminded by another quotation on culture, from Hanns Johst’s Nazi drama “Schlageter”.
SCHLAGETER: Good old Fritz! (Laughing.) No paradise will entice you out of your barbed wire entanglement!
THIEMANN: That’s for damned sure! Barbed wire is barbed wire! I know what I’m up against…. No rose without a thorn!… And the last thing I’ll stand for is ideas to get the better of me! I know that rubbish from ’18 …, fraternity, equality, …, freedom …, beauty and dignity! You gotta use the right bait to hook ’em. And then, you’re right in the middle of a parley and they say: Hands up! You’re disarmed…, you republican voting swine!—No, let ’em keep their good distance with their whole ideological kettle of fish … I shoot with live ammunition! When I hear the word culture …, I release the safety on my Browning!”