Saturday, November 28, 2015

#WhyImThankful Katzenjammer kids on TV during #MacysParade

Some people found it offputting, but I found it nostalgic and heartwarming to see naughty nudniks in the crowd shots during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade



I'm not very thankful for people who are pro dragon and apparently anti St. George:


I'm also not thankful for people who downplay Islamic terrorism as simply a "difficulty"



Friday, November 27, 2015

Roger Rees = my favorite British actor who played historical American characters for PBS documentaries

Roger Rees was my favorite British actor who played historical American characters for PBS documentaries, if those are enough caveats. He played Thomas Paine in the PBS documentary on the American Revolution "Liberty" reciting "These are the times that try men's souls" from "The American Crisis"


Roger Rees also played William Bradford in the PBS American Experience documentary on "The Pilgrims"

Bradford explains his understanding of faith:


Bradford on his inspiration to emigrate and leave England:


Bradford on trying to recreate his concept of community described in the Bible sans church hierarchy and bureaucracy:


Bradford on realizing his and his coreligious temporal travails are chalked up to being mere pilgrims on this earth, anticipating the spirit of John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress".


Bradford coming to terms that his ship, the Mayflower, was blown off course into isolated New England territory, either by fortune or by treachery, as the Spencer Tracy film "Plymouth Adventure" speculates, from Mark Tooley – 11.26.14 "The American Spectator" review "SPENCER TRACY AT PLYMOUTH ROCK: Today’s secular intolerance wouldn't abide such a Thanksgiving movie"

"Tracy, true to his own real-life personality, effectively portrays a grumpy, unlikeable, and chronically depressed but competent Captain Christopher Jones, who meanly accepts a bribe to deliver the Pilgrims to chilly Massachusetts rather than the desired southerly Virginia."


Bradford comments on his sense of isolation after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to America:


An anthropologist, not quoting primary sources, asserts Pilgrims viewed Native Americans not as future converts but as mere vermin:


Alyssa Rosenberg's November 24 "Washington Post" review "‘The Pilgrims’ challenges the myths of the first Thanksgiving" notes Bruchac's comment:

"'I think it’s necessary to ask who the savages were,' the anthropologist Margaret Bruchac says. 'Were they the people who had lived in this territory for millennia? Or were they these people who had forced themselves into someone else’s home?' That’s a sort of rhetoric that can easily become trendy and hyperbolic, but 'The Pilgrims' brings the historical ammunition to back it up, while also providing a fair assessment of the community’s genuine accomplishments in self-governance.
That commitment to a comprehensive understanding is what makes 'The Pilgrims' useful, rather than merely polemical. It’s a call to enlarge our understanding of Thanksgiving, rather than to chuck the holiday out altogether as some sort of political gesture."

It doesn't seem to occur to leftists that perhaps everyone should be treated equally, and broadly stereotyping and disparaging entire groups is inappropriate. The "Washington Post" also compares the Pilgrims to ISIS terrorists:

"Despite their theological extremism, oddball reputations and the logistical obstacles to success, the Pilgrims managed to plant themselves in America. It may not be comforting to see even the broad parallels between the Pilgrims and the extremists of the Islamic State (both groups shared a sense that the apocalypse was — in the form of the Thirty Years’ War — or is nigh), but it’s true that some small, determined religious movements do actually change the world."

Ric Burns speculates Bradford's poem was written in memory of his lost wife:


Bradford on the tremendous death toll from famine and exposure:


Bradford plans of a preemptive strike against perceived potential enemies:


The "New York Times" in their review also implies that the Pilgrims were similar to current day ISIS pointing to this decapitation scene


From NEIL GENZLINGER NOV. 23, 2015 article "Review: In ‘The Pilgrims,’ Ric Burns Looks at Mythmaking"

"gives us a clearer picture of who the religious separatists on the voyage were, and their fundamentalist interpretation of their faith and desire to create a community based on it might put you in mind of a far different group that has been in the news.
The Pilgrims and their fellow travelers weren’t terrorists, of course (despite an instance of putting the severed head of a perceived enemy on a pole), but they and those who followed certainly did effect a cultural conquest."
It's rather anachronistic as well as disingenuous to compare capital punishment practices from nearly half a millennium ago to contemporary practices, but par for the course for leftists seeking moral equivalency between the US and its modern day opponents.

I think it's also disingenuous for the film to imply the Puritans in Boston were loyalists to the British crown:


"the [Puritans] who go to Boston make a fuss that they are NOT separating from the Church of England"
A few years after starting colonies in America, Puritan leader, Oliver Cromwell, led a Civil War in England which resulted in King Charles I being deposed and eventually beheaded. Scene from the biopic "Cromwell" illustrates being accused of treason:

Trial of Charles I from "The Sword Divided"

Charles I execution scene from "To Kill A King".

Back to Bradford and his philosophical acceptance on the limits of his accomplishments


Bradford feeling abandoned by former associates


An essay from seeming leftist social justice warriors at Gordon College "The "Log of The Mayflower": Memory and Desire in the Winter of William Bradford" describe Bradford's ideological conflicts:
"he saw how the voluntary alliance of the 'Lord’s free people' could be rattled by the unruly liberties of its own individuals. Bradford came to understand that liberty needed to be balanced by 'conscience'—which he understood as the public commitment to uphold the mandates of Scripture."

Bradford learning Hebrew at the end of his life:


Anthropologist Margaret  Bruchac seems simpatico with people celebrating a Day of Mourning vs Thanksgiving for losing the King Phillips War.


The film ends "somewhere, William Bradford might have smiled"


Presumably, the "somewhere" Bradford and his followers hoped to be smiling from is not in this realm but in his heavenly Father's house

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Virtual Bach Concert

James R. Oestreich damns with faint praise in his W. October 21, 2015 "New York Times" article "Review: Julliard415 and Yale Schola Cantorum Perform Bach's Lutheran Masses"

Bach compositions mentioned in article:

Bach's Mass in B minor

Bach Mass A major BWV 234

Bach Mass G minor BWV 235

Sinfonia from Cantata No. 42 "Am Abend Aber Desselbigen Sabbats"

"Brandenburg" Concerto No. 3

Bach's Concerto in C for three harpsichords BWV 1064

Oestreich ends his snarky review with this sentence:

"It all made for a pleasant evening without major revelations."

A bonus video: "Firing Line" with William F. Buckley Jr. "The Fight for Bach"

Buckley: Are you surprised by the longevity of rock music and its apparently unlimited hold on young people?
Tureck: No, I'm not surprised.  This is the late 20th C folk music as I view it and it's popular music. There's always been folk music and it's always been much more widespread than what we call art music. Art music has always been associated with a smaller group of people.

Buckley mentions that Rosalyn Tureck released a CD of Bach's Goldberg Variations:

Another bonus video, Daniel MacFarlane : J. S. Bach BWV1007 Cello Suite No 1 Prelude played on electric guitar for people who want to try and merge 20thC folk music of rock with Bach's art music as Tureck would say:

Cellist Matt Haimovitz tried to get bratty kids interested in Bach's music with guerrilla staged concerts, but to no avail. His travails were documented in David Allen Oct 26, 2015 "New York Times" article  "Matt Haimovitz and Bach, Colonizing Columbia's Campus"

I share the skepticism of Emma Thompson's "Wit" character:


and suspect that the music commissioned in homage to Bach is really an attempt by mediocre composers to bask in Bach's reflected glory, as Allen alludes to:

Other artists' renditions of music listed in Allen's article:

Bach- Cello Suite No. 4 in E-Flat major; Ophélie Gaillard

Bach cello suite no. 3 in C major BWV 1009, Pieter Wispelwey

Again, I'm on Team Tureck vs Team Allen, I don't believe that Bach was ever considered quotidian music:

Bach- Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor; Ophélie Gaillard

Bach- Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor; Ophélie Gaillard

A quotidian rendition of Bach Cello Suite No. 1 played on a banjo vs high  falutin bass fiddle :

I couldn't find a recording of Vijay Iyer "Run"

but here is Vijay Iyer Trio: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert instead:

Couldn't find a recording of Mohammed Fairouz "Gabriel"

so here is a recording of Mohammed Fairouz: Symphony No. 4 'In the Shadow of No Towers' the title of which presumably implies that Muslims were the biggest victims of 911 to which I disagree.

Couldn't find a recording of Roberto Sierra "La Memoria" which purportedly included "Caribbean salsa" rhythms, so here's his "Fandagos" instead:

Couldn't find Du Yun's "The Veil of Veronica" or anything remotely resembling it.

Couldn't find Hawaiian chants in Luna Pearl Woolf "Lili'uokalani" so here's Suspense (1913) - Music (2013) by Luna Pearl Woolf for Matt Haimovitz and Uccello, McGill Perc. Ens. instead which has nothing to do with Hawaii but appears to have been filmed by the seashore

Woolf's composition was supposed to compliment  Bach - Cello Suite No. 6 in D major; Ophélie Gaillard

Couldn't find Philip Glass "Overture to Bach" which was supposed to be more of a "counterpoint to the perky Suite No. 1 than a summary of it, suffused with sadness and yet yearning for something more." Here's Philip Glass-Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra /Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra instead:

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Favorite After Action Report Involving Commie Raccoons

Raccoons have been documented by PBS as very wily critters:

I was cleaning out my cardboard boxes in a vain attempt to avoid dying in an avalanche of debris like my long lost Collyer cousins, from Maggie's Farm Sunday, September 6. 2009 post on "The Collyer Brothers"

My grandmother's maiden name was "Collier" spelled w/ an "i" and not a "y", but we assumed we were somehow related to the New York Collyers since everyone on my Dad's family were/are pack rats.

One of my old boxes contained an after action report from obvious Soviet moles cleverly disguised as rabid raccoons sent to destroy USAF space launch facilities.

Killer raccoon with his KGB handler:

"The People's Cube" 1/31/2014 post "New NSA Scandal !!" confirms that nefarious organizations are training raccoons for odious purposes:

A basic timeline delineated in military time, so 0720 HRS = 7:20 AM and 1200 HRS = 12:00 PM

RIS = Titan Space Launch Vehicle solid rocket motor [SRM] storage facility. CSD = contractor that manufactures solid rocket motors, described in Charles Chase 28 July 2010 AIAA article "Pioneers in Propulsion-A History of CSD, Pratt & Whitney's Solid Rocket Company"

The timeline concludes with the death of of the poor rascally [possibly rabid] raccoon:

In case you're wondering, golly, what's the big deal about setting off some smoke bombs in a solid rocket motor facility, a fully stacked Titan SRM is nearly the length of half a football field:

The memo, which I find hilarious from beginning to end:

You might wonder whether there really is such a job as a base entomologist, and the answer would be, yes, there is, from the 25 JANUARY 2012 30TH SPACE WING INSTRUCTION 32-7001

"This interim change revises SWI 32-7001 by changing Chapter 23 “Apiary Hobbyists” so that bee keeping is no longer allowed on Vandenberg AFB. This change is being enacted to comply with federal law and per recommendations from AF entomologist/Pest Management subject matter expert advising against apiaries on AF property."
The memo concludes:

The whole report is highly entertaining, because, ultimately, all's well that ends well [except for the poor raccoon], but a couple pull quotes:

"It was unanimous at the meeting that the proper personnel were not involved in the decision making."
and, do NOT feed the wild animals!!!!!

"The guard did not admit to feeding the animal."

"The People's Cube" 1/26/2011 post "13 Bears, a Big Dog, a Raccoon, and a Pot-Bellied Pig Busted" cautions readers neither to feed or weed with wild animals otherwise you'll end up with a Rasta bear:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Interpretive Cake is better art medium than Interpretive Dance

Two European guys dancing to Frank Sinatra singing "My Way"

In case the above link breaks: a clip from Classic Arts Showcase:



I think it is safe to say that all humans, if given the choice between consuming a modern interpretive dance performance and the delicious creations of the Cake Boss  will be much more entertained by the latter.

In fact, I think most ppl, if given the chance, would always choose cake, unless it was some sort of health conscious concoction like this:

The Cake Boss Sinatra clip:

and the complete Cake Boss episode:

In fairness to dancers, Mikhail Baryshnikov dancing to Twyla Tharp's choreography more closely expresses the emotion of Arlen Mercer's Sinatra song

In case the above link breaks, some kludgy videos from "Classic Arts Showcase"



I think it's safe to say that the only interpretive dance anybody truly enjoys is deconstructed by the MST3K guys goofing on "Gunslinger" can-can choreography:


"And naughty spank, and naughty spank .... Now naughty, naughty, naughty, naughty this way and naughty, naughty, naughty that way"

Lastly, a quick google image search illustrates that lots of people, not just chubby guys from New Jersey, like Frank Sinatra cakes:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Joe Biden needs to watch #TheGoodWife Sexual Harassment training video

Joe Biden needs to watch "The Good Wife" sexual harassment training video shown at the end of "Executive Order 13224" episode:


Narrator: Sexuality, it's a significant part of our culture. Depicted in movies, magazines, and TV. But in the work place, sexuality can easily become sexual harassment.
Narrator: When an authority figure becomes involved with a subordinate, is that sexual harassment? Workplace dynamics can ... become upsetting, even hostile....even if the gesture isn't intended to be sexual in nature, it could be misinterpreted as such...but unwelcome sexual contact can also be verbal. Even an intended compliment can create an uncomfortable work environment.  

Compilation of Joe Biden being creepy towards women:

It's not surprising that a Republican paper would criticize Joe, from Byron York's 2/17/15 "Washington Examiner" article "Joe Biden's woman-touching habit"

"Assume that all of Biden's gestures were entirely innocent, just Joe being Joe. Still, in today's society, sexual harassment complaints have been lodged for less. Biden's behavior gives critics plenty of ammunition and puts supporters in a difficult position. Why is that kind of stuff OK when the vice president does it and cringe-making when it's the overly-friendly guy in the office?"

or that a Democrat publication would defend Joe, since as I posted wrt another subject, Dems stick together no matter what:

from Nico Lang's MAR 1, 2015 "Salon" article "John Travolta, Joe Biden and why men touch women’s bodies without asking:Viral videos of the vice president and "Pulp Fiction" star belie our troubling tolerance for sexual harrasment" goes through the trouble of coining a new word "mantouching" in order to avoid having to describe Democrats as sexual harassers:

"Mantouching operates in a similar way. It’s an assertion of one’s masculinity, at the expense of the personal comfort of those around you. When a man touches a woman without asking, he’s doing so because he feels entitled to access to her body. For him, it might feel like a meaningless or friendly gesture. After all, what’s the matter with touching the small of a woman’s back? It’s not like you’re sexually assaulting her."

but it is surprising that a formerly Republican publication coopted by Democrats criticizes Joe. I originally thought article was written by a Clintonista, but the author is a token Republican on their staff: "She has worked on GOP campaigns in four states". Karol Markowicz's Feb. 18, 2015 "Time" article "America Shouldn’t Tolerate ‘Biden Being Biden’" points out the Democrat media hypocrisy and double standards:

"His defenders claim he’s from a different era, the equivalent of the kissing host on Family Feud. Except this isn’t the 1970s and these women aren’t on a game show. Others find the humor in sexual harassment in a way they likely wouldn’t if Joe Biden didn’t have a (D) after his name. NBC’s Capitol Hill Correspondent Kelly O’Donnell joshed Biden was “multi-tasking” when he had his arm wrapped around a teenager while swearing in her mother, Senator Joni Ernst. Biden also told the teen “I hope mom has a big fence around your house.” Today co-host Matt Lauer wise-cracked that this was Biden’s way of “welcoming” the families of the new Senate class. Even PBS found “Biden being Biden” just so adorable."