La Cieca should know by now that any think piece that kicks off with the locution “I have from time to time wrestled with this conundrum” is just going to piss her off and she should just close the tab. But she didn’t, and this is what she found a little lower down (in more than one sense of the word):
I have always been rather disgusted by Benjamin Britten’s distinctly unhealthy interest in young boys. There is no proof he ever engaged in sexual activity with any of them: but his behaviour would today come under the heading of “grooming” and he would have been put on the sex offenders’ register. Much of Britten’s music I find magnificent; he is possibly the only true genius among our 20th-century composers. Yet the homoeroticism of some of his later works, or rather the paedophilia, I find repulsive
That this same Simon Heffer manages to drag in the tiredest of all Wagner canard (the Ring is “laden with half-hidden hints of anti-Semitism”) doesn’t surprise me in the least: those who triumphantly spout one bit of received wisdom are likely to believe just about anything they’re read a hundred times before.
But let La Cieca stay within her bailiwick here and simply remind the smarmy Mr. Heffer that “homoeroticism” and “paedophilia” are two distinctly different things, the confusion of which has led to much hatred and discrimination against gay people. If he finds homoeroticism repulsive, at least he should be be man enough to say it straighforwardly, not with the weasel words he chose.