Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ferry: I'm not a fascist, I'm an art historian

Bryan Ferry has attempted to apologise for his admiration of the Nazis, stating that he was only enjoying the uniforms and filmmaking:

In a statement released on his behalf, Ferry said he was "deeply upset" by the publicity surrounding the interview.

"I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused by my comments on Nazi iconography, which were solely made from an art history perspective," he said.

"I, like every right-minded individual, find the Nazi regime, and all it stood for, evil and abhorrent."

The trouble with praising a regime which murdered millions of people for the quality of their propaganda is that you can't separate the propaganda from the "regime and all it stood for" - it's like saying "well, obviously I don't like the idea of the gulags but you've got to admire the brickwork." The propaganda was so central to Nazi regime that you simply can't look at it and say "he way that the Nazis staged themselves and presented themselves, my Lord!... Just fantastic - really beautiful" any more than you can see a soldier shoot a child in front of its parents and applaud the marksmanship.

What's odd is how Ferry's abhorrence at the Nazis only surfaces a month later, after the story has been picked up in the country where he has the lucrative modeling contract to protect, and not while he was talking about the Nazis in the first place.

Of course, maybe he did stress that he was only taking a cool, detached art historian's view of the apparatus used by mass murderers in their campaign of terror at the time, and that never made it into the version of the comments which followed him back across the Channel. But even so: how can anyone take a detached view of that?

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