Thursday, December 31, 2015

Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine Performed byhe Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists and the Pages du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, Directed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner

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A Separation (2011)


If Hollywood has ever made a film as morally complex as Asghar Farhadi's A Separation (2011), which the missus and I watched last night thanks to the Pittsford Community Library, I haven't seen it. In fact, I haven't seen anything this morally rich since cutting my teeth on the films of Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman, and certainly nothing made in the current century.

Hollywood could not make such a film today in our Western religious void. While the themes of the film are indeed universal — Leo Tolstoy's observation that if you "describe your village... you will describe the world" comes to mind — we need to enter the word of Shia Islam to find characters for whom questions of morality and sin are believably real. What's more, while the atheist in his ignorance thinks that religion bestows upon the believer a set of easy answers to life's problems, this film shows the incredible complexity of moral issues; none of the characters is right or wrong, good or bad. Each is wonderfully human.

Well worth a read is the always-enlightening Steve Sailer's review — Tehran Comes to Hollywood. So is that of the late, great Roger Ebert, whose voice, which I often disagreed with, I miss every time I look for a film review — A Separation. And right to observe that in viewing this film "as social commentary, one could infer a conservative agenda," is Martin Tsai in his review — Divorce Iranian Style.

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Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Universal Soldier" Performed by First Aid Kit


The great Cree singer-songwriter was featured on today's episode of World Café, in which we heard this Swedish folk-duo's cover her powerful anti-war (and refreshingly anti-warrior) anthem, with sadly updated lyrics:
    He's five foot-two, and he's six feet-four
    He's fighting with missiles and with spears
    He's all of forty one, and he's only seventeen
    Been a soldier for a thousand years

    He's a Christian, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
    A Buddhist, and a Muslim, and a Jew
    And he knows he shouldn't kill
    And he knows he always will
    Kill you for me, my friend, and me for you

    And he's fighting for Palestine
    He's fighting for Israel
    He's fighting for the U.S.A.
    And he's fighting for Afghanistan
    And he's fighting for Iraq
    And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way

    And he's fighting for Democracy
    He's fighting for his soil
    He says: "It's for the peace of all"
    He's the one who must decide who's to live and who's to die
    And he never sees the writing on the wall

    But without him how would Hitler have condemned them at Dachau?
    Without him Caesar would have stood alone
    He's the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war
    And without him all this killing can't go on

    He's the universal soldier
    And he is really is to blame
    His orders come from far away no more
    They come from here and there, and you and me
    And brother, can't you see
    This is not the way we put an end to war

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Is Attributing Moral Agency to Blacks Now Racist?

The British PM's policy chief is under fire for having suggested three decades ago that “bad moral attitudes” were a cause of the Broadwater Farm riot in 1985 — Oliver Letwin’s apology for ‘racist’ memo to No 10 'inadequate'. Was this Thatcherite too thick to understand the librul teaching that unlike Whites, Blacks, like children under the age of reason or adults with Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities, are incapable of discerning right from wrong?

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Today's Rochester Police Blotter



The above visages appeared in our local rag, the Democrat and Chronicle, this morning, the last day of 2015. All have been arrested for various crimes in recent days. All of them are accuse of violent crimes, against persons and property ranging from murder to assault to burglary, save one, accused of running a moderately successful cannabis agro-business.

Can you guess which one is the pot entrepreneur? [Hint: It's not the guy with glasses, which would be a reasonable guess, since the correlation between myopia and intelligence has been well-established*.] Click on the images to learn their stories.

*See the following peer-reviewed articles: On the correlation of myopia and intelligence; Intelligence, Education, and Myopia in Males; Myopia, Intelligence, and the Expanding Human Neocortex: Behavioral Influences and Evolutionary Implications; Myopia and intelligence:a pleiotropic relationship?; IQ and the Association with Myopia in Children.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

J.S. Bach's Chromatic Fantasy in D Minor Performed by Mahan Esfahani


The Iranian-born harpsichordist is the subject of this delightful interview — How To Annoy Your Dad: Play The Harpsichord.

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Incandescence Is Better


Incandescent light bulbs make prettier Christmas lights, I've concluded after more than a week of nightly walks throughout the neighborhood and beyond. Incandescence alone gives off that warm glow that made Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut (1999) such a pleasure to watch. Stock up before they are criminalized.

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PC, FB, & Me

I reluctantly joined Mark Cuckerberg's billions a couple of weeks ago so I could post a message of consolation for a student who died, the got a couple of dozen "friend" requests but never posted anything on my own page, and now have deleted my account today after reading that "Facebook creep Mark Zuckerberg recently was overheard at a UN summit telling Angela Merkel that he would get to work on suppressing Facebook comments by Germans who have the audacity to object to the government’s handling of migrants" — PC Is About Control, Not Etiquette.

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"Say Goodbye to the Mother Continent"

What Pat Buchanan predicted in an article of that title fourteen years ago has come to pass — Is the West Disintegrating? The hope remains that that European “patriots will recapture control of their national destinies."

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Monday, December 28, 2015

José González Performs "Open Book," "With the Ink of a Ghost" & "Every Age"

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Where Have All the Syrian Fighting-Aged Men Gone?

    [T]he vast majority of illegal migrants are young able-boded men without families. And I ask: why do these men not take up arms and fight for the freedom of their own country against the Islamic State?

    Their escape objectively strengthens the Islamic State, and I cannot imagine that in the time when the occupation our young men were escaping – they were escaping so that they could, in Great Britain, they received social support. They had escaped so that they could fight for the freedom of their country.

    And that, of course, is true for even for those who leave the countries where there is fighting, because their departure sentences these countries to further backwardness.
Thus spake His Excellency Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic — Czech Christmas Message: The Refugees Are an ”Organized Invasion”.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

"The Coventry Carol" Sung by The Choir of King's College, Cambridge


For tomorrow's Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermas), the XVIth Century Coventry Carol, a "haunting carol representing a mother's lament for her doomed child" during "the Massacre of the Innocents, in which Herod ordered all male infants under the age of two in Bethlehem to be killed."
    Lully, lullay, thou little tiny Child,
    Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
    Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
    Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

    O sisters too, how may we do,
    For to preserve this day
    This poor youngling for whom we do sing
    Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
    Herod, the king, in his raging,
    Charged he hath this day
    His men of might, in his own sight,
    All young children to slay.

    That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
    And ever mourn and sigh,
    For thy parting neither say nor sing,
    Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

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Silence, Chant, and the Unspeakable

The Abbey of the Genesee, were locally-famous Monk's Bread is made, was our destination today. Vespers was our goal. Thomas Merton's Raids on the Unspeakable, inspiration behind James W. Douglass' JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, one of the most influential books I've read, was my takeaway.

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Oriental Medicinal Herbs Grown in Upstate New York Soil

"This project is seriously fascinating," says farmer Rebekah Rice, quoted in this Finger Lakes Times story — Chinese medicinal herbs provide niche market for US farmers. Fascinating indeed, but hardly new; in my previous blogging incarnation, I reported that this trade is well into its third century — American Ginseng.

"As a farmer," says Ms. Rice, "I love the idea of growing something no one else is growing, something that's good for people." Says Jamie Starkey, a licensed practitioner of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, "If growers in the U.S. can produce a highest-quality product that is identical to species from China, without contamination from heavy metals or pesticides, I think it's a great opportunity for farmers."

This is a great "back-to-the-land" idea, especially for someone like me with familial and cultural ties to the continent of Asia. Ontario Pear was an inspiration. The idea of "artisanal tofu" still calls. Makgeolli brewing might be just what this region needs. But Chinese herbology sound even better, perhaps coupled with advanced degree from the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

J.S. Bach's Süßer Trost mein Jesus Kömmt Performed by the Ricercar Consort Directed by Philippe Pierlot

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Astronomical Localism


"The vastness of the universe becomes even more incredible when you consider how very much we still don't know about the immediate vicinity of our own star," writes Rochester City Newspaper's Rebecca Rafferty about the "New Discoveries in Our Solar System" show at the Rochester Museum & Science Center's Strasenburgh Planetarium.

"Pictured is a photograph by the Rosetta space probe of Comet 67P.... passing near the Sun." We also get to see "geysers on a moon of Saturn, more clues about water on Mars, another spacecraft approaching Jupiter, and the latest Pluto pictures downloaded from the New Horizons spacecraft."

Not mentioned and most fascinating of all were the bright spots on Ceres, the brightest objects on the surface of any body in our solar system. The Great Red Spot is no longer as great as it was when I was a kid, but we know a lot more about Europa, not to mention Enceladus.

Ms. Rafferty is right about "how very much we still don't know about the immediate vicinity of our own star." I would go further and say that "the immediate vicinity of our own star" is more fascinating because of its proximity. Exoplanets bore me to no end, but little Ceres never ceases to amaze!

Still, it's important to have a hold on what we can see with the naked eye, and I got a much-needed review of the Night Sky. I have long been able, of course, to use the Big Dipper to find Polaris, an important survival skill. And Orion, Cassiopeia and my favorites the Pleiades are like childhood friends.

After today's review, however, I now know those two stars I've long wondered about were none other than Castor and Pollux, the twin heads of my star sign, and I can now easily find Sirius, a personal favorite due to the Chinese zodiac.

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Reading Between the Lines on a Local Plaque


I got a huge kick out of the above sign at Corbett's Glen Nature Park, a beautiful place for a walk not far from my home that should not have taken me four years to discover! The sign describes the place as "an unofficial recreational area for an entire generation." We learn:
    In the 1970s, local teens referred to the Northern end of Corbett's Glen Nature Park as "The Fields". The area's name was in reference to the natural landscape which consisted primarily of open fields with pockets of wooded areas. At a time before video games, the internet, cable TV, and cell phones, The Fields was a common social gathering place for neighborhood teens.
Ha! We had such "unofficial recreational areas" and "social gathering places" in my town, too, a decade later. While the missus, who's not from around here to put it mildly, got a chuckle out of the innocent-sounding "time before video games, the internet, cable TV, and cell phones," I had to explain to her that the "childhood memories" the plaque mentions likely consisted of keg-parties, pot-smoking, acid-dropping, and sexual experimentation.

That said, it's lovely to see that these memories are preserved by a plaque, because they are as real and meaningful as any others. It's also moving to learn how Corbett's Glen Nature Park was almost lost but saved:
    We are lucky to have this park, since Linden Associates wanted to pave the area for industrial use. People of the area fought it and won. Something to (briefly) think about while you admire the park.

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Mack Wilberg's Arrangement of John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore's "Good King Wenceslas" Performed by Jane Seymour, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Orchestra at Temple Square, Narrated by David Warner


Happy Stephenmas and Boxing Day! This musical number is far too saccharine for my tastes, and at this age I'm not experimenting with LDS, but back in the day, my feelings for Jane Seymour were much the same as the Christopher Reeve character's for hers in Somewhere in Time (1980). As a teenager, the mere thought of her could turn me into a wanker.

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Islamic State, 15th Century Version

    In 1480, the Italian city Otranto was invaded by Ottoman forces, who ransacked the town and murdered most of the adult men. The remaining 800 men were asked to renounce their Christian faith. After they refused, they were marched out of town and summarily beheaded. Most women and adolescents were also slaughtered, with the rest pawned off into slavery.

    In 1771, the abstainers were beatified as the “martyrs of Otranto” and are now honored as patron saints of that besieged city. Several centuries later, the skulls belonging to the recently canonized (circa 2013) martyrs are now on display in the Cathedral of Otranto.
The above comes from this list — 10 Mysteries Of The Ancient World We’ve Just Awesomely Solved. The mass-murder of non-combatants and sexual enslavement of women, girls and boys is not the mystery; that has been common enough in the "Religion of Peace" from the unholy book up until the present day. (Also, this story comes not from the ancient world but from the early modern period.) The mystery is that "someone drilled 16 holes into one of the skulls." "Bone powder," we learn, "was once a favored remedy for sundry ills, and we can only imagine that this holy bone powder was considered ne plus ultra." Mystery solved.

A greater mystery is why our schools do not teach these episodes in European history but rather focus how "tolerant" the Mohammedan world was at this time in comparison to "barbaric" Christendom, which gave us moderns all the material and political (not to mention spiritual) benefits we enjoy today. Ungrateful children we are.

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New Urbanism in Rochester

Rochester City Newspaper. out alternative weekly, has the first of what promises to be a great series — Creating Downtown. "Empty-nesters, millennials, and 'creatives,' drawn by a culture and lifestyle they value, are living in historic old buildings and in new developments and are giving the center city new life."

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Wither Punk?

Millennial Eugenia Williamson on what "was once the rightful province of a worthy few able to discern reality from simulacrum, irony from sincerity, punks from poseurs, shit from Shinola" — Punk Crock.

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On My Reading List for 2016

Celebrating its bicentennial today is a novel Laura Miller "wants to inform us that we are less clever than we think—and that we are prone to making a mess of things until we accept this truth" — The Perfect Novel. I am surprised this most conservative of truths made it past the editor of Slate, but then again it is libruls who think themselves cleverer than they are.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

J.S. Bach's Weinachtsoratorium Performed by the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists Directed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner

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Peace on Earth to Men of Goodwill

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Seneca White Deer Closer to Rescue


Seneca white deer are in the news again this week, and the news is good — Heron Hill Winery owners pledge $200K for white deer effort. Let's all drink to Heron Hill owners John and Josephine Ingle and their efforts. The plan is to "match donations given to Seneca White Deer up to $200,000 from now until Jan. 31." Donate today!

Recent related posts — White Stag and Do Virginia Dare's Descendants Survive in the Finger Lakes?

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Paul Gauguin's Te Tamari no Atua


Martin Gayford argues that the great post-impressionist "simply decided to paint a Tahitian Madonna because, in a highly unorthodox fashion, he was a man with religion on his mind" — Why would a dissolute rebel like Paul Gauguin paint a nativity?

Speaking of Polynesian madonnas, I watched The Nativity Story (2006) with the family last night. I thought the half-Māori Keisha Castle-Hughes's was surprisingly lackluster. Upon further reflection, I understood her uninspiring performance was in keeping with the Protestant faith of the film-makers, which sees Mary as almost an unimportant bystander in the story. This is in contrast to the faith of Catholics, among whom are those able to recognize her as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and Advocate.

Of this debased Protestant view of Mary at its worst, America's greatest man of letters wrote, "The Puritans abandoned the New Testament and the Virgin in order to go back to the beginning, and renew the quarrel with Eve" — Henry Adams on the Virgin Mary.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Morten Johannes Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium, Sung by The Choir of King's College, Cambridge


Holy minimalism! A late XXth Century 'merican setting of the ancient Christmas Matins hymn:
    O magnum mysterium,
    et admirabile sacramentum,
    ut animalia viderent
    Dominum natum,
    jacentem in præsepio!
    Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
    meruerunt portare
    Dominum Christum.
    Alleluia.
    O great mystery,
    and wonderful sacrament,
    that animals should see
    the new-born Lord,
    lying in their manger!
    Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
    was worthy to bear
    Christ the Lord.
    Alleluia!

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Veni, Veni Emmanuel Sung by The King's Singers

    Veni, veni Emmanuel;
    Captivum solve Israel,
    Qui gemit in exilio,
    Privatus Dei Filio

    Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
    Nascetur pro te, Israel!

    Veni, veni, O Oriens;
    Solare nos adveniens,
    Noctis depelle nebulas,
    Dirasque noctis tenebras.

    Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
    Nascetur pro te, Israel!
    Veni, Clavis Davidica!
    Regna reclude caelica;
    Fac iter tutum superum,
    Et claude vias inferum.

    Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
    Nascetur pro te, Israel!

    Veni, veni Adonai!
    Qui populo in Sinai,
    Legem dedisti vertice,
    In maiestate gloriae.

    Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
    Nascetur pro te, Israel!

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Does a Persecuted Sect Represent Islam?

"In response to swirling misconceptions on the tenets of Islam, the [local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] held an interfaith vigil Saturday to draw the area’s faith communities together in prayer for the victims of the San Bernardino shooting, and for peace" — Mosque vigil remembers San Bernardino. From the article:
    “We stand together against a common enemy” of terrorism, said Hamid Malik, an imam, or faith leader, at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Baitun Naseer Mosque in Rochester. “We stand together to tell them that we will not be divided, and that they will never be successful here.”

    “We stand together against a common enemy” of terrorism.” Hamid Malik, Baitun Naseer Mosque imam.

    Terrorists linked to the Islamic State group, also referred to as ISIS, use Islam for political gain and take verses of the Islamic holy book, the Quran, out of context, said Bashir.

    “Because they use this religion as their backbone, people really think this is true without searching and studying on their own,” he said.

    The best thing local Muslims can be doing after tragedies like San Bernardino is serving their neighbors, which shows the true message of the Islamic faith, said Bashir.
All well and good, but who are the Ahmadiyya? I came to know them by taking one of their tracts at the Public Market, because they looked like nice clean-cut young men. Standing in front of a table with message of peace to people of all religions, they were obviously a different type of Muslim.

Wikipedia tells us that Ahmadiyya "is an Islamic religious movement founded in British India near the end of the 19th century" which "originated with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), who claimed to have fulfilled the prophecies of the world's reformer during the end times, who was to herald the eschaton as predicted in the traditions of various world religions and bring about, by peaceful means, the final triumph of Islam as per Islamic prophecy."

We also learn that "Ahmadiyya adherents believe that Ahmad appeared in the likeness of Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice, and peace," "that upon divine guidance he divested Islam of fanatical and innovative beliefs and practices" and that "Ahmadis view themselves as leading the revival and peaceful propagation of Islam."

The community is "officially estimated to number between 10 and 20 million worldwide" and "Ahmadiyya-specific beliefs have been thought of as opposed to contemporary mainstream Islamic thought since the movement's birth, and some Ahmadis have subsequently faced persecution." Furthermore, "Many orthodox Muslims consider the Ahmadiyya either kafirs or heretics." Persecution of Ahmadis is a page unto itself.

None of this is mentioned in our local newspaper, so the uninformed reader — and it is newspapers jobs to keep readers uninformed — comes away thinking that mainstream Islam, not a minuscule and persecuted sect within the religion, categorically denounces violence and terrorism.

VDARE's editor had this one nailed weeks ago — Kneejerk MSM Reaction # 2: The Religion Of Peace Fake, Ahmadiyya Edition. Posting an Ahmadiyya.us banner that read, ""Love for all/Hatred for None," he wrote, "That is not mainstream Islam. It just isn't."

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Importing Rape Culture to Christendom

Steve Sailer reports that "some European governments are debating whether or not it would be a good idea to mention to the young male migrants flooding into Europe that raping unbelieving kafir slags isn’t permitted" — NYT: Shhhhh, Europe Has a Muslim Rape Crisis, But Don't Let the Evil Right Hear About It. "Or will saying that out loud boost the vote totals of the Real Enemy: immigration restrictionists?"

Alpha Game reports that "some nations take the rape of their young women a little more seriously than others" — Finland on the brink — and that "Britain has imported rape culture" — Convicted. Now repatriate them.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Shakey Graves Performs "To Cure What Ails," "The Perfect Parts" & "Only Son"

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"Cities Christmas Tree"


A scene from the city to our east — Dreamy photo of Syracuse's Clinton Square goes viral.

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O Diversity! O Vibrancy!

The heartwarming local story of "a naturalized citizen from Yemen" reminding us that our diversity is our strength — Pizza-Shop Owner in Rochester Admits He Was an ISIS Recruiter.

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Eight-Hundred and Eighty Years

The rightful collective sentence for these two local subhumans — Couple Sentenced For Rape And Kidnapping Of Amish Girls. Especially disgusting was the defense that the rapist "believed he wasn't hurting them because he didn't consider them real people" — Amish girls' kidnapper considered victims '2-dimensional characters' he wasn't hurting.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)


Rotten Tomatoes nails it — Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens: Believe the Hype. It was a great to watch this with my kids and their friends, older now than I was when the first film opened when I was seven. I say this stands up to and maybe even surpasses the first. The film starts with a cameo appearance by my all-time favorite actor, Max von Sydow, but it is Daisy Ridley who carries the show. She's also quite easy on the eyes.

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Oh Hellos Perform "Hello My Old Heart," "Like The Dawn" & "Exeunt"


Of these "buoyant songs whose underpinnings could still be dark and lonely," the blurbist writes, "Some of the music here is from The Oh Hellos' recent second album, Dear Wormwood, which was inspired in part by the writings of C.S. Lewis," referring to The Screwtape Letters, which I finally got around to reading and finishing on my recent travels and which I found incredibly edifying.

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"The Creator's Game" — A Living Tradition from the XIIth Century


We're off tonight to see a preseason game of the Rochester Knighthawks, one of the National Lacrosse League's nine teams. Lacrosse, even before St. Jean de Brébeuf in 1637 saw the game near here and named it after the crosier carried by bishops, "was characterized by deep spiritual involvement" and "was said to be played 'for the Creator.'" About a quarter of our local team is Iroquois, mostly from across the border from the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, home of the “Champion of Champions PowWow” we attended this past summer.

[Adapted from a two-year-old post — "The Creator's Game" — A Nine-Century-Old Local Sporting Tradition.]

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Back From Miami Beach


I've returned from the ICEF conference held in the Miami Beach Architectural District, known for its beautiful Art Deco hotels, mine being the affordable and fantastic Albion Hotel. It was interesting to hear the Castilian language I majored in spoken not by Nuyorican lower classes but by solidly middle- and upper-class Cubans.

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Americans Perform "Nevada," "Bronze Star," "I'll Be Yours" & "Stowaway"

    The Americans are part of this group, these genius twenty-first century musicians that are reinventing American heritage music for this century. And it sounds even better this century.
Thus spake T Bone Burnett.

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Lisa Hannigan Performs "Little Bird," "Passenger," "Paper House," "O Sleep," "Flowers," "A Sail," "Safe Travels (Don't Die)," "We, The Drowned," "Knots" & "Lille"


It's been too long since posting this lovely colleen's lovely music.

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White Stag


An update on a a recent post of mine — Do Virginia Dare's Descendants Survive in the Finger Lakes? — that has me thinking about the Hunor and Magor story I researched as a kid — Seneca White Deer raising more bucks for bid on old Seneca Army Depot.

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John H. McWhorter Speaks Truth to Power — Mob Power

"As a black college student in the early 1980s... it never occurred to me to characterize my school, Rutgers University, as a 'racist campus,'" says the linguist, noting that today's "protesters may start with valuable observations, but then they drift into a mistaken idea of what a university—and even a society—should be" — Closed Minds on Campus.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Barna Howard Performs "Indiana Rose," "Whistle Show," "Quite A Feelin'" & "Lend Me A Moment"


A second consecutive post of a singer from Missourah.

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Axes of Righteousness

    Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, in his 2012 book The Righteous Mind, argued that the human moral faculty is built around five axes. He gave them names like “Care/Harm”—that is, caring about others is at one end of this axis, harming them at the other. Another axis is “Fairness/Cheating” with fairness at the positive end and cheating at the negative. Later Haidt added a sixth axis. Haidt and his colleagues worked up a Moral Foundations Questionnaire they could give to test subjects, to see where they placed on each axis.

    Well, one of these basic axes—Haidt actually calls them “foundations”—is “Sanctity/Degradation.” Haidt argues from the case of the German guy who advertised on the internet for someone willing to be killed, cooked, and eaten by him. [German cannibal tells of fantasy, BBC, December 3, 2003] He got hundreds of responses, interviewed likely applicants, made a selection, then killed and ate the guy—all on video, to prove the thing was totally consensual.

    So, Haidt asks, did anyone do anything wrong there? Your answer tells us where you are on the Sanctity/Degradation axis.
A particularly interesting tidbit from the latest episode of Radio Derb in print — John Derbyshire On Why Educrats Can’t Handle Black Affirmative Action Babies. The Derb uses this last axis in his analysis:

    It happens that I read Haidt’s book shortly after my own public shaming in April, 2012. Reading about those questionnaire scores, I was shaking my head at the book. It seemed to me that liberals are not so much light on regard for Sanctity, they just attach it to different objects.

    To blacks, for example. The late Larry Auster said that blacks are sacred objects in the modern West. He was right. To say negative things about blacks, or to be thought to have negative thoughts about them, is a blasphemy.

    It’s like someone in 13th-century Europe speaking ill of the Virgin Mary. The reaction is just the same. You have violated a sacred object.

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