Saturday, December 15, 2018

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Sebastian Baczkiewicz - Pilgrim: The Winter Queen

Pilgrim returns! The immortal wanderer, William Palmer faces a new challenge when he discovers a mystery and a plan for revenge served very cold. A two-part adventure to mark the Winter Solstice.

Pilgrim ….. Paul Hilton
Mrs Bronson ….. Fenella Woolgar
Roxanna ….. Carolyn Pickles 
Sam Notice ….. Tony Turner
Matt ….. Cameron Percival
Donny ….. Tayla Kovacevic Ebong
Jack Sweet ….. Don Gilet
Klara ….. Jeanette Percival
Lloyd ..... Lewis Bray
The Girl ..... Agnes Bateman

Directed by Marc Beeby and Jessica Dromgoole

THE LEGEND: In 1195, while on a pilgrimage to Canterbury, William Palmer (Pilgrim) was cursed with immortality by the King of the Greyfolk for denying the presence of ‘the other world’ - a world of strange, unpredictable faeries, of magic and ancient ritual - which co-exists with our everyday reality. Ever since then it has been Pilgrim's fate to walk the line between the worlds of magic and of men, doing what he can to maintain the balance between the two.

Another time-limited posting by BBC 4.  Figured I should do something seasonal.  It's not my favorite genre but it's pretty good. 

I'd Never Seen The Cable TV Log Loop

I had heard about it but I'd never looked at it.  Then Steve Colbert's crew came up with this.  It goes on for more than an hour, you'll want to blow it up to read Trump's lie after lie after lie. 

I looked at the cable one on Youtube.  It said it was relaxing.  All I could see was heat being wasted in a fireplace it made me annoyed.   I'd rather watch people shining shoes or brushing things with dry paint brushes.  It's a stupid way to waste time but calming.

Someone Wants To Know My Opinion On "Mapplethorpe"

No, I hadn't heard that Hollywood was doing Robert Mapplethorpe, eventually they celebrate and romanticize every depraved phony, don't they.

I know nothing about the movie except what I saw in the trailer and it doesn't look like it will be an in-depth investigation into the self-hating, self-destroying, racist, sexist, thrill-seeking-because-too-stupid-and-lazy-to-not-be-bored nature of his photography and, from the little I haven't managed to avoid knowing about, his personal life.

Which reminds me of the old sketch from That Was The Week That Was (the U.S version) in which a young Allen Alda is approached by an interviewer and asked:

Can I ask you a personal question?

What's it about?

Your sex life,

to which Alda replies,  I thought you said it was a personal question.

Just thought I'd throw that in.  Oh, and that's paraphrased, I don't memorize comedy skits like a 12-year-old future asshole-comic of America.

I detest Robert Mapplethorpe's photography and the quasi-fascistic world of high-price art that he was a part of.  He and virtually everyone I know of who was associated with him has way too much of an easy and cosy relationship with something bound to lead to fascism.  As a gay man, one who was of the same generation, I watched that destroy too many of us and damage even more.  Modernism is a two-edged sword and like all two-edged swords, both of them can cut you and kill you.  If they wanted to make an interesting movie, they could make one about one of his boyfriends, Jack Fritscher who is a more nuanced and more interesting study in the genre.  Only I believe he was a writer and no one collects his work.  If Mapplethorpe didn't produce photos that were part of the meat market that the commercial art scene is, if his work didn't represent large wads of cash,  no one would be making a movie about him.

I never looked at a single one of his pictures and saw anything but the most obvious of cliches and stereotypes, many of them self-hating-homo-hating, many of them racist, many of them sexist, with good lighting.  He wasn't really any more original than Thomas Kinkade, he just did a different genre of conventional kitsch for another superficial market of collectors.

Patti Smith is boring and devoid of talent, too.  Just to throw that in.

The man died of AIDs, for fucksake.  Unless the movie discourages promiscuity it will be an ad for getting infected, like the massively pathological and immoral "bug-chaser" cul-de-sac in gay porn and online hookup, which is an excellent argument against free speech, free press absolutism.

I will confess, I literally I hate people who use gay men to encourage self-destroying-self-hating behavior in us and in, especially, young people who are screwing around without condoms too much, already. 

Update:  I looked up some of his images online and I take back the phrase "good lighting".  I don't see anything in that that hadn't become a cliche by the 1940s.

Elite Higher Education In America

JASON CHAFFETZ : Look, the sad reality is we have a 7-year-old girl who has died, and she should have never, ever made that journey. And that should be the message, don't make this journey, it will kill you, and that should be the message.

Goddamn, literally, God damn him, racist, Republican Nazi, as if those people didn't realize that making that trip is extremely dangerous under any circumstance, and as if one of the biggest reasons they can't stay home in safety is 200 years of American foreign policy that has done things like overturning the government in Guatemala, installing one of the all time record murderous governments of the 20th century because the American banana industry wanted slave labor.

Since I pointed out yesterday that Trump's Aryan scumbag head of the Department of Homeland Security,*  Kirstjen Nielsen, got her undergrad degree from Georgetown and that the Jesuits who run that may-as-well-be-Ivy** certainly failed to instill the slightest hint of morality into the skank, when I saw this I thought I should point out that Chaffetz is a graduate of the Mormon equivalent of Harvard, Brigham Young.  I supposed it's fitting, in a way, considering Young was a genocidal mass murdering, serial child raping, bigamist scumbag that you could expect someone like Chaffetz to be morally limited, as well. 

I know public schools turn out some real shit too but I'd rather take my chances on a government staffed entirely by them for a change.  Or maybe we should just get rid of all the Republican-fascists.  Though, frankly, I'm not that impressed with the Democrats who come from the Ivys, either.  They are too invested in the corrupt establishment. 

For the record, Chaffetz is a semi-connected grifter ex-congressman related to Michael Dukakis' wife, Kitty.  In his youth he apparently hoped to benefit from that connection as he worked on the Dukakis campaign before he went on the Republican gravy train.  I don't know how that relates to his conversion from being Jewish to Mormon but I can't believe that conversion was made with similar hopes of advancement.  Scum, all of them.  Not any surprise he'd wind up as a FOX guest host.

* I knew giving it that Nazi sounding name would lead to no good. 

**  As Charles Pierce pointed out, blue collar Catholic schooling is not the same as the elite variety.  The Jesuits really need to do a little of their famous examination of conscience on why they credential so many morally depraved people like Kavanaugh and Nielsen.  I'd advise the same to Haravard, Yale, Princeton, etc. but as secular institutions I doubt their institutional leaders would have any qualms in that regard, the Jesuits are supposed to.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Kirstjen Neilsen Belongs In Prison For Crimes Against Humanity and, Now, Homicide

The people responsible for allowing the 7-year-old girl to die of dehydration and exhaustion in the custody of  the Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security should all go to prison.  That is everyone up to and including Kirstjen Nielsen, the Aryan scumbag Trump and Republicans put into overseeing it, overseeing it incompetently and criminally.    

For the record, in line with some of my recent points, among other institutions Nielsen graduated from is Georgetown School of Foreign Service, so, another product that that Jesuit institution needs to answer for.  But not as much as Republican-fascists do.  Clearly, elite Jesuit education isn't a notable success in producing morally sound graduates.  They should sell that place off and open up a few decent community colleges to service the kind of people their graduates so often try to harm.  

Someone Accused Me Of Wanting To Over-strain The Legal System To Protect Reality Over Lies

Until I saw clips of Trump lying his lying ass on fire with FOX "news'" to the softball questioning by Harris Faulkner, I don't believe I was aware of the existence of Harris Faulkner.  As I sometimes do when I have a few minutes to waste I looked her up online and was kind of amazed at the five-million dollar lawsuit she brought against, of all things, HASBRO TOYS!   It wasn't over her child or herself being injured by a toy Hasbro produced, it wasn't a lawsuit over some kind of fraudulent advertising or business fraud, it was because she claimed they'd stolen her name "Faulkner" and "her look" to produce a toy hamster.

Here's Harris Faulkner,

Here's the toy,
harris faulkner hasbro toy

Amazingly, the toy company settled with the, uh,  "journalist".  

If it was me, I'd sue FOX for degrading me by hiring me to play a journalist, considering who else they put up as "journalists".  Especially if I was a Woman of color.  I mean, this is a woman who works on the foremost vehicle to push racism and sexism in the United States, I'd think any Woman or Black Person degrades themselves by working there.  I mean, she works for a network that puts Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson on.  And they've probably got much deeper pockets than Hasbro.  

Really, it's amazing someone who did that can be called a "journalist".  And yet we're supposed to think that making it actionable when FOX or CNN or ABC or the New York Times publishes even outrageous lies about people is going to open the floodgates to frivolous lawsuits.   Clearly, the courts have plenty of time for frivolity, they should be forced to spend some time protecting egalitarian democracy and the significance of the truth over lies. 

Bad News For Last Choice Candidates Is Good News For Democracy

There is a recount in Maine's second congressional district that's going on but the federal judge who heard the Republican challenge to the ranked-choice system of voting which Maine voters adopted has ruled against Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin who is trying to stay in the House despite the fact that he is opposed by a narrow majority of the people in that district.

I am hoping that the system, which is far simpler than buying a lottery ticket, will be adopted across the country.  Of course my primary motive in wanting that is because I think it will result in Democrats winning more elections than Republicans, that even if a Democrat isn't someones' first choice that Republicans will be more peoples' last choice in most elections.  That's what happened in the second district here.

What it will mean for "third party" candidacies is more nuanced but, generally positive.  As it stands now voting for a third party or independent candidate usually carries the danger of leading to third-party voters getting their last choice taking the office.  Only the stupidest and most insincere Green voter would choose to get Bruce Poliquin over Jared Golden,  Trump over Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush over Al Gore.  There would seem to be fewer such total idiots with every election cycle but four or eight years with a Trump or, in the case of Maine, a Paul LePage is too steep a tuition to pay for such an education.  I think it will force such "third parties" to be honest about what they actually are, entities that are never going to win even one election but the focus of a protest-vote.  Ranked-choice voting, as it seems to be developing here, makes such frivolities as protest-votes far less dangerous than they are under the old system that allowed the last choice of a majority of voters to take the office.   I think protest-voting is still irresponsible and stupid, there being better ways to pressure Democrats on those things that they can realistically be expected to deliver but ranked-choice mitigates a lot of that stupidity.

The grotesquely corrupt elections systems in the United States, especially in many Southern, Mid-western and Western states proves that the old, winner takes all system is the election fraud that the beneficiaries of it have always claimed was rampant.  They might find some way to turn ranked-choice into a corrupt system, the inherent stupidity of legal systems that don't hold egalitarian democracy as among the highest values of any legitimate legal system and government means anything can be corrupted.  But the old system in place almost everywhere is already corrupted beyond hope of redemption.

Update:  Checking this over just now, it occurred to me that another effect on "third party" voting in ranked choice is that it will sometimes enhance the effectiveness of such voters.   By  choosing the Democrat as their second choice they make it MORE necessary for the Democrat to take their partial support into consideration other than them writing them off as a vote they can never depend on.  It makes me think I might need to rework my mathematical analysis of how a successful office holder must decide what issues they will support and what issues they can safely or must drop.  Anyway I can see it, ranked-choice voting is superior to the current system, including those which include run-off elections if no one wins 50%+,  though those are superior to the idiocy of having a state saddled with a 38% governor or the United States with a president of the same kind.   Republicans hate the idea because they know their policies, when exposed, are unpopular with those they can't fool all of the time.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Olivier Messiaen - Vingt Regards - V. Regard du Fils sur le Fils

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano

In his notes on these pieces Messiaen gives more than two paragraphs of his very idiomatic theoretical explanation of the music and his equally personal metaphysical symbolism intended through it.  After that he says:

Après ces explications tecniques et colorées, on comprendera pert-être mieux le petite poème mystique qui sert d'exergue à la pièce:  «Mystère, rais de lumière dans la nuit - réfraction de la joie, les oiseax de slience - la personne du Verbe dans un nature humaine - mariage des natures humaines et divines en Jésus-Christ.

After these technical and coloristic explanations, one will perhaps understand better the little mystical poem that serves as an exegesis to the piece: Mystery, rays of light in the night - refraction of the joy, the birds of silence - the person of The Word in a human nature - the marriage of the natures human and divine in Jesus Christ.

The pieces have recurring themes, in this one most prominently the theme of the first "Regard" that of God which is in counterpoint to a myriad of bird songs and other thematic material.

I don't know if these 20 Visions have had more papers written about the complexities, theoretical, metaphysical, symbolic, thematic, bird song, etc. than any other 20th century work but I'll bet it's in the top five for that.   I should go through all of those online and put out a list of them. 

I Don't Want To Be Part Of A Left Where I Can't Tell The Truth

that Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham,  Diamond and Silk, Tomi Lahren and Steve Doocy are hideous, lying fascist slags and skanks.

Birth of a FOX Nation

And Now My Friggin' Keyboard Isn't Working

For some reason my computer isn't letting me type several vowels.  I'm trying a work around but it is extremely slow.    Until then, this episode of The Bible For Normal People, A Contemplative Look At The Bible with Richard Rohr touches on some of the things I mentioned recently about how there are various naive ideas about The Bible and how it is to be read, those held by atheists and secularist and those hostile to Christianity and others held by different Christian denominations and sects and individuals.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


It's been another bad day here, Christmas can get really bad when your family is dealing with a member suffering severe case of mental illness and the holidays set them off.  I'd go into details but I really don't have any right to.   This one in one of my brothers in law is especially difficult.  I dread still having to deal with this kind of thing when I get much older than I am. 

This is the second case of a severe mental illness, the previous one was a niece who got so bad that it eventually ended her life. But we were all twenty years younger then.

The psych industry is a fraud, by and large.  That's especially true now when they've decided it's far easier and more profitable to convince the able to pay and well insured that their problems are due to other people being mean to them instead of treating severely mentally ill people with anything other than keeping them too drugged to show symptoms sometimes.  If they take their meds. 

I don't know if things were better when they maintained mental hospitals where such cases were sent, I do know I've seen a lot of people on the street who should be in some kind of care and have read that in my state the jails and prisons are, in best 18th and 19th century practice, becoming the mental hospitals of last resort.

I hate to say it but I hope Nelson Rockefeller is roasting in hell for his role in so many things the Attica massacre, foremost but also including dumping the mentally ill back onto the streets and into graves and prisons.   I can't imagine what people without families do. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

More Hate Mail - This Is Turning Into A Christmas Tradition Here, See What I Wrote One Year Ago Tomorrow

Oh, Goody, Let's Continue The Brawl Over Christmas Songs 

It is amusing in a mildly nauseating way for not only atheists but atheists who are hostile to the Jewish religion (though nominally Jewish, in some cases) to be pretending they're offended about what they falsely insist is a slight against Rosh Hashanah and a shofar.   If they'd done something really offensive on some Comedy Channel show or Saturday Night Live, you'd be yucking it up like Eschatots dumping on "monotheism" or sniping about circumcision or something like that.

You don't get to have it both ways, either you get to live within your "nothing sacred" claims or you can abandon them but you don't get to pretend you really believe nothing is sacred when it suits you and then to claim what you want to - temporarily - assert  something is to be temporarily held to be sacred as you vent for show.

And since post-literate levels of reading comprehension would seem to be a major contributing factor to the current form of atheism, let me point out that the reason Keillor had to invent that absurd example - OF THE KIND OF THING HE WAS OPPOSING - is because Christians don't write disrespectful, jokey songs diminishing the Jewish Holy Days.   I've never come across anything that could serve as an example of that.  I can't imagine anyone doing that, if you can find an example, send it to me and I'll comment.

I read online that approximately half of the top of the pop-chart Christmas songs are written by Jewish songwriters, some of them not half-bad as pop songs but none of them exactly Christian in content.  I can say that my all time most hated Christmas pop song, ever, which I absolutely hate  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas seems to be the product of gentile Hollywood song hacks.

I haven't seen anything definitive but looking up that bit of trivia, I did find out that the long told story of the composer of one of the most popular of the serious Christian content Christmas songs, O Holy Night, Cantique de Noël, that Adolphe Adam was Jewish and that the Archbishop of Paris wanted the song suppressed for that reason, would seem to be a myth.   From what I've read someone who was writing on the topic for a dissertation tried to find confirmation that Adam was Jewish and couldn't find any, including that none of the people who knew Adam seems to have identified him as Jewish, as didn't the Nazis when they were compiling anti-semitic reference books about music.  I haven't read deeply on the subject but if that's true then how the myth got started and spread is more interesting than the myth, itself.  It's kind of disappointing if it's not true that he was Jewish. I liked the irony.  If I can be excused for using the "i" word.

It was thrilling, last year,  to find the recording of the great, great late 19th century- earliest 20th century French bass, Pol Plaçon singing it because he would almost certainly have known how Adam would have expected to hear it sung.

One thing is absolutely certain, the first Christmas song, the most often sung, the most widely sung, from even before Christmas was part of the official church calendar, the most translated, most often set Christmas song was composed and sung by a Jew, the mother of one of the most famous of all Jews, Mary the mother of Jesus, whose birth is what Christmas is all about, the occasion of her composing My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord.   The entire content of it is absolutely saturated with Jewish content, the original Christmas song is a Jewish song.  You can hear that passage from Isaiah reflected in what it says about the powerful being thrown down from their high seats, the poor being filled with good things and the rich sent away empty.   I really love this simple setting by George Dyson,  Freeman Dyson's father who was an Anglican church composer.


I know Dyson expected it to be sung by boys' voices but it would be nice to hear it sung by Mary's fellow  women.  We really need either a gender neutral or a female equivalent of "fellow" for just such statements .

Hate Mail - I'll Be Posting Keillor's Piece Again Next Year Unless He Requests Me Not To

1.   After reading Elizabeth A. Johnson's critique of modern theism in her book Quest for The Living God, I don't think I really have ever been a "theist".   But that takes longer to go through than I have the time for and it's my experience that atheists don't much care for nuanced thought so it would be a waste of my time.

2.  My thoughts about such "non-theistic" Unitarians is about the same as those about  Sherwin Wine's ridiculous "Humanistic Judaism" which seems to be a way for him to have had a career as a clergyman while being an ideological atheist.  It makes about as much sense as producing art for people who don't have the senses they would need to perceive the art.  I mean, what's the point of it?

As an aside, if you find the Hebrew God to be not worthy of your trust, you really, really believe that PEOPLE (who atheists like you believe are the deluded and benighted "inventors" of God)  are more worthy of that?   And you consider that an enlightened, rational, decision.  Humanism, huh!

3.  I've got nothing against Jewish guys writing Christmas songs if they're good songs.  I've got exactly the same thing against them I have against Christian guys writing bad Christmas songs when their songs are bad.  Just about every commercial pop Christmas song by anyone is shit.  Just about every Christmas song in that category drecks the mall with plastic holly and craps up the radio and PBS fundraisers. 

Update:  It's unrelated but I came across this while brawling with Stupy.

In 2003 Rolling Stone named her [Joni Mitchell]the 72nd greatest guitarist of all time; she was the highest-ranked woman on the list.

I like Joni Mitchell, but give me a friggin' break!   Greater than Sr. Rosetta Tharp?  Greater than Mary Osborne?   Memphis Minnie?  Not to mention dozens of others in many different musics.  What a stupid list that one must be.  Makes me wonder what men they put on the list over all of those women, as well.

Magnificat a 4 - John Dunstable

Laudantes Constort,
Guy Janssens, director

I wrote one of my best college papers on the music of John Dunstable, I wonder if I could find it and read it now if I'd agree with it.  There's something so appealing in the sunshine and shadows, modal-tonal harmony of the "ars nova," the music of Dunstable and Dufay and Binchois and arguably a generation after them.  Dunstable was one of the relatively few English composers of indisputable greatness. 

That said, in this text, listening to this version makes me wonder at someone like Dunstable, a composer and intellectual under the patronage and employ of very earthly potentates (as I recall one of his patrons with whom he was very likely traveling with as it happened was involved with the framing and judicial murder of Jeanne d'Arc in the interminable wars between those two land masses. 

You have to wonder at how many thousands of earthly princes and rulers and their vassals heard the words of the Magnificat, the verses about the powerful being removed from their seats of power, of the humble being raised up, of the hungry being filled with good things and the rich sent away empty when their lives consisted of nothing else but the pursuit of earthly power and wealth and luxury that comes from the kind of oppression that Mary was singing about and which the entire Christian scriptures condemn and warn against.  Maybe whatever progress that was made, if there was any, had to accumulate over generations and generations of people hearing that, something which so few hear anymore. 

Their Insights Need To Be Noted Well By Those Of Us Who Live More Comfortably

Note:  Family responsibilities have pretty well shot my intentions for this month, another call on me this morning.  Here is something I posted on the Magnificat in 2014.  I'd probably say pretty much the same thing if I wrote a commentary today.  When it comes to the Gospel the message isn't complex but it's hard as hell to live.  That's why we have to go back to it over and over again. 

On the other end of the spiritual-literal spectrum, no one is more attuned to the liberating implications of Mary's song than those actively engaged in struggling against their current situation of economic, political, ethnic or spiritual subjugation.  Groups as diverse as Western feminists and Latin American campesinos have recognized in this text a revolutionary strain that has inspired their own visions.  Their insights need to be noted, and noted well by all those of us who live more comfortably with our surrounding culture and thus seek to explain away that revolutionary strain.  As we proceed in our study of the Magnificat and its potential to encourage resistant negotiation of the reality of empire, the voices of people who experience a comparable domination in our own time must be considered.  Theologian Dorothee Sölle, for example, in the following poem reinterprets Mary's words in light of the feminist movement:

It is written that Mary said
he hath shewed strength with his arm
he hath scattered the proud
he hath put down the mighty from their seats
and exalted them of low degree
Today we express that differently
we shall dispossess our owners and we shall laugh
at those who claim to understand feminine nature
the rule of males over females will end
objects will become subjects
they will achieve their own better right

Even more striking are the readings of Latin American and African interpreters, from farmers and laborers to theologians and professors.  They read out of their own oppressive situations, from what Leonardo Boff calls "a privileged hermenutical locus for the reading of Mary's Magnificat and for becoming hearers of its message."  Such readers have perspectives that are much closer to the first-century experiences of a Galilean peasant or an urban artisan of Asia Minor than anything most Western scholars like myself can even imagine.  One source of such discussions is Ernesto Cardenal's transcription of the Sabbath conversations of the Solentiname congregation of Nicaragua.  Regarding the Magnificat, their conclusions are clear;  in the words of a woman named Andrea, "[Mary] recognizes liberation.... We have to do the same thing.  Liberation is from sin, that is, from selfishness, from injustice, from misery, from ignorance - from everything that's oppressive.  That liberation is in our wombs too, it seems to me."*   Especially intriguing for our study is these "uneducated" and "unofficial" interpreters' grasp of nuance, even in their most revolutionary ideas. In a discussion about whether "the proud" automatically equates to "the rich," some argue that even a poor person can become "an exploiter in his heart" if she or he years to be rich and acts in a correspondingly exploitative manner.  Others regard God's humbling of the arrogant, rich, and powerful; the exploiters must be liberated,according to Solentiname resident Olivia, "from their wealth.  Because they're more slaves than we are."

Amanda C. Miller Rumors of Resistance: Status Reversals and Hidden Transcripts in the Gospel of Luke

* Here is how that conversation continues from that point:

The last speaker was ANDREA, a young married woman, and now OSCAR, her young husband breaks in:  "God is selfish because he wants us to be his slaves. He wants our submission. Just him.  I don't see why Mary has to call herself a slave. We should be free!  Why just him?  That's selfishness."

ALEJANDRO, who is a bachelor:  "We have to be slaves of God, not of men."

Another young man:  "God is love.  To be a slave of love is to be free because God doesn't make us slaves.  He's the only thing we should be slaves of, love.  And then we don't make slaves of others.'

ALEJANDRO'S MOTHER says:  "To be a slave of God is to serve others.  That slavery is liberation."

I said that it's true that this selfish God Oscar spoke about does exist.  And it's a God invented by people.  People have often invented a god in their own image and likeness - not the true God, but idols, and those religions are alienating, an opium of the people.  But the God of the Bible does not teach religion, but rather he urges Moses to take Israel out of Egypt, where the Jews were working as slaves, He led them from colonialism to liberty.  And later God ordered that among those people no one could hold another as a slave, because they had been freed by him and belonged only to him, which means they were free...

From Contemporary Latin American Social and Political Thought:  An Anthology edited by Ivan Marquez

It goes on from there at the link and is all a lot more impressive and instructive than any blog conversation among bored, contented, first-world, college and grad school grads I've ever been involved in.

With the recent monitoring of what the first-world presents as liberal journalism, it's clear we are all distracted with frivolity to the extent we can't really understand something like this from our experience.  As the first passage said, these people have insights gotten from their daily experience that we can't begin to imagine which gives them understanding unavailable to us except through their telling us.  As Olivia said, you can be enslaved by wealth.

The US backed Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Samosa, bombed the Christian base community at Solentiname out of existence.  Its social gospel was such a danger to him and the oligarchs who ruled over the poor people of Nicaragua. And death is always a risk of following the law that the prophets articulated.  But the terrible history of that country and the support for the oligarchy and its dictatorship by The United States government would take longer to go through than I can today. As Niebuhr said "If a gospel is preached without opposition, it is simply not the gospel which resulted in the cross."

Update 2018.  I can't help but point out that the very George H. W. Bush who was the object of so much dishonest praise last week was up to his neck in fomenting a terror campaign against these very people, part of his "service" for which he was so lavishly praised.   That's one difference between The Kingdom of God and  Earthly ones.   

Monday, December 10, 2018

Stupid Mail

After a long day of eldersitting it would take a lot more than the stupidity of Stupy to get to me.  I mean, the list of safety cautions gets longer every time I do it.  

Simps is just upset because I mocked his masculinity and at his age and with his issues it doesn't take much for him to crouch and scuffle away in his carpet slippers.  

As for the rest of the Eschateers,  I don't care what they say and neither does anyone else.   They don't care what other Eschateers say, not to mention it's always been a rarity for them to discuss what Duncan says.  It's why he gave up ideas of being a writer. 

Update:  As the target of Simp's creative lying in regard to him alleging I said mean things about Elvis (which I didn't, though I've never much cared for his music), he's going to have to dump all over dear old Irving Berlin - he used him to accuse me of antisemitism at Duncan's this afternoon - because the dean of American Popular Song hated rock 'n roll:

The tradition of Christmas songs continues to evolve. In 1957, Irving Berlin, who despised rock ’n’ roll, tried to ban Elvis Presley’s recording of “White Christmas,” but it quickly reached No. 1 on Billboard’s chart. Its success opened the floodgates for rock versions of these Christmas songs, which continue to inundate the market every year as new generations of performers reinterpret these classic songs.

Me, I think a song writer or composer should have the ability to restrict who performs their music during their lifetime.  Though I wouldn't always agree with that I think a composer should have rights in regard to their creations.  

It's an interesting article on the topic of Jewish songwriters who wrote hit Christmas songs.  It has one interesting question that I'd like to answer.

When asked why there were so many Jews in show business, Minnie Marx, the mother of the Marx Brothers said, “Where else can people who don’t know anything make so much money?”

Oh, I know, I know the answer to that one.  The critics racket.  Look at Simps. 

Irving Berlin was a great songwriter, though I don't like all of his songs, he wrote so many.  I do, actually, loathe White Christmas but not as much as I do "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," which I have hated all of my life, every single Christmas I was exposed to it.  Every time. 


I decided to post the Messiaen pieces so that the Christmas one falls on Christmas and continue into the season, in which case I started way too early.  That and I've had a lot of extra, unanticipated responsibilities this year.  

This Is The Theme Song Of My Bad Cat- Helen Kane - I want to be bad

If I had time I'd change the lyrics to be more cat-appropriate but the tag line is her all over.

Traditional American Christmas As The War On Christmas

Another day  getting an early call to sit with my ill brother-in-law so my sister can do the grocery shopping and run errands.  I'm taking a short break so I think it's a good day to post this piece by Garrison Keillor I've posted most Christmas seasons for a while now.  I could post some of the many complaints about the piece from everyone from atheists to Unitarians.  Maybe another day.  I agree with most of what he says in the piece, especially about the crappy songs that junk up the air during the season.  Though I'll say I've known some Unitarians who were as depicted, most of those I've known have been pretty close to it and, being from New England, I've known a fair few UUs in my time and have read more of their literature than I'd bet most have.  Of that I can take the Universalist part of it a lot better than the Unitarian part.  I always got the feeling that a lot of Unitarians in New England were people who got Divinity degrees at Harvard as a career move and then felt embarrassed that they were going to have to pretend to be religious when that was becoming outré among people like them.   Though some UUs aren't like that.  I can't imagine that they don't recognize people they can put names to in Keillor's column.

Nonbelievers, please leave Christmas alone

December 16, 2009|By Garrison Keillor

I've just come from Cambridge, that beehive of brilliance, where nerds don't feel self-conscious: There's always someone nerdier nearby. If you are the World's Leading Authority on the mating habits of the jabberwock beetle of the Lesser Jujube Archipelago, you can take comfort in knowing that the pinch-faced drone next to you at Starbucks may be the W.L.A. on 17th-century Huguenot hymnody or a niche of quantum physics that is understood by nobody but himself.

People in Cambridge learn to be wary of brilliance, having seen geniuses in the throes of deep thought step into potholes and disappear. Such as the brilliant economist Lawrence Summers, whose presidency brought Harvard to the verge of disaster. He, against the advice of his lessers, invested Harvard's operating funds in the stock market and lost the bet. In the cold light of day, this was dumber than dirt, like putting the kids' lunch money on Valiant's Fancy to win in the 5th. And now the genius is in the White House, two short flights of stairs above the Oval Office. This does not make Cantabrigians feel better about our nation's economic future.

You can blame Ralph Waldo Emerson for the brazen foolishness of the elite. He preached here at the First Church of Cambridge, a Unitarian outfit (where I discovered that "Silent Night" has been cleverly rewritten to make it more about silence and night and not so much about God), and Emerson tossed off little bon mots that have been leading people astray ever since. "To be great is to be misunderstood," for example. This tiny gem of self-pity has given license to a million arrogant and unlovable people to imagine that their unpopularity somehow was proof of their greatness.

And all his hoo-ha about listening to the voice within and don't follow the path, make your own path and leave a trail and so forth, encouraged people who might've been excellent janitors to become bold and innovative economists who run a wealthy university into the ditch.

Unitarians listen to the Inner Voice and so they have no creed that they all stand up and recite in unison, and that's their perfect right, but it is wrong, wrong, wrong to rewrite "Silent Night." If you don't believe Jesus was God, OK, go write your own damn "Silent Night" and leave ours alone. This is spiritual piracy and cultural elitism, and we Christians have stood for it long enough. And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write "Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we'll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah"? No, we didn't.

Christmas is a Christian holiday - if you're not in the club, then buzz off. Celebrate Yule instead or dance around in druid robes for the solstice. Go light a big log, go wassailing and falalaing until you fall down, eat figgy pudding until you puke, but don't mess with the Messiah.

Christmas does not need any improvements. It is a common, ordinary experience that resists brilliant innovation. Just make some gingerbread persons and light three candles and sing softly in dim light about the poor man gathering winter fu-u-el and the radiant beams and the holly and the ivy, and you've got it. Too many people work too hard to make Christmas perfect, find the perfect gifts, get a turkey that reaches 100 percent of potential. Perfection is a goal of brilliant people, and it is unnecessary where Christmas is concerned.

The most wonderful Christmas of my life was 1997, a quiet day with no gifts and no tree, waiting in a New York apartment for my daughter to be born. And the second most wonderful was one in the Norwegian Arctic, where it rained every day and the sun came up around 11 and set around 1, not that you ever actually saw the sun, and the food was abominable, boiled cod and watery potatoes, and the people were cold and resentful, and there was no brilliance whatsoever. And I had the flu. Why was I there? Good question. But every year it gladdens my heart to know that I will not be going to Norway for Christmas. A terrific investment. Mr. Summers should be so smart. For one week of misery, I get an annual joyfulness dividend of at least 25 percent. Merry Christmas, my dears.

I'll try to post a piece later today.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Magnificat Sexti Toni -Tomás Luis de Victoria

The Sixteen
Harry Christophers, director

Hate Mail - Like It Or Not, ALL Of Us Are Limited To What We Can Learn From Our Experience

When you begin to doubt your own experience, you are one step inside the madhouse.  Dean Radin

I don't know if it's synchronicity or what that I happened to come across that quote the other day, but here it is.

ALL of science, ALL of mathematics, ALL of logic and reason are known to each and every one of us who has any conception of those through our subjective, personal experience.  The pretense that any of them can spring from something impersonal and objective is such a ludicrous pretense that it's literally astounding and discrediting of any allegedly educated person who could hold or maintain that there is any such thing as impersonal, objective knowledge. 

How such impersonal knowledge is supposed to become a part of our entirely personal mind and self is a greater conundrum than that old atheist standby which I've refuted, definitively, insisting that it is impossible for an immaterial mind to interact with the physical body.*

How can any thought or knowledge be gained except through our experience, our experience is necessary for us to be about to act out of or articulate the content of any idea we have.  "We have" or, "I have an idea" is the essential articulation of us having a thought  I'd love to hear an atheist-materialist-devote of scientism tell me how you would even lay claim to having an idea without making it personal and subjective, or, rather, stating the obvious truth of that.

Modernism especially as it pertains to science is as full of unstated assumptions and unanalyzed habits of thought as the thinking of any other period.  I think in some ways some of the most subtle of medieval thinkers may have been farther along in admitting to such things than scientists and their satellite academic fields would ever admit to because one of the greatest pretenses of scientists is that their knowledge has that mythical characteristic of impersonal objectivity.  What they mistake as something which seems to be of universal reliability has, somehow, escaped its origins in human minds.   As an aside, mimicking the methods of physics and chemistry,  pretending to put numbers to junk has sold loads of unreliable and dishonest crap as science.   Look at this weeks Rasmussen polling if you want a particularly glaring example of that.

That comes about when people talk about "science" as if science existed anywhere else in the universe except in the minds of individual scientists.  There is no such object as "science" it is a make believe construct, one which is shown to be an illusion through the diversity of opinion and conception of even some rather basic of scientific ideas.  And that is not to mention the characteristic of "science" which is supposed to be contained in its foundational rules, that all of it is held to be merely contingent and not absolute knowledge and that much of what it constitutes at any given time will, in the fullness of time, fall to further understandings of science.   What IS science at any given minute is entirely contained in the personal understanding of individual minds which are the actual individuals containing science.

Modernism is, due in no small part to the reliability of science in producing products which we like, medical proceedures, technology, etc. about the most arrogantly held ideology in human history.  I doubt that other than the most fanatical of organized religious establishments - but only those with the political and military and financial support of secular rulers - could match modernism in arrogance.  And that religious arrogance was, in every case I can think of now, based in the secular, especially financial pollution of religion**.   That arrogance has its full flower in the English and French language traditions of modern atheism, perhaps in other languages, I'm just limited to my personal knowledge based in what I've read.  I suspect German language atheism is pretty arrogant but I wouldn't be surprised if it was more rigorous in some ways.  Not to mention that written up in Russian and Chinese under communism.

Well, modernism brought us a lot more in the way of environmental destruction, scientific racism, industrial death than it has brought the success of the most important of all scientific endeavors, environmental science.  Commercial science in the employ of the oligarchs is expected to, as I read it put this week, wipe out six millennia of material progress of the human species (if not our species along with hundreds of thousands if not millions of others), likely within the lifetimes of people living, now.  End,Times, baby,  brought to you by science and technology and 18th century liberal economics.  There's your modernism, Bunky.  I don't respect your delusional pretense of absolute and objective knowledge.

* An immaterial mind would not be limited to all of the known limits of physical objects, including our bodies and the objects which make up that body.  It is entirely reasonable to maintain the possibility of an immaterial mind being able to do just that.  The folly is in insisting on applying an analysis of the problem restricted to the qualities and limits of physical objects when the problem, as posed, must exceed those qualities and limits.

**  By "religion" here I am limiting myself to a consideration of the despised monotheistic tradition and, perhaps, some parts of Hinduism at some times.   Much of pagan European religion was quite materialistic, their gods being material creatures with beginnings and endings and all-too-human personalities.  I'm not that well informed about other religions in the world, though I'll bet those associated with large empires could be anything from as corrupt as any in Europe to more corrupt, at times.   I don't much respect any of them that practice human sacrifice and am not especially inclined to overlook animal sacrifice, either.