Archives for the Month of March 2006 on Jeffrey Quick's Blog

Annabel Lee

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Poe for baritone and Dilling harp, with Andrew White and Jocelyn Chang.

"Like a very sophisticated sea chantey" -- Klaus George Roy.

Kelo on the Cuyahoga

Give us more money or we'll revive Flats ourselves, owners say.
That's just what the headline says. Make my day?

The deal is that Wolstein wants to have the Port Authority steal the Flats through eminent domain, and the owners are complaining because the offers have been insultingly low. So they're talking about having their own collective.

Lack of common ownership has hurt the Flats, [Nancy Lesic, a spokeswoman for Wolstein] added.

Funny, back in the heyday of the Flats, nobody was talking about making a COMMUNEity out of the Flats.

Listening lately: AFMM Ensemble

New CDs coming in at Kulas Music Library, so I'm gritting my teeth, taking my work home in my car, and getting to know the collection. :-)

Pitch P-200203, chamber music from the American Festival of Microtonal Music. Stuff all over the map... Julian Carillo's Preludio a Colon is one of the landmark works of microtonality, supposedly, but it basically sucks. There's a microchromatic wordless soprano line with some Rudimentary strings under it, some chords that make no apparent sense (certaily no imitation of ratios of small whole numbers), and it's at least twice as long as it needs to be. Then there's Lou Harrison's At the Tomb of Charles Ives, the only horrible Harrison piece I have ever heard. The worst was the parts for 2 bowed psalteries (an instument invented I am told in the 20s in Germany, and probably later used as a torture device by the Hitlerjugend.).I hate to jump on Lou since, if there were any such think as collective guilt, as an Ohioan I would have had a hand in his death. (Some students were bringing him in a van from the train station for a concert of his music at OSU. They stopped at Denny's and one whiff of the grease was as much as his ticker could stand.) But Reinhard did him no favors by programming this piece. Didn't know what to make of Scelsi's Ko-Lho for flute and clarinet, except that anyone who can make a minor third sound like an eruption into another universe deserves my respect. Xenakis' Anaktoria...well, Xenakis is not my thing. Then there was Ives' Quartet #2 played in extended Pythagorean, Reinhard's pet theory about Ives' perverse spellings. That worked for the Universe Symphony; it melded the bands of sound together. Here, it made the dissonances more consonant and consonances more dissonant. Combined with a "mezzofort-issimo" approach to dynamics, it pretty much killed the piece. Partch's Joyce settings were the best thing on the disc. Not top-flight Partch, but always good to hear other performers do his stuff. With soprano, 2 flutes and Kithara, it was easy to hear that Partch was a better harmonist than anyone gives him credit for. (As Wendy Carlos once pointed out, Partchs' instrumentarium seems at odds with his tuning, not showing it off to best advantage.) And he had ideas.

Which inspires a rant: why is so much microtonal music in general (and Just Intonation music in particular) about the system rather than ideas expressed through the system? I remember hearing something once on the old Tellus anthology I think, some guy just SITTING on this Just hexad."Oh, isn't this a cool sounding chord?" Well, duh, how is that different from Clementi sitting on some 5-limit triad with a diatonic scale over it, "Isn't C Major just so cool?" Compare this to Blackwood's Microtonal Etudes; there are always ideas there, though they can't help but be about the tuning to some extent, given the effort he had to go through to make some of those tunings listenable.

Lost by "Lost"

If the Rev. Wildmon has time for NASCAR drivers saying "shit", does he have time for Lost?

Really, I don't get that show, at all. Or maybe I get it too well. I don't do Tube generally, but my wife is a big fan, so I've seen a few episodes, and had more described to me.

Here's the premise, as I've seen it: these people are in a place where absolutly nothing is predictable. They appear to attempt to deal with this world as rational humans, which is impossible because it's an arbitrary and capricious universe. So generally, they operate on emotion, and pretend it's thought.

Maybe I'm missing something, and I'm sure some fan will attempt to tell me what (with Lost-like hysteria, no doubt). But as far as I can see, Lost is to The Endarkenment as Commander in Chief is to President Hillary Rodham Clinton. And I've got to wonder: to whose advantage is it that the message is sent out that life makes no sense at all?

Investigating the investigator

What do cops do when they are caught acting corruptly? Why, act even more corruptly, of course.

Who has a real need to be in South Florida anyway?

Sancta Theresa Schiavo, ora pro nobis

On the anniversary of That Unpleasantness in Florida, let me make a prediction:

Terri Schiavo will eventually be made a saint.

I am not arguing that she is deserving of sainthood; it's hard to argue that she lived a life of holiness when basically all she could do was lie there and take what the world gave her. On the other hand, when the most serious sin she gave evidence of is coveting Jello, it's hard to argue that she WASN'T holy. And there was definitely suffering and martyrdom.

If, as I suspect, she served as enough of a catalyst in the euthanasia debate, somebody will ask for her intercession, and a miracle will happen. I expect this by 2050.

Ex post facto, anyone?

It seems that the Ohio legislature has joined the Popular Movement to Ban Catholicism:

The day got off to an emotional and bizarre start as people who said they were sexually abused by priests as children lined the main doorway into the House chamber, shouting and calling lawmakers names like "coward." They were upset that House Speaker Jon Husted had removed a provision in a bill that would have allowed victims a one-year window to file lawsuits seeking monetary damages against clergy for alleged abuse from up to 35 years ago.

Most lawmakers ducked through another door behind an area where lobbyists and media were standing. Husted, Republican of Kettering, avoided the area altogether, taking a side door into the chamber.

Following passionate and personal speeches from legislators, the bill passed, 77 to 16. Most said that despite the tweaks from a version unanimously passed by the Senate a year ago, the bill was still strong.

The statute of limitations for suing clergy for sexual abuse - currently two years after reaching age 18 - would be extended to 12 years. The Senate wanted to extend it to 20 years.

And for cases where the statute of limitations has expired, the House version would allow the state attorney general, local prosecutor or victim to sue a priest - but not for monetary damages. If guilty, the priest would be listed by the state as a child-sex offender.

Now, far be it from me to put in a good word for pervert priests; I am sure that the Christian God created a Hell just for them. But the image of a legislature at the mercy of an angry mob, appeasing it by boosting the statute of limitations...that does not instill confidence that an answer has been found. And indeed, the only people this bill will really benefit are lawyers.

Email to Borders

"It was nice being a customer, but your choice to not carry the April issue of Free Inquiry makes it impossible for me to do business with you any more. Such censorship and pandering to Islamofascists is unacceptable in America, particularly from a store that has a near-monopoly on physical retail books. There's nothing you carry that I can't get at Amazon."

A nice letter in response, saying...nothing:

Dear Jeffrey:

Thank you for your expression of concern about our decision not to carry the issue of Free Inquiry magazine featuring cartoons depicting Muhammad.

Borders is committed to our customers' right to choose what to read and what to buy and to the First Amendment right of Free Inquiry to publish the cartoons. In this particular case, we decided not to stock this issue in our stores because we place a priority on the safety and security of our customers and our employees. We believe that carrying this issue presented a challenge to that priority.

We value your thoughts and sincerely appreciate that you invested your time to tell us how you feel about the issue. I can assure you that our management team gave careful deliberation to this decision and considered all sides of the issue before reaching this conclusion. As always, we are interested in customer feedback about our choices and while we know you do not agree with our position, we hope you can understand the challenge of balancing the needs of our customers, employees and our communities.

Your comments will be duly noted in our customer service records for corporate executive review. Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions or comments.


Customer Resolution Specialist

Cynthia McKinney gets physical

A Capitol cop made her obey the same rules as the little people, and got hit for it.

She'll get away with it, of course. Would you?

Hat tip to Neal Boortz.

Halle Orchestra bails on US tour plan...

...citing the ridiculous difficulty in getting into this country.

New visa procedures have been introduced to protect the US against terrorists. Most visitors with machine-readable passports can still use the visa waiver scheme, but performers intending to work in the US cannot do this. They have to arrange an appointment at the US embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, via a phone line charged at £1.30 a minute, and then appear for an interview and fingerprinting. The fee is $100.

"It's not a level playing field," said Russell Jones, director of the Association of British Orchestras. "Journalists and sports people do not have to go through these hoops."

That's mind-blowing given that journalists in general tend to be less patriotic than the population at large (for good reason).
And our excuse?
John Caulfield, the US embassy's consul general in the UK, said statistics showed the new rules had not led to fewer performers going to the US. Since the start of 2004 all US visas had incorporated a print of the right and left index fingers. "We cannot go [to Manchester] because the equipment is linked into our computers and [goes] back on high-speed lines to Washington to check the biometric data against databases. We are all paying a cost because of terrorism."

I can't believe the spin on this. This is Britain after all, not some Turd World hellhole; surely a fingerprint reader could be attached to any computer hooked to a T1 line, to do the comparison. As for the disincentive, we don't know how many performers WOULD have gone to the US. And there have been a number of concerts in Cleveland cancelled at the last minute due to visa problems.

We used to have freedom to travel. People will some day drop their jaws in amazement when I tell them that I used to go to Canada to research high school papers, or to get from Detroit to Boston. I have not flown since 9/11, because I refuse to be treated like a criminal because I won't stay in my cage.

This is so like the USSR, or China, or Berlin. Those people who want to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out should be careful what they ask for; walls work both ways.

Chicken people band together Ontario.
This is what's coming here. I hope my neighbors are that good, if the time comes. And that Cal's delivers pizza with Ex-Lax.

tip o'hat to Billy Beck

Today's question for the pro-lifers

Would the removal of fetus-in-fetu be banned under the language of any abortion law you are currently supporting?

NAIS Lite in New Zealand

Only dogs, so far. But that has farmers mad enough.

Taranaki Federated Farmers president Bryan Hocken...said farmers might take their dogs to Parliament to protest.

"Our dogs will piss on the steps to Parliament. . . and we won't clean anything up," said Mr Hocken, of Tarata in North Taranaki.

"And if we end up in jail, then we'll take our dogs with us and they'll do their business on the floors there as well."

Gotta love that spirit.

Wildmon:"Fox said the s-word"

And what was the s-word? "Was it...Satan?" Nah, couldn't have been, as the AFA said it ended with T. Those evil broadcasters should have known better and time-delayed their intervierw with NASCAR driver Truex so they could beep it out. "...children, were offended by the crude profanity"

Well, I make it at least once a day. I shovel it on a regular basis. And I can well imagine how a car that was literally made of it would handle, so it was an appropriate metaphor.

The AFA is worrying about freakin' (no, wait, fuckin') vulgarisms for dung, manure,feces, poopoo, caca, #2, on NASCAR, some of the cleanest programming out there, while practically every prime-time sitcom is crammed with sexual innuendo and low-class situations.

Maybe some day the Rev. Wildmon will meet Jesus. And Jesus will say, "Every time you opened your mouth, people laughed at my people. And I got really tired of that shit."

Spring at Black Water Farm

Some big-titty Cornish Cross meat chicks. Take that, Pamela Anderson!


The layers love honeydew seeds!

Bunnies! These are the girls (New Zealands). The boy is in another cage. Daddy says they aren't old enough to date yet.

Somebody asked me, "Are you going to eat them?" No, I'm going to let them screw and then I'm going to EAT THEIR BABIES, mwahahaha!

Church of Scientology kisses up in DC

"We're just another religion now, and deserve the same rights." I guess if we're going to respect religions that issue fatwas against authors, we have to respect religions that issue fatwas against Suppressive Persons. If the FTC hadn't sent their shock troops after Dianetics, we'd have just another pop psych quack group instead of folks claiming constitutional protection, which, I hate to admit, they are as deserving of as anyone else. In the case of Germany's problem with the Co$, it's well to remember that these are the people who think that the thing to do with a real religion is to throw money at it, and their experience has been that the Co$ was a criminal conspiracy rather than a religion, because at the time, they acted that way. Now that they're free of L. Ron's personality disorders, there's at least the possibility of reform, though as long as somebody is making big money, the possibility of abuse will still be there (see allegations that Isaac Hayes didn't really resign from South Park, but that he "was resigned" by his Scientology handler.)

As for lobbying for longer copyright to ElRon's pulp fiction, Nicholas Wise needs to go skiing with the ghost of Sonny Bono.

Sharia prom

Fordson High in Dearborn MI is 90% Arab Muslim. They hired a new principal, who went to the prom, freaked...and cancelled the next one.
A reinstatement was negotiated...long dresses, suits, no dirty dancing.

I'm of two minds about this. Class is good, community standards are good.

But these don't seem to be the community standards of the students or even their parents. It's alleged that parents don't know what's going on. Perhaps, if they just got off the plane. But Stuff Happened After Prom when I was a student, and when my parents were students. Keeping the inmates from running the asylum is a good thing, but they're going to get wild and crazy.

"Vot ken you makh? Es iz Amerike!"

Jurors swept up in 'CSI Effect'

TV makes them expect too much, prosecutors say

Here we have law enforcement whining because jurors are expecting every possible test, and for everything to wrap up in an hour.

But it's the job of the jury to be skeptical...indeed, more skeptical about the law itself than they generally think to be or are allowed to be. We have this legal principle: "innocent until proven guilty". And given how many cases are bullshit non-crimes (black-market retailing of psychoactive drugs, for example), sparing a few people from prison because the prosecution didn't make its case isn't such a bad thing.

Cop shows are infomercials for the justice system. It would be interesting for once to see a cop show where the cops, prosecutors and judges are all corrupt, and the only suspense was in how badly the accused was going to get shafted. Don't they run a show something like that at 6 every evening?

Why even PETA members should oppose NAIS

Reasons PETA members should oppose the National Animal Inventory System:

Inserting RFID chips into animals will cause them pain.

Enforcement of NAIS will of necessity mean killing many lovingly-cared-for pets.

It's a violation of the 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

If you don't want to be chipped, then you don't want animals chipped. And you WILL be next.

If I need government permission to raise chickens, you'll soon need government permission to raise zucchini.

NAIS will force confirmed meat-eaters to eat feedlot beef, battery chicken, etc., thus increasing aggregate cruelty to animals.

Note: a search for NAIS on the PETA website found nothing. "National animal inventory" got 11 hits, none relevant. Do you folks really want animal agriculture wiped out that badly?

Hey, Mike!

You voted for this.

You want to tell us again that you "literally look at every piece of legislation and ask, “How will this impact kids?”"

Bibles must change religion or die in Afghanistan

An Afghan supreme court judge holds a copy of Abdul Rahman's Bible, who would not now face the death sentance for refusing to convert back to Islam from Christianity. --Caption on a Reuters picture

If they're killing Bibles or turning them into Korans by judicial fiat in Afghanistan, that country is more screwed up than anyone knows.

If it was the Germans who were responsible for that howler, I'd have to cut them some slack. But if it was a native-English speaker with Reuters, sombody needs to be unemployed.

CPT forgets to thank somebody

I saw Tube on these guys last night, where they were constantly being referred to as "Christians" (as if most of our soldiers were something else?). Now, it's not for me to say who is a Christian and who isn't, though I suspect most of these folks came from the usual bunch of apostate denominations. But I will note that Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them." And there's one fruit conspicuously missing: gratitude. In their initial public statement, there was not one word about the soldiers who risked their lives to save Sooden, Loney and Kember. It evidently "just sorta happened"

Well, Billy Beck, Ed Rasimus, and whole other bunches of the blogosphere pointed out that they were a bunch of ingrates. So suddenly, there was an addition to their statement (3/23 9PM EST):

We have been so overwhelmed and overjoyed to have Jim, Harmeet and Norman freed, that we have not adequately thanked the people involved with freeing them, nor remembered those still in captivity. So we offer these paragraphs as the first of several addenda:

We are grateful to the soldiers who risked their lives to free Jim, Norman and Harmeet. As peacemakers who hold firm to our commitment to nonviolence, we are also deeply grateful that they fired no shots to free our colleagues. We are thankful to all the people who gave of themselves sacrificially to free Jim, Norman, Harmeet and Tom over the last four months, and those supporters who prayed and wept for our brothers in captivity, for their loved ones and for us, their co-workers.

We will continue to lift Jill Carroll up in our prayers for her safe return. In addition, we will continue to advocate for the human rights of Iraqi detainees and assert their right to due process in a just legal system.

Now, do you notice the absence of Somebody in this list of thankees, a notable absence given the professed faith of the CPT? I guess that since the troops of The Great Satan were involved, it was beyond their theology to think that God might somehow have had responsibility.

Jandre had two mommies...

...and knew it. Now he's dead.

Why was a womyn so obsessed with being addressed by a patriarchal title that she would behave like an abusive husband? Ms. de Nysschen was seriously off-message here. Or maybe just seriously off.

Don't get drunk in a bar in Texas

And you thought Texas was a party state?

These folks were drinking in a hotel bar, and many of them were staying at the hotel, which meant they weren't driving anywhere...which is the only even remotely valid reason I can think of for the cops to play Carry Nation.

There's some bacon that needs to be fried.

Chocolate Jesus

St. Paul City Hall won't be celebrating the chocolate bunny that melted to save us from our sins, but who was miraculously reborn from a hard-boiled egg (as are all rabbits). Why? Because that's too Christian.


Cuniculus Dei, miserere nobis.

The deer hunter hunter

From the Cleveland Journal of Bourgeois Marxist Studies

The man who is taking care of Solon OH's deer problem is being stalked by a diabetic woman with roached kidneys. I've got kin like that, so I should be sympathetic. But when I read about this woman boxing the guy in with her car, all I can think is: here is somebody being productive, and you want to stop him. Who is paying for your dialysis and your disability checks?

EU to kill organs and organ building?

Requiem for church organs

THE stops could be pulled for ever on many church organs because of an EU directive designed to control hazardous substances.

The instruments at Salisbury Cathedral, St Paul’s in London, Worcester Cathedral, St Albans Abbey and Birmingham Town Hall are among the first that may be silenced. They are due to be refurbished or rebuilt and will fall foul of the directives, which are aimed at limiting the amount of lead in electrical items.

The regulations permit electrical equipment to have a maximum of 0.1 per cent of their weight as lead. Organ pipes have a lead content of 50 per cent or more and the Department of Trade and Industry has advised organ builders that, in the interests of directive harmony, they must “prepare to comply”. Though pipe organs are essentially mechanical devices, they use electric motors to power the blowers that move air through the pipes.

The great Harrison and Harrison organ at the South Bank, which is now in pieces in Durham as part of the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall, is under immediate threat. Under EU Directive 2002 95/EC RoHS and EU Directive 2002 96/EC WEEE, it will technically be illegal to reinstall it.

The directive, which seeks to minimise the amount of “hazardous waste” that finds its way into landfill after electrical products are scrapped, would also bring to an end the 1,000-year-old craft of organ building. In Britain there are about 70 companies employing about 800 people, and all their jobs are at risk.

Only straightforward repairs of old instruments, doing nothing to change or modify the organ, would be allowed.

Cromwell was right, just ahead of his time. If the English cared at all about their cultural patrimony, they'd have mobs protecting their organ builders (with baseball bats, as they gave up their guns), daring the Eurocrats to do anything about it. They don't care, of course, and since they'll be under Sharia in 50 years anyway and Salisbury Cathedral will meet the fate of the Afghan Buddhas, it's no biggie if Brussels gets part of the job done ahead of schedule.

I care. This hurts me. But the cowardly Europeans deserve every bit of this. it was a great culture while it lasted.

Blackwell needs Biology 101

In an article about Summit Co. Republican boss Alex Arshinkoff:

In the governor's race, Arshinkoff backs Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a strong opponent of same-sex marriage, who once told the Columbus Dispatch: "Farmers know if you want eggs to eat you don't produce them with two roosters or two hens. You need a rooster and a hen."

I assume that he also thinks that human females quit ovulating when there are no men around.

The smart farmer will of course have 2 hens, unless he's planning on incubating his own eggs. And if he has 2 roosters, from the 7th or 8th week on they will probably reside in his freezer.

And this is the guy who will get to appoint the Secretary of Agriculture if elected? Oy!

Mike DeWine blogs

The PD guys seem to think that working in their pajamas will give them credibility, so they have blogs. And they decided to share their blogs with RINO Mikey DeWhine. Now Mikey, being a politician, can't say what's on his mind, assuming he has one. So a blog for him is about as useful as a bicycle for a fish. Still, a free spot to campaign is free (at least until his good comrade John Son-of-Cain makes it illegal for the PD to provide one). In the tradition of blogger commentary, let's analyze his statements, shall we?

My Work in the US Senate

I wish to first thank the Cleveland Plain Dealer for the opportunity to blog this week. Today, I want to share a few highlights from my work in the Senate.

• I am proud to be the author of legislation that has literally saved the lives of children and improved the quality of life for them and their families;

Did he think we'd assume that he'd figuratively saved the lives of children, by voting to reduce the Federal debt maybe?

• I am proud to consistently vote for and support legislation that creates and protects Ohio jobs;

Oh? Has government ever "created" a job? And if it's Mikey's job to create jobs for Ohioans, I wouldn't brag about it, given that OH unemployment in Jan. was .6% above the national average (5.3 to 4.7). And last June, the number of jobs in Ohio was 300,000 below its mid-2000 peak. That's probably more due to Gov. Daft and the rest of the clowns in Columbus than anything Fedgov has done, but if DeWhine wants to take responsibility and wear that albatross around his neck, so be it.

• I am proud of my work on the Senate Intelligence Committee to protect America from our enemies;

Wasn't he on that when our intelligence got blindsided by 9/11?

• I am proud to have fought in the Senate for our most vulnerable citizens.

Isn't he supposed to fight for ALL the citizens?

Throughout my career in public service my main focus has always been on protecting children – I literally look at every piece of legislation and ask, “How will this impact kids?”

He literally looks at every piece of legislation? You mean, he was the only guy in the Senate who actually read the USA Patriot Act? I guess that makes him especially culpable then. Or does he just glance at the binders?

I’ve been the author of a great many bills that, this very day, are protecting and improving the lives of children.

Which ones? Numbers and years would be nice. Real bloggers use these things called hyperlinks, which would take us straight to Thomas and those bills that DeWhine literally looked at with his own eyes.

Perhaps the most important of those bills was the one that gave the Food and Drug Administration authority to test the safety of medications that children use – it’s called the “pediatric drug rule.”

Funny, that phrase doesn't generate anything in Thomas. so whatever the law was, it's not called that.

When I first learned that nearly 80 percent of drugs on the market were not tested for use in children, I was astonished. Personally, I would rank that law, which marked the beginning of the end for a dangerous, senseless problem in America, as one of my proudest achievements in United States Senate.

So, he's proud that he's added anopther level of bureaucracy in getting life-saving drugs to children. How many children have died because drugs weren't approved for their use? And how many children are autistic due to government-mandated, thimoserol-preserved vaccinations?

A real charmer here. I think he's posted again; maybe we can tear that one up tomorrow.

Keep your tongue where it belongs

The longer I live in this state, the more I wonder about what's in the water. I was going to say that it could have been worse (you know what I mean, Lorena), but "more intimate" wouldn't have been worse than this...this could be life-threatening.

"Why do you talk so funny?"
"I wah frech-icci ma irfren an he bi ma oun off"

Woman Charged With Biting Off Man's Tongue

CELINA, Ohio (AP) - Police accused a northwest Ohio woman of biting off a man's tongue. Chad Ringo, 29, remained in intensive care Monday at St. Rita's Medical Center in Lima after unsuccessful attempts to reattach about 30 percent of his tongue, Celina police said.

A hospital spokeswoman said he was in fair condition.

Police charged Emily Mescher, 25, with felonious assault after Ringo was injured Friday night. She was freed on $10,000 bail following a hearing Monday in Celina Municipal Court.

Police said Mescher and Ringo had been involved in a relationship.

Note the past tense.

Kevin Trudeau is a punk

It says so in this book, p. 374:

The government should allocate money directly into funding research organizations that can look at everything EXCEPT drugs and surgery as a way to cure and prevent disease.

He's not happy with where the tax swag is going; he wants it to go to HIS friends. Gods forbid it should stay in your pocket.

This in a 572-page book of which, at best, 100 pages is useable content, the rest being rants about how the FTC won't allow him to say anything substantive so you have to go to his (subscriber) website.

Nobody sane denies that the FDA and FTC are FUBAR. Since this turkey was a best-seller, people are willing to spend money to support the notion. And much of the health advice (such as there is) seems reasonable.

But Kevin wants it both ways. The government which is in thrall to Big Pharma and transnational food companies is going to be an objective voice when placed at the service of the alternative care industry? I don't buy that for a moment. Let's see what we'd get: legitimate drug-oriented treatments would languish, as alternative therapies do now, acetamenophin would be illegal (it's killed many times more people than ephedra), when somebody misdesigns a colonic irrigator and it tears somebody's guts apart, there will be government protection.

If the government has the power to steal from us to benefit another, it will screw up the recipient, guarenteed. And all things being equal, if somebody gets screwed (and, really NOBODY needs to be screwed; a free market would have room for both AMA quackery and Hoxeyan quackery) I'd really rather it be the alternative health sector.

Craigslist: screw your way to better housing

Finally, something both the Left and Right can bunch their panties over:

MIAMI – Want ads are getting new meaning in the Internet Age, with men posting advertisements for female roommates who can live virtually free, as long they're willing to have sex with them.

One recent posting in the Florida area on the popular states: "Upscale executive seeks beautiful female 18-24 to live in his luxury condo in Coral Gables for $1/month in exchange for some light duties. Help take care of dog, cook occasionally. Sex 2x/week. Serious inquires only. Please email a picture for consideration."

Now, the only thing novel about this arrangement is that it's being advertised on the Internet...leading to the usual calls for Net censorship....and the usual whines about "enticing young girls who may be strapped for cash" (Miami-Dade Police Dept.) and "offensive and disturbing" (Women's Movement Now).

Now, I would not think much of a woman who accepted such a relationship. A whore is a whore, even if she limits her client base and accepts payment in-kind. But these people don't need protecting from evil men. They enter into these relationships with open eyes. Women (and other humans) ALWAYS have an option to act according to principle, to share run-down slum housing. And if they have the additional option to live in luxury for sex twice a week, well, options are good, are they not?

I don't like these men's behavior, but I absolutely support their right to do what they are doing.

Extreme Makeover, Ethical Edition

Lovely Spouse (who will have been Lovely Spouse for a year come tomorrow) is not an Objectivist, or any other kind of philosopher. She'd never make it through Atlas Shrugged; she just doesn't read that fluently. But she THINKS, and doesn't blank out in the way so many intellectuals do when faced with inconvenient realities.

She used to be a faithful watcher of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". And I'd watch too, just because it was something to do together, a rare enough thing given our work schedules. But she's been getting away from it.

She clicked it on tonight, just after the bus got moved. And after a minute or two, she asked, "What did they do to earn such luxury?"

Earn? Earn?! The word was like a slap in the face.

But in the moral system of EMHE, it was accurate enough. One "earns" Ty's help by having Needs. Or, better yet, by helping the needy while having Needs oneself. The neediness is generally not self-inflicted (the show isn't THAT sick). But the solution to the need is generally so overdone as to make the initiating tragedy seem like winning the lottery. The beginning of Lovely Spouse's awakening was a show where she said, "But there's nothing wrong with that house!" Indeed, it was better in some respects than where we live.

Yes, folks, you thought it was just an hour-long commercial for Sears. It's an hour-long commercial for altruism, with happily ever after guaranteed (Has anyone ever LOST an Extreme Makeover house?). It's prepping you for government-supplied housing, as surely as Commander in Chief is a prep job for President Hillary Goddam Clinton.

De profundis clamavi

Download file

The Offertory for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost (the pre-Advent holding pattern), performed by the (augmented) Schola Cantorum of Immaculate Conception Catholic church, Cleveland, directed by moi.

What's the deal about poor people and banks?

Somebody help me...I really don't get this.

I've always had a bank account. And I've been poor. I've worked punch presses next to illiterates. I've been threatened with eviction. I've even (please forgive me, fellow Americans) been on food stamps. But maybe once in my life have I been to one of those pits of usury who charge an-arm-and-leg to cash your check (and even more to give you money before you get the check).

So this woman gets a check from FEMA because she was a victim of Hurricane Katrina. A BIG check, $18K or so. Does she go to a BANK (which I'm sure would be more than happy to open an account for that kind of money)? No, she goes to the local check cashery. Of course, they make a big fuss about cashing such a large check, probably quite loudly, taking their own good time. She walks out with $17,975 in cash, takes it home and hides it (only smart thing she did). She comes home from grocery shopping...and there are three masked gunmen, who take all the money.

This being the San Fran Chronicle, we're supposed to feel sorry. Yes, I feel sorry - sorry that the government blew $18K on this idiot. At age 42 with 5 kids, she's been around the block once or twice. She knows the morals of her peers and sub-peers.

So what's the deal about banks and the poor? It's a serious question to my readership.

Kuwait: find some more oil so we can steal it

Whoops! Kuwait is runnng dry. But they have a plan:

The country's natural heritage has been solely in the hands of Kuwaiti companies since the government nationalized the oil industry in the 1970s. Foreign energy companies continued to play a role but served only as hired hands. Now with some of the country's most precious oil fields quickly becoming exhausted, Kuwait is considering throwing open the doors and handing over power - albeit limited - to foreign oil companies that have the technical know-how to help stretch what remains and develop what's yet to be discovered.

Let's see: they stole ("nationalized") the oil fields, and now that they are going dry, they want help from the people they stole them from. It sounds like they've been attending the Robert Mugabe School of Development and Diplomacy.

Now I'm wondering why our boys bled and died to get "their" oil fields back from Sodamn Insane.

Hundert bails

His side
The board's side

Did his mommy ever make him clean up his own messes when he was a kid?

Peggy Noonan wakes up Lyndon Baines Bush.

The question has been on my mind since the summer of 2005 when, at a gathering of conservatives, the question of Mr. Bush and big spending was raised. I'd recently written on the subject and thought it significant that no one disagreed with my criticism. Everyone murmured about new programs, new costs, how the president "spends like a drunken sailor except the sailor spends his own money." And then someone, a smart young journalist, said, (I paraphrase), But we always knew what Bush was. He told us when he ran as a compassionate conservative. This left me rubbing my brow in confusion. Is that what Mr. Bush meant by compassionate conservatism?

That's not what I understood him to mean.

She didn't understand it because she didn't THINK. Conservatism, as a political philosophy, is concerned with justice, not compassion. It doesn't consider charity to be a function of government. ConservaTIVES, individually, may be compassionate (and generally are). But "compassionate conservatism" is as much an oxymoron as "tax-and-spend libertarianism" or "Free market socialism". I saw through the scam from the beginning, arguing with my dad about his primary choices. (I didn't have much credibility, given that my party doesn't even have primaries, and my convention choice would have been Gary Nolan.)

What I can't believe is that it took her four, count 'em, FOUR debt ceiling raises to figure it out. What is it with the folks Vox Day calls "three-monkey Republicans"?

What next, corned beef and Host?

Oh no! St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday in Lent! What to do, what to do...Indults to the rescue!

The list of parishes is here (but I can't get it right now...Rocco has gotten famous since this story hit the AP). 71 (at least) of 197, including Cleveland.

As a non-Catholic, I really don't have a dog in this hunt. But I feel it's essential for the future of Western Civilization for the Church to be the Church. And they've wimped out on so much during my lifetime. You mean to tell me that corned beef was so much a part of the Irish diet (yeah, right, when they could barely afford potatoes) that you'll lose your ethnic identity if you eat it on Saturday instead? What Would Patrick Do? And is all that green beer conducive to a day of fasting and penance anyway? (Well, maybe if they drink it THURSDAY night!)

Eventually the Holy Convenient Catholic Church is going to institute Drive-Through Mass. They'll take over an old McDonalds, take confessions and contributions at the first window, you'll drive up to the 2nd and receive your Eucharist in styrofoam. We don't need no steenking music, and you can pray by yourselves. Stick some statues of saints out front instead of the Golden Arches.

Black separatism gets its own Prussian Blue

Unlike the whining sisters, this little girl has talent. Too bad it's being misdirected and exploited (as are the Gaede girls).

Tip 'o hat to Malkin.

Better luck next time

I see I did not win the Frank Ticheli Composition Contest.

Anyone out there want to publish a beginning band piece?

The blind teaching the drive

In Chicago schools, blind sophomores must take Drivers' Ed.

But don't mock the educrats. One never knows when a blind person may be called upon to drive.

At the afterparty to one of my weddings, after midnight when we had already left, the booze gave out, and the biggest lush in the place decided to go out and get some beer. To the young man's credit, he realized that he was too shitfaced to drive. So he asked the hostess' neighbor...who was blind. The idea was that John would sit behind the wheel while Dave called out "Left...right...stop..." Somehow his car keys "mysteriously disappeared", shortly thereafter he passed out on the kitchen floor, and all was good.

There was a case of this actually happening down in Amish country in OH, several years back. Blind drivers weave even more than drunks do.

(Tip 'o hat to Taranto.)

"Do you want guns on campus?"

Some anonymous troublemaker asked, in response to the last entry
"Do you want guns on campus?"

That's a loaded question as stated. I want Case students and employees to be allowed their natural and constitutional right to self-defence. Actually, I don't "want" guns anywhere. If I could wave a magic wand and make them all go poof, I think that would on balance be a good thing. But it ain't gonna happen. There has never been a case in human history that I'm aware of, where humanity has given itself amnesia about a technology. So guns are going to be here, and that being the case, I would like to have them in the hands of the law-abiding and moral, since they will in any case be in the hands of those who are not. Do you think there are no guns on campus now? (I'll even ignore for a moment that campus is split by Euclid Avenue, and you KNOW there are guns there.) Do you think current policy has ever stopped anyone determined to bring a gun to campus? Do you think that Bizzy Halder said to himself, "Oh, Case has a no-weapons policy; I'll have to attack the Lewis Building with Redi-Whip."?

Now, Case, as a private institution, has a right to specify under what terms its property will be used. It has a right to ban weapons. But, as we are constantly reminded by those who understand neither, with rights come responsibilities. And if you are going to prevent people from defending themselves, you have obligated yourself to keep them safe. If Norman Wallace had been a CCW holder (yes, I don't think we had the law yet then, but indulge my hypothetical), I think his family would have had a clear legal case to sue the university for putting his life at risk. They would have had a moral case in any event, but the CCW would have shown that he was normally ready to defend himself. The problem with a third party assuming that responsibility is that equivalent protection can't be provided, and to the extent that it could be, it would be a gross invasion of privacy and ruinously expensive to the University, because equivalent protection would be assigning an armed guard to every student. Would YOU like a shadow?

Further, guns equalize differentials in body mass and strength. Samuel Colt and John Moses Browning did more for women's equality than most suffragettes of their time. And I'm not willing to see women raped by some big guy with a knife, when his libido problem could be cured by psychosurgery with a high-velocity lead probe.

I'm sure this will piss off all kinds of people. Oh well. Just don't get violent with me over it, because you don't know for a fact that I'm NOT carrying. And I really like my job, and would hate to lose it, especially over losers who think that violence is a form of intellectual debate.

Welcome to D. C. West

San Francisco, future crime capital of the US

...or is that "Case Western Reserve University, California campus"?

More on raw milk story

As I should have guessed, the Weston A. Price Foundation has much more on this story. It's worse than we thought; evidently the D of A is determined to shut down cow shares too.

Would someone plese explain to me how somebody who flunked the basic lessons of kindergarten ("What's mine is mine, what's your is yours") can make it to high office in Ohio?

Roy Harris chamber music

I've been listening to a recording by the Third Angle New Music Ensemble (Koch KIC-CD-7515) containing three of Roy Harris' finest chamber works, all from the '40s : the Piano Quintet, Violin Sonata, and String Quartet No. 3. It's nice to have modern recordings of these pieces. I think Harris has been unjustly neglected, and we won't know how unjustly until we get an integrale of the symphonies (esp. #11, said to be the most pessimistic). He's not a perfect composer, but he has a unique voice. These are capable performances, if a little laid-back.

The notes by Daniel Felsenfeld are pretty dreadful: "Influence of the Teutonic continent", "cross between a gentleman and a crank, between a maverick and a rube", "a high European sense of harmonic progression" (which, for all his root mobility, Harris really DOESN'T have, in the sense of directed harmonic function.). Then there's his list of "American symphonists": Schuman, Berger, Shapero, Diamond. He starts and ends well (Diamond may be our greatest American symphonist, at least of his generation.) But Shapero only wrote one symphony, and while it's a doozy, if one symphony makes a symphonist, then Beethoven was an opera composer. And Berger never wrote one at all, and precious little orchestral music; Sessions would be a better choice to fill that seat.

And the cover...why is it that " spaces" conjures up dilapidated barns? Is there something broken about Harris' music? Are we hicks too stupid and improvident to throw a coat of paint on our barns? How come when the "country landscape" is evoked, you never see a nice steel milking parlor with new silos, and a rust-free combine in the fields?

And while I'm ranting, what's with the sobriquet "the American ____"? Diamond has been called the American Bruckner, while Harris is the American Mussorgsky. It implies a second-handedness (why isn't Britten "the English Bernstein"?).And it doesn't even fit. The only Diamond piece I know which is remotely Brucknerian is the 2nd Symphony. But Harris has quite a lot in common with Bruckner, in rate of harmonic motion and in texture...but then not much with Mussorgsky. I know, it's marketing...but it's so limiting

Casio: preferred watch of terrorists

So says our esteemed gooferment.

After all, it's not like "those dirty Ayrabs" ever want to be on time to somewhere.

What's next? Rounding up the smokers for carrying incendiary devices?

Thanks the Gods that I'm so cheap as to buy $10 Wal-mart watches instead of anything as good as Casio, else I'd be in Gitmo for sure.

Amish farmer victim of raw milk sting

From Cleveland's Journal of Bourgeois Marxist Culture:

Meet Millersburg farmer Arlie Stutzman, who's had a Grade B dairy license for 12 years, allowing him to sell milk to local cheese factories. On September 20, an undercover ag agent visited his farm and asked to buy a gallon of milk.

It's a no-no for a farmer to sell milk directly, so Stutzman offered to just give it to the man if he were truly in need. But the guy insisted on leaving two bucks. The agent then fetched an unmarked container from his car and had Stutzman's son fill it with milk.

For the sin of selling in an unlabeled container, Stutzman had his license yanked. At an administrative hearing, he argued that the Amish faith taught him to share food with anybody in need, and asked that his penalty be reduced to a 60-day license suspension. His plea was rejected by department director Fred Dailey, who's also mean to baby deer and people in wheelchairs. Stutzman now faces additional fines if convicted at an April 17 hearing.

"I never realized that being generous and sharing food is a crime in Ohio," says Stutzman.

I met Arlie last year, at a meeting on free-range poultry sponsored by Geauga Family Farmers. He didn't seem "quite there", though that might have been his soft-spokenness. (How do you know when an Amish man is losing his temper? He's not whispering.) Certainly, he should have seen this sting. "Well, sir, since you have $2, I suggest you go to the store if you need milk." If he had $2, he wasn't in need, and nobody "needs" raw milk; just ask the State of Ohio. abuse of government power, this one takes the cake. Let's start at the beginning: it's Arlie's cow, and the consumer's body. If somebody wants raw milk, by what right does the State of Ohio tell them they can't trade? A lot of consumers are figuring this out, and a brisk trade is developing in "brucellosis, listeria etc."...except we aren't seeing a lot of sick people. I don't know if Arlie was suspected of being part of that trade; possibly he was singled out for being Amish, a group known for low tolerance for bullshit laws, and for being, let's face it, a little naive. "We gotta show those damn Weston Pricers and other granola-munching hippie types who's boss." So they had A STING. Yes, a non-law-enforcement agency tempted somebody to break the law. And to top it off "an administrative hearing" yanked his licence. So here's this guy who is probably going to have to sell his herd and take a loss, maybe lose the farm, and his fate is being decided by a bunch of bureaucrats, ALL of whom work for the D of A. What happened to his right to a trial by jury?

Fred Dailey (another lovely Taft appointee) might need a wake-up call.

Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-3399
Main Line: (614) 728-6200
Toll Free: 1-800-282-1955

Administration (614) 466-2732
Fax 614-466-6124
(This is Fred's office number, but there's an "administrative assistant" who in 8/04 was Connie Ellis.)

Dairy Division (614) 466-5550

Enforcement (614) 728-6240

Neal Boortz, nerf libertarian, on Mexico

Today, he's a Democrat:

...In a very real sense we are at war with Mexico. We're being invaded. The Mexican government is sending waves of its citizens into the United States for the specific purpose of draining money from the US economy and having it sent back to Mexico. The Mexican government has some real problems with funding needed social services. Every dollar that an illegal worker in the US sends back to his family in Mexico is a dollar that the Mexican government doesn't have to spend to provide needed services to that family.

(emphasis mine)
While we agree that open borders are problematic (which doubtless makes ME a nerf libertarian in some eyes), I'm not the one shaming Mexico for not robbing its productive citizens enough.

David Ott

I caught a piece by David Ott (b.7/5/47) on public radio Sunday (WKSU from Kent OH). It was in a regular mixed Sunday-afternoon slot, which should tell you a bit about the style. The piece, Andante Cantabile, was for cello and orchestra. The title suggests Tchaikovsky, but the cantabile in this case more resembled the soprano line of Del Tredici's Final Alice...lots of high alternating 6ths. And way too much repetition of short motives, same stuff I was griping about in early Rosner (he outgrew it though). It was well orchestrated. But somehow, it didn't work. There was no sense of forward motion in the work, and what passed for voice was little harmonic lurches and grinds.

I had first come across David Ott in the form of a CD of his 2nd and 3rd symphonies (Koss Classics KC-3301) in a used CD store. It was the Grand Rapids Symphony with Catherine Comet, and Ott is a Youper (Michigan Upper Peninsula resident) by birth, so I wanted to see what the homies were up to. I'd only listened once, as Ott had a 2nd mortgage with Bank Shostakovich. But I figured I'd give it another listen, having heard the other piece.

He's not as dreadful as I thought. He gets pretty bombastic in his finales (that of #2 is particularly weak). He doesn't have great ideas and his forms aren't always terribly clear. and I didn't really catch any "wow" moments, those places in a piece when you suddenly know that you're breathing the air of another planet. (Well, maybe sorta when the harp comes in in the slow movement of #3.) But he keeps the piece going forward. There's a superficial attractiveness of color and harmony. I can see why he's getting performances; he delivers what a typical concert audience is expecting. I'm not at all convinced he's a great composer. But he's not an idiot. And he's got a goodly number of recordings out there.

Someone at MakeMusic needs killing. Slowly.

I've been working on orchestral parts in Finale 2006d...the usual hustle getting the page turns just right. I had all the winds done, and thought I'd print a few. I noticed I was missing the bottom staves of each page. Finally put a ruler on it and noticed that my pages were 8.5 x 14. I've never printed legal in my life. Turns out that some programmer, in his infinite wisdom, changed the default for parts, and since I don't generally have the whole think on screen, I never noticed they were too long.

Well, there goes a good weekend of work...

Kofi needs to get out more

UN staffers heckle Annan.

When asked by a staffer if U.N. jobs will be farmed out to Kinko's from now on, Mr. Annan showed how out of touch he has become from his underlings and from his fellow New Yorkers. "What is Kinko?" he asked.

One clue, Kofi: it's not what UN "peacekeepers" do to the populations they, uh, service.

Be careful what you name your band

This Bike is a Pipe Bomb is a folk-punk trio, so I've been told.

Some OU student put their bumper sticker on his bike. Now he's out one bike and up one misdemeanor charge of inducing panic. Funny how the only people to panic were the cops. Do Ohio police go to a special school to get that stupid?

Thanks to Billy Beck, chronicler of the Endarkenment.

Grand Polka de Concours

This was written in 1991 as a "5 minute barnburner" for Fred Ziwich's MM clarinet recital. Fred has been nominated for the Cleveland Slovenian-style Polka Hall of Fame, and this was inspired by my experiences (some shared with Fred) in the Oktoberfest industry.

Maria Pla is the pianist. It's a sick piece. Enjoy!

Download file

Clay Aikin to be sued for being gay?

If this case goes forward and is successful, it will constitute legal proof that "popular music" isn't about music or talent at all, since they paid for and got music which remains exactly the same regardless of their perception of the gender preference of the performer.

Beethoven as bug spray

Hartford CT hopes that classical music will drive the riff-raff out of the parks. And it may; certainly rap tends to drive me away from anywhere it is. Some have philosophical issues:

UCLA musicologist Robert Fink said the plan makes Hartford's crime-fighting efforts look desperate.

"Beethoven is not going to save you," he said. "There are many ironies in this proposal, not the least of which is the fact that some of the greatest composers in history are now being viewed as some kind of bug spray or disinfectant."

My issue? What is music (of any kind) doing in a park, where people presumably go to "enjoy nature"? Must my entire life have a soundtrack? (Well, yes; I'm a composer, and I DO hear music...but it's my music, damnit. And it's not bothering anyone else.)

If I die, blame my ex

Spousal spats can damage your heart

The manner in which husbands and wives argue over such hot-button topics such as money, in-laws, and children, may be a factor in their risk of developing coronary atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries of the heart.

In a study of 150 couples, mostly in their 60s, researchers found that women who behaved in a hostile manner during marital disputes were more likely to have atherosclerosis, especially if their husbands were also hostile.

In men, hostility -- their own or their wives -- was not related to atherosclerosis. However, men who behaved in a dominating or controlling manner -- or whose wives behaved in that way -- were more likely to have clogged coronary arteries.

Yeah, it WAS heartbreaking. But it's over now.

Why the Left should cringe at Hugo Chavez

Why The Left Should Cringe at the Mention of Hugo Chavez
February 27, 2006
Alvaro Vargas Llosa

10 things the US is routinely criticised for, which Chavez is also guilty of. But then, consistency is a bourgeois affectation, isn't it?

Linked by Karen DeCoster, in a discussion of the Chavez-Sheehan romance.

Massachusetts promotes healthy eating

The General Laws of Massachusetts




Chapter 2: Section 51. Donut of commonwealth

Section 51. The Boston Cream Donut shall be the official donut of the commonwealth.

I donut know whether to laugh or cry...

Tip o' hat to Scott Jordan.

"DOC", via email:

It is for promoting public safety.

We all know what the police use for sustenance and energy.

Harry Browne RIP


The world has lost a wonderful human being. Harry Browne passed away last night after a long illness. Harry was a joy and inspiration to all who knew him. We offer our condolences to his family, and especially to his wife Pamela.

No AP obit that I can find, yet.
Harry was an author, and two-time Libertarian Party candidate for President. On the times I encountered him personally, he struck me as a true gentleman.

gives the cause of death as Lou Gehrig's disease.

See also: Lew Rockwell

Professors with pitchforks

at Case:

The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences today approved a resolution of no-confidence against Case Western Reserve University President Edward Hundert. The vote was 131 to 44 against the president.

By a narrower margin, 97 to 68, the faculty also approved a no-confidence resolution against Provost John Anderson.

Continue reading "Professors with pitchforks"

WHAT freedom of speech?

Re the cartoon crisis:

But on one point European leaders were united and bluntly clear: they would not tolerate any limits on European newspapers' rights to publish. "Freedom of speech is not up for negotiation," declared Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, summing up a consensus that has only grown stronger as the cries of outrage from the Muslim world grow louder.

It's not up for negotiation, because it was negotiated away after WW II. If it's illegal to goodmouth Hitler, why shouldn't it be illegal to badmouth Mohammed? If papers really want to test press freedom, they should print cartoons of Mohammed with swastikas for eyes. It's easy to be brave in the face of rioters in other countries, but hard when it's your own government you're fighting.

Tom Monaghan builds Catholicville

Pizza Magnate Seeks Catholic-Governed Town

Tom Monaghan (former Domino's Pizza owner, now turned Catholic philanthropist) is constructing the town of Ave Maria to surround Ave Maria University, the Catholic college he is building. He is selling residential properties, but holding on to all commercial real estate...on which there will be lease restrictions: no abortions, no birth control, no pornography. Predictably, the ACLU (among others) is crying foul. But this takes the cake:

Frances Kissling, president of the liberal Washington-based Catholics for a Free Choice, likened Monaghan's concept to Islamic fundamentalism.

"This is un-American," Kissling said. "I don't think in a democratic society you can have a legally organized township that will seek to have any kind of public service whatsoever and try to restrict the constitutional rights of citizens."

Leaving aside for the moment that "Catholics for a Free Choice" is an oxymoron, and that nowhere is the Constitution is there granted a right to abortion, birth control, or pornography, what about the basic human right of using your property as you see fit?

We're talking about 5000 acres here. Most people who live there will be working for or attending Ave Maria, and thus theoretically not interested in these products. If they are, it's no big hardship to go into Naples.

I'm as pro-abortion/contraception/smut as the next guy, but it's really very simple: the right to property is the right upon which all other rights are founded. Even the right to privacy (upon which "the right to abortion" is founded) is based on the ownership of yourself. If you don't like life in Monaghan's company town, don't live there. It's as simple as that.

Ave Maria sets the record straight.

I don't know if the negative press on this was deliberate distorion, or if Ave Maria is backpedalling. In either case, my main point about property rights stands.

Great Hunger

Download file

This is my first podcast. The Great Hunger, written to honor the sesquicentennial of the Irish Potato Famine, was done on a Cleveland Composers Guild concert several weeks ago. This is not that performance (which I don't have a recording of yet) but the premiere by the Coryton Ensemble.

Arnold Rosner blasphemes God
The frigging blogware doesn't seem to allow for post-level URLS.

I was lamenting the other day that Arnold doesn't post enough, and then he gives us THIS:

Do I dislike them all - Boccherini, Gluck, Haydn, early Beethoven? Yes, I do, but Mozart deserves a special place. It is not true that he is the worst of all composers; his prodigious technical skills developed by age six. Sometimes it is not so great to be a prodigy,- I often feel his emotional and dramatic palette is set at the same age. Rather he is the most overrated composer of them all. The difference between the (mediocre) quality of his music and the (celestial) reverance he is accorded is a gulf simply beyond belief.

He then proceeds to make his case, primarily by countering other people's cases in favor of Mozart. But his main problem with Mozart seems to be that...he wrote happy music! How DARE he use the major mode, and ideas built on triads? And this gives him a limited expressive palette...let's see, the joyous finale of the Jupiter vs. all of #40, the C minor wind serenade, or the A minor rondo (which if I ever kill myself, will be the music playing while I do so.)...I don't think so.

He saves special wrath for the Dies Irae of the Requiem. Now, to set the Tract in polyphony at all is somewhat presumptuous, I will grant, given that the chant is so perfectly suited for its purpose. But "tempest in a teapot"? I defy Rosner to give me a more terrifying piece of music written before the Mozart Requiem (there may be more terrifying pieces written after, but Mozart only had prior technology to work with). Then there's the Tuba Mirum, "the worst few minutes of music ever written" because it's "graceful and gentle", not a "trumpet of doom or wrath". I submit that this is the imposition of an Expressionist aesthetic on pre-Expressionist music, and that it ignores a crucial point: Mozart was a Christian. I firmly believe that the "letzte Posaune" will sound differently in a believer's ear; for him, the Trump will be the finale of the (Mozartean) opera, where all complications of plot and character are unravelled, and everyone lives Happily Ever After with Jesus. For the sinner, it will be a junior high band trombone sectional fed through a wall-high amp stack. Also, the Tuba Mirum is a compositionally necessary relaxation of tension after the Dies Irae, a tension that begins to build again with the entry of the tenor.

But there's Mozart, and Mozart. Far from "his prodigious technical skills develop[ing] by age six", Mozart didn't reach musical maturity until he discovered the music of Bach, about a decade before he died. Before then, Wolfie was beating J.C. Bach at his own game...good but not cosmic. Haydn and CPE Bach were both writing better music than Mozart when Mozart was 24...but were they doing so when THEY were 24? For that matter was Rosner? I don't think that Mozart would have been guilty of the inane phrase repetitions found in Rosner's 2nd Quartet.

There's an adage that states that the composers a composer most hates are the ones he owes (see Ives re Debussy or Ruggles re Brahms). Rosner's mature sophisticated use of sequence and thematic extension owes more to Mozart than he might admit.

Maybe in a future post I'll make up a list of better candidates for "the worst few minutes of music ever written" Just to stick with Classic-period literature by name composers, how about the "development" of the first movement of Beethoven's Op. 79? That's before we bring out the big guns like Asger Hamerik, Richard Nanes, or the operatic work of Stewart Copeland.

Miami-Dade teachers fired over fake paper

From Miami Herald.

They had to have continuing education credits to keep their licences, so they bought them from a firm that contracted them from schools that required no actual coursework.

"Crew spokesman Joseph Garcia: ``We're not going to have teachers who have defrauded the public and defrauded children in the classroom.''"

But were the children defrauded? The one question unasked in this article is: How did the fired teachers compare IN PERFORMANCE to those who jumped through the hoops?

Some people would kill to see Kanye West

So it says here

Boortz wrote, "Today comes news that two security guards were shot at a concert in London by rapper Kanye West.", which led me to believe that Kanye was the shooter. No such luck; they were just disgruntled patrons.

I thought HRH's government had gotten rid of all handguns.

And I am just a little bit envious that nobody cares that much about hearing today's classical music.

To retread a joke about cowboy hats....

Q.: What do blogs and hemorrhoids have in common?
A.: Every a--hole gets one eventually.

Well, I got one. (Which? Not telling.) I'll be discussing contemporary classical music, politics, and whatever else interests me. Probably the people who read the music stuff will hate my politics, and the political types will be bored by the music. Well, that's what categories are for, I guess.

The title, "the Quick and the dead" comes from the Nicene Creed: "And He shall come with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead." It's an old family joke that we shall be liable for judgement twice, once as Quicks and once as the dead. I shall also be judged by my words here, so hopefully the third (and last) time will be the charm.