Sunday, March 29, 2015

J.S. Bach's "St. John Passion" Performed by Midori Suzuki, Robin Blaze, Gerd Türk, Chiyuki Urano, Stephan MacLeod, and Bach Collegium Japan, Directed by Masaaki Suzuki

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Off to Amish Country

In preparation for my family's spring break in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, we watched a documentary, The Amish: Shunned (2014), and a "reality" series, Amish: Out of Order (2012– ), not to mention the movie Witness (1985) in between.

I was relieved that both the documentary and the series were balanced, and not sensationalistic as I expected them to be. Both focused on the stories of individuals, and in doing so told the universal story of Man's search for meaning, whether it be that of the Amish "old maid" at 23 whom we suspect leaves because she can't find a husband or the "English" girl from a broken home who at 16 desperately wants family.

The series was a bit problematic; producer/director/star Mose Gingerich's scruples at expsoing tthe Amich to publicity by giving a lecture at a university don't come up while making a ten-part "reality" series. Still, introduces us to some interesting and likable characters.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tanya Tagaq's Improvised Performance and Interview




Throat singing is something I decided to try to teach myself today, and stumbled across the above video. It's a style I've been somewhat interested in for some time — Hanggai Perform Four Seasons, Batubagan, Borulai's Lullaby, Tyva Kyzy Perform "Aylanmaa Damyran," "Chandagajty" and "Setkilimden Sergek Yr-dyr" and Baby Gramps and the Akron Family Perform "Cape Cod Girls".

Up in Toronto just a few days ago for a conference, I shared an elevator with some similarly striking ladies, who were talking about a familial baptism, a reminder of just how close the Great White North is.

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The Greatest Generation (of Rapist War Criminals)

Professor Miriam Gebhardt demolishes "[o]ne of the enduring narratives of World War II[,] ... that during the invasion of the Third Reich, British and American troops largely behaved well, and it was the soldiers of the Soviet Union’s Red Army who raped hundreds of thousands of German females, aged from eight to 80" — Did Allied Troops Rape 285,000 German Women? That number refers to atrocities committed by our American, British, and French "heroes."

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

J.S. Bach's "Mass in B Minor," Performed by Joélle Harvey, Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies, Ed Lyon, Matthew Rose, Choir of the English Concert, and The English Concert, Directed by Harry Bicket


"To commemorate the 330th anniversary of the March 21, 1685 birth of Johann Sebastian Bach," Bach's Mass in B minor will be performed tonight in town at Asbury First United Methodist Church.

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Saint Chesterton


"The case for canonizing G. K. Chesterton, the bombastic man of letters and paradoxical militant for God," examined by The Atlantic's James Parker — A Most Unlikely Saint. An exceprt:
    Chesterton was a journalist; he was a metaphysician. He was a reactionary; he was a radical. He was a modernist, acutely alive to the rupture in consciousness that produced Eliot’s “The Hollow Men”; he was an anti-modernist (he hated Eliot’s “The Hollow Men”). He was a parochial Englishman and a post-Victorian gasbag; he was a mystic wedded to eternity. All of these cheerfully contradictory things are true, and none of them would matter in the slightest were it not for the final, resolving fact that he was a genius. Touched once by the live wire of his thought, you don’t forget it.

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Genny Light

    No joke, no snark. This is my all-time favorite beer. It's what I grew up with. It's always in my fridge.
Thus spake local beer guru Will Cleveland — Beer talk: A toast to local favorites. Until I read those words of his, I would have never imagined myself trying, much less liking, and even less buying any light beer. The self-described "biggest proponent for Genny Light in Rochester," before reviewing local brews like Naked Dove 45 Fathoms Porter, goes on to say:
    I don't understand the scorn that Genny Light garners from many. It's a classic American light lager. It's miles ahead of Coors Light, Bud Light, Labatt Blue Light or Miller Lite. It offers more flavor than those other options, and it's usually fresh and readily available. It can usually be found in the bottom left corner of the Acme cooler. It's cheap and reliable.

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The Mynabirds Perform "Nmbers Don't Lie," "Let the Record Go," & "What We Gained in the Fire"

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

St. Paul and the Broken Bones Perform "Grass is Greener" and "Like a Mighty River"

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"Never Trust a President"


The Buffalonian "hailed by many libertarians as an honest champion of limited government and the constitution" exposed — JP Morgan Man, Grover Cleveland, and His Trend Away From Liberty. Quoted is Murray Rothbard:
    The great turning point of American foreign policy came in the early 1890s, during the second Cleveland Administration. It was then that the U.S. turned sharply and permanently from a foreign policy of peace and non-intervention to an aggressive program of economic and political expansion abroad.
Mr. Rothabard reminds us that "bankers are inherently inclined toward statism."

I recently finished reading novelist Lauren Belfer's great City of Light, in which the president serves as an antagonist, a fact that almost wrongly stopped me from reading the book. I'm glad it didn't. The novel focuses not on his political failings but his personal ones, which were well publicized, as the popular ditty from the day attests: "Ma, Ma, where's my Pa?"

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lisa Hannigan Performs "Knots," "Little Bird," & "Passenger"


The lovely colleen returns to sing for us on St. Patrick's Day, with the set that she first charmed me with.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Tweedy Perform "World Away," "Summer Noon," "The Losing End (When You're On)," & "Low Key"

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A Legendary Vegetarian Restaurant

After owning their cookbook for nearly three decades, I finally made it to Ithaca, New York's Moosewood Restaurant, "named one of the thirteen most influential restaurants of the 20th century by Bon Appetit magazine." I was not disappointed. The West African Groundnut Stew was delicious, as was the missus' Pasta with Lemon-Pistachio Pesto. Also never tasteful was the ambiance.

The best vegetarian restaurant I ever ate at was Sanchon in Insa-dong, Seoul, specializing in Buddhist temple food. And the International Society for Krishna Consciousness's global Govinda's Restaurant chain is always good.

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Drunk Drivin'

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Man's Best Friend's Best Friend

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The Punch Brothers Perform "My Oh My," "Boll Weevil," "Magnet," & "Julep"

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Punch Brothers Perform The Cars' "Just What I Needed"

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Kris Kristofferson Performs "Quinn the Eskimo"


Bob Dylan's "Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)" was the song I learned to sing and play on my guitalele over the weekend after listening to it a few times in the car with my daughter, who wanted to figure out "what's the big deal with this Eskimo" and then independently came to the exegesis that he was a Christ figure.

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Slacker (1991)


Above, a still from the film Slacker (1991), the movie of my era, which, Generation X slacker that I am, I never got around to watching until today. Glad I did. A walk down memory lane. The film's credits role with "Strangers Die Everyday" by the setting Austin, Texas's Butthole Surfers. Director Richard Linklater:
    Slackers might look like the left-behinds of society, but they are actually one step ahead, rejecting most of society and the social hierarchy before it rejects them. The dictionary defines slackers as people who evade duties and responsibilities. A more modern notion would be people who are ultimately being responsible to themselves and not wasting their time in a realm of activity that has nothing to do with who they are or what they might be ultimately striving for.

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Tibetan Buddhism

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Lumineers Perform "Flowers in Your Hair," "Ho Hey," "Submarines," "Ain't Nobody's Problem," "Classy Girls," & "Stubborn Love"


Bought their album, which I had had on digital media, last night on vinyl; sounds fuller and richer.

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Whither Philology?

"The Forgotten Origins of the Modern Humanities," is the subtitle of a book reviewed here about field that "encompassed a huge range of subjects as it developed: not only grammar and syntax, but rhetoric, textual editing and commentary, etymology and lexicography, as well as, eventually, anthropology, archeology, biblical exegesis, linguistics, literary criticism, and even law" — A kingdom in splinters. The field "nowadays is less a ruin than the shadow of a ruin; no, even less than that, the vestige of a shadow." An anecdote:
    At times there was something decidedly otherworldly about other philologists I met. In the 1970s, when I studied at the University of Tübingen and had the good fortune to work with Manfred Ullmann, the great lexicographer of Classical Arabic, he startled me one day by excitedly brandishing a file card on which was written the Arabic word for “clitoris” (bazr) and exclaiming, “Kli-tO-ris! What do ordinary folk know about Kli-tO-ris?” (More than you imagine, I thought.) Needless to say, it was the word—its etymology, its cognates, its morphology—that captivated him.
On a similar note, clitics in Spanish were a major topic of graduate study with Professor Jorge Guitart, a very cunning linguist. Speaking of things sweet, "The word for honey gives you a good breakdown of Europe's main languages," as this posted map shows — A good, quick guide to Europe's languages, and more.

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Toss a Couple of Extra Bucks in the Collection Plate Tomorrow

"If you think it’s costly heating your three-bedroom ranch this winter, just imagine what many of the area’s churches – with their soaring ceilings and drafty stained-glass windows – are paying" — Churches face the high costs of heating the sanctuary.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bob Mould Performs "Fire In The City," "If I Can't Change Your Mind," "Hey Mr. Grey," "Come Around," "Tomorrow Morning," "Something I Learned Today," & "Chartered Trips"


From the Pittsford Community Library tonight, I checked out Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart (2013), about Mr. Mould's drummer from his Hüsker Dü days.

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Another Neocon Chickenhawk Fraud Exposed

Heroic journalist Michael Fumento, who was "embedded three times in Iraq, once in Afghanistan," "suffered a horrible war-related injury in Fallujah leading to seven surgeries," and "acquired two partially paralyzed toes in Afghanistan," leading him to rightly conlcude in his piece for The American Conservative, "Nations should only go to war when necessary," reduces his target to rubble — Bill O’Reilly Disgraces War Reporting.

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The Nanny State at Her Most Sinister

She does not want your "children [to] learn self-reliance by being allowed to make choices, build independence and progressively experience the world on their own," and may take them away if you dare let them, reminds The American Conservative's Gracy Olmstead — Is “Free-Range Parenting” Bad?

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Not The Waltons

A conservative blog for peace links to this observation that "Boomers were happy to ask for and receive grandparental help, but are loathe to give it now that it's their turn" — Are Boomers as grandparental as their own parents were in that role? Read the spot-on analysis. My anecdotal comments:
    My Greatest Gen grandparents lived and died with my family growing up in the 70s and 80s. Every bit of wisdom I learned was imparted to me from my Mississippian grandmother.

    With such positive memories, I naturally invited my own Boomer parents to move in with us now that they're old. Biggest mistake of my life! They act like they own my house. They do nothing but watch TV all day (in an average day more than I do in a year). They cause discord with their daughter-in-law, my wife. My father spends more time tending his Keurig coffee maker than he has with his grandson. My mother moans to no end when she's left at home an hour or two with the kids, 10 and 11, although they need nothing from her as they keep to themselves upstairs and my daughter is a Red Cross certified baby sitter.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Israel Nash Performs "Woman At The Well," "Mansions," "Rain Plans," & "Rexanimarium"


American interest should lie with this Israel, not the Zionist entity.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Phox Perform "Kingfisher," "1936," & "Slow Motion"

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Chickenhawks

Dan Phillips, MD reminds us that the "interventionists’ appropriation of masculine sounding rhetoric to describe what is essentially a fear based policy" — A “Muscular” Foreign Policy is Anything But.

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"Sapience, not Sentience"

Fred Reed proposes a constitutional amendment — The 145 Solution. "What possible cause is there for thinking the willfully dull, the deliberately ignorant, or the dull and ignorant, are ompetent to influence policy on matters that they cannot spell?"

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The Decline and Fall of Classical Music

Olicer Rudland says it went hand in hand with the loss of the "deeper set of convictions which the classical composers held in common, and upon which the nation states of Europe themselves were predicated" — The Loss Of Faith Made Music Mute.

"With the many subversive and insidious forces of globalisation beginning seriously to undermine the legitimacy of the nation state, and with Christianity under attack from a new liberal bigotry which has made expressing Christian sentiments all but taboo in much public life, what we need now are forms of culture that will help us to shore up these foundations."

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