Friday, 9 December 2011


I used to listen to BBC Radio 3 and 4 a lot in the 70s and 80s, and I remember that Radio 4 used to play a lot of Benjamin Britten's stuff. That has stuck in my mind, because I always found it hard work listening to any of Benjamin Britten's stuff, I just found it really dischordant and depressing, so I always used to change the channel or turn off the radio whenever any came on.

I just came accross some articles, and am reposting these two. I had absolutly no idea he was a paedophile.

I remember my headmistress Miss Dawson used to like to play classical musio in Assembly quite a lot, but I don't remember her ever playing any of Benjamin Britten's music to us.


The trouble with boys
By Norman Lebrecht / May 10, 2006

Anywhere you go in Europe, you will see a pride in national artists. Some years ago, over ten days in Prague and Brno, I saw nine of the 16 operas by Bohuslav Martinu and three by Dvorak. Strauss and Pfitzner are fixtures in Berlin and Vienna. In Paris, Gerard Mortier has made a priority of restoring French masterpieces to the Opéra, starting with Charpentier’s Louise and Halévy’s La Juive. All fit and proper and just as one would expect from public-funded institutions charged with curating the lyric corner of the national genius.

In Britain, to our wretched shame, you can go the length and breadth of the land and from one year to the next without seeing more than two of the ten operas by Benjamin Britten, the only native composer of modern times to warrant the title genius. None of our opera houses, public or private, has performed Britten complete and entire. There is a pledge at the Coliseum to treat him as its ‘house composer’ but renewing one opera a year falls a long way short of presenting the work sequentially and in context. The only company embarked on a Britten cycle is, so far as I am aware, the Monnaie in Brussels, a delightfully enlightened opera house uninhibited by British reserve.

For, as anyone who has sat upon an arts board knows, a prim ambivalence prevails in this country when Britten comes on to the agenda, a squirming in seats and a flurry of excuses that has nothing to do with worthiness of work and everything to do with hoary old tittle-tattle. The trouble is, in a word, boys. It is no secret that Britten liked boys, and liked them young. He wrote them into some 30 works. In his operas boys are pivotal, start to finish. The death of a boy is the beginning and end of Peter Grimes; watching a boy on the beach precipitates Death in Venice. There is no masking the composer’s affinity for the puerile, a fascination glossed away as Peter Pannish while he was alive but hedged nowadays by widespread and wholly justified anxieties of paedophilia, a malignant vice borne on internet wings.

It is this love of boys that triggers our squeamishness about Britten and the sooner we get to the root of it the sooner we will be able to embrace the work without qualm. A new book, out next month from Faber, takes a giant stride in that direction.

Britten’s Children started out in 2004 as an uncommonly intelligent and unapologetic arts documentary for BBC2 and is developed here by its producer John Bridcut into a clinical and comprehensive study of a great composer and his interest in small boys, augmented with untold encounters and archival revelations. Bridcut interviewed some two dozen boys who had close contact with Britten, among them several that he fostered in musical careers – the composers Michael Berkeley and Robert Saxton, the conductor Benjamin Zander, the tenor Adrian Thompson. Most celebrated of his boys was David Hemmings, 12 years old when he created the role of Miles in Turn of the Screw at its Venice premiere in 1954, a jump-start to his film stardom. Other chums were the sons of Britten’s circle of friends and colleagues, few of whom saw much amiss in allowing their lads to bathe in the bracing sea at Aldeburgh with a buck-naked adult composer who took unconcealed pleasure in their company. Those were, assuredly, unquestioning times.

Britten assisted with the boys’ tuition and maintained an avuncular interest in their progress, sending gifts on their wedding day. Some kissing is reported, nothing more. None of the boys interviewed was harmed physically or morally. Most treasured the connection even when, as in Hemmings’ case, it was severed abruptly the moment his voice broke. There were petty jealousies when one boy saw Britten with the next, but none of the rancour that pervaded many of Britten’s friendships with adults, whom he held in suspicion and despatched with brutality.

Britten was a child at heart, concludes Bridcut, innocent and repressively puritan, in no sense a predator. His verdict is confirmed in the operas, where the boy is always in need of protection, never up for seduction. Tadzio, in Thomas Mann’s novella, minces around Aschenbach in ways that Britten blocked in his version of Death in Venice. Britten’s Children is not the final word on the boys but it is encouraging to learn that Bridcut’s research was stimulated by the Britten estate through its chairman, the composer Colin Matthews, in the interest of an openness that should help to redeem Britten from nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

Yes, he was interested in boys, but they were no more than reflections of the boy in himself, an inner voice that was, as he sometimes hinted, the source of his inspiration, an ideal of beauty and goodness. I received a letter recently from someone who was approached after a school show in 1945 by two men, scouting on behalf of Benjamin Britten. My correspondent failed to get the part of apprentice in Peter Grimes (it went to Leonard Thompson) but it is impossible imagine that the respected librettist Eric Crozier or the chorusmaster Arthur Oldham would have gone around procuring for Britten if there were any suspicion that the boys might be misused. Crozier later fell out with Britten and accused him of ‘corrupting’ boys, but he specifically excluded physical abuse.

The time has come to lay the rumours to rest and concentrate on the benefice of the Britten legacy. Apart from the music, Britten left a festival and a retreat at Aldeburgh where musicians go to explore ideas and collaborations. It is the only place in Europe beyond music college where a pianist can practice with singers and a soloist can find new partners.

The enterprise, chaired by Lord Stevenson, is in expansion mode. But after gifts from the Arts Council, the Britten-Pears Foundation and private patrons, the £12 million appeal is £2.3m short and the change is proving hard to come by for Aldeburgh is off the fashionable circuit and Britten, in some quarters, is still a smutty word.

Enough of that. We’re in a new century and the linen that has been hung out to dry. We must accept Britten for what he was, a tormented innocent, and find the courage to stage his work coherently for the first time in a comprehensive cycle.


David Edward Leslie Hemmings (18 November 1941 – 3 December 2003) was an English film, theatre and television actor as well as a film and television director and producer.[1]

He is noted for his role as the photographer in the drama mystery-thriller film Blowup (1966), directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Early in his career, Hemmings was a boy soprano appearing in operatic roles. In his later acting career, he was known for his distinctive eyebrows and gravelly voice.

Early performances

Hemmings was born in Guildford, Surrey. His education at Alleyn's School and the Glyn Grammar School (now the Glyn Technology School) led him to start his career performing as a boy soprano in several works by the composer Benjamin Britten, who formed a close friendship with him at this time. Most notably, Hemmings created the role of Miles in the opera Turn of the Screw (1954). His intimate, yet innocent, relationship with Britten is described in John Bridcut's book Britten's Children (2006). Although many commentators identified Britten's relationship with Hemmings as based on an infatuation, throughout his life Hemmings maintained categorically that Britten's conduct with him was beyond reproach at all times. Hemmings had earlier played the title role in Britten's The Little Sweep (1952), which was part of Britten's Let's Make An Opera! children's production.

[edit] Film and television work

Hemmings then moved on to acting and directing in the cinema. He made his first film appearance in The Rainbow Jacket (1954), but it was in the mid-sixties that he first became well known as a pin-up and film star.

Antonioni, who detested the "Method" way of acting, sought to find a fresh young face for the lead in his next production, Blowup. It was then that he found Hemmings, at the time acting in small stage theatre in London.

Following Blowup, Hemmings appeared in a string of major British films, including Camelot (1967), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) and Alfred the Great (1969) (in which he played the title role). His short stature, sleepy eyes and undershot jaw made him an unconventional leading man, but unconventional was right for the times, and he became one of the princes of the "swinging London" scene. In keeping with his standing as a 1960s icon, he also appeared in Barbarella (1968).

Around 1967, Hemmings was briefly considered for the role of Alex in a planned film version of Anthony Burgess's novel A Clockwork Orange (1962), which was to be based on a screen treatment by satirist Terry Southern and British photographer Michael Cooper. Cooper and The Rolling Stones rock band were reportedly upset by the move and it was decided to return to the original plan in which Mick Jagger, the lead vocalist of The Rolling Stones, would play Alex, with the rest of The Stones as his droog gang; the production was shelved after Britain's chief censor, the Lord Chamberlain, indicated that he would not permit it to be made.[2]

Hemmings directed the film The 14 (1973), which won the Silver Bear at the 23rd Berlin International Film Festival.[3] An (Italian) cult movie in which Hemmings appeared was the thriller film Profondo Rosso (also known as Deep Red or The Hatchet Murders) (1975) directed by Dario Argento.

He directed David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich in Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo (also known as Just a Gigolo) (1978). The film was poorly received, Bowie describing it as "my 32 Elvis Presley movies rolled into one".[4] Hemmings directed The Survivor (1981), based on James Herbert's 1976 novel of the same name, starring Robert Powell and Jenny Agutter.

Throughout the 1980s he also worked extensively as a director on television programmes including Quantum Leap (e.g., the series premiere), Magnum, P.I. (in which he also played characters in several episodes), The A-Team and Airwolf, in which he also played the role of Doctor Charles Henry Moffet, Airwolf's twisted creator, in the pilot and the second-season episode "Moffett's Ghost" (a typographical error by the studio's titles unit). He once joked, "People thought I was dead. But I wasn't. I was just directing The A-Team." He directed the New Zealand film Race for the Yankee Zephyr (1981), which starred Ken Wahl, Lesley Ann Warren, Donald Pleasence and George Peppard.

Hemmings also directed the puzzle-contest video Money Hunt: The Mystery of the Missing Link (1984). He directed the television film The Key to Rebecca (1985), an adaptation of Ken Follett's 1980 novel of the same name. He also briefly served as a producer on the NBC series Stingray.

Hemmings played a vindictive cop in the New Zealand film Beyond Reasonable Doubt (1980) about Arthur Allan Thomas (John Hargreaves), a New Zealand farmer jailed for the murder of Harvey and Jeanette Crewe but later pardoned. He directed the film Dark Horse (1992) and as an actor returned to the voyeuristic preoccupations of his Blowup character with a plum part as the Big Brother-esque villain in the season-three opener for the television series Tales From the Crypt.

In later years, he had film roles including appearing as Cassius in Gladiator (2000), with Russell Crowe, as well as appearing in Last Orders (2001) and Spy Game (2001). He appeared as Mr. Schemerhorn in the film Gangs of New York (2002). One of his final film appearances was a cameo appearance in the cult film, Equilibrium (2002), shortly before his death, as well as a cameo appearence in 2003's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with Sean Connery.

[edit] Music

In 1967 Hemmings recorded a pop single, "Back Street Mirror" (written by Gene Clark), and an album, David Hemmings Happens, in Los Angeles. The album featured instrumental backing by several members of The Byrds, and was produced by Byrds mentor Jim Dickson.

In the 1970s Hemmings was jointly credited with former Easybeats members Harry Vanda and George Young as a co-composer of the song "Pasadena". The original 1973 recording of this song – the first Australian hit for singer John Paul Young – was produced by Simon Napier-Bell, in whose SNB Records label Hemmings was a partner at the time.

Hemmings also later provided the narration for Rick Wakeman's progressive-rock album Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1974) – an adaptation of Jules Verne's science-fiction novel A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) – which was recorded live.

He starred as Bertie Wooster in the short-lived Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Jeeves (1975).

[edit] Autobiography

Hemmings published his autobiography Blow Up... and Other Exaggerations – The Autobiography of David Hemmings (2004).

[edit] Personal life

He is survived by his wife Lucy; a daughter Deborah by his first marriage to Genista Ouvry; a son Nolan by his marriage to Gayle Hunnicutt; and four children, George, Edward, Charlotte and William, by his third marriage, to Prudence J de Casembroot

[edit] Death

Hemmings died in December 2003, at age 62, of a heart attack, in Bucharest, Romania, on the film set of Blessed (working title: Samantha's Child) after playing his scenes for the day.[5]

His funeral was held in Calne, Wiltshire, where he had made his home for several years.

[edit] Filmography and television works

(includes directing work)

The Rainbow Jacket (1954)
The Heart Within (1957)
Five Clues to Fortune (1957)
Saint Joan (1957)
Men of Tomorrow (1959)
No Trees in the Street (1959)
In the Wake of a Stranger (1959)
Sink the Bismarck! (1960)
The Wind of Change (1961)
Play It Cool (1962)
The Painted Smile (1962)
Some People (1962)
Live It Up! (1963)
Two Left Feet (1963)
West 11 (1964)
The System (1964)
Be My Guest (1965)
Blowup (1966)
Eye of the Devil (1966)
Camelot (1967)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)
The Long Day's Dying (1968)
Barbarella (1968)
Only When I Larf (1968)
Alfred The Great (1969)
The Best House in London (1969)
Simon, Simon (1970)
The Walking Stick (1970)
Fragment of Fear (1970)
Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971)
The Love Machine (1971)
Voices (1973)
The 14 (1973; director)
Lola (1974)
Juggernaut (1974)
Deep Red (1975)
The Old Curiosity Shop (1975)
Squadra antitruffa (1977)
Islands in the Stream (1977)
Crossed Swords (UK title: The Prince and the Pauper) (1977)
La via della droga (1977)
The Disappearance (1977)
The Squeeze (1977)
Blood Relatives (1978)
Power Play (1978)
Just a Gigolo (1978)
Murder by Decree (1979)
Thirst (1979)
Charlie Muffin (US title: A Deadly Game) (1979)
Beyond Reasonable Doubt (1980)
Harlequin (1980)
Prisoners (1981)
Swan Lake (1981)
Man, Woman and Child (1983)
The Rainbow (1989)
Northern Exposure (1992)
Gladiator (2000)
Last Orders (2000)
Mean Machine (2001)
Spy Game (2001)
Equilibrium (2002)
Gangs of New York (2002)
Slap Shot 2 (2002)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Blessed (2004)
Romantik (2007)

[edit] Bibliography

David Hemmings (2004). Blow Up... and Other Exaggerations – The Autobiography of David Hemmings. Robson Books (London). ISBN 978-1-861-05789-1. Airwolf 1984

[edit] References

1.^ "David Hemmings - About This Person". 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
2.^ Hill, Lee (2002). A Grand Guy – The Art and Life of Terry Southern. Bloomsbury Publishing (London). p. 149. ISBN 978-0-747-55835-4.
3.^ "Berlinale 1973: Prize Winners". Retrieved 1 July 2010.
4.^ MacKinnon, Angus (13 September 1980). "The Future Isn't What It Used to Be". NME. pp. 32–37.
5.^ "David Hemmings, 62, a Film Star in 'Blowup'". New York Times. 2003-12-05. Retrieved 2011-06-10.

[edit] External links

Biography portal

Film portal

Opera portal

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: David Hemmings

David Hemmings at the Internet Movie Database
David Hemmings at the British Film Institute's Screenonline
David Hemmings at Find a Grave
David Hemmings at AllRovi
David Hemmings at the TCM Movie Database
A collection of pictures taken on the set of Blowup
Pulleine, Tim (5 December 2005). "David Hemmings – Gifted Actor, Director and Producer Who Successfully Outgrew His Iconic 60s Image in Antonioni's Blow Up". The Guardian


Zoompad said...

"None of the boys interviewed was harmed physically or morally."

Is that so?

Zoompad said...

August 5 - Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

Breaking news: Pletnev pulls out

The Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev, charged with paedophile offences in Thailand and released on bail, has cancelled his appearances at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh Festival later this month. In a terse statement, issued through the Russian National Orchestra's press office, Pletnev said he needed the time to deal with the accusations against him and repeated that he was innocent of the alleged offences. Over the past week he has been seeking representation offers from London PR firms. Press release follows: Mikhail Pletnev decided today (August 5th 2010) that he will not be conducting the concerts of the RNO in London on August 18th and in Edinburgh on August 19th in order to have the necessary time to deal with the accusations against him. Andrey Boreyko, a former Member of the RNO Conductor Collegium, has been named as his replacement for both UK concerts. Pletnev commented on his decision: "I do not wish to overshadow the wonderful music making of the RNO and their tour in the UK with the current accusations surrounding my person. I will not comment on the ongoing investigation, but I hope the matter will be resolved speedily and it will be clear that I am innocent of the accusations against me. I look forward to returning to the UK with my orchestra soon". Any further questions or correspondence should be directed to the European press office of the Russian National Orchestra. NEWS EXTRA: The BBC have just announced that Pletnev will be replaced on August 18 by Andrei Boreyko.

Zoompad said...

Article Excerpt

IT started as a simple attempt to honour the man who made the Suffolk town of Aldeburgh famous.

By last night, when the idea of a statue had been vetoed by the local council, the sordid private life and glorious public work of Benjamin Britten were under unexpected new scrutiny and attack.

The man considered by some to be Britain's greatest composer in 300 years was labelled a paedophile, and his work `ephemeral'.

In the volatile and envious world of serious music, clashes are hardly unknown. But the vitriolic attack on Britten, who died 20 years ago aged 63, came from a man who was once his friend and protege, Australian-born Dr Malcolm Williamson, Master of the Queen's Music.

`A huge amount of literature is coming out now since Ben's death,' Dr Williamson was quoted as saying.

`The homosexual, paedophilia thing is coming to the fore and there's going to be a terrific swing against him. That's nothing to me - he was a friend, although an ambidextrous friend. A backstabber too.'

His tirade against Britten was triggered by the statue idea. `In my opinion, Britten's music is ephemeral; it will not last,' he declared.

`Elgar - a much greater composer - had to wait 50 years after his death for a statue to be put up to him in his home town of Worcester.'

Dr Williamson doesn't actually live in Aldeburgh - his home is in Hertfordshire - and although he has one of the longest entries in Who's Who (five times as long as Baroness Thatcher's) some consider him to be better known for what he says than for the music he writes.

His last great headline-grabbing pronouncement was that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's music was `extremely poor melodically . . . and harmonically extremely crude'.

His comments about Britten's music were causing mocking chuckles in music circles yesterday. Not so his comments about Britten being a paedophile.

`Of course Britten was a paedophile,' said the music historian Norman Lebrecht.

`The hypocrisy of the music business in covering it up is pernicious, though why Williamson should mention it now in the context of the statue I cannot say.

`Britten was a case of penetration no, fondling yes. His liking for small boys came out in his biography three years ago.

`One has to be aware that the classical music world is very quick to cover up these things. If a pop star gets caught, there is a big scandal and even Hollywood spits him out.

`At least with them it is out in the open and we can protect our children from it.

`In the classical music world eminent figures have ready access to children in opera children's choruses and in all sorts of other works and some of these famous figures are paedophiles.

`In the industry it is regarded with a resigned sophisticated tolerance and there is an active conspiracy to cover such things up.

`There is currently one conductor of very high eminence, whose predilection for small boys is very well known in the music world.'

When the scholastic Humphrey Carpenter wrote his biography, he did not attempt to cover up Britten's predilection for boys.

But in describing the life of the Lowestoft dentist's son who was raised to membership of the Order of Merit by the Queen and made a peer a few months before his death, he stopped well sort of using the word `paedophile'.

Carpenter told how Britten dedicated his famous orchestral work The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra to a boy of 11, Humphrey Maud, the son of a civil servant, who used to visit him at his home in Aldeburgh, where he lived for 30 years.

Eventually, after consulting a homosexual friend, the boy's worried parents decided Humphrey should not visit Britten again.

The boy went on to enter the Foreign Office and become our ambassador in Buenos Aires and a happily married man.

The writer Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy was another young

Zoompad said...

Sir Humphrey Maud KCMG

For 34 years Sir Humphrey Maud KCMG served as a British diplomat, holding Ambassadorial posts in Luxembourg and Argentina. He was Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General for five years.

Throughout his distinguished diplomatic career, Sir Humphrey Maud remained an active amateur cellist. He had the privilege of entertaining and performing with many high-profile musicians.

He is Trustee/Director of the Royal College of Music, The Orchestra of St John's Smith Square and the Parkhouse Chamber Music Award. Benjamin Britten, his life-long friend, wrote for Humphrey and his sisters.

Zoompad said...


Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy (born 1933) is a British author, known for biographies, including one of Alfred Kinsey, and books of social history on the British nanny and public school system.[1] For his autobiography, Half an Arch, he received the J. R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography in 2005. He has also written novels and children's literature.

He was brought up in London, and educated at Bryanston and Cambridge.[2] As a boy, he was one of Benjamin Britten's favourites and he and his family provided the names for the characters in The Little Sweep. His involvement with Britten is described in John Bridcut's Britten's Children.

He subsequently worked in advertising and publishing.

Robert Gathorne-Hardy and Edward Gathorne-Hardy were his uncles.
Chameleon (1967)
The Office (1970)
The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny (1972) as The Unnatural History of the Nanny (US)
Jane's Adventures In and Out of the Book (1972)
Jane's Adventures on the Island of Peeg (1972)
Jane's Adventures In A Balloon (1975)
The Airship Ladyship Adventure (1975)
The Public School Phenomenon, 597–1977 (1977) as Old School Tie – Phenomenon of English Public School (US)
Cyril Bonhamy vs Madam Big (1981)
Love, Sex, Marriage and Divorce (1981)
Cyril Bonhamy and the Great Drain Robbery (1983)
Doctors: The Lives and Work of GPs (1984) (non-fiction)
The Centre Of The Universe Is 18 Baedekerstrasse (1985)
Cyril Bonhamy and Operation Ping (1985)
The City Beneath The Skin (1986)
Cyril Of The Apes (1987)
The Munros' New House (1987)
A Life of Gerald Brenan (1994)
Particle Theory (1996)
Bookseller's War, Heywood and Anne Hill (1997) (letters, editor)
Alfred C. Kinsey. Sex the Measure of All Things. A Biography (1998)
Half An Arch (2004) (autobiography)

[edit] References

1.^ "Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy". Laura Cecil (author's agent). Retrieved 20 March 2010.
2.^ "Jonathan Gathorne Garthorne-Hardy". The Retrieved 20 March 2010.

[edit] External links
Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy at the Internet Movie Database

Zoompad said...

Sex the Measure of All Things
A Life of Alfred C. Kinsey
Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy

A balanced, moving, humane portrait of one of this century’s great researchers and social reformers.

"America produced Alfred Kinsey, but he’s big enough to go around." —Elaine Showalter, Times Literary Supplement

"A deeply humane book...This biography’s vivid portrait of a genius possessed is so compelling that you end up caring more about the man than the science. Kinsey is one of the most fascinating and influential figures of the century, a flawed visionary whose brave and amusing experiences are a testament to the rich complexity of human sexuality...With grace and wit Gathorne-Hardy has given us the full measure of the man." —Michael Shelden, Daily Telegraph

"At exactly the right moment, Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy has produced a serious study of Kinsey, of the man and the work...This is the book we needed to cap Kinsey’s work of liberation at this century’s end. —Gore Vidal

For Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey is primarily an artist, a collector, a novelist, a mythologist. He is a pioneer of modernism, along with Lawrence, Henry Miller and Picasso, and a philosopher of sexuality, along with Foucault. These may sound like strange bedfellows for the son of a strict Methodist family, growing up in small-town America. But in making Kinsey part of a global twentieth-century culture, Gathorne-Hardy opens the way for other scholars and critics to read the life and the work from a variety of intellectual and national perspectives.

Zoompad said...

Alfred Kinsey was this century’s first scientifically reputable and most influential researcher into sex. His Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (The Kinsey Report), published in 1948, was an explosive bestseller, followed in 1953 by his even more radical statistics on female sexuality — both based on over 18,000 case histories. But Kinsey’s exploration went much further than that. Bisexual, he experimented with many of the behaviors he was hearing about; and his wife and close colleagues experimented too. He pioneered observation and filming of sexual activity, the findings anticipated, and confirmed by, Masters and Johnson thirty years later. The revolutionary nature of his views on female sexuality could not become current until the feminism of the 1970s and 80s. There have been suggestions that his bisexuality and his courageous personal exploration biased his research. In fact, the reverse is true—they partly explain why it was so successful and, in a field where only approximations are possible, more accurate than any since. Except where the culture has changed (with pre-marital sex, for example), all his major findings—including his figures on homosexuality—still stand up. As a result, his data (only 10% went into his two vast books) is still being actively mined today.

This fascinating biography describes Kinsey’s strict Methodist upbringing, his love of minute observation which he applied first to academic entomology and then to human sexuality, and the obsessive work ethic that contributed to his death. Kinsey is perhaps even more controversial today than he was when his work was first published. Other researchers and religious groups have attacked his work from different perspectives. The man himself has frequently been lost in all of the claims and counterclaims, attacks and defenses, as well as the efforts to make him conform to predetermined theories about his personality and behavior. Gathorne-Hardy’s literate, humane work is the first major biography to give a balanced portrait of one of this century’s pioneering researchers and social reformers. He has interviewed in depth surviving family members, close colleagues, friends, lovers. He reveals, in this subtle, often witty, penetrating study, not just a series of new revelations, but whole new aspects of this complex, difficult, contradictory, heroic, obsessive, and ultimately sympathetic man.

Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy is the author of The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny and The Public School Phenomenon. He has also written a biography of Gerald Brenan, The Interior Castle.

List of Illustrations
Part I: Laying the Patterns: 1903-20
1. Childhood in Hoboken: 1894-1903
2. South Orange to Bowdoin College: 1903-14
3. College—and First Appearance of the Gall Wasp: 1914-20
Part II: Bloomington, Galls, Marriage—First Steps into Sex Research: 1920-39
4. The Married Professor
5. Sex Life
6. Gall Wasp Triumph
7. The Marriage Course
8. A Brief History of Sex Research
Part III: Sex: The Male Volume
9. How to Get at the Truth
10. Money, Support, Attacks—The Shape of Things to Come: 1941-3
11. Kinsey at his Exercise: 1943-4
12. Racing for the Male Report: 1944-7
13. Writing the Male Volume—Science and Self-expression: 1947
14. Publication: Criticism, Praise, Success!
Part IV: Sex: The Female Volume
15. Money—Branching Out—Kinsey’s Sexual Experiments: 1948-9
16. Expansion—and Discovering the Female: 1949-50
17. Filming—"Philosophy"—Women—Writing—Wescott: 1950-1
18. Bisexuality—and the Case Against Kinsey
19. Writing and Publication of the Female Volume—Science as Sex and Literature
20. The Paper Explosion
Part V: Decline and Fall
21. Money—and Deterioration: 1953-5
22. Europe: October-December 1955
23. Death
24. Conclusions
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Brief Note on Sources
Published Works by Alfred C. Kinsey

Zoompad said...

In the September 1969 edition of Esquire, for example, Vidal wrote, "We are all bisexual to begin with. That is a fact of our condition. And we are all responsive to sexual stimuli from our own as well as from the opposite sex. Certain societies at certain times, usually in the interest of maintaining the baby supply, have discouraged homosexuality. Other societies, particularly militaristic ones, have exalted it. But regardless of tribal taboos, homosexuality is a constant fact of the human condition and it is not a sickness, not a sin, not a crime . . . despite the best efforts of our puritan tribe to make it all three. Homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality. Notice I use the word 'natural,' not normal

Zoompad said...

Are all these reviewers bonkers, or just bone lazy? Have they actually taken the trouble to look at any of Alfred Kinsey's research? Have they not looked at the data charts that Kinsey published, of little babies recorded stopwatched sexual activity with men? Have they not stared wide eyed in astonishment and anger at those records of those poor little mites writhing and screaming in pain, recorded as "scientific evidence" that babies can have orgasms?

What planet are these people living on?

Zoompad said...

Just sitting here fuming now. Is there no end to this bloody depravity?

Come back soon Lord Jesus.

Zoompad said...

Blogs Home » Culture » Music » Michael White

Michael White

Michael White was voted Britain’s least boring music critic by listeners of Classic FM. He has made documentaries about Menotti, Britten and Nielsen and once attempted to explain Wagner's Ring Cycle on TV in half an hour. He's the author of two books: Introducing Wagner (Icon) and Opera & Operetta (HarperCollins).

ENO's shocking new paedophile Midsummer Night's Dream is brilliant, and I hated it

By Michael WhiteMusicLast updated: May 20th, 2011

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The ENO's Midsummer Night's Dream is problematic

Poor Britten. Poor, poor Britten. The vicarious, armchair thrill of picking over evidence of his (no longer hidden) sexuality in the minutiae of his work goes ever on; and I've rarely seen a nastier, more gratuitous example than the new A Midsummer Night's Dream that opened last night at ENO.

Directed by Christopher Alden (who might not care to see his own sexuality paraded with such finger-wagging reproof), it's more a nightmare than a dream: dark, bleak and desperate. What's more, it's dreamed not, as the text suggests, by Bottom but by Puck – who has grown up and revisits in his mind a scene of childhood trauma.

The trauma, as you can guess, is that he was groomed, abused and then abandoned (in favour of the "little changeling boy") by Oberon. King of the fairies. And so we don't fail to make the connection with Britten's own unfortunate habit of attachment to small boys, the context has been shifted from a timeless fairy wood to a 1960s urban school of the kind from which the composer recruited participants in his music.

Zoompad said...

Oberon becomes a sinister teacher with paedophile tendencies. Titania becomes a spinster-ish, sexually frustrated music teacher (very Imogen Holst) with a fetish for sharpening pencils. The quartet of lovers are older pupils in the first hot flush of puberty. And fairy magic is replaced by marijuana, on which the whole school seems to be hooked.

Reduced to those list-like terms, it sounds crude; and in fairness I should say that it isn't. It's extremely interesting, profoundly disturbing, and for the most part well done by a wonderful cast. But it's also perverse. And cruel.

The perversity is in the bleakness. I'm not so naïve as to think that Midsummer Night's Dream is a confection of pure charm: the fairies are ambiguous, and Oberon has plenty of potential to be sinister. But in essence this is a story about the power of love as something beyond human understanding, attached to a classic comic structure of frustrated marriage where lovers need to sort things out before they can unite.

If challenged I suspect that Christopher Alden would say that his production is truthful to the story. His big idea – which is both fascinating and clever – is that Puck's traumatic dream happens on the eve of marriage. He has grown up to be Theseus, and he needs to confront these childhood memories before he can make a good relationship with Hippolyta.

But whatever murky depths it touches, A Midsummer Night's Dream is ultimately joyous, consoling and magical. Britten's music is saturated with those qualities; and to deny them so completely in the staging as is as perverse as playing Tristan and Isolde for laughs. It also means that no attempt at humour in the mechanicals scenes can work because comedy gets a foothold in an emotional landscape of such desperate bleakness.

The cruelty is in the identification between Oberon the stealthy paedophile and Britten the boy-lover. It's done cleverly and tactfully, with no representation of physical abuse apart from a caning session: Puck's trauma is that, having been picked out as Oberon's favourite, he is then passed over. And that, we know, is what happened with Britten and his boys. There's no evidence that he physically abused them, so in that sense he did them no harm. Quite the opposite. But he did, in modern parlance, "groom" them. He did burden them with the responsibility of adult love. And then, when they got older, he lost interest – leaving them confused and upset, as happens to Puck in this show.

No one would suggest that falling in love with boys is a good idea; and Britten who, in most respects was a man of high moral principle, knew it wasn't a good idea. That was his tragedy, and it's why the theme of corrupted innocence figures so largely in his work. It clawed at his mind.

But everything I know about Britten suggests that, however unwise his conduct, it wasn't depraved. He wasn't the cartoon pervert. And he doesn't deserve to be thought of in the cold, calculating predatory terms laid down in this production.

As a piece of work it's brilliantly conceived. But hateful.

Tags: Britten, ENO, Midsummer Night's Dream

Zoompad said...

Man Pleads Guilty To Possessing One Million Indecent Images of Children

Posted on 16 Jul 2011 at 11:49am

Robert John Barrow Pleads Guilty At Southwark Crown Court Yesterday To Owning and Making One Million Indecent Images of Children On His Computer and Will Be Sentenced For His Crimes On September 16

A 57-year-old man has pleaded guilty to owning and making indecent images of children on his computer at Southwark Crown Court, London on Friday in what police have described as the largest ever seizure of its kind from one individual.

Robert James Barrow, 57, pleaded guilty to offences under the Section One of the Protection of Children Act 1978 and will be sentenced on September 16.

It is believed that some of the vile and disturbing videos and images of children being sexually abused seized at Barrow’s Plaistow, London address by the Metropolitan’s Paedophile Unit were at level five which is considered to be the most serious of their kind.

It took Paedophile Barrow over 15-years to collect the one million sick images and videos of children which he shared with other Paedophiles.

Detectives working on the case said:

“This is the largest seizure of indecent images of children that the met’s Paedophile Unite has discovered from one individual.

“Barrow’s activities were on an industrial scale.

“This investigation demonstrates the commitment of the Metropolitan Police to target Paedophiles both on and offline.

“This is not a victimless crime, as each indecent image of a child possessed or distributed represents a child that has been abused in order that the image can exist.”

Read more

Zoompad said...

Polanski Prize for Paedophiles

Published in Cinemarolling by Lucas Dié, on September 23, 2011

Roman Polanski will return to Zurich to receive a prize for his life work. While the paedophile filmmaker will be holding court to lap up public adulation from fellow paedophiles, Switzerland is powerless to hinder him due to a malfunction in the American legal system.

The Zurich Film Festival issued a statement that they are proud to receive the paedophile and give him a public forum to advance perversity. Strange people have strange ideas, I suppose. Switzerland is powerless (this time) to prevent it as the United States botched their extradition request two years ago.

Then, Polanski had been apprehended on arrival at Zurich airport in Kloten. He was held in prison for several weeks over an international arrest warrant issued by the United States. In 1979, Roman Polanski had been found guilty by an US court of sexual intercourse with a girl of 13. He had been bailed but fled the country for Europe where he found willing accomplices in France and Poland to shield him from justice.

Switzerland put him under house arrest in his lavish villa in the luxury ski resort of Gstaad after a 4 million Swiss franc (2.9 million Pounds Sterling, 4.4 million Dollars) caution had been paid in cash. An offer of payment in kind by handing over his villa to the authorities had been rejected previously. Quite rightly, Swiss authorities classified him as a person highly likely to flee, as he had shown in 1979

Zoompad said...

When Switzerland demanded the relevant papers referring to the case, the United States botched it. Either, the persons dealing with the Swiss request thought that they could use their usual bullying tactics to get what they want or were just the usual incompetent government employees taxes are squandered on. The Swiss government never got a reply and duly ditched the extradition request sent to them.

The outrage in the United States and across the world was loud, but for once and inexplicably the United States didn’t invade the country they had been unable to bully, probably because there is no oil to be found there. Instead, they are bullying the Swiss government over ‘low’ taxes and other inventions that only exist in Americans’ diseased brains. That’s why they are universally loved and admired.

A commission called in to look into the failings that led to the disaster has never been heard of again. Obviously, all the failures working for the government kept their overpaid jobs and nothing will be done to fix the obviously failing legal system. The gist of all this is that a convicted paedophile is allowed to preach to his followers in Zurich.

And so it comes that for a time Zurich becomes paedophile capital of the world. Paedophiles unite! Your idol is preaching at the Zurich Film Festival, don’t miss it and go there! The Zurich Film Festival is very proud to receive you all and bestow prizes. They might call it the Polanski Prize for Paedophiles, who knows?

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Read more:

Zoompad said...

I don't think Miss Dawson my headmistress liked Benjamin Britten, Miss Dawson was a very kind Christian lady who cared very much about moral standards.

I have often wept to God asking Him why he abandoned me as a child. Looking back as an adult and remembering kind Christian souls like Miss Dawson, Mrs Salmon and others I realise that I was not abandoned, God had in fact surrounded me with loving eyes to watch over me, even in the valley of the shadow of tears, but my childish eyes didn't see the love surrounding me at the time, I do now though!

Zoompad said...

Miss Dawson didn't like Carol Ann Duffys (the Poet Laureate)poerty either, she told me so in a letter she sent to me, not long before she died.

I think she was very dissapointed with Carol Ann Duffy.

I think she was also very upset about my book Tip, when I told her I was a published author she asked if I had written a childrens book, Miss Dawson only liked books that were suitable for anyone to read, including children, sadly, my book isn't fit for a child to read, as it contains the vile account of how I was abused and reabused in "care". I would not want an innocent child to read my sad book, and it was very hard to be able to reply to Miss Dawson.

I am not ashamed of my book though, as I think anyone who has been abused and who has fallen into the trap of blaming themselves for the abuse would find it healing. I didn't write it with an intent of shocking or disgusting people, actually the main reason I wrote it are that I thought if I got a book published the secret family criminals might be scared off because of the publicity - they dont like anyone watching them torment their victims - and leave me and my family alone, sadly that didnt really work, the torment went on anyway, Hemmings masonic gangsters got more and more aggressive instead.

I would like to have seen Murray Cantlays face when he opened what he thought was a copy of Tip and found the Holy Bible in his wicked hands instead, that would have been a moment well worth capturing on video!

Zoompad said...

Miss Dawson didn't like Carol Ann Duffys (the Poet Laureate)poerty either, she told me so in a letter she sent to me, not long before she died.

I think she was very dissapointed with Carol Ann Duffy.

I think she was also very upset about my book Tip, when I told her I was a published author she asked if I had written a childrens book, Miss Dawson only liked books that were suitable for anyone to read, including children, sadly, my book isn't fit for a child to read, as it contains the vile account of how I was abused and reabused in "care". I would not want an innocent child to read my sad book, and it was very hard to be able to reply to Miss Dawson.

I am not ashamed of my book though, as I think anyone who has been abused and who has fallen into the trap of blaming themselves for the abuse would find it healing. I didn't write it with an intent of shocking or disgusting people, actually the main reason I wrote it are that I thought if I got a book published the secret family criminals might be scared off because of the publicity - they dont like anyone watching them torment their victims - and leave me and my family alone, sadly that didnt really work, the torment went on anyway, Hemmings masonic gangsters got more and more aggressive instead.

I would like to have seen Murray Cantlays face when he opened what he thought was a copy of Tip and found the Holy Bible in his wicked hands instead, that would have been a moment well worth capturing on video!