Monday, February 29, 2016

Marlon Williams Performs "Strange Things," "Dark Child," "Hello Miss Lonesome" & "When I Was A Young Girl"


The singer is of Ngāi Tahu descent.

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Romany Me

Linh Dinh shares his experiences — Gypsies. Here are mine:
  • Having the Romani language spoken to me by my paternal grandmother's mother, making me an octoroon, when I was a baby.
  • Hearing nursing stories that my mother told me of her hospital treating the "King of the Gypsies," perhaps the same "Unidentified Romany" whom Anaïs Nin said she was hosptitalized with in the U.S., as the authoress's account of "approximately six hundred members of his tribe [being] camped in or near the hospital in accordance with their law" accords with that of my mother.
  • Being gypped by a group of fortune-telling women in the lovely town of Arica, even after sharing my ancestry, and being harassed to the point of taking refuge in the Catedral de San Marcos de Arica, a steel church was designed by Gustave Eiffel.
  • Witnessing my girlfriend's neighborhood in Recoleta, Chile go into midday, door-locking, child-hiding panic as a group of Gypsy women came walking down the street swaying their skirts liked the owned the place.
  • Living with a group of college bohemians sharing half of a duplex with a giant Gypsy family of "black-toppers" who moved on without warning after a season of painting driveways and befriending a young kid named "Gizmo" with whom I saved a poisoned dog's life.

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Gogol Bordello Perform "Immigraniada (We're Comin' Rougher)," "My Companjera," "Alcohol," "Pala Tute" & "Start Wearing Purple"


"Gypsy punk is a lot of fun, but is it not just another manifestation of a globalized, deracinated anti-culture?" I asked last time I posted this band's music — Gogol Bordello Performs "Malandrino," "My Companjera," "The Other Side of the Rainbow," & "I Just Realized". And Eugene Hütz is hardly any more Gyspy than I am, and the rest of the band even less so.

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Neko Case Performs "Don't Forget Me," Lolcal Girl," "Man" & "Behind the House"

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Edwin Starr Performs "War"


"It may be hard to believe now, but in 1970 the protest song 'War,' sung by Edwin Starr, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart," begins the heroic Tom Engelhardt — War, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing. Recognizing the year of my birth, I did a quick search and found the song was released on the day of my birth. Cool.

In a musical post on my old blog — War – What Is It Good For? — I quoted Bill Kauffman from Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism:
    No one ever answered Edwin Starr's question. Well, Edwin, I'll tell you what it's good for. It's good for taxes; it's good for day care; it's good for year-round schooling; it's good for the metric system; it's good for daylight saving time; it's good for the Interstate Highway System; it's good for divorce; it's good for school consolidation and the space program and the IRS. In short, it's good for nothing that a genuine conservative might cherish.

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America Does Not Read Sun Tzu

"There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare," said the sage, quoted by the LRC Blog's heroic Lawrence Vance — Not Even the United States.

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The Witch (2016)


The American Conservative's Eve Tushnet reviews "a powerful brew of family tragedy, religious drama, and horror show" — Out in the Fields with God.

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India T. Cummings, Rest in Peace and May Justice Be Served


I read local woman India Cummings Obituary, which offered no details, this morning, struck by her youth and beauty, and then this evening read of the mysterious state-sponsored circumstances of her tragic death, passing "from physically healthy to dead in three weeks" in a government facility "described as brutal and inhumane" — State to investigate death of woman taken from Holding Center and Mysteries surround sudden death of Erie County Holding Center inmate. Leave it to a commenter to provide the analysis:
    17 DAYS IN CUSTODY! That is enough time for any drug effect to wear off. Looks like there is going to be another cover up as to why this person died. Her exposure to the County Correction System has to had an effect on her death. She was in their control and custody.
Please consider donating to the India Cummings Family Fund.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Wilco Perform "The Joke Explained," "Misunderstood," "I'm Always In Love" & "Shot In The Arm"


"Thousands of bands have made strong debuts, and many of those have made good second and third records — it's harder, but not unusual," writes the blurbist. "It's truly rare to make your 10th album exciting and relevant more than 20 years on. For all that, I'd say Wilco is an American legend."

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Esther Cepeda on Vinyl

"A return visit to vinyl is not regression or nostalgia, it is a willful act of slowing down," she writes: "Of relearning the pleasure of savoring, the self-control of concentrating, the challenge of looking at something old with new eyes" — Treat yourself to the simple pleasures of slowing down.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mako and Munjuru Perform "Unna/Haichikuten/Guin," "Asayoda Yunta," "Mimura Ichubi" & "Uminu Chinbora"

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Back in the U.S.S.A.

America is a third world country in terminal decline. That was my immediate conclusion upon arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport after a two-week stay in Ulsan, the richest city in the world's highest I.Q country, and a seven-hour layover in Shanghai, whose students top the planet in the Programme for International Student Assessment.

If first impressions mean anything, then the place to begin is at immigration. The Asian countries had courteous, competent, and efficient immigration officers, whereas our country's were utter dolts. I was able to have a more intelligible conversation with the Korean immigration officer in his language than I was in my own native language with the immigration officer of my native country. The Chinese immigration officer spoke better English than did her American counterpart. America's immigration officers were about 90% non-white, non-native English speakers, who treated citizens like myself whose ancestry goes back to the seventeenth century, with contempt and disrespect. America, unlike China and South Korea, seems unable to create an orderly process for people to enter into the country. Having high-tech passport-scanning machines crowded on the far side of a room means nothing if you are unable to provide lines, signage, and space for people to use them efficiently. Uniformed minimum-wage earning low IQ immigrant employees herding people results in nothing but chaos and ill-will.

The Shanghai Maglev Train, the world's fastest, made the rickety urine-smelling Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit, two transportation systems I had the misfortune of needing to use, look third world with none of its charm. Ulsan Grand Park, just one of several incredible public works in a city home to the Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Heavy Industries, the SK Group, and others, reminded of what a city or country can do when it has a manufacturing base from which to draw taxes. Whereas these Asian countries tax corporations to fund projects for the people, America taxes the people to fund corporations, à la General Motors, and banksters.

You had a good run of it, America, but you're history.

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"Biological Escapism"

The LRC Blog's Karen De Coster links to philosopher Rachel Lu's "fantastic piece on the war against nature and common sense" — The Collapse of Gender Sanity.

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This Past Weekend's Amber Alert

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Harpeth Rising Perform "Shifted"


Searching for something else, I stumbled upon this — Trio fuses classical, Americana styles. "In what the group calls 'chambergrass,' the musicians blend improvisatory-feeling jazzy sections with newgrass, classical and folk. Varied, alternating blocks fold in syncopated rhythms, simple folk melodies and complex harmonies."

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Privatizing Regulation

The American Conservative's David R. Henderson reviews a book which "shows how well private governance has worked in areas ranging from stock markets to gated communities to credit-card markets" and "argues that private governance often works better than governance by governments" — Do Markets Need Government? Mr. Henderson concludes with a quote from author Edward Peter Stringham:
    Private governance makes markets work. Private governance replaces threats of coercion with numerous noncoercive mechanisms that expand the scope of trade, and it should be seen as one of the most successful peace projects in the history of the world.

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Race Realism Is Not Racism

"We should be realists about race, but we should also be realists about racism," concludes Professor Emeritus Raymond Wolters in this excellent primer — Raymond Wolters On Three Race Theories: White Culpability, Interracial Contact, Human BioDiversity.

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What Harper Lee Hath Wrought

Not only does "every fifth American movie or TV show apparently ha[ve] to include a scene set in a steamy Southern courtroom, complete with slowly turning ceiling fans and lawyers in sweaty white shirts and suspenders, thundering about creationism, the Klan, or President Kennedy", but, worse, "To Kill a Mockingbird taught generations of white people that black people are, if not quite 'Magic Negros,' then certainly noble but timid angels incapable of sin," writes Kathy Shaidle — To Mock a Killing Bird.

Read on to learn why "Harper Lee is the Rachel Carson of American fiction."

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

François Couperin's Leçons de Ténèbres pour le Mercredi Saint, Performed by Les Nouveaux Caractères, Carolin Mutel and Karine Deshayes, Directed by Sébastien d'Hérin


A little early in Lent for this piece, whose composer's music was performed locally last night — NYS Baroque Presents Music for Louis XIV.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Park Ae-ri Sings Pomnarŭn Kanda

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Fortune, Prosperity and Longevity for the New Year


The Chinese Orion's Belt is regarded by the Chinese as "the three gods of fortune, prosperity and longevity," and "When the three stars shine highly at the southern sky after sunset, that means it’s time for the spring festival" — Orion and the Chinese New Year.

Indeed, last night through the city-lights of Ulsan, this was the only constellation I could make out, and the waxing crescent moon reminded me we were in the first days of the new year.

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In a High I.Q. Country

"Smart Koreans" was the title of a post I wrote a decade back after a decade living in that country "second only to tiny Hong Kong" in terms of average intelligence." Now, after having returned for a visit after a half-decade's absence, I can really see the difference this makes, not so much in the high end of the bell-curve, but in the absence of huge populations in the low-end.

My last impression of the U.S.A. was the T.S.A., minimum wage room temperature I.Q. incompetents with badges; my first impression of Korea was her competent, efficient, polite immigration officials. And that competency, efficiency, and politeness is found in all of the service-workers one encounters in this largely homogeneous society.

To get married and thus reproduce in this country, the bar has always been set much higher than it has been back home, where there now is no bar. Centuries of this kind of human husbandry have paid off.

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A Gift to the Parents-in-Law

Turns out it was even better than I had thought — This is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Pink Himalayan Salt.

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Live Free or Die!

The heroic Justin Raimondo on "that mysterious pro-'outsider' phenomenon that has the political class in a panic" — New Hampshire: The Triumph of Populism. An exceprt:
    What the twin victories of these two protest movements prefigure is the rise of a new nationalism in America. Not the outward-looking aggressive militaristic nationalism of pre-World War II Europe, but the introspective insulating “return to normalcy” nationalism of prewar America: wary of foreign adventurism, almost exclusively concerned with bread-and-butter issues, resentful of a “meritocracy” that rewards anything but genuine merit, and in search of a lost greatness they may never have experienced but only heard about.

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The Two Paths for the Two Sexes


Château Heartiste posts the left image of "what looks to be a late 19th Century pamphlet advising women to heed the approach of The Wall and to abstain from the life of a dissolute party girl," although it looks more early 20th Century to me — The Two Paths. The right image I believe I have seen at The Art of Manliness.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Oh Ji-chong's Ssuktaemŏri Performed by Park Ae-ri & Gugak Hanmadang

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The Bodhisattva of Mercy


The above image of Guanyin (Avalokiteśvara) at Gilsangsa Temple in Seoul "was sculpted by a Catholic sculptor Choi Jong-tae, who modeled the statue after Virgin Mary in hopes of religious reconciliation in Korean society."

The Bodhisattva of Mercy has long been of interest to me. Similarity to the Virgin Mary has been noted for centuries. The Kakure Kirishitan ("Hidden Christians") of Japan venerated the Maria Kannon when the True Faith was punishable by death.

I am in the land of my in-laws now. For three days in a row, I have been hiking up the mountain behind their apartment building in Ulsan. One of my stops is a small mountain Buddhist temple. Today I approached it from a different path and, to my surprise and delight, learned it was dedicated to Gwaneum Bosal, and found her image inside. Nor a coincidence, I think.

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