Thursday, February 27, 2014

J.S. Bach's Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude, Performed by Concentus Musicus Vienna & the Arnold Schönberg Choir, Directed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt

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"The Greatest of All Composers"

Rightly topping this list is the man who "did not invent any new styles of forms of music, but rather perfected every single one of them which existed in his day," who is rightly hailed as "the greatest of all composers, of all time, because of the intellectual depth of his music, the technical demand, and the artistic beauty" — Top 15 Greatest Composers Of All Time.

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Got $899,900?

You can buy a "one-of-a-kind home," "a Rochester landmark," just down the road from me — Iconic Perinton Mushroom House sale price reduced.

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Liberating Rochester's Food Trucks

A baby step in the right direction — Proposal adds food truck sites, spaces in city. A right-thinking city councilman puts these words in these entrepreneurs' mouths: "If it’s not by a fire hydrant, a tree, a funny-looking dog, whatever, I can’t pull my truck over and make money?"

"That’s hard to hear because I don’t think that’s the role of government," says the co-owner of my favorite truck, Le Petit Poutine, one a particularly insidious restriction he hopes to see lifted: "I’d love to be by one of the stadiums. Proximity is an important part of what we do."

Having just purchased 20 Rochester Red Wings tickets last night, I drool at the prospect of eating poutine with a Rohrbach Red Wing Red Ale at the ball park.

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Nissin Big Cup Noodles + Sriracha Sauce



The missus ran out of Shin Ramyun one day so combined Cup Noodles with Sriracha sauce. Wow! An article today on what rightly "might be the world’s new favorite condiment" — The Chemistry of Sriracha: Hot Sauce Science - Reactions.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Te Deum Performed by Mathilde Etienne, Ariane Wohlhunter, James Oxley, Thomas Van Essen, Bertrand Chuberre, and Le Parlement de Musique, Directed by Martin Gester

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Back From the Francophonie

We're back from a weekend visit to a city that started out four centuries ago as Fort Ville-Marie. Highlights of our trip included cooking sausages on the street at the Montréal en Lumière festival, strolling through the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, the stunning Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal, watching Pour l'amour du country on live TV, watching Team Canada take the gold this morning, strolling through four ecosystems at the Biodôme, eating poutine.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lisa Hannigan Performs " Passenger," "Pistachio," "A Sail," "Venn Diagram," "Paper House," "Little Bird," "Nowhere to Go," "Home," "I Don't Know," "What'll I Do," "Knots," & "Ocean and a Rock

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lisa Hannigan Performs "O Sleep"

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"Biphasic Sleep"

Writing for our local paper, Robin L. Flanigan reports on a "regimen [that] was mentioned in literature as far back as The Canterbury Tales" — 20 good winks better than 40 bad ones.
    Blame it on the Industrial Revolution. That's when artificial light was invented, totally screwing up an innate sleep cycle that had us snoozing in a completely different way than we do today.

    Before the electric light bulb, people slept in shifts....

    "If somebody came to a physician 200 to 300 years ago and said they slept all night, that would be abnormal," says Dr. Robert Israel, medical director of Unity Health System's Sleep Disorders Center in Greece and Brighton.

    Everybody, he explains, "would go to sleep when it got dark out, sleep three to four hours, wake up spontaneously with energy to do chores, then sleep another three to four hours."
Discovering the Liturgy of the Hours (a.k.a. the Breviary or the Divine Office) and learning how the monks of old prayed it — waking up at 2:00 AM for Matins, working, and then going back to sleep for a couple of hours — led to my own personal experiments with Biphasic Sleep.

It was a remarkably productive period of my life. I was teaching forty hours a week at a university, fifteen of it overtime, in the mornings and evenings. During the five-hour break between classes, I'd go home for time with the wife and kids. I'd go to bed early, wake up around 2:00 AM, work on my soon-to-be-published re-tellings of Fifty Famous Stories, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, and sleep a couple of more hours around 4:30 or 5:00 AM.

Mark's Daily Apple, source for information about "primal living in the modern world," has a good article on the topic — What is Biphasic Sleep?

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"The Libertarian Sweet Spot"

Steve Sailer on "how hard it is to hit the libertarian sweet spot where something is simultaneously legalized but remains rare and distasteful" — Good Smoking v. Bad Smoking. Or better, perhaps, decriminalized.

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A Loss for the Mohawk Valley

Benito Cuomo doesn't want conservatives in New York, and he doesn't want a 198-year-old company to continue employing 1,200 people either, it seems — Gun Maker Remington Arms Runs Off to Alabama to Escape Anti-Gun New York.

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Singin' Those "Higgs Boson Blues"

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Perform "Higgs Boson Blues"


Nick Cave wrote the music for The Road (2009). Some of my friends listened to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds back in the '80s, but I found them and their genre decadent and depressing, like a David Lynch movie, and stuck to the positive vibes of hardcore punk and reggae. Perhaps I should have had wider musical horizons. This song has a great title and haunting apocalyptic lyrical imagery.

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The Road (2009)


"Set in a postapocalyptic future, this end-of-days tale follows two survivors, a father and son, who navigate an ash-covered wasteland in search of a better life -- with only a sliver of hope that salvation awaits them at the end of their journey," reads the Netflix blurb introducing The Road (2009), one of the bleakest movies I've ever seen, and one of the best.

Zombies, ever so popular these days in mass culture, are laughable as terror-inducing villains compared to roaming gangs of fellow citizens who've resorted to cannibalism. Aside from the cannibals, there are those who chose suicide, as families, not an unreasonable choice in this world, and those who "carry the fire," to use the Father's words to the Son on their trek to find "the good guys."

This "fire" is of course, our humanity, the divine spark within that separates us from the animals, the level to which most people in this world have descended. Aside from this religious theme, other themes of this excellent film include masculinity, fatherhood, duty, and goodness.

These two evangelical reviews, from Christian Living Resources and Christianity Today respectively, are the most perceptive of the many I've read — The Road and Apocalyptic Road Winds to a Hopeful Place.

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The Banality of Drones

    The ethical disgrace of the drone syndrome is not that Mr Obama – or some US officer near Las Vegas – decides on the basis of satellite pictures, mobile phone calls, numbers dialled and the speed of vehicles, who should live or die. The really shameful aspect is that the drone war has become normal. It has gone on so long – and been the subject of so much protest, so regularly – that it has become banal, boring, matter-of-fact.
So writes Robert Fisk, reminding us that this "started under George W Bush, but most of the attacks, 384 of them since 2008, have been authorised by Mr Obama" — Why is the World Turning a Blind Eye to US Drone Strikes?

The answer to this question is opposing Mr. Obama's drone policy, or any of his policies, is racist, and no one wants to be that.

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The Last Word on Euthanasia

Dr. Theodore Dalrymple has it, reminding us that "a right to something tangible, such as the means to euthanasia or assisted suicide, implies the duty of someone to provide it," — Who Will Hire the Hangman?

The good doctor also reminds us, "It is always within everyone’s power to die if he so wishes, provided that his autonomy is respected (patient autonomy being the philosopher’s stone of medical ethics) and treatment is not forced on him when he refuses it."

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Charlie Parr Performs "Jubilee," "Daniel in the Lion's Den," "When First Unto This Country," "Jesus Met the Woman at the Well," & "Just Like Today"


The Bop Shop here in town will host him next week, local critic Jeff Spevak informs us — Parr's music evokes a bygone era. Mr. Spevak on a previous performance he saw:
    He was, in a word, amazing. In another two words, genuinely humble. In another three words, an authentic anachronism. A roots-music guy who looks like a professor of squirrel hunting. And playing the kind of National resonator guitar once favored by Son House. Almost all original songs that sounded like they were written 80 years ago.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Devil Makes Three Perform "Spinning Like A Top," "Hallelu" & "Graveyard"






One of this blogger's favorite acts is coming to the the Water Street Music Hall on April 23rd. The lyric "eighteen-years-old head full of psilocybin and howling at the moon all night" brings back a very, very specific memory, although I may have been seventeen or even sixteen at the time; and I was not alone in thinking we were gazing upon Quetzalcoatl that night.

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The "Hobbesian Dystopia" That Was Indian America

An excerpt from the prologue of 2013's The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend:
    The Natives' astonishing capacity for cruelty was like nothing the whites had ever experienced. The Plains Indians had honed their war ethic for centuries, and their martial logic was not only fairly straightforward, but accepted by all tribes without challenge—no quarter asked, none given; to every enemy death, the slower and more excruciating the better. A defeated Crow, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Shoshone, or Sioux not immediately killed in battle would be subjugated to unimaginable torments for as long as he could stand the pain. Women of all ages were tortured to death, but not before being raped—unless they were young enough to be raped and then taken as captive slaves or hostages to be traded for trinkets, whiskey, or guns. Crying babies were a burden on the trail, so they were summarily killed, by spear, by war club, or by banging their soft skulls against rocks or trees so as not to waste arrows. On occasion, to replenish their gene pool—preteens of both sexes were spared execution, if not pitiless treatment. This was merely the way of life and death to the Indian: vae victis, woe to the conquered. All expected similar treatment should they fall.

    [....]

    Captured whites were scalped, skinned, and roasted alive over their campfires, shrieking in agony as Indians yelped and danced about them like the bloody-eyed Achilles celebrating over the fallen Hector. Men's penises were hacked off and shoved down their throats and women were flogged with deer-hide quirts while being gang-raped. Afterward their breasts, vaginas, and even pregnant wombs were sliced away and laid out on the buffalo grass... [P]atrols rode often to the rescue, but almost always too late, finding victims whose eyeballs had been gouged out and left perched on the rocks, or the burning carcasses of men and women bound together by their own steaming entrails ripped from their insides while they were still conscious. The Indians, inured to this torture ethos, naturally fought one another to their last breath. The whites were at first astonished by this persistence, and most of the solders of the 18th Infantry had long since made unofficial pacts never to be taken alive.
Dances with Wolves this was not. This explains why John Wayne wanted to kill Natalie Wood in The Searchers (1956). So it also was with forest-dwellers in these parts; similar cruelties we read about in The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca and see in Black Robe (1991). Of course, none of this excuses any atrocities committed against Indians, but it does put them into context.

Let us compare the picture above drawn with that we read in "The Origins of International Law," the title given to the seventh chapter of Thomas E. Woods' How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, which explains how in the aftermath of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, Father Francisco de Vitoria, noting the abuses he saw, came to the conclusion that "[t]he treatment to which all human beings were entitled... derives from their status as men rather than as members of the faithful in the state of grace," concluding with this profound statement from Peruvian libertarian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa:
    Father Las Casas was the most active, although not the only one, of those nonconformists who rebelled against abuses inflicted upon the Indians. They fought against their fellow men and against the policies of their own country in the name of the moral principle that to them was higher than any principle of nation or state. This self-determination could not have been possible among the Incas or any of the other pre-Hispanic cultures. In these cultures, as in the other great civilizations of history foreign to the West, the individual could not morally question the social organism of which he was part, because he existed only as an integral atom of that organism and because for him the dictates of the state could not be separated from morality. The first culture to interrogate and question itself, the first to break up the masses into individual beings who with time gradually gained the right to think and act for themselves, was to become, thanks to that unknown exercise, freedom, the most powerful civilization of our world.
Amen, amen, amen.

Had only the Jesuit Missions in North America more time to work their good. The Guaraní Republic's Catholic Socialism, for all its utopian faults, stood quite in contrast to anything this "Hobbesian Dystopia" or the extermination that followed could offer.

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Justin Raimondo Wants Your Money

Rightly reminding you that "instead of giving all your tax dollars to the War Machine, you have the option of donating it to the cause of peace and civil liberties" — Confessions of an Unreconstructed ‘Isolationist’.

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Was Flannery O'Conner a CIA Spook?

No, the great Catholic Southern Gothic writer was not named among those of the Iowa Writers' Workshop who "[w]ith CIA help... were enlisted to battle both Communism and eggheaded abstraction," and who "drank, philandered, and enriched themselves" — How Iowa Flattened Literature.

In fact, she felt very uncomfortable with the CIA-sponsored philandering that took place there, we learn in The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor.

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The Tearing of the Veil and the Shroud of Turin

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Bok van Blerk's "De La Rey," "Tannie Tina Van Wyk," & "1968 Bakkie Plat" Music Videos






In a language topping this list of "the 10 easiest to learn from scratch" for an Anglophone — Easiest Foreign Languages. The language also has the advantage of being, or at least having been, politically incorrect, and also of being a version of my ancestral Dutch, as well as that of fellow New Yorker Martin Van Buren, "the only president not to have spoken English as his first language."

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Performed by Anna Samuil, Waltraud Meier, Michael König, René Pape, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Directed by Daniel Barenboim


The finale of which, or at least a somewhat scaled-down version of it, was played tonight by my daughter and her school's orchestra in what was her debut in the world of classical music.

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Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131, Performed by the Afiara Quartet


The music behind A Late Quartet (2012), the quietly powerful character-driven film starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, from just down the road from here in Fairport, New York, which the missus and I watched this past weekend through the magic of Netflix.com, whose blurb reads: "Tempers flare, old jealousies reignite and new passions are sparked when the members of a world-renowned string quartet are preparing to celebrate their 25th anniversary and learn that their leader must step down due to a grim medical diagnosis." The trailer:

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Nicole Curtis


Perhaps I should start watching the " willowy blonde with the body of a pinup model and the determination of a drill sergeant [who] has made a career out of restoring—not just 'fixing up'—the fine old Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Beaux Arts, and Greek Revival homes of Minneapolis," lovingly profiled by Justin Raimondo here — Taking Action.

"In the midst of the Rust Belt’s urban decay, there is little Nicole with her nail gun, her iron will, and not much money, pushing back against the evil forces of modernity and lovingly stitching back together the broken bones of these ruined beauties," writes Mr. Raimondo. "Restoration: It’s what conservatives are all about.

"Restoration," and, when need be, "liberation," as I wrote in this brief post on one my own DIY jobs — Liberating Hardwood Floors. Other projects — painting of rooms, re-plastering of ceilings, laying of stair runners — have followed. Of course, the DIY ethic is what hardcore punk was all about.

Mr. Raimnondo rightly condemns "houses of the modern era" with their "bland uniformity married to shoddy workmanship perfectly reflects the spirit of our age." While my humble home may not be counted among the "relics of a bygone era that had different values," it was built in the year before 1964, a good enough marker of the beginning of our final cultural collapse.

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The New World Order

"Moscow has reclaimed its 19th-century conservative role," while "America, condemning and even attacking other countries to push 'democracy' and Jacobinical definitions of human rights, is becoming the leader of the international Left," writes William S. Lind, arguing rightly that "American conservatives should welcome the resurgence of a conservative Russia" — Russia’s Right Turn.

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Poverty in the U.S.A.

"There is no material poverty in the U.S.," writes economist Walter E. Williams; "What we have in our nation are dependency and poverty of the spirit, with people making unwise choices and leading pathological lives aided and abetted by the welfare state" — Dependency, Not Poverty.

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hurray For The Riff Raff Perform "Look Out Mama," "The Body Electric," "Crash On The Highway," & "The New San Francisco Bay Blues"


Hurray for the Riff Raff has been on my radar for a while, but not until last night did I fall in love with them, or more accurately with Alynda Lee Segarra, a Nuyorican who cut her teeth on hardcore punk, reminding me a bit of a certain Nuyorican goth gal who once had been my merengue partner.

Back to Hurray for the Riff Raff, National[ist] Public Radio says the band "has always been, proof that millennials are not lazy or unobservant or wandering — or, more accurately for the famously peripatetic Segarra, that not all who wander are lost. She has a voice rooted in history, making music to change the present. Hers is the voice of the future."

Queerness was not something I noticed in the band until further research, having myself very poor gaydar "I really like to make our image as a very queer band," said Ms. Segarra. "Yosi [Perlstein, the band's transgender fiddle player] identifies as queer. So do I, as a longtime ally of queer causes." Continuing about her punk rocker days, "I loved the energy of the shows and listened to a lot of Kathleen Hannah of Bikini Kill," Segarra said. "She made me love women before I understood I did too." Ahem.

She also said, "You don't see a Puerto Rican girl play the banjo in a honky-tonk very often! You don't see a transgendered drummer/fiddle player very often! It's awesome. I think it's powerful that we'll play songs with the Tumblweeds and show publicly that we accept and love each other as musicians and people. I hope that kind of acceptance and respect is contagious."

Whether or not you would call any of that awesome, that adjective is appropriate to describe their music.

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Hurray For The Riff Raff Perform "Blue Ridge Mountain," "Small Town Heroes," & "The Body Electric"

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The Avett Brothers Perform "Clearness Is Gone"


A performance three days ago of an act that will play in less than a month's time here in town at the RIT Gordon Field House & Activities Center.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Support Your Local Brewery!


"If ever there was an example of old meets new, it's inside the 135-year-old Genesee Brewery," reports our local newspaper today in this quasi-religious story — Combination of old-timey techniques and cutting-edge technology brings Genesee roaring back. "It's this neat, fun place. They've got the best view in all of Rochester. It's a place to go to experience the history, the heritage of the brand."

Genesee Beer got my friends and me through high school, growing up in the then-brewery-less but bigger city to the west, Buffalo, New York. When I was flown in from Asia for what turned out to be a successful job interview, after an absence lasting a full turn of the Chinese zodiac, the first thing I did when free was walk to the convenience store to buy myself several 16-ounce cans of Genesee Cream Ale, drink of choice of my Mississippi-transplanted granny.

On my recent trips to Dixie I almost wept when I saw Genesee Beer on sale at the Piggly Wiggly. It was almost as if the War of Northern Aggression / War Between The States / Civil War had never been fought.

Genesee Beer means a lot to us around here.

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Abortion and Breast Cancer

Mercator.Net's Carolyn Moynihan reports that "breast cancer studies from China point to abortion as a cause, but the West remains in denial" — Will China be first to learn its ABC? Pondering "the deathly silence about a Chinese study published in a mainstream cancer journal in November and confirming one of the disputed risk factors for breast cancer," Ms. Moynihan writes
    In “A meta-analysis of the association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk among Chinese females,” published in the journal Cancer Causes Control, epidemiologist Yubei Hunag and colleagues reviewed 36 studies that investigated this link and found: among women who had only one abortion, an overall increased risk of developing breast cancer of 44 percent; after two abortions the risk increased by 76 percent, and after three abortions by 89 percent. The more abortions, the higher the risk. This is at least page 3 news.

    But Google the terms “China” “breast cancer” and “abortion” and you won’t find anything in the first forty results from the New York Times or the UK Guardian or the Sydney Morning Herald about the Tianjin Medical University study. It has been left to pro-life groups and Christian broadcasters to circulate.

    Is the news blackout because what happens to Chinese women could not possibly be relevant to British or American or Australian women? Or is it because abortion has become the foundation on which the whole western edifice of “reproductive health” rests, and without which a new cultural revolution would be necessary?
Like the studies showing "that synthetic estrogen — a common ingredient in oral contraceptives — drastically reduces the fertility of male rainbow trout" — Contracepting the Environment — some news that would support the environmental cause or women's health is simply not fit to print.

Sexual revolution is the Left's non-negotiable. How many leftists who eat organic and vegetarian and would never dream of diverting a stream would die (or more likely kill) for the "rights" to artificial birth control and abortion?

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CounterPunch and Human Biodiversity

Gary Leupp, writing for the "hard left" journal, ponders that recent discovery of that 7,000-year-old "dark-skinned but blue-eyed" European — Where Did White People Come From? Prof. Leupp:
    Europeans (“Caucasians”) are not the only light-skinned people on the planet. My Japanese wife places her forearm next to mine and says, “See? They’re the same.” And our arms are, in fact, similar, at least color-wise. Europeans, from their first contacts with Japanese in the 1540s to at least the early 1800s, routinely described Japanese as well as Chinese as “white.” Marco Polo in the late 1200s had described the Chinese as “white.”
Prof. Leupp reminds us that "the Jomon people, in Japan from ca. 14,000 years ago, and the Yayoi people who supplied the greater proportion of the Japanese gene pool, are thought to have been light-skinned," and suggests that "they may have been the first 'whites' on the planet," which makes sense given "that two-thirds of European genes come from Asia, one-third from Africa."

I remember around the age of five categorizing all non-black people as white, being some 35 years ahead of the "Out of Africa, with Benefits" theory.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys Perform "Lemon Squeezy," "Leaves and Pods," and "Querida Tierra"

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Bernie Sanders, (National) Socialist?

    Within our lifetimes, millions of men and women have put their lives on the line for us. These service members have paid a very high price for their service. The price is a lot higher than most people perceive. My belief is that we’ve got to do everything possible to give back to them and their families, to make them whole.
Such claptrap was uttered not by one of the one of the usual neocon/neolib suspects, but by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the only "self-described democratic socialist" in the Senate — Sanders introduces $30 billion omnibus veterans’ bill.

I guess one should not be surprised by "a self-described democratic socialist" fighting to redistribute $30 billion from America's productive class to government employees, but this boilerplate about the "millions of men and women [who] have put their lives on the line for us" is really getting to be too much. The last time that U.S. soldiers "put their lives on the line for us" was 1783.

Smedley Butler, "at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history," knew better; he knew for whom he put his life on the line:
    I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Mr. Sanders, you're no Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist Party of America's presidential candidate imprisoned under "progressive Democrat" Woodrow Wilson's Espionage Act of 1917, but freed by Republican Warren G. Harding, and subsequently invited to Christmas dinner at the White House.

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Pete Seeger, In Memoriam

"A 'Stalinist Songbird' bites the dust I see," said longtime friend of this blog, Mild Colonial Boy, Esq., in response to my musical post marking the man's death — Pete Seeger & Friends Perform "This Land is Your Land". "I use to have an Almanac Singers album - one half was anti-War songs, the other half pro-war/or anti-Hitler songs. I see most of the obituaries call him anti-war activist when he was only opposed to wars that would (potentially) fight communists."

The same objection, that once "the Nazis invaded Russia, the Party line changed and the Almanac Singers began beating the drums for war," was made on the "Hard Left" by CounterPunch's Noel Ignatiev, himself a problematic figure "best known for his work on race and social class and for his call to abolish the white race" — Pete Seeger: a Dissenting View.

In contrast, writing for The American Conservative, The Guardian's Neil Clark writes, "The late folk singer kept his attachment to peace and place as the New Left started culture wars" — Pete Seeger’s Conservative Socialism. Mr. Clask quotes Mr. Seeger from a 1995 interview:
    I like to say I’m more conservative than [Barry] Goldwater. He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax. I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other.
Pete Seeger, like Walt Whitman before him, was "large" and "contain[ed] multitudes."

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Devil Makes Three Performs "Gracefully Facedown," "Beneath the Piano," "The Bullet," "For Good Again," "River Deep," "Man Tap," "Cheap Rewards (Elvis Costello)," "Aces and Twos," & "St. James Infirmary"


I had never really heard the line "you and me and the devil makes three" (much less given any thought to to what it suggests) from the song "Go To Sleep You Little Baby" until watching O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) for second time last night.

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Hipsters Against Hitler


Sophie Scholl and Willi Graf of the White Rose (Weiße Rose) would not look out of place four decades after their executions at an '80s hardcore punk show or even seven decades later at some hipster haunt. They might be seen as uncool, however, for quoting Blessed John Henry Newman or Blessed Clemens August, Graf von Galen, the Lion of Münster, as they were wont to do, even a good Lutheran girl like Sophie.

The proto-punk hairstyles (Willi looks like he's heading to a show by The Clash) make me think of Steve Sailer's investigations into the origins of another subculture, asking, "Did hippies have German roots?" Of course, the beatnik, hippie, punk rocker, and hipster all have common roots, and form a common sub-culture. Mr. Sailer quotes the author an article titled "Hippie Roots & The Perennial Subculture" who suggests "that the actual anomaly was mid-20th-century mass culture:"
    Hippiedom is really just a perennial sub-culture…as old as the first humans that ever walked upright.…That’s why hippies will never go away…because they’ve always been here anyway.
Getting back to the heroic subjects of this post, what was Nazi Germany but "mid-20th-century mass culture" at its most mass?

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Last Night's Double Feature Quickly Reviewed




O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) had great music and Valkyrie (2008) a great hero, but neither was that great of a movie.

The former I had seen before, and last night's reviewing convinced me I was right about its mediocrity and disjointed plot the first time I saw it. That said, the soundtrack is incredible. The former I had put off seeing mainly due to actor playing the protagonist. Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg's story is probably just too big too fit on the silver screen.

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki's Nunc Dimittis, Performed by Marzena Michałowska, Piotr Olech, Maciej Gocman, Józef Frakstein, and the Poznań Chamber Choir, Directed by Bartosz Michałowski and Jurek Dybał

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The Prickers' "Wildlife" Music Video


The Prickers, from nearby Naples, New York, put on a great show last night. When we saw them open for the Carolina Chocolate Drops, I thought that they were a local band I'd like to see more of. That was eighteen months ago. It will not be that long until I see them again.

"Americana / Punk Porch Muzik / Cluster Folk" reads The Prickers's ReverbNation page. It's hard to classify this band's sound. Punk rock or punkgrass with a banjo and a sousaphone! But most importantly, they play music you can dance to. And not slam dancing, but the "swing-your-partner-round-and-round" type dancing, as seen in the video. I could have sworn I heard hints of Highlife. What fun!

Two earlier posts with their music — The Prickers Perform "Gotta Have You" and "Loveliest" and The Prickers Perform "One Trick Pony" and "Oblivion".

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