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Monday, July 20, 2020

Blog Break

I need to de-stress my life, and backing off from blogging, for an indeterminate time, is one way to do so. Comment moderation enabled.

In my absence, please enjoy this masterpiece of classical music:


  1. Fair well, however long you're gone for!

  2. A new poem I hope might bring you a bit of solace:

    What awesome power it is to find
    The beauty to which most are blind.
    Hidden in each grain of sand ––
    The rocks and trees that dot the land ––
    The rushing cataracts and streams
    Where dancing fish help feed our dreams
    The sweetness in a lover's eyes
    Gives hope that makes our spirits rise.
    These things that make sweet memories
    Bring solace when atrocities
    Threaten our peace of mind
    The poignant scenes from times long past
    Preserve the joys that did not last.

    ~ FreeThinke

  3. You still sound sane to me :-)

  4. What Plato said about music echoes my own thoughts and feelings on the subject, but I've had the benefit of having been able to hear and learn much about the music that developed in the West over the past 800-plus years.

    I've heard much of it, performed much of it, studied countless scores in considerable death, and have also been able to learn many biograhical details about the most prominent composers in the pst 350 years or so.

    But all of that came long after Plato. What Plato actually heard must remain a mystery to me and all the scholars who've studied Western Civilization, because none of the ancient music was recorded, of course, and we have only the minutest idea of how music that Plato mght have heard was notated.

    Yet, Plato's RESPONSE to the music of his time is remarkably similar to the way most true music lovers feel about music today.

    We know the Greeks had both the LYRE –– a small hand-held sort of harp ––, and the AULOS –– a kind of flute. We know too they both SANG and CHANTED. We know they spoke of MODES –– Aeolian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Locrian, and others ––, but whether these coincided with the modes (scales) that are part of the music we know today is a mystery.

    To me it's both perplexing and fascinating that nothing is left of the music of the ancient world but a few WORDS that were written ABOUT it.

    But it's a source of WONDER, and I happen to believe we benefit a great deal because we DON'T –– and CAN'T ever –– know "everything."

  5. My apologies to AOW and everyone who visits here, but I am also trying to stay in my happy place and focus on hobbies and upgrading some job-related skills.

    I have not given up. I am cautiously optimistic that the center will hold.

    1. I look forward to you both writing again.

  6. This particular piece by Mahler has been a great favorite of mine for many years. I've heard several complain after I've enthusiatically recommended it, "Oh, but it's so SAD! How could you want to listen to anythng like THAT? It might tempt me to want to commit SUICIDE."

    There's no good answer to people with such limited tastes, understanding and perceptions that they cannot hear –– and feel –– that this movement is possibly the greatest expression of EMPATHY for the HUMAN CONDITION ever written –– certainly one of them anyway.

    I find in it a world of solace whenever I feel disturbed, dejected, anxious, or grief-stricken.

    When you're feeling downhearted, even close to despair –– as all of us must from time to time if we are fully human –– I've found it's a great help to learn that others have experienced the same emotion before you, –– that you are not alone –– and therefore others must UNDERSTAND what you are going through.

    Mahler and many of the other great composers have done that for me, which is why I love them so, and did my best from an early age to devote my life to studying and promoting the profound Wisdom and intense Beauty these great works have managed to capture, distill, and convey with poignant eloquence.

    Going out to the local bar to hoist a few while listening to endless versions of The Beer Barrel Polka, or whatever, may be fun for a while, because it DISTRACTS from the pain of present Reality, but it doesn't CURE so the effect doesn't last, and the inevitable letdown –– along with the hangover –– that follows these futile attempts at escape leave you feeling even worse the next day than you did before.

    Mahler –– or Brahms –– or Beethoven –– or Schubert –– or Wagner –– or Richard Strauss, et al. never leave you feeling worse, because the work those guys produced, almost invariably has a TRANSFORMATIVE effect on the psyche –– at least for me.

    Great music always makes me feel GRATEFUL to be a human being no matter how challenging the mundane or material aspects to life may get.

    I know I am lucky in that regard, but I wish EVERYONE could experience the uplifting, healing, satisfying tonic effect that has made life a more-than-pleasant experience for me.

  7. "If you would enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you must become as a little child."

    With that in mind, why not consider this?

    How do you like to go up in a swing,
    ___ Up in the air so blue?
    Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
    ___ Ever a child can do!

    Up in the air and over the wall,
    ___ Till I can see so wide,
    Rivers and trees and cattle and all
    ___ Over the countryside —

    Till I look down on the garden green,
    ___ Down on the roof so brown ––
    Up in the air I go flying again,
    ___ Up in the air and down!

    ~ from A Child's Garden of Verses (1885) by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

    [NOTE: . . . In 1882 Stevenson ... moved to Hyeres in the South of France. There, he suffered a hemorrhage which confined him to bed, prevented him from speaking, and rendered him incapable of writing prose. Simple verse was within his capabilities, [however], so while he recovered he wrote most of A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885). Stevenson had followed up Treasure Island with another boy’s adventure story called The Black Arrow, which was published serially in Young Folks in 1883 and as a book in 1888. Although more popular with the juvenile readers of Young Folks than Treasure Island had been, The Black Arrow is far from being a classic. His next serial was a distinct improvement. Kidnapped ran in Young Folks in 1886 and was published as a book the same year. . . . .]]



    The thought arises once again:
    That our brave men have died in vain
    If in our now-degraded state
    We see no more why they were great,––
    And rattle on belligerently ––
    Rejecting Thought that made us free ––
    Embracing now with loud insistence ––
    Malice threatening our existence ––
    Tearing at each other's throats ––
    While a leering Satan gloats ––
    A sorry spectacle that wrenches
    My heart thinking of the trenches
    Filled with anguish, fear and dread
    As bullets whizzed above each head,
    And buried in the mud the mines
    Lurked to shatter limbs and spines,
    While in the distance cannons boomed
    Inspiring fear that all were doomed.
    Then to see a body shattered ––
    One a buddy –– now parts scattered ––
    In the mud with corpses strewn ––
    Gruesome lit by sun or moon ––
    More pitiful the wounded lie
    In agony praying to die.
    And all around the smell of blood
    Vomit, –– urine, –– faces, –– crud
    Defined the hellish atmosphere
    But few if any shed a tear.
    They knew they had a job to do ––
    Protecting our land –– and you ––
    From Tyranny, –– Brutality ––
    Poverty –– and Slavery ––
    Their Sacrifice –– Our Legacy –
    Now relegated to the Fire ––
    Ever the Enemy’s Desire ––
    Because their precious Victory
    Was neutralized by Sophistry
    That promised Peace eternally
    By ceding our Sovereignty
    As a dumb ovine assembly
    Always led too easily
    To the abattoir where brutally
    They end up slaughtered ruthlessly.
    And so the Enemy has won ––
    Not by bayonet, bomb, or gun ––
    But by an ideology
    Seductive, to those lazily
    Imagining there’s an Easy Way
    To stop becoming Satan’s Prey.
    Thus lulled into a stupor we
    Now feel a false Security.
    Forgetting that we owe a debt
    To those brave men who fought to get
    Continued Opportunity
    To cherish their fine legacy.
    Because the Left runs Education
    We’ve lost our great Emancipation ––
    Betrayed great men through dissipation
    Made worse by bitter argumentation.

    ~ FreeThinke


    Rutgers Declares Grammar Racist

    Washington Free Beacon

    by Chrissy Clark

    The English department at a public university declared that proper English grammar is racist. Rutgers University's English department will change its standards of English instruction in an effort to "stand with and respond" to the Black Lives Matter movement. In an email written by department chairwoman Rebecca Walkowitz, the Graduate Writing Program will emphasize "social justice" and "critical grammar." Walkowitz said the department would respond to recent events with "workshops on social justice and writing," "increasing focus on graduate student life," and "incorporating ‘critical grammar' into our pedagogy." The "critical grammar" approach challenges the standard academic form of the English language in favor of a more inclusive writing experience. . . .



    1. Franco,
      This has been in the making for a long time.

      I'm glad that I'm as old as I am. My teaching days are nearly over.

    2. Yes, but as Noel Coward asked in very amusing satirical song he wrote way back in 1927 –– when the Old World was already well on its way to unravelling:

      "What's Going to Happen to the Children When There Aren't Any More Grownups?"

      A bit lengthy by today's stunted standards, but astonishingly timely, and well worth any effort it might take to read:

      WHAT’S GOING to HAPPEN to the TOTS?

      Life today is hectic.
      Our world is running away.
      Only the wise can recognize
      The process of decay.
      All our dialectic
      Is quite unable to say
      Whether we’re on the beam or not,
      Whether we’ll rise supreme or not,
      Whether this new regime or not
      Is leading us astray.

      We all have Frigidaires, radios,
      Music Hall and movie shows
      To shield us from the ultimate abyss.
      We have our daily bread neatly cut,
      Every modern convenience but
      The question that confronts us all is this:

      What’s going to happen to the children
      When there aren’t any more grown-ups?
      Having been injected with some rather peculiar glands
      Darling Mum’s gone platinum
      And dances to all the rhumba bands.
      The songs that she sings at twilight
      Would certainly be the highlight
      For some of those claques that Elsa Maxwell
      Takes around in yachts.
      Rockabye, rockabye, rockabye my darlings,
      Mother requires a few more shots.
      Does it amuse the tiny mites
      To see their parents high as kites?
      What’s, what’s, what’s going to happen to the tots?

      Life today’s neurotic, a ceaseless battle we wage;
      Millions are spent to circumvent
      The march of middle age.
      The fact that we grab each new narcotic
      Can only prove in the end

      Whether our hormones gel or not
      Whether our cells rebel or not,
      Whether we’re blown to hell or not,
      We’ll all be round the bend
      From taking Benzedrine, Dexamyl,
      Every possible sleeping pill
      To knock us out or knock us into shape.
      We all have shots for this, shots for that,
      Shots for making us thin or fat,
      But there’s one problem that we can’t escape.

      What’s going to happen to the children
      When there aren’t any more grown-ups?
      Thanks to plastic surgery and uncle’s abrupt demise,
      Dear Aunt Rose has changed her nose
      But doesn’t appear to realize
      The pleasures that once were heaven
      Look silly at sixty-seven,
      And youthful allure you can’t procure
      In terms of perms and pots.
      So lullaby, lullaby, lullaby my darlings,
      Try not to scratch those large red spots,
      Think of the shock when mummie’s face
      Is lifted from its proper place,
      What’s, what’s, what’s going to happen to the tots?

      What’s going to happen to the children
      When there aren’t any more grown-ups?
      It’s bizarre when grandmamma, without getting out of breath
      Starts to jive at eighty-five and frightens the little ones to death.
      The police had to send a squad car
      When daddy got fried on vodka
      And tied a tweed coat round mummie’s throat
      In several sailor’s knots.
      Hushabye, hushabye, hushabye, my darlings,
      Try not to fret and wet your cots.
      One day you’ll clench your tiny fists
      And murder your psychiatrists.
      What’s, what’s, what’s going to happen to the tots?

      ~ Noel Coward (1899-1973)

      Notable Coward Quotations:

      It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.

      Work is much more fun than fun.

      Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar; never spread it about like marmalade.


    I just saw the so-called “hearings” on Attorney General Barr, and was revolted and infuriated beyond description. The Defecrats staged a Kangaroo court in which Mr. Barr was subjected to unfounded, unprincipled, scurrilous, frankly vicious accusations posing as "questions," but was never permitted to answer any of the garbage hurled at him with the speed of machine gun fire.

    How we could fight this INSURGENCY by renegade leftist operatives who have adopted the manner of latter-day Bolsheviks I can’t imagine. The Left, apparently, has its own set of “facts” and “factoids” completely at odds with what-I-hope-I-may-assume is "OUR" understanding of Reality.

    I am angry and depressed, and have nowhere to go, because our REPUBLICANS are sharply divided into warring factiins, themselves, and more and more so-called “Republicans,” are siding with the DEFECRATS, presumably just to spite President Trump.

    Sheer, unmitigated IDIOCY is impossible to fight, unless we get physical, which is still highly unlikely. People who support today’s DEFECRATS have completely lost touch with any power they once might have had to use REASON.

    Disgustedly yours,

    Franco Aragosta

    1. Franco,
      I saw some excerpts of yesterday's Kangaroo court in which Mr. Barr was subjected to unfounded, unprincipled, scurrilous, frankly vicious accusations posing as "questions," but was never permitted to answer any of the garbage hurled at him with the speed of machine gun fire.

      I, too, am disgusted by the spectacle.

  11. Yesterday Attorney General Bill Barr testified before Jerry Nadler’s FARCE, aka House Judiciary Committee Nearing.
    The ONE thing that came from this Face was that We Need Term Limits for These Clowns And Fast!

    The Bottom Line That Should Have Come From This Farce is that Jerry Nadler Should Make Everybody Want to Vote for Donald Trump in November..


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