January 8, 2019
1) an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.
2) kindness and tolerance in judging others.
synonyms: goodwill · compassion · consideration · concern · kindness · kindliness · [more]
Campaign Against Antisemitism is a Jewish organization that calls itself a charity. It enjoys all the perks of charity-status, such as tax breaks. However, on close inspection, there is very little about the CAA that resembles a charity other than fundraising. Their most prolific activity seems to be terrorizing British citizens. They have quite a sweet tooth for musicians, in particular, but not solely. Essentially, anyone who offends them will be subject to their wrath and it’s all done in the name of fighting antisemitism.
But let’s focus on musicians. It seems two have been in their cross-hairs. 1) Alison Chabloz, a talented musician with outspoken views on many subjects including the holocaust and freedom of expression. 2) Gilad Aztmon, world-renowned saxophonist, author and philosopher who has a penchant for exploring the meaning of Jewish identity. Both of these talented musicians have been subject to attacks by the CAA. They both incurred massive legal bills defending their right to earn their living and enjoy their right to freedom of thought and expression as British citizens. Both are victims of the most relentless, vicious smear campaigns with the so-called “charity” leading the charge. When did charities carry out smear campaigns? When did preventing someone from earning a living become part of a charity’s function?
Let’s take a look at CAA’s lead character, Steve Silverman. He allegedly studied music at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has the drama aspect down to a science, not sure about the music, however. According to his website, students can come to his home and learn musicianship skills, music theory and history and musical analysis. He is not a musician. This could explain why he seeks to destroy them.
He claims to love opera and certainly sees himself qualified to review them. He believes he is capable of distinguishing what is good and bad in many things. I guess studying music in school is all one needs.
Looking at his reviews of music and performers on his blog tells a different story, however. They read more like the opinion of a pompous, jealous child than that of someone who appreciates, understands or actually plays music. In fact, if one is teaching musicianship, I’m not sure they would speak about musicians in such a repugnant manner.
In Silverman’s blog, he writes about the ‘exploitive’ practices of Simon Cowell and his talent-search show, Britains’ Got Talent. He refers to unlikely star, Susan Boyle, in her audition as “Deliberately brought on stage looking and behaving like someone you’d cross the street to avoid…” I’ve seen the episode. She was most definitely plain, but playful and sweet. To a fellow human, she comes off as lovely woman whom you’d enjoy having as your neighbor. She was a woman with a dream, and whatever one thinks of Cowell, he made that dream a reality. The female judge comments that Boyle is a wake up-call for anyone who was cynical and what a privilege it was to hear her sing. Susan Boyle is now a working recording artist, selling more than 20 million albums.
In 2012, a seventeen-year old boy with an astonishingly beautiful operatic tenor voice, Jonathan Antoine appeared on Cowell’s BGT. Silverman compared his appearance to that of a “Victorian circus sideshow.” The boy was quite large. Silverman’s take is a bit more cruel: “Hey, look at this big fat lad with the weird hair. Guess what – he can sing.” But the whole point of the show is to give opportunities to people who may never get them, thanks to the Silvermans of the world. Antoine was admittedly fragile and insecure, do to his size, but a sweet friend and fellow singer gave him the confidence to go on the show. Again, think what you like about Cowell, but without him and the support of the friend, Antoine may have remained in obscurity and no one would have heard his exquisite voice. In truth, Cowell has launched many successful musical careers. Is the industry exploitive? Indeed. It always was. However, I don’t think its anymore exploitive than the CAA and at least it honestly calls itself a business rather than a charity.
His take on International singer/songwriter/producer, Andrea Bocelli, is equally disturbing. He illegitimately and unfairly compares him to Pavarotti. There is one problem. Pavarotti is an opera singer, Andrea Bocelli is not. He never was. He is classical crossover, easy listening who has sold over 80 million albums. He performs some arias as well as selections from other genres but is not categorized anywhere as an opera singer. However, Silverman can’t seem to get passed the fact that he is a “former lawyer from Tuscany” who found world-wide fame as a singer. Silverman also can’t overlook Bocelli’s “need for a microphone, the thin whiny vocal tone and the absence of anything remotely resembling a talent for interpretation.” He attributes Bocelli’s success to the “one thing that not even Pavarotti in his prime possessed: blindness. Ker-ching!” Who on earth speaks about fellow musicians in such an ugly manner?
If he isn’t attacking their musical ability, outright, he goes for his favorite attack of anti-semite and does everything in his power to prevent them from performing as in the case of world-renowned jazz saxophonist, Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon was awarded (BBC award) as well as (British Grammy for best Jazz? Album). He is sought after, globally for his extraordinary musical genius but Silverman taunts and threatens music venues where Atzmon is scheduled to play. He may not like Atzmon’s missives, however, this has nothing to do with Atzmon as a musician.
Silverman deceptively cloaks his jealousy of the success of others in false concern for the poor exploited souls being duped by Cowell. He claims to be concerned about the welfare of their vocal chords. Young Antoine is classically trained so apparently there is nothing to worry about. I’m not sure there is one singer whom Silverman has tutored that is a raging success. They most likely bag groceries to pay their bills, including their lessons in musicianship.
In fact, his blog is one evisceration after another of musicians. The name of his blog should be “The Green Monster”. Jealousy oozes from every hateful word. His problem with Cowell is that he, too, is making boat loads of money. The irony is that both he and Cowell make money from other people’s talent. The difference is Cowell has found himself a little cash cow in his talent-search shows. Sadly, I believe Silverman isn’t doing so well.
Silverman needs to reconcile the fact that while he may own a few instruments and may possess a degree in something to do with music, he isn’t a musician. It would serve him well to stop attacking musicians and find something he enjoys and does well that isn’t drenched in venom, and spend his final years perfecting it. Green really isn’t his color.