Not making a difference since 2006. Blog motto: Always be sincere whether you mean it or not.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gunther lays an egg

Dennis Mangan has a post about white folks and having an interest in classical music,

My brother the classical music critic posts his take on Stuff White People Like #108: Appearing to enjoy Classical Music. It jibes with my experience; you've got to hang with some really pretentious people before you see anyone even attempt appearing to enjoy classical music. In the circles in which I move,you're doing well if you know what an orchestra is. Quoth Tim:

Admitting that you like classical music these days is to confirm to others that you are either a) a nerd, b) gay, or c) hopelessly beyond help. If you ever want to stop a conversation, just mention Stravinsky.

One of his commenters, Dave in Hackensack wrote,

A few years ago, my girlfriend won a free trip for two to Boston to see the symphony there. We got the VIP treatment because my girlfriend's employer at the time was a major corporate sponsor. The first piece the symphony presented that night was something old and enjoyable, which was followed by a cacophonous piece of noise -- an excerpt from some forgotten opera written in the second half of the 20th Century.

At intermission, in the bar area for the big donors, I asked the symphony employee who had been chaperoning us about that horrible piece. She sort of acknowledged that it was rough on the ears, but said that the symphony had to get its patrons used to that sort of thing so it could become part of the cannon. That sort of attitude can't be making classical music any more popular.

This afternoon, I turned on the BSO from Symphony Hall on WGBH and Dave's experience was replicated. Two Mozart Arias began the program. Then a work the BSO commissioned by Gunther Schuller titled Where the World Ends was premiered. It did not come close to mediocrity. I don't know how the training program DinH mentioned is going, but the applause was tepid.

Hey, I hardly rise to the level of dilettante. Still, with confidence I claim to have better taste than James Levine. After all, he took up his post proclaiming devotion to the works of Arnold Schoenberg.

Supposedly, a lot of Bostonians have lost gobs of money in the current downturn. In the foreseeable future I doubt torturing the subscribers will be a good business plan.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Go Hypocrites!

In this post, as usual, we stand behind nothing that you will read. We have no special knowledge, so we are just guessing. Still the voice of humility economics department makes its offical statement.

The financial establishment has, through various mistakes, played itself out. Therefore, it needs a bailout. It needs this for two reasons.

1. it needs the money.

2. One very important and overlooked reason is because the money it uses to keep Congress in its pocket is gone, so it needs more money to keep Congress in its pocket.

Now, I'm sure there are those of you out there who touchingly believe our national legislature full of gentlemen and ladies (or that absurd construction, "gentleladies") who could never be bought. There are some, but they are few and far between.

The Republican, aka "the Stupid Party," are as horrible as the Dems. For the last eight years they have acquiesced in all the foolish spending of the prior administration. I would never appeal to their sense of honor as it would be foolish to call on something that does not exist.

No, the appeal is to their self interest. Any support of the current plan to save the nation will make failure bipartisan, but not success. This is no win.

So you must think I have no goodwill and wish for the plan's failure. Yes. Again, there is no claim to authority. Our guess is that the plan will not work and any success will be coincidental. Sooner or later every penny will have to be paid and even if the stars in their courses conspire to bring us out of our current downward spiral, it will just be postponement. Everything that has caused our problems must eventually be liquidated. whether it's all the goods on the docks or the social theories that lead us to believe that physics professorships not in proportion to every race and gender group is injustice.

If the Elephants can brave being called ractionaries and every other epithet until it starts to smell good because of the failure of the progressive model, maybe there would be some hope. There would be more if they actually came to believe.

In truth, we are not optimistic.

Moi, il faut cultiver notre jardin.