Page:The International Jew - Volume 2.djvu/102

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of the group, but not of any individual in it. The Jew has done this to perfection, but no one will contend that it represents a forward step; taken by and large, it is part of a very serious and harmful retrogression.

Second, the Jews may be credited with having introduced Oriental sensuality to the American stage. Not even the most ardent Jewish defender will deny this, for the thing is there, before the eyes of all who will see. Little by little the mark of the filthy tide has risen against the walls of the American Theater until now it is all but engulfed. It is a truism that there is more unrefined indecency in the higher class theaters today than was ever permitted by the police in the burlesque houses. The lower classes must be restrained in the vicarious exercise of their lower natures, apparently, but the wealthier classes may go the limit. The price of the ticket and the “class” of the playhouse seems to make all the difference in the world between prohibited and permissible evil.

In New York, where Jewish managers are thicker than they ever will be in Jerusalem, the limit of theatrical adventuresomeness into the realm of the forbidden is being pushed further and further. Last season’s spectacle of “Aphrodite” seemed to be deliberately designed as a frontal attack on the last entrenched scruple of moral conservatism. The scenes are most Oriental in their voluptuous abandonment. Men in breech-clouts, leopard skins and buckskins, women in flimsy gowns of gossamer texture, slashed to the hips, with very little besides, made a bewildering pageant whose capstone was the unveiling of a perfectly nude girl whose body had been painted to resemble marble. Save that it was all designed, and all put through on schedule, it was almost the “limit” to which such exhibitions could go in real life. Its promoter, of course, was a Jew. As an entertainment it was infantile; the splendor of its insinuations, the daring of its situations, were the fruitage of long study of the art of seducing the popular mind.

It was said when “Aphrodite” first appeared that the police had moved against it, but some held that this was a clever press-agent stunt to excite public interest in the promised pruriency. It was also said