Saturday, April 15, 2017

Exsultet - Easter Proclamation

Question And A Longer Answer Than I Suspect Was Wanted

"Are you for or against the March for Science?"

I don't know anything about it so I don't know.  The link you sent me, I have to say its symbol of "an atom*" made me think of the atheist-fundamentalists who have also adopted something like that as part of their absurd campaign to claim that atheists own science.   If that isn't the intent of the founders of the March, maybe someone should point out the possibility of that association being made.  The last thing that the advancement of science needs is for atheists to try to turn it into their campaign against religion.  I mean more so than they already have, but I don't want to go into cosmology, evolutionary science, neuroscience.... though just yesterday an atheist commenting at Religion Dispatches pretty much claimed neuroscience for materialism, not inaccurately as I doubt anyone but a full blown materialist could get far in it today.  The few people I looked up involved in planning the march look like they might not be trying to do that, though I don't know much of anything else about them.

I am all for the funding of science, high quality science that brings good things to life and protects life, there's way too much funding of garbage such as in the so-called social sciences and ideological campaigning.  I'm all for legitimate, rigorous science having a large role in politics and the law.  But by that I don't mean we need to build the Lords of Creation their next big multi-billion dollar collider that, no doubt, they want and will probably dupe politicians into buying for them.   Rupert Sheldrake had an idea that more people would be interested in science if a small portion of the national science research budgets were allocated on the basis of popular votes, funding science people were interested in.  I, for the life of me, can't see why that would be a bad idea.

There is no science more important than environmental science, especially that surrounding climate change and there is no science that is probably more endangered than environmental science. The fascists find it unprofitable so it's under attack.  You would think that the many scientists who shill for industry would have rushed to its defense against the very corporations they work for and, in many cases, lie on behalf of.  They can do that because science doesn't do morality and it doesn't kick people out for lying, it doesn't pull their credentials.  Not when it's profitable to someone or some military.

If they're including weapons science, oil and gas and coal geology and those other fields that are endangering us all, if they're including stuff that convinces people that they are not equal and that they have a moral obligation to treat each other well, that their minds are only material and that consciousness is an illusion,  if that's the science they're marching for, I'm against it.

* Of course, it's not a picture of "an atom" it's a seriously out of date, obviously deceptive and misleading symbol that misleads people into think of atoms as some kind of concrete object that is simple and easily understood.  It's about on the same level of accuracy as those old "Ascent of Man" or "The Evolution of the Horse" pictures that are lousy science and mislead even allegedly educated people down the wrong path in thinking about evolution.  The old argument of some was that it led people to think of evolution as "progressive" or directed.  I think the idea that evolution is progressive is the fault of scientists who can't avoid that due to the claims of natural selection.  As to evolution being directed, the only problem with that is a. it's undefined as to what it means, b. it's not something science can determine through science, c. it makes atheists whine when people believe in direction because "God" even though their own evolution talk constantly reveal they believe that, too.

Friday, April 14, 2017

James Cone - The Cross And The Lynching Tree

More To Keep You Up Nights

It came to me last night as I was watching a video of Carter Page who he reminded me of, the constant grin that can't even be wiped off by him admitting to stuff that could get him a long prison term, him obviously knowing that the person he's talking to knows he's lying his head off, saying stupid stuff.... I wish I could find a video clip of the brilliant performance the great Canadian actor Colm Feore did of the character of the con-artist psychopath Sanjay in the great Canadian series Slings And Arrows* but the similarities are stunning, though Feore co-created the character more than a decade before anyone heard of Carter Page

Well, now that he can't rule out that he was engaged in something like espionage or something as a Russian agent, maybe Page will end up where Sanjay did in the series, in jail.  I wonder if prison will wipe the idiot grin off of his face.  

But there is far more troubling stuff brewing among the socio- and psychopaths of the Republican-fascist Party, Politico reports that Trump seems to be transferring his affections from Steve Bannon to another of them who reminds me of a movie character, Goebbels in Der Untergang, Stephen Miller.

President Donald Trump once affectionately called them “my two Steves,” a reference not only to their ideological kinship but to their central role in his administration.

But while Steve Bannon is on the ropes in Trump’s fractious White House, Stephen Miller has managed to endear himself to the man emerging as the president’s most indispensable adviser: son-in-law Jared Kushner.

As the relationship between Kushner and Bannon has deteriorated, Miller has made sure his colleagues know he’s not on Bannon’s team. In interviews, seven White House officials described the emerging dynamics.

The 31-year-old speechwriter is now working closely with Kushner’s Office of American Innovation, as well as on family leave, child care and women’s issues with Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, according to several people involved.

Miller, who wrote Trump’s fiery “American carnage” inaugural address, continues to work on the president’s speeches but takes direction from others on their tone. He’s also begun working on energy and regulatory issues, while focusing less on immigration, the issue about which he’s long been most passionate.

With the news of Jared Kushner being in hot water for not disclosing his foreign contacts on his application to get a security clearance and rumors that several European countries may release information that Ivanka and her brothers have done some serious law breaking, the idea that Stephen Miller might be the next option for Trump's closest advisor - in other words the de-facto president, certainly can't be a good thing.  Miller is so bad that one outing on the Sunday morning chat shows sent up warning signs.  I wasn't the only one who was reminded of Goebbels by it, the man is a psychotic-drooling, strong-man asserting fascist.

With Trump having found the key to the gun drawer and dropping bombs as a means of trying to get nice coverage from the always war mongering cabloids, I can't think of anything more dangerous. Mike Pence will likely be more effective at doing evil domestically, but something has to be done to get Trump out of office and fast.  It's turning a lot uglier and more irrational a lot faster than I expected.  I won't go into whether or not I think Jeff Zucker would risk WWIII to get CNN's ratings up but I don't have any reason that he or Murdoch would care if a few hundred thousands or so died to get them a few percentages more of the share.  And they're to Trump what Karl Rove was to George W.

*  If you never saw Slings and Arrows, you are missing one of the best things ever shown on TV anywhere. The acting, the writing, the direction and sets, etc. are great.  And it's pretty hilarious.

Apparently You Can Be Kewl If You Make Jokes About The Holocaust But You Can't Quote Orwell

I'm told that that last quote I put up last night showed that I was, let me see, how did he put it.... "deeply, profoundly sick".

Apparently I was wrong, people with a kollege edukation didn't recognize it as a passage from George Orwell's 1984, which was his prediction as to where modern culture was headed.  I would have thought the date on the diary entry would have been a dead giveaway.   

I'd say that he predicted a culture in which people could claim that you could turn the Holocaust into a topic of stand up comedy or, really, anything into the such, quite accurately.  And, perhaps more impressively, predicted  that in such a culture someone who stood up for some standard of morality would be considered declasse.   I've got my differences with Orwell but he got that exactly on mark. 

I think that is an inevitable result of materialist secularism in which, eventually, by process of gradual erosion and extension of commercial opportunity, nothing is sacred.  Not even the most extreme victims of injustice.  Everything becomes available for the amusement of the bored and amoral in the manner of a gladiatorial contest or the sacrifice of the helpless.   Such people are not and likely never were liberals.  They are the kind of people who think like Winston Smith did when he wrote that.  I suspect they've got more in common with the character than they'd ever like to believe.  Rewriting history, you know. 

Update:  To prove the point about them rewriting history, "Of course I knew it was Orwell, you nit. That doesn't change the fact that for you it was like porn." 

I posted the comment.  It's clear he didn't recognize the comment or he wouldn't have said what he did.  I bet he read the Cliff Notes and not the book, if that much.  And it's clear that what Orwell was writing about was exactly the phenomenon that motivated these posts.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Question Forcing Another One

Has the American, specifically the cabloid media, trained Donald Trump like a lab rat that if he wants them to say nice things about him and stop talking about what a horrific excuse for a president he is that he should blow something up somewhere? 

A second question is would the media stop feeding that if they had good reason to think the answer to the first question is "yes"? 

William Byrd - Ave Verum Corpus

The Tallis Scholars

AVE verum Corpus natum
De Maria Virgine:
Vere passum, immolatum
In cruce pro homine:
Cuius latus perforatum
Fluxit aqua et sanguine:
Esto nobis praegustatum
Mortis in examine.

O dulcis!
O pie!
O Iesu Fili Mariae.  Amen

HAIL, true Body, truly born
Of the Virgin Mary mild
Truly offered, wracked and torn,
On the Cross for all defiled,
From Whose love pierced, sacred side
Flowed Thy true Blood's saving tide:
Be a foretaste sweet to me
In my death's great agony.

O loving,
O gentle One,
Sweetest Jesus, Mary's Son. Amen.
Yep, as predicted, I'm getting OUTRAGED!!!!!!! reactions to my obviously true observation that the widely believed lie that comedy is powerful in subverting evil is a crock of crap.  As is the observation that when you attack people with jokes, it's certainly those without power and who are already targeted for discrimination and hatred who are the ONLY targets that hits. 

I've started to think more about that as I've gotten that reaction so many times.  I think it's a lie told by people in the alleged comedy industry in a similar way that not dissimilar lies are told by the porn industry as to its value and [cough!] virtues.  

I can't think of a word for a conventionalized lie told for commercial reasons, at least not of this type. It's such a pervasive dodge of jerks who make money out of bringing down the collective human culture and society there should be a word for it and a sharper definition of it. 

Update:  Duncan Black, with his claim made yesterday that the Holocaust could be joked about because "any subject can be funny", convinced me the reason his blog is crap is because he's a jerk.  With that he freed me from having to care at all what the jerks who hang out at his place think, at all.   Even the three or so I had any respect for lose some of it by frequenting it.   

Did you hear the joke about the twins Mengele experimented on, murdered and dissected?  Apparently those guys think there must be one possible. 

Update 2:  " you are a humourless...."

April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him, first you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water, audience shouting with laughter when he sank. then you saw a lifeboat full of children with a helicopter hovering over it. there was a middle-aged woman might have been a jewess sitting up in the bow with a little boy about three years old in her arms. little boy screaming with fright and hiding his head between her breasts as if he was trying to burrow right into her and the woman putting her arms round him and comforting him although she was blue with fright herself, all the time covering him up as much as possible as if she thought her arms could keep the bullets off him. then the helicopter planted a 20 kilo bomb in among them terrific flash and the boat went all to matchwood. then there was a wonderful shot of a child's arm going up up up right up into the air a helicopter with a camera in its nose must have followed it up and there was a lot of applause from the party seats but a woman down in the prole part of the house suddenly started kicking up a fuss and shouting they didnt oughter of showed it not in front of kids they didnt it aint right not in front of kids it aint until the police turned her turned her out i dont suppose anything happened to her nobody cares what the proles say typical prole reaction they never -- 

Don't Kid Yourself Jokes Are Powerful But Only Against The Weak And Vulnerable And Despised

I have reread Margorie Ingall's article about Ferne Pearlstein's movie The Last Laugh about whether or not it's time to make Holocaust jokes four times now.   One of my conclusions is that I don't intend to see the movie because reading the article and looking up videos some of the younger .... um.... comedians whose work I'm not familiar with, I don't think it's a topic that can be treated honestly in a movie.   The use of comedians, some who I really, really like, such as Carl and Rob Reiner, some who I kind of like, distorts the issues instead of clarifying them.  That the only really funny jokes were NOT about the Holocaust but were about the Nazis or about stereotypes of Jews (the one about two Jewish assassins as told by Rob Reiner and Gilbert Gottfried) is a good indication of the problem with the movie.  

The problem with the movie and making jokes about things that should never be the topic of a joke, genocide, child abuse, rape, is skirted over in the beginning of the article, almost without notice, in parentheses .

 It’s up to the viewer to decide what to think, not only about whether the Holocaust is suitable fodder for humor but also about whether any tragedy—rape, racism, child molestation—can be turned into a joke … and if so, how. (In other words, one should see this movie only with smart friends, and then one must go out to eat and argue. It’s the way of our people.)

Given that the article is in The Tablet and given the content in the rest of the article, it's clear that Ingall sees this as an issue in which the thinking of Jews is exclusively and decisively important.  And, apparently, not only Jews but Jews of the mid to high-brow variety who are "smart friends" who, like in a Woody Allen movie go see a movie with other smart people, go out to eat and argue about what they've seen.

I am going to break in and say that the idea that other people don't care about Jews enough to not think this should be allowable in comedy is as unrealistic as it is offensive.  The idea that the thinking of other people isn't important is that and it's also foolish.   It also ignores the reality of the society we all live in.  I certainly wouldn't think that what straight people would think about anti-LGBT jokes or jokes about our oppression is a minor or lesser issue.

The problem is, the movie and the jokes and the social milieu in which it will be decided that "it's time to turn the Holocaust into joke fodder" "it's no longer 'too soon'" doesn't just contain such civil, civilized and politically and socially impotent mid-brow to high-brow consumers of culture.   It contains racists, bigots, anti-semites, ignorant, ahistorical illiterates, sociopaths who couldn't care less if Hitler killed 60 million people as long as it doesn't impinge on them and those who would think 60 million were too few.  And it contain the kind of people who put Donald Trump into the White House, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell in charge of the Congress and who just put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.  It contains the fans of FOX and CNN and Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones and Breitbart.

The dilution of the even-handed, non-judgmental, journalistically flaccid approach of seeing all sides of this issue, in the vastly larger population renders it politically nugatory.   The fact is, most of the people in the United States and the world are not that population.  I can say that about the article even if it takes some stands I can totally endorse,  I remember Lenny Bruce when he was alive and he was never funny for a single second of his career.  I didn't know who Gilbert Gottfried was and, listening to him online (joking with Howard Stern about making jokes about the Holocaust to the child of a survivor), he's putrid, even if Ingall gives him a central status in the movie:

Jokes about Nazis and about the czar are an attempt to diminish their power. Making fun of the powerless isn’t funny. Gottfried, who turns out to be the movie’s MVP commentator (who knew?) expresses it succinctly: Nazi jokes are OK; Holocaust jokes aren’t.

Which I can agree with, entirely, even as I found Gottfried's act quite unfunny for the reasons I gave above.  The problem with insider jokes that play on stereotypes and even affectionately seen familial types is that they are quite capable of being seen by outsiders with malicious intent and inclinations and who could be influenced by them in ways that aren't intended by those telling the joke.  That is certainly how those black performers who traded in those in the past were seen by the vast majority of their audience*.  I dare say that the movie will be seen by more people who won't get that messaging from it but who will understand that the murders of millions of people by the Nazis can now be used for shock value, the real meaning of that mountain of horror, evil and shame being worn into nothing by a gradual process of ignorance.  It will become what I have feared it would as soon as I realized that, eventually, there will be no more witnesses, no more survivors, no more of their children to bear witness.  We are in the midst of a revival of not only fascism but neo-Nazism in all its guises of white supremacy, nationalism, etc. sponsored by billionaire oligarchs from Russia, the United States and elsewhere.  Holocaust denial is all over the web.  If he hasn't been pushed out yet, there's one of them in the White House as I'm typing this.    And it's into this that it's proposed we consider if maybe it's time to go there.

I can guarantee you that I'm going to get comments from white, straight, American men born after the Nazis were deposed accusing me of not having a sense of humor, of being humorless of being a kill joy, etc. of not sufficiently kow towing and lauding and praising "comic genius".  I can guarantee you that the power of comedy to bring down tyrants (it doesn't have that power) of preventing them gaining power (no it doesn't do that, either - see how well it kept Trump out of office) and all the rest of the tired, trite, cliched, lying assertion of the kind that people like to claim for comedy.   That is an automatic response.

How many tyrants have comedians killed, sent to jail, gotten beaten up, etc?  Entirely, none.  How many people have been injured, had their lives destroyed by, harmed with, perhaps driven to suicide by the amusing words of other people.  Many more than none.  The idea that jokes are powerful weapons against the powerful is a joke, but the fact is they are powerful weapons against the powerless, especially those who are already damaged or too young to have defenses against them.

Hitler was brought down by not one but two of the most seriously unfunny military campaigns with huge numbers of military and civilians dead, wounded and damaged ever fought.  He was not brought down by jokes.  Stalin died of natural causes,  Mao probably did, too.  Name one world-class dictator who died or lost power as a result of jokes.  Look in the paper for the next story of some kid driven to suicide by the jokes made about him or perhaps more likely her in social media. They come as regular as a city bus.

*  For example, you can look at what it really meant when lynching jokes were acceptable humor in the movies even as people were being lynched.  No Laughing Matter And "First Lynching of 1934"

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Urban Myth of Anglo-centrism or Eostre My Ass - My Easter Evergreen

Note 2016:  I was going to write a new post about this topic but the one I did last year was pretty good so I'm just going to repeat it. Note 2017, Why reinvent the wheel?   I decided to post this before the start of the Triduum.  Get it out of the way.

It comes around every year as certainly as FOX "news" pushing the "war on Christmas" nonsense, the internet babble about how the "Xians" stole Easter from those poor put upon pagans.  I'm reading it all over the place today so I'm posting this now.  Somehow the "reality community"  thinks that the English invented Easter.   The whole thing centers around the derivation of the English name "Easter" by the Anglo Saxon monk, The Venerable Bede in 725.  From The Reckoning of Time:

Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated "Paschal month", and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.

Apparently that statement is the sole reason that this modern myth arose, no other one, apparently, making that claim.  You wonder why a bunch of "Xian" haters take the word of a Catholic monk for it.   I'm no expert in the minor goddesses of Germanic paganism but the entire issue of Germanic paganism as known in the early 8th century is made moot by the fact that by that time Christians around the Mediterranean had been fighting over the right time to observe the PASCAL TIME for, oh, about 535 years and likely longer. 

 Ecclesiastical history preserves the memory of three distinct phases of the dispute regarding the proper time of observing Easter. It will add to clearness if we in the first place state what is certain regarding the date and the nature of these three categories.

First phase

The first was mainly concerned with the lawfulness of celebrating Easter on a weekday. We read in Eusebius (Church History V.23): "A question of no small importance arose at that time [i.e. the time of Pope Victor, about A.D. 190]. The dioceses of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should always be observed as the feast of the life-giving pasch [epi tes tou soteriou Pascha heortes], contending that the fast ought to end on that day, whatever day of the week it might happen to be. However it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this point, as they observed the practice, which from Apostolic tradition has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the Resurrection of our Saviour. Synods and assemblies of bishops were held on this account, and all with one consent through mutual correspondence drew up an ecclesiastical decree that the mystery of the Resurrection of the Lord should be celebrated on no other day but the Sunday and that we should observe the close of the paschal fast on that day only." These words of the Father of Church History, followed by some extracts which he makes from the controversial letters of the time, tell us almost all that we know concerning the paschal controversy in its first stage. A letter of St. Irenæus is among the extracts just referred to, and this shows that the diversity of practice regarding Easter had existed at least from the time of Pope Sixtus (c. 120). Further, Irenaeus states that St. Polycarp, who like the other Asiatics, kept Easter on the fourteenth day of the moon, whatever day of the week that might be, following therein the tradition which he claimed to have derived from St. John the Apostle, came to Rome c. 150 about this very question, but could not be persuaded by Pope Anicetus to relinquish his Quartodeciman observance. Nevertheless he was not debarred from communion with the Roman Church, and St. Irenæus, while condemning the Quartodeciman practice, nevertheless reproaches Pope Victor (c. 189-99) with having excommunicated the Asiatics too precipitately and with not having followed the moderation of his predecessors. The question thus debated was therefore primarily whether Easter was to be kept on a Sunday, or whether Christians should observe the Holy Day of the Jews, the fourteenth of Nisan, which might occur on any day of the week. Those who kept Easter with the Jews were called Quartodecimans or terountes (observants); but even in the time of Pope Victor this usage hardly extended beyond the churches of Asia Minor. After the pope's strong measures the Quartodecimans seem to have gradually dwindled away. Origen in the "Philosophumena" (VIII, xviii) seems to regard them as a mere handful of wrong-headed nonconformists.

The fact is that in the Greek language the far older name for the feast day is "Paskha" apparently from where the Latin "Pascha" comes from, all of which is taken from the Hebrew word for the Passover "Pesach",  all of which pre-date any interaction that Christians are likely to have had with Germanic rabbit worshipers by a considerable time. 

Let me take a second to point out that anyone who knows anything about the accounts of the execution and Resurrection of Jesus, would know that it was entirely, intimately and from the beginning related to THE PASSOVER, WHICH HAD ALREADY BEEN SET FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL BY THE 1ST CENTURY.

14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. 15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day shall be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day you shall hold a solemn assembly, and on the seventh day a solemn assembly; no work shall be done on those days; only what everyone must eat, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your companies out of the land of Egypt: you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a perpetual ordinance.
Exodus 12:14-17

The Christian holiday has NOTHING to do with German paganism, it would be more accurate to say that pagan practices polluted the Jewish-Christian holiday.

All of the romance languages I know of derive their name for Easter from the same cognates from the Hebrew.  And even a number of  Germanic tongues, such as Danish (Påske), Swedish (Påsk), and even Icelandic (Páskar) who would seem to have missed the Eostre bandwagon. You'd think that the isolated island that preserved the Sagas and, as my old History of English teacher claimed, a closer affinity with Anglo Saxon than modern English does, would have retained it if anyone would have, but it was likely never there to start with. *

If anyone had a legitimate beef to make over the holiday, it would be the Jews and Jesus and everyone named in the accounts of the event, except a few Romans, were Jews, including Jesus. 

But what can you expect, the same people run their own ideological campaigns around Christmas, just like FOX does.

*  Update:  Other than German and English and a few modern descendants of German such as the language of the Pennsylvania Dutch, just about all of the names for Easter in most languages are, clearly, derived from the Hebrew cognate name for the the holiest day of the Christian year.  Some examples, Norwegian (Påske), Scots (Pace),  Welsh (Pasg), and,  Irish Gaelic, (Cáisc) I suspect through a p to hard c consonant shift, though I'm no Irish scholar, much to my shame.  Even the near cousins of English don't share in the "Eostre" stuff showing more affinity in their name for the day to the Hebrew, Flemmish (Poaschn),  Frisian (Peaske).

Tal Hurwitz - Sonata For Guitar

Kostas Tosidis, guitar

Not a great recording but a great performance of this sonata which I've listened to about a dozen times and which I love more with every hearing.  It must have about the maximum number of notes per second of any piece for classical guitar I'm aware of.   I wish the composer would record it.   This sonata won the 2008 First Prize in the composer's competition of the Boston Guitar Festival.  It's supposed to have been published as the winner but I'm unable to find the score anywhere.  Not that I'd ever be able to play it, it's real virtuoso music.  I wish there were more of his compositions available.

A Heartfelt Message to Our President

Oh, My - Duncan Black, What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?

Sometimes I get annoyed at things which can become "taboo." Putting it simply, making fun of rape victims is not funny, but that does not mean any joke about rape is off limits. Sometimes the press secretary suggests that Hitler wasn't that bad, and you gotta make some jokes. And the Holocaust can be hilarious! If done right, of course.

Funny, I don't remember him thinking it was hilarious when I  joked about his blog and his incestuous, inbred blogging community.   Or maybe I wasn't doing it right?   I doubt he cares for my jokes about his aging, though maybe my poking fun at his writing career doesn't bother him much.  I know for a fact he didn't like it the night that I made fun of his post about the putridly non-funny Penn Jillette movie "The Aristocrats" because he banned me that night for making fun of it.

Of course, it's not just Duncan Black or other rapidly aging middle-aged, straight, white guys trying to be kewl, a lot of alleged comedians on the make, desperate to get edgy so someone will pay attention to them who are always looking to push the envelope to boost their careers or keep them on life support or to resuscitate them when they should just pull the plug.

I think there's something wrong with a. a person who makes jokes about mass murder and genocide, b. laughs at jokes about mass murder and genocide, c. who pretends there can ever be anything funny about mass murder and genocide.

This article from a couple of weeks back about, God help us, a movie that "looks at ‘the ultimate taboo" of making jokes about the Holocaust.  It, of course, mentions many Jewish comedians, from hoary ol' Mel and Carl right down to some I've never heard of because they're young.  Marjorie Ingall goes all over the place in the article as do the comedians and others mentioned, some agreeing as to what's funny, some disagreeing, some saying this, some saying that, some pointing out things like that most unfunny of all current asshole Sacha Baron Cohen singing “Throw the Jew Down the Well” in a "redneck" bar certainly meant different things to bigots hearing it than SBC wanted to get out of it.  If anyone thinks that any of his movies making fun of "rednecks" has a positive influence in the world, did you happen to miss the white supremacists in the Trump regime?

Turning genocide into a joke has certainly been done before, I have no doubt the SS and other Nazis thought it was an appropriate topic for joking, as those who have committed other genocides, terror and mass murder campaigns have.  I can't imagine that the Einsatzgruppen didn't make jokes about the days mass murders among themselves, I have heard American soldiers joking about the people they killed.

Can anyone point out to me the humor that the victims of the Nazi genocides created out of their own, impending murders?   Any jokes I've heard about it have come from Americans and Brits who weren't there, seeing their families murdered, being kept alive only by the glut of people being murdered that week.

Jeesh, Duncan, I knew you could be a jerk, I didn't know you were that much of an asshole. If what Sean Spicer said out of stupidity and incapacity was terrible, during Passover, what you said is entirely worse.

Update:  Oh, yeah, I just remembered, how about this shtick from Donald Trump jr. from last fall.

"The media has been her number one surrogate in this. Without the media, this wouldn’t even be a contest, but the media has built her up,” Trump Jr said. “They’ve let her slide on every indiscrepancy [sic], on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of this thing. If Republicans were doing that, they’d be warming up the gas chamber right now.”

I wonder if any of the chatter at Baby Blue mentioned it that day.

Two Points For A Pointy Headed Putz And One For Another Putz

A.  That constitutes having a hand into the putrid, racist, stupid, pointless Seinfeld show, 
B.  It's impossible to have even "profound ignorance" of anything to do with Seinfeld as there is not one profound thing about it.  It is in every aspect banal. 
C. You can tell Tlaz that I know one thing,  it's a sign of stupidity for a blog rat to choose to name herself after a goddess who eats shit.  Anyone can feel superior to someone stupid enough to do that. 

Abraham Joshua Heschel May 29, 1968

Almost 49 years ago, Heschel said that the materialistic consideration of people as objects was at the center of all our crises and he implied that our consideration of nature in those terms was part of it.  I can only imagine what he would have to say, today, when the materialistic tendencies he condemned and decried has become the standard ideology of the entirety of Western and even other cultures.  His identification of the alternative to that, or at least one of the major and most effective alternatives, is found in the Jewish Bible, is exactly why it is so hated by a culture which has adopted the "enligthenment" materialist concept of people as objects along with the amorality that view not only permits but which is its motivation.

In the course of his lecture he referred, off hand to Julien Offray de La Mettrie's book  Machine Man, one of the landmark publications of the European "enlightenment" considered to be one of the foundations of modernism.   La Mettrie, certainly believing in the amorality that is a logical conclusion of materialism, lived his philosophy and espoused it in later writings in which he praised the hedonistic pursuit of pleasure.  His biography is instructive as to the wisdom of such materilism as his libertine philosophy and life style reportedly was disgusting even by the standards of his fellow French materialists of the "enlightnement" which led him to flee first to the Netherlands and when he'd disguted folks there, he fled to the Prussian court of Fredrick the Great where he was celebrated as a great hero of the new enlightnement and as a medical expert.  Only the ass, in a feat of epicurean indulgence, ate himself to death one night, stuffing himself full of pate at a feast given in his honor, dying of gluttony at the age of 41.

His materialist theories of humanity are a development of Descartes' machine theory of animals. There is a long but direct line between those absurdly naive reductionist views of humanity and the 20th century and today's mass murders.   Whatever you can say about the mass murderers of the earlier epochs, those of todays are intimately tied in with the scientific, materialist view of life that started this view of things we call "modern".  Note how Heschel discussed the thinking of the kind which held "We had to burn the village to save it".

Update:  I listen to a lot of lectures because I like to listen to lectures.  Perhaps due to my failing eyesight, perhaps because I like to have something to think about while I do housework and gardening.  What would you rather I listen to?  Seinfeld reruns?  I hadn't known till recently that Steve Bannon had a hand in that awful show, it figures.

The Problem With The Idea Of "Less Evil" Mass Murderers And Its Use In Ideological Devaluation Of Murder Victims

Sean Spicer should have passed over the thought that has gotten him in a Kellyanne Conway, Stephen Miller (remember him?) sized stew.   His use of a series of ill chosen, ill considered, plumb ignorant metaphors connecting Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin with Hitler - implying if not outright stating that in this one instance, Hitler comes out morally superior to Assad was incredibly stupid in someone who holds the position of White House Press Secretary, it's more like something you'd hear from an idiot in a bar after they'd had too many.  And to say what he did during Passover didn't help.  I think some of the stream of amazingly bad stuff was him having a vague sense that he'd stepped in it up to at least his thighs but like movie quick sand, his thrashing around only got him in it deeper.

Let's all stipulate at the start that Sean Spicer isn't a very smart man, not a man of high principles, certainly not a man who's good having to deal with a legitimate reporter instead of an op-ed or chat show level of reality, especially on his feet with the lights on him.   Though you could probably say the same about easily 99% of those who run alleged news shows on cabloid and broadcast TV and radio.

I will confess that other than the dreadful offensiveness of it, I figured it couldn't have happened to a more deserving press secretary in the most dreadful administrations in American history.   Our Constitution would seem to have produced way too many of those, it used to be the George W. Bush administration that held that position.  Tell me, again,  as you boogy to Hamilton* why we're supposed to revere it?  But that's another matter.

One thing I think got him into trouble is shown in the piece about this by David A. Graham at the Atlantic website,  in which he tries to explain why bringing up Hitler for a comparison is not allowed. Which I can't entirely agree with for a number of reasons.  Graham said at the start:

There’s no good time to make a Hitler comparison, but deploying one in the midst of Passover to justify voluntary airstrikes is an especially unwise choice, as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer realized, to his chagrin, Tuesday afternoon.

If he meant there was no reason for Spicer to have gone there,  probably not, it wasn't part of the question and unless you know what the hell you're really talking about, making references to such a hot button figure in history can get you into a whole mess of trouble.

But Graham meant that literally as he shows later in the piece:

The problem here, as with all Hitler analogies, is that comparing anyone to history’s greatest villain feels as though it is a trump card when in fact it tends to undermine whatever argument it seeks to bolster. On the one hand, almost any comparison between the barbarity of a modern figure and Hitler will quickly fall apart. On the other, it always demands a single course of action, all-out war against the target, which paralyzes any debate.

There are so many problems contained in that idea that maybe they should be considered.  The whole matter of comparing massively evil figures in the Hitler class of evil, of which modern history has provided several, is only problematic in that our habits of thought will imply that one is "less bad" than another in going through the artificial and phony motion of making such a ranking.   How do you measure it?  By body count?   I don't see how you can do that without saying that murdering two-million, one of the figures I've seen estimating the murder count under Pol Pot makes Pol Pot made him"less evil" than Hitler or Stalin or Mao or any of the other many "lesser" but incredibly terrible mass murderers of the 20th century or before.

How can you say that someone who murdered 2,000,000 people was "less evil" than?   Certainly if they'd had the chance to kill two-hundred million people and they thought it would get them what they wanted, they'd have done it.  If Stalin had lived twenty more years he'd have run up a far higher murder count than he did, as would Hitler as would Efraín Ríos Montt (he's still alive and, I believe, has never been punished).

And, clearly, you can murder more people, millions more and be considered "less evil than". I think it is a fact that Stalin has certainly been presented as "less bad" than Hitler, for one thing he was the West's partner in getting rid of Hitler but the numbers of murders under him are generally estimated at being more than Hitlers, partially because his dictatorship lasted longer and came within the long lasting Soviet red-fascist Marxist period in Russia's long history of dictators.  Geography played a big part in that alliance of necessity and convenience.   Over time there have been those playing this game who have claimed that Hitler was "less bad" than Stalin.   That is considered to, somehow, be a more evil position than the one that says Stalin was better, even if it was just that he was "our bastard" to use Truman's phrase.

Why either position is considered respectable, in the media, in the arts, in academia is certainly a question to be asked.  Why should any position that finds any number of murders by dictators "less bad" or even "acceptable" be tolerated?

Ideology has determined a lot of it, the red brand of fascism, that has been the reality of Marxism in the world, has long been considered more respectable than other brands for entirely irrational reasons, allowing the most respected and respectable among us to lie about and sweep under the rug the murders of scores of millions and the grinding oppression of well over a billion even in the post-war period when no alliance with a Stalin was a matter of grim necessity.   Is it really any better to be a Marxist than a Nazi with the crimes of Stalin, Mao, Lenin, and the many lesser Communist dictatorships being as much of a public fact as the crimes of Hitler and Mussolini?   And what the Marxists have done, the anti-Marxists sometimes have done, excusing the crimes of facists and even, in some cases, Hitler.

No, the problem with comparisons among the mega-murdering dictators of history is exactly that by doing that you do let other murderers off the hook, partially or entirely.  If you don't intend to it will be taken that way by people whose thinking is too superficial to understand anything more complex than a simplistic ranking.   A lot of that could end if we all agreed that any number of murders by rulers, including those of the United States, Britain, France, etc. are murders and render the murderers illegitimate as rulers and criminals.  But that would be very inconvenient for us.

Maybe it would be easier to compare Assad to mass murderers with a number of victims closer to his own.  Somewhere in the last week I'd heard it's estimated he's responsible for as many as a half-million dead in Syria - though that might have been the dead for the entire war, by all sides.  Compare that to the numbers dead in the Iraq invasion under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, or the numbers in various other disasters like those in Central Africa in the wake of America overthrowing Patrice Lumumba, or take your pick.

Does any of this work?  I don't think it does, certainly not if you excuse a smaller murder count with a bigger one.  All of those acts, all of the people who did things that killed or predictably killed large numbers of people are certainly evil enough to warrant total opposition, though I never noticed an American President or Vice President (in the case of the Cheney regency) who did that have it be acknowledged as comparable with murder counts of a similar number.  We certainly don't do it often and it is certainly not allowed in the respectable press.  Quite often the respectable press of the kind the Atlantic is part of, is cheering on the killing.  The history of the New York Times written in terms of wars it's mongered and endorsed and encouraged and sold would certainly be an eye-opener.  If I were twenty-years younger I might try it.  But that hasn't even really been done.

* I heard some of it, it's crap music and crappier history.  Oh, how I do hate musicals.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Viet P. Cuong - Obsession

Played by the spectacular Xavier Jara in 2015 the year he won the adult competition at the Boston Guitar Festival,  Viet P. Cuong's composition Obsession won the composition competition at the Festival the year before.

Catch the list of performers who have already commissioned or performed Cuong.  Composers twice his age would love to have that CV.

The Wits of Eschaton

R. McGeddon, Kleptokakistocrat  LimeRickey • an hour ago
Has Little Gloves or Spicer talked about moving Jews to Arizona yet?

Riffing off of what Simps has said about yours truly, at Duncan's Daycare for Adults in Diapers.

Maybe "R. McGeddon" doesn't remember that a few years back, he had an idea of where Jews belonged.

Which is what inspired Simp's witticism about a "homeland for Gypsies" in.... what was his witty idea,  Oh, yeah.

Update:  Hey, maybe I should have called it The Half-Wits of Eschaton.

Update 2:  That's so flaccid it doesn't even deserve a new limerick, here's one of my recent ones.

While formerly sprinkled with wits
But now such have all called it quits,
Baby Blue fades to dun, can
It be other spun than
Eschaton's a collection of eejits. 

Update 3:  I'm not surprised, he got this started by figuring other ethnic groups were inferior.  He's got a lot in common with Pam Geller.

Update 4:  How like him, he's really a racist coward who figures the natives of the region are cowards against all proof.   If it weren't fashionable for lefties to be pro-Muslim, except when it's fashionable to be anti-Muslim, he'd sound just like Geller.
If you haven't read what Sean Spicer said in full, with apology and why it is in the running for worst things ever said by a White House Press Secretary,  all I can say is Charles Pierce covered it well

The man is a marvel of cluelessness a perfect spokesman for the Trump regime of clueless thugs.  

He would be in over his head standing in the middle of sheets of paper lying flat on the ground. 

Roland Hayes - Reginald Boardman - Weepin' Mary

Walter Brueggemann - Fidelity And The Seduction of Certitude

There are two introductions that go on several minutes, just to warn those who want to get right to the lecture and question.

I have mentioned before that I'd intended to spend last year going over the work of Reinhold Niebuhr but was so taken with the revelation of the First Testament and its continuation into the Second one by Walter Brueggemann that I have concentrated on his ideas about that, for the most part.  Of all the great theologians and scholars and commentators that I've read since the mid-1990s, his are especially useful to understanding the texts and using them to understand our times and ourselves.   His critique of the American Imperial system, how it relates to corporate-consumerist ideology and habits, the corruption of our lives and minds is worth spending a few years on because nothing that I wasted my time on from the secular left and even much of that which was somewhat valuable has been more radically effective in forcing a change in me of both my thinking and my practice.  I can say that the past year and a half of reading him and listening to him and writing about what he said has changed me more for what feels like the better than just about any other writer or speaker.   It forced me to finally face the inadequacy of the secular left and not only its inadequacy but the harm it has done because, in the end, its basis is the same one as the American imperial system and that of all other corporate establishments.

I'm beginning to read more from other theologians, scholars and thinkers and will probably not be posting as much concentrating on Walter Brueggemann but I expect I'm not going to ever be far from the next book, lecture, sermon or article of his from now on.

A Changed Score Won't Change The Blame Game

Oh, my, so much of the angry stuff written from right after the election till now would seem to have been based on false reporting of phony figures from the polling people.   A non-instant analysis of what I would imagine is somewhat less bad data has been done.

A more accurate analysis of the 2016 presidential election than the preliminary exit polls shows that Hillary Clinton won the Catholic vote, so now I’m waiting for the spate of stories about how the Democratic Party should stop worrying about courting religious voters and hold strongly to its pro-choice position.

Clinton won the Catholic vote by 48% to 45% for Trump, according to an analysis of data from the nonpartisan American National Elections Studies by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. That’s compared to exit poll data that suggested Trump won the Catholic vote by 52% to 45%.

I am not waiting for all of the blog babblers and anti-Christian, anti-Catholic commentators to do a correction.   If they correct any of the stuff they spewed out back then, let me know because I'm not going to waste any time looking for it.  I don't expect it will be there.

What there is in further analysis of their data shows that the generally Democratic character of "the Catholic vote" will likely continue to be and maybe will be more Democratic.

The only age group that overwhelmingly voted for Trump were Catholics age 75 and older, who went for Trump 57% to 44%. The age groups roughly corresponding to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers split narrowly, with Boomers favoring Trump by two points (49% to 47%) and Xers favoring Clinton by two points (46% to 44%). But Millennial Catholics favored Clinton by a whopping 31% (59% to 28%), by far the largest split of any age group.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the white Catholics who heavily favored Trump in 2016 are what the gerontologists call the “old old.” With life expectancy hovering around 81 for white females and 76 for white males, it doesn’t take a math wiz to figure out that many of these Trump voters won’t be around in 2020 and most will have gone to that great election booth in the sky by 2024.

Whew!  I narrowly missed out of being with the goats instead of the sheep on that one, I'm old but not "old old" though none of the "old olds" among the Catholics in my family I'm aware of voted for Trump.  One of my oldest Catholic cousins seldom says "Republicans" without the word "dirty" placed before it.    Depending on how you cut the crap to find someone to blame I would insist that I am not one of the "white men" who are a more obvious group to pin the blame on because I'm not a "straight white man" but am "LGBT" If not "LGBTQ" though old enough so I will never find the "Q" word acceptable.

Anyway, the fastest growing cohort of Catholics went decisively for Clinton:

Similarly, the Hispanic vote went overwhelmingly for Clinton at 74% to 19%, for a massive 55% advantage. Of course, at least some of this can be accounted for by Trump’s hostility toward Hispanic immigrants and may not carry over to future Republican candidates. But young voters have a tendency to stick with the party they first vote for, so it’s likely that Trump has created a generation of Democratic voters among the fast-growing Latino population.

The election of 2016 also shows that contrary to some predictions, the pro-choice stance of the Democratic Party isn’t a turn off for Hispanic voters. And appeals to some “abortion lite” position is unlikely to sway those white Catholics who are committed to the Republican Party. As Mark Gray, polling director for CARA, noted of the results:

Party comes first for many Catholics and they then try to make that fit within their faith. I don’t mean that in a way that being a Democrat or being a Republican is more important to them than being Catholic. But I mean that at the ballot box, partisanship trumps their faith when they make their choice.

All of this suggests that the election of 2016 was somewhat of a demographic outlier, the last gasp of old white Catholics if you will. Millennials and Hispanics are the future of the Democratic Party. It doesn’t need to contort itself with appeals to conservative religious voters on abortion. Time truly is on the Democrats’ side.

I haven't looked at the figures about what other religious groups slimed in the wake of the election might show.  I wonder  if the figures considered more reliable will be different from those that everyone was whining about for the past four months.

What isn't on our side is FOX and cabloid news and the Republican-fascist hold on the states and the Supreme Court where they are reinstituting Jim Crow even in places that hardly if ever had it before. The Republican Party is the party of white supremacists, overt fascists, actual Nazis and such folk in places like Michigan and Wisconsin who are a throw-back to the crypto-Nazism of a perversion of Calvinism that produced South African apartheid.   But it is, probably most dangerously, the party of the sociopath billionaire boys and girls club and their billions and ability to buy what they want from our corrupt system.  They and foreign dictators like Putin have a fleet of hireling lawyers and advisors to allow them to game the stinking corpse of the 18th century Constitution that idiots are paying to worship on Broadway these days figuring lying up make believe history has of the kind that got us here has got something like civic virtue.

But, hey, why let those complicated issues get in the way of a good old fashioned hate-fest like the ones all over the blogs right after the election, based on those phony exit-polls?   I'll tell you why, it's dangerous and hard to fight against the real enemy, they're really powerful and a lot of the real things that got us here are the idols of American materialism and lore.  It's a lot easier to place the blame on safer easier targets.  Like those Trump voters who blamed Black people and Latinos for the billionaires shafting them.  People can be such cowards.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Media Fell for Trump’s Syria Stunt

Roland Hayes - Reginald Boardman - The Life of Christ in Spirituals - Part 2

Roland Hayes, arranger and tenor
Reginald Boardman, piano

This old classic recording doesn't seem to be available on CD.  Which is too bad. There are some spirituals that could have gone into it which Hayes recorded, one which the distinguished critic Richard Dyer called one of the greatest recorded examples of musical drama.  I'll post that later this week if I can find it.

Update:  Listening to it again,  not only was Hayes a great singer, Boardman was a great accompanist. One of the real great musical partnerships that made it into the high fidelity era.

Here's Something You Don't See Every Day I Recommend Something That Was On NPR's Morning Edition

If you want a good example of what I was talking about in regard to cutting corners in science, especially in the biological sciences,  you might want to read and listen to the report on Morning Edition this morning about using animals in science as if they can really tell you about human beings - a practice that started out as a professional and financial scheme, developed into a convenience for those purporting to come to conclusions based on the use of animals as substitute humans, turned into a scientific-moralistic platitude which ignored the discrepancy between the claims and the actual facts regarding it and which, now that it is thoroughly ingrained in the way production-line, industrial-academic science is done today, with the full involvement of the various financial interests in keeping it going, will continue despite the science which shows much if not virtually all of it either brushes up against fraud or is actual fraud as science.

When scientists first started using animals in research over a century ago, the animals were not regarded as human stand-ins. Scientists studying rats were initially trying to understand rats, says Todd Preuss, an anthropologist at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University.

"As this process went on, people stopped seeing them as specialized animals and started seeing them more and more as prototypical mammals," Preuss says.

But is a rat really a generic mammal? Preuss says emphatically no. But that's how rodents were pitched when they became products sold to scientists.

"It wasn't strictly a financial interest," he says. The sellers "really believed that you could do almost anything" with these animals. "You could learn about almost any feature of human organization, you could cure almost any disease by studying these animals."

[OK, rereading this, I've got to break this in and say if there wasn't "a financial interest" in that, the Salad Master man on TV and those like him didn't have "a financial interest" in what they were doing.  And, remember, this guy making this claim is a friggin' anthropologist who is supposed to have a deeper understanding of human thinking and culture than we mere simple lay folk.]

That was a dangerous assumption. Rats and humans have been on their own evolutionary paths for tens of millions of years. We've developed our own unique features, and so have the rodents.

So it should come as no surprise that a drug that works in a mouse often doesn't work in a person. Even so, Preuss says there's tremendous momentum to keep using animals as human substitutes. Entire scientific communities are built up around rats, mice and other lab animals.

"Once these communities exist, then you have an infrastructure of knowledge: how to raise the animals, how to keep them healthy," Preuss says. "You have companies that spring up to provide you with specialized equipment to study these animals."

... Chances are, people studying the same disease study the same tailor-made strain of animal. Journals and funding agencies actually expect it.

"So there's a whole institution that develops," Preuss says.

And it's hard to interrupt that culture. (Preuss gave a talk about this subject in a 2016 talk at the National Institutes of Health.)

A link to the talk is given at NPR but I couldn't get it to work on my computer, maybe it will on yours.

I believe most of what was said in the report, it's part of something I wrote about a number of years back* when I expected it would be more of a shock to people than it has turned out to be.  Mostly, I suspect, it's been swept under the rug as so many rather shocking aspects of science and the industries that make money out of them are.

One thing that looks like a logical disconnect to me is in this part of the report.

For neurological diseases, Petsko says, scientists might learn more from studying human cells than whole animals. Animals are still useful for studying the safety of potential new treatments, but beyond that, he says, don't count on them.

Considering the horrible problems that have been caused by a range of problematic, ineffective and dangerous drugs and scandals due to their release based on the alleged safety of them, based primarily on animal studies - many of them to allegedly treat mental illness (which are often generally assumed to be neurological)  I wouldn't count on them really being useful studying drug safety.   I haven't read anything about the use of animal subjects in other aspect of safety testing so I don't know how reliable they might be for that but I'm pretty skeptical on that count.

Drug companies and the doctors and scientists they pay use animal studies to lie about the safety and effectiveness of drugs and treatment, getting people killed and harmed, to the extent that it probably counts as one of the more serious motives for public skepticism of scientists and the science they do.  Tragically, even some of the most valid and important science there is.  The oil and gas and coal industries use that phenomenon in their propaganda campaign, as do the Republican-fascists.

As I've noted here before, Max Planck, the great physicist, once said that progress in science wasn't measured in papers, but in the funerals as the old-guard resistant to change died off.   Or something to that effect.  But corporate interests never die, when a practice like pretending that mice, rats, and other breedable, saleable animals as are used by the tens of thousands and more in the industrial level at which science operates today, is discredited, you can bet that they and the scientists whose reputations and careers depend on it will keep it going.  Noam Chomsky, in a video I heard of him, mocked the French for keeping Lamarckian evolution going as a funded academic entity up into recent decades out of nothing more than nationalism, the economic, academic and professional interests in keeping on pretending that animal testing can do what they've got good reason to now believe it can't are certainly stronger.

And don't forget that this has turned into a moral pose by the ideology of modernistic scientism.  I can bet that any of the moderny-scientistic types who read this will be outraged that anyone could question the efficacy and the morality of believing in it with all their cold little hearts.  But that's mostly pose anyway.  If they really believed that science was what they claim to, they'd have no problem reading the studies calling it into question - they are really quite a bit more terrifying than H. P. Lovecraft's crap BECAUSE THEY ARE REAL - and changing their thinking in that regard.  I really would prefer to not be part of the cohort whose funerals are a prerequisite for reality to take hold.

* I know I wrote at least one piece about it when I wrote for another blog but I am unable to find that this morning.  I assume it's somewhere online so I'll keep trying to find it.
No, Freki, as always, is lying.  Why would a bunch of superficial, pretentious geezers I don't like proving that they're superficial, pretentious and geezers piss me off? 

Hey, Duncan, you could have tried harder like Kevin Drum did, but you settled for a lot less.  And you got a lot less.  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Tal Hurwitz - Suita Lirica

Ögmundur þór Jóhannesson, guitar 

A few years back I posted a video of the Israeli guitarist Tal Hurwitz playing one of Leo Brouwer's sonatas.  I hadn't known until recently that he's also a composer.  And a pretty good one if the few things I've been able to listen to are any indication.  It's good to see how many ways of making sound on stretched strings the young composers for guitar are incorporating in their basic compositional resources.  The results can be very good music. 

Update: Simps is trying to bait me with this.  I went and looked at his pop-music themed blog to see how many Israeli artists he's posted there and am coming up with none.  I'm sure he'll let me know if that's wrong.  If he doesn't within the hour I'd say it's a near 100% certainly he hasn't.  I know I've posted several fine artists here (I wonder what Tali Rubinstein is doing these days, I'll have to remember to check), as well as the Israel Philharmonic.  And that's just off the top of my head.   I can't remember if I posted music that Stefan Wolpe wrote while he was there.  Maybe I'll look if I have time.  

Maybe his blog is restricted.  I thought that went out in the 60s.  Well, that's where his head is pretty well stuck, he's always been ass backward. 

Update 2:  That's what you came up with, Simps?  Two pieces of American kitsch?   Where are the Israeli performers you've posted on your blog?  That's what the issue was.   What makes me suspect you were a late reader?  

Update 3:   Well, Simps has been spewing spam at me for well over an hour now, he still hasn't mentioned any Israeli performers he's posted about on his blog.  Yet he's trying to bait me over this post which is a good review of Tal Hurwitz, a very fine composer and guitarist who is from Israel.  

Simps is a poopy putz. 

Update 4:  Here are the time stamps from Simp's spam tantrum. starting with last night
steve simels
at 9:32 PM
steve simels
at 2:25 PM
steve simels
at 2:47 PM
steve simels
at 2:48 PM
steve simels
at 3:50 PM
Before the one that denies he's been spewing spam at me for over an hour 
steve simels
at 3:51 PM

Apparently he doesn't not only know how time works, he doesn't know how a clock works.  I've posted the one from last night, just to show it's there.  I might leave it up.  If he makes too much of a fuss, I'll just post them all.

Later:  He's still at it. The geezer is OCD with more issues than weird Al Portnoy